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I can now drive our rig!
#11
Forest, the paint job was flawless - looks great! We love the floor too. There's minor issues with the slide/floor but we are happy. Just hated the carpet. I paid Glenn $300 for about 5 hours. James said learning how to adjust upper and lower mirrors with controls which I told him about was worth the $300. (He didn't know how to adjust the upper mirror - I showed him). James and I speculated that Glenn would drive the coach from the plant to the church across from Walmart instead of turning me lose at the onset, but nope he didn't even get in the drivers chair. He started out helping me adjust the driver chair and steering wheel. Next he showed me how to adjust top and bottom side mirrors and backup camera giving me tips about where he likes the mirrors adjusted based on his many years of driving coaches. He asked me what's the largest thing I've driven - I said a suburban. I didn't tell him about the bull dozer - it really wasn't driving - just digging. Then he had me start the engine and got me familiar with placing my foot on the brake and gas pedals back and forth without looking - pretty important to know where that brake is - I may have done this part before starting the engine. I wasn't too nervous - he was easy going and didn't appear scared of my inexperience so that set me at ease. After I started the engine he explained the air brake and putting it in neutral first before reverse and before drive - said better for transmission instead of putting it in drive then reverse visa versa. Then he said just ease on out swing left so you can see traffic coming from the right - then I thought wow I'm driving this big tin can to the church OMG. The turn was a breeze and pulling into the church parking lot was uneventful. I suspected that James may be watching me from the Walmart parking lot as he was going to pick up a few things (I was right he said he watched me for a while - and at one point I saw him heading down Main Street but that was okay I didn't feel too weird about that. He said he almost came over to retrieve his cell phone he left in the coach but decided against it. So he had 5 hours to wait for me with no phone and since it was a Friday no one in the plant to chit chat to and few people at camp Newell to talk to except the owner of the 1984 rig. Oh he said he caught a glimpse of Chris Daughtery's wife by her rig you know the rock star. Good thing he had the verizon hot spot with him so he could surf the net on his iPad. When I finished, he was waiting in the jeep in one of the spots at Newell when I pulled in). First thing in the church parking lot Glenn had me put my foot on and off brake to get a feel for that, wow you don't even have to accelerate and it goes, after that I guided it between the lines which are closer together than typical lanes on a highway. after many many times back and forth making turns at each end to go back I got the hang of it locating each line on either side of the coach in the mirrors. We did some backing around the light poles several times, made RH turns and LH turns then drove to the back of the lot out onto the road missing the trees (he was adamant that since we just got it painted to miss those) up to the light. Turn right onto Main Street then to next light turned right back into the parking lot. Then after more of that he said let's go to Joplin. So out onto Main Street past Newell - went through some roundabouts, construction, 2 and 4-lane highways, turnpike entrance, small towns, didn't get a ticket for speeding, passed a couple semi's - I didn't wave - pulled into Sensations, a topless bar to see how a 360 degree turn is on gravel. He said doing that on pavement bad for the tires. That was cool - the turn that is, not the bar. It was closed. Then went to the truck stop where the iron skillet is I backed the rig between two barrels Glenn set up and did not hit them. I was super proud. I relied on the mirrors for that did that a few times. The backed not using mirrors but with Glenn giving hand signals from behind and from the front. I really like backing with him signaling from the front. Then I pulled the rig between two parked Semi trucks several times and did real good. . Glenn asked me where else I wanted to go. We were in Oklahoma Kansas and Missouri all in one day - I said I'm done (I was under the weather during all of this - allergies) so time to end this party. Anyway that's how it went. Well worth it. Thought this may be helpful to others. Glenn did say that James needs to be sure and give me some driving time here and there. I think James is glad to know I can drive the rig. Most of all I didn't dent or even put a scratch on the rig. All James said is wow you used quarter tank of fuel. Nag, nag, nag. He was happy. The end.
James and Carol Brooks,
formerly from Tulsa, OK
2008 Newell #1242
2012 Jeep Sahara
Sea Eagle Kayak
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#12
WOW!
Cindy's jealous. Me too.
Forest & Cindy Olivier
1999 Foretravel 36' U320
former owners 1998 Newell 45' 2 slide #486 

former owners 1993 Newell 39' #337 
2011 Chevy Tahoe RZR 570LE

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#13
A long post, maybe I'll be in the running for the Newell guru longest post contest if there is one. I thought the details of the training would be helpful to female co-pilots. Ok Cindy, your turn!
James and Carol Brooks,
formerly from Tulsa, OK
2008 Newell #1242
2012 Jeep Sahara
Sea Eagle Kayak
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#14
Thanks for the write up Carol.
Michael Day
1992 Newell 43.5' #281
NewellOwner.com
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#15
The writeup was superb. Thank you for taking the time to type it. Rhonda drives on the interstates but is not really comfortable. Your wrtieup gave some excellent ideas for exercises that might help her. Thanks again!
Richard and Rhonda Entrekin
99 Newell, 512
Subaru Outback Toad
Inverness, FL (when we're home Cool )
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#16
I have posted this precaution a few times, but here goes again. A few years back I blew an almost new front tire going 70 on I-10. It was a Country Coach and it was all I could do to keep from wrecking the coach or being hit. My wife and I both concluded that she was not strong enough to have controlled the steering wheel, and she never would drive again. Hopefully, the Newell is more easily controlled following a blowout and/or the spouse is strong enough to handle it. Many of you may not agree, but at last think about it.
2001 Newell #579
tow a Honda Odyssey
fun car: 1935 Mercedes 500K replica
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#17
you go girl!
Steve Magown
West Monroe, LA
1997 Newell #458, one of the earliest slide coaches, 3 roof airs, 74 GMC Eleganza, 62 Vette, 67 SS 427 Chevelle, 07 GT3, 02 Boxter, 68 Toronado, 67 Toronado, RZR 800, 88 Mastercraft, 86 Ski Nautique, 02 Baja Islander
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#18
(10-27-2013, 10:03 AM)Chester Stone Wrote: I have posted this precaution a few times, but here goes again. A few years back I blew an almost new front tire going 70 on I-10. It was a Country Coach and it was all I could do to keep from wrecking the coach or being hit. My wife and I both concluded that she was not strong enough to have controlled the steering wheel, and she never would drive again. Hopefully, the Newell is more easily controlled following a blowout and/or the spouse is strong enough to handle it. Many of you may not agree, but at last think about it.

Chester, I think that is Elaine's concern, too. Having a front blow out in a regular passenger vehicle at 70 mph is one thing, and can result in a bad accident, let alone in a rig that weighs 50,000+ lbs. I've put close to 40,000 miles on our coach, and had a blowout in the first 1,000 miles I drove. I was fortunate in that nothing bad happened....it did take a lot of upper body strength to get the coach under control (swerved hard into the left lane) and then on to the shoulder. I think our wives need to learn how to drive, and then do a lot of driving to get used to the coach in as many conditions as possible (side winds, head winds, panic stops, etc).....not just when it's comfortable for them, or us.

It took me a few thousand miles to get comfortable driving the coach. Driving a few hundred miles here and there out of the thousands that are driven will not get you to where you need to be. I am all for our ladies learning how to drive, but it needs to be a serious commitment, and we need to be willing to give up the steering wheel often enough for them to get comfortable.

That's my two cents and I'm sticking to it....

Clarke and Elaine Hockwald
1982 Newell Classic, 36', 6V92 TA
2001 VW Beetle Turbo
Cannondale Tandem
Cannondale F600
Cannondale Bad Boy
Intense 5.5 MTB
http://whatsnewell.blogspot.com
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#19
There is a way...
Ran across this regarding Blow-Outs..

Jimmy
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#20
Wow thanks for sharing the video! Hope that never happens, but good to know and it made a lot of sense.
James and Carol Brooks,
formerly from Tulsa, OK
2008 Newell #1242
2012 Jeep Sahara
Sea Eagle Kayak
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