A little over two weeks ago. That was when we had our three-day service at Newmar. I had posted a few details about our experience and I wanted to go into a bit more detail in this post.
I’ll begin by saying that Lorraine and I were totally impressed with Newmar’s Customer Service Center. The Newmar team members, to a person, were so diligent and caring that it was actually surprising. The experience at a service bay, whether it be at a car dealer, RV dealer or truck dealer, is often like a visit to the dentist. Not only is the final bill painful, but the experience is nothing to write home about either. Unless you opt for the nitrous oxide, which, sadly, is not offered by the vast majority of service centres.
I sent the following to the Newmar team after our visit:
Lorraine and I would like to provide our thanks to all of the team members we met during our time at the Customer Service Center. Everyone did such a great job servicing our coach and made the experience for us so enjoyable. We were particularly grateful for the extra effort to fit in the recall on our MCD shades as well as a few of our other last minute items — very much appreciated.
We knew we made a good decision when we ordered our coach back in 2016. Coming to the factory reaffirmed that decision.
There were five things that made the visit an exceptional one.
Newmar has a service centre hostess and she looks after all of the details to ensure a pleasant stay. This includes everything from getting directions to the camping area, recommending local restaurants, and making sure that we were comfortable during our wait times in the customer lobby, which, by the way, is beautifully finished.
We were assigned a service technician and he was with us the entire stay. He took down all of our issues and concerns and kept us updated on the status of our service throughout the length of our stay.
Attention to detail
I was able to walk in and check on our coach anytime during the day. There were between 3 and 5 technicians working on the coach every time I came to visit. They all took pride in the quality of their work and they were more than willing to explain what they were doing and why. Aside from the chassis and RV service items detailed in this post, we had two other issues that needed to be resolved: our awnings and our MCD shades. Newmar covered both under goodwill.
The techs completely redid the ground wiring on the awning motor control modules and they ran lines up to two motion sensors on the roof to ensure that the awnings would never randomly deploy while the coach was moving. Those motion sensors act as a failsafe against any potential triggering of the awnings. They replaced one track of lighting to restore the factory look and they reprogrammed all of the awning controls and wind sensors.
Despite a bit of confusion around the status of the recall of our MCD shades — Newmar was showing that our dealer had already replaced them, which they had not — Newmar contacted MCD, cleared up the confusion around the recall item and ensured that we had new motors for our shades along with the new remote control. No more reprogramming of shades.
Along with all of these items, we had a few other minor issues that we mentioned to the team when we arrived: the passenger seat footrest would not fully retract, one of the rear body panels had come out of alignment, a small hole in the roof, all of which they repaired without charge.
There were a few other items that the team wasn’t able to fit in and we will get those looked after another time.
They did all that we had asked them to do along with several other items that we had added to the list once we arrived.
Professional work environment
There is something about a clean and well organized space that talks to the quality and professionalism of the work.
The service bays at the Newmar Customer Service Centre are amongst the best that I have ever seen.
Those floors literally gleamed. The interior, holding 52 service bays, is well illuminated with easy access to any of the coaches. A safe and pleasant environment for service techs and for customers coming in to check up on their coaches.
Unfortunately, our appointment was scheduled before the opening of the new campground so we had to make do at the old sites a few miles away. That said, we had a place to park our coach with full hook-ups and decent WiFi. At the end of each service day, a driver would bring the coach back to the site and set almost everything up — jacks down, slides out, electrical service attached — for the balance of the day. Coaches would leave at 6am and be back by 3pm. There was a nice community of Newmar owners along with convenient access to the plant tour. The new campground will be a few steps above the current site with concrete pads, paved roads and gated access.
We took the three-hour plant tour. Held each morning, this is the tour to take if you want to see the entire production process from the bare chassis to the finished product. We gained an appreciation for how much of the work is done by hand. There was not one robotic device that I could see in any part of the main production process. The factory takes delivery of the chassis and then builds out every coach by hand.
When we left the factory, we were thrilled to have our coach back to a “like new” state. I highly recommend the service at the Newmar factory just keep in mind that you need to book your appointment well in advance. About six months ahead is a reasonable target.