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Old 06-03-2017, 10:18 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Newmar vs Marathon question

I don't understand the Prevost Marathon motorhome. They are not listed in the manufacturers section.
The reason I'm asking this is a Prevost Marathon pulled in two motorhomes away from my Bay Star at this little park in Nebraska. The biggest thing I've seen. They left the door open when I walked by. A quick glance inside had me amazed! And towing a Cadillac Escalade SUV. So why can't you find their web site? I found some used ones.....$2.5 million. I still love My Bay Star.
I watched a video on one and they seem a little over the top. You would have to go to school to even run the thing.
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:22 AM   #2
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Come on up to Coburg OR, just off the west side of the freeway is one of the Marathon factories. They don't actually make the chassis, that is a Prevost, then Marathon converts them to a motorhome. Look up Marathon on the internet.
The late wife and I jumped from a '02 Dutch Star to the Magna which is as close to owning a Prevost conversion as I'll ever get!
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:24 AM   #3
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Just google Marathon Coach.
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Old 06-03-2017, 11:00 AM   #4
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Well, first off, $2.5 M exceeds the price of most new Marathons. Used ones can be found in the area of 1 M, some even less.

But, "The grass is not as green there as you may thing, or at least in my opinion.

The Marathon is a conversion build. The chassis was designed as a commercial buss, not for a motor home. So, let's look at some of the short falls, or less appealing features of such a build.

The dash instrument cluster, up until just recently, resembles that of a '53 cement truck. Functional yes. Fitting for a private coach, no.

Many manufactured motor homes come with both air leveling and hydraulic levelers. The Prevost chassis does not, nor can they be added as the frame cannot accommodate such apparatus.

Prior to their shifting to Volvo power, the DD engine of 515 hp falls short of the 1 hp per 100 lbs, benchmark. (Not the champion hill climber loaded)

The front axles are generally loaded to their max as the unit was to haul people not granite and needed motor home accessories.

Florescent yellow power seat controls scream commercial functionality, not luxury coach.

The front 5 or 6 feet is lost during living in camp. The H45 seats are at a lower level than that of the living quarters. The XL may have only one, or more likely no in-camp-seating as the passenger side is the only possible reversible seat. The driver's seat is a non-rotating air ride chair.

The large panoramic windshields we enjoy touring the scenic countryside is not available in a conversion. Instead a two piece windshield is separated by a very wide trim piece. Very functional for a bus as passengers generally view out the side windows and the windshield is at a lower level than they are.

The toll ticket window works well for a buss. Clearing custom requires either getting out or having an agent board. Motor homes generally clear customs similar to a private car, conversing out their driver's window. Not possible with the tiny flap ticket window.

Well...................There are more, but that's a sample of some of the differences you might well find. But, to each his own.

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Old 06-03-2017, 12:23 PM   #5
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Great info! They look so nice. I still like my Bay Star.
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Old 06-03-2017, 01:17 PM   #6
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Prevost is one of several bus builder brands used for luxury motorhomes...but possibly the most common. These beautiful RV's are discussed here:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f20/
There is no separate owner's Forum here for any conversion company brand due to traffic.

Prevost caters to the premium conversation companies with a specific product. See:
https://www.prevostcar.com/motorhome/support/features

Prevost conversations come from many brands like Marathon, Featherlite, Liberty and others.

Comparing any RV build to a bus conversion is problematic. The Prevost chassis and body is a purpose built "system," (not a box added to a rail chassis) made to drive many hundreds of thousands of miles carrying many tens of thousands of pounds (no these RV's are typically not even near their max capacity - like the H3-45 GVWR is 53,000lb). This advantage is why all long distance celebrity transport, touring band bus, and long haul passenger bus businesses use this type vehicle. Just the stripped chassis and body alone cost the converter over half a milĺion dollars to start.

Once the RV is in this price point, concierge service can actually be monitoring the coach systems remotely by automated cellular data reports sent from the RV. The factory will call you when there is a problem to schedule repairs...no RV builder that I know, does that

Safe travels
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Old 06-03-2017, 06:25 PM   #7
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I believe Newells are not available with a Prevost chassis and never were. The actual front axle weight of most conversion coaches exceeds that of a bus configuration. Prevost uses a 18,000 lbs. capacity front axle. Marginally enough. Weigh one, you will be surprised. Over weight owners may have to diet to stay within spec's.

One thing I did not mention was the braking. As they are at near full load capacity at all times, the braking is, in my opinion below what I would expect. When I inquired a conversion builder told me "If the traffic stops quickly, head for the shoulder." I don't know if his statement was correct, but I found the brakes on one I drove not even close to a 54,000 lbs, King Aire which is also loaded pretty well, but with a 20K front axle.

Anyway, that's been my experience, however others may have found a different result and opinion.

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Old 06-04-2017, 07:24 AM   #8
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I've known owners of both Prevost conversions and Newmars, even owned an Essex and the older version of the "out of their league before they started" London Aire.
Coach builders should be ashamed to admit that they even have a QA department, because clearly these coaches are LEAVING the factory with issues....

I'd venture to say that over 101 pages of Newmar "issues" speaks for itself... I'm always amazed when I log on here and continue to see so many issues that continue to happen, coach after coach. My own "tales of woe" were posted some nine years ago in 2008 and the issues still present themselves today, well that's not a good testament now is it?

And the Millers and Tiffin families laugh all the way to the bank....

The missus and I have entertained the idea of getting back into the RV way of life, but I'm torn with which way to go.... We've looked at preowned Featherlites and we've toyed with the idea of a Showhauler, akin to the experiences of forum founder and good friend Bill Rowell.
Now THERE'S a nice towing rig......LOL!!

Peter says it best when he says "to each their own" and I feel the same way when I'm buying an ice cream cone..... That's why there are so many different flavors.

G'day mates!!
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:27 AM   #9
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Hey Bob, back the bus up! Your posts can be seen as saying that conversion coaches do not suffer the multiple issues that RV manufactured unit do. That is not necessarily correct. I have known owners of conversions that have spent far more time in the shop than in camp. One always wanted to own a new conversion. He got one. Within 2 years he got rid of it and took a beating doing so. Just issue after issue!

Now as far as the rolling part, the chassis, Prevost does have the edge. But don't be fooled that the coach amenities are any better than most of the RV build units.

Bob I know you had major issues with both the Essex and the London Aire. I agree that the QC was lacking over the years for many makes. But, I think in general there have been substantial improvements in the quality particularly to Newmar products.

Not that there is not room for improvements, but let's give them marks where they are deserved.

You know there has been one redeeming thing that RV shop time has brought us, lots of new friends! I've met many great people over the years and 4 Newmars while roaming the factory service shop.

My wife often said that I wished something would break on the coach so I would have an excuse to go to the factory for service. She may have been right!

"Moose Tracks" is my favorite Bob...............Ice cream that is!

Peter

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Old 06-04-2017, 11:41 AM   #10
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You guys forget the most important fact- prevost are crash tested and passenger rated as are bluebird and very few others . All other MH are just a frame rail (bread truck) with a 2x2 structure on top ,not crash tested or passenger rated (if invented today would be not allowed) .
I tease my MH friends you are driving a garden shed at 60 mph and it you tip it all thats left is pink insulation and your underwear spread along a mile of interstate.
Thats way the windshield has a big thick post and other 'flaws'
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Old 06-05-2017, 03:41 PM   #11
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Hi Bob, I wondered how long you would be away from RVing until the bug resurfaced.

From what I've seen (yes, I've even helped out a Marathon Coach owner fix his coach) none of these things are perfect. I think that Newell gets about as close as possible. Their engineering is top shelf and everything is designed from the ground up, including their own custom frames.

The Super Cs. like Bill's Showhauler, are nice but a whole different animal. You can't beat them for driving but for parking, the bus style still winds out so some love them and some don't. I've been impressed with Renegade as well and their Ikon has the benefit of custom design as well as some nice improvements to the chassis and awesome woodwork.

All good choices.
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Old 06-05-2017, 04:14 PM   #12
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The PREVOST is a bus, built as a bus, and will always be a passenger Bus - Good or Bad.
The builders who 'remodel' these buses are basically changing the use of the bus from that of a passenger hauler to a home on wheels. It is, of course, going to have inherent qualities that are different from that of true Recreational Vehicles.
Prevost conversions are certainly a desirable 'RV' type of vehicle, especially those with deep pockets, but I would submit that most are for 'commercial' purposes, used to carry multiple passengers during overnight travel for people in the music, sports, or similar businesses.
The coach is designed also to run the very large generator 24/7 for power without possibly ever being parked and plugged into shore power. They don't typically stop and overnight at rv parks and campgrounds, but mostly corporate and venue parking lots. They are probably very harsh on the pockets of those paying for the fuel, though they have very large fuel tanks to drive many miles without stopping.

I'd like to have one, though.

RVs, or Motorhomes, are built on a very different chassis. While some say it's a 'bus' chassis, like a school bus, it is really just a 'custom' chassis designed specifically for the RV Manufacturing industry. Each manufacturer, unless they actually design and build their own chassis, like Newell, has a slightly different take/design on the basic 'custom' models offered by the chassis builder, usually Freightliner Custom Chassis or Spartan. RV manufacturers may also use third party companies to modify or add additional components to the chassis' even after they arrive near the factory.
RVs are not designed as passenger vehicles, at least not for the hauling of more than 4 to 6 persons at a time, but are designed from the ground up to be a home on wheels.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:29 AM   #13
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Driving these house's on wheels down some of the roads the chassis has to travel on are enough to shake things into a unworkable operation as many owners do find out including our friend Bob.
His running threads speak for themselves most of us can experience problems but some seem to be over burdened with them.
Can't say things have improved but people seem to push the MFG's on to the most loaded coach with every conceivable gadget there is to buy.
Will say Newmar will supply and people are lost in how their coach works which has been pretty standard for years for systems in the NEWMAR's just different suppliers.
So Bob if your still a adventuress, we , members in the know, are still here to guide you through your next adventure and enjoy the RV lifestyle.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hone eagle View Post
You guys forget the most important fact- prevost are crash tested and passenger rated as are bluebird and very few others . All other MH are just a frame rail (bread truck) with a 2x2 structure on top ,not crash tested or passenger rated (if invented today would be not allowed) .
I tease my MH friends you are driving a garden shed at 60 mph and it you tip it all thats left is pink insulation and your underwear spread along a mile of interstate.
Thats way the windshield has a big thick post and other 'flaws'
Ever look at the construction of a County Coach DynoMax frame? All steel and welded. Don't know what happened to this one but it took a pretty good hit and is still (sort of) driveable.
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