View Full Version : maiden voyage

07-01-2012, 04:59 AM
hi my newell friends,

after many months of just fixing and updating, darlene and i (and our oldest daughter and her two kids) left friday nite about 630pm for a 4k mile adventure. i took 3 weeks off of work and off we go.

i have spent so much time working on the newell that it was nice to head out. did 325 miles the first nite and 300 today. did many steep grades coming out of mesa going up north out of arizona.

ran the generator non stop for seemingly days. it was 111 in mesa yesterday and as i was putting the finishing touches on the trailer hitch to tow the car i had to make a new electric connection cable since the hi/lo hitch extension lengthened it by 14" i also had to lengthen the safety cables. i was building the last plug on the cable sitting on the concrete in front of my house and it was hot....

a few things happened that were small so far. got one engine code that reset itself and didnt show up again. i also had a fuse go on the new 12v air compressor. i might have to bump it up from a 15 to a 20 with the new compressor. the solenoid diverter valve that switches between city water and the pumps hung up and we were without water till i got it cleared.

the funniest thing was as we were leaving the house pulling our honda crv we only moved a few inches and our daughter runs up waving her hands. the air brake system on the coach isnt set up the way i thought it would be and it locked the brakes up all the time on the car. so i just disconnected the air hose and off we went. i will fix it when i get home.

loving it so far. learning alot about it.

still things to fix and update but making great progress. loved the new latex mattress we had made for the new bed.

tomorrow after we attend church where we are staying we will head off to start to miami ok. will have a few things done there on tuesday.

didnt know if we were going to make it as some last minute problems came up thursday but it all turned out.

many thanks to our newell friends and others who have helped us so much.


tom and darlene

07-01-2012, 12:24 PM
Smooth sailing to you and yours Tom......

07-01-2012, 01:42 PM

Sounds like you have the little glitches under control. There's nothing like knowing your coach. Have fun at the Newell factory; one of my favorite places on earth!

07-01-2012, 04:33 PM
"Favorite places on earth".....Tropical islands,Lake Como,Victoria Falls,Yellowstone,Hawaii,San Tropez,coastal Maine,British Colombia,Paris,Florence and then Newell Coach

07-01-2012, 07:38 PM
Safe travels Tom!!
Miami, OK not even on the radar.....:o

07-02-2012, 12:34 AM
As much as I, like you, enjoy working on my Newell traveling in my Newell is like the reward for all the hard work. I hope you are enjoying all the rewards of your hard work! I'm leaving for the N/E in a month and am already itching to go.

Suggestion: Assuming that when you leave Miami, OK you'll take I-44 east, when you get to St Louis take I-270 north around the west & north side of the city. Much better than going through the city with its very narrow transitions. I-270 will meet back up with I-55 and I-70 on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

Visiting the Newell factory can be a great experience if you take the time to meet some of the greatest people you'll find anywhere. Also the techs will take time to answer any question you may have. I always try to gain enough educational information to justify paying the bill.

07-02-2012, 01:13 AM
Just left Miami a few minutes ago, it's a nice calm warmmmmmm Oklahoma night! The lot was filling up quickly. Enjoy your trip and the factory.

07-02-2012, 01:58 AM
Have a great trip Tom and Darlene. Don't forget we are not too far North of Dayton if you get the chance to visit. Steve may have meant to take 270 around to the East and then connect up with I-70 towards Indy. Keep us all posted on your "maiden", hope to see you soon. Our Island is beautiful this time of year.

07-02-2012, 04:44 AM
Safe travels Tom and Darlene!

07-02-2012, 06:27 PM
Safe trip to you all....if you need a place to stay south of OK, in north Texas, email us off line. Best.

Lynn and Jeff

1990 42.6" Newell #234, Newell Factory Upgrade 2008, Homegrown Upgrade 2012

30' ATC Stacker Trailer

07-02-2012, 11:43 PM
hi lynn and jeff,

thanks for the invitation. we kinda whizzed through texas last nite. we spent the nite in the crackerbarrell rv parking lot arriving at about midnite in oklahoma city.

today we are at camp newell in miami.

everyone is so friendly. going to have a few things fixed wednesday and then head out.

tom and darlene

07-04-2012, 10:00 PM
an update.

i have been having an ongoing saga of trying to get a turbo boost sensor circuit voltage low check engine light fixed. had it to 3 different places including running it on a dyno to reproduce it. thought it had fixed itself....ha and as i was leaving newell last nite, the light came on and so did the stop engine light. the stop engine light flickered on and off and then stayed off. i called my bus guy in phoenix and he said it should be a soft fault and not shut the engine down. btw, my experience is not that, it has shut the engine down.

so, i called central detroit diesel in springfield mo and they took me in at 830pm last nite.

roger took the ddec out and we found a bent pin. and there was a bolt stuck behind the ddec starting to wear and it made a connection between the ecu and the engine. it is supposed to be isolated as it is mounted on rubber grommets.

in addition david brady told me about the barometric pressure mod that was done and inserted between the turbo sensor and the ecu. roger asked if he could take it out and i said yes.

after a cheap bill of 2 hours labor, we were off about 1130pm last nite and drove 120 miles no issues. then drove another 300 today no issue. hopefully i am fixed.

i learned some other things after a too pricey of a day at newell that i will share later.

thanks to those of you who have been contacting me to make sure we are doing ok. the grandkids are doing great.

but....it is very hot here in indiana. was 103 today. what is the deal? only 80's in phoenix today and 103 in indiana?


07-05-2012, 02:39 AM
"what is the deal? only 80's in phoenix today and 103 in indiana?"

Indiana is just trying to make you feel at home!

07-05-2012, 03:17 AM
btw we are getting about 7.8mpg running 68mph. that didnt count the huge mountains in az , just running through ok, texas, mo and indiana.


07-06-2012, 02:08 PM
I'm envious of that mileage Tom. As you know, I rarely get over 6.3 - 6.5 mpg with my 8V92 in a lighter coach. The Series 60 seems to be serving you very well (now that the Turbo Boost issue seems to be corrected).

07-06-2012, 02:59 PM
That's good news Tom, have a great trip! :)

David Brady
'02 Wanderlodge LXi,
Asheville, NC

07-06-2012, 05:56 PM

If you want to see some impressive mileage; slow down to 60 mph! I know it's not easy to do (I personally like to drive 65) but you will 8+mpg. I have gotten 8.25 not pulling a toad.

07-06-2012, 09:34 PM
i have heard that 10mph can make as much as 1mpg difference.

i probably averaged about 62 or so


07-06-2012, 09:45 PM
we have hit about the 2000 mile mark and have been gone about exactly one week.

it has been a learning experience as i still figure things out. in addition getting things fixed along the way.

we are now with or son who is a Lt in the air force at wright patterson afb in dayton ohio. we are staying at the closet big rig park that is about 20 miles from his house. big rigs are certainly not expected to be as big as our rigs.

the park we stayed at in oaktown indiana the last two nights said over the phone no problem for a big coach. when i pulled up in front of the office the lady said that her dad didnt realize how big our big rig was.

we had to do some shuffling to get out this morning but made it ok.

this park is tomorrows stars rv resort in south charleston ohio. nice place with a big pull through spot. but i will have to back up to not get all scratched up on the trees.

we are here for most of the week and then off to richard and rhondas, then to steve and suzy bares. we have missed seeing some of our friends and are sad that we couldnt see more. our schedule got shuffled around some.


tom and darlene, daughter laura and grandkids katy and willy.

07-06-2012, 10:25 PM

Our exerpience exactly, as far as parks and big rigs. It is probably pointless to ask, and we try to do all the reserach ourseves, but once we are decided we call anyway and ask for a site that we can get into and out of and not hit trees, etc. We describe the coach as the same size as a Greyhoud Bus - that has seemed to get some attentiion. Recently we were asked after registration to turn down a particular road to follow their golf cart. I had looked over that turn earlier and thought it could be a problem I told them I preferred not take take that route and was told "We have had 70 footers make that turn!" Now I am not sure what a seventy footer is, but I held my ground and we got a much easier route as a result to our site. In the end, all the responsibiliy is our own and not on anyone else. That is why I do as much as I can on the coach - so I know how it was done and learn with each project.

07-08-2012, 01:51 AM
kinda like this!

07-08-2012, 02:02 AM
matt, the newell looks as georgeous as usual.


07-08-2012, 02:20 AM
we are in dayton ohio. still hot but supposed to cool down twenty degrees by monday.

today we went to the air force museum at wright patterson air force base. it is huge and amazing. being former air force it was really interesting to me. i worked on F111 fighter bombers and they had three of them. this is one of them. it brought back many memories. they have retired them all now but not in my mind.

afterwards we went to lunch at a nearby restaurant. as we approached it an animal started across the road slowly. it was way too big to be a squirrel, and too big for a possum or anything like that. as it started ans topped a few times i swirved in the car to avoid hitting it. low and behold, it was a beaver. yea, a beaver.

when we were in the restaurant we noticed the name of the town was beaver creek. we asked the waitress if there were beavers running around and she looked at me like we were crazy. but it was a beaver.

tonite there was fireflys and the grandkids were fascinated by them.

and yea, it really was a beaver.

we are watching transformers in 3D in the coach. good stuff


tom and darlene

07-08-2012, 04:09 AM
Sounds like real camping fun!

07-10-2012, 03:04 AM
today another rig pulled in next to us. i was taking a nap and heard a famiilar engine sound. when i went outside there was a semi adapted to pull a 5th whell that was in turn pulling an enclosed trailer with motorcycles in it.

i talked to the guy and he was a full timer. he was 75 feet long and said when he pulled his car he was over 80 feet long. he knew what states he was legal in but said he didnt pay attention to it.

he bought the semi with 750k miles on it (series 60 1999) and has put another 100k on it. he said not a lick of trouble on it

this was one big rig. he had a sleeper on the tractor and another sleeper mounted behind it backwards he uses as a storage shed.

he pumps his black tank from the 5th wheel to a 100 gallon tank on the rig with a macerator to give him alot more time between dumping.

he said he made the setup including moving axles, making the 5th wheel mount mounting the sleepers etc himself.


07-12-2012, 12:54 PM
toady we are finishing up a week here in the dayton ohio area. we are headed after lunch to huntington wv to see richard and rhonda and family. it has been great to sit still for a week and enjoy the weather now that it is not so hot. sitting outside enjoying the cool morning breeze (and because tethering off of my phone works better outside).

it has also been great to spend a week with our son who is a 2nd lt at wright patterson AFB. we spend a couple of days at the air force museum and that is amazing. a must see for anyone who loves airplanes. yesterday we went to the presidential and research hangers on base. went through 4 old ari force ones. saw the only surviving xb70 and more.

i had to chuckle as the couple next to us drove off to leave. he had checked something under the small hood under the front windshield and forgot to close it and was driving off to leave with it open. i walked around to the back of our spot and caught them as they looped around. i am sure he felt dorky, but not as dorky as i have for goofier things than that in the past.

yesterday morning my daughter said there was something wrong in the mid bathroom. it was extremely hot in there. when she sat on the toilet her feet were getting almost burned. our grandson is s switch turner oner.we had run the aquahot for evening showers and the water in the system was hot. he had turned the thermostat up to max in the bathroom and i am glad to report that the system works great in the bathroom. we were running the air conditioners in the rest of the coach to keep it at 70 (yes, 70, darlene likes it cold) and the bathroom was like a sauna.

one of the days we were driving he turned on the fantastic fan so i drove along ways with the vent open on the roof. i had just put a new dome on it. but it didnt damage it.

i dont let him sit in the drivers seat or the coach would have probably rolled off by now.....ha

it has been really fun to have our daughter and her two kids with us.

the 5 of us fit just fine. the two grandkids on the couch bed and my daughter sleeps on a high quality airbed on the floor.

and darlene and i in the almost cal king bed we made.



07-13-2012, 02:37 AM
we drove the 180 miles from dayton to huntington and had dinner with the Entrekins. they were outstanding hosts and richard was his usual self and fixed his neighbors air conditioner after dinner.

we are at the koa in milton. they are super friendly but....we came in from the wrong side to enter into the park and couldnt make the turn and had to stop and block traffic on the highway and the road into the park till we unhooked the car and darlene and laura stopped traffic so i could back the newell up to finish the turn. once in the park we were ok.

coach ran great and we drove quite a ways on narrow state highways with no shoulders. lots of trucks so had to be very careful...

love the coach.


tom and darlene

07-13-2012, 03:33 AM
Guess you're not invited to the nightly camp fire. :thumbsup:

07-15-2012, 11:49 PM
what does one newell guy do to show another new guy the local area? load up the newell and go touring.

we all pilled into richards newell and he drove us up to the mountains of west virginia and we spent the afternoon touring. it was nice.

richard is a great tour guide and driver.....

we went to new river goarge, a humongo bridge tall enough that they basejump off of it. we hiked down to an observation point and richard started practicing being a grandma as he carried my 4 year old grandson out on his shoulders....


07-16-2012, 12:30 AM
What no coffee cup????

07-25-2012, 02:09 AM
we are on the last day of our nearly 4 week trip. we are staying in a park in gallup new mexico after driving 600 miles today. will get home tomorrow. it is in the 70's here in gallup so will be hot when we get home. things have worked well. i have a list of things to fix or modify but nothing major. it will be about 4200 miles i think for this trip. thanks to all who helped me and the list is long.

07-25-2012, 02:53 AM
Which park in Gallup?

07-25-2012, 03:26 AM
USA RV Park. great wifi, cable, and actual pull through spots big enough to get in and out with the car hooked up. the kids swam in the pool and played miniature golf.
not fancy, but nice and clean.

07-25-2012, 02:16 PM
That is one of our favorite overnight parks...we have stayed there 4 times going east and west on I-40, but usually when it has been much colder....certainly too cold to swim....lol. Glad your trip has gone pretty smoother, and that you have finally gotten to put some serious mileage on the 2002.