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Old 06-13-2019, 06:08 AM   #1
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Newmar Purchase

Hi Everyone, my wife and I are in the process of looking for our first Motorhome. We are looking at Newmar Ventana's or Tiffin Phaeton's. We will be buying used to make the budget work (around $150k to $175k).
Are there particular years of used Newmar's to look for or to avoid?
How is the drive and handling of the Newmars compared to other Class A diesels?
Primarily we want to cruise North America a couple of month at a time, then maybe full time once we retire. Thanks for the help..
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:38 AM   #2
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I would like to add some thoughts to your buying. After driving 2 Phaetons for 12 years and now driving a Newmar for 3 years I would strongly recommend the Newmar. I believe the overall quality of the Newmar is better, but the major difference is comfort drive. Not trying to knock Tiffin, they make a good MH. Just my thoughts after 15 years of driving MH's.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:09 AM   #3
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Thanks Taratiffin, We are stating at ground Zero, so any and all advise is welcome. Drive-ability will be a major factor in our choice. We want the ability to drive all day if needed without too much fatigue. Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:10 PM   #4
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Hi DMcHarley,
No coach in the six figure price range drives as good as a Newmar. Comfort Drive is the reason. Do a test drive. If you bring your check book you will be buying.

The same for the coach. My coach is 14 years old with 127K miles. Still solid as a rock. Do the normal maintenance and you will be happy and pleased. Whatever you buy have it inspected by a pro. Get the service contract, if offered. Newmar builds a top of the line coach. However, it did have a previous owner.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:37 AM   #5
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Hi DMcHarley,
No coach in the six figure price range drives as good as a Newmar. Comfort Drive is the reason. Do a test drive. If you bring your check book you will be buying.

The same for the coach. My coach is 14 years old with 127K miles. Still solid as a rock. Do the normal maintenance and you will be happy and pleased. Whatever you buy have it inspected by a pro. Get the service contract, if offered. Newmar builds a top of the line coach. However, it did have a previous owner.
One added comment on Gary's Comfort Drive observation. A test drive may not really show you the full benefits of Comfort Drive. We had a friend we know move from a Monaco Dynasty, a good coach with a good chassis, to a Mountain Aire with Comfort Drive. He said it was not until he had to drive a longer then normal day to escape weather, and as part of that weather strong shifting winds, that he realized how much Comfort Drive added to the driving experience. He said he knew from years of owning his Dynasty, that at the end of a 8 hour day drive in strong winds - that his shoulders and neck would have been very tight. And, he would have been more 'stressed' during the drive. (Dynasty did have a Tag, so again, a good handling RV.). He said sure he was tired at the end off the long day, but the Comfort Drive was a game changer in driving in those conditions, and he felt it added a degree of safety.

$.02!

Best to you, and all,
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:45 AM   #6
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Both Tiffin and Newmar are top of the line. I test drove both and did not find that the Newmar Comfort Drive was that mush better, but it was only a short test drive. I ended up finding a hardly used Itasca and it drove almost as good and I saved a lot of $$$. I do have a tag axel and that helps.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:51 AM   #7
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A generic opinion on looking for a used DP. At that budget range, I'd recommend you 'Drop years to remain within budget range, and buy the highest quality coach you can find, that meets your needs. Quality lasts.'.

In the Newmar line, target Mountain Aire up thru King Aire models. I always felt the Montain Aire was one of the better bang for the bucks in the Newmar line up. And another friend said that a Essex was the sweet spot on the higher end models...

In Tiffen line up, Zephyr would be the closest to higher end. (I'm purposely bashing the Tiffen, but have had three different owners of Alegro Bus coaches tell me how disappointed they were with the 'as delivered' new coaches...).

Lots of Pro's/Con's of newer middle level, vs older higher level coaches. And for sure, many have different opinions. But the key is the higher quality coaches usually have better/stronger chassis, which provide a long lasting solid 'foundation'. They also usually have larger engines, and larger engines add a safety advantage for better acceleration (To get out of an emergency situation.) and much higher Jake Compression Braking Horse Power. (Yes, the MPG can be less then a coach like your looking at with a smaller or mid size block engine. But, the bigger engines work less hard while rolling down the roadways, and some actually yield as good of MPG as the same coach with a medium size block. And also IMO, the cost of fuel over a year, is not even on the radar of overall cost of coach ownership. A $1-2K higher fuel bill over the year, depending upon mils driven, is really not that much considering the overall budget demands of a coach.). And also the higher end coaches, usually have better materials and components and craftsmanship in construction, the entry of mid level quality coaches.

The other benefit of older higher quality, is the rapid slide down the depreciation scale has tapered off...

Final opinion, is that in 10 year, a higher quality coach that is say 5-7 years older then a mid level coach - will be a better coach. (The quality last statement here, as in 10 years, the high quality older coach, will age more gracefully then the mid level coach.)

And sure, higher level content coaches, will have more 'goodies' so maintenance costs can be higher over the years, especially if you're not a hands on DIY kind of owners...

Last bit of advice. Is you two go look at many coaches, in many years, and decide what is important to the two of you. Narrow down the makes and models that you like, and then shop for a good one of whatever those are. You two are writing the checks - so do what you think is best for you. Even if it is not what others, like maybe I, think!

Best of luck to you, have fun along the way,
Smitty
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:56 AM   #8
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While historically newmar has been the only option for comfort drive (trw steering enhancement system), entegra coach has added this to their 2020 lineup.

Entegra coach diesel's in the Anthem, Aspire, or cornerstone are great coaches and very comparable to newmar in build and quality. Along with the comfort steer option, entegra should be considered. They have higher MSRP than newmar, but can generally be had for 30-38% off msrp, making them very comparable to newmar coaches.

I prefer newmar and like the option to customize the coach when being built.

IMHO Newmar and Entegra are far above all other brands. Tiffin would be a definite 3rd and final choice. I would not consider any other brands.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:20 AM   #9
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Having heard many trying to downplay CD in various threads, I will add my opinion.

I have owned 3 Motorhomes and when researching the last purchase I became very interested in CD and did test drive both with and without. On test drive I didnít think it was a big difference but nicer.

I now have 23,000 miles under my belt and trip north on Alaskan Highway and convinced a huge difference with CD. It is certainly a big difference on less than perfect roads which are getting harder to find.😀
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:44 PM   #10
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I just purchased my 2nd Newmar, but have owned two Winnebago Journey's and have driven other brands in test drives. The 2013 MA I just bought is not only very impressive in driveability, but I think the thing that instantly made the most impression on me was just how QUIET it is when on the road. An amazing difference between this coach and the Journey's I owned or the lower-end Newmar I owned before or others I've driven.


While the Comfort Drive is certainly nice when cruising down the road, what you don't hear most people talk about is how nice it is to set that at the setting that let's you just spin the wheel with one finger at low speeds when in the campground or negotiating other tight spots at low speed.


Good luck in your search and selection.
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcHarley View Post
Hi Everyone, my wife and I are in the process of looking for our first Motorhome. We are looking at Newmar Ventana's or Tiffin Phaeton's. We will be buying used to make the budget work (around $150k to $175k).
Are there particular years of used Newmar's to look for or to avoid?
How is the drive and handling of the Newmars compared to other Class A diesels?
Primarily we want to cruise North America a couple of month at a time, then maybe full time once we retire. Thanks for the help..
I have owned two Holiday Ramblers including an Imperial. I purchased a Dutch Star in 2006, it was a great coach. Sold it because of taking care of family. I purchased a Ventana LE in 2017. The Dutch Star was on a MountainMaster Spartan Chassis - very heavy and very nice ride. The LE is on a freightliner- but has comfort drive and it was a 2016 - first year of Star Foundation. Unbelieveable difference in the ease of drive and stability of the coach with Comfort Drive. I think anyone who has ever driven both for any amount of time will tell you it is like day and night! Only Newmar, in the price points of what you are looking for has Comfort Drive- to me if you are going to drive the coach - it is the most important thing you can have on the coach. I just ordered a 2020 Ventana 4369 - I personally will not even consider anything but Newmar. Here is something to think about as well. I have bought and driven off in 3 Newmar coaches directly on a long trip from the dealer - no take it out for a shakedown cruise or weekend - straight on 5K or more mile trips - I guess I should knock on wood here - but I never had a problem with any of them! I had two Holiday Ramblers - I could bare get out of the delivery lot and the problems started! Newmar builds very good units - I may get a bad one this time- and I'm sure they have issues on some coaches - but my experience has been the opposite! One last thing to keep in mind - this is my opinion only of course - the 2020 Ventana is probably as nice or nicer than Dutch Stars built in the past. I would probably buy a Dutchstar if you are buying 2015 and earlier, but if you are buying 2016 or newer I would really consider the Ventana - as you should be able to buy one for $50K less and I don't think their is that much difference in them. That is my two cents worth. The 2020 Dutch Star versus the Ventana comparatively equiped is about $95K more retail. It will probably do everything and have virtually everything the average person needs as the Dutch Star. If I had unlimted money, I would probably by a New Dutch Star - but after you look at the 2020 Ventana's with the Girard awning package I think it may over take Dutch Star in sales soon. Newmar protects the Dutch Star by not allowing the bigger engine and fuel tanks to be offerred on the Ventana - if they did that- Ventana would probably blow by the Dutch Star. But remember this, torque is the same on the 400 and 450 Cummins Engines - torque is your pulling and climbing power!
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
One added comment on Gary's Comfort Drive observation. A test drive may not really show you the full benefits of Comfort Drive. We had a friend we know move from a Monaco Dynasty, a good coach with a good chassis, to a Mountain Aire with Comfort Drive. He said it was not until he had to drive a longer then normal day to escape weather, and as part of that weather strong shifting winds, that he realized how much Comfort Drive added to the driving experience. He said he knew from years of owning his Dynasty, that at the end of a 8 hour day drive in strong winds - that his shoulders and neck would have been very tight. And, he would have been more 'stressed' during the drive. (Dynasty did have a Tag, so again, a good handling RV.). He said sure he was tired at the end off the long day, but the Comfort Drive was a game changer in driving in those conditions, and he felt it added a degree of safety.

$.02!

Best to you, and all,
Smitty
This is totally true! Drive a coach for 8 hours and you will never want to drive one without it again! It is like sitting in a lazyboy and watching a movie! I found exactly the same thing - neck and shoulders were tired- didn't even notice I had driven 12 hours on a comfort drive coach!
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