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Old 07-28-2018, 08:03 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Desertboyz View Post
We love Newells and came close to buying a used one. But we got nervous when we heard regular maintenance costs can be $5,000/year! Is that really true?
I'm not sure why 'regular' maintenance on a Newell is $5,000 a year. We looked strongly at Newell before deciding on a Prevost (Newell's are beautiful coaches). Prevost offers more chassis service centers across the country whereas you might have to take a Newell back to Miami, OK, if there are any serious chassis issues. Prevost will not work on the conversion part of our coaches (the slides, yes, but not the conversion part). They can replace slides seals if needed, etc.

I have to say spending $5,000 a year on maintenance is not the case with our Prevost. We need a chassis lube every 6,000 miles and oil changes every 12,000 miles. I get the oil changed at 6,000 just for convenience as I like to 'over-maintain' our coach.

We have 3 lithium Ion house batteries (replacing at least 10 AGM's) that are expected to last at least 10 yrs., the AGM chassis batteries and generator battery I'll have replaced at 5 yrs. as that is a good life without having a failure on the road.

Of course the water filters and fridge filter need to be replaced yearly and the air-conditioning filters need cleaning once a year (I change the fridge filter my self), I let the tech do the others.

Just those costs (engine/chassis maintenance) are maybe $1,200-$1,800 total a year depending on how much we drive (I'll have to check my invoices). At 3.5 yrs., we have 45,000 miles on the coach.

I've had some items repaired but I consider that separate than chassis maintenance. I had to replace an I-pad as the battery start swelling so that was about $500 (we have two I-pads and 3 built-in controllers for house functions).

BTW, we are desert people too in the winter months in Palm Springs.

Safe travels,
Mark
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:51 AM   #72
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Newell maintenance is expensive. I’ve just had an estimate from them of $3,200-3,500. That’s based on going in for an annual service and doing all the usual stuff, including chassis, coach, aquahot, etc. I’m going to them because they know the whole coach inside out. I may save money having Caterpillar service the engine, a bus company service the ZF (they are quite common in passenger busses). But it’s the whole coach that needs looking at. I’m an ex-mechanic so I could do most of it, but I’m full-time and don’t want to risk finding I need extra tools or parts when I’m days away from a move day.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:59 AM   #73
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I drove 400 miles yesterday and it reminded me of one of the best features, which I’m sure isn’t Newell specific - adaptive cruise control. I often find a truck that’s going at about 65-67mph, set cruise to 68, the range to about 200 yds, Jake brake to high. Then relax knowing radar is sharing the workload of paying attention.
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:22 AM   #74
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My understanding was that anything with the Cat also had the ZF. Is that not true?
They spec the ZF FreedomLine transmission in a few coaches because the Allison MH4000 is limited to 1950 Ft Lbs of torque. The C15 Cat must be torque limited to work with an Allison trans.
I haven't driven a ZF trans, but I have driven The Eaton-Fuller Ultra Shift Plus in a 13 and 18 speed configuration and I thought it was great (this was in a class 8 truck). It will even skip gears under light loads.

The Allison transmission has high parasitic loss. It uses a portion of your power just to turn the large gear sets and torque converter. The automated manual transmissions are more efficient and use less power to operate.

The Cat C15 was one of the most powerful on road engines ever made and new ones are no longer available for on road use. Caterpillar chose not to redesign their engines for the new emissions since the majority of their business is off road heavy equipment.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:14 PM   #75
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Mick,

What chassis does your Newell have?

Safe travels,
Mark
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:10 PM   #76
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Mick,

What chassis does your Newell have?

Safe travels,
Mark
All Newells have proprietary chassis built at the Newell factory, but use common heavy heavy truck braking components. Suspension is air bag with automatic ride height valves and auto leveling.
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Old 07-29-2018, 07:08 AM   #77
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There are items that are available on Newell Coaches that Prevosts do not have.

-Max engine size for A Prevost is the Volvo D13 500 hp engine w/1,750 lb. ft. of torque along with the Allison tranny. The cradle cannot accommodate a larger power plant.

-(on the newer coaches) No window or front door awnings. Just patio roof awnings.

-No entry screen doors on Prevosts. (not sure if Newell offers this).

Every coach manufacturer has compromises.

Safe travels,
Mark

PS. Prevosts also have an adaptable cruise control feature. A green 'vehicle' symbol will illuminate on the dash indicating a vehicle has been detected. Once the coach gets closer, a yellow light will illuminate on the speedometer indicating the speed of the vehicle in front. If I don't slow down, a string of red lights will illuminate with an audible warning and the coach will start heavy down shifting/retarding to slow it down.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:15 AM   #78
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Am enjoying following this. As we are currently RV-less we have been looking at Entegra CornerStone and Newmar Essex and King Aire. I agree with several above that Newell is at the absolute top of it's class. The biggest deterrent to me is the Cat Engine and the ZF manu-matic tranny that are in the year range that we can afford. .
FYI - Cummins has had their own checkered history with ISX engines and catastrophic failures! UPDATE: ISX 650 dropped a valve for the second time
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:28 AM   #79
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Right, that's not the case. Even the DD series 60 in the older ones was sometimes mated with the Allison.

I'm not sure the exact numbers, but my sense is that there are more CAT+Allison than CAT+ZF. No one really liked the ZF feel, I guess.
It really depends on what you want/need. ZF have some strong advantages - more gears (awesome for going up and DOWN mountains and staying in the sweet spot of the engine), and very high reliability. Their service centers aren't as widespread as Allison, but still pretty available.

There are two shortcoming to be aware of.

First, if you come to a stop, unlike an Allison, if you let your foot off the break it will start rolling - just like a manual shift car. (I found this out, by surprise, sitting on an incline waiting for a light - the eyes of the VW driver behind me got very big before I realized what was happening!).

Secondly, in camp ground maneuvers I was told second hand that a lot of "moving forward and back" can overheat the robotic clutch pretty easily.

There is no question it won't accelerate the coach as fast as an Allison does, but I personally didn't find the shifts hard at all (Certainly far smoother than Cat's CTX transmissions they installed briefly in some RV coaches, but were designed for dump trucks!)

Personally, for the mtns I'd be climbing regularly, I'd go with the ZF - but that's just my opinion.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:31 AM   #80
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I have seen some of the prices on the Newell used site and they seem rather stiff! has anyone dickered with them on a lower price or do they think it's a take it or leave it quote? just asking as we are considering the King Aire 2019
but just love Newell's.
They set those prices assuming many will have an existing RV to trade in, so they want "maneuvering room" in the pricing. Some they are very interesting in getting sold - either because it's been on their lot too long, or the owner won't purchase a new one without their current one being sold, etc.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:41 AM   #81
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There are items that are available on Newell Coaches that Prevosts do not have.

-No entry screen doors on Prevosts. (not sure if Newell offers this).
Newell offers a great screen door option for their mid-entry coaches. But because of the unique movement of their front doors (that move in and up to literally "seal" into the opening, eliminating any wind noise) they aren't an option for front entry.

But I think the mid entry option is awesome!
  • No need to walk the entire length of the coach to get to the bedroom
  • Front passenger seat no longer has to be messed with for entry/exit
  • Much broader opening to enter
  • Door right next to bathroom on bath & a half or two bath(!) models
  • Super easy to load up kitchen or work between kitchen and outdoor grill
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:20 AM   #82
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PS. Prevosts also have an adaptable cruise control feature. A green 'vehicle' symbol will illuminate on the dash indicating a vehicle has been detected. Once the coach gets closer, a yellow light will illuminate on the speedometer indicating the speed of the vehicle in front. If I don't slow down, a string of red lights will illuminate with an audible warning and the coach will start heavy down shifting/retarding to slow it down.
From 2002-2010 Monaco together with Eaton engineering installed the Eaton Vorad adaptive smart cruise system in their high end coaches. Vorad will also warn you when someone is in a blind spot. I agree, after owning one I would not want a coach without it. Also, Nemar now offers a new version of adaptive smart cruise. But it still isn't a Newell.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:19 PM   #83
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I have a 2009 Newell, got it about 5 months ago. I don't have a long experience with other coaches, I just know I love this one! Some general observations:
- The turning radius is awesome, we often get an audience when pulling in and you know they are expecting a struggle to get this big coach in a tight slot, it's nice to disappoint them (tag axle steering is like a magic power).
- It's a pleasure to drive. Smooth, quiet, plenty of torque. I'm a bit of a geek and love the 12-speed gearbox, although a Cummins + Alison is an easier choice for many reasons and faster away from traffic lights. I do kick it into manual sometimes when going through the mountains, or override it to drop a gear before a hill as it can get a bit indecisive on some hills. But overall it's a bulletproof transmission that's light and efficient.
- Despite the age & 110,000 miles all the doors and cupboards close like they are new, pretty impressive considering some of the cupboards have curved doors.
- There are duplications - 2 air compressors (+ the engine compressor), 2 water pumps.
- It's not white! It's mainly a wood veneer finish.
- It feels like living in a high-end apartment rather than an RV.
- Every few days we get someone walking over to tell us its the most beautiful RV they have ever seen (one today as it happens), but we rarely let people see inside, partly because it's our home, and partly because you can't un-see it. It ruined it for me and I couldn't go back to other coaches. However, for 2 introverts it's a conversation starter.
- We are full-time and work, so this space is used and appreciated every single day.

At the end of the day its personal choice though. We flew to California, Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida looking at Foretravel and Newell coaches before finding the one. It's the downside of customer coaches. Would love to have the $2M spare in this lifetime so we can customize our own new coach.
I've seen this coach online when it was for sale.
Do you have several dogs? And how do you like the fridge/freezer drawers?
I'm just curious.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:39 AM   #84
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They spec the ZF FreedomLine transmission in a few coaches because the Allison MH4000 is limited to 1950 Ft Lbs of torque. The C15 Cat must be torque limited to work with an Allison trans.
I haven't driven a ZF trans, but I have driven The Eaton-Fuller Ultra Shift Plus in a 13 and 18 speed configuration and I thought it was great (this was in a class 8 truck). It will even skip gears under light loads.

The Allison transmission has high parasitic loss. It uses a portion of your power just to turn the large gear sets and torque converter. The automated manual transmissions are more efficient and use less power to operate.

The Cat C15 was one of the most powerful on road engines ever made and new ones are no longer available for on road use. Caterpillar chose not to redesign their engines for the new emissions since the majority of their business is off road heavy equipment.
After driving for 20 years in big trucks and being in Peoria (head quarters for CAT), I was always a CAT man. That old 3406 was a heck of a power plant. But CAT didn't voluntarily get out of the trucking business.

I know the national sales manager for over the road CAT engines. He said that the large manufactures like PACAR (Pete & Kenworth) as well as Frieghtliner all refused to spec out the CAT after Cummins came in with some sort of special deal. With those big buyers out of the picture, they had no choice but to focus on the off road equipment.

I still miss the low end torque of that 3406 and watching the cummins in my mirrors slowly fading off in the rockies
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