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Introduce Yourself!

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Paul/Marilyn

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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 07/12
  • Model: 2100
  • ModelYear: 2013
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Sterling
  • ExtColor: Standard
  • Location: Benbrook, Texas
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #210 on: February 09, 2012, 11:33:20 am »
I finally did it. Posted it successfully! Hurrah. !:)! !:)!
   ...as I was saying...we're Lance owners (without slide-out) on a Dodge truck like you are. Hope you've enjoyed your Lance as much as we have. We've driven it all over the US and parts of Canada but decided last summer in New Mexico and Colorado (favorite places of ours) that we need a change. Found the PC in an ad, went to the web-site and fell in love with the PC. We're interested in a 2100 with slide-out. Are planning a trip to Elkhart in the spring to look at them and visit with the folks there.
   We envy your trip to Alaska. We'd love to but probably won't try that. Of course we can't advise you on going all the places you want to in the PC but the folks on this forum will be a great help there.
   Good luck

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Ron Dittmer

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  • Ron and Irene
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    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: N/E Illinois
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #211 on: February 09, 2012, 12:53:59 pm »
Hi Paul & Marilyn,

About model 2100.....
I wonder if the slideout PC-USA shows on their website is not accurate.  For all other models, in recent years the fridge has been included in the slideout which is very nice as it opens up the interior much better.  You might want to ask about that.

Another thought.......
I've always wondered if model 2100 on the E350 chassis would be better off with Ford's V8 engine instead of the V10, solely for improved fuel economy.  The V10 is used in the largest of gasoline powered motor homes which seems to be over-kill for such a tiny 21 foot motor home.  These days with the price of gas, fuel economy is very important.  The factory can easily order a fresh Ford E350 chassis with the V8 engine.  It appears to save roughly $1,200 in the purchase price as well.  See below.

We own a 2007 model 2350 with V10 engine.  We average 9.2 mpg when towing our Jeep Liberty and 10.2 when not towing anything.  The V10 is nice when towing, but way more than enough when not.  If you plan to tow all the time, I would stay with the stock V10, but if you tow seldomly or not at all, then I would look into the V8 engine.  If it increased your fuel economy by only 10%, that would make a big difference.  But I would hope you would get at least 15% better fuel economy, getting you very close to 12mpg when not towing.

Fords website here says that for the E350 chassis, the 6.8L-V10 engine is almost $1,200 more than the 5.4L-V8.  For the E450, the difference is greater yet.  I wonder why.
]http://bp3.ford.com/2012-Ford-E-SeriesCutaway/?branding=1&lang=en&type=comm#/Models/Style[BodyStyle:SEXRCD]
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 01:01:12 pm by ron.dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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TomHanlon

Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #212 on: February 09, 2012, 03:34:47 pm »
Ron,

How would the refer fit into the slide out? It is on the other side of the coach. You would have to remove the wardrobe and the bathroom sink to get it to fit. Sure one could put the wardrobe on the passengers side, but the sink is a different problem.

Also when you upgrade the engine (V8 to V10) and/or the truck (E350 to E450) you are changing more than just the engine, which one must also consider.

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Ron Dittmer

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    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: N/E Illinois
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #213 on: February 09, 2012, 07:04:35 pm »
Ron,

How would the refer fit into the slide out? It is on the other side of the coach. You would have to remove the wardrobe and the bathroom sink to get it to fit. Sure one could put the wardrobe on the passengers side, but the sink is a different problem.

Also when you upgrade the engine (V8 to V10) and/or the truck (E350 to E450) you are changing more than just the engine, which one must also consider.
Thanks for catching that Tom.  You are right about the closet being there.  I forgot about that when I was replying.  I should have stated to see if can the closet could be included in a bigger slide.  Like you say, the bathroom sink might be of concern if using the stock 2350/2551 slide.  If it doesn't work, maybe they can fab a slightly smaller slide so they can leave the sink alone.  One thing about the factory, they are up for little mods upon request, soon to offer them in the next model year.  One thing for sure, such a tiny 2100 would greatly benefit from a bigger slide out.
About the V8 versus the V10.  I think the motor home package E350 chassis may be ordered with the smaller V8, keeping everything else the same.  But maybe not.  I never tried to order one myself, but Ford's website with the "build it yourself" tool implies it can be ordered that way.  In these times with fuel economy concerns, offering such a tiny motor home with a huge slide out and smaller motor for improved fuel economy, might have it's own life in the PC lineup.  PC-USA is always doing new twists to old models, hence the birth of the 2552 for example.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 07:07:33 pm by ron.dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Paul/Marilyn

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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 07/12
  • Model: 2100
  • ModelYear: 2013
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Sterling
  • ExtColor: Standard
  • Location: Benbrook, Texas
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #214 on: February 10, 2012, 11:23:21 am »
 :)Ron (and Tom), thanks a lot for your input on the 2100. We've got a lot of things to sort out before we make our decision and the experiences of you long-time Cruiser owners is invaluable. We do plan to tow a dinghy so we have to keep that in mind. We'll keep reading the Forum posts, and of course we can hardly wait to get up to Elkhart to see the models and talk to Stuart and the team. We've already started a list of wants and don't wants.
Paul & Marilyn

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Ron Dittmer

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  • Ron and Irene
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    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: N/E Illinois
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #215 on: February 10, 2012, 12:33:51 pm »
After my last reply, I was inspired to ask Kermit why the 2100 did not get a bigger slide out as the other models did.  It turns out there is good reason, consideration of the wheel well there.  Extending the slide farther back up to the bathroom will have all that extra slide weight cantelievered over one track.  It has to do with long term reliability.  So the 2100 won't be getting a bigger slide.

About the V8 versus the V10, it sure is nice to tow another vehicle with the V10, so I agree with you on ruling out the V8.

There are so many nice options and extras offered for PC's.  You'll enjoy your visit there, evaluating what is worth investing in.  But beware, you just might find yourself selecting a bigger rig.   :lol
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 12:35:54 pm by ron.dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Barry-Sue

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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 10/17/11
  • Model: 2551
  • ModelYear: 2012
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Cherry
  • ExtColor: Classic Umber
  • Location: Michigan
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #216 on: February 15, 2012, 10:09:30 am »
Paul and Marilyn
    Welcome to the forum.  If you decide on a Phoenix Cruiser you will really like it.  We are on our second in three years.  We started with a 2350 and now have a 2551.  We use ours for extensive travel in the summer and 3-4 months living in the winter months.  We are now into our 8th week down in Florida and are finding the 2551 to be just the right size for us.  Numerous storage and very easy living in a smaller unit.  Since we tow a car we find the PC to be very easy to use to go from one site to another and then use the toad for everyday site seeing.  The 2551 is actually easier to drive than the 2350.  And we have not made any changes to it-we do plan on changing to the Bilstein shocks once we get home and get the front end aligned.  But other than that it handles like a dream!
    Not to overwelm you but we thought we would list some of our changes to the stock unit for your consideration.
1.   Fully body paint - had it and still wanted it.  Our 2350 (brown in color with cherry cabinets) looked better then new when we sold it.  We choose the Classic Umbre with cherry for the 2551.
2.   Leveling jacks - had them and loved them so ordered again.
3.   Premium Convenience package - had and kept it in the new one.
4.   Insulated Glass - had it and loved it so ordered again.
5.   Slide out - had it and loved it so ordered again.
6.   Leather captain chairs - had it and loved it so ordered again.
7.   Window treatmeants - we had all the window treatments the same in the 2350 so kept them that way for the 2551.  In other words they all look like the valence above the sofa/dinette.
8.   No carpet - didn't have it in the 2350 and didn't order it in the 2551. Very easy to wash rugs or buy new ones.
9.   No table hardward installed on floor - We use the spider legs provided by PC.
10. No coffee pot - didn't have it and didn't miss it.
11. No ladder or roof rack - never used it and like the look without.  It would fit in the garage either way. 
12.  No hooks or hangers installed in rear storage compartment - we wanted to organize it ourselves. 
13.  No mirror by stove
14.  Driver seat swivel - we had the power seat on the 2350 and never used it so we opted to have the driver seat swivel instead.  Gives us that fourth seat we need when we have visitors. 
15.  Access doors under driver side bed
16.  Adjustable shelf in cabinets
17.  No outside shower - never used it on the 2350 except to winterize it and we don't miss it on the 2551.  Why have the opening in the side wall when it isn't needed.
18.  Reversed hinges on passenger side shirt closet so to have easier access for kitchen items.
19.  Motion light on outside.
20.  Max air fan in bedroom area in place of fantastic fan.
21.  Didn't mount fire extinguisher
22.  Did not install shower head holder so we could install them per our height.
23.  Ordered larger cabinets above the winged areas.
24.  We have a driver side flip table like the passenger side table since our drivers seat swivels.
25.  Added a 12 volt plug in bathroom for any 12 volt bath items.
26.  No TV - we installed our own TV on an extendable swivel mount.  It is fantastic and gives us a great viewing angle anywhere we sit.
 
Barry and Sue 
Current   2012 2551 w/Slide
Previous 2008 2350 w/Slide

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Ron Dittmer

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  • Ron and Irene
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    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: N/E Illinois
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #217 on: February 15, 2012, 11:50:40 am »
We have an older 2007 2350 model.  Like Barry-Sue says, the handling of the 2350 is typically poor right from the factory.  I would imagine the 2100 would have similar handling concerns.  There are a couple factors as to why.

1) - The distance between front and rear wheels called the wheel base is too little when considering the large amount of house over-hanging behind the rear wheels.
2) - The 2100 and 2350 are built on the lighter duty E350.  The 2551 and larger PCs are built on the E450 that has a heavier duty suspension.

I would not let these comments discourage you from considering a 2100 or 2350.  Just be aware of this.  If you find the handling acceptable, then there is nothing more to do.  If it handles too poorly for comfort, then consider investing in a few suspension upgrades.

I hate to share what we had done because it scares people.  We went all-out doing everything that came recommended by our local motor home suspension shop.  Since we had the work done, our 2350 handles nice and tight, firmly planted on the road like an SUV, instead of a drunken sailer.  And the ride is not harsh either.  We love it for both comfort and safety.  My thinking is that if it prevents just one accident, it paid for itself at least 100 fold in saving the PC, the tow vehicle, us the occupants, and anyone else around us who might be involved.

Here are the details on what we had the shop do for us.

1) - Added a heavy duty rear sway bar.
       E350s made prior to 2008 did not come with any kind of rear sway bar.
2) - Replaced the front sway bar with a heavy duty bar.
      The Ford stock bar is the same one used in the light duty E150
3) - Replaced the 4 Ford shocks with Koni-RV adjustable shocks, set to the stiffest of the 3 settings
      Today I recommend Koni-FSDs, offered only through Henderson Line-Up.
      The FSD shocks are designed for class-A and Super-C motor homes.
      I understand Henderson replaces the 3/4" mounting bushing in each shock with a 5/8" to fit an E350/E450
      The stock Ford shocks are the same used on an E250 van.
4) - Replaced the front steering stabilizer with a heavy duty one
      The stock Ford one is the same used on an E150 van
5) - Added a rear Trac bar.
      This eliminates horizonal side-to-side motion of the rear end, referred to as tail wagging
      Especially benefitial when towing.
6) - A front wheel alignment
      The camber was so far out of whack that the shop used special off-set bushings to correct it
      Such bushing kits are available as this is a very common problem with many brand motor homes.

We had our local shop order and install everything which was not the cheapest way of handling this.  It cost us $3900 but worth every penny. Since the work was done in late mid 2007, we can take on hair-pin turns on scenic byways with the greatest of confidence keeping all 6 tires firmly planted on the road for good control and braking while in the turns.  The rig hardly leans in the turns.  Also on the open road when semi-trucks pass and when gusting cross winds are present, driving is still a casual one hand-on-the-wheel experience.  Driver fatique is greatly reduced which is another comfort and safety factor.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 12:40:26 pm by ron.dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Paul/Marilyn

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  • 92
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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 07/12
  • Model: 2100
  • ModelYear: 2013
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Sterling
  • ExtColor: Standard
  • Location: Benbrook, Texas
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #218 on: February 15, 2012, 12:39:23 pm »
Thanks, Barry-Sue for sending your list of wants and don't wants. We'll print it and use it for helping us make decisions. Several things we hadn't thought about before, e.g. no outside shower. On the Lance I think we've used it maybe twice in the 12 years we've had it. Once on our first trip out, going to Disney World with our daughter's family (they drove their own car). We stopped somewhere on the Florida beach (beautiful!) and the kids played in the sand. Washed them off with the outside hose. Maybe used it one other time so obviously we don't really need it very badly.

The long list brings up a question. How does Cruiser come up with a cost of adding things and/or crediting things you don't want. We've wondered about that. Surely they don't just do it all out of the goodness of their heart, although their heart sounds pretty generous with help!

Thanks again. We'll probably be back to you asking other questions.
Marilyn & Paul  :)

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Paul/Marilyn

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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 07/12
  • Model: 2100
  • ModelYear: 2013
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Sterling
  • ExtColor: Standard
  • Location: Benbrook, Texas
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #219 on: February 15, 2012, 12:53:30 pm »
Ron, I think we've already printed out a list of your suggestions on getting a smooth ride! They all sound helpful. Thanks very much. Think we'll go ahead and get our new Cruiser (assuming all goes well!) and then decide which additions/corrections to make, realizing we'll probably need to make some. Several posts seem to indicate we will.

More than likely we'll stick with the 2100. The older we get the less we want to drive around anything much larger...but you never know. When we see the others we may get hooked.

We've printed all the photos of your changes and love them. Of course that doesn't mean we'll do them since we're not the carpenter you are. Very nice work. Oh, yes, one question. What are the dimensions of the cabinets next to the TV. We're interested in carrying a small printer and wanted to know if the one we're looking at will fit there.
Thanks again,
Marilyn & Paul  :)

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Ron Dittmer

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    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: N/E Illinois
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #220 on: February 15, 2012, 12:57:34 pm »
We too have the Thermal Pane Windows.  They are a noticable contribution in comfort for both temperature and reducing outside noises.

About the roof rack and ladder, I asked they give them to me in parts, not mounted to the PC.  5 years later and I am still very happy with that decision.  The ladder and rack are stored at home just in case I ever change my mind.  I project I may sell them to another PC owner one day, after their old ladder weathered badly and they can't stand looking at it any longer.  The rack and ladder add numerous screw holes in the roof and rear wall with caulk to seal them....let's just say, it ain't pretty.  But other PC owners love them.  Barry-Sue and us are in the minority.

One thing I regret getting with ours, is the roof-top Winegard antenna.  It worked fine for the first year.  But after analog signaling was terminated throughout the country, we have never been successful in utilizing it.  Now it just sits up top with lots of caulk and holes in our B+ areo cap.  :'(

I too installed our own TV's front and back, simply to save money and get bigger TV's as well.  Back in 2007 the front TV from PC-USA was 20", I installed a 26".  Our bedroom TV is a 19" widescreen with integrated DVD player.  The savings was huge and the TVs were better.  But I admit that it took much research to get a TV that fit and worked right, and the front installation was a challenge for me.  It's not a project for everyone.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 01:09:17 pm by ron.dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Ron Dittmer

  • *******
  • 5184
  • Ron and Irene
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    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: N/E Illinois
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #221 on: February 15, 2012, 01:06:49 pm »
What are the dimensions of the cabinets next to the TV. We're interested in carrying a small printer and wanted to know if the one we're looking at will fit there.
They are odd shaped cabinets.  The back wall is not parallel to the front, and curves inward.  I also suspect the interior space varies slightly from one rig to another.  I advise not to buy anything until after your rig is in your possesion.  Drive your PC to the store and ask the store clerk if you can take the display printer to your rig to see if it fits right.  They are usually fine with that when leaving your driver's license at the customer service counter.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 01:11:22 pm by ron.dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Barry-Sue

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  • 1150
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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 10/17/11
  • Model: 2551
  • ModelYear: 2012
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Cherry
  • ExtColor: Classic Umber
  • Location: Michigan
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #222 on: February 15, 2012, 03:13:11 pm »
Paul and Marilyn,

We agree with you - do not make any changes to your ride until you drive it.  On our 2350 we only changed the shocks and added a rear trac bar and the drivability was beautiful.  Don't forget, Ford made some changes from the 2007 to 2008 model year and for us the 2008 drove very well except for the rear tracking.  We spent considerably less than Ron and had a very good ride.  The new owner thinks it drives great as well.
Barry and Sue 
Current   2012 2551 w/Slide
Previous 2008 2350 w/Slide

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Ron Dittmer

  • *******
  • 5184
  • Ron and Irene
    • View Profile
    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: N/E Illinois
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #223 on: February 15, 2012, 03:38:13 pm »
Yes Barry-Sue.  Good that you emphasised the 2008-2012 E350 suspension was improved over the 2007 E350.  I would not jump into any kind of action with the suspension until after you have driven a few hundred miles in each direction for a weekend get-away.  Experience how your rig handles under various conditions.

The only "Absolute" I strongly advise to do after the first 1000 miles, but not before the 2000 mile mark, is getting a front wheel alignment.  Have it loaded just as you would when pulling away from your house, when leaving for a trip.  Fill the gas tank, fill up the fresh water tank, have non-perishable drinks in the fridge like bottled water, pots & pans and all other stuff in-place, and be sure the waste tanks are empty.  You want the rig's load distributed as it would be when on the open road because the load and how it is distributed affects the wheel alignment.  If you want improved accuracy on load simulation, stack weights just behind the driver and passenger seats to simulate two people sitting in them.   I sort-of did that with a weight set I had.  I did not have enough weight but placed what I had available just behind those two seats.
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Frank

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  • CHEERS 2008 2551 (Yooper Kermit)
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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: April 2012
  • Model: 2551
  • ModelYear: 2012
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: green
  • ExtColor: green
  • Location: U.P. Michigan
Re: Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #224 on: February 15, 2012, 04:33:52 pm »
We also opted out of ladder, roof rack & outside shower when ordering our new 2551.
Would like to have had swivel drivers chair, however my under 5' bride requiers the 6 way.
In any event, Having camped over 60 years in all styles of RVs, you will enjoy the unit
as we have in order to have our second PC.
Frank & Dee  CHEERS!!