View Full Version : Holiday Travel

Richard and Rhonda
12-17-2009, 08:07 PM
Hope all of you have a great Holiday break (I'm so politically correct, not)

We are heading from Texas to Chattanooga to visit Rhonda's dad, and then on to Clemson, SC to see my Mom. The boys seem to tolerate this trip much better in the Newell than they did in the car. It couldn't be the sleeping, eating, and video game playing now could it.

I'm sure Rhonda wil provide an update of my follies whilst underway.

Merry Christmas to you all.

12-17-2009, 09:21 PM
Enjoy your time with your families, that is what this Christmas season is about: family. Cindy and I haven't decided when or where we will go. We're off through the 1st. We're kinda waiting to see where it isn't raining, that's where we'll probably head.

12-17-2009, 09:57 PM
Karen and I are going to Angel Fire, NM to snow ski for Christmas this year. Let me re-phrase that: Karen and her kids are going to ski, I am going to do other things. My 62 year old bones don't need to be tested on the slopes. I like my knees and back just the way they are now; in one piece.

I am looking forward to snowmobiling, horseback riding, sleigh rides, snow tubing, and just enjoying a white Christmas. We will be traveling in a Honda Pilot (4AWD) instead of the Newell. I'll miss the MH, but I think that sliding down a mountain road in a 25 ton Newell is a little scary.

We would like to wish all of our Newell buddies a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Richard and Rhonda
12-30-2009, 02:11 PM
Little did I predict the nature of our holiday adventures. You can read about my trip to the ER over on my blog if you're curious. The Newell element I thought would be on topic to post here.

The last pic is one of Rhonda and I riding the tandem on the Natchez Trace in Mississippi on the way East.

One of the purposes of taking the coach back was to tow my Dad's pickup back to Texas. My Mom wanted the boys to have it, and selling it was not an option to her. I didn't feel comfortable driving a 92 model that had sat virtually idle for almost 7 years for a thousand miles, so hatched the plan to tow it back with the Newell.

Taking off the bumper and bolting on tow brackets went very smoothly. So did hooking in the wiring for the lights, and disconnecting the drive shaft. While backing up the coach to the now disabled truck, I discovered a "little" issue that was to have some consequence.

Imagine, it is approaching dusk, you are scheduled to leave early the next morn, and a puddle of coolant is forming underneath the Newell. Uh oh, this is not good. Coolant dripping on the eve of a thousand mile drive is not a good omen. And just for grins, there is a weather system coming into the Texas, Mississippi corridor that I need to travel in to get back home from SC. Therefore leaving to beat the storm is imperative, Rhonda is not much for driving in the snow.

Not much I could do about it in the cold dark, so it had to wait for the next day. Daylight and flashligts reveal what is probably just a loose hose clamp, and not a hole in the radiator as I had imagined all night. Shouldn't be an issue, right? Well, the hose clamp is at the very back up against the firewall, and in the upper corner. I can see it, but it's about a foot and a half beyond what I can reach even with my body jammed into the space.

WELL, WELL. Maybe I can access through the outside radiator panel on the side. Drill out the rivets that hold the panel and find......NOPE. Ok, how about the bedroom. Take out bed, and remove engine access panel. Great, I am now standing on the engine, and I can really see the connection, but still a foot and half away. OK, back to the engine bay. Since it's a side mount radiator the fan is a hydraulic one. So, I unbolt the frame that holds the fan, unhook the hydraulic hoses, which incidentally spills Valdez quantities of fluid and invokes emergency spill drill, and finally I can wedge my body into the space and ALMOST reach the clamps. A number of extensions later, it takes all of a minute to tighten both clamps.

It does take about three hours to reinstall the fan, fill and bleed the hyraulic system, reconstrusct the bedroom, reinstall the radiator panel, and clean up the oil spill. Oh yeah did I say it was COLD outside?

We were on the road at 3 pm, we pulled into Fort Worth at 2 pm the next day. The snow literally started as we turned into our neighborhood. No leaks, all gauges were rock steady for the thousand mile blast.

Here are some pics, have a good laugh on me.

12-30-2009, 03:26 PM
You make better lemonade than any of us out of the lemons that we get. If we ever get to the point of passing out Newell fixer awards, you would be at the top of the candidate list for sure. Thanks for posting and for giving all of us a slight smile. We wouldn't want to smile to big, because that would haunt us pretty quickly.

Have a Happy New Year!!!!

The Colorado gang. Heading to Tampa tomorrow for 12 weeks of Newell adventure.

12-30-2009, 03:52 PM
Wow, Richard....did you need someone to pull you out of that tight space! Thank you for putting a smile on our collective faces this morning. The write up was hilarious. Just read your post on the blog about the ER visit.....

Love the colors on your tandem. Ours is sea foam green in front fading to pink in the rear....custom powder coat job by the original owner. We'd be quite the foursome riding down the road....next time we get together we will bring the tandem!

12-31-2009, 01:35 AM
Richard is right about the snow in the Ft. Worth area. We drove thru DFW on Monday 12-28 and the remnants looked to be about 7 thick on the ground! We were returning from a snow skiing trip in Angel Fire, NM. This was my 1st time driving in snow; I didn't care for it. I slid off of the road once. Then I learned to SLOW DOWN!

I'm glad I wasn't driving thru the DFW area while it was coming down.

Richard and Rhonda
12-31-2009, 02:06 AM
Quite a story on the tandem paint job. We had another CoMotion painted like that. The manufacturer called the paint job Fruit Loops because Fruit Loops are purple, yellow, and red. I bought this tandem, which was a gorgeous metallic blue, but Rhonda hinted she liked the paint on the original tandem, which we had of course named Fruit Loops. So, I got the paint codes from CoMotion, stripped a brand new bike, and painted it to match Fruit Loops. We named this one, TwoCan, aka Toucan, the bird on the Fruit Loops box.

12-31-2009, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the story Richard. A situation well handled. I noticed in your pictures that your engine looks a lot cleaner than my 94 although I've tried to clean it often. I just wondered what product you're using to keep it that way? Any info would be appreciated. Happy New Year.

12-31-2009, 09:22 PM
I don't know about Richard, but before I bought my coach, Newell painted my engine. When I was up there about a month ago, they painted one of my friends 60 series. It's just a can of spray paint. I bought a can from Newell for $20 to keep mine touched up.

12-31-2009, 09:42 PM
Paint? Oh yeah, yall have the series 60. Us with the 8v92's just have to squirt a 'lil oil here and there to cover up the clean areas!

Richard and Rhonda
12-31-2009, 11:17 PM
Larry, I put degreaser in a bug sprayer about once a year and spray the engine compartment and radiator. I rinse it off pretty quickly since the degreaser is caustic and will attack anything aluminium.