Newmar, like a few other coach manufacturers provides a service center for their product. Instead of going to the dealer, an owner can schedule regular maintenance or warranty service at the factory. It has the advantage of access to some of the most trained and experienced technicians available. It also eliminates 99% of the problem of not having the right part readily available. I jokingly refer to it as returning to the Mother Ship.
We scheduled our appointment almost 3 months out. Since this facility is very popular, scheduling early is a must. Drop ins for emergency repairs are handled on a case by case basis. If they can work you in they will, otherwise they will try to get a mobile tech or another facility to provide assistance. Many owners stop as they head south for the winter or back north for the summer so the facility stays busy from March through October. There are 24 full hookup sites (FHU) and probably 15 or so that provide electric and water only. These sites are first come, first served with no reservations taken. Unfortunately, you can stay at one of the sites without even having any service scheduled. I’m not sure why this is allowed as it takes prime space away from customers doing business with Newmar. I understand that free camping with FHU’s is nice when traveling through, but consideration for those doing business with Newmar should be a priority.
More arrivals and departures occur on Saturday and Sunday, with Sunday being the harder day to get a FHU site. When we arrived on Saturday, July 30th there were 4 FHU sites available. By the end of the evening all these sites were taken. Service at Newmar starts at 6 AM every day so you must have the coach unhooked from all the utilities, the slides in and ready to move by that time. Liz is certainly not a fan of this policy, but she has been a real trooper about it and up a little after 5 AM every morning.
We had a list of about 15 or so items and added a couple more while we were here. I can’t say enough about the Newmar customer service that we have received from day one. We took delivery of our coach here at the factory which was a great experience. That great experience is continuing during this service appointment. The same team that handled our delivery is handling this appointment. It’s nice to have familiar faces working on your unit. Also, knowing these folks personally helps in getting things done and makes the stay more pleasant. We have yet to have a bad experience with any of the Newmar employees.
I was able to personally tell that to Matt Miller, the CEO of Newmar, the other day at breakfast. We were having a 6 AM breakfast at the Dutch Kitchen after our coach was taken to service and setting over in the corner by himself eating breakfast was Matt. I recognized him from some of the Newmar publications. After we ate, I decided to go over and talk to him. He was very approachable and seemed genuinely interested in my Newmar experience. We talked for a couple minutes and he thanked me for the feedback. I’m sure there are some Newmar owners that are not as happy as we have been that would have loved the opportunity to “voice their disappointment” to him, but that hasn’t been the case for us.
All of our items on the work order were completed in just a couple of days. We are still waiting for our dinette chairs which had to be re-covered due to some fabric fraying. Hopefully, they will be done Thursday or Friday and we can head back to Illinois to handle the remaining issues with my mother.