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RE: 5.4 E350 performance and reliability?

One question I would ask is......What size is the fuel tank? Some 5.4L's are equipped with a 35 gallon fuel tank. That would be a deal breaker for me. I need a 55 gallon tank to properly support the generator along with driving to a remote location. I don't like worrying about fuel if I can avoid it by having a 55 gallon fuel tank.
ron.dittmer 02/23/20 07:28pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: E450 Insulated RV Windshield Cover

For cold camping conditions, we do the following with our E350 cab area. I can't say to what rating it's good for, but it works for our particular rig to a low of around 28 degrees F. - set the climate control in the dash to "recirculate" - cover windshield and door glass with pop-open sunshades, but custom-fit insulated shades would be much better - drape and tuck a comforter over and around the two front seats, creating a sealed and insulated barrier to trap the cold air in the cab - when 110v is available, we place a small cube heater on the floor near the cab and blow the warm air rearward towards the house interior. - not related to the cab, but we also draw the shades in the house Our interior is small, has no slide-outs, has a lower ceiling, has thermal pane insulated glass, and a well sealed entry door. General air leakage and radiated cold is less with the quality build of our rig which further helps with interior comfort. With everything considered, the main house furnace operates much more efficiently. At bedtime we close the bedroom curtain to trap bedroom heat. The thermostat inside the enclosed area then works off that trapped heat with us inside it, further reduces furnace cycling which reduces our concern for battery and propane usage. CLICK HERE to see our rig's interior and curtain. The curtain is thin but helps a lot.
ron.dittmer 02/19/20 06:53am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Issues with Tow/Haul mode

If you disconnect both your chassis and house batteries overnight, the hard-reset might place Tow-Haul mode into "off" by default. Make sure your trans fluid is at the proper level. If any is needed, MAKE SURE you add the right kind. Don't add just any generic trans fluid. All Ford trans require a specific trans fluid. I would not worry about the situation because it sounds normal, especially after a cold start. Just take it out of Tow-Haul before putting the shifter in drive. I wish our 2007 E350-V10 had your problem, Tow-Haul "on" by default. I say this because the weight of our rig with tow vehicle is in a Tow-Haul mode scenario 100% of the time, easily 15,000 pounds combined vehicle weight. Many years ago when our rig was a few years old, I called my local Ford dealer inquiring if they could program the Tow-Haul to be on by default. They said "no". So....I put the trans in Tow-Haul mode right away, every dang time I remember.
ron.dittmer 02/17/20 09:00pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: pp space heater in a rv

pp = propane.......AH! I get it. I don't have a good feeling using a propane-fueled heater that burns cabin oxygen. I would see if you can set yourself up with two 6V batteries so you don't worry about battery-drain when running your furnace overnight. I suppose other factors include: - how well your house is insulated - how good your house windows are (thermal panes help a lot) - how well sealed your slide outs are - how many cubic feet of air you are heating overnight. With our rig SEEN HERE with two 6V house batteries, thermal pane windows, no slide outs, an over-all length of less than 24 feet, a low interior ceiling, a narrow 93" house width, a comforter draped between and tucked around the front seats, and a privacy curtain to the bedroom where the thermostat is located, all in combination, we stay warm letting the furnace run as needed overnight without concern. The furnace does not cycle on/off that much when temps are just below freezing. We've yet to camp in temps below the high 20's.
ron.dittmer 02/15/20 07:35pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Need some advice

After some deliberation we have rented a Ford Explorer. We will stay in hotels, motels and camping sites. After all your help we think this is the most appropriate way of traveling. The car is around $2000 for 32 days.Oh, that is very unfortunate this forum talked you out of it. In my opinion, the only good way to see our county's national parks and monuments is camping, and doing so in a tiny motor home is ideal for a couple from another country. Scanning through all the replies, I worried you would be talked out of it. They frightened you away from taking the right kind of trip. Renting a motor home from a rental company like Cruise America is done all the time by Europeans, and THEY LOVE IT. The rental companies deal with foreigners all the time and are setup appropriately, including matters of insurance. Renting a tiny motor home like THIS ONE will be not be a challenge to maneuver around. You will reduce your chances of a minor altercation by 95% compared to a standard size motor home, and you will increase you chances for a parking spot by 3000%.....that is not a typo. It's tiny size helps anyone, but especially a foreigner get around with confidence. You mentioned traveling with another couple. I think that would be exceptional for each couple to have their own tiny rig to have independence and privacy. Maybe you will want to separate for a short period now and then. The only matter with two rigs is that everywhere you stay will require one camp site per motor home. In the summertime, getting adjacent sites will be uncommon, but you mentioned going in May so maybe you will do better. Going before school lets out here in the USA is very smart. Once the USA families get out and travel, the parks are busting and the best camp grounds in ideal locations will be near impossible to stay in. This applies mostly to the popular parks. For my wife and I, traveling in a car and staying in motel rooms handling luggage is serious torture. Just shoot me by the end of week 3. Keep in-mind that a big part of the national park experience is staying in or adjacent to the parks, waking up in the morning, stepping outside with a cup of coffee and look around in awe. It is priceless. Staying in a motel outside the parks changes the dynamics of the experience. You could stay in the park lodges, but they are extremely expensive and require reservations years in advance. With reservations, you are on a very strict schedule which also takes from the experience. We exclusively travel to the national parks and monuments, and we NEVER EVER get reservations for camp sites. We always take our chances and always come up with a campsite. about 50% of the time we end up in a national forest or BLM just outside the park boundary, but are still where we want to be. Don't forget that you can park your motor home overnight in 24 hour Walmart parking lots when traveling between parks. We do that too which offers a different flavor to the RVing experience. You and your friends will make time-long memories together, especially doing it together, each in your own tiny motor home.
ron.dittmer 02/12/20 06:08am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Need some advice

Europeans do that trip all the time. But you will want to fly into LasVegas Nevada, not Denver. LasVegas has plenty of RV rentals. You will want to rent that 20 footer. It actually measures 19 feet. It is perfect for a couple who can handle the upper bunk. As far as where to go, that is one of my most favorite parts of the USA. - Canyonlands National Park (rent a 4x4 Jeep in Moab and drive into the canyon for the day) - Arches National Park (see every arch that time permits (hike the loop trail at the far end, and NEVER miss Delicate Arch) - Zion National Park (hike to Angel's Landing and also in the water through the narrows) - Bryce Canyon National Park (a 2 to 4 hour hike in the canyon is awesome) - Grand Canyon National Park (what can I say?) - Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument (hike to hoodoos and in water-cut canyons) - Capital Reef National Monument (a beautiful drive-thru) I see you also mentioned other national parks and monuments. We have been to all of them and they are all worth seeing. 5 weeks is going to be enough time to see everything you want as long as you don't get lazy and burn away days relaxing excessively. There is at least one visitor center in each national park and monument. Be sure to stop in and talk to park rangers for recommended trails and a free trail guide, and weather forecasts. Spring time can bring spring rains, and rain can bring flash flooding. Just be mindful, not paranoid.
ron.dittmer 02/10/20 12:34am Class C Motorhomes
RE: purchase

SO is it just part of a numbers game? A certain percentage are going to complain?I believe so. There are also naive people with the misconception that a motor home is built to the same standards as a regular automobile. Getting "shocked" with disappointment often sparks negative comments. And because Coachman entry level products are most affordable, they are also most common....hence "The Numbers Game". Regardless of brand, if you want your motor home experience to be a friendly one, you really need to have or develop basic automotive, plumbing, electrical, and housing skills and apply those skills annually. Otherwise you will be posting your own negative comments on that complaining forum. As for me and my wife, we got very lucky and bought a Phoenix Cruiser. Our model 2350 is now 13 years old. It looks the same as when THESE PICTURES were taken many years ago. The handyman requirement is much less than typical. Adding that we garage it when not using it, helps immensely more. I do work on it, but nearly all is "elective" making little improvements to enhance our RVing experience.
ron.dittmer 02/03/20 10:14pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Anybody Know of a Class C With This Floorplan?

My brother is considering a brand new Coachman Pursuit 27XPS. CLICK HERE for the floor plan and specs. He says dealers are selling brand new 2020 models for $65,000. With a little negotiation, I wonder if one could be had for $59,000. Model 27XPS has no slideouts and measures exactly 29 feet end-to-end. The beauty of it is the full living room and a rear walk-around queen size bed. Coachman (especially the entry level Pursuit) is known for "Affordability", not high level quality.
ron.dittmer 02/01/20 08:54pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Anybody Know of a Class C With This Floorplan?

Hi Jedidad, I agree with you in that a class C (and B+) are safer in a frontal crash. They would also be safer in a side-impact crash into the van doors, but every motorhome manufacture cuts the van's roof as shown which significantly weakens the door frame where the seat belts attach. The door frame and all, pivots in towards the person sitting there. The saving grace with the tall-sitting van is that most vehicle bumpers will impact the floor where it is also stronger. But the rig in a roll-over would be surely be threatening. https://live.staticflickr.com/6173/6205758603_595094aa37_z.jpg width=640 Regarding the class A example you provided, I really doubt it is 24 feet long. You might want to add a couple feet to that number....maybe even more. Our rig CLICK HERE TO SEE IT true measurements is 23'-8" long. It is not much different than the floor plan you seek, but with a reduced living area. We ordered ours without a slideout, but most Phoenix Cruiser 2350s made, have one. BTW: If you are counting inches like we did for fitting the rig in our garage, the Ford van of the current style with the dump truck look, was introduced in 2008. It is 3" longer than our 2007.
ron.dittmer 02/01/20 01:31pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: engine longevity?

When I was in engine school, about when electricity was introduced, we we're taught that engine wear is most proportional to the amount of fuel that's put through it. The number of miles is a very loose metric. Plus throw in the number of cold starts. All things being equal, a V10 in a motor home will probably have more wear on it at 100,000 than a pickup truck, just by virtue of the fact that the motorhome uses more fuel. Then if it sits too much, all bets are off and anything can happen.Problem with this theory is even most passenger cars go to the junkyard with functional engines in the modern world. It's other things failing and then it's not worth fixing...if you have a 20yr old car that needs $2k in suspension work, you are usually better to put that $2k towards a newer used car...same thing with RVs. It is very much the oddity to "wear out" an engine, so it really isn't a consideration.I agree. If reasonably taken care of with oil changes at proper intervals along with maintaining the oil level, the basic engine is the last thing to "wear" out. It's everything around it that goes first, and corrosion (rust) accelerates the life of most everything else. The only exception to my comment would be a neglected cooling system failure. Running an over-heated engine for too long of a time will fail at any age with any mileage.
ron.dittmer 02/01/20 06:12am Class C Motorhomes
RE: engine longevity?

RUST is the enemy.I agree 100%. It is very concerning if you see rusted brake lines. Another indicator is if you hit the main frame just forward of the rear tires, with a hammer, and it showers down rust, I would stop right there and kindly leave. We live near Chicago where salt is used on winter roads. Our rig is stored in our heated garage during that time. I bring it out well after the spring rains have washed the salt off the roads. It would be different if we were snow birds or winter campers. I would not let that get in the way of enjoying our rig. But we use it seasonally anyway, so it is easy to apply best practices. If we ever sell our rig, it will be a "Hot Buy" for the like-new condition it is preserved in.
ron.dittmer 01/29/20 08:34pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: RV for Central America Trip

Being in Central American countries from Mexico to Panama via cruise ship shore excursions and similar, I would think twice about driving from the USA to Panama. I would be concerned for our safety. Americans in a motor home with USA plates, will stick out like a ripe piece of fruit on the vine. There is a steady stream of illegal migrants walking north on major roads. Most people are good, but there are some really bad apples too. People in hard times can get desperate. It's not much different as buying a brand new Corvette convertible, put the top down, have $100 bills sticking out from my hat, crank up the stereo, and drive through the worst of neighborhoods in Chicago in the summertime. It's the perfect way to commit suicide without voiding my life insurance. Also, like others here mentioned, repairs will surface often, resources for replacement parts will be few, and reputable service centers less yet. Pending the type of repair and location, you could find yourself stranded for months. As much as I would love to RV all the way to the southern tip of South America, I will never take our motor home south of the border. Call me paranoid.
ron.dittmer 01/25/20 08:48am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 2020 Class'C' E-450 Ford V10 lacks power?

I assume reusable K&N filters still require that spray to capture the dirt more effectively. I found the K&N to be a high maintenance item that offers no gain under nearly all driving conditions. I am also concerned that the spray product may contaminate the sensor down-stream. That sensor is extremely sensitive to dirt. If so, your engine performance is compromised, and I think your Check Engine light goes on. You can clean the sensor, but I feel it is smarter to use a conventional air filter to avoid the condition. My advise is to change the standard pleated paper filter every 10,000 miles under normal driving conditions. If you found yourself driving in a severe dust storm or a forest fire area, inspect the filter when you have passed the condition. If it is noticeably dirty, stop off at the next town and replace it. We once drove our tiny little camper down into Monument valley on a windy day. The red dust ended up everywhere, all over the engine, and the air filter was a serious mess. That is one such situation where it was a-must to change the air filter after our visit. Oh, and don't forget my reply on October 24th about inspecting the plastic flap that if installed improperly, will block a serious amount of engine air flow.
ron.dittmer 01/07/20 04:09pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Winnebago Fuse

We are retired so the Fuse seemed like a great travel the country rv for just the 2 of us. Started looking at several dealers and after spending some time in one (1.5hrs) on the dealers lot the salesman insisted we test drive it before leaving. I was impressed with peppy little diesel. What turned us away was the wind noise coming from the coach entry door. From the drivers seat it sounded like the door was wide open.You owe it to yourself to check out a Phoenix Cruiser. Being in Wisconsin, you are not so far from the factory in Elkhart, IN. Pick your favorite floor plan on-line by CLICKING HERE, call the factory for a tour making sure they will have a finished one on-hand of your favorite, for you to inspect. They used to build on the E350, E450, and Sprinter. Today they build exclusively on the Ford Transit and E450 chassis. You won't hear a whistle from their main entry door. It is made very well, like no other I have ever seen. The door and door jamb are installed as an assembly. It is perfectly aligned, well gasketed, and also very solid, a reflection of their over-all workmanship. Outdoor compartment hatches are not up to the same caliber, but are still done well. Our 2007 outdoor compartments are well done but are more generic. Today they have compartment latching hardware like the best rigs have. You will pay more, but you get that much better. It depends on your priorities......cash in-hand, or cash in-rig. If you go with an E450 chassis and delete as many slide outs as the floor plan allows like we did, you will lower the purchase price significantly. We applied the savings into the full body paint option. You can see our 2007 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 by CLICKING HERE. We ordered our PC brand new nearly 13 years ago. We love our slide-less rig, so clean and worry-free for all the years still coming that we plan to keep it. Unless the floor plan absolutely requires a slide out, I always encourage people to consider deleting it to save money and avoid the rest that comes with any slide out. Keeping it simple keeps it cheaper, stronger, lighter, warmer, cooler, drier, cleaner, and most reliable. You even gain more linear wall space for bigger cabinets, or in our case a spacious and comfortable dinette.
ron.dittmer 01/06/20 07:23am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Dinette Cushions

Regarding the cracking vinyl, That has been a problem introduced into the RV industry soon after the recession of 2008/2009 when the supplier of much of the vinyl fabric material switched to China-sourced material. It breaks down similarly to those leather couches being sold that have 15-25% of leather impregnated into the vinyl. https://cdn0.opinion-corp.com/review-media/pictures/a3/7a/253832/bad-boy-furniture_misleading-warranty-refusal-to-honour-an-added-on-warranty-faux-leather-sofas-peeling-201801031161535_a37a-gallery.jpeg height=640
ron.dittmer 01/03/20 05:15am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Genny ok in ABQ?

Ron, you’re just lucky that that long of storage period with ethanol fuel hasn’t gummed up the carburetor on the genny once or twice at least.I guess I am lucky. What puts me at ease with my method, is all my lawn equipment and seasonally driven vehicles....no problems with any of them treated the same way for 31 years. Maybe the 10% ethonol helps rather than hurts. Who knows, I am no authority on this stuff. I only know what works with my gas powered things here at home. My worst case situation was a 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT I parked in the back of our garage for 3 years, on blocks with a full tank of gas. The car ran slightly abnormal until I burned off the old fuel. A fresh tank of gas and the car was back to normal.
ron.dittmer 01/01/20 07:22pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Genny ok in ABQ?

For us, the gaps between generator run-times is typically 8 months, and there has been twice of 1 year and 8 months. Practicing this for over 12 years and all remains well. The rig is kept indoors which likely helps, but I do feel that if your rig is stored outdoors in a dry climate, it's not all that different from our situation except for potential for rodent and large critter damage. I should also mention that I never use Stabel or other fuel additive for long term storage, nor any other type of fuel additive such as fuel system cleaners. I hear about Seafoam all the time but really know nothing about it. I store our rig with a full tank of regular gasoline.
ron.dittmer 01/01/20 12:49pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Down a truly rough road in my class C?

Here is an interesting related story with our little red Toyota MR2 Spyder shown. In Escalante National Monument, we drove the MR2 Spyder to a slot canyon trail head, a 7 mile long, very primitive road limited to 4x4 Jeep types. We drove in and out of deep river washes and a road surface that resembled miniature canyons. We parked at the trail head which had only Jeep Wranglers. The look on the faces of the few people we seen was priceless. With the MR2 Spyder, what made it work was having the tires close to the bumpers, reducing bumper over-hang. We never scraped the car on anything, even when entering and climbing out of those river washes. https://live.staticflickr.com/4160/34202273876_17c74d0181_z.jpg width=640 Though 100% successful including no damage of any kind to the car, it was back at our base camp that night when we decided it was time to get a 4x4. My wife loves her 4x4 Jeep Liberty. https://live.staticflickr.com/4038/5161179007_8d1fdc6468_z.jpg width=640 My point here is, you can do almost anything as long as you are very careful, and prepared to give up and turn back if the conditions call for it
ron.dittmer 12/27/19 10:55pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Down a truly rough road in my class C?

If you have heavy duty front and rear stabilizer bars and shocks, they will reduce side-to-side motion and dipping deeper down. You have rear air bags which should also help. I would fill them up to help stabilize. And as previously mentioned, don't drive, rather creep down the road....your speedometer needle might not even move. From your description, it sounds like you can do it.
ron.dittmer 12/27/19 09:57am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Ford E450 vs E350 under a Class C

Phil, That's real good data. I quickly scanned through it and see I had some E350 versus E450 comparison facts incorrect. Thanks for posting it. I agree with you. I would just go with the E450 regardless how small your motor home is. If the ride is too rough, let a truck suspension shop figure out how many rear leaf springs can be removed. Going down from having too much CCC is smarter and cheaper than trying to increase CCC. The base E450 chassis is more capable in other areas too so why not start there? The purchase price difference between an E350 and E450 is negligible.
ron.dittmer 12/23/19 09:46am Class C Motorhomes
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