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Old 07-09-2018, 05:53 PM   #1
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On the road with TJ and the MADP 4047!

We made it to Polson, Montana, today in the new MADP 4047. Put 943 miles on the odometer on an easy three-day jaunt. Fuel mileage is 7.3 mpg at this point, though we did run the generator most of the first day through Colorado and Wyoming (95+ degrees the whole way). Today we ran the generator for about three hours (the reason will be clear shortly).

First impressions:

1. We love the coach.
2. It drives like a dream.
3. Cruises effortlessly at 66-68 mph on cruise control.
4. Power in the hills (or Rocky Mountains, to be exact) is awesome.
5. Newmar builds a good coach, but there are also some ugly implementations.
6. Spartan builds a great chassis...but, it has its bugs too.
7. Newmar's double-pane windows ain't so great; two are already fogged and will need to be replaced. That's what warranties are for!

On Saturday, while traveling across a remote part of Wyoming, we started getting "Ride Height" error messages, complete with a shrill warning tone. This is not something you want to hear in the middle of Wyoming! Called Newmar CS and they conference called with Spartan. Kudos to both guys who handled the call. Consensus was that since it was only happening during downhill braking, it was probably "normal."

Today, it started doing if on flat sections and in left-had turns. Another call to Newmar and another conference with Spartan. Again, both guys handled the call nicely. "Dave" at Spartan said we needed to get to a service center to have the air pressure governor adjusted. Since we were approaching Missoula, Montana, by this time, he set us up with "Tom" at Transport Equipment. Nice guy and a good diesel repair shop.

Tom handed us off to "Dale" for the adjustment. It took a call to Spartan to find exactly where and how to make the adjustment. Spartan says that they set up the K3 500 chassis to have 120 psi in front and rear tanks, but with the heavy coach Newmar puts on it, it should be adjusted up to 135 psi. The 120 setting is marginal for the Hadley air ride suspension and is the likely reason for the error message/tone. It was unclear whether Spartan or Newmar should have made the adjustment and I didn't pursue.

Armed with this information, Dale set the air pressure governor to exactly 135 psi (I watched him tweak it from 134.7 psi to 135.0 psi). An exacting guy; I liked him. All of the back and forth took about three hours; the three hours that the generator was running today to keep the coach cool. Told you I'd tie up the loose ends.

The trip from Missoula to Polson (abut 65 miles) was flawless with no ride height issues. Hopefully, this means that the pressure adjustment did the trick. One interesting side note: our two air gauges have not read the same from day one. The Spartan tech said to remember that they are not "gauges;" merely indicators and they aren't necessarily accurate. What I did find is that when the pressure governor was adjusted, both gauges moved up about 15 psi or so. It is kind of hard to tell exactly because the markings are 65 and 150; you have to guess at the number in between. I guess that's why the tech said that are "indicators."


We are now at our summer place here in Polson for the week and I'll be busy fiddling with a few things that need fiddling with. I know all of the above is part of the shake-out period for a new coach and am not...at least, yet...frustrated by it. We'll get things sorted out in due time. As long as the coach doesn't leave us stranded by the wayside somewhere, we're good.

TJ
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:10 PM   #2
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Jim,

Had the EXACT same problem. Finally got a mobile tech to Inflate to 135, but my gauges on the cluster show 150. Spartan says they can be off by almost 20lbs on the gauges. WTH? But no more message or hateful shrill beeping....

Curious if you had any porpoising going over bridges. I confirmed today with Spartan that in fact the shocks are the exact same 46mm as the ones in the Dutch Stars so it is no wonder I am experiencing the same thing. I have to have a Spartan tech re-verify the ride height and tire pressures before they will even consider replacing. I'm surprised more MA owners have not experienced this.

Glad to hear everything else is good. There are more quirks that you will find, trust me

-Jeff
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:27 PM   #3
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Hi Jim,

I have the same issue with my 2018 MADP 4047 (Spartan K3) Low Ride Height warning. I contacted Spartan and they recommended that we replace the "Air Manifold". They sent the part out right away to my local Cummins dealer and they made the repair. Everything seems to be OK, but I still get Low Ride Height on hills or off camber roads. I sent an email to Spartan and they replied " When the Hadley system sounds to me like it is working as designed. For example if you take a sharp turn and the coach leans around 11 degrees it will set the alarm off because it is not at ride height(even a steep hill can cause the alarm to go off). The Hadley system will adjust and once it reaches the proper ride height the alarm will shut off.

How did they adjust the air pressure? Please keep us informed if that took care of it and I will do the same.

BTW, I also have 2 fogged windows. Also, according to Spartan, there is a recall on the DEF Fill bracket.

Congrats on the new coach. Enjoy !!
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtrving View Post
Jim,

Had the EXACT same problem. Finally got a mobile tech to Inflate to 135, but my gauges on the cluster show 150. Spartan says they can be off by almost 20lbs on the gauges. WTH? But no more message or hateful shrill beeping....

Curious if you had any porpoising going over bridges. I confirmed today with Spartan that in fact the shocks are the exact same 46mm as the ones in the Dutch Stars so it is no wonder I am experiencing the same thing. I have to have a Spartan tech re-verify the ride height and tire pressures before they will even consider replacing. I'm surprised more MA owners have not experienced this.

Glad to hear everything else is good. There are more quirks that you will find, trust me

-Jeff
Im assuming you are referring to the 2018 DS. The rumour or fact is the 2019 have a more heavy duty shock. Let hope for all those future DS owners!
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck53 View Post
Im assuming you are referring to the 2018 DS. The rumour or fact is the 2019 have a more heavy duty shock. Let hope for all those future DS owners!

Yes, the shocks (at least the fronts) are the same on the 2018 DS as the 2018 MA.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtrving View Post
Jim,

Had the EXACT same problem. Finally got a mobile tech to Inflate to 135, but my gauges on the cluster show 150. Spartan says they can be off by almost 20lbs on the gauges. WTH? But no more message or hateful shrill beeping....

Curious if you had any porpoising going over bridges. I confirmed today with Spartan that in fact the shocks are the exact same 46mm as the ones in the Dutch Stars so it is no wonder I am experiencing the same thing. I have to have a Spartan tech re-verify the ride height and tire pressures before they will even consider replacing. I'm surprised more MA owners have not experienced this.

Glad to hear everything else is good. There are more quirks that you will find, trust me

-Jeff
Jeff.

I was actually looking for the porpoising issue after reading your posts on it. I did not experience anything that I would call "porpoising." When we encountered a dip, the suspension dropped, as expected and returned to height without a secondary oscillation. Only where there were multiple dips in the road surface did we experience multiple bounces. I haven't been under the coach yet to verify what shocks I have. Since ours was reportedly the last one off the 2018 line, maybe they put the heavier shocks on it. Then again, I didn't see any pigs flying today either.

TJ
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonbass View Post
Hi Jim,

I have the same issue with my 2018 MADP 4047 (Spartan K3) Low Ride Height warning. I contacted Spartan and they recommended that we replace the "Air Manifold". They sent the part out right away to my local Cummins dealer and they made the repair. Everything seems to be OK, but I still get Low Ride Height on hills or off camber roads. I sent an email to Spartan and they replied " When the Hadley system sounds to me like it is working as designed. For example if you take a sharp turn and the coach leans around 11 degrees it will set the alarm off because it is not at ride height(even a steep hill can cause the alarm to go off). The Hadley system will adjust and once it reaches the proper ride height the alarm will shut off.

How did they adjust the air pressure? Please keep us informed if that took care of it and I will do the same.

BTW, I also have 2 fogged windows. Also, according to Spartan, there is a recall on the DEF Fill bracket.

Congrats on the new coach. Enjoy !!
Jon:

The "pressure governor" as Spartan calls it (fancy name for a pop-off valve) is located in the rear corner of the side engine compartment bay (last bay to the rear on the passenger side). It is mid-height in the bay, near the back of the bay door frame. There is only one "governor" that apparently controls both the front and rear tanks. Photo below.

On the bottom of the cylindrical governor body is a screw cap (note the wings for a turning purchase). Removing the cap, you will find a slotted screw locked in place with a nut. The tech loosened the nut and...IIRC...adjusted the threaded screw to obtain the correct pressure. At the top of the unit, there is a tire-valve-like port where he took the pressure readings. It was important to drop the tank pressure by cycling the brakes and then letting the compressor build up to the pop-off pressure. The tech read the pressure at the point where there was an audible air release from the valve.

To be prerfectly clear, I am not suggesting that this is a DIY project. You are messing with your brake system and if you don't get the pressure right, you may find yourself without brakes. I just described what the tech did to obtain the results he did. I strongly suggest letting a qualified tech make this adjustment.

TJ
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:31 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing your experiences. TJ, how many windows have lost their seals and are fogging? I wouldn't have expected this fresh from the factory. Maybe someone at the factory dropped a pallet of windows with enough force to hurt their seals.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquil Jim View Post
We made it to Polson, Montana, today in the new MADP 4047. Put 943 miles on the odometer on an easy three-day jaunt. Fuel mileage is 7.3 mpg at this point, though we did run the generator most of the first day through Colorado and Wyoming (95+ degrees the whole way). Today we ran the generator for about three hours (the reason will be clear shortly).

First impressions:

1. We love the coach.
2. It drives like a dream.
3. Cruises effortlessly at 66-68 mph on cruise control.
4. Power in the hills (or Rocky Mountains, to be exact) is awesome.
5. Newmar builds a good coach, but there are also some ugly implementations.
6. Spartan builds a great chassis...but, it has its bugs too.
7. Newmar's double-pane windows ain't so great; two are already fogged and will need to be replaced. That's what warranties are for!

On Saturday, while traveling across a remote part of Wyoming, we started getting "Ride Height" error messages, complete with a shrill warning tone. This is not something you want to hear in the middle of Wyoming! Called Newmar CS and they conference called with Spartan. Kudos to both guys who handled the call. Consensus was that since it was only happening during downhill braking, it was probably "normal."

Today, it started doing if on flat sections and in left-had turns. Another call to Newmar and another conference with Spartan. Again, both guys handled the call nicely. "Dave" at Spartan said we needed to get to a service center to have the air pressure governor adjusted. Since we were approaching Missoula, Montana, by this time, he set us up with "Tom" at Transport Equipment. Nice guy and a good diesel repair shop.

Tom handed us off to "Dale" for the adjustment. It took a call to Spartan to find exactly where and how to make the adjustment. Spartan says that they set up the K3 500 chassis to have 120 psi in front and rear tanks, but with the heavy coach Newmar puts on it, it should be adjusted up to 135 psi. The 120 setting is marginal for the Hadley air ride suspension and is the likely reason for the error message/tone. It was unclear whether Spartan or Newmar should have made the adjustment and I didn't pursue.

Armed with this information, Dale set the air pressure governor to exactly 135 psi (I watched him tweak it from 134.7 psi to 135.0 psi). An exacting guy; I liked him. All of the back and forth took about three hours; the three hours that the generator was running today to keep the coach cool. Told you I'd tie up the loose ends.

The trip from Missoula to Polson (abut 65 miles) was flawless with no ride height issues. Hopefully, this means that the pressure adjustment did the trick. One interesting side note: our two air gauges have not read the same from day one. The Spartan tech said to remember that they are not "gauges;" merely indicators and they aren't necessarily accurate. What I did find is that when the pressure governor was adjusted, both gauges moved up about 15 psi or so. It is kind of hard to tell exactly because the markings are 65 and 150; you have to guess at the number in between. I guess that's why the tech said that are "indicators."


We are now at our summer place here in Polson for the week and I'll be busy fiddling with a few things that need fiddling with. I know all of the above is part of the shake-out period for a new coach and am not...at least, yet...frustrated by it. We'll get things sorted out in due time. As long as the coach doesn't leave us stranded by the wayside somewhere, we're good.

TJ
Congrats on your new coach! Are you at the Polson Motorcoach Resort? We are too - Site 158 in a 17DS. Feel free to drop by if youd like to say hello and compare notes.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquil Jim View Post
Jon:

The "pressure governor" as Spartan calls it (fancy name for a pop-off valve) is located in the rear corner of the side engine compartment bay (last bay to the rear on the passenger side). It is mid-height in the bay, near the back of the bay door frame. There is only one "governor" that apparently controls both the front and rear tanks. Photo below.

On the bottom of the cylindrical governor body is a screw cap (note the wings for a turning purchase). Removing the cap, you will find a slotted screw locked in place with a nut. The tech loosened the nut and...IIRC...adjusted the threaded screw to obtain the correct pressure. At the top of the unit, there is a tire-valve-like port where he took the pressure readings. It was important to drop the tank pressure by cycling the brakes and then letting the compressor build up to the pop-off pressure. The tech read the pressure at the point where there was an audible air release from the valve.

To be prerfectly clear, I am not suggesting that this is a DIY project. You are messing with your brake system and if you don't get the pressure right, you may find yourself without brakes. I just described what the tech did to obtain the results he did. I strongly suggest letting a qualified tech make this adjustment.

TJ
The device is the governor that controls the pressure at which the air compressor unloads. The compressor has two cylinders that move all the time the engine is running. The governor allows air to move back and forth between the cylinders rather than forcing air into the system. That's how it keeps from building excessive pressure.
It's most definitely not a pressure relief valve. That's probably located in the head of the compressor.
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzee2020 View Post
Thanks for sharing your experiences. TJ, how many windows have lost their seals and are fogging? I wouldn't have expected this fresh from the factory. Maybe someone at the factory dropped a pallet of windows with enough force to hurt their seals.
Thus far, two windows are fogged; the driver's side window (just a small area out of my view) and a lower swing-out window at the front of the FWS. No big deal at this point, but Newmar is already aware that they are warranty items.

TJ
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by specmga1 View Post
Congrats on your new coach! Are you at the Polson Motorcoach Resort? We are too - Site 158 in a 17DS. Feel free to drop by if youd like to say hello and compare notes.
Yep! We're in site 156...almost next door with a King Aire between us. I'll stop by, or you can feel free to stop by.

TJ
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:40 PM   #13
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Jim, on my 18 K2 there are digital displays available, one is air tank pressure. You may like to try it for an accurate read out of the two tanks. Glad your enjoying the new MH.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:45 PM   #14
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Jim, on my 18 K2 there are digital displays available, one is air tank pressure. You may like to try it for an accurate read out of the two tanks. Glad your enjoying the new MH.
Hi, Stuart.

Are those "digital displays" in the light bar, or are they aftermarket items? I'm still trying to figure out the Spartan three-button light bar. It works very differently from the one in out previous 2014 Ventana LE.

TJ
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