Greetings from the brand new parking lot…aka “Camp Newmar”…in the sprawling metropolis of Nappanee Indiana! The last time we checked in, Lynn and I were headed here to replace a defective drivers seat and for correction of a few other small issues. We arrived on Sunday afternoon July 14 for our scheduled two-week service appointment, as the new chair was scheduled to arrive tomorrow, July 24. On Day 1, Gene, our Newmar tech, replaced an actuator on a baggage door, adjusted a loose bathroom light panel and added tension to a door window shade. He also cleaned out our roof gutters which were not allowing proper drainage of rain water from our roof.
We woke up the following day after a night of light rain to the shock of seeing water dripping inside near the drivers seat side window. Yay. A few hours later, Gene explains that during manufacturing, the drain coupling that collects the rainwater and flows it into vertical tubing that exits to the ground in the wheel well was somehow cracked. The bad news is that this crack allowed water to drip inside the coach window. The good news ( if you can call it that) is that because our gutter was so plugged with leaves and pollen that no water had actually leaked in until the plug was cleaned out. Again, yay us. So, by the end of Day 2, Julie had a iPhone-sized hole cut into the ceiling to assess the situation and to access the area to re-install a new coupling and attach it to the drain line. This hole is under window a treatment and other than having seen it….no one would know it is there. Gene and another tech also aligned the steering wheel as it was slightly off center on delivery. If this wasn’t enough bad news for one day, my sister Elizabeth (Liz to every other human but me) called and started off the conversation with words no one likes – “Jimmy, did you hear?” Hear what? …..”Mom fell and broke her hip. She’s having surgery tomorrow morning.”
Wednesday / Day 3 was filled with completely removing the left side forward fascia near the roofline to access and repair the manufacturing defect. Mid morning, I asked Lynn to go into the service bay to check on Julie and Spangler as I didn’t want to see the rig while it was being torn apart. Ten minutes later, Lynn returned with a peculiar look on her face. “You’re never gonna believe it”, she said. “The new seat arrived”. So, she explains the good news…the replacement drivers seat arrived – seven days early. However, the bad news is that the seat control knobs do not match our existing seat. Lynn immediately told Gene that we would not accept a drivers seat not matching the passenger and Gene says that he’ll get with his manager and the seat supplier and figure out the next steps. So, for four hours we sat in the waiting room waiting for the master plan to be communicated. Finally at the end of the day, Gene walks out and says that the seat is installed and we are all set. “Not so fast”, I’m thinking. Where did they find this mystery seat? Was it the one they ordered for me, or some spare hanging around that they discovered? Newmar showed us the shipping documents and clearly it is the seat that they ordered. While we wish that they had pre-communicated the plan as promised, they switched the controls from my old seat to the new one. So, I get the new seat plus the controls match. So, all repairs are now complete and we no longer have a water leak from the roof drain. Mom’s surgery was successful – a hemi-arthroplasty which replaced the ball but not socket. Whew! Good news!
Goodbye and good riddance old seat!
On Thursday, we received the thorough orientation inside our coach that we were SUPPOSED to receive when we picked it up in April. This time the depth and breadth of information was excellent and we learned much about important systems of our vehicle. On Friday, we continued our orientation outside our coach and spent 90 minutes with Scott, a Newmar mechanic, who taught us great things about the engine, air brake system and other important chassis features. At the end of the day, they gave Julie a bath and we said our goodbyes to Gene but realized that as we planned for a two week appointment but repairs were completed a week early…we had no campground reservations for the following week. So, we hunkered down through a three day mid 90’s heatwave, got pounded by some impressive thunderstorms and explored the general area. We found a few good breweries, picked up some fresh veggies at a farmers market and essentially just hung around Camp Newmar. Mom’s now in a Boston-area rehab center for a bit in order to recover from the surgery.
We decided to add two nights on to the beginning of our next campground reservation, so instead of leaving Nappanee this Friday – we are headed South tomorrow to Columbus, Indiana to Ceraland Park and Campground. This is a facility owned and operated by Cummins (the manufacturer of our Engine) and is technically called Cummins Employees Recreation Area. Opened in 1963 (the year of my birth), it is 345 acres and includes an 11 acre fishing lake, 308 campsites, a go-cart track, six tennis courts, rifle / archery ranges, 9 baseball diamonds, an aquatic center and a 30,000 square foot fitness center. Which is to say the least, a bit more than the town of Nappanee, Indiana.
So, off we go tomorrow for a 200 mile / 3.5 hour drive South. I’m looking forward to sitting straight in the seat with a properly oriented steering wheel and Lynn is looking forward to a less-cranky husband!
Lynn’s 2 cents – Having issues with a moving house is expected but definitely still annoying. Luckily the service center here at Newmar is amazing. The techs are super nice and very knowledgable. The customer waiting area is beautiful and comfortable. The days are long and tiring. (They come pick up your coach at 6:10 am!) But we have also met some great other Newmar owners, enjoyed lunch and a few beers at Hunter’s and are now ready to get back to the fun!