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Topics - Ron Dittmer

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General Discussion / PC Specific Items For Sale By Owner
« on: April 06, 2020, 10:19:44 am »
I am not sure if I am breaking rules here, but over the past 13 years owning our PC, I have a bunch of PC-specific items that I would like to sell.  Shipping them is impractical due to the cost.  But if you are driving on Interstate 90 past the city of Elgin, IL then you are just 3 minutes from our house from the Route 31 north-bound exit.

Off the top of my head, this is what I have.  I believe everything is compatible to most PC's made to this day.

- complete roof rack, brand new, never installed
- complete ladder, brand new, never installed

- coffee maker, the one that mounts on the inside of the under-sink door

- Corian mount in color Sagemint Green, for the coffee maker

- like new butcher block (sorry about the blurry pic, just noticed it)

- wire basket for kitchen utensils, replaces the butcher block (includes hardware to mount to drawer glides)

- Ford tire iron

- soon coming, the 4 stainless steel wheel covers (will be changing to Alcoa wheels shortly)
- twin battery tray that works well, but is not beautiful
- tracks to the various kitchen galley drawers

Hi everyone,

My brother and his wife own a tiny 20 foot long 1998 Starflyte.  They've had it for many years, now with piles of miles.  They travel frequently, even more now that they are retired.  They want to make one last RV purchase and use it up like the last one.  They want something much more spacious and comfortable.  Three of their main priorities are
- no slideouts
- rear walk-around bed
- have a booth dinette and couch placed across from each other
- affordability

My brother has his eye on this Coachman Pursuit 27XPS which he says he can buy brand new for $65,000.  It offers the perfect floorplan in the length he wants.

They would consider spending some amount more for a new Phoenix Cruiser but none of the floor plans meet their need, and the purchase price is also concerning.  I have suggested he call Phoenix and see what they can do.

In my mind, start with model 2910D.  Delete the bedroom slide out and all cabinets on the passenger side to make the bedroom equivalent to the Coachman.  BUT, they can increase indoor and outdoor storage by building the bed a bit higher to create a captain bed with drawers under the foot-half, and a large outdoor storage compartment under the head-half.

The front slideout might be a challenge because of the galley.  I am not sure gaining the 8" of wall space from deleting the slideout will offer enough room to install a standard galley from one of the smaller PC models, but it seems feasible.

The passenger side offers lots of wall space for a very comfortable booth dinette.  I also suggested to consider reducing the size of the dinette booths by a few inches to increase the floor space between them and the couch.  It may also be required to fully recline the couch.

Price is a big factor for my brother.  Deleting the two slideouts should knock off around $10,000.  Going paintless is another savings.  Given no slideouts and being totally white (maybe even without thermal glass) I think it will work having one roof a/c unit, and 30amp service.  Delete the sanicon for "gravity dump only" should lower the price further.  My brother might opt to delete all awnings.  I told him to call Phoenix and see what they can do. 

My proposed cost reduction changes to a 2910D will bring some features to that of an entry level rig of another brand.  But in-general, on the surface, the Pursuit 27XPS at only 29 feet long and $65,000 with larger capacities and chassis capability is going be hard to compete with.

Here is the current 2010D floorplan. at 30'-10" long

Here is the $65,000 Coachman Pursuit 27XPS at 29'-0" long

I encourage others here to share their thoughts.
Ron Dittmer

I asked this a few times in the past, but never got resolution.

Our 2007 PC's back-up camera includes sound.  When my wife stands behind our PC while I am backing-up, she provided verbal instruction as well as hand gestures.

Some years ago the sound suddenly stopped working.  I determined the unit up front works fine.  The problem seems to be in the back where the microphone is.  I studied the camera in-back but never found the microphone.  I looked for a tiny pin-hole hoping for a simple solution, thinking that dirt or bugs plugged the hole for the mic.  I can't find where the sound pick-up is in back to inspect it.

Our system is a 2007 "Zone Defense".  I looked in our manuals, on-line, and asked the factory about the mic but never got anywhere.

Does anyone here know much about this brand and model year back-up camera and have solved a problem with the sound?  I always appreciated the sound feature and would like to get it working again.

This topic always has me scratching my head and wonder if I am alone.

Our PC is equipped with these tires. Michelin LTX M/S LT225/75R16
They are the originals with over 38,000 miles and now 12.5 years old.  I will be replacing them before our next big trip.

Here is the max-load condition of our PC, weighed on a truck scale.  Note the following
- front axle places 1630 pounds on each front tire
- rear axle places 2055 pounds on each rear tire.

According to the Michelin chart here
- 1630 pounds per front tire states they need 41 PSI.
- 2055 pounds per rear tire states they need 62 PSI

When I inflate the front tires to 41 PSI, they look terribly under-inflated.  My rear tires don't look as bad, but still so.  Because all tires look so low, I always add more air, inflating the front tires to 65 PSI (24 PSI extra) and the rears to 67 PSI (5 PSI extra).  Doing so, then they look better, still under-inflated, but better.  The rear tires have worn evenly, the front tires would have worn evenly except my front shocks were bad for a while which messed them up.

Am I the only one adding extra air?

Michelin provides a different chart for RVs, the primary difference is weighing each corner, taking the heavier of the two and using that PSI figure  for every tire on the axle.  But since I have not yet found a place to weigh each corner, I resort to "axle weight" alone.

I wonder if there is that much of a difference between the heavier corner weight and axle weight divided by two.  To you who have weighed axles and corners, what are the differences you see?

Last year we decided it was time to replace our 11 year old original mattress in our 2007 model 2350.  When I sat up in bed, my rump significantly felt the bed platform.  The foam was not very dense to begin with and collapsed more easily over the years.  The full size bed mattress in Phoenix model 2350 has a cut corner.

Here is the original PC-2350 mattress, shown with the cut corner.

Seeking an affordable solution, we bought a $110.00 "Full" size six inch thick Hometics foam mattress from Walmart on-line, and modified it.  Today, Walmart sells something almost identical, Zinus made by Spa Sensations HERE for $125.

Once at home, we removed the very nice zippered outer Hometics mattress cover.  This is the cover.

Then we un-stitched and removed the heavy fire barrier covering.  This is the fire barrier.

The foam portion remained.  It is 4.5" of solid standard foam, and 1.5" of solid memory foam.  No egg crate bumpy patterns existed.  In this picture, on the floor is a blue egg crate bumpy patterned foam topper shown for reference.

Here were the planned cutting tools.
- drywall "T" square
- permanent marker
- electric carving knife
- bread knife

I experimented with cuts from various tools in what would end up as cut-off waste material.  We tried various knives, none fared well.

After enough practice, I made the final cuts with the electric carving knife which turned out extremely clean, almost factory-like.

Then we placed the foam inside the zippered cover shown here upside-down.  We intentionally left out the fire barrier because the extra weight would be difficult to handle in our PC.  Our original mattress had no barrier either so we felt comfortable with the decision.

Irene folded and hand-stitched the cover to match the new shape.  It was done quickly and crudely but turned out great.

Then we placed the completed mattress inside the Phoenix-provided interior-matching mattress cover and placed it inside our PC.

On trips, we add a cheap mattress pad and fitted sheet over the Phoenix cover.  We learned that a "full" size 100% cotton flannel fitted sheet, washed and shrunk in the dryer, conforms very nicely to the cut-corner.

Our first trip out west last year, we immediately noticed an improvement in our sleep and comfort.  We consider this to be a winning solution for people like ourselves who live on a tight budget.

Since this is a home project, I placed this here.

Many here know of my conversion to LED in our PC HERE.

At home I utilized the left-over LEDs.  I placed the low voltage on/off/dimmer under the cabinet to the right of the microwave oven, and plugged in the 12V transformer in the outlet inside the cabinet above the microwave.



We initially wanted the LED strips pointing downward, but the bright reflection off the quartz counter top was blinding.  Attaching the strips to the side of the inside cabinet edge eliminated the bright reflection and also made it easy to pass thru from one cabinet to the other.  Admittedly the LEDs light up the back wall more, and the counter less, but it still does the job well.

Our 2007 2350 on a 2007 E350 chassis has always had a rear sag when loaded up on trips.  It is not much, but it is there.  My axle weight is as follows.

Empty at home (no people, no fresh or waste water, no food, all our stuff removed, weighed with a full tank of gasoline of 55 gallons, and a full 40 pound propane tank)
front axle - 3160
rear axle - 6760

Fully loaded on trips (with Irene and me in the front seats, all tanks full including fresh water, but empty waste tanks)
front axle - 3260
rear axle - 8220

The 2007 E-series front axle max load specs are rated as follows.
E450 cut-away - 4600 pounds
E350 cut-away - 4600 pounds
E350 van - 4600 pounds
E250 van - 4050 pounds
E150 van - 3900 pounds.

My front end sits high & light with so much extra weight placed behind the rear axle...my 40 gallon fresh water tank sits against the rear wall.  I am considering replacing my front coil springs with lower-rated ones to gain the following benefits.
- lower the front to level the rig
- yield a more comfortable ride up front
- a better starting point for a wheel alignment, maybe reverting back to centered bushings from my now offset bushings.

I don't think the change would impact handling, slightly negative if anything.

I want to purchase coil springs made in the USA.  A quick search on Ebay, the brand Moog dominates with the price for two coil springs running around $100. They claim to support Nascar.  Is Moog USA made and known for top quality?

Specifically for the E-series, Moog offers a wide range of spring rates starting at 1523 per spring (3046 per axle) E150 soft ride, increasing from there. I am thinking for our 3260 pound loaded front axle, reducing from our stock 4600 springs to 3500-3700 could make a big change for the better.  I don't want to get too close to our actual working load in-case we have a guest or two join us which has happened on a few weekend get-aways.

I looked at the work involved in changing the front coil springs and it looks quite simple, much easier than replacing the front shocks that I did last year.  I'd like to change the springs prior to new tires and Alcoa wheels, then get a wheel alignment after everything is done.

I encourage everyone's thoughts and concerns.
Ron Dittmer

Does your on-board water pump irritate you with loud rapid cycles?
When taking a shower, is the water temperature a little inconsistent?
Would you like your on-board water system to be like at home, consistent and quiet?
There is a remedy called an accumulator tank.

What is an accumulator tank?
It is a water reservoir made of plastic, steel, stainless steel.  It has a rubber badder inside much like an inner tube in a bicycle tire with a standard air valve just like a tire has.  During installation, the bladder should be pressurized to roughly 20 psi.  During operation, the pressure in the bladder will fluctuate between that starting pressure of 20 psi to a high of around 40 psi after your RV's on-board pump has filled it.

What are the various types of accumulator tanks?
The most common accumulator tank for RVs are made of plastic.  They are small, about 0.2 gallons (24 oz.) in total volume.  Their popularity is primarily because they can be mounted in tight places.

A house grade accumulator tank is made of steel.  They are 2 gallons (256 oz.) in total volume.  These are easily found in home improvement centers and are affordable.

My personal favorite is this one made of stainless steel.  It is the same size as the steel house grade tank at 2 gallons total volume.  It's primary benefit is that it has feet for easy mounting, and it has a platform to mount the water pump on top to reduce the footprint.  These vary in price wildly from $139 to over $400 for the exact same tank, so do your internet shopping well.  Google search "Shurflo 3400-002".

Considering the bladder, how much water does the tank hold?
When the on-board water pump turns on at 20 psi, the actual water inside is roughly 1/3 of the total volume.  At 20 psi, the 2 gallon tank is holding about 0.7 gallons (90 oz) of water.  A 0.2 gallon plastic tank is holding about 8 oz.  For obvious reasons, a small plastic tank will have the pump cycling much more frequently than a large metal tank would.

Where should the tank be mounted?
Officially an accumulator tank can be installed anywhere on the cold side of the fresh water system.  But mounting the tank adjacent to the water pump, in-line with the piping, quiets pump operation because the tank absorbs the vibration of the pump, preventing the vibration from being amplified through your PEX plumbing.

Does size matter?
Absolutely!  The large 2 gallon tank will absorb much more vibration than a small 0.2 gallon plastic tank.  A bigger tank will also dramatically reduce the cycling of the pump.  My personal experience is that a 2 gallon tank is ideal.  The next size larger is 6 gallons which is way too much for an RV.

Tips On Installation
I recommend using a flexible braided stainless steel hose to connect the water pump to the accumulator tank, then flex or PEX plumb from the tank to the RV.  This type of hose is very reliable and significantly reduces the vibration to the tank.  If installing a small plastic accumulator tank, I recommend coiling a long flexible hose as shown to further reduce vibration.  Add some carpet padding between layers of the coil to further dampen vibration.  This hose is found in all home improvement centers.  Bring your tank and pump to help select the proper connections.

Orientation does not matter.  A tank can set upright, upside-down, on it's side, whatever works best for the installation.  This is because the pressurized badder inside will push water out regardless of orientation.

When winterizing your RV, understand that when there is no pressure in the pipes, there is no water in the tank.  So don't worry about wasting lots of pink antifreeze like you would with your hot water tank.

At the time back in 2007, not knowing about the stainless steel tank with feet and pump mount, I installed this standard house grade 2 gallon tank which continues to work flawlessly.  I bought it at Home Depot for around $40.  The picture does not show it, but I used a flexible braided stainless steel hose between the pump and tank.  The connection from the tank to the house is solid brass connecting to the RV PEX plumbing.  Our pump cycles on and off at a logical and comfortable intervals, and runs so quietly that you have to "listen" for the subtle hum.  During the night when going to the bathroom, "If" the pump turns on, it does not wake us up, and we sleep right above it.

The internal rubber bladder's air valve is on top, seen with the blue screw-off cap installed.

In our rig, this is inside the heated storage compartment, accessed from the outside.  I was concerned of damage from rough handling of stored items so I made a protective shroud of wood.  If using the stainless steel tank, I would have mounted the pump on top with no need for a shroud.  I would have also had more storage.

Tips and Tricks / Replacing Shock Absorbers That Failed And Why
« on: March 06, 2019, 12:29:35 pm »
Back in the summer of 2007 when our PC-2350 was new, we had a truck suspension shop do some suspension upgrades to improve handling.  That was 11 years and 35,000 miles prior.  The previous two trips, I noticed the front of our rig porpoising, bouncing up and down for any little reason.  This past summer I inspected the front shocks, quickly discovering a problem.

I jacked up the front of the rig using my floor jack as shown.

I looked at the top of the front shocks and seen this.  Note the raw steel stem and the gap between the vehicle and the rubber bushing.  There should be no play between bushing and vehicle.  The reason for the gap was that the top rubber bushing had completely worn away.  This happened to both front shocks.

I really wanted the high tech Koni-FSD shocks, but they were terribly expensive and did NOT offer a life time warranty.  So I went with affordable Bilstein heavy duty shocks with a life time warranty, bought from Tire Rack.

I removed our old Koni-RV adjustable front shocks and compared them to the new Bilstein Heavy Duty shocks.  Note where the failure occurred.  The shocks worked but the top rubber grommet disintegrated.  Compare the difference in the size of hardware between the Koni and Bilstein-HD.  The Bilstein-HD is massive by comparison.  Also note the thickness of the stem.  The Koni-RV stem is thinner than on the Bilstein-HD.

The movement from the worn-away top rubber grommets damaged the stems of the Koni shocks, requiring the shocks themselves to be replaced.  Fortunately all the wear was on the shock, not the vehicle mounting hole.

For general comparison, here are the two brands side by side.  Interesting to note, the Bilstein shock is inverted, it's upside-down.  This was done for the shock to better clear the vehicle frame.

Note the abrasion on the red painted side of the Koni shock from rubbing on the vehicle frame.  The tight clearance condition likely caused the abrasion as the top rubber grommet was wearing away.

Replacing the driver front shock is challenging by the experienced mechanic.  I discovered two ideal places to access the top of the shock by following this procedure.  My hand and tool passed through both areas fairly successfully.  I first tried the access port via a grommet in the driver's floor pan but found this much easier for me.

My rear Koni shocks were fine, but I wanted everything matching.  I was able to replace both rear shocks without lifting the rear of the motor home.  The 4 rear tires were not disturbed.  There is a heat shield above the top mount on the passenger side.  I wedged a piece of lumber between the heat shield and vehicle frame to raise it up to improve the work area.

Unfortunately I did not take a picture comparing the two brands of rear shocks.  I can say that unlike the front, the rear bushings were the same size and the Koni bushings were not worn at all as this picture shows them looking like new.  Apparently Bilstein knew the front shock bushings would wear prematurely and addressed it appropriately.

I took a "Leap Of Faith" switching to heavy duty Bilstein shocks.  I was very concerned the quality of the ride would be compromised from their "heavy duty" rating.  During our proceeding vacation out west, about a 3000 mile round trip journey, I paid very close attention to "harshness of ride".  It is so little of a change that I had to concentrate to notice anything, if anything at all.

As for the quality of the ride in other ways, specifically handling, in all fairness to the Koni's, the front top shock grommets were worn away, and all were not adjusted to the same setting.  So how can a comparison be made?  But I can say that the porpoising is 100% gone and the handling is greatly improved.  If doing it all again a second time, I would make the exact same choices.

So for the sake of a much lower purchase price, a lifetime warranty, front shock durability with massive rubber grommets, supporting washers and stems, the inverted design to improve clearance to the vehicle frame, the Bilstein-HD shocks is my winner.  I only wished I had the terribly expensive gold Koni-FSD shocks "on-hand" for comparison.

One more thing worth mentioning.  Done with both old and new shocks, I jacked up the front and dropped it to the ground by quickly releasing the jack.  With the old shocks, our rig bounced like a ball, coming to a halt after many ups-n-downs.  With the new shocks, it fell, came up, went down, and rested just as it should.

Ron Dittmer
2007 Phoenix Cruiser 2350
2007 Ford E350 chassis

General Discussion / Phoenix's 2019 Brochure, What Were They Thinking?
« on: March 04, 2019, 08:34:13 am »
CLICK HERE to see Phoenix's 2019 Brochure.

I like how they categorized the various floor plans.  For example, grouping all twin bed rear bath units together, all rear slide-out double/queen beds together.  But the size of the floor plans are too tiny for serious pondering.  Instead of having pages of people sitting around and quotes in the sky (with no PC pictured) those pages should be utilized to provide blow-up floorplan pages.....or add more pages.

Also, I absolutely hate cartoon pictures instead of real pictures of the interiors and exterior color selections.  They are always very misleading of the real product.  Whenever I see cartoons from any RV manufacture, my interest in the material is immediately extinguished.  If I went to an RV show and came home with a bunch of motor home brochures to ponder, I would quickly migrate to other brand brochures with pictures of real rigs, naturally loosing interest in a PC.  Phoenix should have instead taken lightly wide-angled pictures of PC interiors to capture features properly.

The purpose of a company brochure is to have your product sitting on potential customer coffee and kitchen tables at home to show off your product as best as possible, having it pop-out at them.  I don't know what Phoenix was thinking.  They must have listened to a young man or woman fresh out of college with new marketing ideas.  I feel Phoenix missed the mark in a very VERY big way.  The beauty of their product was reduced to ugly fake misrepresentation.

One last comment.  There are no specs nor any pictures of a Sprinter or Transit.  Has Phoenix given up on both of them?

Tips and Tricks / So You Are Thinking Of Buying A Motor Home
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:17:42 pm »
So You Are Thinking Of Buying A Motor Home

Let us first review the various "Classes" of motor homes.  How is the class defined?

Class-A Diesel Pusher

The "Class" is determined by what the RV manufacture (ex: Winnebago) starts with.

A "Class-A" begins at the RV manufacture with a stripped chassis like this.  The engine & transmission is up front, the drive wheels are in back, and a drive shaft in-between connects them.  Manufactures of stripped chassis are companies like Ford, Chevrolet/GMC, International, and Freightliner.  These come in either a gasoline or diesel engine.

A "Class-A Diesel Pusher" also starts with a stripped chassis, but the engine and transmission are in the back of the motor home.  These exclusively have diesel engines.

A "Class-B" starts with what looks like a complete van, sometimes purchased with an extended roof as shown.  Popular manufactures for RV applications are the Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Chevy Express, and Dodge Promaster.

A "Class-B+" and "Class-C" start with what the industry calls a cut-away chassis.  For RV applications, the back wall of the cab area is non-existent.  Manufactures of the cut-away chassis for RV applications are Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ford E350/E450, Chevy 3500/4500, and Dodge Promaster

A "Class Super-C" is a heavy duty truck version of a typical class B+/C.  Like a class-A, they handle more weight.  Their sizes also compare to that of class-A motor homes.

For obvious reasons, people who own a class-B have mobility and parking as their highest priority.  People who own a class-A and class-A diesel pusher, living quarters is their highest priority.  The class B+ and C generally falls in-between.

Generally speaking, full-time living in a class-A diesel pusher is most sought because they offer the biggest house and the most outdoor storage from lacking a drive shaft.  They offer under-belly storage similar to that of a tour bus.  But there are people also living year round in class B+ and C motor homes.

Many people who own a motor home that is longer than a typical parking space, will tow another vehicle to increase their mobility when at their destinations.  The cut-off on length is debatable, but my general rule is that a rig exceeding 21.5 feet is too long to park in a normal parking spot.

A class-B rig is the width of a typical van because it is a van.  Class B+ and C rigs vary in width from just a little more than a van, to as wide as a typical class-A motor home. 

Regarding "Weight", the biggest of motor homes can weigh as much as 50,000 pounds.  But a typical class B+/C will weigh between 9,000 and 14,500 pounds depending on it's chassis and size.  You won't need a special licence to drive a motor home until it weighs around 26,000 pounds.


Next up is your plan of use for your motor home.  Each type of travel has it's preferred motor home class.

- Are you planning to use it primarily for road trips to destinations like sporting events and family visits?
- Do you enjoy going "Off Grid" to wilderness places?
- Are your planned destinations primarily focused on national parks, monuments, and forests?
- Do you plan to tow a sizable boat, a horse trailer, or other large trailer?
- Do you love the social aspect of RV parks where you also enjoy full hook-ups with all the electricity and water you desire?
- Do you plan to stay in places for extended periods, say for a season at a time?
- Do you plan to travel in winter cold weather?
- Do you plan to travel alone?  If not, how many other people?  Are there pets to consider?

The mobility of a "Class-B" van gets you around easiest, but it won't do so well in places where resources are few.  You may find yourself dumping waste water and refilling with fresh water on a daily basis.  But what if such facilities are not available?  Also consider the facilities required in traveling with one other person and all the things you both need to bring on a trip.  Storage in a class B requires minimalistic thinking.  One great advantage of a class B van is how well sealed they are from the elements.  Vans don't leak rain water just like any other typical car or SUV.

Living accommodations in a "Class B+ and C" is a huge step up from a class-B.  Waste and fresh water becomes abundant, all features quickly become more practical to use.  You go from an airplane bathroom (or worse) in a class B to something resembling a compact version of your regular home.  You have everything conveniently placed for use all the time as well as storage for all your stuff.  Your bed and dinette are always setup and ready, your sink and stove are of a more useful size, and your fridge will be larger with a separate freezer.  The B+ and C class motor home come in lengths from 21 feet to 32 feet, widths from 90" to 104", and heights over 11 feet.  With so many sizes, these come in a vast array of floor plans and accommodations. A huge "WARNING" with Class B+ & C motor homes is that the house is often constructed with inferior materials, methods, and workmanship.  Add the constant earthquake from driving it and rain water and snow melt enters, destroying your rig.  CLICK HERE to read up on how to shop wisely with that consideration.

As far as a "Class-A" is concerned, this type of motor home varies all over the place in price to quality, just like the B+ and C class.  You can spend $60,000 for a low-end class A to over $1,000,000 for a class A diesel pusher.  It seems the sky is the limit on these.  But on the lower end, affordable part of the spectrum, the same concerns apply as with the class B+ and C's.  Keep in-mind that mechanical service for your class A vehicle portion will be much harder to find.  Many mechanics won't work on class-As because so much is non-standard.  For example, changing a radiator in a class C is the same as changing one in a van.  "Repair shop software" presents a fairly accurate estimate of time of labor for the shop to provide an accurate quote for service.  But a class A, the repair shop has no idea what they are in for.  Amplifying the problem is that the RV-made metal hardware to access the radiator is untreated so it quickly rusts.  Mechanics fear they will break something to access the radiator.  Worse yet will be that the RV manufacture did not consider such things like replacing the radiator rendering the job extremely labor intensive to accomplish.


After reading through all this, if you are still determined to buy a motor home, get out there and buy that perfect one that will meet all your needs.  Just follow my linked guideline (REPEATED HERE) and you'll do fine.

Of coarse you could bypass much of the research and pick one of the 9 Phoenix Cruiser floors plans.  :)  Keep in-mind that all Phoenix models are built on the Ford E450 chassis, but models 2350 and 2400 have the Sprinter chassis as optional.  Though not considered in the pricing tool, the Ford Transit chassis is available for model 2100 with no slide-out.  I would call the factory if interested in that chassis.

The Phoenix pricing tool (CLICK HERE) will give you a good idea what your favorite would cost with consideration to the options you select.  Keep in-mind if selecting the Mercedes Sprinter, MSRP increases by $21,615.  Unlike the default E450 standard, you have to also add the cost of a slide-out if you want one.  So selecting a Sprinter with a slide-out could cause "Sticker Shock".  Going with the standard E450, the price and floor plan includes the slide-outs shown, but you can delete any one or more slide-outs and save yourself some good money.  Irene and I are not lovers of slide-outs, but that is another topic.

Try to enjoy your research.  Don't get frustrated from it.  Keep it fun and interesting.  The more time you invest in research, the better experience you will have with your purchase.

Ron Dittmer

Polls / Which PC Model Do You Currently Own?
« on: January 29, 2019, 12:52:08 pm »
I thought this poll would be interesting.  I wish I could also include model year.  The list of models goes back to 2003.  Let me know if I missed a model.

This poll allows you to change PC models by hitting the "edit poll" button, so if you bought one model, then traded it in for another model, please update your change here.

Ron Dittmer

General Discussion / A Tire Solution For Extra Heavy PCs
« on: December 19, 2018, 06:09:21 pm »
I read on rare occasion that a few of you with the longest (and heaviest) PCs with 2 or 3 slide outs occasionally have a damaging tire blow-out.

While internet shopping for tires for our 2350, I stumbled on three "E" rated tires with an increased load rating.  The norm is 2680 pounds.  These are to 3195 pounds.  An extra 515 pounds per tire would be very good to have on an extra heavy motor home.  CLICK HERE to see a list of three such tires available through Tire America.  I assume those stronger tires will be rougher riding so I am not considering them for our 2350.  Our PC has plenty of margin on our regular 2680 pound "E" rated tires.

General Discussion / New 2019 Sprinter Is More Capable, But At A Price
« on: December 15, 2018, 11:02:35 am »
A new Sprinter 4500 series C&C is being introduced for 2019.
Max GVWR is 12,125 pounds (only 375 pounds less than an E350)
Price starts at a whopping $52,000 ($14,080 more than a current 2018)

A 2019 3500XD chassis costs $13,080 more than a 2018 equivalent, both having the same 11,030 pound GVWR.

The 2019 Sprinter includes enhanced safety features, but $13,080 more for those features seems sky high.

The new higher-rated 4500 series is better suited for motor home applications so the $1000 price increase over a 3500XD is surely worth the extra cost.

It costs roughly $14,000 more for a 2018 PC-Sprinter chassis compared to an E350. The price for a 2019 will double that.  If you were on the fence about a Sprinter because of the higher purchase price, think fast and order yours on a 2018 Sprinter chassis before 2018 stock is depleted.

Tips and Tricks / Kitchen Towel Bar Addition
« on: September 17, 2018, 09:14:42 pm »
After 11 years of monkeying around with our kitchen towel & wash cloth, I finally came up with this idea and implemented it with Irene's approval.  We both think it's the best solution for us.  We considered mounting this towel bar on the lower cabinet door as it had been intended for, but given our no-slide quarters, we both felt it would be in our way there.

This is what we bought.

We bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond for $9.99 plus sales tax.

I modified it, cutting off the hook portions and drilled holes.

I screwed it first into the side, then into the top for a very nice tight fit.

Here it is mounted.
A single bar version is sold for $7.99, but I do "Not" recommend it for this application.
This two-bar version sticks out nice and far for ease of use, yet not in our way getting in and out from our PC.

Here are 3 pictures with towel and wash cloth.  They hang beyond the main door opening as not to interfere getting in and out of the house..

The towel and wash cloth hang right where they are needed, yet hang forward enough as not to be in your face.

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