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Topics - BillRo

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Adventure Anywhere / West Coast Phoenix Meet at Pismo
« on: April 21, 2011, 12:09:52 pm »
Any listers going to the upcoming get together at Pismo Beach, CA on May 1st?

Tips and Tricks / Ladder
« on: December 15, 2010, 08:58:10 pm »
One thing you should always do is have someone watch the rear as you back up into a tight area; cameras help but they do not do much for trees. I forgot this basic driving precaution and backed into a tree branch which bent and crushed the right side of my ladder and tore the connection out of the bracket on the roof. It was not repairable. My rig is an '04 2350 amd I looked at the current models in the on-line brochure and the ladders look the same so I contacted Phoenix procurement and they sent me  replacement top section.

It came completely disassembled, sandwiched between 2 sheets of cherry interior plywood and these look useful for some future project - perhaps I should have specified maple to match my rig! My first idea was to just replace the RH tube, but one of the screws holding a tread in place had lost its head and could not be removed. I then removed the complete ladder by cutting the putty sealant around the brackets on the roof, taking care not to cut the roof covering and removed the 4 screws holding each bracket to the roof. Four bolts hold the ladder onto the supports at the rear and two removeable pins hold the bottom. I then detached the damaged top section from the hinge on the good bottom section  (2 screws each side).

I assembled the new top section with new parts supplied by Phoenix by sliding the treads on one at a time onto the side arms and securing them in place using the pre-piloted holes (take care to install them the correct way ). This made a complete top section and I fitted it to the hinges on the bottom section. The holes were slightly off but a drill took care of that without sacrificing the integrity.
At this point the ladder was essentially complete but the top where it meets the roof was badly misaligned so I made a tool to hold them approximately in the correct location. When I offered it up to the rig it fitted better than I thought it would and I was able to attach the bottom and the two center support bolts on the right side with little difficulty. On the left side the holes were msaligned about 10 degrees and I had to "pull" them with a 1/4" drill before I could install the bolts. The result was a good rigid assembly. The top arms at the roof were pretty far off but there was enough flexibility that I could pull them into place with one hand and install the 4 screws on each side into the existing holes and snog them down tight. A little sealant and the job was done.

Bottom line: 2010 ladders can probably be retrofitted back through the '04 model year. As I think I said before I use quick release "Pip-Pins" for the bottom attachment and carry a thin, Home Depot ladder behind the PC ladder for cleaning the rig.

Tips and Tricks / Alignment
« on: November 03, 2010, 08:44:33 pm »
After about 15K miles I noticed significant feathering on the front tires. My tire guys told me I needed it aligned and that I should replace the tires. The left was not too bad, so I switched left to right and put the new spare on the left as I had it aligned. On the Ford E350 that is a PITA since you have to keep switching out eccentric bushings on a trial and error basis. There was no sign this had been done before so I am willing to bet that Ford sets it at the factory, PC adds the motor home body and no one bothers to reset it with the extra weight in the back.

As an intereting side note, the spare wheel had a different outer flange than the wheels on the ground and the Wagon Master beauty ring protruded about 1/4" and rattled around. I had to replace two of the collared lug nuts with ground down tapered ones and big washers to make it fit properly. Thread engagement was not affected so I judged it safe, in case you are wondering.

Bill (Retired Mech/Aircraft Engineer)

Tips and Tricks / Towing with a PC
« on: November 03, 2010, 02:40:13 pm »
Our '04 2350 has a V10 and a 5,000lb hitch so we decided to tow our 1965 Sunbeam Tiger sports car from Southern California to Rapid City, SD for a big Sunbeam get together.  We borrowed the trailer and had the rig fitted with an electric brake controller.

With the trailer loaded we were close to the rated capacity, but the rig towed well at about 65 m/h on the level. We made the mistake of going through Denver which involves crossing the Rockies via the Eisenhower Tunnel in excess of 11,000 ft which is right at the performance limit of our PC/loaded trailer combination. We just made it over the top in 1st gear. On the way back we went via passes into Salt Lake City; at about 8,000ft these were a lot more manageable. I have no doubt that without the trailer the PC would have done fine on I-70.

Bill and Carol Rogers

Photos / Our '04 PC in the Sequoias
« on: November 03, 2010, 02:22:49 pm »
Since we finally signed on, here is the portrait of our rig.

Bill and Carol Rogers

Tips and Tricks / Mods to our '04 2350 - Miscellaneous
« on: November 02, 2010, 08:31:10 pm »
After unfortunate experiences with a battery when dry camping, we added a digital volt meter connected directly to the battery. I bought it on Ebay and fitted it into the panel under the closet next to the genny control. I had to move that over a little.

I found that the means of retaining the ladder a nuisance so I replaced the pins with Pip Pins. These are spring loaded and retained by small balls. You just press the top which releases the balls and you pull it out. It is retained by a wire lanyard and is available from race car suppliers. I also found a step ladder at Home Depot that fits exactly behind the ladder, resting on the lower supports and held against the back of the PC ladder with a bungee cord.

Picture 1 Voltmeter
Picture 2 Pip Pins
Picture 3 ladder

If you have any questions feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help.

Bill and Carol Rogers

Tips and Tricks / Mods to our '04 2350 - Bathroom
« on: November 02, 2010, 08:17:58 pm »
The bathroom was missing towel hangers, TP dispenser and a place for a tissue box; we added them.

Picture 1 Towel rail above the toilet - maple with plastic pipe.
Picture 2 maple shelf under the bathroom cabinet for Kleenex box
Picture 3 TP holder - plastic pipe that slides into the vanity to reload, and fits into a recess in the shower wall.

Bill and Carol Rogers

Tips and Tricks / Mods to our '04 2350 - Closets
« on: November 02, 2010, 08:11:15 pm »
We felt that two hanging closets were unneccessary so we added shelves to the smaller unit,one each for underwear, tee shirts etc.  The bottom shelf is then available for general storage. The big closet was fine until the rack pulled out of the roof under the weight of too many heavy coats. I then added a shelf with the shelf support carrying a more substantial coat hanger rod and also a system for retaining the table properly.

Picture 1 the small closet

Pictures 2,3,4 the main coat closet next to the refrig. The last picture shows how I stow the table; it fits into a slot on the floor and is held in place with a small wood twist latch.

Tips and Tricks / Mods to our '04 2350 - Miscellaneous Shelves
« on: November 02, 2010, 07:59:27 pm »
We have added some shelves for cups and things above the door and at the foot of the bed.

Bill and Carol Rogers

Tips and Tricks / Mods to our '04 2350 - Foot Locker
« on: November 02, 2010, 07:56:19 pm »
This was the largest project; the idea came from Ken Humphries rig. The locker is located between the driver's seat and the slide out. It was made with solid maple ends with the front and back covered with maple plywood. Once again we utilized a door from Phoenix, cut down a little. The top is removable and includes some decorative walnut; the box is chamfered on the front to accommodate taller drivers or a reclining drivers seat. The box bolts to the floor and the surround for the slide out. It is useful for storing larger items like pots and pans and the space behind it is handy for walking sticks, umbrellas, baseball bats, and the windshield sun shade.

Tips and Tricks / Mods to our '04 2350 - Front Cabinets
« on: November 02, 2010, 06:45:54 pm »
Our PC has maple cabinets, so it is easy to match with lumber from Home Depot. We added a DVD player , which was not installed on earlier models, in the left front unit and boxed it in so that we could store light stuff above it. We added a new cabinet between it and the slide out, utilizing a matching door that Phoenix supplied. It has a shelf in the center and we use it to store durable food stuff.

I cannot emphasize enough how helpful Phoenix are if you need odd parts and replacements for broken stuff. They sold us doors and even provided the bulb seal between the new cabinet and the ceiling. We have purchased a replacement shower sliding door, screen door and ladder.

Picture 1 shows the DVD installation
Pictures 2 and 3 shows the new cabinet. I see the latest models have added a big cabinet here, but I think mine looks more integrated - complicated to make fit nicely though.

Bill and Carol Rogers

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