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Old 07-01-2016, 08:32 PM   #1
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The never ending saga between Gas & Diesel has been solved! For me!

Here's the Coaches I drove today.

2016 Newmar Canyon Star 3953 Length 39’11” WB 266 UVW 21,892 HP 362 Gas MSRP $187,762.00
2016 Newmar Ventana LE 3709 Length 37’- 8” WB 240 UVW 27,300 HP 340 Diesel MSRP $250,493.00
2016 Thor Palazzo 36.2 Length 37’- 7” WB 242 UVW ? HP 340 Diesel MSRP $220,941.00

Drove all three of the above coaches one after the other for about 30 minutes each. I drove them through town with traffic, winding mountain roads with good grades, and the interstate going 65 with 6% grade.


Had quite a day and the surprise of the day was the new 2016 Palazzo sitting there that I couldn’t help but add to my drive list.

I drove the Canyon Star first and within the first mile I knew it was not the coach for me and the more the drive progressed so did that feeling. Too much noise from the doghouse (yes it evened out on the flats but was still there and bothersome). It wondered over the road, it bounced too much and leaned too much into and out of the turns. I never felt like there was enough power to the engine or enough break for the breaking. I also didn’t like the amount of road feel I got through the steering wheel. I’m sure I could get use to all these things but it was bothersome? I recommend if you plan to buy a gas coach do not drive a diesel! I’m not saying that as a smart aleck, I’m really not. Maybe you’ll understand better as I discuss the two diesel coaches.

The next coach is the Newmar Ventana LE 3709 and a very nice well built coach inside and out. On the road its stable to the max and you know you’re driving something of substance. This is the 2nd LE I’ve driven, the other being a 40 footer and even with the extra 2 feet I could not tell a measurable difference in handling, both excellent. Both gave me the feeling of control and comfort and not hearing the engine is very nice! The salesman ran the generator for our test drive and after I heard it start I really didn’t hear it after that. Didn’t make any difference where we were, interstate going 65, going up and down a 6% grade (love that exhaust break) driving through town or winding mountain roads the coach just went about it business!

Finely the Thor Palazzo! First of all it’s not built like a Newmar, that needs to be stated right out front! The basement doors don’t have the weight and thunk of a Newmar bay doors when you close them. And the kitchen sink in the Palazzo is a thin plastic where Newmar is a heavy stainless steel, so you get the difference! But let me tell you something, the Palazzo is an absolute joy to drive. It’s quick and responsive with both accelerator and brake and gives that great road feeling of total control I’ve talked about earlier! Its the 2nd time I’ve driven a Palazzo and dang if I don’t like this coach! I know, I know, I’ve read all the stuff just as you have and heard about slide problems etc. And I get it folks, I understand it, I really do, but after driving it I fully understand it’s draw! The exterior looks great and the inside cabinets, couches, washer and dryer all looks great. It’s one good looking motorhome inside and out! The salesman said the dealership discontinued the Palazzo line awhile ago and recently picked it up again needing something in that price point. But we’d not driven far before he said “I forget how nice a driving coach this is”! He acknowledged the problems as I’m doing here, but come on “IT’S A BIG BANG FOR THE BUCK” in my humble opinion. Someone said somewhere, maybe it was me, “for the money you can fix a lot of stuff and still be thousands of dollars left in the bank”! I can already feel your wrath coming down from on high folks! And as a practical matter my coach of choice is the Newmar Ventana LE 4044! But I’d not be ashamed to have a Thor Palazzo in my garage. There, I said it... Wow God didn’t strike me down! But hold on it is clouding up a little!

I’m frankly unhappy with my feelings about the gasser! Gas was my most natural choice, my place of comfort and I love the new Canyon Star 4002 gasser. It’s like I’ve heard almost at nauseam here on the forum, “it ain’t a diesel” and dang it, I now must agree... It ain’t!

Disclaimer: It would be wrong not mention the Newmar Canyon Star is $33,000.00 LESS than the least expensive diesel pusher. And as they say and it's true, they're the same once parked!
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:59 PM   #2
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good synopsis of your tests.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:43 PM   #3
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Its interesting you found such a big difference in the two diesels. The specs you list on both are so close to the same. I have never driven a diesel motorhome other then a country coach so wouldn't be able to give a comparison. Are the suspensions different and what do think made the thor ride and handle better? The only right motorhome for you is the one you buy. Keep us posted. Interesting subject.
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:14 PM   #4
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Interesting that the Newmar LE's Comfort Drive was not mentioned, and that it did not make the drive difference to the favor of the Newmar LE.
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:53 PM   #5
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Now, perhaps, you understand what folks have been trying to tell you for weeks!
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:24 AM   #6
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A gasser has the engine in the front, you are sitting right next to it while a diesel has the engine in the rear, far away from you so of course the noise level will be much higher. Apples and oranges.

We drove an International MDT for 15 years and don't find the noise level in the gasser much of an issue. Sound level is about the same.

That being said your other points are valid.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:11 AM   #7
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If it is a 2016 F53 then your test is valid. If not, it's a do over.

Some 2016 gas rigs may still be using a 2015 F53, which makes all the difference. The 2016 F53 has a new 6 speed engine that was retuned for more torque. There may also have been some suspension retuning. In any case, its a more powerful and quieter animal.

People who have upgraded can't believe how big a difference there is.
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IASM View Post
Its interesting you found such a big difference in the two diesels. The specs you list on both are so close to the same. I have never driven a diesel motorhome other then a country coach so wouldn't be able to give a comparison. Are the suspensions different and what do think made the thor ride and handle better?
This was a surprise to me as well. I thought a Freightliner/Cummins chassis would feel and handle about the same but they donít. The salesman said that many coaches have a unique feel to them! I wouldnít say the Palazzo handled better, it handled different! It was more like the Palazzo felt like a sports car, if you can imagine that in a 38í motorhome, and the Ventana felt like a full size sedan. Probably a poor analogy but its how I felt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
Interesting that the Newmar LE's Comfort Drive was not mentioned, and that it did not make the drive difference to the favor of the Newmar LE.
The comfort drive didnít seem to be a factor underway. Maybe driving it for a longer period of time would have made a difference. The huge difference was in the parking lot where I could let go of the wheel and it would automatically go to the neutral position.

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Now, perhaps, you understand what folks have been trying to tell you for weeks!
Yes, I now understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skripo View Post
If it is a 2016 F53 then your test is valid. If not, it's a do over.
Some 2016 gas rigs may still be using a 2015 F53, which makes all the difference. The 2016 F53 has a new 6 speed engine that was retuned for more torque. There may also have been some suspension retuning. In any case, its a more powerful and quieter animal.
People who have upgraded can't believe how big a difference there is.
Very good point and I did make sure of this. Iíd not have even driven the coach if it wasnít with the new Ford 6 speed.
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:39 AM   #9
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That was hardly a fair comparison. First of all, 39 feet is WAY too big for a gasser. I would keep them below 35. Second, the engine noise is determined by how well the coach builder insulates the engine cover. Our 34 ft Tiffin Allegro is a lot quieter that most other coaches I have driven. I find the noise minimal, but there again, my hearing isn't the best.

Just for the heck of it, try going in the bedroom to take a nap when the coach is going down the road. Engine noise is pretty bad back there.

The biggest decision here is whether you want to spend another $50K or more to get a diesel powerplant. IMO, the huge maintenance costs and complexity don't overide the advantages. If money isn't an object, go for it.
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpstakun View Post
That was hardly a fair comparison. First of all, 39 feet is WAY too big for a gasser. I would keep them below 35. Second, the engine noise is determined by how well the coach builder insulates the engine cover. Our 34 ft Tiffin Allegro is a lot quieter that most other coaches I have driven. I find the noise minimal, but there again, my hearing isn't the best.

The biggest decision here is whether you want to spend another $50K or more to get a diesel powerplant. IMO, the huge maintenance costs and complexity don't overide the advantages. If money isn't an object, go for it.
39' may well be too long for a gasser, but this is Newmar after all and I don't see them building a coach the chassis can't handle.

Most will agree Tiffin/Newmar are the best of the gassers. You may be right about the noise difference, but I'm hard pressed to believe the Tiffin could be significant quieter than Newmar.

And I did show the price difference at the end of my post!
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:48 AM   #11
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All good points made, and thanks for the comps.I guess it's because
my coach is only 28 feet long, that I can keep up with anything out there
for speed.I will admit it can get a bit noisy on steep grades,but I know it's
only temporary.There are a lot more flat roads ahead.For what I paid for my coach new I can't complain. I've done changes to my suspension to enhance my ride and handling so that was a big plus. Thanks again for taking your time on this.
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:59 AM   #12
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But did you decide on the Palazzo or the LE?
Supposedly they fixed the Palazzo slide issue.
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:16 AM   #13
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I just looked at the Palazzo for the first time.Very nice floor plan, and
a lot better price.Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpstakun View Post
That was hardly a fair comparison. First of all, 39 feet is WAY too big for a gasser. I would keep them below 35. Second, the engine noise is determined by how well the coach builder insulates the engine cover. Our 34 ft Tiffin Allegro is a lot quieter that most other coaches I have driven. I find the noise minimal, but there again, my hearing isn't the best.

Just for the heck of it, try going in the bedroom to take a nap when the coach is going down the road. Engine noise is pretty bad back there.

The biggest decision here is whether you want to spend another $50K or more to get a diesel powerplant. IMO, the huge maintenance costs and complexity don't overide the advantages. If money isn't an object, go for it.
FYI, if price was no object, he would be comparing a King Air to a Allegro Bus.
And whats the deal with these prices anyway?
I keep reading DP's are $100,000 more than a gasser.
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