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Topics - The McDucks

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General Discussion / Good experience with NovaKool customer support
« on: October 01, 2018, 12:14:20 pm »
We got a new 2552 last February. I ordered it with a NovaKool RFU9000 AC/DC electric-only fridge for several reasons which I explained in a previous post: https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=2922.msg24072#msg24072
We're just back from a 6-month trip through the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. The fridge was in continuous service and performed well, and our solar panels usually gave plenty of power to keep things cool while boondocking.  But every once in a while the fridge stopped cooling. Every time I removed the grill to troubleshoot, the darned thing started working fine again: a frustrating intermittent problem. pyho It seemed to fail more when we drove on rutted dirt roads. I spent time searching for a loose wiring connection, either in the fridge or elsewhere in our rig, to no avail.
Now back home, I was finally able to get the fridge to fail while troubleshooting. Following the troubleshooting tree in the NovaKool manual, I traced the problem to the control module. I called NovaKool customer support and was pleasantly surprised when:
-- my call was answered on the second ring,
-- Shaun, who answered the call, knew useful things, and
-- immediately agreed to ship me a replacement module at no charge.
The whole call was over in two minutes, and I received the replacement a few days later.

Alas, after I installed the module yesterday, the problem recurred. But luckily this time I had my meter in the right place at the right time, and was able to see that the fridge's cooling fan got proper voltage, yet would occasionally fail to start and draw excessive current, shutting down the controller. When I spun the fan's blades with a finger, it started up and drew normal current. Clearly the fan is defective. Finally, a good explanation for the fridge's behavior.
I just got off the phone again with NovaKool, another pleasant and quick experience, this time with Marian, who instantly agreed to send a replacement fan.

Of course, it would have been better never to have had any trouble. But it's nice when a supplier responds quickly and helpfully when there is a problem.

John

2
General Discussion / Tank flushing questions
« on: April 09, 2018, 12:24:14 pm »
I’m unable to get the tank flush feature to work on my new 2552. No problem emptying the tanks — the electrically operated dump valves for the black and gray tanks work just fine, as does the macerator pump. But I can’t get water to flow through the tank flush connection. I connect a hose and open the quarter-turn valve for either the black or gray tank, but no flow. I know this worked in Elkhorn because Earl demonstrated it to me last February.
A placard in the compartment warns me to open the “fullway  termination valve”. I don’t know what or where this is. Most likely that’s my problem.
I’d appreciate any advice from more experienced owners.
Thanks,
John

3
General Discussion / Got our new 2552 Feb. 20; been living in it since
« on: March 07, 2018, 09:04:19 pm »
I flew to South Bend from California to take delivery of a new 2552 on Feb. 20.  I've been living in the rig since then as I make my way back to California.  Despite a few problems, I am entirely satisfied.

The main problems:
1) The special coaxial cable that I provided for a ham radio antenna was not installed. Earl had agreed to do this, and I followed his instructions in shipping the cable to Phoenix, but word never reached the factory floor. When I pointed out the discrepancy, Mike and Doug, two cheerful and competent Phoenix techs, jumped into action and had the cable satisfactorily installed in half an hour. Good recovery.

2) SiriusXM radio didn't work. Doug found the antenna cable was defective and replaced it. He tested the replacement twice, just to be sure. I like that.

3) The factory-installed surge protector, Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C, intermittently shut down shore power on my first night camping (in the Phoenix parking lot). It erroneously reported the voltage as too high (134 VAC), even though I measured 121 VAC at the input to the protector.  Then, after a delay of perhaps half an hour, it started working properly. This repeated several times that night.  The next day Phoenix's electrician, Ed, troubleshot for over an hour, but could find nothing wrong, as the unit had decided to work properly. I headed off, only to have the failure repeat my second night out.  After phone consultation with Ed and Dave Ponsler, General Manager, Phoenix sent me a replacement via UPS next-day delivery. It worked fine when I installed it (I've done lots of home wiring), but failed the next day with the same symptom. A second replacement, also sent overnight, was DOA on installation, with the same symptom. In order to use shore power while camping in the cold, I spliced around the surge protector. I also decided to go back to Elkhart from Tennessee, where I was, to let the techs look at the problem. I was back there this past Monday. Ed and Doug looked at the failure, agreed I'd installed the replacements properly, and put in a fourth surge protector. Same failure. Head-scratching ensued. Progressive Industries tech support consulted -- they were useless. Finally I asked if any other units on the production floor had a working surge protector, and could we swap it into my rig for troubleshooting purposes? We did, and it worked fine in my rig. But Doug said the surge protector from my rig was now working fine in the other unit, too. Hardly confidence inspiring. I spent several hours trying to induce this now fifth surge protector to fail in my rig, but it kept working. In fact, it's been working perfectly for 3 days now. Maybe it's good. I hope so because I'm now in Missouri on my way home.

After two weeks of camping I like nearly everything about the 2552.

I was very happy with the attitude of everyone I interacted with at Phoenix. Everyone on the factory floor was eager to address any concern I raised about the rig. (Window shades need a little adjustment? Let me do that, and show you how you can do it later, if it's needed.)

I probed several techs about their working conditions. Everyone told me it was still a great place to work. Would they go across town to work at Thor if it meant a raise? No way -- my friends are all here, and we do great work!

John

4
General Discussion / RV toilet paper
« on: February 18, 2018, 01:56:36 pm »
Does the macerator pump in the newer PC's handle ordinary toilet paper without problems? Or do I need to get the special rapid dissolve kind?

Thanks,
John

5
General Discussion / Kyle no longer with Phoenix
« on: February 16, 2018, 01:19:35 pm »
I spoke with Earl this past Monday to confirm delivery of our new 2552.  He told me that Kyle Herschberger, the Phoenix Business Manager, had left the company the previous Friday, and that he (Earl) was temporarily covering the business manager job, as well as his own. Kyle and family are moving to Las Vegas, Earl said.

Job transitions are a normal part of the business world, and I don't read too much into this.  Kyle probably will be happy to leave Indiana winters behind him. But having worked in a small company, I know that the departure of a key person necessarily causes some scrambling.  I'll be in Elkhart this Tuesday to pick up our new RV ( :) ) and I expect I'll learn a bit more then.

John

6
General Discussion / April 2018 West Coast Reunion
« on: December 31, 2017, 02:02:16 pm »
Does anyone have more info about the Phoenix Cruiser Annual West Coast Reunion this year? Jatrax mentions this in another thread:

Here is part of the newsletter item about it:
Quote
we’re holding the annual West Coast Reunion again this year, organized by Suzanne Salter. It’s being held at the Pismo Coast Village RV Resort, from April 15 to 18, 2018 departing on the 19th.


I plan to pick up our shiny new PC Feb. 20 in Elkhart, visit a daughter in Virginia, return to Elkhart with a fix-it list, and then cruise home to California. In early April, Janet, my devoted wife, and Marco, our devoted dog, plan to travel through central CA for a few weeks.  Meeting other PC owners in Pismo Beach in mid-April sounds great.  Who should I talk to about the reunion?

John



7
General Discussion / Compressor Refrigerator
« on: October 04, 2017, 03:39:35 pm »
We just ordered a new 2552 at the Hershey show, for delivery next February. Among the customizations I requested were no slide-out and a big, 9-cubic-foot Nova Kool RFU9000 compressor fridge instead of the usual absorption type. Absorption fridges have disappointed me in the past. Earl was happy to accommodate, but unsure whether the larger fridge could be made to fit.  He called me yesterday to confirm that it would fit OK. Deleting the slide-out gives us extra lateral and vertical space on that side of the coach, which allows the bigger fridge to fit, and also allows us to add 6 inches to the distance between the dinette seat-backs, making for a more comfortable fit for me.  We didn't want the slide-out anyway, to keep things simpler, and to facilitate lunch stops and stealth camping.  But of course, with a compressor fridge we'll be asking more from our coach batteries when boondocking, so I also upgraded the solar charge controller and battery monitors to Bogart equipment.
Benefits of the compressor fridge:
  • much more cooling power
  • more space: 9 cubic ft.
  • no exterior venting needed, so fewer holes in the coach wall
Disadvantages:
  • dependent on electric power, be it from hook-ups, generator, or coach batteries
  • noiser (I hope just a little!)
  • heat goes into the cabin, not outside (but the fridge compressor draws only 62 wattts when it's running, so I think this will be negligible.)
For us the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  We are paying more for the fridge, and more for the Bogart gear, but still have a net savings from deleting the slide-out. 
I'll find out whether I did this right after we've camped for a while next spring.

John

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