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Post Pics And Stories Of Your Previous and Current RVs Here

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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
Post Pics And Stories Of Your Previous and Current RVs Here
« on: February 02, 2021, 11:21:25 pm »
I hope this will be a fun topic for all to participate in.  (cheer)
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We bought our first motor home at the age of 25, the year we became parents.  We special ordered our new Toyota/Mirage in September 1983 paying $12,225 which was about the price of a big Buick at the time.  The Mirage factory was in Elkhart about 5 miles south/west of Phoenix USA.  Mirage went out of business sometime during model year 1986.  We sold our Mirage in early 2007 on eBay for $7,600.

We ordered our Mirage stripped to the bone for affordability and simplicity.  It was extremely basic by motor home standards.  It was more like a hard shell tent with furnishings on wheels.  Even the chassis was stripped with a manual 4-speed transmission, no radio, no air conditioning....not even power steering.

Our Mirage served us well for vacations during and beyond our parenting years.  Our annual trips with our two sons sometimes included one of their aunts.  With a 2.4L-L4 carbureted engine rated at only 96hp, our little Mirage was a turtle.  It's top speed, full throttle on flat ground and no wind, was 78mph.  With the small fuel tank, we learned it was best to limit our cruising speed to 57mph.  This actually made better time than increasing our speed because we stopped much less frequently for fuel.

Our Mirage was our second vehicle during our first 7 years of ownership.  Irene changed careers from software engineering to domestic engineering when we became parents.  Our Mirage was her vehicle for meeting her transportation needs.  I used it as a delivery vehicle bringing home all kinds of bulk including all the lumber for building our deck.  During the construction of our house in 1988, our Mirage was my mobile tool shed.

For a number of years prior to 2007, we talked about replacing our Mirage with something much better.  The defining moment was in 2006 driving in 117 degree heat through South Dakota.  That was our last trip with it.

This picture was taken during our last trip with our Mirage in 2006.  CLICK HERE to see many pictures.


In May 2007, we special ordered our Phoenix Cruiser 2350 of which we still own today.  We paid $67,205 but have invested significantly more thereafter to improve our needs, comforts, and conveniences.  CLICK HERE to see many pictures.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 11:52:45 am by Ron Dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Bangorbob

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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: 6/10/20
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2008
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Slate Grey
  • ExtColor: Slate Grey
  • Location: Pahrump Nevada
Re: Post Pics And Stories Of Your Previous and Current RVs Here
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2021, 11:15:28 am »
Went from 2006 Tiffin Open Road 33ft to a 2008 PC 2350.  I guess I didn't pay attention completely.  We have had at least 7 RV's since retiring in Aug 07.  The smallest being a 21 BT Cruising.  The largest being a 38' DP.  In fact we have had a large and small at the same time.  We travel-not sit in one place for very long.  We sold the Tiffin in the picture and was never going to get another RV. Right!!!  I need a bathroom and refrig when we travel.  Anyway the PC came up for sale close to us and we snagged it.  For the way we travel, a smaller one fits our needs.  If I want to pull our Toyota Tacoma we do.  Since we have gotten it we have used a lot of Ron's mods as others.  Latest being the mattress change. 
 Thanks to all on the site.

Bob & Suzie
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 10:24:06 am by Bangorbob »

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Old Mainer

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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: January 2021
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2008
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Gray
  • ExtColor: White
  • Location: Maine
Re: Post Pics And Stories Of Your Previous and Current RVs Here
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2021, 04:26:35 pm »
  Our first RV was a 27ft 92 Coachmen Capri Class A that we bought in 1999 in Gulfport Mississippi while I was part of a 2 year employee exchange between my employer and our competitor in Pascagoula. It was an awkward layout and poorly built but we used it intermittently until 2012.
  In 2012 we spotted a 19ft 98 American Cruiser Class B for sale beside the road while returning home from a weekend at Acadia National Park. The American Cruiser was an amazing use of limited space and a lot of fun but just too small. Setting up the dinette and sofa for sleeping at night and back again in the morning was time consuming.
  In 2015 just before I retired, I found a 24 ft 97 Born Free Class C on Craigslist in Hartford Connecticut. This was a great unit, rivaling Phoenix Cruiser for quality of build and materials. Depending upon the model, each Born Free had 4 to 5 tube steel roll bars built into the wall and roof structure, after the founder witnessed RV roll over where a child was killed. Each Born Free was assembled by a 4 man team. Unfortunately, the founder of the family owned business died several years ago and the remaining family sold it and they closed their doors a year or so later. Our only complaint was that in our rear bath model, sleeping was limited to the jackknife sofa which was somewhat uncomfortable and the bed over the cab. We used it extensively traveling around Maine and as far as Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
  In 2017 I spotted a 31ft 03 Winnebago Minnie for sale on Craigslist in Beverly Mass. While not nearly the quality of the Born Free, it is more comfortable with a big slide on one side encompassing the sofa and dinette, and a queen size bed in the rear bedroom. We have used it extensively around the northeast as well as a trip to the Grand Canyon last March. We cut that trip short when the began shutting things down due to COVID. It was eerie on the return trip to Maine because most of the highways were empty of cars although the big rigs were still rolling. We've really enjoyed the Winnie, but we really missed the convenience and maneuverability of the Born Free.
  In early January, I noticed a Craigslist add for a 2008 Phoenix Cruiser 2350, again in Beverly Mass. Closer inspection of the add showed it was the same person who sold us the Winnie (he sells RVs on consignment). Unfortunately my wife and I were both suffering with Covid at the time (she in the hospital) so I couldn't do anything about it. Fortunately we both recovered and were declared no longer contagious. Surprisingly, the add was still up and the price had been reduced so I gave him a call and we drove down to look at it. This was the first Phoenix Cruiser I had seen and I was very impressed. The quality was on par with Born Free. So we bought it and brought it home on February 4 and its sitting in the driveway waiting for the string of storms that have been going through since to end. We'll probably throw the porta-potty in it (so I won't have to un-winterize it) for a quick winter maiden voyage to Acadia in the next week or two depending on the weather. We love the layout and size and are looking forward to many adventures in it.
 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 04:34:30 pm by Old Mainer »
Randy H.
2008 PC2350 w/slide

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CalCruiser

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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: November 2015
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2003
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Hickory/ Beige
  • ExtColor: custom dark shadow grey & blue jeans metallic stripes
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Post Pics And Stories Of Your Previous and Current RVs Here
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2021, 12:45:58 am »
Our 2350 replaced a 1995 Winnebago Rialta RC,  another uncommon corner bed B+. The stretched Eurovan wide body design was great for trips up and down the coast, but VW parts and service were not.  We actually looked at an American Cruiser too, along with the common Roadtrek and Pleasure Way Dodge vans and skinny winnie Sprinters, but those were all too cramped. The 2350 is our  Goldilocks RV, not too small or too big.

The widow of the Rialta's previous owner  lived in a log cabin in a place called Pioneer Town out in the California desert. When we gave her a deposit she insisted that the balance be paid  in cash. So the following weekend we returned by Greyhound bus with a fat wad of cash. We checked into the Pioneer Town hotel to find the door wouldn't lock, so we walked over to the local bar and grill called Pappy and Harriets for dinner, with the wad of cash still stuffed  in my pocket. On the weekends it's a popular hang out for bikers and off roaders, but famous musicians  including Robert Plant and Paul McCartney have played there impromptu. The Rialta belonged to an aspiring local country music legend named Johnny, who’s picture hangs on the wall inside Pappy and Harriets. I sometimes wonder where he got parts for a Volkswagen Erovan way out there in Pioneer Town.


We were incredibly  lucky to find our 2350 just 100 miles from home, using a nationwide Craigslist  search engine. The owner’s neighbor screwed up and listed it on the Auburn Alabama Craigslist, but the ad said Orange (Whoa!! That's by Disneyland, and the phone # has an OC area code. Eureka!!!). That seemed kind of sketchy, so when we drove down to see it I told my nephew to call me back  in 10 minutes then call the police if I don’t answer. It turned out that owner Bob had to sell it because he was suffering from  Parkinson’s disease.

The custom painted blue and grey stripe was inspired by Johnny's Rialta.


« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 03:32:29 pm by CalCruiser »
Goin' where the wind goes...

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Ron Dittmer

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  • 5187
  • 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: Post Pics And Stories Of Your Previous and Current RVs Here
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 07:52:31 am »
CalCruiser,

Back in late 2006 to early 2007, I strongly considered a rear corner double bed Rialta 2003-2005 model year to get the one with the most powerful VW engine.  The Rialta had just been discontinued and the prices on those years were in the middle $50's.  For $12,000 more, we special-ordered our PC through East Acres RV in Mendon, MA and picked it up from the factory which is 170 miles from home.

The Rialta still intrigues me, though it does not compare to our PC.  I am so glad to have stumbled onto East Acres.  Like today, back in those days the factory did not sell directly to the public, but the public could pick up their rig from the factory.  I was actually charged more to do that....go figure.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 07:57:31 am by Ron Dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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CalCruiser

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  • 506
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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: November 2015
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2003
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Hickory/ Beige
  • ExtColor: custom dark shadow grey & blue jeans metallic stripes
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Post Pics And Stories Of Your Previous and Current RVs Here
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2021, 12:56:24 am »
CalCruiser,

The Rialta still intrigues me, though it does not compare to our PC. 

The Winnebago H body coach design was really innovative. It was actually a separate chassis with a tube axle,  grafted onto a  front wheel drive Renault or VW T4 cab . The body was lightweight aluminum. Because there was no drive shaft the floor and overall height was low, so it was aerodynamic and immune to side drafts even without dual rear wheels.  This is a picture of new VW T4 pickup truck cabs at the Winnebago factory.

Goin' where the wind goes...

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Ron Dittmer

  • *******
  • 5187
  • 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: Post Pics And Stories Of Your Previous and Current RVs Here
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2021, 08:20:34 am »
The Winnebago H body coach design was really innovative. It was actually a separate chassis with a tube axle,  grafted onto a  front wheel drive Renault or VW T4 cab . The body was lightweight aluminum. Because there was no drive shaft the floor and overall height was low, so it was aerodynamic and immune to side drafts even without dual rear wheels.
Yes I know that the VW chassis supplied ended at the back of the cab, delivered to Winnebago as Siamese twins.  That was the one thing about the Rialta that bothered me.  I was not comfortable with Winnebago supplying the back bone of the chassis and rear axle with brakes and such.  I wondered where to get rear brake parts, a rear wheel bearing, a parking brake cable, a fuel filler tube or a fuel tank, things like that.  Still it was something I was willing to accept at the time.

As you know, every Phoenix Cruiser has every chassis part readily available, regardless of where travelled.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 08:29:23 am by Ron Dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer