Welcome to the fall edition of Newell’s News! You can download a pdf of the newsletter here.
This issue includes practical tips for managing your coach’s electrical loads; a customer profile of renowned restaurateurs and long-time Newell owners, Jim and Barbara Neely; and a photo “album” of our August rally in lovely Northern Michigan.
But I want to open with a few personal observations about how motorcoaching has changed over the last four decades.
In August, my wife Alice and I decided to “enjoy the journey as much as the destination,” and we took our time driving to and from the Newell rally in Michigan. We allowed four days for the 1,100-mile journey there and five days for the trip home. Our relaxed pace brought back fond memories of the 1970’s, when things were simpler, coaches were smaller, and our schedules weren’t so tight.
Motoring in the Pacific Northwest
In the 70’s, we lived in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. The Cascade Mountains, San Juan Islands, and open spaces of Eastern Washington were all within a day’s drive of our home and easy destinations for our frequent weekend outings.
We took those trips in our first motorhome—a 1973 Chinook 2200 on a 454 Chevrolet chassis. All of 22-feet long, the Chinook was primitive by today’s standards. The bathroom, for instance, was an adventure in and of itself. It was not quite as wide as the average human at the hips, so using the commode required leaving the door open to gain some necessary extra space.
The Chinook was the first in a series of motorhomes that went on to include a Beaver Class C, Executive 32, several Blue Bird Wanderlodges, and, finally, our first Newell in 1980.
We learned valuable lessons from our early travels, especially in the Chinook. Some highlights:
Change is good!
Nostalgia is sweet. But change has its benefits. The bathroom in our current Newell seems nearly as big as the entire Chinook. Our diesel engine has no spark plug wires. We NEVER turn down a narrow dirt road in a state park—or anywhere else, for that matter. And although Alice still wants her photo ops with wildlife, I’ve given up trying to talk her out of it. After 40+ years of marriage, I’ve learned my limitations.
Enjoy your autumn travels!
Newell Coach Corp. President and CEO