Newmar at the Hershey RV Show

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Our first day at the Hershey RV show focused on coaches. The crowds were light and it made it easy to spend time on the models that we wanted to see.

Of course we wanted to spend time at the Newmar section of the show. And, much to our surprise, we bumped into John and Michelle from Newmar.

Not that we had ever met them before. No, we met them through this video:

We had watched this video dozens of times while we were waiting for our coach to be built and delivered. When we saw them in real life, it was almost as though we were meeting some old friends.

They were both very generous with their time and both really nice people genuinely interested in our ownership experience.

We also made some new friends in one of the Dutch Stars, Jake and Lydia, a wonderful couple from Pennsylvania. They own a 2015 Dutch Star and we began sharing a lot of stories about our ownership experience, the differences between Canadians and Americans, the American election as well as a number of other topics. Another couple joined in, Lynn and Debbie, and, before we knew it, a couple of hours had passed.

This was one of the highlights of our day. I’m not sure if we will connect again with Jake and Lydia, I hope that we do, and I am not sure if Lynn and Debbie elected to purchase a Dutch Star. I do know that great conversation with delightful people is an enriching experience.

Window Shopping at the Hershey RV Show

Our plan was to attend the Hershey RV show Friday and Saturday.

We arrived on Friday to a pretty quiet day at the show. We were there from 10am until about 7pm. Long day but we had a lot of fun.

I’ll spend a bit of time posting about our window shopping first. The Hershey RV was our opportunity to relook at a number of coaches and to see if we had any tinge of buyer’s remorse. The short answer? None whatsoever. Although there was one coach that was very tempting.

There are four coaches that compete very closely: Entegra, Tiffin, American Coach and Newmar. Sure, there are other coaches from Thor, Fleetwood and Winnebago, but realistically, those four coaches would be at the top of our shopping list if we were looking to buy this year.

Having lived in the Castaway since June and having run the coach on several long road trips, we have more than a bit of a feel for the Newmar product. We love it and if we were to make a purchase decision today, we would still go with the Newmar Dutch Star. It is a wonderful coach and the Newmar support has been terrific.

Entegra was a strong candidate for us last year. Going through the coaches at the show this year, I could see why. The Entegra products offer a lot for the dollar. Now, I could nitpick on a number of items with the Entegra coaches, which is true for all of these coaches as not one is perfect, but the main issue for us was the floorplan. We could not find a floorplan we really loved in a 40-foot coach in the Entegra line. I’m not sure what impact the Thor acquisition may have on the Entegra line. Most M&A activities are conducted to build scale and lower costs. I guess we will have to wait and see what, if anything, this acquisition might due to the Entegra customer base. What that acquisition concern us if we were buying this year? Hard to say.

For us, the Tiffin line was nice but not to our liking. Again primarily due to floorplans in a 40-foot coach. We had quickly ruled their products out of the running last year when we were going through our finalist list. The one and only dealer in Ontario, McPhail’s of Harriston, was a significant distance from our home. And then there was a lot of online feedback about required trips to Red Bay, Alabama to deal with warranty items.

As we went through the Entegra and Tiffin coaches, we were reassured in our decision to buy the Castaway from Newmar.

That said, the American Coach products were very impressive. We really liked the American Dream. Beautiful coach and a really nice floorplan albeit at 42 feet and just a wee bit more expensive than the Dutch Star. Okay, maybe a lot more expensive. Very nice coach.

Oh, and I did find my Basecamp at the show. Such a cool little travel trailer.

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Lots more to share about the Hershey RV show so stay tuned.

Hershey RV Show

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This was the first coach that we could see as we entered the RV show in Hershey, Pennsylvania last year. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the show and we are leaving bright and early tomorrow morning to attend again this year.

We are taking the Castaway down and staying at a site about an hour or so from the show. From where we live, it is a short drive to the U.S. border and then about a 6 hour drive straight down I-81 to our exit.

I will post where I can and hopefully Lorraine and I will have lots to share about the RV show this year.

By the way, the Entegra pictured above is a pretty nice machine. We almost bought that one at the show last year. Some great deals can be made here if you are in the market. After doing all of our research we opted for the Dutch Star and for working with a local dealer here in Canada.

How to Clean the Windshield

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Yesterday I posted about cleaning the inside of the windshield. And today? My approach to cleaning the outside of the windshield. Well, not my approach. The approach that I follow. I use the same approach for my car as I do for the coach. The only difference is that it takes a lot more time to clean the windshield of the coach. Oh, and there are ladders involved with the coach.

Cleaning the exterior windshield is a four-step process:

  1. Clean the windshield thoroughly with an automotive glass cleaner like Invisible Glass. I usually wash and dry the front cap first and then use the cleaner. Apply with a microfiber cloth using random circular motions. Buff out in an up and down motion. Given the size of the windshield, I generally place my ladder in four positions to clean. By necessity, I have to work in smaller sections.
  2. Clay the windshield. The video suggests using hot water. I use a detailing spray, Griot’s Speed Shine. The important point is to have some lubrication for the clay to do its work. Wipe of the excess spray with a microfiber cloth.
  3. Clean the windshield again as in step 1.
  4. Wax the windshield. I, however, do not use wax. I use Griot’s Glass Sealant. The application process is a bit different as the sealant gets applied two times. One coat applied, buffed and then a second coat applied, buffed. If you follow the video, you will only apply one coat of wax.

And that’s it.

Now go and enjoy those amazing panoramic views through a super clean windshield.

The video is from ChrisFix. His videos really helped me in my quest to get a super clean windshield.

How to Clean the Inside of a Windshield

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Dirty windshields. They really bother me. And for years, I’ve tried lots of different approaches to getting them really clean. All have fallen short for me until I came across this video:

This is basically the approach:

  1. Use a clean microfiber cloth and, with a circular motion, wipe down the interior windshield. I break the windshield down into more manageable sections because the Castaway has a really, really big windshield. Once a section is wiped down, turn the cloth to an unused section and wipe down again in an up and down motion.
  2. Use the secret ingredient to get the inside of that windshield really clean: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I’ve also used the original Magic Eraser and it works just fine. Apply using circular motions. Once done, quickly grab a clean microfiber cloth and dry the windshield off using circular motions.
  3.  Then take your favourite automotive glass cleaner — mine is Invisible Glass — and, with a clean microfiber cloth, use circular motions to apply the product to the windshield. Buff using a clean part of the cloth in an up and down motion

I am astonished at how clean it makes the windshield. It takes a bit of time to get the windshield of the coach detailed but on a nice sunny day, it is wonderful to look out of a windshield devoid of any haze or streaks on the interior.

I’ll share my method of getting the outside windshield really clean in another post.