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Old 03-24-2007, 02:15 AM   #29
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I don't believe that Spartan would know if there would be a retrofit for Comfort Drive.

I spoke with Ken Sherwin in mid-February while at Spartan. Ken works for TRW and from what I can gather is the lead engineer/product development guru on comfort Drive. Essentially Ken has been responsible for developing CD and getting it to production. He is also responsible if/when something goes wrong in the field. (so far no problems per Ken)

Anyway, while Spartan may reinforce the potential market for a retrofit, Ken and team would be the ones to determine the feasibility of a product. From my conversation w/Ken, I can tell you that this brilliant man has already thought about it some. I can also tell that Ken loves his job.

Given what it would cost me to get out of my coach and into a new one simply for comfort drive, I would be willing to pay quite a bit. I'm sure others would too.

By the way, if any of you talk to Ken, have him tell you about the Class A rollover he was in during product testing (not CD). Per Ken, they "received an unexpected response." Only an engineer would describe it that way.

BTW2, I know Ken writes that the CD switch isn't available in production. However, if I had CD I would have to have it. I wouldn't need it, just would have to have it.
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Old 03-24-2007, 02:28 AM   #30
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Scott, like you, I would be interested in a Newmar retrofit, as I can't afford to trade up after 5 months of buying my DSDP.

My understanding is that Spartan will not retrofit a CD to an existing coach, as there are some Newmar items involved.

It is also my understanding that the CD is all in the steering column, based on what Spartan told me. After all, TRW named it Column Drive.

The more I think about it, it may be possible for Newmar to do a retrofit, possibly with some assistance from Spartan.
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Old 03-24-2007, 02:44 AM   #31
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Dirk,

Spartan would be involved w/a retrofit. But again, TRW makes the decision on weather to make it possible or not. Ken told me that one of the biggest obstacles would be to change the bolt pattern.

Also, CD is not just on Spartan chassis. It is in production on buses and commercial vehicles too. Spartan/Newmar is only one customer of TRW.

While I'm sure there are contractual issues between Newmar, Spartan and TRW that stop TRW from doing this alone, I can't see them stopping the possibility if there was a sound business case.

Per Ken, the business case is not there yet. Once CD is heavily in production and demand continues to increase, it might be.
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Old 03-24-2007, 02:48 AM   #32
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by KenSherwin:
Also to clarify: TRW sells the column with a computer-controlled motor system, known to TRW as a ColumnDrive, to Spartan in several versions. Currently, Spartan sells all of them to Newmar, one to a chassis. This eliminates the FL FRED and all of the gassers. Newmar takes the column, as well as several other parts, out of the shipping box and installs it in the coach after they make a place for it to stand. Newmar then calls it Comfort Drive. <span class="ev_code_RED">Newmar buys it as a chassis component from Spartan but installs it themselves.</span> </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As we're discussing this I wanted to reiterate something that Ken said, in light of comments from Dirk that Newmar is in negotiations to continue it's "exclusive" contract.
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:42 AM   #33
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JavaJelly:
Per Ken, the [retrofit] business case is not there yet. Once CD is heavily in production and demand continues to increase, it might be. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You can certainly add my name to the "want an upgrade" list. Upgrading model or year is not an option at this time.
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Old 03-24-2007, 05:38 AM   #34
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From what I'm reading and hearing from some folks, the CD could very possibly be retrofit by Newmar, IF they chose to do so.

I'm not holding much hope that they would offer a retrofit, but we could make our wishes known to Newmar management, especially at the international rally in Gillette.

I'm sure Newmar would rather we buy a new coach, but that is out of the question for most of us.
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Old 03-24-2007, 09:21 AM   #35
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Having thought about this,I don't believe Newmar would have any "say" in the retrofit matter,given they are Spartan's customer and Spartan has the contract with TRW.
As others have indicated,there's not much motivation for Newmar to retrofit,as they're in the COACH selling business,even if they could.
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Old 03-24-2007, 09:31 AM   #36
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IMO there is a snow balls chance in Miami for an after market version of CD.
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Old 03-24-2007, 09:32 AM   #37
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Stranger things have happened, but I agree that it's a remote possibility.
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:57 PM   #38
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GaryKD:
IMO there is a snow balls chance in Miami for an after market version of CD. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, it did snow in Miami. Once. In 1977. Let's hope...


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