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Options qustions...

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2019, 07:51:32 pm »
Jim,

A quick scan of your list brings up something I had always wondered.

I am very protective of our roof.  My motto is: The fewer holes in the roof, the better.  I always wondered if it would be smarter to put in a Fantastic fan or better in a rear PC bathroom, and delete the one just forward of it.  This way you draw all heat and odors rearward and out for improved "flow-thru" ventilation.  It would also prevent bathroom odors from getting into the other areas of the house.  But don't take my thoughts as gospel.  Draw out opinions from the rest of the PC family.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 07:55:29 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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mikeh

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2019, 10:00:30 pm »
OK Jim,

I'm sure you knew I'd chime back in after reviewing your spreadsheet (top to bottom), but I'll try to be succinct and only on things I can answer or have a strong opinion on:
--Maxx Air Fans.  After assessing mine, I like these; I haven't personally compared directly to the Fantastic units, but the reviews from many others have been superior.
--Surge Protection.  I have the Progressive Dynamics EMS model EMS-HW50C; it's the standard Phoenix install, and I think it's going to work fine based on my review of the unit and the readout information it is providing me.
--Backup Monitor.  Phoenix spec sheet said it was a "Sony Monitor".  Unit installed in mine turned out to be a Boyo 7-inch monitor manufactured by Vision Tech America.  Seems to be OK; yes, it can be run continuously.
--Liquid Springs.  Little surprised to see this based on your earlier post where you mentioned looking for ways to save on cost.  Pretty pricey option.  I have NO basis on which to comment on value; I decided not to include them on mine based on quite a few forum postings extolling the favorable ride on the standard 2552.  I am happy with the ride in the thousand miles I have on mine, but that's hardly any type of fair test yet.
--In Dash GPS/Sirius/Bluetooth.  I don't like in-dash GPS, but I do like Sirius Radio and hands-free phone capability.  I didn't go with their all-in-one unit, but I had them install a less expensive Pioneer 6-inch screen that has Sirius and phone capability.  That way they did the factory install on the Sirius roof antenna, and with my Garmin GPS I've got all of the features I want.
--Solar Panel.  Again, pretty pricey, but the main advantage here is that it pretty effectively keeps your house batteries automatically topped off if you're parked outside.  Obviously depends on usage, etc, but even with our cloudy/wintry skies mine while parked shows at least a constant 2-3 amp charge when it's light (much more in sun), and if I do something to run them down to 90% or so, they come back up to 100% in a few hours and maintain there without my attention, even with the battery switch set to off.  If you're plugged into power most of the time when at home and on the road you can certainly do without solar, but in any type of off-power situation they are a pretty big (automatic) help.
--Lagun Tables.  Sure like the Lagun tables.  I opted for the cabinet set behind the passenger seat primarily to get the fold-up table for a computer work space--before I found out about the Lagun tables.  I now have both, and there's no comparison (in my opinion) regarding usability and versatility.  I still like the cabinets actually--there is several discreet storage spaces there that I will use, and I didn't need the Eurochair they replaced, but I am using the Lagun tables for all of my sit-down work.
--SeeLevel Gauges.  So far I like the SeeLevels; they give me exact % read-out on water, gray, black, propane, and battery; I can see the levels change a percent at a time.  Time will tell about reliability--that will be the main issue; I think they're worth the money if they hold up.
--Converter.  I was initially concerned about the converter when I assumed that Phoenix was still using the Parallax single stage unit that they had been installing in 2017.  My solution was to ask them to install the Progressive Dynamics PD4500 3-stage converter as certain others had done.  When I surfaced that issue, I found found that they had already made that change to the PD unit as their standard converter.  So far it seems to be working great with my AGM batteries.
--Mirror w/Compass.  Didn't buy this $300+ option since you can't see behind the coach with the mirror anyway (and I have a compass heading on my Garmin GPS).  I assumed this would mean there would be no rear view mirror at all--but one is installed--just no compass heading in it.  I'm fine with that.
--Awning.  Believe your listing is the regular awning option for the 2552.  My build sheet from Phoenix lists only the 18-foot awning as the option for the 2552 (the 17-foot is listed as the option for the 2551).  There is the second option for the wind sensor and remote control.
--Mobile Eye.  Both Mobile Eye 5 and 6 series units do offer lane departure warning.  I didn't opt for this option up front, since it's something else that can be added on relatively easily if desired.  I do have to say that when first piloting the E-450, I was transported back a few years technology-wise.  I guess I had gotten used to built-in blind-spot notifications, lane departure, automatic braking, memory seat settings, even multiple cockpit USB connections--all of which were on my last couple of vehicles and none of which were on my new E-450.  It was kind of like climbing into the 2005 (or so) vehicle that it really is.  It's very capable and adequate, of course, but you''ll notice the difference.  Fortunately the aftermarket stuff available (like Mobile Eye), will let one incorporate just about any capability that they really want to add.

There's quite a few other personal-preference items I could comment on, but because they fall in that category you're really the only one that can decide how important they may be to you.  I'd certainly try to address anything you had a specific question on, however.

All the best,       Mike     
     






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gandalf42

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2019, 05:45:56 am »
Jim,

A quick scan of your list brings up something I had always wondered.

I am very protective of our roof.  My motto is: The fewer holes in the roof, the better.  I always wondered if it would be smarter to put in a Fantastic fan or better in a rear PC bathroom, and delete the one just forward of it.  This way you draw all heat and odors rearward and out for improved "flow-thru" ventilation.  It would also prevent bathroom odors from getting into the other areas of the house.  But don't take my thoughts as gospel.  Draw out opinions from the rest of the PC family.

Ron, I deleted the bathroom fan with the thought that since there was a flow through space at the roof and the bedroom fan was only a few feet away it would suffice. I chose to keep the bedroom fan over the bath fan thinking that the bedroom fan would be reversible and could be used to blow air in on the beds at other times. When they built the RV they omitted the reversible nature (without consult) saying it was too close to the black tank vent and would violate the RV build code. My thought was "So, why didn't you move it forward a couple inches?? (as that would have put it within code)"  (WH) We have been fine without the bathroom fan although I may retrofit the fan someday to be reversible.
Mike & Pat Astley,

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2019, 10:26:15 am »
Interesting Mike.

More thoughts on Jim's list.
- Not sure if you deleting the slide out or modifying the configuration within the slide out.
- 6V AGM batteries are $500 above and beyond conventional 6V batteries?  At that price it seems no credit was given to the conventional batteries.  I would opt for conventional technology, get whatever years you can from them, then replace them with Duracal AGM 6V batteries from Costco for $350 for the pair.  That is a $350 savings.  Spend the $350 on something else for your PC.
- What shades come if not getting Magna shades?  I thought Magna was standard.
- Water accumulator tank.  I installed a Home Depot 2 gallon tank and love it, love, it, love it.  I highly recommend the stainless 2 gallon tank version with feet.  Spend some of the $350 battery savings on that one.
- Thicker marine plywood, most certainly.  It seems a lot though, but would still get it.  I wonder why they went thinner?
- Get the biggest awning you can.  Bigger is better.
- Ask about fabric-matching upholstered zippered mattress covers making them look more like couch cushions instead of mattresses.
Here is ours that matches the material on the dinette.

- This one bothered me (and still does) with our 2007 PC.  Our bedroom curtains and headboard do not match our living area.  I would ask so you know what to expect.  CLICK HERE and go through my interior pictures and notice the differences.  I don't know what Phoenix was thinking.  I would have loved to have our PC finished the same throughout.  It's not so big to be decorating rooms differently.  I feel it's like having the family sedan with mismatched front and back seats.

Here is the 2 gallon accumulator tank I like.  It actually holds 0.7 gallons of water.  The rest is compressed air for water pressure.  They used to be found much cheaper.  The lowest I found just now is HERE for $139.  If the compartment in your PC for it has "height" mount the pump on top of it which would have been ideal for our PC.


Here is the "Home Depot equivalent" accumulator I installed in 2008.  It has never given us trouble, only nice consistent water pressure, good pump cycling, and quiet pump operation.


Here it is shrouded for protection against stuff being in the outdoor compartment under our rear corner double bed.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 10:12:47 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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Volkemon

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2019, 11:01:03 am »

- 6V AGM batteries are $500 above and beyond conventional 6V batteries?  At that price it seems no credit was given to the conventional batteries.  I would opt for conventional technology, get whatever years you can from them, then replace them with Duracal AGM 6V batteries from Costco for $350 for the pair.  That is a $350 savings.  Spend the $350 on something else for your PC.


Whoa!  Yes, something amiss there. My wholesale price on Trojan 6V AGM's is ~$135. The 12V group 31's AGM were on sale for $115.   NO WAY that should be a $500 upgrade for just batteries.  MAYBE (Hopefully?)  just maybe they put in a better multi-stage battery charger?  2o2  Would be a good question to ask...Therein may lay some of the difference...

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mikeh

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2019, 02:14:05 pm »
Guys, I think Jim may have been estimating on the AGM upgrade cost, since they're not actually listed as one of the priced options on the price estimation sheet on the website.  If so, he was pretty close to MSRP though, since my Phoenix build sheet (which does have them listed) carries a price of $480 for the pair (upgrade).  With the approximate 20% discount, that makes the actual upgrade cost you pay at about $384.

Mike

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donc13

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2019, 02:44:40 pm »

- 6V AGM batteries are $500 above and beyond conventional 6V batteries?  At that price it seems no credit was given to the conventional batteries.  I would opt for conventional technology, get whatever years you can from them, then replace them with Duracal AGM 6V batteries from Costco for $350 for the pair.  That is a $350 savings.  Spend the $350 on something else for your PC.


Whoa!  Yes, something amiss there. My wholesale price on Trojan 6V AGM's is ~$135. The 12V group 31's AGM were on sale for $115.   NO WAY that should be a $500 upgrade for just batteries.  MAYBE (Hopefully?)  just maybe they put in a better multi-stage battery charger?  2o2  Would be a good question to ask...Therein may lay some of the difference...

Lifelines are $300 apiece delivered (retail cost, Phoenix may get a lower price) , subtract the cost of the 2 Interstate lead/acid batteries ($150 wholesale?) and we are talking about $450 cost difference.

Don
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Volkemon

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2019, 03:01:09 pm »
Thanks Mike and Don!   

That does put it into perspective.

I forget to put myself into the 'New Purchase' state of mind.  Upgrading to AGM for ~$375 is pretty fair. ESPECIALLY going from Interstate to Lifeline, IMO.

I would still ask some very pointed questions about the charger, however.

At the least, I would want one that has 3 stages.  AGM charging profile a must. This would be a reasonable precaution.

A battery temperature sensor isnt as critical compared to 'wet' batteries, but would be good if available.


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gandalf42

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2019, 04:15:21 pm »
Ron's comments about curtains reminded me of a change I had them do. We ordered the grey interior but thought grey curtains and valences made too much grey. We sent PC material and they made us forest green curtains and the valences are a green & leaf design. PC did a great job and also returned the unused material. We were able to then use the material to make couch cushions with the curtain material on one side and the valence material on the other. Very happy with both.

Not sure if they would still do that or not, as they frequently change what they will or will not do.
Mike & Pat Astley,

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jim.godfrey

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2019, 05:11:13 pm »
You guys are awesome!
I'll have more comments later, on the way to #1 granddaughters band concert now.

Did want to mention the $500 price on AGM was a guess on my part.
I recently bought two Lifeline AGMs for my backup sump pump that added up to $700 but they are huge batteries.

Really appreciate the comments and great ideas.

Jim G.

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2019, 08:10:21 pm »
Jim,

A quick scan of your list brings up something I had always wondered.

I am very protective of our roof.  My motto is: The fewer holes in the roof, the better.  I always wondered if it would be smarter to put in a Fantastic fan or better in a rear PC bathroom, and delete the one just forward of it.  This way you draw all heat and odors rearward and out for improved "flow-thru" ventilation.  It would also prevent bathroom odors from getting into the other areas of the house.  But don't take my thoughts as gospel.  Draw out opinions from the rest of the PC family.

Ron: I agree with your thinking about the rearward air flow and am likely to get an upgraded fan in the bathroom for just that reason. Especially because a fan right over my head might be an issue for me when trying to sleep.
But my current plan is to have three fans just to keep my options open. My main reason for considering the idea of the MaxxAir fans is again noise.I would prefer to run multiple fans on the lowest speeds than one on high. My understanding is the 10 speed MaxxAirs are very quiet on low.

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2019, 08:14:49 pm »
Ron's comments about curtains reminded me of a change I had them do. We ordered the grey interior but thought grey curtains and valences made too much grey. We sent PC material and they made us forest green curtains and the valences are a green & leaf design. PC did a great job and also returned the unused material. We were able to then use the material to make couch cushions with the curtain material on one side and the valence material on the other. Very happy with both.

Not sure if they would still do that or not, as they frequently change what they will or will not do.

Mike: Thanks for mentioning this as I would never have thought of it. I think we are happy with the Graystone interior as is but will be taking another look before ordering.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2019, 08:53:50 pm »
Jim,

A quick scan of your list brings up something I had always wondered.

I am very protective of our roof.  My motto is: The fewer holes in the roof, the better.  I always wondered if it would be smarter to put in a Fantastic fan or better in a rear PC bathroom, and delete the one just forward of it.  This way you draw all heat and odors rearward and out for improved "flow-thru" ventilation.  It would also prevent bathroom odors from getting into the other areas of the house.  But don't take my thoughts as gospel.  Draw out opinions from the rest of the PC family.

Ron: I agree with your thinking about the rearward air flow and am likely to get an upgraded fan in the bathroom for just that reason. Especially because a fan right over my head might be an issue for me when trying to sleep.
But my current plan is to have three fans just to keep my options open. My main reason for considering the idea of the MaxxAir fans is again noise.I would prefer to run multiple fans on the lowest speeds than one on high. My understanding is the 10 speed MaxxAirs are very quiet on low.
Well, your 2552 is notably longer than our 2350, and unlike our 2007 slide-open windows, the current-day jalousie windows offer a negligible amount of natural air flow.  Newer PCs require a little ventilation encouragement from fans so I understand all the discussion and focus on fans.  So be sure to take into consideration that my comments are from an owner of a 2350 2007 model year with slide-open windows that open to about 40% of the over-all window.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 09:01:12 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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jim.godfrey

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2019, 08:59:33 pm »
Mike: Yet again I am impressed and very appreciative of your well thought out and detailed response.
My comments added below.

OK Jim,

I'm sure you knew I'd chime back in after reviewing your spreadsheet (top to bottom), but I'll try to be succinct and only on things I can answer or have a strong opinion on:
--Maxx Air Fans.  After assessing mine, I like these; I haven't personally compared directly to the Fantastic units, but the reviews from many others have been superior. I have fantastic fans now and they are trouble free but even on low they still make a bit more noise than I like. Hoping the 10 speed MaxxAir will be quieter at the lower speeds. When you need to move a lot of air, pretty sure they are more comparable. I also like the waterproof design. Glad you have had good luck with them.
--Surge Protection.  I have the Progressive Dynamics EMS model EMS-HW50C; it's the standard Phoenix install, and I think it's going to work fine based on my review of the unit and the readout information it is providing me. Thats great,  We are currently using the 30 amp version in our trailer and have been happy with it.
--Backup Monitor.  Phoenix spec sheet said it was a "Sony Monitor".  Unit installed in mine turned out to be a Boyo 7-inch monitor manufactured by Vision Tech America.  Seems to be OK; yes, it can be run continuously. I took a look at the Boyo on Crutchfield and they look like a quality unit. Does yours have multi-input capability?
--Liquid Springs.  Little surprised to see this based on your earlier post where you mentioned looking for ways to save on cost.  Pretty pricey option.  I have NO basis on which to comment on value; I decided not to include them on mine based on quite a few forum postings extolling the favorable ride on the standard 2552.  I am happy with the ride in the thousand miles I have on mine, but that's hardly any type of fair test yet. Yea, I am inconsistent like that sometimes roflol but  we really don't have a target price as much as wanting to get good value. And we hope this PC will last us a long time so unless we found an exceptional used unit for real cheep (not likely), then we will probably not skimp on options. We did test drive a 2552 with LS and loved the ride. Have to admit, our only frame of reference was to our previous low end Coachman class C. But the PC rode like it was on rails. Thinking there will be a lot less sway and rattling , improved emergency handling, less wear and tear on the coach, and cure the common cold.  ;)
--In Dash GPS/Sirius/Bluetooth.  I don't like in-dash GPS, but I do like Sirius Radio and hands-free phone capability.  I didn't go with their all-in-one unit, but I had them install a less expensive Pioneer 6-inch screen that has Sirius and phone capability.  That way they did the factory install on the Sirius roof antenna, and with my Garmin GPS I've got all of the features I want. Ok great! Thought I would be swapping it out on my own because I didn't think they would do it seeing they offer the GPS option. . Looks like you can buy a pretty loaded system from Crutchfield for 3-$400 but if PC can do it for a reasonable price I'm game. Thanks for the idea.
--Solar Panel.  Again, pretty pricey, but the main advantage here is that it pretty effectively keeps your house batteries automatically topped off if you're parked outside.  Obviously depends on usage, etc, but even with our cloudy/wintry skies mine while parked shows at least a constant 2-3 amp charge when it's light (much more in sun), and if I do something to run them down to 90% or so, they come back up to 100% in a few hours and maintain there without my attention, even with the battery switch set to off.  If you're plugged into power most of the time when at home and on the road you can certainly do without solar, but in any type of off-power situation they are a pretty big (automatic) help. Good points. Our thinking is we typically camp where there is power. DW is the nervous type and not likely to get into boon-docking. We also have power hookup at home. Other than short rest area stops or an occasional quick overnight at a Cracker Barrel, I don't anticipate needing solar especially where we will have the generator if needed.
--Lagun Tables.  Sure like the Lagun tables.  I opted for the cabinet set behind the passenger seat primarily to get the fold-up table for a computer work space--before I found out about the Lagun tables.  I now have both, and there's no comparison (in my opinion) regarding usability and versatility.  I still like the cabinets actually--there is several discreet storage spaces there that I will use, and I didn't need the Eurochair they replaced, but I am using the Lagun tables for all of my sit-down work. Lagun: Yes. I keep flip flopping on the cabinet / eurochair debate. Tempted to order both. 2frazzled did this and seems happy with it.  We anticipate occasionally traveling with my 2 grandchildren so would like to have 4 seats available but the cabinet seems like a good idea especially with the flip up table. I'll let my better half make this decision.
--SeeLevel Gauges.  So far I like the SeeLevels; they give me exact % read-out on water, gray, black, propane, and battery; I can see the levels change a percent at a time.  Time will tell about reliability--that will be the main issue; I think they're worth the money if they hold up.
--Converter.  I was initially concerned about the converter when I assumed that Phoenix was still using the Parallax single stage unit that they had been installing in 2017.  My solution was to ask them to install the Progressive Dynamics PD4500 3-stage converter as certain others had done.  When I surfaced that issue, I found found that they had already made that change to the PD unit as their standard converter.  So far it seems to be working great with my AGM batteries. Great news, Thanks!
--Mirror w/Compass.  Didn't buy this $300+ option since you can't see behind the coach with the mirror anyway (and I have a compass heading on my Garmin GPS).  I assumed this would mean there would be no rear view mirror at all--but one is installed--just no compass heading in it.  I'm fine with that. Ok, just moved that into the NO column.
--Awning.  Believe your listing is the regular awning option for the 2552.  My build sheet from Phoenix lists only the 18-foot awning as the option for the 2552 (the 17-foot is listed as the option for the 2551).  There is the second option for the wind sensor and remote control. ok, didn't realize an awning was an option. And thought the standard was 17'. Thought maybe the 18' listed on the pricing tool was some kind of longer, upgraded option. So I have to pay that option if i want any awning?
--Mobile Eye.  Both Mobile Eye 5 and 6 series units do offer lane departure warning.  I didn't opt for this option up front, since it's something else that can be added on relatively easily if desired.  I do have to say that when first piloting the E-450, I was transported back a few years technology-wise.  I guess I had gotten used to built-in blind-spot notifications, lane departure, automatic braking, memory seat settings, even multiple cockpit USB connections--all of which were on my last couple of vehicles and none of which were on my new E-450.  It was kind of like climbing into the 2005 (or so) vehicle that it really is.  It's very capable and adequate, of course, but you''ll notice the difference.  Fortunately the aftermarket stuff available (like Mobile Eye), will let one incorporate just about any capability that they really want to add. I think I will hold off on this as well. The thing I want the most of those features is probably blind spot notifications and it looks like that can be added fairly inexpensively.

There's quite a few other personal-preference items I could comment on, but because they fall in that category you're really the only one that can decide how important they may be to you.  I'd certainly try to address anything you had a specific question on, however. Thanks again for your help Mike.


All the best,       Mike     
     

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jim.godfrey

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Re: Options qustions...
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2019, 09:02:45 pm »
Jim,

A quick scan of your list brings up something I had always wondered.

I am very protective of our roof.  My motto is: The fewer holes in the roof, the better.  I always wondered if it would be smarter to put in a Fantastic fan or better in a rear PC bathroom, and delete the one just forward of it.  This way you draw all heat and odors rearward and out for improved "flow-thru" ventilation.  It would also prevent bathroom odors from getting into the other areas of the house.  But don't take my thoughts as gospel.  Draw out opinions from the rest of the PC family.

Ron: I agree with your thinking about the rearward air flow and am likely to get an upgraded fan in the bathroom for just that reason. Especially because a fan right over my head might be an issue for me when trying to sleep.
But my current plan is to have three fans just to keep my options open. My main reason for considering the idea of the MaxxAir fans is again noise.I would prefer to run multiple fans on the lowest speeds than one on high. My understanding is the 10 speed MaxxAirs are very quiet on low.
Well, your 2552 is notably longer than our 2350, and unlike our 2007 slide-open windows, the current-day jalousie windows don't provide but very little natural air flow.  It requires a little encouragement from fans, so I understand all the discussion and focus on fans.  So be sure to take into consideration that my comments are from an owner of a 2350 2007 model year with slide-open windows that open to about 40% of the over-all window.

Gotcha, Thanks Ron. Really appreciate your input.