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The shakedown

I have some questions about our coach. 
This is the first trip we have been on since taking ownership of the Newell. It’s suppose to be relaxing and it’s turning into a mechanical schooling instead, lol. 

There have been so many things happening in this shakedown. Although we have kept the dealership up to date on the issues we have been learning and we have been reading the manuals to help us have a better understanding of the coach. I still have some basic yet important procedure questions regarding some things to make sure I operate things correctly. 

1. When using the aqua hot system: once We have connected the coach to the city water source,  What do We do next to turn on the system and what buttons other than the button that says “city” water On the interior panel do We switch on while parked at an RV park? Also if We were boondocking how is that procedure different? 

2. We have a small leak in the full bath in the back around the seal of the escape hatch in the ceiling. What product do you suggest we use to seal it up best on the roof? 

3. When parked and connected to power and after using “travel“ to level the coach and extending out the slides, how do you suggest We lower the coach and dump the air?  Do We dump the air when parked for longer periods of time? What is the best practice etc. this coach has new airbags and those systems are working correctly. 

4. We had a pretty significant leak of hydraulic fluid on the back drivers side and it leaked in to the bedroom which we cleaned there is quite a bit of leaking on the side if the slide outside and it looked on the top of the slide outside of the seal. The seal appears to be holding so that’s good. 
-what should We clean it with 
-best procedure to close the slide with this Broken pin and/or leak (We have to close it to bring it to the mechanic you all suggested in central Florida and want to make sure it doesn’t leak everywhere once it may closed again. 

5. Kitchen sink hoses- we have sprung a significant leak under the sink and it rained into stove top in the lower bay where all those wires are. Once we have someone repair or replace the faucet and piping what do you suggest we protect or cover the underbelly wiring with once it’s all dry. 
Once discovered , Brian did turn off that part of the water to the galley. That was convenient so we could still use the the bathroom sink shower etc. 

So many thing to learn, thank you all for your wisdom, 

Kimberly & Brian 
  • Grasshopper Newell Owner
  • 2002 Newell P2000i
  • #637
Central Florida
[email protected]



Sorry that the first trip has been stressful. Let's start with the big picture and managing expectations. I this may be your first motorhome. The reality is you now own an extremely complicated beast. It is a sophisticated truck with three electrical systems, two water systems, and a complex heating system that are all intertwined. This forum can help you by understanding the beast and how it works. It's good that you are asking questions. The search engine is also your best friend. There are a lot of answers already covered, because as much as I hate to disappoint you, you are not the first.

Motorhomes are not Hondas. And despite buying a high end rig, and having the dealer "prep" it, there are going to be some early issues that either weren't known or addressed, plus some issues that are simply a learning curve for how it works. I call this the "uh ohs". It's the time period when you see the problems, but you don't have a clue as to what to do about them. You will learn, and you will get the problems fixed.

Let's start with the Aquahot and water systems. We need to divide this into two parts, because other than water being heated by the Aquahot, it has nothing to do with city vs self contained. On the water, if you are on city, TURN THE MAIN PUMP OFF. On some Newells of your era, hooking up to city water and leaving the Headhunter pump on results in a very high water pressure. This may explain your water leaks. When connected to city water, you are using water from the attached hose at campsite. You do not need the pump. When using water from the self contained tank, you do need the pump.

The aquahot can heat the water two ways, electric and diesel. Newell supplied the AH with high wattage electrical heater. If you are plugged into 50 amp service, you can heat without burning diesel. HOWEVER, look for a switch usually above the oven that will say heat on ac off in one position and heat off ac on in the other. If you have the switch flipped to heat on, the air conditioners will not work.

The hydraulic leak. Clean it up with Dawn, followed by more Dawn, followed by more Dawn. I am assuming you were in travel mode when you activated the room? Please confirm. If not, you could have bound the locking pin perhaps causing the leak. Here is what I would do. Retract the room back into the coach about a foot. There is a curvy valence over the bed that prevents you from seeing the top of the slide. Push straight up on the valence and remove it. Use a flashlight and look at the two locking pins on top of the wall that will push down into the slide out room. See if you can see the leak. If it is a fitting, I would see if it could be tightened.

If not, then talk to Mark at Newell, and identify which two solenoids on the HWH manifold activate the locking pins. The HWH manifold is under the drivers feet in the outside bay. Make sure the pins are retracted and then Deactivate those two solenoids by screwing in the T handle for four turns. Pull the room on in, and don't worry about it until you get Kris to look at it.

Richard and Rhonda Entrekin
99 Newell, 512
Subaru Outback Toad
Inverness, FL (when we're home Cool )

Kimbery & Brian...Read your comments with interest and a little amusement! Since we've gone through all that an more (and survived) we feel you frustrations.  We purchased a 1990 in 1996 and then the 2002 in 2014.  A vast difference in air systems, and we had no slides in the '90 so there was a huge learning curve.  Our first trip to Newell and the list of things that needed to be fixed turned into $17,000.  Fortunately, we THINK we got a good deal on the purchase.

We've had slide problems...we know Mark very well at Newell.  Richard and Tom replaced our front air bags at a Rally at Lake Tahoe (that was a LONG way from our home).  They are fountains of knowledge and just remember everything you go through has happened before to somebody...and probably they visit the Guru Website to get help. Rudy Leggett in Houston is a certified Aqua Hot technician and we were fortunate to be in his vicinity when we needed a technician. 

If the Gurus have a Rally next year...(and who knows with the Covid-19 stuff going on) would be a great place to interact with other owners who chances are have had your same problems.  The 2002 Newell is like a Star Ship compared to the 1990 we had and we have survived.  Friends, neighbors AND relatives,  do not understand our passion and never will.  Our kids think we're going to kill ourselves, and I'm know talk among themselves on just how to keep us from getting in the Newell and taking off. We always try to post our "adventures" on Facebook and try to make it humorous. So when people tell us "we need to get rid of that thing", we just tell them  "when you're taking the whole house down the road at 65 mph (or more), there are bound to be problems".

Good Luck and have a great time!

Ed & Lynda Perkins
2002 Newell #638 (4 slides)
Tow 2012 TDI VW Jetta Car
2015 Mazda 6 Sedan
1998 F250 Work Truck
Pontoon boat, 2 John Deere Tractors and a golf cart!!!

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