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What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?

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tnedator

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What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« on: February 19, 2017, 07:34:08 pm »
Ok, i'm getting close to pulling the trigger on my first RV and a PC.  Likely a 2551 or 2552.

As PC is very accommodating with changes unlike most other companies, I want to make sure I get it right. 

What I'm really wondering about is non standard options.  So, not talking about full body paint or levelers, but instead items like Gandalf described in his thread (pure sine inverter, extra backer board in places, etc.).

Some of the items I have so far:

110, USB and 12v outlets in cubbies over head side of twin beds.
Possibly a little flip down ledge for cell phone/alarm clock near head of bed
All 110 outlets tied into inverter
110 outlet near (behind) passenger seat if there isn't one already
Solar panels and charging system
AGM batteries
Insulate/heat Sanicon pump
AC w/heat pump (not sure if I need two HVACs for southern US/Florida type travel). Someone mentioned the Coleman fan not cycling on/off (so less annoying at night), need to investigate that.
Side cameras
Maybe collision avoidance/lane departure (need to read more of how this works in E450 setup).

Seems like there are a few more things, but that's what comes to mind at the moment. 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions on what I should consider.

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jatrax

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 12:28:57 am »
Things to think about:

Truck seats: power, swivel, heated?
Keyless entry to truck cab?
Awning?
Backup monitor / side cameras?
Insulated glass?
Leveling jacks?
Ultra leather or cloth seating for truck,dinette,sofa?
Max air covers on fans?
Insulated cab floor?
Satellite dish?
30amp or 50amp service?
Which A/C unit(s)?  there are several options.
Solar panels?
Which solar charger? Stock or Trimetric? or other?
Surge protector?
Pure sine inverter? how big?
Stock converter or better 3 stage one?
Absorption refrigerator or compressor?
Trimetric battery monitor?
We added a shelf over the head of the bed with USB ports on the 12volt system for cell phone / tablet charging
Gas grill hookup?
Extra 120 volt receptacles where you want them?
12 volt receptacles where you want them?
USB receptacles where you want them?
Builtin GPS nav system or supply your own Garmin?
TV in the bedroom?
Power bed extension?
Slide or no slide?
Dinette in slide or sofa?
Lighted switches on the heated tanks?
Surround sound system?
Euro chair or fixed captains chair?
Hand sprayer on toilet?
Corian or wood on kitchen extension?
Sink cover for bathroom sink?
Metal back splash or mirror back splash on side wall of kitchen?
Backing in trunk for additional hooks?
Adjustable shelves? where and how many?
Extra security lights around the coach.  Especially on the driver side near the hookups.
Safety-plus steering stabilizer

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jatrax

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 12:31:46 am »
Quote
Possibly a little flip down ledge for cell phone/alarm clock near head of bed
We pick our 2552 up on March 1.  I drew up a shelf with ledge to be mounted over the head of the bed.  I can post pictures after we pick it up.  If it works the way I think they will already know how to build it.

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gandalf42

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 06:10:58 am »
"Which solar charger? Stock or Trimetric? or other?"

I was given no option on this other than the complete Samlex kit or nothing. I can't say whether this is their current policy on solar or a function of how many other changes you request.

Congrats Jatrax on the approaching day of your new RV! Would love to see pictures.

Tnedator: Its a blessing and a curse that PC grants as much flexibility in their build as they do. Wonderful to have the choices but stressful that you make sure you think of everything that you would like. I wish you well though the process.  :beg

..Mike

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tnedator

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 08:22:30 am »
Quote
Possibly a little flip down ledge for cell phone/alarm clock near head of bed
We pick our 2552 up on March 1.  I drew up a shelf with ledge to be mounted over the head of the bed.  I can post pictures after we pick it up.  If it works the way I think they will already know how to build it.

I'll be very curious to see your shelf, as I've been thinking I need a shelf in this area.  Curious if you designed one that is functional without being a head knocker.

Thanks for the long list.  Many items I've been thinking of, but some of that is food for thought.  You and Gandalf make me realize i need to do some more research on the solar, as apparently there are pros/cons of various controllers. 

On the awning, I really like the look of the armless, box mounted units, but wonder if they are less stable in the wind.

I'll be honest, I assumed at this day and age the cab was keyless, but I need to check.  I probably need to not assume anything.


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Ron Dittmer

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 09:26:07 am »
tnedator,

Here are my thoughts with 10 years of experience with our 2350.

Read through my ongoing post HERE on things I have done over the years with our PC.  Maybe some will spark an idea or two for yourself.

About keyless entry for the van doors.  Back in 2007, and maybe applies today, keyless entry is a "Ford" thing and it does not come standard on their E-Series RV-model chassis.  Our 2007 E350 is missing the keyless entry controller.  I once researched what it would take to add one, learning that our chassis is not even wired for a keyless entry controller.  I was not able to determine if the missing wire harness is something I could add myself.  My point to this is, if you want keyless entry, be clear about it right up front because Phoenix may have to special order an E450 chassis with keyless entry rather than use an E450 chassis already stretched on their lot, ready for building.

We have the box awning.  It is very clean looking by comparison to the motorized one, but can't compare to the ease of a push-button electric awning.  I still sit on the fence over my feeling about the two types.

As I feel about our box awning, I decided to delete the rear rack and ladder.  For me, that was the right decision for a very clean body as seen HERE avoiding all the mounting holes and caulk as well as the unsightly tubing all about the rig.  I actually have my rack and ladder in pieces, stored in my house basement, just in-case I ever change my mind.  It has been 10 years now so I think it's time to put them up for sale on Ebay.  With exception to our very first outing in 2007, I have been lucky not to need the ladder on a trip to untangle the PC from a low hanging tree branch.  The rack and ladder increase entanglement anyway.

I wished we had a porch light in the rear and one on the driver side of the rig, controlled on their own shared switch.  It would be very convenient to light the area all around the rig as needed.  Not just when at the camp site, but also when backing into a primitive site at night.  If you avoid hitting just one tree with them, they are so worth it.  No tree bumps yet for us, but we got surprisingly close more than once because of darkness.

This I am not sure about, but is still worth mentioning.  Phoenix might decline some of your electrical requests if you have a slide-out for it may cut off their means to channel 110V wiring along the driver side wall.  Maybe they break their own unwritten code and wire 110V up and over the slide out opening.

Unless there is a parking/storage challenge with the longer 2552, I would surely get that model.....especially if getting a dinette, and even better to have a no-slide dinette so the dinette itself could be made bigger yet.  The leg room, table size, and bed size would all benefit.  The extra relaxing seat behind the passenger seat in the 2552 is important to have with any kind of dinette.

If your plan is to drive a lot throughout your trips as we do, ask Phoenix about the 3-way hot water tank.  The 2-way heats up with propane and 110V.  The 3rd method in the 3-way unit, the coolant from the Ford engine flows through the water heater, making hot water while driving.  We have the 2-way water tank.  I think we would have appreciated the 3-way with our travel style.

One thing I would ask Phoenix about.  Can they add redundant gray and black waste tank valve control switches inside the house.  Like us, your gray tank is the smaller of the two.  You will find the need to blend the tanks once or twice between dumps.  I am considering adding one more pair of gray & black tank valve switches so I don't have to run around outside to blend the tanks which always happens during our shower time.  Needless to say it's the worst possible time to go outside and blend tanks to let the water drain out from the shower pan.

I really don't like having any more holes in our roof than necessary.  (ie: roof rack & ladder).  I had wondered if we could have done just as well with a Fantastic fan in the bathroom and do away with the one just outside the bathroom door.  Two huge holes in the roof so close together (just a couple feet apart) doing the same job, seems redundant to me.  I suppose we'd need a pass-thru grill-vent in the wall.  Or maybe a bathroom door that has a gap at the top to allow air to get past a closed bathroom door.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 10:14:04 am by ron.dittmer »
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gandalf42

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 09:57:15 am »
"I really don't like having any more holes in our roof than necessary.  (ie: roof rack & ladder).  I had wondered if we could have done just as well with a Fantastic fan in the bathroom and do away with the one just outside the bathroom door.  Two huge holes in the roof so close together (just a couple feet apart) doing the same job, seems redundant to me.  I suppose we'd need a pass-thru gill-vent in the wall or the bathroom door not going all the way to the ceiling to allow air to get past a closed bathroom door."

In the 2551/2552 there is a gap on the top of the sliding bathroom door so it doesn't seem both vents are really needed.

I believe the armless awning being referred to are the new ones seen on class B rvs (i.e. Winnebago Fuse or Leisure Travel) that are electric.

..Mike
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Ron Dittmer

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2017, 10:05:11 am »

I believe the armless awning being referred to are the new ones seen on class B rvs (i.e. Winnebago Fuse or Leisure Travel) that are electric.

..Mike
Hmm, interesting.
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jatrax

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2017, 10:45:00 am »
Quote
I was given no option on this other than the complete Samlex kit or nothing.
I doubt there is anything wrong with the Samlex unit.  I wanted a battery monitor and the one most recommended is the Trimetric unit.  While investigating that I discovered Trimetric now makes a solar charger that pairs with their battery monitor.  It is only a PWM charger not MPPT but on the relatively small solar arrays that fit on these units there will be little advantage to MPPT anyway.  So I bought and shipped to the factory both the monitor and charger.

Whether that will turn out to be a good idea remains to be seen.  After I've had a chance to test it I will report back.

It is a good idea to keep a distinction between "options" and "customizations".  An option being something they have on their option list or have done enough times in the past to feel comfortable with.  For example extra outside lights is not really listed on the option sheet but they do them often enough that Earl mentioned them and I said yes.  On the other hand I wanted a shelf above the head of the bed for cell phones.  This is a customization as it was to my design and not something they had done.  I sent a drawing and got a price for it.

The big difference is that for "options" the sales team has a price sheet they can use to quote you.  For anything custom they have to go to the design team (Kermit) and have him guestimate the cost.  I assume they check the profit margin on each customization and if it works out and enough people ask for it then it gets a standard price and is added to the option sheet.  Or in some cases is just added to the standard build if they think it was a really good idea.

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gandalf42

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2017, 11:40:45 am »
While they accepted the Trimetric battery monitor and initially accepted the corresponding solar charger they later backed out with the "all or nothing", pulling their acceptance of the solar charger.

Ultimately I took the "nothing" route, deciding to have AM Solar install a solar system. Since this will provide a combo battery/ solar system display, I eliminated my request for the Trimetric battery monitor since it would be redundant.
Mike & Pat Astley,

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jatrax

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2017, 11:55:11 am »
Quote
While they accepted the Trimetric battery monitor and initially accepted the corresponding solar charger they later backed out with the "all or nothing", pulling their acceptance of the solar charger.
That is a little worrisome for me.  As far as I know that is what was installed on my rig but I will not know for sure until I pick up next month.  I wonder if they ran into install issues that caused them to not do yours that way....

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gandalf42

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2017, 12:06:35 pm »
I really doubt there is any issue. The wiring is pretty straight forward. I feel their "bucket got full" between the other requests that I had and possibly a build up of order backlog and corresponding customizations.

If that is true, I wish they would have just said there are too many changes and let me choose which ones I could keep. As it stands, I can make it work and be happy.

The point that needs to be understood though is just because they did something for someone before is no guarantee they will do it again.
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jatrax

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 12:42:26 pm »
Quote
The point that needs to be understood though is just because they did something for someone before is no guarantee they will do it again.
Good point and something for new buyers to keep in mind.  I wish they had a more standard process but that is the nature of small companies.  Much more flexible but that goes both ways.

Another thought on the solar charger is that I think Samlex sells this as a kit which includes the panels and charger.  Maybe they did not want to have a shelf full of chargers.

At any rate, swapping out the solar charger is a very minor project.  You could have them install the Trimetric monitor and Samlex charger then purchase the Trimetric charger and swap it yourself.  I think the Trimetric charger was $120 or so.  This is what I was going to do if they would not install the Trimetric one.

Buyers with customizations in mind should remember that anything different from the 'standard' build costs them time on the line as the installer has to figure out the new whatever.  They have done this a long time and likely can build the standard rig with their eyes closed.  Stopping to read the instructions, figure out the wire sizes and paths and test the install on something new takes time.  I was specifically told that they would do some of the custom work I wanted only if it was a winter project when they were slower.  Once they gear up with orders they do not have time for delays.

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catsaplenty

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2017, 05:07:21 pm »
on the keyless item - you can have them order your Chassis from Ford with Ford options.  might add a little more front end time for it to arrive.  I did the special chassis - but not the keyless.  I wanted the Ford Sync package as I wanted the bluetooth for my phone and a USB port - but did not want to order the whole Sirrus/Navigation package from PC.  While I was at it for just a few dollars I added in the Daytime running lights and the switch that allows me to turn off the passenger air bag (dangerous to have it armed if I have one of the dogs in a seat belt in that seat).

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garmp

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Re: What options should I order -- what do you wish you ordered?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2017, 05:39:14 pm »
jatrax: really interestec in shelf with ledge to be mounted over the head of the bed. You have to post pics and details.

thanks
Bob is what we call our PC 2100, and he has taken us from campers to RV'ers and loving it.