We should be on our way tomorrow. At the last minute I noticed that we had planned to use some camping places that have Passport America association, so I can make up the annual cost of membership easily on this trip. Also discovered as I was getting ready to join online that there is a place to put the memeber number of someone who may have referred me to Passport America. So, who ever wants to PM me their member number I will put that in there and you can get whatever benefit that results in these days. Every little bit helps! Russ
We are off to a good start! We stopped first at the Natchez Trace State Park near Jackson, Tennessee. We visited with relatives and then moved on to Tom Sawyer's RV Park on the banks of the mightly Mississippi. Bar-B-Q at the famous Rendezvous downtown. From there into the Ozarks to the beautiful home of Steve and Suzy Bare. We talked Newells until the cows literally came home. Gorgeous farming country, super boat ride on the Table Rock Lake, discovered Eureka Springs and all its history, and even changed a few filters and rubbed on the wheels. The time came all too quickly that we had to make the short run to Miami, OH and every Newell persons mecca, the Factory!
Not wanting to blow the entire trip budget in one spot I had only the essential brake repairs for a siezed "S" cam on the drive axle repaired. We also had a broken awning latch fixed so we would be ready for any high side winds as we head south and west. We should be beyong Fort Worth tomorrow night, then west Texas the next, and ready to settle down in Mesa the follow night for several days. We are looking forward to seeing Tom and Darlene and any kids that are in for the summer. It should be a really good test of my air conditioners.
The service business appears very good at the factory. We have met Bill Johnson and Allen Newman as well as Neil and Carol Schopke. Enough typing, time to circulate.
Looks like you and your daughter are off to a good start. I always wanted to stay at Tom Sawyer's RV park on the Mississippi River. The closest I've come to doing that was a weekend stay in Vidalia, LA across the river from Natchez. It was really a neat park; you could watch the boats on the river from your coach. Sounds like you and Steve had a blast talking about Newells!
I feel the same way about going to the Factory! It's awesome; I love seeing the new coaches "on the line"! It's like being a kid in a candy store!
Qucik question: How can you tell if an S cam is seizing up? Does it smoke?
I test my brakes to see if they are dragging by: start rolling forward by putting it in D, let it move forward a ways, then put it in N, and see if there is any resistance. It is also a good test to see if the tow car is in N and everything is rolling freely.
If you take your test one step farhter you would have discovered the problem that landed me at Miami. When you are rolling in neutral at low speed, pull the yellow parking brake knob and expect a quick stop. If it continue to coast and comes to a stop slowly, your "S" cams on the drive axle drum brakes could be part of the problem. I park on the edge of the ocean and I think that contribued to the seizure. They were able to free it up and lube it well. I first noticed I had a problem when I engaged the parking brake on an incline and the coach slipped back a few feet. That was very concerning and now I know why and it's all better now. I like your free rolling test and will try to remember to do that when conditions allow. Good hearing from you. It's funny when you have not actually met someone to even know how to pronouce their name. You came up in our conversations at the Bare's and he calls you Tuga, like a tug boat. In my mind I always thought of you as two-ga. We had only good things to say about you, no matter how we pronouced your name. Take care, Russ
Put in about 440 miles today and ended up west of Fort Worth at a super nice park in the middle of nowhere. Easy in and very reasonable with lots of nice features. Great water pressure and great 50 amp service. I managed to screw up the install of the RViBrake and got the brakes really hot by the time I was at the toll both. I smelled something, and just then the overtemperature on my tire pressure monitor on the Jeep went off! They were smoking, but never locked. Thank goodness for the TPMS and I fully understand what I did, so no future problems expected. The Texas Motor Speedway is really big - well I am reminded by Cynthia, "Everything is big in Texas"!
I saw you request for Roadmaster tow shield. I have almost a complete one, ecxpect for the one panel I left behind somewhere. They would not sell me a single panel. I am just towing without one for now as my investment in the Jeep is not real large.
Later.... Russ and Cynthia
While checking into Coffe Creek RV Resort the gal said they didn't have many Newells, but there was one other than came frequently. She explained they had two Great Danes, and adult and a pup. We had actually spent the previous night parked right beside them at the Newell Factory. Now how is that for a coincidence?
I don't know if you are planning to stay on I-20 to Abilene, but if you go thru Amarillo on the way back be sure to stop at the Big Texan Steakhouse. You probably have heard of it or will see some road signs advertising it; anyway, they have a 72 oz. steak dinner and if you can eat ALL OF IT in 1 hour it is FREE! If you try to eat it you have to eat not only the 72 oz. steak, but also the baked potato, shrimp cocktail, and dinner roll. There is a display of the entire steak dinner in a refrigerated glass case so you can see what you are getting into. If you visit the bar while waiting for a table, notice the list of people who have eaten the steak dinner in 1 hour or LESS! There is a woman who weighed 119# that ate the entire dinner in 57 minutes. The fast recorded time for eating the entire thing was 11 minutes! That dude was really hungry!
It might be something that you and Cynthia might enjoy on your return trip. It is on I-40 on the east side of Amarillo!
If you visit it you will never forget it (its like your bill at Newell)! LOL!
We will be leaving Las Vegas in the morning after leaving nothing behind, or taking any winnings either LVM ( Las Vegas Motorcoach ) was a super nice place and we loved our stay there. Unfortunately the other Newell here has been abandoned in favor of cooler temperatures, I suspect, by its owner - too bad we would have enjoyed talking with another Newell owner.
We are off to Sparks NV by way of California roads most of the way. Our route leaves Nevada on 6 to Benton. At Benton it appears that to stay on an approved truckers road ( from our Rand McNally Carrier's Atlas ) we will have to swing considerably south before we can go north again. There is a road called 120 out of Benton that would save us miles, but I don't dare risk it since it's not listed. We have a big day ahead of us, but we want to meet up with friends over the weekend in the Seattle area.
Hoover Dam was amazing and Lake Mead looked low, but what do I know?
Look at staying on 95 to Hawthorne. Then go west on 359 which turns into 167 which meets 395 just above Mono Lake. Your instincts were right. 120 is restricted to any motorcoach over 40' 167 has no restrictions and will take you less out of your way than going back on Hwy 6.
This is crazy - 359 in Nevada turns into CA 167. In Nevada the route is an approved STAA dimensioned roadway. But, according to Motor Carrier's Road Atlas as soon as it becomes 167 in California, it is not approved. Anyone have an explanation for this? It looks perfectly straight on the map and I cannot image why it would not work, but this west is all new to me. Thoughts?
Thanks Steve! That is a great link and I am saving it. Clearly, I am legal there and feel much better about the route. I have no idea why it did not make the highlighted routes in the Rand McNally Carriers Guide, but no matter, with Newell friends like you one does not feel so alone.
Soon we will be off to Spokane, WA and then on to West Glacier, MT. The GPS suggested route from Spokane to West Glacier is esentially Route 2. It appears to be a trucker approved road in the Carriers Atlas. I could just go south and get I90 for most of the way, longer but that is okay if there are problems with 2. Could anyone chime in that knows that part of the country and give us some advice?
I cannot offer any driving advice...but I can tell you that I have always wanted to visit southeast Washington state. There is an area called the Palouse that is super scenic. If you have time and the roads are good, you might want to try to detour through the area.
I haven't driven HWY 2 east from Spokane, but I have from Spokane west to the coast and it is a great highway. Someone else mentioned the Palouse, and it is, indeed, a beautiful highway. I-90 east takes you over several passes and over the Continental Divide.....lot of climbing and descending, but the highway is in good condition, and the views are also spectacular....you'll cross the Clark Fork River many, many times, so you can think of me every time you cross it.... There is a Cabela's in Post Falls, just over the border into Idaho where you could overnight (dry camp) if that is a good stopping point for you....about 30 minutes east of Spokane.
Russ, just getting to hwy 2 thru spokane is a pita heavy traffic. i would suggest 90 east to 95 north then up to bonners ferry. stop by we are the camp hosts at bonner county fairgrounds in Sandpoint Brian and Lana
87 Newell Tag 40'-8v92TA-HT740 #139
Thanks so much for the invite Brian and Lana. We decided on I90 and will do the 290 miles on Saturday and stay at the East Glacier KOA while we visit the park. It is becoming more difficult to arrive without reservations at this time. We are having to plan a little farther ahead and then stick to the plan!
We are presently at the Spokane RV Resort and Golf Club - a very nice facility and there is uncovered concrete pad on our site even after unhooking the toad. These sites are huge. We are kind of hoping a golf ball will strike the windshield and finish it off so we know to get a new one :-) Having fun.... Russ and Cynthia