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Messages - Ron Dittmer

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Tips and Tricks / Conserving Battery Reserves Without Shore Power
« on: September 29, 2009, 02:36:12 pm »
We just returned from a 3 week vacation.  We had plug-in power for only 2 of the 22 nights.  We hardly drove our PC once at our destinations so the Ford V10 engine didn't do much charging of the coach batteries.  We ran the generator about 2 hours every-other evening, using a Black & Decker 40/20/10/4 amp smart charger, on the 40 amp setting.  I did have to add distilled water to the batteries midway through the trip and again after we got home.

Here is the Black & Decker 40 AMP smart charger in action during the 2 hour generator run times.  The read-out in the picture states 11.7 AMPS at the time.  It provides 40 amps compared to the 20 amp output of the inverter which reduces our generator run times dramatically.  The Black & Decker smart charger was bought at Wal-Mart for $94.

During our trip this month, I see I have a 3rd screw with the same demema.  It wasn't there before.  Standing outside looking in, it is the bottom-left screw on the side wall.  I wonder if the screws are actually shearing off with vibration as they appear to have the tips cut-off.

I will be locating high strength hardened steel screrws for all replacements.  Hopefully they will be strong enough for the application.

Tips and Tricks / Re: looking for dry camping electrical tips
« on: September 05, 2009, 08:20:25 am »
Hi Irv, (charpdotirv)

You will be "Very" interested in this as it specifically resolves 100% of the trouble we both have, with great ease too.
Click Here---> http://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=73.0

General Discussion / Re: Customer Service
« on: September 02, 2009, 06:30:58 am »
Many of us have similar stories.  It is obvious, Kermit cares about the people who put their trust in and invested in his products.  You would never get that kind of care from a stock owned company.

I didn't realize how good of a decision we made in purchasing our 2007 2350, until after we brought it home.

My main entry door threshold had two white painted screws that didn't screw into anything.  They just sat in the holes.  Does anyone else have the same?

I pulled them out and felt inside with an awl, trying to locate the solid material they were supposed to screw into.  I had no luck, so I got my drill out to drill holes into that material 1/2" below.  To my surprise it was solid steel.  I kept drilling until I got through it, which wasn't bad.  I got out my tap and die set, cut threads in the holes, and screwed new strong machine screws in those two threaded holes.  Now the base of the door frame is solid with the RV frame.

Tips and Tricks / Conserving Battery Reserves Without Shore Power
« on: August 22, 2009, 11:17:26 pm »
This article pertains specifically to the earlier model year Phoenix Cruisers that have the Tripp-Lite brand inverter installed.  This may or may not apply to the newer models with the Xantrex inverter.

Historically we had a lack of battery power with our 2007-2350 when camping without 110V hook-up.  Because we camp without 110V most of the time, this becomes a regular problem.  I experimented on weekend get-aways this year with the power inverter, soon realizing a significant improvement in battery reserves by keeping the inverter powered off except when needed.  I did so using the little switch on the inverter itself, not using the control panel.

I later discussed this with Kermit of Phoenix USA.  He educated me on the Tripp-Lite power inverter.  He said it uses 12 amps when sitting idle.  It is not an issue if you drive the RV, then plug into 110v when at your destination, as most people do.  But if you stay in a primitive campground without 110v hookup, you need to make a simple modification.

On the black Tripp-Lite control panel, plugged into the side of it, is a head phones style jack.  Simply unplug it.  Doing that disables the auto-on feature, utilized by the kill-all/power-up switch at the RV's entry door.  The inverter is then controlled exclusively at the Tripp-Lite control panel.  At that panel, when switched to Auto-Invert, the inverter is ready to generate 110v on demand.  In that mode, the inverter is consuming 12 amps.  When switched to Line/Charge Only, the inverter is off so you loose your 110v, but the batteries would still get charged if plugged into 110v or when the generator is running.  In Line/Charge Only mode, you have stopped that 12 amp battery drain.

Regardless if the head phone plug is in or out, your batteries will always get charged when driving the motor home.

On our 2007 2350, you can unplug that connector by simply reaching up behind it from below through the cabinet door underneath it, unplug it from the right side.  The other connector, a telephone style plug facing down, must be left plugged in.  If you can't get to your plug that way, just remove the 4 front panel screws to pull the panel forward, which is easy enough.

Now we leave the Tripp-Lite control panel to Line/Charge Only (inverter is then off) except when we want to use a 110v appliance.  That saves the batteries.  We are now able to camp without hook-ups for an extended period of time.


-----ADDED IN JUNE 2021-----

It seems appropriate to mention other "reasonable" changes I made to our 2007 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 over the years to further improve "battery reserve power" by a significant amount.  Newer Phoenix Cruisers already have some of these implemented.

1) Converted all interior florescent and incandescent light fixtures to LED.
CLICK HERE for the details with pictures.

2) Replaced the two 12V wet acid batteries, with two 6V AGM batteries.
CLICK HERE for the details with pictures.

3) Added a simple volt meter to be more mindful of "battery health".
CLICK HERE for the details with pictures.

Hi Blair,

Just like you did in May, we are leaving next month in September on a 3 week trip through the national parks of southern Utah in our 2007 model 2350, E350-V10.  We too ordered ours without a slide and we really like it better.  The weight savings is not the only benefit about it.  And like you say, there is still plenty of room to get around, being just the two of us.  Even though the 2350 can be driven around, we tow a small car, a Toyota MR2 Spyder, which makes our park visit sight-seeing excursions extra exciting with the top down.

I hope to take some pictures of our Cruiser in front of beautiful park features and post them, but taking the car around will reduce such opportunities.  We will see what I can do.

Thanks for sharing!

BTW: We averaged 10mpg over a 5000 mile vacation of all around driving, towing the car, doing 5mph over posted speed limits for towing.  That varies from 60 to 75 mph on the open road.  I don't know what my mpg is on the open road alone, but guessing around 12mpg.

General Discussion / Re: Lack of info
« on: August 19, 2009, 11:53:13 am »
The drain plug for the hot water heater is 15/16.  I added that socket to my cheap $20 socket set which stays in the RV.

Tips and Tricks / Re: Tips for water heater woes
« on: August 17, 2009, 11:52:05 pm »
You might want to try cleaning the contacts then using a little Vasoline on them.  It will prevent reoccuring oxidation.  I use clear silicone brake caliper grease because I have it handy, but Vasoline will last a while.

I never did that on the hot water heater, but I better do it soon.  That is good information.


General Discussion / Re: Towing Vehicles (was Introduce Yourself)
« on: August 14, 2009, 02:52:01 pm »
We tow this Toyota MR2 Spyder
with our 2007-2350 with no secondary breaking.  A 4000 pound van is twice that weight.  The 5000 pound hitch with secondary braking should be just fine as long as the weight of the motor home and van combined does not exceed the Grose Combined Weight Rating, GCWR.  Be sure not to treat the van like a box trailer either or you will over-load it.http://

General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself!
« on: August 14, 2009, 02:35:13 pm »
 I think I have the credentials through ownership to make a statement that this one is as good as it gets.  Hope it stays that way.

I like the unit, alot.  Good to be here.

L. G.  

Hey there LG.

What model year is your 2700?

For what it is worth, I think the PC is built much better than other motor homes in the same price range.  If you want better yet, you'd have to spend twice as much.  Cruisers are a great value.

I put together a nice long post in the Tips and Tricks section with lots of pictures.  You might find some ideas applicable to your needs and preferences.

Welcome Aboard!

It is in this initial post, described in the 4th paragraph, but someone else.


General Discussion / Re: Question from New Member
« on: June 16, 2009, 04:49:44 pm »
I think the installation will be fairly simple.

1) Yank a little more on the head unit (the am/fm/dvd/cd player) above the barrel chair.  It is held with velcro alone.  Just be sure there is a good amount of slack on the wiring that enters that cubbie hole from the cabinet to it's left.

2) Once it starts to come out, continue to feed the wiring from the cabinet.  It's real easy from that point.

3) When wiring up the digital tuner, just follow the instructions that came with it.  It is extremely simple as you will reuse the wiring related to the TV.  There is no need to get behind the TV.  All changes in wiring is done by the head unit.

You will have to mount the tuner in plain sight, so it's remote control will work when you point at it.  That means the tuner will need to be mounted under the head unit's cabinet like a hanging can opener at home.  Generic brackets could be made or found at a hardware store.  If you don't know what to ask for, just tell your helpful hardware man what you are trying to accomplish.  Bring the tuner with you.  Once mounted, you will need to drill a hole in the floor of the cabinet for the tuner wiring to pass through to the head unit and TV.  Drill the hole far enough back so the wires enter behind the head unit, not under it.

Imagine the digital tuner mounted to the underside of the cabinet, with the wires going back, then up inside to the head unit.

I contacted him by email and it was like he never heard of it ...then finally after several tries said it' s a factory modification.I won't bother him again.
Don told me he had a special order request once for a single cab-over bed, and he worked it out with the factory.  I guess that is what he meant by "It's a factory modification".

Maybe he thought you were asking him to modify a unit you already had.  I can't imagine doing a conversion after the fact.  The cab's roof is cut out during construction for easy pass through.  Reconstructing an existing PC for a cab-over bed would require a lot of messing around, but easy to accomodate during the birth of the RV.

As some of you know, my wife and I are not "Slide" people.  But putting that aside, I really think Phoenix USA did "Real Good" making a bigger slide to open up the living area better.  If I wanted a slide, that one would surely rule over the older design.

Nice work!  Wait....... let me take advantage of some animation here... 2o2 (nod) ;) :-D :) (cheer) 2o2

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