I have been asked to post some photos from the Austin Rally. Click here for a taste of the coaches, the attendees, the meals and the joint projects.
There was a wealth of owner do-it-yourself experience at the rally as displayed by the diversity of projects undertaken (water leaks, air conditioning, air ride seat repair, upholstery, blind repair, alternator work, fan belt replacment, etc). The sharing of knowledge and assistance was the primary purpose of this rally and everyone that I talked to thought it was wildly successful.
Many thanks to Tuga for coming up with the idea and to everyone that shared their experience and their love of Newells for making the rally a success.
As this was an informal rally, some coaches arrived early and some had to leave early. A couple of coaches arrived several days in advance (David and Denise may have been first to arrive) with several of us arriving on Friday. Wally, Tom and I caravaned from Arizona to Austin. If you have the opportunity to travel with another coach, make sure you have your CB's tuned to a lightly used channel (we used channel 1) and you will have a great trip. There was a great deal of communication between the three coaches as we traveled over 1,000 miles to the rally and dry camped at Wal-Marts in Las Cruses and Kerrville.
Sunday may have been the only day that had all coaches in attendance as some folks needed to get back to work and the weekend was their opportunity to participate. Most of the coaches left on Thursday morning with Tom and Clarke caravaning back to Arizona together. By Saturday following the rally, Wally left and I was the only Newell still at the park. We had another Newell owner who was unable to attend ride his motorcycle up from Kerrville to meet a number of the attendees (great to see you again Morris).
For those planning a future event it is easy if you find a location that has large sites with 50 amp service, is centrally located to a number of Newell owners and has a Pavilion or meeting room that they will provide access to for the duration of the rally. We had planned a Pot Luck dinner for Monday night and ended up having impromptu Pot Luck dinners every night but Wednesday.
La Hacienda RV Resort welcomed us and provided their Pavilion for our use every day of the rally. Thanks to Tom and Darlene for allowing their site to become the site of the Pot Luck Dinner for the nights we chose not to use the Pavilion. The weather was very nice during the rally (after Friday night, it waited to rain until after the rally ended but has rained significantly since the rally).
While not for everyone, I am convinced that the concept of the Mini-Rallies, with no Rally Fee, is a great idea to get Newell owners together to socialize, talk shop and get the most out of their coaches. Touring each others coaches (both inside and in the engine compartments and bays) gave us an appreciation for the similarities between Newells built 17 years apart and the differences between Newells built just months apart.
Thanks to all who attended. It was great to final met so many folks that we only knew through emails and phone calls. We wouldn't have missed it!!
Michael, personally I got a few great ideas for modifications to my coach by touring other coaches and seeing some of the modifications done by others. I really like what Wally has done as far as LED lighting in his coach. That will be one of my future projects coverting my flourescents to LED's.
Thank you very much for taking and posting these pictures. They provide wonderful memories for us and help others see the fun that we had. Your thoughts and suggestions regarding future rallies are appreciated. Thank you for all of your thoughtfulness in taking these pictures and sharing them with all.
The temperature gauges are non-adjustable BUT you can check to see if the gauge or the sensor or the wiring is the problem. Tom changed out his gauge to a digital gauge. The probes were reading 25 degrees high. He changed to a twin sensor lead and the gauge was within a couple of degrees of a candy thermometer and an infrared temperature gauge. Grounds are extremely important in the readings on your dash gauges. I will have to redo my grounds as my gauges have gotten more inaccurate with time. I use the VMSpc software on my laptop when I am driving. It gives me the readings directly off the DDEC computer. Tom has the same software and we read within a degree of each other driving down the road behind one another.
Both Richard and I have IRSI air seats in our coaches. They are VERY firm. Richard took the upholstery off my seat, as he had with his, and added a couple of layers of memory foam over the existing foam then put the uphostery back on. It is held on with clips on the bottom edge. My air seat had been disabled by the previous owner due to air leaks. We replaced the air line under the seat, replaced all the plastick fittings with metal fittings and readjusted the air valve control. Works well now. After I have driven a few hundred miles, I may need to increase the lower ride height as it seems it may bottom out but I am thrilled with what Richard did for me. He is truely a master.