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Old 07-20-2017, 11:46 PM   #1
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Rear Radiator vs Side Radiator

We are considering buying a new Newmar. One line we have looked at is the Ventana. They all have rear radiator. When rears first came out I heard they didn't work very well. Now I doubt Newmar would be doing it if it did work OK. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:59 PM   #2
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I'm a staunch side radiator guy. Probably kujustst me 😆
Kitty & Rolf - Successfully unemployed since 2012
2000 MADP - 2012 Grand Cherokee
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ikester View Post
We are considering buying a new Newmar. One line we have looked at is the Ventana. They all have rear radiator. When rears first came out I heard they didn't work very well. Now I doubt Newmar would be doing it if it did work OK. Any thoughts?
The big advantage with a side radiator is access to the engine for service related maintenance, and less of a chance of the fan picking up rocks and thru the radiator they go.
Retired truckdriver, Full Timing in a Foretravel.
Escapees of Box Elder, South Dakota
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:13 AM   #4
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Both work well. Side provides far easier service access. Side used typically with more expensive coaches.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:36 AM   #5
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We have our first motorhome, a 2015 Ventana. As you point out it is a rear radiator coach. Our radiator works just great. It does what it is supposed to do.

The advantage of side radiators is easier access to the engine. And, easier access to the radiator for cleaning. With the Ventana, you have to go through a hatch from inside the coach. I am not a really skilled mechanic, so I am not too likely to be the one crawling in there. If you do all of your maintenance, and are young and limber, you might consider a side radiator.

Would I also have been happy with a side radiator coach, sure!
The move to the side radiator would have put us in an uncomfortable financial position. We are retired. Lots to consider when it comes to spending hard earned money. That said, I am not at all dissatisfied with our choice. In fact I am very satisfied.

Best of luck as you research and ultimately purchase your coach.
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ikester View Post
We are considering buying a new Newmar. One line we have looked at is the Ventana. They all have rear radiator. When rears first came out I heard they didn't work very well. Now I doubt Newmar would be doing it if it did work OK. Any thoughts?
We have a 2016 Ventana with a rear radiator and owned a 2016 Ventana LE with the same. We had no issues with the rear radiator and we pay for service to assure it is done right and meets the factory specs for warranty purposes. The side radiator does cause you to lose two real handy storage compartments which we find pretty handy.
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:28 AM   #7
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As mentioned when getting serviced it will cost less (perhaps) because things are more accessible, as well as sucking up lots of road debris dust etc. One thing with a rear radiator is you get an extra storage compartment. When looking at other MFG you will find that there less expensive models have the rear radiator.

For me I considered the Ventana and radiator placement was a consideration but it was also all the other options that come thru standard on the Dutch Star and that comes at a cost.

Good luck
2019 Dutch Star 4328 - Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:42 AM   #8
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The rear radiators work perfectly just like the side ones. Rear vs side is just a preference taking into consideration the side costs one heck of a lot more. Chassis cost is more and usually paired with heavier more expensive coach's.
Bill & Kelli 2015 Dutch Star 4366
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:18 AM   #9
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I've owned both. I have had no problems with either one. Like others have said you gain better access to do engine maintenance.
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:47 AM   #10
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There are 100's of thousands rear radiator coaches out there. A lot more than side radiator coaches. Buy the coach you like and don't have radiator placement be a deciding factor. Just my $.02
Jim & Sandy
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:12 PM   #11
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Concur - radiator location should not be in the purchase decision. Let the maintainers worry about that. Choose your fav coach by the interior is my suggestion. If you could sit in every coach and pick what you like best from the inside I think that's how to choose.
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:44 PM   #12
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I've had both. Agree with all the sentiments. The side radiator coaches are easier to work on however do have extra mechanism for the fan drive. Some have a hydraulically power fan, mine has a separate belt-driven driveshaft with u-joints for the fan. More to break & maintain. I do all of my own maintenance and prefer the side mounted
Bob in College Station, TX
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Old 07-21-2017, 03:03 PM   #13
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Side radiator = one less storage compartment = better access to engine = more components to run the fan.

Mine is a rear radiator. I swapped the belts. It was torture. Thank God for beer! I have a big mesh under the engine to keep road debris from easily getting into the fan/radiator, like plastic bags and rocks and roadkill and such. But that mesh has to be removed to get decent access to the engine, however I can get the oil filter off with the mesh in place. Another thing to consider with rear radiator is the fan blows. It sucks air from the engine compartment and blows it aft thru the radiator. A loose or unsecured hose or wire will get drawn from the engine bay into the fan. My parents' motorhome did this and it broke the fan, taking out the power steering reservoir with blade parts flying around the engine compartment. They were grounded for two weeks waiting on parts.

So, side radiator folks, does your fan blow in or out? Inquiring minds want to know~!
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Old 07-21-2017, 03:18 PM   #14
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Mine blows out. Just repaired an oil leak on hyd motor fitting today. If I had a rear rad it would have been much harder to do. If I had a rear rad I would not have had the hyd leak. LOL
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