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Topics - gandalf42

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Tips and Tricks / Garmin 890 and 1090 Mounts
« on: May 20, 2021, 05:43:08 pm »
I have updated from the Garmin 770 to their 890 for the additional features. Unfortunately, the 890 does not fit on the driver’s side corner of the dash as the 770 did on our 2017 E450 based RV!  :'(

So, I rigged up a mount using the Garmin supplied ball mount adaptor together with a cup mount and some RAM style connectors.

Here is the part list I used:

Heavy Duty 1 Inch Ball Cup Holder https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YZVQJK2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

6" Aluminum Arm with Dual 1" Ball sockets

iBOLT 25mm / 1 inch to 25mm / 1 inch Composite Extension Ball

RAM 2.42” Double Socket Arm

This puts the 890 at an eye level for use and verbal commands.

General Discussion / Loose screws on door latch mechanism
« on: September 22, 2020, 03:00:42 pm »
When I closed the RV door I heard something fall and found a screw had fallen into the doorstep. I found it had fallen out of the door latch mechanism (indoor side) and the other 2 screws were very loose as well.

This is just a note for something to add to your periodic checklist.  :)

General Discussion / LED lights (factory installed)
« on: July 16, 2019, 10:25:02 am »
The LED lights in our 2017 2552, the ones mounted along the hallway, have a design weakness in that they have LED pucks that mount into sockets. These pucks come loose with all of the bouncing from travel. Some I have just reset and they work for a while, one has remained an ongoing problem (even after trying to tape it into the socket). Because of the design, I believe these to be a poor choice for use in RVs.


Has anyone found a solution to keeping these pucks in place?

Has the factory since switch to a different light fixture? If so, is the mfr and P/N known?

Has anyone replaced these with another fixture? (There a plenty of choices where the LED board is wired in which would eliminate this as an issue)


General Discussion / water overflow leak
« on: May 20, 2019, 11:50:17 am »
An issue I haven't dealt with to date (since purchase) is that the water overflow (located on the passenger side next to the gravity fill) routinely leaks water out while traveling. It doesn't cause a large loss of water from the tank as some have experienced with the water syphoning out, just some water that leaves water spots down the side.

Has anyone else experienced this and found a solution? Thanks!

General Discussion / Louvered Window failure
« on: May 06, 2019, 08:37:15 am »
"Life with Ken & Jane" just posted a youtube video about having the seal on some of their louvered windows fail. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2nIUjFQcEI

Not sure if they post on this forum or not. They have a 2016 2552.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?

I did my pre-trip check of latches and found 3 broken and I already knew the door latch was broken (but still working so far)

Carol sent me replacement latches and gave me the Southco P/Ns. I am post warranty so here are the prices from PC and others.

Cabinet latch: Southco C3-810 (10 lb pull force)  PC: $6   Amazon: $6.69 Prime

Screen door latch: Southco C3-510 (10 lb pull force)  PC: $13.90  Amazon: $13.77 (including shipping)

(PC charged $3 postage for my order of 2 screen door latches and 3 cabinet latches)

Question: It looks like removing the receiver side of the screen door latch will cause it to fall back into the door with no obvious way to remove it. I am concerned this would cause a jamming problem. What is the best way to remove the receiver side of the screen door latch?  Thanks!

General Discussion / First water leaks
« on: July 21, 2018, 10:02:33 am »
I had water traveling down the floor this morning which traced back to one of the screw on connectors behind the 4-way valve. The other connectors needed to be tightened as well.

Earlier this spring the black water flush connection was leaking which was also one of the screw on connectors that needed to be tightened.

Not sure if these were left loose by the factory (I doubt it) or if they are prone to loosening over miles. (I have around 5K miles on the RV so far).  (WH)

This may become a regular maintenance check item.

General Discussion / 2018 FMCA Rally in Gillette, WY
« on: July 16, 2018, 01:08:26 pm »
We will be up at the rally this week. Any other PC folks going to be there? Always like to connect when there's an opportunity.  :-D

What have folks done in regards to the extender bed cushions? I would think they need some kind of removable cover so that they can be washed.

I would think this could be a future option that PC could supply as it would be a common problem.

Also where do you keep them when the bed is not extended? During the day, we have been putting them crossways at the foot of each bed after the bed is made up. (We only have one bed that extends so we only have two extender cushions.) We throw them on the couch for the night.

Lots of cushion movement but haven't come up with any better ideas.   (WH)

General Discussion / Latches, the continuing saga
« on: May 30, 2018, 02:06:10 pm »
I know there have been issues with latches. I had a couple fail last summer the first few months of use of my just purchased 2017 2552. Getting ready for a trip we had another fall apart and checking all the latches we have now had 7 fail in the first 12 months. These are the much disliked BRD Supply company brand. This rate of failure compares to 3 Southco failures I had in the 10 years we had a Born Free.  >(

I called Carol at Phoenix and she is sending me out 6 new latches (I only knew of 2 failures at the time of the call) which is nice as I am a few days out of warranty.

The good news from Carol: they no longer use the BRD Supply latches and have switched to Southco latches.  2o2

Because of this, the replacement latches she is sending out are Southco latches. She said they are drop in replaceable. This may not be true as I had several Southco latches in my parts pile. The failures have all been to base of the "hook" portion of the latch not the "catch" portion. The Southco latches I had all had the same "hook" portion and while you could typically find one of the screw holes to match from the BRD to the Southco, the Southco footprint is bigger and requires the 2nd hole to be drilled.

It wasn't hard to get the new "hooks" to line up and so I have repaired all but one of the latches. I overshot one drilling hole and poked through the wood. To add insult to the gaff the drill bit then broke off in the hole!  :beg This is shared just to say be careful when drilling!  :)

I will provide an update when I receive the latches from Carol whether the "hooks" are drop in replacements or require some careful drilling.

Tips and Tricks / Inverter stays on after RV unplugged
« on: September 07, 2017, 05:44:01 am »
Maybe this is common knowledge but was a surprise to me. When I plug in the RV the inverter is on..no problem with that. But when you unplug the RV the inverter stays on, adding a power drain to the batteries. You have to manually shut it off each time.

I had seen the battery voltage display but thought that was it, just the display was on, not that the inverter itself was on... until one night I noticed that the TV power light was on.

This is different from my previous RV where you had to turn the inverter on and off manually, so caught me by surprise.

I have the pure sine wave inverter and the battery monitor shows a 4.4 Amp draw for the inverter while it is on.

Tips and Tricks / Refrigerator level requirements
« on: August 20, 2017, 05:13:40 pm »
Often for non-leveler folks and occasionally for folks with levelers, the question comes up whether the RV is too tilted to be safely running your refrigerator.

Some time ago I put together a general memo on how to determine this. I have simplified the memo for PC RVs and provided calculations for current model sizes.

Here tis...

                                                The level requirements for your refrigerator

When talking about how level the RV has to be for your refrigerator to safely work, too often the answers are general ones about being “close to level”. Here’s a way to determine exactly, for your RV and refrigerator.

 1)   Determine the manufacturer’s specs for your refrigerator how much tilt is acceptable.

The info in the Norcold’s owner’s manual states that the refrigerator should not be operated tilted more than 3 degrees side to side, and not more than 6 degrees front to back. This is the spec for my current 2017 Norcold, just as it was for the 1999 Norcold that was in my previous RV, so I believe it has remained the same throughout that time frame.

The refrigerator is mounted on the side of the RV so the side to side spec of the refrigerator equals the front to back tilt spec for the RV and then the front to back spec for the refrigerator would equal the side to side tilt spec for the RV.

 2)   Find or measure the wheel distances on your RV:

    a)   Find the wheel base for your RV. This will be used to calculate front to back RV tilt.

    b)   Measure the distance in inches across the RV, the width between the center points of the tires. I use the distance between the midpoints of each set of dual tires. This will be used to calculate the side to side RV tilt.

        For E350s and E450s I will use 78” as I have measured on an E450 chassis

         If you have a Mercedes chassis, you will need to make this measurement.

 3)   Now for a little trigonometry! If you picture a right triangle sitting on the x-y axis, the x axis will represent the tire distance, the acute angle (A) is the refrigerator tilt spec, and the vertical rise (Y) opposite the angle, the max tilt in inches allowed for the RV.
         (tire distance)*tan(max refrigerator tilt) = max tilt of RV in inches

 4)   So here are the formulas to use:

         Max RV tilt side to side= Tire distance across RV *tan(max refrigerator tilt front to back)

                                         = Tire distance across RV * .1051

         Max RV tilt front to back = PC wheel base * tan(max refrigerator tilt side to side)

                                             = PC wheel base * .0524

 5)   Results:

        E350/E450: Max RV tilt side to side= 78*tan(6) = 78 * .1051 = 8.2”

        Max RV tilt front to back:
             2100: 7.2”
             2350: 8.3”
             2351: 8.9”
             2400: 8.6”
             2551: 10.2”
             2552: 10.8”
             2910/3100: 11.4”

I have placed a graduated bubble that indicates tilts from 0-7” on a kitchen and a wall cabinet. I have marked each with permanent marker black lines at the 7” level. A quick look will tell me if either is maxed out at or past the 7” point. If it is, I know the tilt is 7” or greater and either move the RV or turn off the refrigerator. If it is not up to the 7” point, then the tilt is OK for the refrigerator.


General Discussion / Spare tire key orientation
« on: July 18, 2017, 04:24:55 pm »
 :help OK clearly a newbee question...trying to take the spare tire cover off it is so tight I'm concerned I'm trying to break something. So when the cover is unlocked..the key slot is vertical orientation like the key slots to the back hatch?...and horizontal when locked? Turn handle counter-clockwise to loosen?

I was going to stash a sewer hose in with tire as others have done..I guessing no need to tie it down someway but if needed...any suggestions welcome.



General Discussion / Ultra Leather Ultra-Leather Ultraleather
« on: February 14, 2017, 12:37:04 pm »
The sample PC provided me of Graystone "Ultra Leather" is labled as "Aberdeen Med Alabaster" and "Halo" on the back.
I found this site listing the material:
Which states:
"Halo Polyurethane a Value Alternative to Genuine Ultraleather. It possesses many of the same qualities as Ultraleather: It is a polyurethane w/rayon backing, it's tough, comes in a variety of styles and colors, is softer and richer looking than vinyl, is colorfast and has good cleanability. Haloleather is widely used by some of the RV manufactures and RV refitters. Halo is a good Value Alternative to Ultraleather but, it is Not as soft, durable or cleanable as Ultraleather.
Halo Aberdeen- Has a rich Distressed Leather look, a soft (hand) or touch, a nice grain pattern and a 100,000 double rubs, no wear rating"

"Ultraleather " is a trademarked name and thus defines a product. From another site, it stated that Ultraleather is spec'd at 400,000 double rubs which confirms it as more durable than the Halo Aberdeen being used by PC.

I asked if "Ultraleather" is available as an option and was told no.

This post is just meant as an FYI to clarify what PC is currently using. I have to admit that when PC said "Ultra Leather" as an option I thought I would get "Ultraleather". It is "Haloleather" not "Ultraleather." Others may be confused in a similar manner.

I did not ask what time frame/ model years this has been used by PC.

In general, if "ultraleather" is not used it may be something else. I have also seen the term ultra-leather.


General Discussion / Intro & order placed for 2552
« on: February 09, 2017, 06:48:55 pm »
Intro: We have been RV’n for around 10 years, putting 90K miles on a 27’ 1999 Born Free purchased in 2006. Our travel style is being a tourist, seeing things and moving on. We have never towed a car. Although we don’t boondock a lot, I like the RV to be boondock-able.

I have placed our order for a 2552. Began talking to Earl as far back as August, and started sending lists of general questions and option questions in November.

It has been an extended discussion between Earl and I. I appreciate his continued patience with my seemingly endless list of questions and I expect he’s happy to move on to other, less questioning customers. I also appreciate the help many have given through this forum.  tymote

Guestimated delivery is mid-May  :-D

RV and options:

2552 no slide, insulated windows
Graystone exterior 2-tone full paint with dark: front cap and lower third, light: upper 2/3’s, no swirls
Reason: darker areas for where it gets the dirtiest
Sofa (front half will extend into bed)
Passenger side bed slide, driver side bed extended to same length of 74”
3 backup cameras: 2 back, 1 front: to eliminate all close in blind spots and have one view distance
2000W pure sine wave inverter
Progressive Dynamics 60A converter/charger
Progressive Industries surge suppressor EMS-HW30C
2 Lifeline AGM 300AHr GPL-6CT
110 outlets added to inverter, 12V & USB outlets added to shirt closets
Driver swivel base
Cab floor insulated
Safety Steer Plus
3100 style cabinet behind passenger seat
Upgrade AC to 15K & heat pump
Rear cap style with spare tire
Wired for external sat dish
Extend-a-stay connection line into RV
Backer board added several places where wallboard is thin
Custom fabric chosen for valences and curtains
Added adjustable shelves, kitchen mod’ed to 6 drawers
Lighted switch for tank heaters
Toilet sprayer
Sliding windows
2 MaxxAir fans (living room and bedroom)
Eliminate outside shower

I hope to have AM Solar put in solar this fall and also be able to join the reunion in Sisters.

Reasons for some of the controversial choices:

No Slide: I am probably anachronistic but I remain suspicious of electro-mechanical parts. The last time I saw a list, the top three failing parts in an RV were the slide, electric steps, and levelers. Between these suspicions, concern of something failing when way out somewhere, and having done fine without a slide in the Born Free the past 10 years, I chose this option.

The no slide also provides additional storage, no power consumption, and better shell integrity.

“yes but what about the sofa?” The front half of the sofa will still extend into a bed and with the one side bed extension the RV will still sleep 4.

No Euro chair: Without a slide there is no room for a Euro chair if you extend the sofa. We opted for the 3100 style cabinet instead and to have the swivel base added to the driver’s chair.

Sliding vs Jalousie windows: An open slide window provides a 50% wide open opening vs a jalousie window provides a 25-30% opening with a angled window in front. It’s nice to have an optimal, passive opening when things get warm and there is a nice breeze.

3 cameras: My current backup camera has the “far rear view” and I have had some close encounters because of the blind spots near the front and back bumpers. The three cameras will allow a rear far, a rear near and a front near view.

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