Camp Freightliner 6/1/13-6/5/13

In December of last year I realized our 2003 Country Coach motor home had seen enough years and it was time to consider new technology.  If you are into motor homing you are always looking at other models and features.  I pretty much knew what I wanted.  We had seen a 2012 Newmar Mountainaire while camping one trip in Moab.  It had the floor plan and features we liked.  After an internet search of most of the major manufacturers I couldn’t find a floor plan I liked better.  So I went online and found  the following post.

2013 Mountainaire 4314

I contacted Chris, the fellow you just watched, and, after some negotiation, bought this very unit after Chris made a second, more detailed video for me.  He was a little surprised when I told him he had to deliver the unit to Indio, CA where it would become Bev’s Christmas present.  The dealership was in Indiana.  Chris told me I wanted to come to Indianapolis and be sure all the systems worked.  I told him I was sure it would work the day I picked it up I wanted to see it 2000 mi. later.  So Chris hired one of his own mechanics to do the 4 day drive in the winter to deliver the coach.  Kyle – the RV mechanic / delivery person spent two days in Indio with me going over the coach and helping fix minor issues.

But I wanted to learn more and found a program offered by Freightliner to familiarize interested owners with their chassis.  It is a two day course that takes you through all the systems of the chassis and engine that a lay person might understand.  It is held in Gaffney, SC where the chassis are manufactured by Freightliner, a division of Daimler.  They have a training and service center there.  I had arranged to stay at the local KOA but since I had a minor repair to be done to the chassis they let me stay in their “RV waiting area” which had power and that was all I needed.

We departed the narrow streets of Charleston the early morning of 6/1.  The trip up was benign and in the early afternoon we pulled into the the Gaffney campus of Spartanburg Community College where the training facility was located.  It was incredibly convenient as I could care for the dogs during our breaks from class. When we arrived there was only one other coach in the lot.

The following morning I drove Bev 50 mi. to the Charlotte, NC airport where she flew back to Denver to meet with her CEO and staff while I attended school.  By Sun. afternoon the “waiting area”  was filled with 13 coaches.  Many of these folks were doing the school as well as having work done on their coaches.

Monday morning we met our instructor, Mike Cody.  This fellow is who not only designed the course but made it worthwhile.  He began by handing each student a one sheet summary of their particular chassis and engine.  That document was to serve as the basis of all the training.  By the end of the two day course we touched on each specific system and did it specific to each coach.  Very helpful.  As I listened to the other coach specifics it gave a history of how each system evolved and put mine in perspective.

Mike was a big guy.  But his size was exceeded by his knowledge of his subject.  He was a self made fellow.  Started out cleaning in a GM dealership and worked his way up to the chief mechanic and trainer of all the certified mechanics for Freightliner.

mikefrieghtliner

 

He was pretty precise.  When it came to tire inflation we were instructed to weigh our coach, each axel individually of course. Then he gave each of us the tire manual and taught us how to find our specific model tire, divide the weights of each axel, and adjust the pressure of each tire accordingly.  When he said that a real purist would get the pressure with a digital gauge and adjust it to the nearest quarter pound I thought we might be getting a little too picky here.

Freightliner would charge $70 to weigh the coach.  Seemed like a lot to me.  The morning after the class I drove down to the local truck stop and they weighed it for $10.  Wed. I picked up Bev at Charlotte.  I was surprised that they claimed it was the 6th busiest airport in the world.  It was late afternoon when I approached the arrival curb.  It was like a scene from “Fast and Furious.”  Throw in your bag, dive into the car, and keep moving.  It was good to have her back.

 

 

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