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Old 06-30-2016, 10:24 AM   #1
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Newmar Canyon Star & Ventana LE Test Drive. Your thoughts?

I've read so many posts about Gassers and Diesels that I decided I'd try them both first hand with a back to back test drive. Allowing me to drive each one on the same roads at the same time of day for a true head to head comparison.

I'm driving a 2016 Newmar Canyon Star 3953 gasser and 2016 Newmar Ventana LE 3709 diesel. Both are new coaches!

Neither is the specific Newmar coaches I will buy, they are the coaches the dealer has on the lot.

I'm going to settle this question in my mind once and for all. I also understand the new Ford 6 speed is a potential game changer!

So why post this now? Two reasons;

1. You guys have been with me from the beginning of my search. Is there anything I should look at or think about on the test drive?
2. So I can come here and post my results after the test drive. Kind of a before and after!
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:24 AM   #2
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The Ventana is going to ride better, be quieter inside, accelerate better, and have better brakes. Anything else you need to know? It will cost more, however.

You could use the same things I just mentioned for any make of gas coach vs. a diesel.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:58 AM   #3
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You will just have to see for yourself if the ride is really worth the extra $60-80k, to you and only you. In that price difference they will pretty much have the same amenities, floorplan. You will have to see for yourself if the noise of the gas model has been over exaggerated by some people, who may have never driven a newer one.

I drove both before buying(Canyon Star and Ventana) yes no doubt about it the Ventana drove better, and was quieter. It didn't have any better acceleration though, that was pretty much a wash. Ours is the 5 speed transmission and it drives great, and the engine noise is not near what people say it is. But you have read all those posts already. So if the 6 speed is truly that much better, then the Canyon Star makes even more sense. Only you can decide what is good/bad to you. Another factor to consider, look closely at the engine layouts, are you going to do your own maintenance, or are you going to pay someone to do it. That is a huge factor in my book, I would hate to leave my MH in any repair facility, sitting sometimes for days, for work to be done. But check out those tangibles too, not just the price or the drive.

When we made our decision the price out the door between our Canyon Star and the Ventana(not the LE) was about $100K. That really wasn't the biggest factor for me though. I like the gas engine because I can do all my own maintenance, I don't know enough about diesels, and in my opinion the Canyon Star drove great and was pretty much the same floorplan.

So it was a win-win for us making that decision, in the future we may buy a Ventana or Dutch Star, but at the time we love our Canyon Star and will keep it in the family even if we buy another MH.
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:00 PM   #4
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Hi Roger,

That's exactly why I want to test drive both. The Newmar Canyon Star 3953 is a 40 foot gassers, the longest gasser made as far as I know. The Newmar Ventana LE 3709 diesel is a 38 footer.

It should be a good test and I'm looking forward to finding out why a diesel is worth $59,000.00 more than the gasser?

I'm really looking forward to the adventure!
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:12 PM   #5
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Hey Mike and Cha,

Great to hear from you and you know just what I'm talking and thinking about. The price is not a factor as much as the Newmar Vs Newmar!

I hear so many things about so many different motorhomes but are they all of equal quality? Few will argue that Newmar is on top of the food chain in both diesel and gasser motorhomes. So to me, tomorrow should be the ultimate smackdown for me!
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:17 PM   #6
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I'am also looking forward to your report.We were considering trading up
for the ventana 3634, but only thinking about it.At this point size would be
the only reason for the move.
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:38 PM   #7
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Don't forget to take into account both are completely empty. There should be a significant better ride in the diesel because of it when both are empty. The gasser on springs will be bouncier than if it were full of water, dishes, clothes etc so the ride will be better if you get one and fill it with stuff. There will be no improvement on the diesel.
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:43 PM   #8
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What works for you may or may not work for someone else. I would encourage everyone to do exactly as you are doing and then base your own decisions on how the results coincide with your needs. Best of luck on your search for your motor home!
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:59 PM   #9
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I'm really interested to see how well the 40' gas coach does. I've heard many times here on the forum how gassers are under powered. So a coach this big should be interesting.

I'll be going up and down fairly significant hills with mountain curves having signs saying "look out below". As well as interstate driving and through a couple small towns.

Should be a good workout for gasser and diesel alike. We'll all know more tomorrow.

Thanks guys,
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:46 PM   #10
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Well it all depends what you are going to do with it. I doubt you could pull a 30 foot trailer loaded up with the gasser.
I personally don't have a lot of time which means long hours of driving my old diesel is a joy to drive. Add to that the exhaust brake,air ride and air leveling and better braking the diesel was our choice.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:50 PM   #11
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Eager to read the report!
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Old 06-30-2016, 09:58 PM   #12
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Test drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoFree View Post
I'm really interested to see how well the 40' gas coach does. I've heard many times here on the forum how gassers are under powered. So a coach this big should be interesting.

I'll be going up and down fairly significant hills with mountain curves having signs saying "look out below". As well as interstate driving and through a couple small towns.

Should be a good workout for gasser and diesel alike. We'll all know more tomorrow.

Thanks guys,
I can't wait to see how your report out goes, I like a lot of people here had no idea that a 40' gasser even existed. I've only driven the older gas models so I don't have any perspective on the new higher end gas rigs! From what I'm reading they are really a game changer. I know that the unit I have and the trips I take doesn't financially justify the expense. But I do every so often pull my 7000 lb. boat and I had to have something with the heavier tow rating. That being said I love driving my pusher and wouldn't change it even if I could. Regards
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:22 PM   #13
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A 350 hp gas engine produces the same power as a 350 hp diesel, so if 350 is enough for the coach weight, the gas isn't "underpowered" at all. What is different, however, is the engine rpms needed to produce that horsepower; the diesel does it low (probably around 1600 rpms), while the gas engine needs to rev up to maybe 4000 to do that. Most people don't like to do that, so they get by on less than full power at a lower rpm range. Then they feel like the gas engine is "under-powered".

Most of the DP vs gasser differences have little to do with the type of fuel though. Air suspension, greater carrying capacity, greater tow rating, rear vs front engine placement, etc. etc. etc. I doubt if you will get to really appreciate all of that in a test drive.
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:50 PM   #14
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Be sure to include a nice long 6-7% downgrade so you can really appreciate the benefits of the engine brake.

Everytime I come down a hill, a mention to the wife how glad I am I have a diesel. It's a matter of being in control.
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