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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 10-28-2008
jim Riordan's Avatar
jim Riordan jim Riordan is offline
88 WBWL XXV
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Stuart, Florida
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Default Rally in the Valley 2009

400 Coaches in Perry 2007 60 Coaches in Branson Mo 2008, mmmmmm

I guess in some circles 60 coaches is a successful rally, but compared
to THE RALLY IN THE VALLEY?

Maybe us Bluebirders should organize to have a Rally in the Valley in
Perry next year, we could invite CCW and other vendors to participate
if they wished! I think that the way that Bluebird did the rally's is
probally gone. Maybe we could find a retired Bluebird person (Brenda)to
assisit us in organizing it for a fee, or someone who is local to
Perry, Ga. area. I am sure the fairgrounds would be interested, in
having us back. Possibly could fold in the RATS rally in.

Just a thought.

Jim Riordan
88 WBWL XXV
Stuart, Fl.
772-260-1328
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jim riordan
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Stuart, Fl.
  #2  
Old 10-28-2008
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warbucks13477 warbucks13477 is offline
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I hope everyone realizes how difficult it is going to be for all of us if Coach Works is not successful with the new Wanderlodge, and they are forced to close down Fort Vally. Is it possible? Maybe Macy can tell us how much support the company is getting from present owners of BB coaches.

When Coach Works bought BB from the old owners they were given almost nothing, few parts, no database for parts, few dealers, and few supporters. Isn't it ironic that some independent suppliers of parts for our coaches have parts that Coach Works does not have? I understand that before Coach Works bought the company many many parts were sold off at fire sale prices to some of the dealers that are now selling them.

How many of you have bought the parts you needed from Coach Works? Takes a lot of money for a company the size of Coach Works to stay in business today. I believe you will find out that Coach Works is having a very difficult time reestablishing BB as a premier Motorhome. If we ignore them now and take our business elsewhere we are really making it tougher for Coach Works to compete. And isn't my point verified by the fact that there were only 60 coaches at Branson. Think about it.
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Tom Warner
Vernon Center,NY
1985 PT40 SOLD
6V92
  #3  
Old 10-28-2008
jim Riordan's Avatar
jim Riordan jim Riordan is offline
88 WBWL XXV
 
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Tom,

What is your point?

If you read what I wrote, i did not suggest not supporting CCW.

All that other information is great to know.

What I am suggesting is that we get the
RALLY IN THE VALLEY back. The Branson thing is great maybe in the middle of the summer as a rally.

That is it.

Jim Riordan
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jim riordan
88 WBWL XXV
Stuart, Fl.
  #4  
Old 10-28-2008
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warbucks13477 warbucks13477 is offline
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Wasn't just your post Jim but the tone of many others on this and other forums over the last year or so. I am sure that Complete Coach Works does not need vintage bird owners to plan a rally although I am sure they would just love our help. You suggested that WE organize the rally and then invite Complete Coach Works. I dont believe that is what they need.
The owners of vintage Wanderlodges is a great bank of advertising support as a testament of the Bluebirds structural strength, rugged parts, and classic designs from the 1964 to the present day. There is no doubt that we can be a significant helpto coach Works if we pool our resources. For instance some vintage owners have worked at the Birds Nest to clean it up and beautify it. Excellent relations. Now how about holding a few factory rallies there?

In my mind there has always been some serious deficiencies in the planning of the RIV that I have seen since I have owned a coach. While there were lots of dealers at the first one I went to there was very little help from the factory where it really counted...........maintaining and repairing the coaches. Compared to a Monaco rally for instance where the factory will repair any two problems you are having with your coach FREE when you attend a rally, I am not aware that BB ever accomplished that. I did see various people circulating thru the Perry grounds helping other Vintage owners however.

But lets fact it Vintage BB owners are NOt going to make a significant difference in Complete Coach Works bottom line unless both out members and CCW has an attitude change. I would love to have them incorporate their California transit and tour bus business into the Fort Vally shops and offer us engine repowers, transmission upgrades, interior remodeling, wheel chair lifts for those that need them.

http://www.completecoach.com/

While small independent parts dealers can supply small parts for our coaches, I am not aware of any that can do what CCW is capable of doing. In my opinion they should be our first source of parts. For instance CCW is the only place to get a drive axel brake drum with the adaption for our speedometers. I checked and the company made them exclusively for the previous BB. Have fun trying to get one for any BB coach if they no longer have Fort Vally open for us.
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Tom Warner
Vernon Center,NY
1985 PT40 SOLD
6V92
  #5  
Old 10-28-2008
jim Riordan's Avatar
jim Riordan jim Riordan is offline
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Tom,

Start a new thread about all this!

I did not suggest nor advocate that ccw disappear.

What is clear to me is that in 2007 400 bluebird coaches showed up to Perry. This year there were 60. It is clear to me that Perry is the best place to have the Rally in the Valley.
We all shouls get together and make it happen!

jim riordan
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88 WBWL XXV
Stuart, Fl.
  #6  
Old 10-29-2008
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It is my understanding that there were just under 200 coaches in Perry for 2007.

Personally, I was disappointed that the 08 RIV moved to Branson as I had planned to be in/near GA in time to come to RIV. So, by the time I knew it would be in Branson, there wasn't time to rearrange my travels to make it there.

I appreciate CCW for putting on the rally and I have no doubt that future RIVs sponsored by CCW (where ever they might be held) will probably be better. There's a learning curve to these things and I'm willing to give CCW the benefit of the doubt.

====
On the road at Mt. Airy, NC and heading to Knoxville, TN tomorrow.
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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200 is about the right number for RIV in 07.
for several years now there has been a rally after the RIV,and we are having it again this year,starts tomorrow.
the Birds Nest has been full for several days now.
we are all in full support of the RIV,even though some of the family of friends don't think so.
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2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2008
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jim Riordan jim Riordan is offline
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All I suggested that if people were unhappy with not having the Rally in the Valley in Perry, that we should take an action to have it in Perry next year. I made no comment other than inviting CCW to participate. Do I know that it is a large undertaking, of course. These posts by some people are just plain out of control! frequently off topic, and based on flawed interpetation.

Jim Riordan
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2008
BCRoamer BCRoamer is offline
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The RIV has gone the way of so many other businesses that were started and run for years by a patriarch; the patriarch is gone and now the entity must function as a for profit business.

Our first RIV was in 1996 and at that time the owner (who’s name I cannot spit out right now) built motor coaches for his friends. It was truly a “Family of Friends”. Free lunches at the Nest, the RIV cost $400 and there were a lot of vendors there and 3 full days of seminars. Coffee and donuts in the morning, box lunches and great dinners with excellent entertainment on Saturday night. The entire service department was there and you could get one problem fixed for free. If I remember correctly there were close to 600 Birds there. ’97 was similar and when they introduced the “new Bird” in ’98 they invited present and past Bird owners to attend, my memory tells me there were over 700 coaches in that year.

There is no question in my mind the family that owned BB subsidized the coach operation with the income for the school bus side of the business. It was a great time and we were lucky to catch the tail end of that era. Our experience is that there is nothing left in the industry that even approaches that type of quality and service today. Newell, Liberty and Marathon have great functions, but they’re very pricey. They also take very good care of new owners, but if your not it again gets pricey.

Something like RIV takes a ton of work and you either have to charge for whatever level of luxury wanted or find some entity who will foot the bill. In the old days folks like Buddy Gregg and other vendors supplied money and goods for RIV and other rallies. Of course there were owners who purchased a new coach every two years. Our coach was the 7th BB built by the gentlemen we purchased it from. The other point here is the BB had a staff of employees who made RIV happen, for free.

One year we were at Crystal Lakes when Buddy put on a party there, free drinks and heavy canapés, think he sold 3 new coaches that day. A different time.

Maybe someone out there has the where-with-all to do an old style RIV, but I doubt it. So in my judgment the owners just get together and do the best job they can and have fun and once in a while remember the “old days”. We got our coach and RV lot up for sale for many reasons, primarily health, that said, owning a Bird and RV’ing just isn’t the same and that’s part of the reason we’re moving on. Getting older also has something to do with it.
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2008
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Lance I just have to tell you that this kind of uninformed information is exactly what got Macy Neshati to lambaste other wanderlodge members on other forums yesterday. He sent me a personal email of what he was about to say he was so upset. Don't you realize what this is saying about the current management at Complete Coach Works who now own the company??????

Bottom line is that absolutely ALL of what you say is untrue. In 1996 not one single Luce individual worked in the company in fact the "Patriarch Albert Luce Sr ) died in 1962. In 1996 the company was 82% owned (since 1992) by Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, Inc. and the other 18% by former managers of Bluebird. Do you actually think Merrill Lynch was giving you free lunches?

Since the early 1990's the school bus side of the business was in a sharp decline and hardly able to subsidize itself not to mention Wanderlodge. They sold 3 factories and sharply cut their salaried work force. Take a look around you lance and see who is building the school buses in your area. In mine International and Thomas while Bluebird in in the minority.

What is happening to cause problems for Complete Coach works today? The economy plain and simple. We are in a deep recession, credit is tough and there is no money for auto dealers and motorhome dealers to floor plan products. If you dont believe it try and go to your local bank and borrow money. You better have a high FICO score if you even stand a chance then.

Complete Coach Works is trying and pouring what money it can into making the Wanderlodge an viable product again after years of mismanagement. Then when CCW bought the company they discovered after the fact the spare parts were almost non existant and sold off before CCW took over, there were severe problems with the M450 front axels and the M380 sides delaminating and other issues and who was going to pay for this very expensive service? CCW bent over backwards to do what ever it could while being stuck with Bluebird management decisions of what CCW could accomplish. Maybe Macy can tell us even more but believe me it isnt pretty.

Are present bluebird owners helping? Would be interesting to see how many of us are. For instance a check of users of the Birds Nest versus those that have bought parts or had service from BB. Boy would that cause a firestorm.

Oh and one last thing just for everyones smiles. The reason that the Clubhouse was built by the Luces? They held a Methodist prayer meeting for the employees there every noon and then held a lunch for them? The Luce's were staunch Methodists who gave a lot of money to world wide causes including Fort Vally, Ga. God bless them for their generosity.

So lets quit this second guessing when you dont have the true facts. It only hurts everyone.
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Tom Warner
Vernon Center,NY
1985 PT40 SOLD
6V92

Last edited by warbucks13477; 10-30-2008 at 12:18 PM.
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