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Old 05-02-2022, 07:03 PM   #1
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1978 Newell Coach

I found a Newell Coach for sale in my budget... I am just not sure if it is a good buy.

It is 1978, so I will need to update the interior. Owner says it has no rust, no leaks, and runs fine.

120k miles. I am going to look at it later this week.

Question 1: Are there any known issues with Newell's from back then?

Question 2: Does anyone know the MPG? I see new ones get 8mpg... But is that similar to older ones?

It is 44 years old. That is... a lot older than I was thinking. But I found it, and then looked up Newell's (hadn't heard of them before, I was considering a Skoolie route)and saw how everyone says they are amazing...

So what would I be getting myself into here?
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Old 05-02-2022, 07:37 PM   #2
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Newell has always made a very nice unit but 1978 . I wouldnít go anywhere near it unless you are highly competent in all areas of mechanics and RV systems. Even if it is in very good condition for its age it will need regular attention and it will get very expensive fast if you are not highly skilled
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Old 05-03-2022, 07:12 AM   #3
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You said it yourself, it's 44 years old. Chassis and appliance parts will be hard to find. Lots of advances have been made in 44 years, even if you have the knowledge and equipment to do it all yourself you're going to spend a lot of money to restore 44 year old technology, it was a lot more interactive than today. Then you have to add the cost and time to upgrade, I'd want to do a lot especially the electrical/electronics.

The biggest thing to me about taking on a job that big right now would be the economy and parts and material issues. You need to be able to look a couple of weeks out and order parts and have those parts when they're needed. You can't do that right now. That makes a LOT of extra work tearing things apart a couple of times or boxing up what you've torn apart and stashing it. Either way it slows you down.
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Old 05-03-2022, 07:57 AM   #4
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Are you going to use it as is? If so and all the important parts work and the price is right, go for it. It seems most here want to update it right away to the newer styles. There's nothing wrong with using an older model. What chassis does it have. It has plenty of mies but that's not always a bad thing either. Those older chassis were pretty straight forward, no electronics.
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Old 05-04-2022, 10:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David 70 View Post
If so and all the important parts work and the price is right, go for it. It seems most here want to update it right away to the newer styles. There's nothing wrong with using an older model. What chassis does it have. It has plenty of mies but that's not always a bad thing either. Those older chassis were pretty straight forward, no electronics.
Most of the important parts can't be seen to know if they're working correctly. The picture is of my left front hub with oil bath Stemco bearings. I don't know what was used for lube but it obviously wasn't right. The right side hub bearings were seriously loose. And it was only the beginning, I spent a summer underneath it replacing parts and fixing leaks, changing fluids and filters, greasing zerks that obviously hadn't been touched in a lot of years.

The old chassis are straight forward but also are very labor intensive. You're going to maintain them or you're going to fix them. I currently have a 93 Beaver with a Gillig chassis, this is my fourth oldie. My experience is the first owner or two take care of them and put a fair number of miles on them. As they get older and cheaper people who are looking see high end and snatch them up because they're cheap but soon find they're expensive to own and operate. The PO of this one put 3000 miles on it in 5 years, it hadn't been moved in 3 years.

I had an ignition CB fail about 70 miles into my trip home. It's not fun breaking down on the expressway in a 30,000 lb vehicle. Eventually I found the breakers, figured it out and switched the ignition circuit to the power seat breaker. When I got it home I found the circuit breaker was bad, and obsolete. My guess is that's why the PO hadn't used it.

Chances are any 44 year old vehicle has a lot of deferred maintenance. My point wasn't to upgrade the interior, it was to make it roadworthy. And that's sometimes not easy because of the age of the parts.

Think long and hard about your skills, tools, and pocket book before buying any vintage motor home.
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