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RE: Anyone here upgraded their headlights?

Regarding the Ford E350 and E450 chassis made 2007 and older, just about every motor home will NOT have a sealed beam. Only the generically styled work van has them. According to my 2007 owners manual, the nicer styled non-work van version (see my signature picture) is called "aerodynamic" and the replaceable bulb filament is 9007. So if your Ford E350 or E450 chassis is a 2007 or older with the previous grille styling, then bulb 9007 is the one to use. Now........ There are bulb manufactures like Sylvania for example that offer brighter 9007 bulbs. Now-a-days every standard headlight is halogen, but the bulb companies are offering brighter versions using the same technology. Two nights ago, I replaced our son's headlight bulbs on his Hyundai Elantra with a brighter halogen offered by Sylvania, sold in a twin pack at Walmart. They are called "SilverStar Ultra" Comparing his original used working bulb to one new bulb, we both agreed the new SilverStar Ultra was noticeably brighter. Then we replaced the old but working bulb to match. Here is Walmart's extra bright 9007 bulb offering. I don't know if a 2008 or newer E350 or E450 takes this same bulb, but the 2007 and older surely do. I was thinking of buying a pair for our motor home, now this subject has come up....hmmm. https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/42099427-c92c-4149-b183-77c42b8ad1e9_1.7dc992b9d76563f73814e8ae32dd2376.jpeg width=400 According to my 2007 owners manual, my E350 headlight bulbs can be changed without tools, seemingly in just seconds. With hood open, on top of the lens are two tabs. I lift them to a clicking stop, then the headlight lens comes right out for total access.
ron.dittmer 11/06/19 06:11am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Furnace works; then doesn't; works again?

Furnaces have a lot of safety devices that need to work properly with a steady flow of propane.Excellent point! Run your stove for a few minutes to evacuate air in the line, especially after service was just completed on any propane appliance.
ron.dittmer 11/04/19 04:28pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Class C wish list

Just ordered out 2351D and should pick it up April 1. Really a nice package!Congratulations with your made-to-order Phoenix Cruiser!
ron.dittmer 11/04/19 04:15pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Yes boys and girls, you REALLY need to carry a spare...

I know pnichols, I know.....I worked for Motorola for 37 years and know all about the G's. ;) You got it right. Still I feel I have a right to complain. I have a multi-service cell tower in line-of sight out my back window measured on Google Earth to be only 2,910 feet away.
ron.dittmer 11/03/19 10:04pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Yes boys and girls, you REALLY need to carry a spare...

We live 20 miles west of Chicago. Ever since the introduction of 5G, our cell coverage has been horrible all around us. We live with one bar of cell strength, 2 bars max. But sometimes it vanishes right where we stand. Our AT&T service has become disasterous. And this is with our Samsung S7 and S9 phones.
ron.dittmer 11/03/19 06:49pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Class C wish list

Ron.....good link, nice coach!!!! Two hands.....a slide would be a big plus!!!Thank you! If you want the booth dinette and the slide out, then model 2351 gets you there. If you want a larger walk-around double bed, then get 2351D with a second slide out gets you there without increasing the RV's length. Most floor plans don't show a dinette, but it is available, maybe even at a reduced price. To make the dinette fit right, they delete the pantry adjacent to the couch. The dinette then grows right up against the fridge.
ron.dittmer 11/03/19 03:28pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Class C wish list

No, you are not crazy. You just described our 2007 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 HERE with less than 40,000 miles. Hey, make me an offer I can't refuse, ha, ha. It's been garage kept since new. Phoenix USA still makes it today as seen HERE. Length without the rear ladder (we don't have that ladder) is 23'-8" over-all. The same rig today is 3" longer gained from the re-style of the E350/E450 with today's dump truck look. The PC width is a skinny 93" and height is 9'-10" to the top of the a/c (10'-1" today) so it's compact by motor home standards. Most people opt for a slide out, but we special ordered ours specifically to avoid the slide out to have our spacious booth dinette. With two high capacity house batteries, a whole-house inverter for all-the-time 110v, decent water and waste tanks, it's been a very sweet and comfortable rig for the two of us. But, good luck in finding a used one with the booth dinette without the slide out. Just about everyone gets the comfy-couch inside the slide out. If you want the booth dinette inside a slide out, it works in model 2351.....same floor plan but that model is one foot longer than model 2350. A few people got 2351 without a slide out and opted for an exceptionally long dinette getting a bigger table and more leg room than we have. Your profile says you have a 91 Dolphin. Is that with a Toyota chassis? We up-sized from our 1984 Toyota Mirage HERE. Our Phoenix Cruiser is actually skinnier. The Mirage got fatter, the farther back you go.
ron.dittmer 11/03/19 02:44pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Yes boys and girls, you REALLY need to carry a spare...

You pay for insurance and need an attorney to negotiate with the service. Things have really gotten out of hand. Plus, even with a squad of attorneys ... one is probably not going to get ERS out in Death Valley places like this! (What I would like is "RV ERS" for anyplace we managed to get to in our RV before calling for help.): https://i.imgur.com/9mv94LGl.jpgPhil, Is that the campground in Death Valley that is a simple rough gravel parking lot, maybe it is called Emigrant Campground? If so, we stayed there twice, years apart on separate trips. What a desolate place, far from everywhere.
ron.dittmer 11/01/19 10:02pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Yes boys and girls, you REALLY need to carry a spare...

This AAA thing about not changing an inside dually seems to come up every so often.When I last saw it I talked in person to my AAA Rep. This is what I was told face to face. If it is a road call and the responding unit does not have the proper equipment to do it or do it safely the call will then be a tow to a facility that is in the prescribed towing limit,which in my case is 200 miles.I had the same problem with AAA on my motorhome right here in my own backyard just outside town - with an outside dually flat!!! So after ~40 years with AAA I immediately changed to Coach-Net Premier - because I figured that "RVs and their various ERS requirements" is what Coach-Net is all about. What's the difference with duallies anyway ... whether it be inside or outside? You gotta safely lift and support the entire corner of the vehicle anyway, regardless of dually tire position. Also you BETTER NOT rely on a good inside dually tire to help support the vehicle corner while replacing a bad outside dually tire! If an RV's raw weight in the rear is a problem for AAA, then they should so state in their ERS plans' descriptions ... not use "duallies" as an excuse to not service tire problems on the rear of RVs!I agree with you. That is why my ERS is "me" for as long as I am capable....so far so good.
ron.dittmer 11/01/19 02:35pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Costs of things

...this years average was 8.0 mpg as usual...Oh,we have a smaller class C. Thor Freedom Elite 22e E350 Triton V10 and there are just 2 of us.I have been looking at newer small Class B+ with the V10. But 8 mpg, ouch!We own a 2007 E350-V10 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 SEEN HERE. When not towing our Jeep Liberty, our "truely accurate" trip average is 10.5 mpg. That is significantly better than 8 mpg. Aerodynamics and cruising-speed seem to be most influential. The difference in fuel economy between Phoenix Cruisers, the shortest 21 foot model to the longest 31 foot model is different, but less dramatic than taller boxy conventional class_c's. With our rig traveling across the country, our practiced top speed hovers around 67-68 mph. A tall boxy "C" would go through gas a lot faster at those speeds. Towing our Jeep Liberty, our fuel economy drops by 1.3 mpg. But the fuel loss is more than recovered by driving the Liberty around at our destinations, and leaving the motor home at the camp site. So it's a win-win.Nice camper and thanks for the response! I try not to pay attention to my mpg, if I actually knew what it is I would probably not drive it. That cheap thing. But left Florida and noticed that I was filling up far too often even with a small tank. Something was definitely off, so I checked my MPG. I was getting 10mpg, did a few things and now the little Toyota is back up in the 13+ area. Most toy owners report avg between 12 and 14.Thank You! We owned THIS TOYOTA MIRAGE for 24 years. It had the 2.4L-L4 carbureted engine rated at 96hp (with CA emissions) with a close ratio 4-speed manual transmission. Oh my what a slug it was, but we loved it anyway. We special ordered it new in 1983 with no a/c of either kind and a frill-free chassis that did not even have power steering. We paid $12,255 for it back then. 57 mph was the sweet spot for optimal fuel economy. On one extended trip out west we actually broke 20 mpg averaged across the entire 6000 mile trip. We must have experienced more tail winds on that trip. It had a very small fuel tank. We quickly learned that we did not make time going faster because the fuel economy would drop by more than 25% when we pushed it. The time we made in speed, we lost in stopping more frequently. We sold that rig in 2007, replacing it with our special ordered 2007 Phoenix Cruiser. We wanted (and needed) a fully self contained and much more comfortable motor home in our later years. Ron,that Toyota Mirage is an interesting MH, looks like more room than a small TC but much better MPG. Is there anything equivalent today? I know you asked Ron, but FWIW I thought I'd jump in with my opinion on the closest today - a new small Tiger motorhome ... in which you specify to them that it be built on the smallest standard cab (for the short length) PU possible with the smallest engine (for the best fuel mileage) available in that pickup. Here's the Tiger website: http://www.tigervehicles.com/The Tiger is small, but our old Mirage was smaller yet. I measured the over-all length at 17.5 feet, front bumper to the end of the rear step bumper. It really was tiny. Lengthwise, it easily fit into any automobile parking space. The Toyota pick-up truck chassis made it easy to get in and out from because it was skinny there, providing good door swing clearance to adjacent parked cars. The entire rig weighed only 3600 pounds, 2500 for the C&C, and 1100 for the seamless RV body. The shell walls had a honey-comb core with a thicker outer layer fiberglass, and a thinner inner layer fiberglass. The front cab-over bucket was of the outer layer alone. Mirage was in business from 1978 to 1986. In 1984, they introduced a fully self contained model. The swing-up rear door/wall was replaced with a protruding bucket that was the bathroom. The entry door was moved to the side. I don't know what the cost of that deluxe model was, but our frill-free appliance-free model was right for us for a very long time. We had an ice box for a fridge, and a camp stove for cooking. Though a port-a-potty was offered for our model, we opted-out and built in it's place, an additional cabinet with more counter space. We considered it "luxury tent camping". As great as it was for so long a time, in our later years it wasn't meeting the minimum any longer. We wanted a real motor home. Our Mirage replacement had to meet these minimum requirements. 1) No Compromise, it must fit inside our garage 2) No Compromise, it must have a full-time dinette 3) No Compromise, it must have a full-time double bed on the main floor 4) No Compromise, it must have all the basic features of a typical motor home with a fully functional kitchen and bath, and with heat and a/c. Early in our search, we considered a Winnebago Rialta with the 22FD (standard) floorplan but they had been recently discontinued and the few like-new used ones we found were a lot of money. We added $12,000 more and bought something a whole lot better for us. Our Phoenix Cruiser 2350 HERE greatly exceeded all our expectations. Again, it was the smallest rig we could find, yet meet our adjusted requirements.
ron.dittmer 11/01/19 02:12pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Sway bars for Four Winds Majestic 2007

Thank you Ron.You are very welcome!
ron.dittmer 11/01/19 07:05am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Sway bars for Four Winds Majestic 2007

Our 2007 Phoenix Cruiser is built on a 2007 Ford E350 chassis, so I am extremely familiar with your situation. The 2007 (and older) E350 chassis purchased by the RV manufacture, direct from Ford, did not include a rear stabilizer bar. If you have one, it was added later, either by the RV manufacture or the previous owner. Your chassis has a front stabilizer bar, but it truly is an inferior design as well as inferior for the heavy duty motor home application. Ford wised up and redesigned the front stabilizer in 2008 which is still installed in a 2019 model today. If you look at the two ends of your front bar, you will see they pass through rubber grommets located in the lower control arms. The grommets wear very quickly which causes play that cannot be adjusted to be eliminated. You just live with the play which gets worse & worse, which renders the bar less effective. Adding fuel to the fire, the thickness of the front bar is designed for an E150 van, not an E350 motor home. It is too weak of a bar to keep a motor home stable. So.... Going with Helwig bars is a good choice for affordability without compromising the heavy duty bar thickness & hardness rating. They are spec'd the same as the Roadmaster brand, but at a fraction of the price. To be clear about it, both front and rear Helwig and Roadmaster bars come with polymer mounts and bushing end-links that can be tightened as they wear. I need to add that you may want to consider heavy duty shock absorbers. I "LOVE" the heavy duty Bilstein shocks which is explained in my write up with pictures HERE. Everything I am saying here was done to our rig and it handles very nicely, though ours has the Roadmaster brand stabilizer bars. We did also replace the front steering stabilizer with a heavy duty Safe-T-Plus brand, and added a rear trac bar. You can't go wrong if all you do is install heavy duty front and rear stabilizer bars and heavy duty Bilstein shock absorbers. If you are a decent shade tree mechanic, you can install the bars and shocks yourself. Many forum members have. I would have done so myself back in 2007 had I been educated about all this back then. Ron Dittmer
ron.dittmer 10/31/19 06:58pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 28 Foot / Chevy Chassis, Looking to upgrade suspension...

ron.dittmer, Thanks for taking the time to document your experience with shocks.You are very welcome!
ron.dittmer 10/30/19 06:28am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 28 Foot / Chevy Chassis, Looking to upgrade suspension...

Hi LostInOz, I love your name considering you live in Kansas. :) We have a 2007 Ford E350, but my comments will apply to your Chevy. If buying new shocks, I highly recommend the Heavy Duty (HD) Bilstein shocks. CLICKING HERE will take you to my write-up with many pictures showing why the HD bilstein is the best choice for a motor home application. Not just the shock itself, but the mounting hardware is heavy duty. Then consider that wimpy hardware failed on my old shocks. If you wonder, I CANNOT say the "HD" rating makes a rougher ride. They simply offer great handling. You have a front and rear stabilizer bar on your Chevy. Before replacing them, make sure their end links are tight. Any play in them will reduce the bar's effectiveness. With 50,000 miles driven, it's likely the end links need tightening. The 4 rubber bushings that make up the soft part of each end link might also be worn to the point of needing replacement. Sometimes they can wear to the point of being missing. Over-inflated tires, exceeding the requirement of your actual load, will also cause the rig to wander excessively along with offering a rougher ride. But your fuel economy would improve slightly.
ron.dittmer 10/29/19 08:48pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Costs of things

...this years average was 8.0 mpg as usual...Oh,we have a smaller class C. Thor Freedom Elite 22e E350 Triton V10 and there are just 2 of us.I have been looking at newer small Class B+ with the V10. But 8 mpg, ouch!We own a 2007 E350-V10 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 SEEN HERE. When not towing our Jeep Liberty, our "truely accurate" trip average is 10.5 mpg. That is significantly better than 8 mpg. Aerodynamics and cruising-speed seem to be most influential. The difference in fuel economy between Phoenix Cruisers, the shortest 21 foot model to the longest 31 foot model is different, but less dramatic than taller boxy conventional class_c's. With our rig traveling across the country, our practiced top speed hovers around 67-68 mph. A tall boxy "C" would go through gas a lot faster at those speeds. Towing our Jeep Liberty, our fuel economy drops by 1.3 mpg. But the fuel loss is more than recovered by driving the Liberty around at our destinations, and leaving the motor home at the camp site. So it's a win-win.Nice camper and thanks for the response! I try not to pay attention to my mpg, if I actually knew what it is I would probably not drive it. That cheap thing. But left Florida and noticed that I was filling up far too often even with a small tank. Something was definitely off, so I checked my MPG. I was getting 10mpg, did a few things and now the little Toyota is back up in the 13+ area. Most toy owners report avg between 12 and 14.Thank You! We owned THIS TOYOTA MIRAGE for 24 years. It had the 2.4L-L4 carbureted engine rated at 96hp (with CA emissions) with a close ratio 4-speed manual transmission. Oh my what a slug it was, but we loved it anyway. We special ordered it new in 1983 with no a/c of either kind and a frill-free chassis that did not even have power steering. We paid $12,255 for it back then. 57 mph was the sweet spot for optimal fuel economy. On one extended trip out west we actually broke 20 mpg averaged across the entire 6000 mile trip. We must have experienced more tail winds on that trip. It had a very small fuel tank. We quickly learned that we did not make time going faster because the fuel economy would drop by more than 25% when we pushed it. The time we made in speed, we lost in stopping more frequently. We sold that rig in 2007, replacing it with our special ordered 2007 Phoenix Cruiser. We wanted (and needed) a fully self contained and much more comfortable motor home in our later years.
ron.dittmer 10/29/19 08:22pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Costs of things

...this years average was 8.0 mpg as usual...Oh,we have a smaller class C. Thor Freedom Elite 22e E350 Triton V10 and there are just 2 of us.I have been looking at newer small Class B+ with the V10. But 8 mpg, ouch!We own a 2007 E350-V10 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 SEEN HERE. When not towing our Jeep Liberty, our "truely accurate" trip average is 10.5 mpg. That is significantly better than 8 mpg. Aerodynamics and cruising-speed seem to be most influential. The difference in fuel economy between Phoenix Cruisers, the shortest 21 foot model to the longest 31 foot model is different, but less dramatic than taller boxy conventional class_c's. With our rig traveling across the country, our practiced top speed hovers around 67-68 mph. A tall boxy "C" would go through gas a lot faster at those speeds. Towing our Jeep Liberty, our fuel economy drops by 1.3 mpg. But the fuel loss is more than recovered by driving the Liberty around at our destinations, and leaving the motor home at the camp site. So it's a win-win.
ron.dittmer 10/29/19 11:36am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Costs of things

then there are the dishonest shops. I wanted to get an AC expansion valve replaced 3 years ago and took it to the local AC place as I did not have time to mess with it. They gave me a $1200 estimate. TWELVE HUNDRED US DOLLARS. So I changed plans and did it myself, total cost less than $100 and at most 4 hours work.Your story is common and remarkable. Like you, I do everything I can myself. Not just saving really big money, but unlike a shop on the clock, I spend the time taking care of all the details so it's done as best as possible. A 10 minute oil change and a 30 minute wait for a set of tires, are simple examples of advertised short cuts. If paying for services, day care would have raised our children, we could not own a motor home, the cars we drive, nor the house we live in. Our standard of living would be pitiful and retirement a pipe dream. And worst of all, we would never have been in a position to be charitable with our resources, both with time and money.
ron.dittmer 10/29/19 07:01am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Costs of things

What Lantly just stated. ;)
ron.dittmer 10/28/19 02:50pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Costs of things

I just can't stand strangers touching my stuff.And I won't trust them. I've seen too much shoddy work done on other people's vehicles.
ron.dittmer 10/28/19 12:53pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Costs of things

It helps immensely on cost of chassis maintenance if storing your rig indoors. Tires and disk brakes go bad so fast when storing outdoors. But a lot of other things also age quickly. We bought our 23.5 foot RV E350 chassis rig new in 2007 and have always stored it in our dry under-the-house garage. It is kept cool in summer and warm in winter with no concern of rodents or insects. We average a low 3300 miles per year. After the initial investment in getting the suspension right when new, the only investment in chassis maintenance has been one battery, some air and oil filters, and motor oil. I did replace the shocks myself last year with heavy duty Bilsteins. Our tires are 12.5 year originals of which I plan to replace them prior to our next big road trip out west. Brake and transmission fluid changes are coming soon which I will be doing myself. Our 2007 E350 chassis has been VERY VERY cheap to maintain. I am so glad we have the E350 and not a Sprinter diesel. I could never afford to own one of them. For one thing, we don't drive enough to justify such expense. You have to drive them a lot for any kind of financial benefit. Today, our rig still passes as brand new to people who don't know any better. Indoor storage is "The Way To Go" if you can arrange it.
ron.dittmer 10/28/19 12:48pm Class C Motorhomes
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