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Messages - The McDucks

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General Discussion / Re: Winterizing holding tank sprayer lines
« on: February 28, 2019, 02:45:38 pm »
On my 2018 2552, exactly one year old last week, the positions on the 4-way fresh water valve are:
— “City Water” - pressurized flow from the inlet hose,
— “Tank” - fills the fresh water tank,
— “Dry Camping” - coach pump supplies water from the fresh water tank, and
— “Winterize/Sanitize” - for slurping pink antifreeze into the plumbing.


General Discussion / Re: Winterizing holding tank sprayer lines
« on: February 27, 2019, 11:56:18 am »
Newer coaches with the 3- or 4-way fresh water control valve still have the completely separate holding tank flush lines, plumbed to a dedicated hose connector behind the flip-up door which covers the macerator dump hose. Tank flush lines are totally separate from any fresh water plumbing.

General Discussion / Re: winterizing omission?
« on: February 16, 2019, 02:50:00 pm »
The inlet fitting includes an integral check-valve which is supposed to keep water from running back out the inlet. Since this connects to the waste tanks, the check-valve is a safety measure to prevent contamination of your filler hose. Perhaps your check valve is stuck open now. This could explain why you didn't notice this last year. If so, you should consider replacing the inlet fitting. I had to do this last year. Replacement part cost about $30 and was easy to install.

But of course none of this answers your question. If the check valve is doing its job, it seems to me that the water remaining in the flush lines could freeze and bust the pipes. But I've never heard of this happening. I wonder why.


Hi Pappy,
No, we haven't used the AC generator very much, though there have been a few times I was glad to have it. For example, when we stopped for lunch in Folsom, CA, last July it was 100 degrees out and the only convenient parking was in full sun. I was glad to start up the generator to run the air conditioning.  Maybe half the running hours we have on the generator are from firing it up once a month under load for an hour, as recommended by Cummins.
Running the truck engine also charges the coach batteries, of course, but not as quickly as AC from shore power or the AC generator.
Our coach batteries are the two beefy 6-volt ones Phoenix installs as standard equipment.
The NovaKool electric-only fridge needs no outside venting, so I asked Phoenix not to cut their usual holes in the side wall for a propane-fired fridge. Fewer holes is better. All service access is inside the rig, through the removable panel below the fridge door. The fridge did give me fits for a while with an infrequent intermittent failure which took me months to track down. Every time I'd remove the access panel to troubleshoot, it would start working. (My wife said all I had to do was wave my screwdriver near it to scare it.) I finally traced the problem to its small optional ventilation fan, which would occasionally fail to start, draw excessive current, and cause the controller to shut down. Since I've replaced the fan, it's been very reliable.
Like other small fridges, this one has only a single thermostat, located in its main compartment. I does OK in warm weather, but when it's cold inside the rig, the compressor doesn't need to run much to keep the main compartment cold. This has the unfortunate side effect of allowing the temperature in the separate freezer to increase. I guess this is nature's way of suggesting that maybe I don't need to drive around the country with ice cream in arm's reach, which just makes me get fat anyway.

Ron, we got our 2552 new last February with 2 factory-installed solar panels on the roof. I specified the Bogart Engineering solar controller and TriMetric battery monitor, which Phoenix installed. These make it easy to watch the amps as they come and go from the coach batteries. Since getting the rig, we've lived in it for 6 moths in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Perhaps a quarter of our nights have been without hook-ups. Since I also specified a NovaKool RFU9000 electric-only refrigerator, it's been important to keep the batteries charged enough so our food and medications stay cool.  The fridge takes 5½ amps when its compressor is running, perhaps a third of the time. The solar panels have kept things going with no problem except for a few times when we stayed for more than one night in the forest in deep shade. I ran the AC generator for a bit after the first night.
The panels charge the batteries at at least a few amps anytime there's daylight, even when it's heavily overcast. Shadows across part of the panels diminish their output somewhat, but nowhere near as much as I've seen reported by some. My guess is that the performance of partly shaded panels depends on the panel type and how the individual cells are connected.

General Discussion / Re: A bigger better badder Rialta
« on: October 16, 2018, 12:16:20 pm »
The overhang behind the rear axle looks huge. Tail-wag handling trouble?

General Discussion / Re: Location of tire jack on 2910
« on: October 04, 2018, 09:50:52 am »
The spare tire was a $750 option when we ordered our 2552 last fall. That includes the rear fiberglass cap, a lug wrench, and a bottle jack rated at 7 tons.

General Discussion / Re: Good experience with NovaKool customer support
« on: October 02, 2018, 02:21:00 pm »
Hi Ron,
This is just a little 5-inch, 12-volt DC cooling fan which might be used in a computer, available for $10 or so on Amazon.
I believe a starting cap is just used on an AC motor.

Anyway, the replacement just arrived, sent overnight at no charge by NovaKool.  Testing it on the bench I already can see it blows a lot more air than the one still in the fridge.  I'll install it when I have time this weekend.


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.


General Discussion / Re: Any Phoenix Cruisers in Northern California?
« on: September 08, 2018, 09:26:52 pm »
We have a 2018 model 2552 in Santa Cruz, CA. Let me know if you’d like to see it sometime.


The friendly techs at Phoenix installed my ScanGuage II in the dash when I took delivery of my 2552 last February. It took less than 5 minutes. They removed the (useless) coin-holder insert in the E450 dash and with a dremel tool cut an opening in its back to fit the scan guage, then popped it back in the dash. Very convenient location and it looks like it was built in by Ford.
See the attached picture.


General Discussion / Re: flush
« on: May 04, 2018, 01:17:08 pm »
Ron, in my new 2552 the tank flush hose connection is a dedicated female hose coupling next to the electric tank valve dump switches in the sewage hose compartment. It has an internal check valve (as I discovered when mine was stuck shut), and is plumbed only to two quarter-turn valves and then to the tank flush connections. So no possibility of cross-contamination with the fresh water supply, unless the operator does it externally.

General Discussion / Re: Liquid Springs; are they worth the cost?
« on: April 21, 2018, 01:42:37 pm »
I took a test drive today in a 3100 with liquid springs at the Hershey show last September. Cornering and overall handling was pretty good for a big truck.  The complexity of the system concerned me some. The Liquid Springs sales guy said the rig would still be drivable if the hydraulics failed, but you’d have zero suspension travel, and so would definitely be in limp-in mode.
I ended up gettin the somewhat smaller 2552 with the standard Ford E450 suspension. I did add the Saf-T-Plus steering stabilizer, mainly in case of a front tire blow-out on the interstate. I’m quite satisfied with its handling, and glad I didn’t get the Liquid Springs. Maybe for a bigger 3100 it would be justified.

General Discussion / Re: Need advice
« on: April 19, 2018, 08:22:18 pm »
Hi Erin,

I'm the guy who went through 3 different surge protectors in the week and a half after delivery.  The 4th replacement has been working fine for the last two months. The others intermittently thought the input voltage was too high and so shut it off when the voltage was was actually fine. Intermittent problems are always more difficult.

I have a 30-amp system, with the 30-amp version of Progressive Industries' surge protector. Yours would be their very similar 50-amp version.

I wonder -- could your surge protector be unhappy with your 30/50 adapter cable? If there is no voltage on one of the two incoming hot leads, the surge protector would see this as an error and shut down. If this is the case, the status panel would likely show "E4" (line 1 low), or "E6" (line 2 low). In this scenario, the surge protector is not faulty -- it's doing what it's supposed to do.

Anyway, you've found the work-around: set the protector panel to "Bypass EMS" when you must use the adapter.


General Discussion / Re: Need advice
« on: April 19, 2018, 08:51:09 am »
Also check the position of the battery disconnect switch, located to your left as you enter the coach, near the step well.

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