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Old 07-18-2018, 07:34 AM   #15
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We just left Spartan and don't want to debate "Mine is better than yours" but we saw FT chassis in process. The difference isn't tweaks. The cross members were dramatically increased. I wasn't trying to study the issue but it was obvious that the whole length of the chassis was substantially beefed up and as noted the air bags are different among other things.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:39 AM   #16
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I'm getting me a lottery ticket today!
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:33 AM   #17
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Matt, here’s my advice:

Whatever you do, DON’T make any trips that take you close to Miami, Oklahoma. If you ignore than advice, DON’T contact Newell in advance and ask about a tour of their facility. If you do that, they’ll probably let you stay in their on-site owners campground (space permitting), take you on an extensive tour, and treat you like royalty even after you tell them you aren’t in the same league with many of their buyers who can lose the cost of a Newell in the rounding of their investment portfolios.

If you think you were impressed spending time in a completed Newell coach, you definitely DON’T want to see all the underlying details of how they design and build them.

Before we started the tour, I had a conversation with Brian Pitts whose background is very similar to what you described for Phil Cornelius. I told Brian:

“Here’s what I’d like to learn from our time together. Amy & I recently bought a 2018 Entegra Cornerstone, for which we paid the better part of half a million dollars. Your coaches cost roughly four times that much. Fundamentally, I believe there are two possibilities. The first is what I refer to as the Rolex watch theory, which suggests that a Newell coach doesn’t cost anything like four times as much to build, but people are willing to pay that much for the premier status associated with the brand. The other possibility is that a Newell motorhome really is built that much better than a high-end production motorhome like an Entegra Cornerstone, Newmar London Aire, Essex, King Aire, etc., and as such the retail price actually is justified by the costs associated with designing and building one.”

Brian’s response was, “Rather than answer you now, let’s take the tour. When we’re done, you can tell me what you think.”

I could elaborate at length, but start with the fact that unlike the Prevost converters, Newell builds their own chassis from the ground up, and each chassis is specifically engineered for the coach that will sit on top of it. They use the same Cummins X15 engine and Allison 4000 transmission we have on our Spartan chassis, but that’s about it. Virtually EVERYTHING else from that point forward, until a completed motorhome rolls out the door, is better. Not just a little better, but a lot.

Knowing Amy, you’ll enjoy this side story. When I realized we were going to be in that area, I was very interested to see if we could arrange a tour of the Newell facility. With some relevant advice for a well-connected friend (M. You-Know-Who), I contacted the appropriate individual at Newell and got the ball rolling. Amy was highly ambivalent – sort of like why would we waste time touring a plant that makes a product we’re never going to buy? I asked her to humor me and she reluctantly agreed.

As the day of our visit drew closer, she told me she probably wouldn’t bother to go on the tour, since it would no doubt be of more interest to me than to her. I told her I thought she should go anyway and that I’d like her along because she has a very good eye for design details. She said she’d think about it but wouldn’t commit.

The morning of the tour, I practically had to drag her out of bed and push her out the door of the motorhome when it was time to meet up with Brian. You can guess the rest.

Yeah, I created a monster.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:28 AM   #18
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One other somewhat humorous side story.

Amy & I aren’t full-timers, but we average 11,000 to 12,000 miles a year of RV travel. If we’re going to be at one place for a period of time, we always try to find one of the nicer RV parks in the area and stay there. Overnight stops while traveling are another story, and sometimes we end up in parks that aren’t the greatest.

When staying in parks like that I find myself looking around, hoping to see other motorhomes nicer than ours. I recall one such instance when we stopped for the night at what was supposed to be a decent RV park, but turned out to be a lot less than advertised. At the time, we had our Tiffin Allegro Bus and it was clearly the nicest RV in the campground by a country mile. I was a little nervous, given some of the individuals we saw walking around and eyeing our coach.

Just as it was getting dark, we heard the sound of big diesel motorhome pulling in to an open space close to ours. I looked out and saw a really nice Marathon Prevost conversion coach. I told Amy, “That guy is our best friend. They’re going to rob him before they rob us.”

Fast forward to our overnight stay in Newell’s owner campground. We ended up in a nice back-in space with Newells all around us. Early the next morning I took our dog out of a walk, came back into the motorhome and told Amy, “You know, I never thought I’d feel like a second-class citizen in an Entegra Cornerstone, but this morning I do!”
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:51 AM   #19
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One more Newell story and then I’ll stop. (Or at least try….)

Below is a photo of the coach that was the subject of Matt’s post initiating this thread. If you look to the left side of the photo, in the background you can see part of a white trailer with an array of stars along the side of it.

When we started the tour with Brian Pitts, our first stop was the Engineering department. Brian was showing us some drawings of a coach that was part way through the construction process. As I was looking at one of the drawings, I noticed the name of the new owners at the bottom: Brad & Paige Keselowski. For any of you who aren’t NASCAR fans, that name probably won’t mean anything, but Brad is a top-level NASCAR driver employed by Roger Penske. And he’s good – good enough to have won lots of races and the NASCAR Cup series championship in 2012.

Part way through the tour, Brian took us inside a partially completed coach so he could point out some details of the construction methodology. While we were in there Brain said, “Oh, this is Brad’s motorhome. If you see him at the track you can tell him you were in his coach before he was.” Yeah, it was very nice, even in its partially completed state. If I had been a successful NASCAR driver I’d have had one at age 34 too.

Before the tour, I’d noticed the white trailer with the stars on it sitting not far from where we were parked. After we finished the tour and were talking with Brian in the campground, I asked him, “What’s the story with that trailer?” He laughed and said, “That was Brad’s trailer. He wanted to trade it in when he ordered the Newell. It’s a semi-custom Featherlite trailer, so we weren’t sure how to assign a value to it, but Brad was insistent that we take it in trade. At one point we had a wholesaler lined up to buy it, but after we did the deal with Brad the wholesaler backed out. So now we have it for sale.”

Fortunately, it’s nicer inside than out, but I seriously doubt they’re going to get anything like the $499,000 asking price they have on it. But if any of you want to own a piece of NASCAR history, I’m sure they’d like to talk with you. More info here:

Featherlite Trackside Suite - Newell Coach
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:35 PM   #20
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Our S-I-L has a Featherlite but it sure doesn't look like that!
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:52 PM   #21
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Larry, I have it from 2 very good sources that you traded the Cornerstone for that Newell ! 😳
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:05 PM   #22
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Brian, Id bet if the numbers were even remotely close, Larry would have given it some thought, especially considering the kinks hes been working on.

Me, Im trying to think up the next great widget.



-Matt
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt D View Post
Brian, Id bet if the numbers were even remotely close, Larry would have given it some thought, especially considering the kinks hes been working on.

Me, Im trying to think up the next great widget.



-Matt
Matt.. since you have a bunk model...do not go check out how Newell does their bunks....just say'n.....
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:52 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Saltydog44 View Post
but we saw FT chassis in process. The difference isn't tweaks. The cross members were dramatically increased. I wasn't trying to study the issue but it was obvious that the whole length of the chassis was substantially beefed up and as noted the air bags are different among other things.
Having been "flamed" a few times on this forum....soooo
I may have understated the differences just a bit.....
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:34 AM   #25
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If we all had Newall's there would be nothing to complain about. I'll bet the Newall forum doesn't have a "Show us Your Mods" thread.
Beautiful coach without a doubt and probably our favorite of the custom build coaches. They seem to have storage where the other manufactures think you eat out all the time.
Of course we have a Mods thread.

Yes, storage/tankage, 24/7 support, and the way Newell designs things "right but repairable" are the reasons we switched.

Hint: you can spend 25% of the price and get 90% of the value.
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:54 AM   #26
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Saddlesore, the P50 we walked through had bunks. After having 2 coaches with bunks, the way Newell gets the done is really remarkable.

Two things really stand out. First, with the slide in, there is ample room to walk down the hallway, which isnt the case in other brands. Second, the bunks have a very generous amount of headroom, again fairly uncommon.

Nebster, I agree, with you. I took a look on their website and noticed a 10 year old coach with bunks that sold for somewhere in the mid $500s. Even at 10 years old, the coach looked very fresh and not horribly dated.

Believe me, we have talked about it daily since walking through.

-Matt
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:17 AM   #27
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Having been "flamed" a few times on this forum....soooo
I may have understated the differences just a bit.....
Hope it didn't feel as if I was flaming. I have no idea if there is a fall off in the quality by going to Spartan. I was just pointing out that the chassis is seriously beefed up.

Apologies if it came off otherwise.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:01 AM   #28
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Quote:
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If we all had Newall's there would be nothing to complain about. I'll bet the Newall forum doesn't have a "Show us Your Mods" thread.
Beautiful coach without a doubt and probably our favorite of the custom build coaches. They seem to have storage where the other manufactures think you eat out all the time.
Of course they do, they love to show off their "mods".

[Moderator Edit]

On a side note, Brian Pitts is at Hearthside Grove Motorcoach Resort in Petosky, MI with coach 1655 until August 4th giving nickel tours.

Coach #1655 - Newell Coach

My husband drove his dads 2005 Newell to the factory last year for service and took the tour. He was also amazed at the quality and craftsmanship that goes into them. He talks to the guys at Newell regularly as he takes care of his dads. He toured Joey Logano's coach the day before he took delivery.
We will be in a Newell in the future. I currenty drool over 1477.

http://www.newellcoach.com/newell-coaches/coach-1477/
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