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Old 02-23-2020, 06:43 PM   #1
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2020 New Air 3545 thoughts?

We stopped at Freedom RV in Tucson today to “just look”. We’re considering downsizing a bit from our ‘18 DSDP 4362, and looked at Canyon Stars and Ventanas, but were grabbed by the bells and whistles on the New Air 3545, new for ‘20. I have some concerns and would appreciate input from those more knowledgeable than I.
1. The engine seems to be the same 450 as is in my DS. True? I assume the transmission is the Allison 3000?
2. The sales woman explained the lack of an engine braking control by saying “it’s automatic”. Does that mean it is just one “setting”instead of the three I have now? I use the “Jake Brake” vigorously, but never leave it on all the time. This new one cannot, evidently, be turned off and on as conditions dictate.
3. General subjective question/opinion: the floor plan is, of course, completely foreign to us, but we’re moving from full timing to long timing and a smaller coach makes sense. Anyone out there dealt with this scenario after 7+ years of fulltiming?
4. The early New Air models had many, many problems. Have those, for the most part, been ironed out?
5. The new Freightliner steering wheel is interesting! Anyone had difficulty getting accustomed to it?
6. Here’s a late entry: the large windows in the “living room” are fixed...will not open! Can this be changed to something that opens? Even a little bit?
Thanks for info and opinions!
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:14 PM   #2
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2020 New Air 3545 thoughts?

We downsized from a 45 ft Entegra Cornerstone and now have a 3543 that we spend 8-9 months a year in, not fulltimes but close.
1. Yes the engine and tranny are the same.
2. The engine brake is high and off, controlled by a lever on the steering column and actually works quite well. Not as good as your speed true engine brake but very good and adequate.
3. We spent about 10 years spending multiple months at a time on the road and had no problem adjusting to the smaller coach. It has an amazing amount of storage for a small coach.
4. Yes, no major problems in our 2019 3343 not our current 2020 3543. Several minor things on both but nothing major and nothing that could not wait for a scheduled appointment.
5. Love the new steering wheel and no problems adjusting. Love the placement of the gear selector and the engine brake controls on the steering column.
6. Windows do not open making for great viewing from anywhere in the kitchen, living area. Open the small passenger seat window and run both exhaust fans provides great air flow and fresh air.
All in all we love our New Aire and would not want to go back to a 45 ft coach. This thing will turn on a dime with the 60 degree wheel cut easily gets around tight RV parks and smaller fuel stations. For us it was a great move. JMHO
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:41 PM   #3
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Apologize for the slight hijack. We currently own a tag DS4018, and plan on ordering either a DS 4081 or a NA 3545 or 41. Our current coach has a tag axle. Since you also had a tag on your Cornerstone, would appreciate your comments regarding the ride and handling of the single axle NA. Thank you.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:24 PM   #4
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As hard as this s to believe the ride and handling are very similar. We were in a 45 ft coach for 11 years so I know how big a statement that is. The ride is great, wind or meeting big trucks on a two lane does not move the coach at all. All JMHO
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:21 PM   #5
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Thank you, Ann n Gene! Your responses to our questions were direct and informative and exactly the kind of response I was hoping for.
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