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Old 10-15-2017, 08:28 PM   #1
David T. MacNeill
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Engineer’s daughter seeks Montana blueprints

My wife is finally getting hands-on with our Montana’s internals along with me. I asked her to help me with my winterizing research and procedure and she asked for a blueprint of the whole rig. Texas daughter of an engineer, she is. She wants mechanical, plumbing, propane, electrical — everything. Does any such thing exist?
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:30 PM   #2
mlh
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NO
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:05 PM   #3
David T. MacNeill
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NO
This seems like a huge missed opportunity. You can buy a third-party repair guide to any model year car or truck, so why not RVs?
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:38 PM   #4
dieselguy
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Welcome to the "real world" of RVing. RV's are not built anywhere near the specs of an automobile. I doubt if the guys on the assembly line have prints. Speculating about one's first few days on the assy line ... you get showed how to do it on a few line units and then it's up to you. Don't waste time calling Keystone as they will not supply John Q Public with any schematics. Hang around the MOC and you'll get pointed in the right direction. No two units are exactly the same behind the paneling and flooring. Keystone supposedly has stepped up and went with color coded electrical wiring, but I doubt if you can source the code.
PS ... if you want to know about winterizing ... search this website ... there are several threads on winterizing.
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:23 PM   #5
DQDick
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Diesel Guy is correct, if you take factory tours you'll find that the same units are not exactly the same. The line moves too fast and the pressure is just to get it done, not get it done the same way.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:40 AM   #6
Phil P
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Hi

These statements are applicable to the units built in Indiana. When you get away from that area and tour the factories you find the production line workers have access to the construction drawings and pretty much follow them.

The difference between a “high end” trailer and a “low end“ trailer.

When I started looking for a competent repair facility to repair the damage done by the production line when ours was built I final got the third company that refused to work on a “low end” trailer to do so by giving them a $10,000.00 deposit up front.

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Old 10-16-2017, 07:09 AM   #7
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Hi

These statements are applicable to the units built in Indiana. When you get away from that area and tour the factories you find the production line workers have access to the construction drawings and pretty much follow them.....cut...

Phil P
When we were purchasing our Thor Challenger MH we went up to northern Indiana and took a factory tour. Very interesting area because every couple of blocks there are huge plants producing every RV out there, except Tiffin and a few others.

Thor obviously owns the Keystone Montana line, just like they own the factory that produces my MH. I emailed Thor Customer Service and requested all build drawings for my exact unit. After I proved to them I was the actual owner I received numerous emails containing 30 to 40 pages of every drawing they had. I now have a book with all the structural, electrical, and plumbing drawings for my exact unit.

I realize that Keystone Montana has never provided this kind of information to owners, but I think it is available if they wanted to provide it.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:01 AM   #8
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JandC ... I don't doubt your testimony above, but if I were a business owner in today's dog eat dog world ... it would be a cold day in H__l before I would hand out "every drawing I had" on any given product. That's just not good business sense.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:13 AM   #9
timandpeggy
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I come from the aircraft maintenance world. We do nothing without drawings, specs, schematics, etc. At the rally Tour I asked the same question and was given the absolute worst answer: “We’ve always done it this way” ( no drawings). Yeah, that makes it right.
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:35 PM   #10
richfaa
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Question. We also tour the factory at the fall rally. We have never seen any build drawings and have never asked to see them...however with many different models on the line on any given day if there are no drawing, specs how do the line workers know what they are building.?????
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:29 PM   #11
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Being in commercial aircraft assembly industry ... there is a build schedule that the IE people keep track of. There are team leaders on the floor that help coordinate via computer and occasional drawings each line unit as to it's build characteristics. There are PCA's (parts control area) that supply packages of parts per build number and date of build to each individual assembly area throughout the plant. It's pretty hard to not build the right configuration as these packages are line unit specific. Workers just don't have pick and choose parts laying around to deal with. If there is a part shortage or scrap ... lots of paperwork has to be filled out to retrieve the correct part. You cannot just show up at a parts depot and ask for an extra part. Each line mechanic has a given number of jobs to do ... each one not necessarily on every unit ... new hires are shown by seasoned workers their jobs and how to get them done in a given time frame. You do the same thing on so many line units no matter the build configuration ... it becomes robotic. What gets messed up or unfinished is mostly (not always) done by some of the better mechanics out of position which is costly and harder to do as the unit has moved on up the line where needed tools and jigs are far behind assembling another line unit in the firing order. I'd guess RV's are assembled kinda sorta like that.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:06 PM   #12
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There are build papers on each unit on the assembly line stating the model number what goes into it and who it is being built for. We have never seen a computer anywhere near the assembly line. The parts for the units are very close to were they are installed in the unit. It only makes sense that there are supervisors on or near the line but we tour when the line is shut down for the day so we see none of that.


Dieselguy this the RV industry not to be compared with the aircraft industry as to the quality control however you post is pretty accurate as to how the assembly line works
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dieselguy View Post
Being in commercial aircraft assembly industry ... there is a build schedule that the IE people keep track of. There are team leaders on the floor that help coordinate via computer and occasional drawings each line unit as to it's build characteristics. There are PCA's (parts control area) that supply packages of parts per build number and date of build to each individual assembly area throughout the plant. It's pretty hard to not build the right configuration as these packages are line unit specific. Workers just don't have pick and choose parts laying around to deal with. If there is a part shortage or scrap ... lots of paperwork has to be filled out to retrieve the correct part. You cannot just show up at a parts depot and ask for an extra part. Each line mechanic has a given number of jobs to do ... each one not necessarily on every unit ... new hires are shown by seasoned workers their jobs and how to get them done in a given time frame. You do the same thing on so many line units no matter the build configuration ... it becomes robotic. What gets messed up or unfinished is mostly (not always) done by some of the better mechanics out of position which is costly and harder to do as the unit has moved on up the line where needed tools and jigs are far behind assembling another line unit in the firing order. I'd guess RV's are assembled kinda sorta like that.
From what I saw at the High Country plant, the RV industry is about 80 year behind the aviation world. Where we “clean as we go”, yea, that doesn’t exist. The assemblers are stepping over debris, and in actuality, they push 17 a day out. Not on 3 shifts, but 1! The folks don’t get paid by the hour but by the quota. Basically, once they get their assigned number completed, they go home.

The guide was touting the “quality” being shown due to the number of red tape flags of defiencies. In actuality, if their processes were good, qa would be bored. I worked Boeing 777 wing/body join as we were waiting for the 777F, and that was an eye opener for a flight line maintenance type. The RV assembly line was a huge eye opener as to the issues we have with our rigs. The assemblers don’t have time to clean after completing their work, so no wonder there’s loads of trash, uncut tie wrap tails, missing screws, etc all over. That’s also the reason they use self drilling screws, it’s faster.

Nothing that I saw at the HC plant could correlate to the aviation world. There was no (that I saw) tool control, parts issuance control and qa made a cursory pass over the rig near the end of the about 30 minutes at the station. They had some cool stands that allowed the workers to work on the roofs and upper walls that retracted into the roof rafters, but the assemblies were moved by hand. I even witnessed an assembler move a cabinet by dragging it on the corners. There was one rig at the station to install the front cap and one brace was bent. It was identified, but fixed, who knows. My guess, no. To repair it, they’d have had to replace the frame (as it was weakened where it was bent) and that would have added time.

Now, the MorRyde plant, they did have parts issuance control, and it was cleaner. Of course the we’re working 3 shifts, so they can spread out the work better. In reality, i’m very amazed there aren’t more issues with these rigs.
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Old 10-16-2017, 06:32 PM   #14
mlh
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It would be nice for us to have blue prints. The reason they don't have blueprints is they don't need them. Blueprints would only serve to slow things down. The workers would need to get them out or call them up on a computer then study then and go by them. Without them a worker an do what needs to be done and on to the next unit.
In my shop we make dozens of products to the thousandth of an inch or closer without a single blueprint or cad cam drawing. Why? It takes time to draw them, get them out, put them up and when you make changes, which we do sometimes then you haft to make new prints and throw away the old ones. You can see most of our products at harrellsprec.com. They aren't as big as a camper but haft to be made to much closer tolerances than a camper.
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:22 PM   #15
Phil P
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It would be nice for us to have blue prints.
Lynwood
Keystone could not afford to allow any of the "plans" to get in the hands of the consumer. The resulting law suits would put them out of business.

The only part that would be close to the plans would probably be the frame. The rest just don’t comply closely with anything engineering has produced.

And now Keystone has refused to even provide the information from the built ticket.

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Old 10-16-2017, 07:59 PM   #16
dieselguy
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I guess I was misunderstood about referencing my airplane building example. I truly know there is no comparison in QA and complexity between RV and airplane assembly. A question was asked how they know what to build without drawings laying about and I tried loosely referencing what goes on in a large manufacturing plant as to how different models come off an assembly line. I figured there was a build schedule and parts are available on a given day for that schedule .... there's just not a bunch of walls, cabinets, and slide outs laying around that the workers have to sift through to find what goes on the bare frame sitting in front of them. Like mentioned they don't have time to clean up let alone search for what goes on any given unit ... it has to be pre-staged to get the unit out the door per schedule.
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:02 AM   #17
JandC
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I didn't see any drawings when I toured the Thor Motorhome plant, nor did I see any of the workers at the different stations consulting computer screens. Why would they need to? For example, you and two other techs are at one of the first stations where the welded box frame is attached to the Ford chassis. They only do about 5 gas models and 2 or 3 diesel models at that plant. Your station team is doing the exact same thing all model year long, and maybe longer than that on some models that don't change. We did see managers/supervisors walking through with paperwork of some kind with them checking different things, but if you are doing the same job 40 hours a week you probably are not consulting drawings.

Dieselguy, I belong to a forum similar to this one except it is for owners of Thor Motorhomes. One of the first things I found out from the older members on that forum was that Thor would provide you with all those drawings on your model of coach. They have been doing that for years and it is extremely handy. Early on I had a water leak behind my convenience center. I removed the panel and went to work. It turned out to only be a bad fitting but I took 9 different fittings off and resealed everything. Having a whole house filter system and everything else back there I was stumped on getting all the water connections back to the right valves. I called Thor Customer Service from my I-phone and requested a more detailed blow up of the connections inside my convenience center. Within a couple minutes he emailed them to me, which I pulled up on my I-phone and used to finish my project.

Like I said before, Keystone Montana could be doing the exact same thing with their customer service but for some reason they don't. If they are all owned by parent company Thor then why the difference?
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:25 AM   #18
richfaa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timandpeggy View Post
From what I saw at the High Country plant, the RV industry is about 80 year behind the aviation world. Where we “clean as we go”, yea, that doesn’t exist. The assemblers are stepping over debris, and in actuality, they push 17 a day out. Not on 3 shifts, but 1! The folks don’t get paid by the hour but by the quota. Basically, once they get their assigned number completed, they go home.

The guide was touting the “quality” being shown due to the number of red tape flags of defiencies. In actuality, if their processes were good, qa would be bored. I worked Boeing 777 wing/body join as we were waiting for the 777F, and that was an eye opener for a flight line maintenance type. The RV assembly line was a huge eye opener as to the issues we have with our rigs. The assemblers don’t have time to clean after completing their work, so no wonder there’s loads of trash, uncut tie wrap tails, missing screws, etc all over. That’s also the reason they use self drilling screws, it’s faster.

Nothing that I saw at the HC plant could correlate to the aviation world. There was no (that I saw) tool control, parts issuance control and qa made a cursory pass over the rig near the end of the about 30 minutes at the station. They had some cool stands that allowed the workers to work on the roofs and upper walls that retracted into the roof rafters, but the assemblies were moved by hand. I even witnessed an assembler move a cabinet by dragging it on the corners. There was one rig at the station to install the front cap and one brace was bent. It was identified, but fixed, who knows. My guess, no. To repair it, they’d have had to replace the frame (as it was weakened where it was bent) and that would have added time.

Now, the MorRyde plant, they did have parts issuance control, and it was cleaner. Of course the we’re working 3 shifts, so they can spread out the work better. In reality, i’m very amazed there aren’t more issues with these rigs.

Good observation of the RV assembly process. We toured our first plant in 2005 and it has not changed a bit since. We toured both plants at the fall rally. The Montana plant was pushing out 33 units a day the most we have ever seen in the 12 years we have been to the plant tours.

Both Helen and I are retired from the FAA and we understand the aircraft industry which is why i stated there is no comparison.
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