Bad news / good news

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Smoky

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By now I expected to be reporting in on how my eye operation went.

The bad news is my surgeon called in sick, thus I was rescheduled for the first week of June.

The good news is that my ticked off wife (she took off work to drive me to and from) took me to lunch and we sat there and suddenly realized our coach was going on line the next day (Wednesday).

We raced home and I packed a small bag and took off for Nappanee Indiana  ... well actually Elkhart where all the good motels are.

I drove all night and arrived at 4:30 am Wednesday morning, only to find that all the hotel rooms in Elkart were booked for Notre Dame graduation week.  One desk clerk felt sorry for me and mentioned she had a room with a sink that did not work.  I took it and fixed the sink in 5 minutes.

With three hours sleep I arrived at the Newmar factory for their 10 am scheduled factory tour.  I mentioned I had a KS3910 on the assembly line and the tour guide kept an eye out for it.  At one point we rounded a corner, saw a molded fiberglass roof suspended in the air, slowly dropping down on a coach.  The tour guide turned to me and said, "Smoky, I see your number on that one."

I am trying to upload a pic of me standing by it, just after the roof was lowered.  Not very pretty at this point as no paint job , partial cabinetry, and slideouts waiting to be installed.

The tour guide told me that by 9 am Thursday it would be in the prepaint area, being prepared for full body paint.  They do not allow the public in the paint shop, so the pre paint area is the last place you can see it.

So I returned Thursday and took the tour again.  I kept looking and looking for my coach.  All of a sudden some guy was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me the tour guide was talking to me.  We wear headsets in there so the tour guide can talk over the factory noise.  She was calling me to come forward to where she was standing.

I went up to here and she pointed at a nearly finished coach (exterior all sanded down for paint preparation). 

She said, "Smoky, that is your coach.  If you like you can have 5 minutes to go inside it and take pics.  Since you were here yesterday, you know the rest of the route, so just catch up to us."

Oh what a thrill that was.  When I get home I will try to load a couple more pics to the forum.  One of the Amish people inside was just beginning to lay down the area where we special ordered some hardwood flooring.  He asked if I had come all the way from Maryland.  I was impressed he knew where the customer was accepting delivery.  He told me that because of the customer special orders we had submitted, that this was the last 2005 KS being put together and in his opinion the most beautiful.  He wanted to know where I got the ideas from like removing one of the two sofas and replacing with two recliners, mixing colors of day night shades,etc from.  I had to admit all the cosmetic custom work was my Admiral's ideas, though he could blame me for all the extra wiring orders.

It was an odd feeling standing inside my very own coach, and seeing a factory interior outside the windows.

I was VERY impressed with the entire factory operation. You could see and feel the pride of workmanship and the focus in the faces of the Amish craftsmen and women that work there.  80% of the company are Amish.

I was astonished that it only took 1 person to push a motorhome anywhere on the floor.  They set each motorhome on air pads and use a quarter inch of cushioned air streams to remove friction and allow the coaches to be pushed and turned in any direction.

They have holes in the floor and people constantly sweep the scrap into the holes which have conveyor belts that take all the scrap out of the building.

With my coach they only had 4 or 5 gas 2005 coaches behind me and all the rest were 2006 coaches including the new Ventana (sp?) entry level diesel designed to compete with pushers like the Bounder.  It has a full basement and IFS so it ought to be VERY competitive with all the lower level Fleetwoods.  Since the new CEO came from Fleetwood, I guess he is getting his revenge.

The 45 foot 2006 Essex looked awesome!

I am on my way home this Friday evening and in a Celina Ohio motel.  And I am towing a shiny new black cargo trailer!!

The 6x12 trailers that were selling in Maryland for $4500, were selling in Indiana for $1900.  So I hitched up and brought one home to keep all the Admiral's "junk" in until she decides in a year or so that she really can get rid of life's junk.  Then maybe we will put an ATV in it lol!

Bernie, you were right about one thing.  If I had accepted factory delivery in Indiana, I would have had to pay the 6% sales tax.  They do not honor out of state residency.  I learned this when I bought the cargo trailer yesterday, even using my  Montana address.  Fortunately Maryland does honor out of staters when they take delivery in Maryland.

Next week I fly to Montana to get my driver license and other chores to establish residency.  Already have my Kalispell bank account ready and waiting to receive proceeds from land and house sale.

Then the week after we finally get to put our delivery acceptance checklist to work.  ;D

Ron: do you have Verizon phone service?  If so, maybe I could make a Verizon to Verizon cell phone call to you to discuss satellite installation.  I am really struggling over the issue of roof versus tripod and would like to talk with you over the phone about it.  Email me!
 

Tom

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Well that must have been really exciting Smoky. I was concerned you were going to miss the opportunity to see your coach on the line and to take photos. Can't wait to see the pics. When we toured the Monaco line they wouldn't let us take any photos.

I am really struggling over the issue of roof versus tripod

That could be a whole topic of its own here  :)
 

Smoky

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The only rule they have at Newmar is no photos of the Mennonites because of religious reasons, tough that did not seem to be enforced to tightly.  I got hundreds of shots plus about 50 minutes of video.  I even taped their opening 25 minute tour video.

I will try to upload a pic here.  I am standing by MY coach on the first day.  You can see the open genset hatch, and the missing slideout behind me.  They have just set the roof down on the coach.

On Sunday I will upload more shots, including the ones I took inside the coach on the second day.  What a thrill that was.  We had about 40 people on the tour the second day and they all applauded when the tour guide said I could spend 5 minutes inside the coach and catch up to them.  I felt like a celebrity, as I was the only one in the tour that had a coach on the line.  Newmar was making a big deal about it and everyone in the tour was loving it.  Me included.  I got the idea it did not often happen that a customer was in the tour with a coach on the line.

P.s  Is the spell checker new?  I never noticed it before.
 

Betty Brewer

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Mar 10, 2005
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Smokey,
Sorry about the eye surgery delay but  I think it's wonderful that you got to see your coach on the line.  Terry and I have had this opportunity two times and it is a thrill.  I was excited to meet the workers and they  all introduced us to fellow workers with pride as we toured "our" coach.  I know what you mean by being a celebrity.  I hope you continue to feel like a star. 

Betty Brewer
 

Smoky

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Thanks Betty!

This is the mnost fun thing I have ever done in my life.

In some ways it is also the most difficult thing as well.  Especially the fulltiming part.
 

Tom

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Smoky said:
What is the file size limit on jpgs? And how do I make mine smaller?

Smoky

256K is the file size limit. I use an image viewer to downsize the photos to 640x480, which makes them downloadable by folks on cell phones.
 

Tom

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Smoky

Just email it to me and I'll take care of it.
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
Sounds like somebody wanted to make sure you had the opportunity to see you coach on the assembly line.  Great experience.  Glad to hear it has worked out for you.

To resize your photos go to http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx]THIS Microsoft site and download image resizer.  Located about 3/4 down the page in the right margin.  After downloading and installing when you browse to the file you want to upload right click on it and a box will pop up that gives you a selection of small medium or large click on your choice and the photo will be resized with the same file name followed by (Small) (medium) or (large).  hope this helps.

We have ATT. I will email you our phone number or you can e-mail me your nbr and  I can call you.  I had a tripod set up before getting the roof mount.  I think it might be easier to start out with a tripod till you get aquainted with the set up.  We can talk about it during the phone call.
 

BernieD

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Mar 1, 2005
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Goodyear, AZ
Smoky

Sorry you had the surgery delay but glad you were able to schedule the trip out to see your coach being built, it is a once in a lifetime event. Being there will give you a better appreciation of the coach when you take delivery.

The Newmar tour is a good one and the tour guides do a good job. Have Tom set up your Nappannee pictures as a slide show.

Bernie, you were right about one thing.

Sorry friend, I've been right about a lot more than one thing ;D ;D ;D  It's a shame that the Indiana sales tax law effectively eliminates factory delivery there, hope that gets changed soon.
 

Tom

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BernieD said:
Have Tom set up your Nappannee pictures as a slide show.

Good idea Bernie. As soon as Smoky uploads or sends me the pics we'll do that.
 

DonJordan

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Jan 29, 2005
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353
Smokey,

Sorry to hear about the delay in your eye surgery but glad that it gave you the chance to see your new coach being built  ;D.  Hope the eye surgery goes well when you finally get it done.
 

Smoky

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wherever we are parked
Ron:

That is cool free software.? Thank you!? I am going to resize and upload in the next few minutes.? I will start a fresh thread and gradually add pics to it.

Gawd how I missed my broadband this week.
 

Ron

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Smoky said:
Ron:

That is cool free software.? Thank you!? I am going to resize and upload in the next few minutes.? I will start a fresh thread and gradually add pics to it.

Gawd how I missed my broadband this week.

Glad it worked for you.  I use it all the time.
 

Ian

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May 4, 2005
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Adelaide, South Australia
Smoky said:
The one I am trying to load is 376.  Any shareware out there?
Smoky, if you are looking for good software to handle your photos then take a look at XNView: http://www.xnview.com
It is great software, great price too ;)

I use it a lot and honestly recommend it to lots of other folks. Try it out and see if it meets your needs.

Cheers, Ian
 

blueblood

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Mar 16, 2005
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Smoky said:
Bernie, you were right about one thing.  If I had accepted factory delivery in Indiana, I would have had to pay the 6% sales tax.  They do not honor out of state residency.  I learned this when I bought the cargo trailer yesterday, even using my  Montana address.  Fortunately Maryland does honor out of staters when they take delivery in Maryland.

Is MT a zero sales tax state ? If so, the final IN tax law exempts the amount of IN tax that exceeds the home state tax. It would seem that zero sales tax state folks could still take delivery and pay no IN tax since it all exceeds your home state rate. ???
 

Smoky

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wherever we are parked
Blueblood:

I believe Indiana changed the law last year.  Now they charge a flat 6% and keep it all.  Unless the dealers in Indiana are fibbing and keeping it temselves.
 
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