Follow up on my Ventana LE
Just wanted to report on my Ventana LE and what has been going on with it since we got it in February.
First, minor/major problems. On my second trip the electric switch from shore power to generator power failed. Had to camp for over a week without shore power - I was able to get it fixed at Tom Johnson's Camping World in Concord, NC. Also the slide controller failed for the large driver side slide. It seems it had been recalled, but had not been replaced on this coach. When I spoke to Newmar they told me not all had failed - but when they did fail they replaced them. Unfortunately, Newmar didn't have any of the new revision "c" controllers in stock and their supplier was also out. But they mailed one to my destination and I was able to replace it myself. So far, happy to report it is working well.
If you were following me you will remember how I had mentioned that the unit didn't have a very quick acceleration. This has improved a little - but it is just something I will have to live with. I am very happy to report that once it gets rolling it drives well and handles mountains exceptionally well. I have the 360 HP Cummins engine with the 3000 Allison Transmission. I went up Jellico Mountain in Tennessee. When I started up it I was running 65, my preferred speed in this coach, it downshifted to 5th gear at 57 and downshifted again to 4th gear at 53. But after the downshifting it had regained most of it's speed and when I topped Jellico it was back to 65. I passed a lot of semis going up that mountain. Later I drove from Knoxville to Asheville, North Carolina and again it handled extremely well - it handled the severe declines very easily with the exhaust brake controlling the coach. I am fairly happy with the coach's performance now - it has been averaging around 9 mpg while towing a 2014 CRV and fully loaded with fuel, water and the coach was fully loaded for travel.
I can't say enough about Comfort Drive. I had a 2006 Dutch Star and it drove really well - but it doesn't compare to the Ventana LE with comfort drive. I will say I do miss the IFS of the Dutch Star. Rough roads and making hard turns you can definitely feel in the coach and it does rock and move things around. However, for the price difference and when you realize that you really only drive about 6 to 7K miles per year - it is a lot of expense to justify for the bad roads. I have never been to Alaska or traveled really bad roads very long - so I can honestly say that this coach is quiet and rides well overall.
I have changed the shower head to an adjustable Oxygenic Shower head - makes a nice difference in shower pressure and I can turn the water flow off at the shower head without turning the water totally off. I would recommend this change to anyone who doesn't have it. Relatively inexpensive item - about $50 and easy to install yourself.
Another change I made was replacing the swivel recliner with a lazy boy rocker recliner. When I asked Newmar why they didn't offer the rocker, they said that they realized that when the coach was moving the chair was moving and doing damage to the coach interior. I can attest this was true on my old Dutch Star - but I have news for Newmar - the problem wasn't the rocker - it is the swivel! The lazy boy rocker hardly moves going down the road - think about it - it is the movement of the coach that makes the swivel recliner move - I noticed this and no more issues and a much improved comfortable lazyboy for me now!
I have a model 4044. The front dining table doesn't fully close and when both slides are in - if you are heavy or have any mobility issues you can't get by the table to walk to the bathroom with slides in. I had Tom Johnson's staff to cut the table support back approximately 13 inches. This now gives us an 18 inch pass thru when the coach's slides are in - yet we still have a functional work table when extended or nice dining for two. By cutting it to this length - it is still stable and fully supported. Plus I still have the two support extensions and it can easily be changed back. This cost me $250 to do this fix. Well worth it to us.
I had a few punch list items that Tom Johnson took care of and overall the coach seems to be running and operating as well as can be expected. I found the staff at Tom Johnson's high end coach repair shop to be very helpful and they were diligent in getting the coach repaired in a timely manner.
Overall, at this point, I am very happy with the coach and for us the Ventana LE meets most of our needs. The one option I would like to ad is a power electric cord. Newmar doesn't offer it in the LE, however, I see they offer two sizes on the Ventana - a 50' and a 34" - so maybe I can get a 34 unit for my coach. The 50 amp power cord is very cumbersome in the compartment it comes in.
We will start several short term trips in a couple of weeks - if anything of interest occurs concerning the coach I will keep the forum posted.
Mickey on the Road since 1995
2020 Ventana 4369, Freightliner
2014 Honda CRV - Blue Ox Tow Bar - Air Force One