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Old 06-21-2014, 08:39 AM   #1
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Newmar Factory Tour

We went to the Newmar factory for the first time, in order to have some work done on our (new to us) coach. It certainly was an enlightening experience. The tour was great seeing how the assembly line like manufacturing on these large vehicles was done. We saw a full wall slide being installed & was amazed as to how quickly it was done. Also, we saw them sliding units from one location to another. My understanding was they had increased their production from three (3) units per day to seven (7) & added about 150 additional employees. We truly saw the units coming out of the building behind us completed & going through there PDI. The service tech we had was great & provided a lot of information. He fixed some small items at no charge & explained a lot of questions we had, on some of the systems.

Some of the chatter in the lounge area was about the correct procedure for leveling the coach with slides out before or after the leveling process. The tech told us to put slides out first, dump air & level. The manual says "Warning" level first then put out the slides! Who do you believe?

There were a lot of customers in the camping area with 2014 models for quality issues on their new units. Some of the chatter was about quality control perhaps being effected by increased production.

Overall the experience was great, we met a lot nice people & established some new friendships.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:19 AM   #2
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Do what the manual says. Putting a slide out doesn't effect balance as much as it puts strain on the chassis, etc. Therefore, I dump air, level, put slide(s) out, and check against the level to make any fine adjustments that need to be made.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:45 AM   #3
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We were at the factory 3 weeks ago and grilled them on the new leveling procedure, we have never had a problem when we leveled first and then extended the slides. Their story is since the coaches are built at "Ride Height" then slides should be deployed and retracted at Ride Height. We tried the new method on the way back home and it works fine but we're got a couple of small plywood shavings on the floor?? To make life easier on our batteries, we plug in to shore power before we extend slides, and we run the motor while we level. so using the new method, we shut off the motor to extend the slides and then restart the motor to deploy the leveling legs, another example of coaches being designed and built by folks who have not ever used one.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:56 AM   #4
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The coaches are also built on a perfectly flat floor, unlike many parking/camping sites.

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Originally Posted by nforus View Post
We were at the factory 3 weeks ago and grilled them on the new leveling procedure, we have never had a problem when we leveled first and then extended the slides. Their story is since the coaches are built at "Ride Height" then slides should be deployed and retracted at Ride Height. We tried the new method on the way back home and it works fine but we're got a couple of small plywood shavings on the floor?? To make life easier on our batteries, we plug in to shore power before we extend slides, and we run the motor while we level. so using the new method, we shut off the motor to extend the slides and then restart the motor to deploy the leveling legs, another example of coaches being designed and built by folks who have not ever used one.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:54 AM   #5
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Do what the manual says. Putting a slide out doesn't effect balance as much as it puts strain on the chassis, etc. Therefore, I dump air, level, put slide(s) out, and check against the level to make any fine adjustments that need to be made.
I totally agree also with the method described by our manual which is as mentioned above. It just doesn't make sense to be to do the slides first, dump air then level as herky jerking the extended slides mechanism/framing when leveling has to cause undue stress.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nforus View Post
We were at the factory 3 weeks ago and grilled them on the new leveling procedure, we have never had a problem when we leveled first and then extended the slides. Their story is since the coaches are built at "Ride Height" then slides should be deployed and retracted at Ride Height. We tried the new method on the way back home and it works fine but we're got a couple of small plywood shavings on the floor?? To make life easier on our batteries, we plug in to shore power before we extend slides, and we run the motor while we level. so using the new method, we shut off the motor to extend the slides and then restart the motor to deploy the leveling legs, another example of coaches being designed and built by folks who have not ever used one.
On my Ventana, I am able to deploy and retract the leveling jacks with the ignition key in accessory mode. Starting the engine is not necessary.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:38 PM   #7
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On my Ventana, I am able to deploy and retract the leveling jacks with the ignition key in accessory mode. Starting the engine is not necessary.
Same with my Bay Star. Just need the emergency brake on.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by countrypair View Post
We went to the Newmar factory for the first time, in order to have some work done on our (new to us) coach. It certainly was an enlightening experience. The tour was great seeing how the assembly line like manufacturing on these large vehicles was done. We saw a full wall slide being installed & was amazed as to how quickly it was done. Also, we saw them sliding units from one location to another. My understanding was they had increased their production from three (3) units per day to seven (7) .........................

There were a lot of customers in the camping area with 2014 models for quality issues on their new units. Some of the chatter was about quality control perhaps being effected by increased production.

Overall the experience was great, we met a lot nice people & established some new friendships.
I suppose the complexities (bells & whistles) built into today's coaches could be a contributing factor in slowing down production, but when I watched my KSCA being built in April of 2003 the workers were completing 17 units per day, 5 days a week. The line was a mixture of gassers, 5th wheels, and DPs. My KSCA was almost FLAWLESS for 7 years and 98+ thousand miles. The pace of the assembly line was almost frantic back then, and I saw employees literally running to finish their tasks before sweeping up, and then pushing the coaches "sideways" on the air slides into the next bay.

Many times I've wished we still had that coach...
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:35 AM   #9
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On my Ventana, I am able to deploy and retract the leveling jacks with the ignition key in accessory mode. Starting the engine is not necessary.
You're right, you can deploy and retract the leveling jacks with the key on accessory mode. We run the motor to let the alternator help with the electrical load on the chassis batteries when we're leveling. Try it once with the motor running and watch the volt meter on your instrument cluster, when the legs are lifting the coach, they pull a pretty good load. It was a tip given to us by one of the folks at the factory a few years ago.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
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If you start my coach the air bags will be inflating so how can you level coach and deploy jacks while the engine is running. Since you have a King Aire it must have a superior system that allows you to do so. Maybe I am looking at this wrong but how can you dump air and level while pumping air into the airbags?
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:03 AM   #11
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If you start my coach the air bags will be inflating so how can you level coach and deploy jacks while the engine is running. Since you have a King Aire it must have a superior system that allows you to do so. Maybe I am looking at this wrong but how can you dump air and level while pumping air into the airbags?
Our coach came with HWH computerized leveling and will dump the air bags and extend the leveling legs with the engine running. There is a loud alarm that sounds to tell you that the Leveling legs are down while the engine is running. I'm not sure how much wear and tear it saves on the chassis batteries to have the engine running while leveling, but since the factory suggested it, that's the way I do it.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:55 PM   #12
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Do what the manual says. Putting a slide out doesn't effect balance as much as it puts strain on the chassis, etc. Therefore, I dump air, level, put slide(s) out, and check against the level to make any fine adjustments that need to be made.
Do you have a FWS? I have been told by Mike at Newmar to put the FWS out first and then level. Smaller slides level first. Of course as you have heard they also recommend checking the reveal first. That part seems like a pain to me. I always pull in and put my slides out before I get out.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:37 PM   #13
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If you plug in shore line, would not need engine running, if your in a campground or run Gen if not, than you know the motors are getting their full 12v's needed for them and no drain on batteries or loud alarm.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:03 PM   #14
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My response, earlier in the list, was based on my feel for automotive engineering. I would only want to extend the rooms, regardless of the quantity or length, after getting leveled. The reason being is that if one puts out slides while not truly level, then the chassis is under some torque. Extending the slide with some torque on the "foundation" is not a good solution, as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, on a diesel pusher, the chassis is heavy steel. And, yes, it will twist somewhat though the tag models may not be as severe (which would depend on some variables).

However, if parking on a good, level pad, knock yourself out and extend before leveling. But, in some spots like I've visited (Kaibab National Forest on the North Rim comes to mind) one of the rears was off the ground when I leveled. And, yes, the body was torqued prior to leveling. One of my bay doors was jammed shut from the pressure being applied to it.

So, would you build a house on a foundation that leaned one way or another or, better yet, had a subtle arc? I think not unless you're into sand castles.
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