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Topics - Ron Dittmer

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31
Tips and Tricks / Stabilizing Dinette Table (Table With Two Poles)
« on: September 10, 2018, 08:55:51 am »
I finally got around to a solution with our dinette table with two poles.  Irene and I are both very pleased with the results.

The problem was when one of us leaned on the table, it would tip.  Not a lot, but enough to slosh a drink too much causing a spill.

I mounted a board along the outside wall, added a full-covering strip of soft Velcro over it, and added a tiny piece of mating Velcro to the underside of the table-top.  Now the table is extremely stable.   I cut angled corners to the stabilizer board to eliminate a sharp corner to get hurt on whether setup as a dinette or setup as a bed.



The black Velco strip is the soft portion, 2" wide, rolled over the edge down the side a bit.  It acts as a soft cushion to prevent squeaking and such.
Adding a 2" long piece of mating Velcro on the underside of the table-top is enough to increase stability.
Too much Velcro would make it difficult to remove the table.


Here you can see I counter-sunk the wall-side holes larger to clear the anchor heads.
If not done, the board would not lay flat against the wall.


I bought these wall anchors but had to use extra long screws to pass through the board.



32
Tips and Tricks / Back-up Sewer Hose Storage
« on: August 20, 2018, 07:55:53 am »
I bought a conventional sewer hose storage tube maybe 6 years ago from Camping World.  I wanted to carry a back-up manual sewer hose in-case our macerator failed during a trip.  I finally got around to mounting it.  Unfortunately our 2007 2350 did not provide a good means to mount the tube in the ideal location with easy access from the dump-side of the rig.  A waste tank hangs some inches low right behind the macerator panel.  I mounted the tube with access from the passenger side instead to mount the tube as high as possible.  The main gas tank hangs lower so I feel I am in good shape.

The RHINO SEWER HOSE KIT fits perfectly inside it.  Walmart sells the Rhino kit in their stores, discounting them in the fall to half price or less.

The tube is fairly out of sight from normal views of the rig.
Trivia Question: See the little hook hanging on the left side?  Why did I add it?


Visually this looks like an interference problem, but the door swings open completely and the hose kit removes just fine.


The tube is mounted right behind the main gas tank as shown.  Mounting the tube high to the frame, I added a self-stick rubber pad in one spot where the round tube contacts the frame, added to prevent abbrasion.  You can barely see the protective pad.
The tube gently presses against the insulation of the waste tank.


The driver side mount, there are OEM holes in the Ford frame that I utilized.  They were perfect.
On the passenger side, I whipped up a pair of straps that worked out great.

33
General Discussion / Oops I Broke Our Dinette Table
« on: August 19, 2018, 09:52:34 pm »
Just trying to lift the table out from the two poles, the table broke in two.  I glued and clamped it back together and reinforced the slab in hopes the table will outlast the rest of the RV.

Here is the table after the repair.  The two broken pieces glued back together can be seen but is acceptable to us.


Here are the two reinforcements.  I routered soft radius edges all around for friendly knee bumping.  Fortunately they do not interfere with my longer legs.  I can still cross them.


34
Hi Everyone,

I just got an Aldi sale ad.

The folding table we have (and really like) is on sale there for $24.99.  See by CLICKING HERE.

We really like it being height adjustable from coffee table height to counter height.  It works great for two people.  It stores perfectly in our rear storage compartment as shown.

35
I seek the opinion of people with experience with either type.

My red colored Koni-RV adjustable shocks in front are in need of replacement.  I am thinking of replacing all four, wondering if I should go with Koni-FSD shocks or the Heavy Duty Bilsteins.

Ron Dittmer

36
Hi Everyone,

Since buying our PC in 2007, I have down-loaded every available PC brochure.  They are pdf files.  Brochures were not updated annually.  Here are the available years, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012.  You can download year 2015 yourself direct from the Phoenix website because it is their current brochure.

I also collected other Phoenix sales data, MSRP data, Features Lists, and Ford and Sprinter chassis data for a few years.

If interested in a specific model year, reply to this post to flag me, and also send me a private message with your email address & PC model year, and I will share what I have.  My PC data bank is not complete but I will do my best to match it up.

Ron Dittmer

37
General Discussion / Time For A New 2350 Mattress
« on: April 02, 2018, 02:30:33 pm »
Our original 11 year old mattress is near the end of life so we are trying something different.

A few months ago I ordered a zippered mattress cover from Phoenix USA made of the exact fabric as our cloth dinette seat cushions of yesteryear.  Our boxed window valances are appointed in the same fabric, so our new mattress will visually look like a piece of furniture when stripped of the bedding.

But more importantly, the Phoenix mattress cover provides us with some options on foam mattresses.  Walmart sells a HoMedics and a Spa Sensations 6" memory foam mattress for $114.00.  We are thinking buying one of them, toss the covering, trim the sandwich foam/memfoam material to the dimensions of our bed with angled corner, then stuff it inside our PC mattress cover for an affordable memory foam mattress that looks customized for our PC.

Has anyone done this?  If so, how did it turn out?

For you with memory foam, is it a hot material to sleep on?  Irene is concerned about that.

Here is our new Phoenix-supplied zippered mattress cover with our old mattress stuffed inside.  The fabric is called "Outlander Moss" which was used in the 2007 Sagemint Green color interior.  The pic did not capture the hint of green in the material.

38
Tips and Tricks / Resolving An Irritating Squeak In Cabinet Above The Cab
« on: January 19, 2018, 05:01:10 pm »
Five years ago during a multi-week cross country trip to the north-west and back, the cabinet above the driver developed a irritable squeak when driving.  While driving with that cabinet door open, I was able to grab the base of the cabinet above with my right hand and put some of my body weight on it which stopped the squeaking.

Once back home I called Kermit the owner of Phoenix USA at the time, to pick his brain on what might be going on.  After his first recommended attempt at a diagnosis yielded nothing, he suggested I bring in our PC and have them take care of it for me.  To avoid a special trip, I asked him if I could do it myself and so he told me what to do which completely eliminated the squeak.  It has been five years since I fixed it and the squeak has not returned.  If it does return, I should be able to remedy it by simply tighten the screws Kermit had me add.

The process is simply adding four screws through the upper cabinet floor into the steel Ford van roof.  To be proactive, I did the same in the cabinet above the passenger.

Here are the required tools and screws I decided to use for the project.  Six screws are pictured but I decided to add four per side for a total of eight screws.


Here is the van roof I screwed into.


Here is where the four screws on each side go, distance between screws is not critical.  I placed the fourth screw near the cabinet corner as extra assurance where I thought it might be needed most.  You want to measure three inches in from the cabinet face to assure you hit the van roof steel.  I first drilled tiny pilot holes to make sure I hit steel below.  There is an air gap between cabinet floor and steel roof of at least one half inch.  The cabinet floor material is very thin wood.  Adding four screws distributes the clamping stress across the entire length of the cabinet so the cabinet floor does not get distorted.  I taped threads into the steel roof and used flat head machine screws.  The cabinet floor is soft enough wood for the flat head to sink itself into the wood without pre-countersinking the hole.


39
Tips and Tricks / Ron Dittmer's Compilation Of Personal Tips & Tricks
« on: January 19, 2018, 08:55:49 am »
Greetings To The Phoenix Cruiser Family and To Those Considering A Phoenix Cruiser

Here is my compilation of Tips and Tricks I have written since Phoenix started the forum in early 2009.  I put this together to make it easier for myself and others to find them.  Maybe you will find some interesting and applicable to your PC or other motorhome.

Keep in-mind that my Tips and Tricks apply directly to a 2007 PC built on a 2007 Ford E350, model 2350 with no slide out.  Some will not be applicable to different models and more recent models.  Also understand that I am a miser by nature, always trying an affordable alternative to repair or improve things.  They are not necessarily the easiest method and in some cases, not the best method.  They are simply a low cost method that worked for me.

If you plan to purchase a brand new PC and you wished a new one had something I modified on my rig, ask the factory.  They can accommodate various special requests.

Ron Dittmer
--------------------------

Ron's Tips For Class C /B+ Shoppers
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,1911.0.html

How To Add A Link To A Website, In Your Post Or Reply
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2697.0.html

Improvements & Enhancements, 2007 PC-2350
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,8.0.html

Resolving An Irritating Squeak In Cabinet Above The Cab
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,3024.0.html

Doubling Drawer Storage Of Galley Base Cabinet
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,1751.0.html

So Your Ford Died And Won't Start. First Try This.
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,1141.0.html

If Struggling With Your 2350 Rear Corner Bed, Consider This
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,1695.0.html

How To Avoid Tow Vehicle Bucking
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,1697.0.html

Rear Compartment Lined With Outdoor Fabric
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2467.0.html

A Low Cost Heavy Duty Rear Sway Bar For The Do-It-Yourself-er
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,155.0.html

Evaluation Of Tire Gauges For Accurate Readings - Reduce Risk Of A Tire Blow-Out
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2798.0.html

Solved Chronic Microwave Oven Loosening Then Rattling
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2486.0.html

Windshield & Van Door Window Sun Shades - Cheap, Effective, Easy To Use & Store
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2513.0.html

Ever Wonder What A No-Slide-Out Dinette Looks Like?
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2842.0.html

How To Determine If Your Ford Is "Keyless Entry" Ready
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,1145.0.html

More 12V Outlets For Us With The Older Ford Chassis Design
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2233.0.html

Adding Features To Our Older Style 2007 Control Panel
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2234.0.html

Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2239.0.html

What Is That Banging I've Been Tollerating For The Past 3 Years?
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,232.0.html

Need The Strength Of "THE HULK" To Work Your Shower Head? If So, Read This.
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2241.0.html

Does Your A/C Unit Run Exceptionally Noisy? If So, Read This
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2570.0.html

On-Vehicle Tire Repair
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,1038.0.html

An Affordable Roof Vent Cover For People On A Budget
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2939.0.html

Is Your Hot Water Not Working On 110V? If So, Read This
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,92.0.html

Hand-Held Bug Zapper, Fun & Effective
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,1850.0.html

Tuning-Up Your Heavy Duty Stabilizer Bars
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2991.0.html

Converting Interior Lighting To Low Power Warm LED Lighting, Very Affordable
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2186.0.html

Reinforcing Your Norcold Fridge Door Hinges
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2187.0.html

Those Two Screws In The Middle Of The Entry Door Threshold
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,77.0.html

How To Test Your Suspension. Does It Need Heavy Duty This & That?
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2094.0.html

When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Roof A/C Cover?
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2932.0.html

Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2092.0.html

Ford Engine Power-Robbing Assembly Mistake, Easy For Anyone To Check For
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2931.0.html

Putting Up Awning While In A Real Bad Storm
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,615.0.html

Low Cost Macerator Pump Replacement (Saved A Pile Of Money)
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2086.0.html

Tip On Battery Care
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,1433.0.html

Conserving Battery Reserves Without Shore Power
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,73.0.html

Repairing Older Kitchen Faucet, Leaks Under Handle When Water Is On
http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php/topic,2906.0.html

Adding Storage Tube For Backup Manual Sewer Dumping
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3332.0

Stabilizing Dinette Table (Table With Two Poles)
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3365.msg28453#msg28453

Adding A Kitchen Towel Rack
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3379.0

So You Are Thinking Of Buying A Motor Home
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3555.0

Replacing Shock Absorbers That Failed And Why
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3580.msg30529#msg30529

Fresh Water Accumulator Tank Benefits and Installation
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3592.msg30812#msg30812

Affordable Replacement Mattress, Made To Any Size And Shape
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3796.0

Installing Softer Front Springs For A More Comfortable Ride
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=4168.0

Added A Propane Tank Shield From Rear Tire Splash.
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=4422.new#new

40
Tips and Tricks / Tuning-Up Your Heavy Duty Stabilizer Bars
« on: December 03, 2017, 08:35:40 am »
I had a rattle in my front suspension for a few years now.  This year it had gotten worse.  Yesterday while putting my rig away for the season, I decided to take a serious look at what might be the issue.  It turned out that my front heavy duty Roadmaster stabilizer bar two end-links had become loose.  There is a U-shaped bracket used like a washer, on the bottom of the end-links that was rattling against the lower connecting bracket.  Tightening the top and bottom end-link nuts, tightened the bushings snug again and I consider the problem solved.  I did not test drive our rig afterward.  I'll find out next year if that eliminated the rattle noise, but I am confident it did.  Rattling or not, there should never be any play in the end links.  I consider the process a stabilizer tune-up because loose end links render the bar less effective.  In the spring, I'll be checking my rear bar for the same.

This picture shows the end links.  They are the vertical bars with a curvature to them with blue bushings top and bottom.  You can see the black U-shape bracket working like a washer, on the bottom of the end links that made the noise.  That black metal bracket/washer was loose and rattling against the shinny bottom metal bracket.  Both top and bottom nuts needed tightening for proper adjustment.  While tightening, I made sure the curvature of the end link curves away from the adjacent steering linkage.  Because my end links were loose, the vertical bars spun freely leaving me to wonder if they occasionally made contact with the steering linkage.


Here you can see the U-shape washer at nearly 90 degrees from the previous picture




You can inspect your Roadmaster front stabilizer bar in just a few seconds.  Get under the front of your RV and make sure the end links curve away from the steering linkage, curving rearward.  Also grab the black U-shaped bracket washer and see if it moves freely.  If either are not right, you have some simple work to do.

41
Hi All,

Our wooden board flip-up counter by the entry door is still in good condition, but Irene always gives me grief over placing hot items on it and water when I do the dishes.  I am thinking of ordering a Corian flip-up counter.  To you who have them, would you please post pictures of yours?  I wonder about the material thickness, the finished edging, and how it attaches to the hinges from behind.

Ron Dittmer

42
Tips and Tricks / An Affordable Roof Vent Cover For People On A Budget
« on: October 14, 2017, 07:59:44 am »
Our 2007 Phoenix Cruiser has two power roof vents, a generic version in the bathroom and a Fantastic in the bedroom.  Outside on the roof they are very similar in size & shape, and how they open.

I wanted rain-&-wind covers for them but didn't want to spend a fortune.  I found the Aero-Flo product sold at Walmart HERE for an affordable $19.69 plus sales tax.  I bought one on-line and had it shipped to my local Walmart to save around $7 in shipping costs.  The unit installed extremely easy.  Tools needed was a drill with a specific bit size and a screw driver.  NO holes go into the roof, only in the side of the raised frame of the vent cover which was important to me.

I installed the Aero-Flo over our bedroom Fantastic fan.  During our last RV trip, I was impressed with how good it works so I just bought a second one for the bathroom vent and will have it installed prior to our next big trip.

One thing important to me is for the vent to sit lower than the a/c unit (which it does) because the a/c unit just clears our garage door opening.

For you on a budget, the Aero-Flo is a great solution for a roof vent cover.

I also need to mention that opening the roof vent tight to the Aero-Flo cover, eliminates the noise of the cover clanking in the wind.  With the roof vent half open, it might also eliminate the noise but I always opened the vent to contact the under-side of the Aero-Flo.

43
Tips and Tricks / When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Roof A/C Cover?
« on: October 09, 2017, 07:05:36 am »
I was on the roof cleaning our PC from our recent trip out west.  When washing the Dometic a/c unit, I noticed one of the 4 special screws that mount the cover was missing.  The other 3 needed a bit more tightening.

I advise to check them once a year or two depending on how much you use your PC and a/c unit.  I assume they work them self loose from the vibration.

These are the special screws, but my a/c unit requires only 4 of them.
Camping World sells them HERE.  Part number of a pack of 8 as pictured is 3310724.004
Price including shipping for me was $12.27

44
There is one thing you will want to check for on your E350 or E450, something that will rob power and reduce your fuel economy.  It is a very easy mistake for a mechanic to reassemble incorrectly, and it is very easy for you to inspect for.

Make sure the large black flat engine air inlet piece is assembled over the radiator properly.  It is the piece that the oval air inlet from the air filter snaps into.  In cleaning out a dead bird from my a/c condenser, I had to remove that large black plastic piece, held in with 4 plastic push-pins.  If the back-side hidden hinged plastic part is positioned incorrectly when installing it, air through the air filter to the engine's throttle body is severely restricted.

There was a recall around 2010 concerning that piece.  Apparently a Ford line worker misunderstood it too.  I can easily see a good mechanic making the same mistake.  I almost did it myself had I not previously known of the problem.

To check is extremely easy, takes all of about 5 seconds.  Just grab the oval engine air inlet to the air filter, give a jerk upward to unsnap it and continue pivoting upward.  Then look in the hole it was snapped into.  If you see a black plastic obstruction, you need to take that large piece out and swing the hinged plastic piece on the back side of it in the opposite direction, then reassemble.

45
Adventure Anywhere / Trip To Arches, Canyonlands, & Zion National Parks
« on: October 01, 2017, 10:48:45 pm »
Hi my PC family,

We just got back home this weekend.  Our 2007-E350 2350 PC worked like a champ as usual.  One thing done wrong once before and I did it again during this trip was over-filling the gas tank to the point the check engine light went on.  After a few hundred miles of driving, the CE light went out and all was perfect again.  Our 3 year old pair of 6V AGM batteries continued to perform perfectly.  With 2 previous pairs of 12V batteries in the past, year number 3 would have been problematic.  I had installed a volt meter in our stove hood monitor panel which helped immensely to monitor battery health better.

This trip driving down hill on I-70 through the Rockies with our Jeep Liberty in-tow, I kept the transmission in gear #1 and let the engine rev up to 5500 rpm.  It was a very comfortable but loud experience, rolling down with flashers on just like the trucks.  I never had to use the brakes.

As far as our destinations were concerned, the 3 main parks visited were on my top 10 places to go to.  I am fascinated by God's engineering of his creative arches.  I love walking through each one I can.  Irene's 2006 Jeep Liberty was tested to it's limit at Arches NP driving the more primitive road to Tower Arch.  We had to turn back when the rock steps got too tall for the tires and vehicle clearance.

But the Liberty did great on Shaffer's Trail to Potash (also Muzzelman Arch) in Canyonlands NP and also did great through all of Long Canyon (in both directions) located near Dead Horse State Park.

In Zion NP we hiked up to Angel's Landing again (20 years since the previous time) which we wonder might be the last time for us.  At 59 years old we did fine but wonder if returning in another 10 years or so if we will be able to handle it then.

Our drive home from Zion, we took a scenic route stopping in at Bryce NP, Escalante Grand Staircase NM, and Capital Reef NP.  I think it was the first time ever that we were in 4 national parks and monuments in a single day.

Something we never did before on any trip previously taken, we never stepped into a store to buy food or other supplies with one exception, buying fruit along a roadside one time.  We enjoyed restaurants as we always did in the past, but at our destination camp sites, we managed to work with what we brought from home.

With a 2 year old grand daughter, Irene had to control me a little bit at visitor center gift shops.  I must want her to be a park ranger or something.

After 3 days on the road, it's good to be back home.  The worst job at home is getting all the bug juice off the PC.  Driving later that first night home from Hanksville UT north to I-70, a bird didn't make it and vaporized against the E350's A/C condenser.  At home, it took me some time to clean that up right.

Maybe I will will get around to posting a few pics of the trip, but it will be some time given Irene's S7 phone has nearly all the pics.  I was the videographer with my S5.

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