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Messages - mikeh

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1
General Discussion / Re: Awning tie downs
« on: April 21, 2024, 12:08:26 am »
I have not used tie-downs with my awning.  I would typically not have it extended in any type of heavy weather, and otherwise it seems to work well for me without tie-downs.  I have had it automatically retract on an occasion or two with a gust of wind, but that hasn't caused any issues.

I do use jack pads if not leveling on concrete, but not the clip-on type.  My pads are the commercial heavy rubber type a little larger than the jack feet.  I usually drop the jacks vertically then slide the pad in place under the foot.  It's a little awkward with my reduced mobility, but still doable, and only takes a few seconds per pad.

2
General Discussion / Re: Ford E450 6.8L Coolant
« on: April 05, 2024, 08:07:08 pm »
Hank,

I have the same 2018 E450 chassis and 6.8L engine that you do on my 2019 2552, purchased new from Phoenix.  I have never yet had to add coolant, and after 5+ years and roughly 15000 miles of service, my level (cold) is about 1" below that "Fill" indicator line you reference.

If the Ford manual you mention is the same one I have, (I bet it is), all the information you're seeking is in there under the "Capacities and Specifications" section.  Be sure you look at the charts for the 6.8L 10-cylinder engine rather than the 6.2L 8-cylinder engine.   The capacities (oil, coolant, etc.) are different although the specifications are the same.  Ford recommends the same stuff for both engines.

The color of your coolant originally was orange--although Ford advises us in that same manual that "under normal operation the color can change to pinkish or light red".  They also advise that the color change is normal and is no cause for replacement.  The color of the coolant in my engine is pink now also.  They strongly caution against mixing colors of antifreeze, or using the "one type fits all" kind.

I would advise using OEM coolant if you want to add some.  The coolant specified by Ford is "Ford Motocraft Orange Pre-diluted Antifreeze Coolant, part number VC-3DIL-B".  Specification number is WSS-M97B44-D2.  This coolant is for all 6.8L 10-cylinder engines manufactured after 7/11/16.  The coolant should be available at major parts houses, and certainly from Ford dealerships.  A search of that Ford part number online returns a number of places to order it, including Amazon, if you'd rather not have to go to the store.

All the best,       Mike

3
I'm not sophisticated enough in the language to tell if this Flexpower can be wired into the coach so it can be started from the inside like my Onan? I assume it can.
Yes, they have a remote start kit that is essentially just like the Onan remote start panel.  According to their data, they have incorporated the "prime" function into their start process, so even though they have a "Prime" button, you normally don't need to use it when starting--just push the start and it will automatically prime then start.  The rest of the panel is pretty much like Onan's--gives the hour meter reading, and reports error codes if required.  It also evidently provides maintenance reminders for oil changes, air and fuel filter replacement, etc, at the required intervals.
Mike

4
Interesting unit.  I hadn't run across them, though they've been available for a couple years.  Looks like their efficiency improvement, reduced fuel usage, and "quieter operation" comes primarily from a significant reduction in the engine size--about 30% smaller than the Onan 4000.

Because they incorporate an inverter unit, in addition to lower harmonic distortion they can run at variable RPM (2200-3600) for lighter loads as opposed to the constant 3600 of the Onan.  That should help the noise environment as well.  That also allows them to energize the main generator to start the engine rather than needing a separate starter motor.

This is overall an advanced design incorporating newer technology over the venerable Onan 4000 RV generator.  Based on advertised price, they've done it at a cost lower than the Onan.  I think about the only thing remaining to assess is long-term reliability, and that is just going to require time to see how well they hold up.
Mike

5
General Discussion / Re: Winter Driving and Camping
« on: January 03, 2024, 06:20:15 pm »
I'm not familiar with the TRX plumbing layout, but I'd bet it's the same as the regular PC models which have all the fresh water lines above the floor--essentially inside the coach.  That means that as long as you keep the coach heated, it's an all-weather unit.  Yes, you should run the black and gray tank heaters in temps below freezing, along with keeping the water heater on.  I don't even think you'll have problems with the outside shower, but your efforts to remove or insulate can't hurt.

My only experience traveling in sub-freezing temperatures was when I picked up my new 2552 in 2019 at the factory in Elkhart.  It was early February, and I took delivery in the middle of a snowstorm and really low temps.  I stayed in an Elkhart RV park for a couple of days getting my TOAD set up to tow, then spent two more days traveling through snow and ice back south to Oklahoma.  Had a full water load and fluids in both tanks.  Absolutely no problems from temperatures that dipped into single digits.  As long as tank heaters are working and the interior remains heated, you'll be good to go.
Mike

6
OK--let me take the wires directly from your post one at a time and address them that way.

"I went back to my RV to try and trace where some more of the wires went and this is what I came up with:
from the 3 small wires that came from the one small post, one of the red wires went up and through the firewall into the area under the drivers side console area and I could not figure where it went after it came out from the fire wall."  This is the wire that I said is providing a "key-on" feed from that solenoid terminal TO some other circuit that needs voltage only when the key switched on.  I'm not sure exactly what circuit that is--it would not be a OEM-Ford chassis item, but something that Phoenix installed when they built the coach.  It is feeding voltage FROM that solenoid terminal to something.

"the other small red wire from the same post, went to a group of wires which went into a socket that plugged into another socket and that group of wires went up and ran along a channel at the firewall, but I am not sure were it went from there.  What I found interesting was the other wires that came out of where the red wire went into went for about three inches, was all taped up and was a dead end (was not attached to anything).  I will try and post some pictures of that."  This particular red wire is providing the 12-volt signal to energize the solenoid when the key is switched on.  It is feeding voltage TO that small solenoid terminal from a Ford wiring plug that Ford furnishes in the wiring to provide power for needed add-on circuits.  There are two of those plugs, one is battery (full-time) 12-volts, and one is key-switched 12-volts; that particular one is the key-switched 12 volts.  For the purpose of a wiring diagram, it essentially feeds from the key switch.

The one black wire that came from the same post as the two red wires wrapped around and up through the firewall and out to under the console area where it looks like it is attached to the White momentary switch.  This black wire will feed 12-volts  from the "white switch" TO the solenoid terminal when the "white switch" is pushed.  It is how the solenoid can be energized when you turn the key on but the Ford chassis battery is too dead to do it (the white switch gets its 12-volts from the house batteries). 

Now from the fuse/breaker, the black wire that comes off the post goes up to the firewall same place the other black wire went comes out the other side and is connected to the other end of the momentary switch.  This is the 12-volt feed TO the white switch from the house batteries--that 40-amp self-resetting circuit breaker terminal is connected to the house batteries.

Finally the red wire coming off the fuse/breaker goes up to and through the firewall together with the other wires mentioned and out the other side.  I was unable to determine where this wire goes.  Looks like it went under the carpet on the drivers side.  This is the wire that goes to the positive terminal on the house batteries.  It provides the alternator charge current to the house batteries when the solenoid is energized.  Where it actually connects could vary--on my 2019, it actually goes to the positive battery terminal of my house batteries, but it could tie anywhere into the main positive circuit and work the same.  Electrically you could show it just going to the house battery positive terminal.

7
I was going to post a wiring diagram that Randy Hyde had posted here about a year ago, but I see that CalCruiser beat me to it.  That diagram was for his 2008 2350, so should be fairly close to your original layout.  There have been some minor changes in Phoenix Cruiser wiring over the years, and different components used, but the battery isolation solenoid you refer to has been pretty consistent. As you probably know, the purpose of that solenoid is to connect the the house batteries to the Ford engine battery (when the solenoid is energized) to allow the alternator feed to also charge the house batteries.  The solenoid is energized when the key switch is turned to "ON"; the rest of the time it is de-energized, isolating the engine and house batteries from each other.

Wiring, as I said, can vary slightly--but basically the wire on one of the big solenoid posts connects to the (Ford) chassis battery as you noted, and the other big post feeds a 40-amp self-resetting circuit breaker (the thing you call a fuse) and from there that wire runs to the house batteries.  The two small posts energize the solenoid.  One goes to ground, the single black wire that you noted.  The other post has at least two wires--one is a feed from the "ON" circuit of the key switch which energizes the solenoid when you turn the switch on.  That wire doesn't normally come from the key switch itself--I believe on my 2019 rig it comes from a terminal in the under hood Ford fuse block that is energized with key-on.  The second wire, as you guessed, feeds from the "white switch".  Depressing the "white switch" allows you to directly energize the solenoid (if your Ford battery is dead) to connect the chassis battery with the house batteries to slowly back-feed some charge into the Ford battery from hot house batteries.  The "white switch" gets it's feed from the house batteries--frequently by tying onto that 40-amp breaker under the hood (that second wire on the other side of that breaker you mentioned is likely your feed to the "white switch").  You also mentioned in your application a third wire on that small hot solenoid terminal--I'm not sure what that is; most likely it is picking up a key-on 12-volt feed for something, since that post gets hot when the key goes on.

I have not done a lithium upgrade on my unit yet, but in reading posts here from those that have the usual process when installing a DC to DC charger seems to be to simply disconnect the solenoid system.  The main wires could be simply removed and taped (insulated)--that would effectively eliminate that system.  You would lose your ability to back-feed charge to your chassis battery by use of the "white switch", but there would be no other problem.  If you leave the solenoid and small wires attached--even that third wire feed would still be active for whatever it does.

Best of luck,      Mike

8
General Discussion / Re: 120v AC system on 2022 2552
« on: November 27, 2023, 07:15:56 pm »
Thanks for the input.  How do I distinguish between inverter AC outlet and regular AC outlet?
With no A/C applied to the coach (not plugged in--no generator--basically with the RV just parked and off), turn on your inverter.  The A/C outlets that have power are inverter supplied; the others are not.

9
General Discussion / Re: 120v AC system on 2022 2552
« on: November 26, 2023, 01:05:37 am »
Agree with CalCruiser.  The A/C circuits in the Phoenix Cruisers are 20-amp circuits.  Theoretically, you could plug both 10-amp heaters into one circuit and not exceed ratings, however it's never a good idea to push the limits when there are other options.  By plugging each heater into a separate circuit, you are using only 50% of circuit ampacity, and can then use each circuit for up to 10-amps worth of "other stuff" as well.
Since the regular A/C feed powers all circuits, but the inverter only selected circuits, by selecting one inverter circuit and one regular circuit you can be sure you're using two different circuits without having to try to figure out what is what.

10
General Discussion / Re: Setting up toad for flat towing
« on: November 25, 2023, 03:49:41 pm »
Hi Sharon--

My input on this will be limited value, because while I do tow a Jeep--it's a 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, and my system was installed almost five years ago, so there may be fresh updates.  There have been several Wrangler owners posting here about towing in the past, however, so maybe you'll hear from them.  I used Dan's Hitch in Elkhart to install my system--being in the center of the RV world in Elkhart, they do a ton of installs and have a solid reputation for professional work.  They handle all brands of equipment, so I let them choose components and just asked them for a quality, reliable system.  It's proved to be that--effective, easy-to-use, and trouble free for the five years I've used it.

The components they used include Blue Ox baseplates, A Roadmaster Nighthawk tow bar, and a Demco Stay-In-Play Duo brake system.  The Nighthawk tow bar stays on the RV and is an easy hook up.  It has the safety cables integrated into the bar, which keeps them out of the way.  Like Ron, I needed a 2 1/2-inch riser to level out the bar between the RV and Jeep, and use a couple of the Quiet Hitch clamps to eliminate play in the connections.  The Stay-In-Play Duo is similar to the InvisiBrake, in that the controller is a small box permanently installed (under the hood in my case).  To insure no accidental application of brakes it requires two activators to initiate braking--the same brake light signal used by InvisiBrake, plus an accelerometer which provides proportional braking instead of the progressive braking received from InvisiBrake.  All that is required to activate the braking system after you plug in the lighting cable from the RV to the Jeep is to flip one under-dash switch in the Jeep.  The complete hook-up process is less than a five-minute job after you've pulled the jeep behind the RV--two tow bar pins, two safety cable hooks, plug in the lights, clip on the breakaway wire that sets the Jeep brakes in case of a breakaway.  My 2019 has a push-button start, so after the transfer case is in neutral the selector goes in park, brake system switch flipped on, and you're ready to go.

As said, don't know how much or how well this translates to your Wrangler, but I've certainly been happy with my set-up.
All the best,     Mike

11
Hi Don.  Did you mount the fuel cut-off right there next to the carburetor?  Or did you mount it below, before the fuel filter and pump?  It is naturally safer to mount it below in case of a fuel leak, but is more susceptible to corrosion and surely an inconvenient location.

Ron--you may remember that Phoenix began installing the generator fuel cut-off valves as standard procedure in early 2019.  When I picked up my 2552 in February of 2019 at the factory, one of the line folks showed me the valve and told me they had just got permission to began installing them in all units.  They are one of the conventional plastic units, but I've never had a problem with mine.
Anyway, Phoenix installed it near the carburetor, about 3 inches from the inlet, just clamped into the fuel line.
I believe the fuel shut-off valve is pretty effective in the Onan application.  They are less effective in some applications because the fuel pick up point in the carburetor fuel bowl is well above the bottom of the bowl.  Even after you close the valve and "run the carburetor dry" there is considerable fuel left in the bottom of the bowl to continue to deteriorate.  In the Onan, however, the fuel pick-up for the main jet is pretty much in the very bottom of the bowl.  That can create more issues with sediment because anything in the bottom of the bowl gets pulled into the main jet, but it DOES mean that pretty much all fuel gets sucked in and burned when you run the carb dry.
Mike

12
General Discussion / Re: Internal TPMS
« on: October 06, 2023, 11:06:10 am »
Gary--
I hate to hear that you're having issues with your TST system.  I've had the TST 507 for several years with no real problems, and I've recommended it to others.  I get the occasional false audible alarm, but they're rare and will cancel instantly with a button push--when I look at the display, it's reading correctly, so I think the alarm is triggered by a momentary glitch in transmission of the signal.  I definitely don't use the anti-theft caps because of the extra hassle to remove them--and without them it's simple to pull the caps to add air.  Never had a problem with losing a sensor.
Regarding an internal system--no doubt that a good internal should be more trouble-free than the external units.  In addition to the TST internal that you mentioned, I see that the eTrailer site lists a complete internal system from Tuson.  Also, I see that Tireminder has just released an internal sensor (Part # TM36FR) that is supposed to work with all of the Tireminder systems (that previously had only external sensors).  That unit is also listed on the eTrailer site.  I assume that one can buy any current Tireminder system and then use the internal sensors.
Mike
 

13
Good to hear from you recently, Ron.
Hope your carburetor soaks pay dividends, but as Cal says I think you'll need to pull the carb bowl to solve your issue.  I suspect you'll find your problem in the horizontal main jet at the bottom of the bowl--the one with the altitude adjustment knob on it.  Once you disconnect the shut off solenoid wires and unscrew the solenoid from the bottom, the bowl will come off--though it's a little tricky.  I've never found the solenoid itself gummed up, but make sure it works freely.  Pry off the altitude adjustment knob--I've left mine off to give a greater range of adjustment for the main jet needle--and remove the needle (count the turns first as Cal says)--clean that needle, orifice and bowl bottom thoroughly.  That has always solved all of my issues.
As Cal also says, the imported replacement carburetors are cheap--I bought one to carry as a spare, but don't intend to attempt to use it unless I have to.
Mike

14
General Discussion / Re: Coach 12volt system problems. 2018 2910T.
« on: September 08, 2023, 06:59:28 pm »
Jim,
Sure sounds like coach batteries.  Since it's a 2018, you should have two 6-volt units connected in series to provide 12 volts.
Eliminate them quickly by putting a voltmeter directly across the 12-volt connection directly on the batteries.  You may get 12-volts, but then pull a load (activate slide or other substantial load).  Should hold 11 volts-plus if good.  I suspect they won't.
If they do, let us know and we'll did a little deeper.  The issue is that the electrical connections on my 2019 2552 tie the Ford engine alternator feed directly to the coach batteries.  So a usable 12-volts from running the Ford engine (which you report you have) come from the same point electrically that the coach battery 12-volts come from.  If you have a usable 12 volts from the alternator, but NO 12-volts from the batteries, that indicates a battery problem.
If the alternator ties in to a different point electrically on your 2018, it's just possible that the two main fuses on the rear wall of your battery box may be open, but I would do the voltmeter check first.
Mike

15
General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself!
« on: August 16, 2023, 02:52:00 pm »
Welcome Jeff!
Glad to have you guys on the forum!  Yes!  There are a lot of folks here that have gained knowledge of the Phoenix Cruisers over time and are willing to share.
Feel free to ask any questions, but be quick to pitch in with your own experience when you can.
All the best,       Mike

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