One year ago the August 2017 FMCA Magazine arrived in my mail box with a review article covering the Newmar New Aire. This was a new model not yet available at the local dealers. At that time I had no experience with Newmar products and never really considered getting a Class A coach. I was very interested in the concept of having a small luxury RV. Unfortunately, aside from the New Aire small and luxury was something not commonly found in the RV product line. I looked at the King Aire and Essex but they are just too darn big for my tastes. While those coaches are beautiful and I am sure very comfortable, the places they can go is very limited.
Not knowing anything about the Newmar sales structure I started to do some research by joining iRV2. A few days later I called the nearest dealer who claimed to have two of the first produced NA’s inbound with delivery at the end of September 2017. Both of these coaches were ordered for display at a major RV show in October. I called other dealers around the country who had NA’s on order but none were coming in soon.
Long story short I bought one of the RV’s inbound for the RV show, a NA 3343 identical to the brochure model found in the FMCA story. My NA 3343 was delivered on October 11, 2017. On October 14, 2017 I started a thread on iRV2 titled “New Aire Observations
”. Now with 119,484 views and 1,097 posts that thread documents my journey of ownership.
So time for a big picture post appraisal. The New Aire is exactly the machine I had hoped for: big coach stuff in a small form factor. Newmar got it right when they conceived of this product. When everything is working this coach is a delight to drive and live in.
That’s the good news which often gets buried on this forum when it runs head on into the “cost” of ownership. By “cost” I am including what it costs to fix the machine when it breaks but also cost in time, inconvenience and frustration to keep this coach running. All of that “cost” was and is far more than I expected. My coach has never been back to the dealer. I have eaten all of the costs associated with warranty repairs. May seem dumb but you have to understand the local circumstances.
Early in my ownership (actually beginning on delivery day) it became very clear I had two problems: finishing the construction of the coach and then getting the coach fixed when it broke. All of that is covered in complete detail in the New Aire Observations
I decided within a few days of taking delivery that “running the traps” for routine warranty service with the local dealer was not an option (logic covered in the thread). Driving the coach back to the factory 2,300 miles away seemed out of the question as winter approached. So I decided to “finish” the coach myself which consumed the next 7 months. One by one identified the problems and with the help of many fine folks on iRV2 I figured out how to fix the issues.
By May of 2018 all of the issues had been fixed. As of today only one issue is unresolved: the OnGuard Collision Mitigation System will crash (twice in 10,000 miles). I just completed a 5,000 mile cross country trip. Everything worked on the coach and nothing broke. I still can’t believe it.
So big picture. The New Aire is an excellent product once it is finished. I had one of the first units delivered so no doubt the product has improved.
My only word of caution to future owners of the New Aire (or any Newmar product) is that you must fully understand your service options locally. I am located in an area not well served for Newmar support and service. Depending on the time of year I am 300 miles round trip from both Newmar and FreightLiner service centers.
So the big question: would I do it again? Yes. But if I buy another Newmar product it will only be done with a factory pick up.
The only unresolved issue for me which has been a total failure to date has been my quest to get full and complete documentation for my coach. This issue alone was the single biggest frustration I have had since delivery. Armed with good documentation it is relatively easy to fix these coaches. Without it you have to literally reengineer the systems to solve problems.
Here are the documentation issues:
1. Owner’s Manual:
Next to a useless document. The NA owners manual on Newgle is a joke. It is a universal owner’s manual for all Newmar products. It covers systems that are not included in the NA and fails to cover systems that are included. For a new owner it is totally confusing. I spent a lot of time early on looking for stuff not on my coach.
2. Maintenance Manual:
There is none.
3. Electrical system schematics:
There are none. Instead they will send (if you ask) termination points for the electrical system (fuses, plugs, lights ect). They will not send any documentation about how the systems are wired together.
4. Parts Manual:
There is none. You can find some parts listed on Newmar web site but it is by no means exhaustive and carries no information about model applicability.
This tool has some promise but again it is not specific to your model. When I look into my Newgle account for documentation about the NA I find reference to systems found in other models. Many links are dead. Other links just lead back to an OEM home page instead of pointing at the specific resource being referenced in the Newgle page.
6. FreightLiner Documentation:
A mixed bag. There are both a Owner and Maintenance Manuals for recreational vehicle chassis. The problem (just like Newmar) is that the manuals are not chassis specific. The manuals cover the MC, MCL, XCL, XCM, XCP, XCR and XCS models. Causing all sorts of back and forth with the local diesel shop as I keep giving them things to do on my chassis only to find out many do not apply to the XCS. FreightLiner does make chassis electrical schematics available specific to model and they do a great job labelling wires.
So if I had it to do all over again I would buy my New Aire from any dealer in the country with the best price. I would never buy another Newmar product not delivered at the factory.
New Aire 3343 in the wild with everything working.