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Under The Awning Here is where you can carry on a conversation, just like............well, like you were sitting under your awning at the campsite.

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Default the factory

i'm off to Ft Valley in the morning,to visit with old friends and to see the new coachs at the plant.
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2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

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  #2  
Old 08-05-2008
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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Pictures, Pictures!!!
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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i'm back!
long day,its about 250 miles each way,and i didnt have carol to drive so i could nap!

The Factory has never looked so good,no kidding.
its clean as a pin,and there were at least 2 guys sweeping and cleaning today.

Starting the day off i met my old friend and fellow bird owner Bill Kirtchner at the Factory,we spent 30 minutes in the front office charming the very nice girl that handles the phones,the job applicants and who knows what else.
then allen came out and we asked about taking the tour,private tour of course!
he told us to come back thursday!

well,he was just kidding and away we went to see the plant,lucky for us it was lunch time and all the workers were eating.

with no workers in the way Bill and I climbed on,over and under everything in the building (they will never let us in at lunch again!)
we checked welds,fit and finish on every part we could find,from bare frame rails to finished product.
we checked bolts to see if they were tight,and unlike most tours i go on, i didnt get thrown out!

The safety glasses police did catch me and made me put the glasses on over my bi-focals,i thinked him for doing his job,and promptly took them off as soon as he turned his back.

the welds and fit on all the STAINLESS coach structure was just beautiful,no kidding,i didnt see anything that was not just perfect (no,Macy didnt pay me!)
then we watched as they put the stainless skin on the coach,they stretch it tight then weld the ends,bonding the middle with some kinda goop that you don't want on your pants..

Bill asked why so much stainless,the reason is they don't have to prime the metal,it will never rust without primer.
that one step alone will save the differance in price between steel and stainless steel,when you add labor,paint,equipment etc.

Some of you know about the recall on the 2004-2006 front axles,well,thats all fixed and cost somebody a ton of money.
just to make sure that never happens again the front and rear axles have been beefed up,i forget the ratings,but they are heavy duty!

it also seems like alot of thought went into the placement of components,i could get to almost everything with ease,batteries,inverters,etc.

THe HWH leveling people were there today,they are providing the slide outs and the jacks,welcome back Paul!

The workers all came back at some point and they were all very nice,staying out of the way if we were looking at something,we tried not to hold them up.

I'm sure i've forgotten half of what i saw today,but the coach that was almost complete was awesome,the fit and finish was as good as the birds built in the 90s,the cabinet work is outstanding,the electrical wiring was as nice as i've ever seen and the interior is just something to see,very warm and comfy,you just feel like your supposed to be there.

ask away,i'll reply tomorrow!
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Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

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  #4  
Old 08-05-2008
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Somervillebus Somervillebus is offline
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Did they stick to the dash design they displayed on their premier coach, or revert back to the original Wanderlodge only dash? OH yea, did you order a new one for yourself?

Slim Somerville
99 LXi
Tennessee
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2008
mynavion mynavion is offline
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Randy,

Thanks for the tour report. I don't know about what you thought but Allen gave Gladys and I the best plant tour that we had ever had. Allen went into more detail, stopped and pointed out more things and best of all, you could see his pride and entheusiasm show through.

Thanks,

John
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Slim,i believe the dash on the first coach was just a quick thrown together deal,built to get the coach to the show.

But! the dash on the production coach is a piece of artwork,the gauges are all positioned so you can see them,its very clean looking and has a very nice "style" all its own,its curved or bowl shaped and just seems to be at home with the dash and the rest of the coach.

i didnt get any pics,but the coachworks website has some.

John,yes,Allen is very happy with coachworks and the work they are doing,it shows in every thing he says.

all in all,everybody there was happy,i didnt see anybody not working,or complaining,and yesterday it was hot as the gates of **** in that factory.

when the safety guy came over and asked me to wear my safety glasses he was very nice about it,i thanked him and when he walked away, Allen was halfway apolgetic,saying "hes just doing his job".
my reply was "i'm glad he is",thats his job.

The wood shop was running wide open,6-8 guys and every machine running wide open.

heres a little something to consider,unlike monaco or the other SOB builders,Coachworks has no inventory thats not selling,that means that their money is tied up in the real estate and the tooling for a new coach,with only a few coachs under construction they are in good shape,money wise. (they didnt shown me the checkbook!)

and think of this,if last year they had gotten 50 orders for new birds,there would have been no way to build them..
they are still ironing out the details on how they want to build them,and hiring people that can build them,and making fixtures and other things required to build them. ( Allen paid me to say that)

they have started to cut and fabricate all of the stainless in house,the last owner was sending all of that out to a vendor,and trashed all of the saws etc.
all of this takes time and a truck load of money to do,.
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2008
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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Stainless is fabulous stuff when done right. I try to use it whenever I can. Man it makes "maintenance" a breeze.
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  #8  
Old 08-06-2008
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Juergen Juergen is offline
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For what its worth. I use only stainless steel screws, nuts and bolts, + washers too, and even after years, they are easy to turn, check etc. Stainless steel in my book is the only way to go. I could just imagine a coach in stainless steel. Wow.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juergen View Post
I could just imagine a coach in stainless steel. Wow.
I'd love to see it polished - why put paint on it just makes it heavier.
Sell it as a mileage thing - lighter and slicker
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green_Bird View Post
I'd love to see it polished - why put paint on it just makes it heavier.
Sell it as a mileage thing - lighter and slicker
That would be really cool. Just like a DeLorean!
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