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Old 05-08-2013, 09:30 PM   #15
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With Dave's updates, it's almost like being there!
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:24 PM   #16
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So our last day of instruction was a morning of reinforcing concepts associated with air brakes and checks to make sure air brakes are working properly and tips on things like alignment and service. Then some practical application (which I think will be increased in the future) on our coaches drove home some of the air brake and alignment tips and processes.

The ladies were in their own room in a ladies session...not sure this was the best way to approach...as some ladies work as co-pilots while other ladies operate at the other end of the spectrum....Spartan is evolving this part of the course.

Our driving session left DW and me a little wanting today on the driving course as we had done the Lazy Days session, and the contracted instructor for this used a far different approach, creating some confusion. Others may be able to better articulate the value they thought this section, particularly getting their co-pilots in the driving seat.

For all intent, the class is complete. We have a road driving session tomorrow.

So summary, great class. I fully expect to recoup the cost of the class in better understanding of issues, how to handle maintenance, and working with technicians to troubleshoot my coach. Discounted parts for emergency and next annual service, that I'll buy and take away. Leaves me wondering how I work my way through Michigan yearly to get annual service by chassis people who know the chassis. That doesn't value the safety factor in which adds to the value. Great intimate class structure, good food, family atmosphere between Spartan staff and the class.

Michigan appears to be a beautiful state for our upcoming Summerfest.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:56 PM   #17
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Dave,

Any answer/clarity on the "economy mode" button?
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:05 PM   #18
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As a matter of fact, yes...without attribution, general belief if maybe .1 to .2 more MPG with Economy mode.

I'd have to say that is probably consistent with what I've seen roughly in the last 1500 miles since I started using it. That said, I'd really like to know how folks are getting 9.2 MPG.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:20 PM   #19
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Dave,

Did they make any adjustments to your coach?
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:26 PM   #20
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Couple of things

X2 or maybe 4 on Michigan for Summerfest - great choice

I wonder it folks are using the Spartan readout for mileage. We find it to be .5 or more gallons higher than actual using Fill info, a calculator and the odometer. FWIW same for our former T$$$$n coach
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:27 PM   #21
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My DW likes to drive now and then - should she split off or go to the "ladies" part of the course?
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:31 PM   #22
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A complete check of the chassis of my coach revealed it in generally good shape. Ride height correct, four corner weight showed my tires to be overinflated, and I had a "popping" in an element of the front end suspension that resulting in shim being place in the bell housings and a retorqueing of the bolts. Rear end was checked for another element that could have caused the issue. My tag axle was a little low on oil and was filled to proper level. Followed by road test. Others had many other things found.

When we did my coach walk around, I noted underneath what I believed to be a front oil seal, upper and lower, of the Cummins engine was leaking a little...not unusual for a new engine. I'll have to work that with Cummins as engine warrantee activities on the engine are dealt with separately from the chassis.

We're still working my ABS and Check Transmission fault electrical issue to fruition to make sure we've solved that problem. All in all a good week for all here from that perspective.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Saltydog44 View Post
My DW likes to drive now and then - should she split off or go to the "ladies" part of the course?
The ladies section was just one morning. Rest of the class is for both pilots and co-pilots. Your DW can get just as involved as she chooses and co-pilots are encouraged to both participate and ask questions.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:54 AM   #24
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Check out Spartan Chassis Recreation Vehicle's page on Facebook. Yesterday they posted photos taken at the class, and I presume that this must be your class, Dave! Your updates have been great, and thanks very much for taking the time to post them. I hope to take the class next spring.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:34 AM   #25
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Just a quick note on the training. Dave did a good job on evaluating the class. I believe we all found the class to be extremely informative and I know I feel much more comfortable about the chassis and motor as well. There are things that we learned to look for as we go down the road that could cause you to break down. Another words there are warning signs but we as drivers don't know the signs it can eventually result in a check engine light etc...

The other take away from the course was the 44 point check. I went to Spartan and i personally thought my coach ran excellent. They found an air leak, fan belt bad (ready to blow) Transmission line rubbing that would of resulted in splitting as I was climbing over the rockies this year, bushing on the bell casing bad and I thought it needed a alignment check. They drove it and said i was plowing with the front wheels. They had to perform an alignment of the rear wheels (thrust) then set the front.
So even if you don't go to the class, make it a point to see Spartan, I only had 3200 miles on mine. Drove it after they did the repairs (all under warranty) and wow what a difference. They showed me from under the bus what they did. They also said all chassis are custom built. They need to be looked at, who better to look at them but the original builder.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:09 AM   #26
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Just a quick note on the training. Dave did a good job on evaluating the class. I believe we all found the class to be extremely informative and I know I feel much more comfortable about the chassis and motor as well. There are things that we learned to look for as we go down the road that could cause you to break down. Another words there are warning signs but we as drivers don't know the signs it can eventually result in a check engine light etc...

The other take away from the course was the 44 point check. I went to Spartan and i personally thought my coach ran excellent. They found an air leak, fan belt bad (ready to blow) Transmission line rubbing that would of resulted in splitting as I was climbing over the rockies this year, bushing on the bell casing bad and I thought it needed a alignment check. They drove it and said i was plowing with the front wheels. They had to perform an alignment of the rear wheels (thrust) then set the front.
So even if you don't go to the class, make it a point to see Spartan, I only had 3200 miles on mine. Drove it after they did the repairs (all under warranty) and wow what a difference. They showed me from under the bus what they did. They also said all chassis are custom built. They need to be looked at, who better to look at them but the original builder.
Thanks for your comments, Dusty. I'm attending the Spartan course next month. We just completed an initial "shakedown cruise" of our Cornerstone and are having roughly 20 issues addressed. Just have less than 9,000 miles on ours so it is a tad early for a full service. Based on your comments though, and those of an earlier poster, I'm going to go ahead and schedule that 44 point inspection. Certainly sounds like time and money well spent.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:04 PM   #27
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Dave,

Any answer/clarity on the "economy mode" button?
The economy mode button remaps the shift points on the transmission so that it stays in a lower gear longer rather than downshift to a higher gear. If you are running on a flat surface you'll be cruising along in 6th gear and it won't make a bit of difference. But when you are accelerating from a stop or slower speed it will shift at a lower RPM. It will also hold a higher gear longer when you encounter a slight grade and let you scrub a bit of speed off before shifting into a lower gear. These are the two areas where you will see some fuel economy gains. The only drawback to economy mode is that you may be dropping a few extra MPH on slight grades when running on the cruise control.

Engines are just big air pumps. By allowing them to run at lower RPMs they move less air (and fuel) through them. The Economy Mode button helps with a tenth or two of improved fuel exconomy but it all depends on what kind of terrain you are driving on at that time.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:34 AM   #28
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I too just completed the Spartan Owners Safety Class, I agree with Dusty, Dave's comments were right on. If you own a Spartan Chassis and are anywhere close to Charlotte Mi. plan on having the 44 point check done. The class is excellent, I recommend it to everyone with a Spartan Chassis.
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