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Old 02-08-2014, 12:06 AM   #1
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Entegra Cornerstone steering vs Newmar Comfort Drive

I am close to placing an order on a new motorhome. I've narrowed down my search to the Entegra Cornerstone or Newmar Essex or King Aire. So far I have test driven a King Aire but not yet a Cornerstone, which I will do next week. I was impressed with Newmar's Comfort Steering. I am also very impressed the value proposition of all the features available on the Cornerstone compared to the competition. I am interested in hearing if anyone drove the both Newmar with Comfort Steer and the Cornerstone before making your purchase decision. Do you feel the Cornerstone tracks true center without Comfort Steer? Would driving fatigue on a long drive be a concern on a Cornerstone compared to a Newmar with Comfort Steer. I do not want to purchase a coach that has wanders driving up the road.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:57 AM   #2
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I have driven both. While comfort drive is a nice feature, I was very impressed with the handling of the Cornerstone with the K3 chassis. The additional torque of the 600 HP Cummins was definitely an improvement over the 450 HP Cummins found in the Anthem. The King Aire has virtually the same chassis with Comfort Drive.

You mentioned you drove a King Aire but were also considering a Essex. Unless I am mistaken, the Essex is now being built on a Freightliner Chassis with a Detroit Diesel Engine. Before I would consider that choice, I would drive it too. I am not saying there is anything wrong with Freightliner, I just personally prefer Spartan and especially the K3.

There are several CS owners who I am sure will also add there opinions and experience. From what I have heard from them, they seem to be extremely happy with the performance of their coaches.

Both Newmar and Enterga build high quality coaches. The construction methods are were similar and the are both well insulated coaches as well. Both companies have a loyal following and excellent customer service. You will not go wrong picking either manufacturer.

For me, after driving both, comparing features and pricing, the Cornerstone was my choice. It is a lot closer in features to the King Aire than the Essex and was priced considerably lower than both. Putting the several $100K difference in my pocket will make the next few years of traveling a bit easier.

Good luck with whatever coach you chose - You are definitely looking at the best 2 manufacturers (excluding the Prevost units).

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Old 02-08-2014, 07:41 AM   #3
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I'd add, for me, from a chassis and coach perspective, I don't understand Essex pricing. With Cornerstone you're getting a step up in HP, torque, and the Spartan chassis for $125K less in a comparably equipped coach (at MSRP). I found that the amenities on the King Aire were better (plus a lot more choice on interiors). but $250K is a lot of cash for the same chassis and power plant, The folks I know driving Cornerstone are extremely pleased with the ride and drive. I'd have a 2015 on order today if Entegra had a floor plan that met my needs and desires. Good luck in your search Both a great companies.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:38 AM   #4
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Essex is available in 2 configurations st the moment, the new (for 2014) configuration included a Freightliner with a Cat engine, steerable axle and a couple of other features. The most common chassis configuration is with a Spartan K2 chassis. The Essex configuration includes many of the same features of the CS including tire size, TripTek trip computer and in addition to hydraulic jacks a Hadley air leveling system. I am sure I have missed many features unique to both coaches, for that I apologize.

Comfort drive is a feature that is more than just a steering stabilizer, the handling features extend to low speed handling and backing up!

As mentioned by others both manufactures build outstanding products and you cannot go wrong in choosing a Cornerstone, KingAire, or Essex. Your choice should be driven by what you like and enjoy, the chassis' / engines combinations and house build qualities of these products is amazing.

Best of luck in your decision and what ever it is welcome to the forums!

Steve
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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All K-3s are not the same. Gear ratios, frame rail sizes, alternator and electrical system, fuel tank size......etc.
here are the links: These are for 2013.
Entegra http://www.spartanchassis.com/rv/rid...20A.5.2012.pdf
Newmar http://www.spartanchassis.com/rv/rid...600.103112.pdf
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinn View Post
Essex is available in 2 configurations st the moment, the new (for 2014) configuration included a Freightliner with a Cat engine, steerable axle and a couple of other features. The most common chassis configuration is with a Spartan K2 chassis. The Essex configuration includes many of the same features of the CS including tire size, TripTek trip computer and in addition to hydraulic jacks a Hadley air leveling system. I am sure I have missed many features unique to both coaches, for that I apologize. Comfort drive is a feature that is more than just a steering stabilizer, the handling features extend to low speed handling and backing up! As mentioned by others both manufactures build outstanding products and you cannot go wrong in choosing a Cornerstone, KingAire, or Essex. Your choice should be driven by what you like and enjoy, the chassis' / engines combinations and house build qualities of these products is amazing. Best of luck in your decision and what ever it is welcome to the forums! Steve
The Freightliner configuration is being sold as an option above the Spartan K2 with the Cummins ISX12. The Freightliner is equipped with a Detroit Diesel 13 liter instead of a Cat. Cat is still not building engines for the over the road market.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
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All K-3s are not the same. Gear ratios, frame rail sizes, alternator and electrical system, fuel tank size......etc.
here are the links: These are for 2013.
Entegra http://www.spartanchassis.com/rv/rid...20A.5.2012.pdf
Newmar http://www.spartanchassis.com/rv/rid...600.103112.pdf
True for 2013 but not for 2014 and 2015. The Entegra K3 now has a 20,000 IFS with corresponding increases in GVWR. There are some rear end gearing differences, Entegra is using a 3.73:1 where Newmar is using a 4.3:1 ratio. So, I guess the King Aire is faster off the starting line??

For all practical purposes, they are virtually identical with the exception of Comfort Drive. Every manufacturer is going to spec out the chassis that meets their needs. Comfort Drive is a neat feature and a lot of Newmar owners swear by it. I just keep thinking about MSRP $600,000 vs: MSRP $900,000. But, to each there own!
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:27 PM   #8
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Are there after market systems that can be added to an Entegra if one wants to have something like Comfort Steer? For example what is Blue Ox's TruCenter Steering Control?
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:40 PM   #9
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Are there after market systems that can be added to an Entegra if one wants to have something like Comfort Steer? For example what is Blue Ox's TruCenter Steering Control?
Comfort drive is unique in the marketplace and patented. It is both hardware and highly sophisticated software. One of the designers of the system frequents IRV2.com and has answered questions in the past.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:19 PM   #10
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Are there after market systems that can be added to an Entegra if one wants to have something like Comfort Steer? For example what is Blue Ox's TruCenter Steering Control?
I have driven both. TruCenter has its place, but it is nowhere near as sophisticated or useful as Comfort Steer. There is no way to retrofit a Comfort Steer equivalent. I have been told that Newmar's exclusive on Comfort Steer end in 2015, whereupon things could get more interesting.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:01 PM   #11
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Mark, If you don't mind sharing, I am curious to know how you would compare driving your Anthem to driving a coach you drove with Comfort Steer? I have test driven a King Aire but not an Entegra coach. Assuming no crosswind or road crown, does the Anthem track true center driving at speed on a freeway or do you feel it wander and have to steer it back to center? In other words, does it feel much like the steering on a car or is there a lot of ongoing correction? I am assuming if there was a crosswind, without Comfort Steer, one would need to steer slightly into the direction of the wind.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:14 PM   #12
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For my part...no the Anthem doesn't drift and yes you do have to "lean" into a crosswind. Perhaps, if you have to drive in a crosswind, you may want to feel it a little as opposed to something electronic that might fail, but I have to admit, fighting a strong crosswind is not fun. That said, any other situation on normal road at interstate speed, the Anthem handles very well and very easily. If we could have Comfort Steer at a reasonable price, I think most Anthem owners would take it. But at $50+ for an equivalent Mountain Aire, that's a tough price to swallow...JMHO.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:29 PM   #13
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Mark, If you don't mind sharing, I am curious to know how you would compare driving your Anthem to driving a coach you drove with Comfort Steer? I have test driven a King Aire but not an Entegra coach. Assuming no crosswind or road crown, does the Anthem track true center driving at speed on a freeway or do you feel it wander and have to steer it back to center? In other words, does it feel much like the steering on a car or is there a lot of ongoing correction? I am assuming if there was a crosswind, without Comfort Steer, one would need to steer slightly into the direction of the wind.
Not Marc and would never try to be - but my experience driving the Anthem is that it really is a dream. I usually find myself relaxing with one hand which may not be the preferred professional style, but the winds and the big trucks don't faze the Anthem. Just my experience. I haven't driven a CD so I am not commenting one way or the other on that comparison
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:38 PM   #14
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I look at Comfort Steer as a trim system, if anyone here has flown a small plane. Comfort Steer is an automated trim - as it senses steady force on the wheel, it counteracts it to keep steering forces minimal. This is the cat's meow for a crosswind. In any turn situation, by dialing out strong forces, it lets you concentrate on the more subtle, lesser forces.

I personally feel that while I would really like such a device, it would never be a deciding factor. A tag axle coach already has a strong tendency to track straight; you have to think about how often you get tired out by crosswinds.

OTOH, I don't own one. And I don't anticipate really long days of driving.

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