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Old 11-20-2016, 03:09 PM   #1
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Why Newmar over other brands?

Used that title to perhaps grab one's attention, but in reality my wife & I are newly retired, and have been researching Class A diesel pushers for a year now, and with regard to these beasts, there are many funny stories, as well as sad ones. Usually the sad are engine related, where when buying used, the warranty is 'done', and if a new engine is needed, you nearly need a new mortgage just for the engine alone these days!
Nonetheless, I've been watching many forums, and watching for decent deal on either a Mountain Aire or Tiffin Allegro Bus the last while. Both brands seem to hold up well generally, although ALL can and do have issues over the years. Saw one good deal, but it had the C7 Cat engine, and I heard too many bad reviews on that engine...so I passed on that one, so will probably stick to a Cummins pusher. Not sure if horsepower is worth watching, as most say that all the diesels do about as good a job of pushing you along on the hills as the next, especially when towing, which most are doing. Would love to go bigger on engine power (use to that metaphor after having great engine diesel power on my pickup trucks) but will suffice to just take my time on the hills now. I 'would' like to have a 2 stage e-brake though, as I've driven big rigs in the past, and know the benefits of the 'hold-back' down steeper grades and how it can be beneficial! So, I'm still looking AND learning, and I have folks like yourselves to thank for that!

We're finding most floor plans are similar in nature, although there are a few that are different which we don't necessarily would care for. We do have our favourite 'options' though, and will try and seek a coach that comes the closest to having those. One (seems to be rare to see) is solar power, since we do plan to boondock...and realize the power needs, especially with a residential fridge, that one needs backup power. Having the gem-set coming off and on doesn't sit well with some neighbours when in the boondocks, so solar would help that significantly if one has enough panels.

Any suggestions/advice on these, or any other thoughts, are more than welcome as a 'newbie' hoping to get our first Class A diesel pusher in the coming months!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:50 PM   #2
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What is your budget? That would perhaps help with recommendations regarding a specific coach model and/or year. Are you looking new or used? If used, how new or old is your search in years.
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dms View Post
What is your budget? That would perhaps help with recommendations regarding a specific coach model and/or year. Are you looking new or used? If used, how new or old is your search in years.
Definitely looking at 'used', and those between '07 - '09 from $100K - $130K and have seen several under the $100K the last while as well, albeit with a few more miles than others. Upon looking, I'm finding it's usually the 'miles' which indicates the end price often! That being said, a unit could be in a park sitting, but being used by a full timer, so the rest of the coach is getting lots of use, but the miles obviously are not rising! So many things to consider.
Are there specifically certain years that are better than others...with regard to engine issues, coach issues, water-leak issues, rubber/fiberglass roof, different size gen-sets, tire manufacturers etc. etc.?

Thanks.
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:24 PM   #4
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I would day on engine size, your general comment of One being as good as another, in my opinion is not accurate. There are variables. Some being the length and weight of your coach , tag axle or sigle axle, and the weight of your tow vehicle.

A 42 foot 380hp 42,000lb coach is going to make you want to get out and push it when you start climbing depending on the variables.

I would say, as engine goes, there is a reason "bigger can be better".
On the other hand, if you have a shorter less weighted coach, a 350-380hp could be perfect. As many will tell you....You want to buy the last coach first. In other words, get what you want the first time, size, style, floor plan, engine!
Great luck with your search. There are a lot out there in your range.
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:45 PM   #5
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I would day on engine size, your general comment of One being as good as another, in my opinion is not accurate. There are variables. Some being the length and weight of your coach , tag axle or sigle axle, and the weight of your tow vehicle.

A 42 foot 380hp 42,000lb coach is going to make you want to get out and push it when you start climbing depending on the variables.

I would say, as engine goes, there is a reason "bigger can be better".
On the other hand, if you have a shorter less weighted coach, a 350-380hp could be perfect. As many will tell you....You want to buy the last coach first. In other words, get what you want the first time, size, style, floor plan, engine!
Great luck with your search. There are a lot out there in your range.
Thanks so much for your suggestions! I should have mentioned, we're looking in the 36' - 40' length, albeit I keep hearing those that have the tag axle love it! We at first, won't be full timing, so the shorter will work fine, plus we have the space here at home to fit this length as well. I'd personally like the 425HP engine, but that only comes in certain units, and they tend to be higher than our budget will allow, but the 400HP would work too. Being able to not have to finance a MH is important too, thus looking at the '07 - '09 model years.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:04 PM   #6
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You are going to get all kinds of opinions on the topic. Much seems to depend upon the brand currently owned. There are some very enthusiastic/loyal owners out there.

If buying used the first thing is still floor plan IMO. That would include a list of must have and wanted options. You will not see whose name is on the decal if you have to sit in it for a few days due to inclement weather. I believe more people change units because they become unhappy with the floor plan rather than the power choice.

Power - most say if you have 10 lbs per horsepower you will be OK. Yes more power is required for some who like to blister up hills. They will pass me without doubt.

Once you decide on your ideal layout the critical thing to do prior to buying is to examine the maintenance records and have qualified techs look at the house and the power components. No records or some issues you have to get a smoking price.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:15 PM   #7
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You are going to get all kinds of opinions on the topic. Much seems to depend upon the brand currently owned.

If buying used the first thing is still floor plan IMO. That would include a list of must have and wanted options. No matter whose name is on the decal you will not see that if you have to sit in it for a few days due to inclement weather. I believe more people change units because they become unhappy with the floor plan rather than the power choice.

Power - most say if you have 10 lbs per horsepower you will be OK. Yes more power is required for some who like to blister up hills. They will pass me without doubt.

Once you decide on your ideal layout the critical thing to do prior to buying is to examine the maintenance records and have qualified techs look at the house and the power components. No records or some issues you have to get a smoking price.
Thanks again...yes, was looking at one recently (smoking price) but the engine was suspect, albeit the coach looked excellent, and as one would suspect, when I e-mailed the owner, a sale was pending, and four others where waiting if that fell through! So, thankfully, I'll be patient, and find the right one to fit both my budget and long list of 'wants'. The hard part is in not owning one before, having to keep in mind the thoughts of those such as yourself, in helping to come up with a coach that will work well.
I know there are times when a couple...no matter how well they are together...there are times when you both need some 'space'...and a larger unit gives you that a little better than a smaller one, so everyone has to gauge that as well in their 'options' in a unit that might work for them. One stipulation for us is for my wife to get an air ticket, so if for some reason I can't drive, she could take over...yet there are those that could care less. Everyone's situation is different, as are budgets, creature comforts etc.
My inlaws decided on a gasser engine, as they tended to go to one location and stay and enjoy the television and happy hour....where those aren't as important to my wife and I, albeit tv will be partial on days where the weather isn't the best. Having borrowed his MH in the past...I don't think I'd own one, with the engine screaming going up hills, and no e-brake going down...it's just not my cup of tea! I didn't feel safe when towing on the long down hill mountains, braking for what seemed like forever with little to no engine holding you back. Thus, my want for a 2 stage engine brake!

Appreciate your thoughts!
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:31 PM   #8
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Janet and I went to several dealers and ditched the salesman. We would systematically go through every coach they had on the lot (new and used). We would identify things we liked a lot and not so much. We would sit and speculate how things would work for us.

We ended up wanting.
- large kitchen (sufficient counter space)
- residential fridge
- bath and a half
- induction burners.
- tv across from the couch.
- L shaped couch (high back).
- bath and a half
- stacked washer dryer
- king bed
- central vac
- pot drawers instead of dishwasher

Ditching the salesman let us sit as long as we wanted to without any pressure. Some coaches we just stuck our head inside and others we would stay for longer. We discussed things like how we could watch a game and a movie at the same time, relax without disturbing the other? Could we lay out a hobby or project and leave it for a while without a lot of inconvenience?

We just pretended we were living in it and had a great time discussing our wants and needs. Janet picked the colors. We pull a 13,000 stacker for the toys and SUV so towing capacity had to be considered as well.

PM me if you have specific questions although if you post specific questions on the thread you will get a wealth of ideas to consider.

No matter what we post, you and the DW will be the final arbiters of the decision and the ones who have to live with the result. Consider all of the ideas but please yourselves.

IMO there are no better brands than others. All have issues no matter how is the manufacturer. Based on approximate numbers produced and the number of complaints on this forum I have come to the conclusion that the failure rate for all manufacturers is similar.

It is important you get along with your dealer and that dealer will support you, especially if you buy something with a warranty.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:06 AM   #9
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I bought used in 2014. I spent 6 months on-line shopping to find our coach. Figure out what floor plan(s) fit your liking and go from there. Be patient! The right coach will come along at the right price. Speaking of price, what people are asking is not always what they are willing to accept. Use NADA pricing guide. Be careful not to include standard options into the pricing guide when using NADA. The previous owner I bought from had added about $10k worth of options that were standard on the coach.
IMO floor plan is #1. I thought I had to have a bath and a half. I settled for a mid bath and we are perfectly happy. Less upkeep and things to go wrong.
As for the make, I can say that I am thrilled with Newmar customer service. I've contacted them on several issues and they have always replied in a timely manner. Pretty good considering I'm the second owner.
Good luck and happy hunting.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:42 AM   #10
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Random thoughts

I think you have some idea of what you want. Start your online shopping of as many dealers that carry the Newmar brand as well as the high volume dealers that don't. We also asked here for dealer and salesperson recommendations. We contacted multiple dealers and shared our list on wants. Let them help you search. My list had 23 dealers. This worked for our first DS as the coach never made to the dealers web site. Probably more used coaches are sold before they get online.

All the above info is great. Just need to keep in mind that it is used. There will be issues. Try to get some sort of dealership warranty for at least 60 days. You should also consider purchasing a warranty.

Good Luck.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:26 AM   #11
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Once you narrow down your interest to a particular coach or two, please consider having a professional pre-purchase inspection (PPI) performed. It (report) will provide you with sound information regarding the coach and not just general, but detailed by all systems components. It (report) will help you to make a decision to purchase or walk away. If wanting to proceed with a purchase offer, the report will support your negotiations with the seller (, i.e. either private or dealer/reseller/consignment lot, etc.) by having such information documented by an independent third party (you're inspector). Examples of this may be: improperly working appliances, HVAC, need of tire replacement, brake servicing need, engine or gen-set lube and/or cooling fluid systems condition, etc.).

We used RV Inspection Connection who employ only National RV Industry Association (NRVIA) certified inspectors whom have signed a non-conflict agreement as part of their certification - they cannot represent any other party than you (hence, no affiliation with the seller or manufacturer of the coach). This ensures no "back in dealing" between the inspector and seller (which can and likely does happen when you use an independent & local inspector or buyer's advocate). The inspection is Money well spent and especially valuable of you have no prior history of owning/operating a Class A motor coach. In our case, using the reports, we walked away from two coaches we were seriously interest in making offers on.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:15 AM   #12
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DW had an interesting observation when we were looking. Had been in over 20 used coaches of all brands that appeared to be close to what we wanted. She noticed, generally speaking, the Newmar units were in better condition, perhaps had been better taken care of by the previous owners then the "lower end" brands.
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powerstroke2000 View Post
Thanks so much for your suggestions! I should have mentioned, we're looking in the 36' - 40' length, albeit I keep hearing those that have the tag axle love it! We at first, won't be full timing, so the shorter will work fine, plus we have the space here at home to fit this length as well. I'd personally like the 425HP engine, but that only comes in certain units, and they tend to be higher than our budget will allow, but the 400HP would work too. Being able to not have to finance a MH is important too, thus looking at the '07 - '09 model years.
Regarding your question about 'tag axles': If a Coach with a tag axle is not in your budget or it would be too long of a Coach for you etc. DO NOT DRIVE ONE! You will be completely ruined for life and will want nothing but. I heard this numerous times and then made the mistake of test driving some after owning single axle Coachs.
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