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Topics - Ron Dittmer

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Hi everyone,

Our 2007 2350 cut-corner standard soft foam mattress is done.  It is high around the edges, compressed where we sleep.  We'd like something more firm and even a little thinner if possible for more room over the bed.  We are considering memory foam because works well in our dinette.

What is Phoenix installing these days?  What mattress material do you have and how do you like it?

I appreciate your input and experiences with your Phoenix mattress and other RV mattress suppliers.

Ron Dittmer

Our 10 year old single handle kitchen faucet leaked a little for a few years, right below the handle, but only when running the water.  This year it was a lot worse.  I took the unit apart thinking there was a cartridge to replace, but that was not the case.  So I removed what was there and soaked them in CLR, reassembled, and the leak is gone.  Here is the process, very easy to do.

Tools required....
- pliers
- 3mm allen wrench
- a socket that just fits through the white domed ring (actual size is not of concern)

Remove the handle with the 3mm allen wrench as shown above.

Using your hands alone, unscrew the white metal dome.  If it does not turn by hand, use a socket as large as will fit inside the top and press down hard on the white washer while loosening to relieve the pressure to allow you to loosen it.

Use the pliers, grab the steel stem, and lift out the valve.  A little force is required.

Now you have these items.

Soak the steel ball with stem, black rubber washer, and white plastic washer in CLR for an hour to remove all corrosion.

After they are clean, insert the metal ball making sure the tiny stem on the brass piece goes into the slot in the ball as shown.

Place the black rubber washer over the ball as shown.

Place the white plastic washer aligning the key'd-feature as shown.

Next, slip the socket through the domed white ring and set on top of the assembly as shown.

With the palm of one hand, press down on the assembly inside.  It will feel like a strong spring.  You are compressing the rubber washer and plastic white washer down into the cavity which allows you to hand-tighten the domed white metal ring.  You "MUST" compress with one hand while tightening the white dome with your other hand.

Reassemble the handle with the 3mm allen wrench and it's all done.

Tips and Tricks / Ever Wonder What A No-Slide-Out Dinette Looks Like?
« on: July 13, 2017, 08:18:14 am »
Hi PC Community,

I get this question once in a while so I'm posting the information.
Our PC is a 2007 2350.  CLICK HERE to see many pictures.  Though our PC is a 2007 model year, our no-slide-out arrangement is about the same as a brand new one.  This applies to models 2350, 2351, 2551, 2552, and maybe even some of the longer PCs.

- 71"w x 36"d  our dinette made into a bed
- 81"w x 13"h x 15"d  the overhead cabinet above the dinette
- 88.5"  over-all interior width measured at sink/stove counter-top height from sink wall to dinette wall
- 35.5"  booth width including the padded structure around the cushions
- 28.5"  distance between padded booth structure and the edge of the galley counter top

We ordered our PC with the standard foam cloth cushions shown farther down in the photos website.  We later upgraded to the vinyl cushions with memory foam which is a bit thinner than the standard foam but is much more dense.  The difference is huge for comfort, mobility, and cleanup.  We highly recommend getting the vinyl covered memory foam cushion upgrade.  We thought the cloth would be more comfortable, but that was not the case for us.  The cloth prevented us from shifting our weight when seated and made it very hard to get in and out from the dinette.  We simply slide across on the vinyl cushions today.  The thinner & denser memory foam cushions provide more "comfort room" and is more supporting to my rump.  With the standard foam, if I didn't sit upright, my rump would bottom-out on the plywood beneath.

If special ordering a brand new PC this way, make sure our 2007 information still applies.  I believe most does.  Give the factory the link to this post for them to compare.  The cushions might have changed some.  The base cabinet doors we have are drawers now.  You can request either drawers or doors.  Drawers offer much easier access, having just doors without drawers stores much more.  We also have top access by removing the cushions.  That might be the same today, but maybe not.

Ron Dittmer

General Discussion / How Long Did You Originally Plan To Own Your PC?
« on: July 10, 2017, 07:06:38 am »
Hello PC Family,

I thought this question will spark some interesting conversation.

Question #1 - Just before buying your Phoenix Cruiser (your first PC for you on #2 or more), how long did you think it would serve you?
Question #2 - Now that you owned it a while, do you feel the same?
Question #3 - How long have you owned your PC so far?
Question #4 - If you sold your first PC, how long did you own it for?

A few people here are on their second or even third PC.  One person might be buying his fourth PC.  For those people, feel free to answer the 4 questions on each one you've owned.

As for Irene and me, our original plan was to own our PC until we are too old and dangerous to drive it.  That was 10 years ago and we are still on-track.  We both turned 59 this year so we hope we have a long way to go.  Keeping any rig that long seems achievable for us given it is garage-kept, and we've been averaging only 3500 miles a year.  I could see one day far far away selling our brick-&-mortar house of which it might be beneficial to throw our PC into the deal to get our price, given the PC fit's inside the house.....one fancy appliance included.  :)

Ron Dittmer

A tire-failure thread got me thinking about tire gauges.  Over the years I collected different tires gauges and always wondered if I could trust them.  It came recommended on another thread that the Accutire gauge is a very good one.  I've had my eye open for a good digital tire gauge, one that is easy-to-read, easy-to-use, and covers the gammet  from 5 to 150psi.  The Accutire gauge seemed to meet all my requirements so I did a quick search on Ebay and found them for under $9.00 with free shipping.  I took the plunge and bought 4 of them.

When they arrived, I collected every tire gauge I could find around the house and in my vehicles.  Here they are.

I set one of my PC tires to 50 psi because some of my tire gauges go only that high.  I learned that all 4 Accutire gauges were spot-on with each other.  My gray colored Slime digital gauge was only 0.5 psi higher so I used the Accutire as my baseline to compare all other gauges to.  I was surprised to learn that what I thought was my best gauge (the costly long handle truck gauge) was in-fact reading high by 9 psi.  That meant when using that gauge, I was putting in 9 psi less air than I thought.  No other tire gauge was off by so much.

The gauges on the left side of this picture were off from 4 to 9 psi when compared to the 4+1 digital gauges.  The ones on the right were within what I considered to be acceptable, off by less than 3 psi, some a bit high, others a bit low.

My next test was setting one PC tire to 80 psi, again using the Accutire gauge as my baseline.  The 4 Accutire gauges matched eachother at 80 psi just as they did at 50 psi, and the digital Slime gauge was 0.5 psi high just like before.  My expensive truck tire gauge read high by 7.5 psi.  I threw it away along with the others that were off by 4 psi or worse.

I opened one Accutire battery compartment to learn that it uses 3 button cell batteries as shown.  The clear label you see is easily removed.  It states something about passing frequency interference to other electronic devises.

Though accurate, my digital Slime gauge is complicated with menu features making it confusing to operate.  But it is nice to use in tight quarters.

The Accutire gauge is straight forward, very simple to operate.  It turns on while taking a reading, and turns off in 5-10 seconds after taking the reading.  They work great in the dark because the display lights up.  They are ergonomically friendly, offering just the right place for your thumb to apply pressure for a good reading.

Thank you fandj for the tip on the Accutire gauge.

Hi All,

The Dream Dinette hardware system was shared on another forum.  Has anyone here had first hand experience with one, or know someone who has one?  I'd like to hear from you.  It looks interesting enough to consider getting.  I do have one concern for it looks like it has the potential to rattle while driving, and maybe not steady enough when setup as a table.

Our dinette has the old style 2-pole system which works, but the table legs interfere with leg room and it isn't the easiest to convert from a dinette to a bed.

I would also like to read replies from people who own the current-day PC dinette hardware that has a single leg on the out edge.  Does your single-leg system rattle when you drive?

Ron Dittmer

Here is a simple example on how to add a "Clicky" orange link into a post or reply that you are writing, and how to change the name of the link in your post.  In the instructions below, I had to substitute These [ ] for these ( ) just so I could post it without it taking effect.

The example below makes an orange text "Clicky" called "HERE" to the Phoenix Cruiser main page.

- While creating a post or reply, first click in your message, where you want the link to go, so click to place your cursor in just the right place.
- Then click on the icon in the banner above the editor that has a globe and a sheet of folded paper in front of it.  It is called "Insert Hyperlink"
- It adds this text to where your cursor is in your message:   (url)(/url)
- Copy the link from the top banner:  http://www.phoenixusarv.com and paste it in between as shown to look like this: (url)http://www.phoenixusarv.com(/url)
- You can add words before and after the string of text.  Here is one example:  Check out Phoenix Cruisers by clicking (url)http://www.phoenixusarv.com(/url), then scroll down to see the different floor plans.
- Then post the message and immediately modify it to get the full messy string of text that looks like this:   (url=http://www.phoenixusarv.com)http://www.phoenixusarv.com(/url)
- Then replace the duplicated string of text to the right with what you want it to say like this:  (url=http://www.phoenixusarv.com)HERE(/url)
- Post your message again.

Your sentence will read like this:  Check out Phoenix Cruisers by clicking HERE, then scroll down to see the different floorplans.

Polls / Please Participate ONLY If You Have Ultra Leather Damage
« on: February 14, 2017, 09:15:06 am »
This pole will NOT expire.

Please participate only if your ultra-leather seating and trim surfaces are cracking or flaking away for any reason.  If your leather-like surfaces are fine or wearing naturally, please do NOT participate.

As PC owners with the problem respond, we all will get a good idea as to when the problem occurred, and if the problem has been resolved by Paul's Seating, the supplier of seats to Phoenix.

Ron Dittmer

ADDING: June 2021
It appears the break-down of the vinyl surface material is the byproduct of importing bolts of material from China which occurred since the recession of 2008/2009.  This is not limited to Phoenix Cruisers.  This is happening across the entire RV industry.  Phoenix addressed the worst of it by upgrading the human-contact surfaces on seats from vinyl to real leather called top grain leather.

Hi Everyone,

Some of us in the PC family are Christians who may find themselves alone during the Christmas holiday season, or maybe are alone in the days & weeks leading up to the big celebration day with family.  If you can relate to this, I invite you to attend my church's Christmas service "Live" on the internet by clicking HERE just prior to each time listed below.  If you click in between the listed times, you will be watching one of the earlier recorded Christmas services.

May This Christmas Season Offer A Special Blessing For All The PC Family.
Ron Dittmer

Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m.
Tuesday, December 20 at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 21 at 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 22 at 7 p.m.
Friday, December 23 at 4 & 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 24 at 12, 3, & 5:30 p.m

Hi Everyone,

Given most people here on the PC forum own newer PCs, this likely won't apply, but it could for us with older roof-top A/C units.

My brother had his old 1998 Starflyte motor home serviced to get his A/C top cover replaced.  UV damage was so bad that it broke off and shattered on the ground, fortunately while parked.  He asked the service guy if anything could be done to reduce the A/C noise.  The guy said he'd look it over.  It turned out that over the years, the hardware that holds down the A/C unit worked themselves loose.  Between the gasket shrinking some amount with age, and the mounting hardware working loose, his A/C unit vibrated excessively up there.  My brother said the noise reduction is dramatic.  He was surprised to learn of how loose the unit was, especially since he had no water coming in.  Funny that my brother thinks the A/C unit was loose the day he bought the RV used some years ago.

So if your older A/C unit runs louder than a new one, tighten up the mounting hardware.  It might solve your problem.  It might also reduce the potential of water infiltration.

Ron Dittmer

Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone here has ever serviced a waste tank valve electric actuator, opened it up, cleaned it, lubricated it, etc.

Our PC is coming up on it's 10th birthday.  This past trip I noticed that our black tank electric actuator opens the valve normal, but strains a bit to close it.  We have never pooped in the black tank but it does get toilet paper from my wife, so the valve itself should not be difficult to open and close.

My end-of-season PC prep-for-storage in our garage under our bedroom, one of the things I do is bleach both waste tanks to eliminate sewer gas.  I add about a quart of bleach to each tank and then fill them to their tippy-top capacity with water, then soak them for about an hour, then drain & refill with fresh water and soak a while, drain & refill again, then the final drain to remove any remaining bleach residue that I hear could damage the valves.  I don't believe my process is cause for the sluggish actuator, but I wanted to share my practice, just in-case you wonder about that.


Hi Everyone,

During our recent trip out to New England, we stayed a number of nights at Walmarts.  We always try to show our appreciation by buying something.  At a Walmart in Gorham, NH, the store had an end-of-season clearance on their selection of automotive pop-open sun shades.  At only $2 per set, I bought the Super Jumbo plain silver/black ones that cover the E350/E450 wind shield perfectly.  I gambled and also bought the "Universal" size which happens to work fairly well on the van door windows.  I was impressed enough to go back inside the store and buy 2 more sets of each size.  I am giving a set of each size as a Christmas present to my brother for his E350 Starflyte.  The other set is a backup for myself.

Yesterday we were home at our local Walmart near Chicago and I see they too are clearing the same pop-open sun shades for $2 per set.

These cheap pop-open sun shades are nice for quick privacy that also does a decent job at blocking the heat of the sun.  They store nicely together in either of our driver & passenger backrest pockets.  We have been using the Super Jumbo set for our PC wind shield for many years now but it is time to retire them.

I know there are better products available, but for $4 and easy storage, and my experience with them, I thought it was worth sharing this with you all.

Ron Dittmer

These are the ones for $2 per set on clearance at Walmart.  Pictured are the Super Jumbo size for the windshield.  On the back of the package, it specifically states that it fits the E-series van.  The ones for the van doors is the smaller size called Universal.  Walmart seems to sell just the two sizes so you can't get it wrong.

Hi Everyone,

This past trip to New England, we had hook-ups many times and so we took advantage of our little 110v heater with 3 heat settings of 500w, 1000w, and 1500w.  It has what looks like springs inside that heat up to make heat.  At the highest 1500w setting, the unit cycles on and off because it runs too hot.  At the 1000w setting, it runs consistently but the plug gets warm.  At the 500w setting it's all good but does not generate enough heat.  So I am looking at replacing it with something more efficient and hopefully safer.  I hear about ceramic heaters but know nothing about them.  I am hoping to find a safe compact low wattage 110v heater that makes a lot of heat.

I hope you all with experience with these things can educate me.
Ron Dittmer

Tips and Tricks / Solved Chronic Microwave Oven Loosening Then Rattling
« on: September 22, 2016, 02:43:25 pm »
After nine years, I think I resolved the loosening and then rattling the worst of the microwave oven, thanks to this idea from my cousin Richard.

I removed the six wood screws around the perimeter and pulled out the microwave oven.

I drilled the top two and middle two holes in the cabinet bigger to accept spiked "T" nuts, the kind often used in furniture, allowing me to use machine screws and lock washers to replace the four wood screws.  I replaced the bottom two wood screws with other wood screws that cosmetically match the upper four.  All hardware used as shown.

Here is one spiked "T" nut pressed into the enlarged hole from the inside of the cabinet.  The hole in the "T" nut is threaded.

I added thick felt pads on the plastic rear feet and thin felt pads on the front rubber feet as not to change the height in front.

I reinstalled the microwave and was then able to tighten down hard the top 4 screws, much tighter than before when they were wood screws.  The bottom two screws had to remain wood screws because there was no means to insert the "T" nuts.

Hopefully the worst of the rattling is eliminated.  Previously, I had to occasionally tighten up the six wood screws which helped for a while but they would loosened up again and then came the rattling.  I just could not tighten them enough without stripping them.

Thanks Richard!

Adding The Following "Not Yet Road Tested" Supplement On January 2022.

After our last trip out west, I decided to "attempt" to eliminate the last of the noise from vertical vibration/jolting of the back-side of the microwave oven.  In an attempt to snug it up, I installed two wood block spacers covered in a thick industrial padding, an effort to wedge the back of the microwave between the cabinet floor and ceiling.  I will learn during our next big trip if this modification makes an improvement.

I measured the gap between the microwave and the ceiling, then cut two blocks of wood to fill the gap.  I used 2-sided carpet tape to stabilize them, then adding a metal bracket and screw to better secure each.

In this picture, one block of wood has the pad, the other one not yet.

Adventure Anywhere / New England Fall Colors & Shores
« on: September 20, 2016, 09:12:16 am »
Hi All,

We are leaving soon on our first visit ever to New England.  We will surely visit Acadia NP, maybe Nova Scotia if time permits.  I wonder if we will arrive too soon for the fall colors of Vermont & New Hampshire given our time there will be 9/26-10/12.

I've read through member posts on the subject.  Thank you all for that.  Since we own a tow vehicle, it seems better to bring it along rather than to leave it home.  We assume the weather can get cold so we'll bring our warm hooded jackets with removable thermal liners, gloves etc.  We'll also carry a couple of large umbrellas.

As far as camping accommodations is concerned, as usual we will "wing" it without reservations for we never know where & when we will be in any one place.  Given the time of year, will this be an issue?  Will Acadia NP, state parks, and other primitive public land camp grounds be filled?  If so, can we rely on private RV parks?  Or is the color tour season inundated with people just like us?  I expect Columbus Day weekend 10/8-10/10 will surely be a crowded time.

I looked on-line for a color tour route and found THIS loop route.  If we follow it, will we get the best of fall colors in New England?

As far as shores go, other than Acadia National Park, I'd love some input on that too.

I do wonder if Nova Scotia is worth the trip.  Maybe it's best to focus on New England.

All input is welcomed.

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