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Author Topic: I reduced my overall width.  (Read 1003 times)
TomHanlon
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« on: August 02, 2010, 09:16:41 am »

I have reduced my Phoenix Cruisers overall width by nine inches. Yes, I said nine inches. I have the 2350 on a Ford E450 chassis.  It sure makes driving in traffic and on narrow country roads a lot more fun. So you ask how I could take a motorhome that is advertized at being 93 inches wide and reduce it by 9 inches. Well let me first say that it was not really 93 inches wide. When one measures the body, it is 93 inches, but then you have to add on all the things that stick out from the body, like awning arms and the biggie is the lighted door handle. Then it becomes 96 inches wide. Oh, I forgot about the outside mirrors that stick out farther yet. With the standard mirrors that Phoenix is currently using they give you an overall width of 118 inches. The standard mirrors are made by Remco and are for a class C motorhomes that are 96 to 102 inches wide.
 
When I ordered my PC and went to the factory for a tour, I noticed that the mirrors stood out far beyond what was needed. I asked about smaller mirrors, but was told that the current mirrors were the only ones available. After picking up the PC and driving it home, I began to research different mirrors to replace the ones that came on the PC.  I checked with Ford, several online auto parts dealers and did not like the mirrors as well as the Remco mirrors. So I called Remco to ask about how I might take them apart and cut a section of the arms out. I got a nice young lady, who told me they use a special press to mount the arms onto the ends. So it was beginning to look like I was out of luck and would have to live with what I had. Then she asked me to wait a minute. When she came back she said that the do make an arm that is half the length of the standard arm for the narrow motorhomes. They are 4 inches instead of the 9 inches. GREAT, how do I get them? I would have to send them my mirrors and they would remove the old arms and put on the new arms. Wait, my PC has full body paint. I would also need to send them to be painted. This whole time my new PC would be sitting without mirrors and would not be drivable. Things are not looking good.
 
On June 30, 2010 I called Phoenix and talked to the lady who is responsible for their procurement dept and the parts dept. Carol is one nice lady. Can you imagine how many parts go into each of our motorhomes and how many parts are needed to construct them? Getting all these things is the job of the procurement dept, Carol. I told her what I was trying to do about the mirrors. She said to let her check into it. When she got back to me, she said she would take care of everything and ship the new painted mirrors to me. To top it off, they are cheaper than what Fords wants for their mirrors. Carol when beyond the extra mile in getting this done. The first set of mirrors that came in had the standard arms and had to be sent back. Then she sent them to be painted and they came back with a scratch on one mirror and had to be repainted. Then she went to Bobby, the shop foreman and I believe her husband, and asked him to show her what has to be done to remove the old mirrors and install the new mirrors. She wrote up a step-by-step instruction for me to follow. I never would have figured out how to remove the door panel to get to the bottom nut on the mirror without her instructions. Thank you both Carol and Bobby, you two really know how to treat a customer both during and after the sale.
 
Last week I installed the new mirrors. This past weekend we went on a small trip that took us on interstate 70, thru rush hour traffic jams, country roads and across a narrow bridge. I love the new narrower width.  The only down side is that with the old mirrors I was able to see the rear tires meeting the road, but now I cant. I can still see the lines on the road next to the tires in the fisheye mirrors, so I am happy. Between those four mirrors and the backup camera, I felt I could see everything and at times they reminded me of all the mirrors on a cement truck.
 
If you are ordering a new PC, you might want to consider asking for the short arms on the mirrors. Carol told me that there is a PC on the line where the owner is getting the short arms and that Kermit is looking into these mirrors also.
 
Again and I cannot say it enough times, Thank you Carol for all your work in getting me these mirrors.
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Tom Hanlon
Current PC 2012 2552 Full paint Cafe
First PC 2010 2350 Full paint Umbra
rockrat
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 02:47:27 pm »

Tom, I am glad I am not the only one that get nervous driving down the highway and every time I look at the side mirror, I feel like I got wings on me, not because I was going fast, but the mirror just seems sticking way out there and ready to clip off a mail box.
Could you tell me how expensive were those shorter arm mirror? and how complicate was it to take off the existing one and installing the shorter one on? Do you require any special tool to accomplish the project? Thanks
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2010 2350 with slideout
TomHanlon
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 04:35:45 pm »

Rockrat,

You would need to talk to Carol at the factory about the price. My price included complete new mirrors with shorter arms, having them painted and shipping. Your case could be different, so check with her. The where cheaper than what Ford wanted for new mirrors. The year of your PC could effect what mirrors you need also. As for changing the mirrors, Carol sent me a step by step instruction sheet that her and Bobby made for me. I only required a few nornmal tools that any home work shop would have. It took me about an hour to change the passengers side, then less than an hour for the drivers side. I did not know how to remove the square plug from the end of the wires the first time. It needed to come out a slightly smaller round hole, which it was not going to do. So I cut the wires and splited them together before taping them. The guy next door came over to see what I was doing as I was starting the drivers side and he knew how to take the old wires out of the plug. We then put the new wires in the plug and had a much neater job. What took the most time was taking the door panel off, not hard with the instructions but it did take the most time. Four nuts hold the mirrors on the door. I put lock tight on the bolts.

I really like the new mirrors not sticking out into the traffic and clearing the side of the road.

Call Carol, she is a great person to work with.

Tom
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Tom Hanlon
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 06:14:05 pm »

Tom,

I personally appreciate the longer mirror arms (wings) to see traffic close behind me when changing lanes without needing the rear camera on.  But I can appreciate your perspective.  It's a great story too, how Phoenix spends the time to satisfy their customers on even the little things like your custom deviations.  Thanks for sharing.

On a related note, I "shoe-horn" my PC inside my garage with mirrors folded, so I pay close attention to the fancy illuminated door handle when pulling inside.  I have learned to favor the driver side and all is well.  But I admit that door handle and my high-mounted door stop (an earlier model year thingy) has me a bit paranoid.  Both are seen in this picture along with the wings.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 06:16:09 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron Dittmer (wife Irene) 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
Our Rig Is Available For Viewing Any Time Of Year In Dundee, IL
Stored At Home In Our Heated Garage (Well-Lit & Warm Comfort In Winter)
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