Newell or Wanderlodge? - Luxury Coach Lifestyles
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:54 AM   #1
Derek Knight
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Default Newell or Wanderlodge?

I'm tossed and turned and can't make up my mind! Great site here with lot's of information to answer all my questions but I still am torn.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:47 AM   #2
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Hi Derek and welcome to the Newell talk forum and website. Maybe we can give you some good insight. One major plus benefit of Newell is they have a very strong factory support available 24/7. Our Newell manufacturer is a very stable company financially even in the financial woes of this great nation.

It's been ten years since I bought my first Newell and I have owned a total of three and looking for that fourth Newell. When I bought my Newell from a dealer down in Texas, my coach was sitting next to a similar year Wanderlodge. I was impressed with the wanderlodge too, and the dealer actually wanted a few grand more for it but it was lower miles and very clean. I had the chance of either and we opted for the Newell.

Both brands are well built and I would never say anything bad about a Wanderlodge. I will however say that hands down a Newell is my coach of choice.

I wish you the best luck making a decision and finding that right motorcoach.

Ken
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:41 AM   #3
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Derek,
Hands down the Newell should be the choice and the number one reason is Bluebird is no longer making coaches and Newell is. The service and repair support for Newell is the best in the industry undisputed by even it's competitors. Features and condition are individual, but when your broken down or needing service and repairs is a whole different story.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:57 PM   #4
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Hi Derek,

Newells IMHO are in a league of their own which makes it hard to compare with other rv's. Wanderlodge's are nice but they are not a Newell. Now I'm not saying they are not nice coaches but again not a Newell. Newell are constructed from the ground up and are custom ordered to fit the needs of the end user. If you are searching for a used Newells not many rv brands can hold the value a Newell will hold even in their classic years. In my opion Newell construction is far superior to any rv on the maket. Let us know what your comparing between the two coaches and we can better asnwer your questions.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:40 PM   #5
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Compare Newells & Wanderlodges when you have to work on the engine, water heater, water tanks, and other items. I believe you'll find the Newell offers easier access for repairs. I had my Newell in for service recently and the service manager remarked how good the engine access is and then showed me a Wanderlodge (same year & engine) and what he went through for some repairs. Just another thing to consider.
Good luck in your search.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:06 PM   #6
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Everyone has many great responses. I wanted to include that you may want to check out a Newell and a Wanderlodge of the same years inside and out. Looks wise and quality you will see there is not much room for comparison. As Newell has always been far ahead in the game. They make a beautiful unique motorcoach built with style, comfort and quality in mind.

It is true Wanderlodge is no longer in business which says a lot right there. I don't mean to knock Wanderlodge but I do mean to stick up for the Newell because I am a happy satisfied Newell owner. Every time that we have our Newell serviced we get many compliments on how well built our coach is.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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I have owned a Wanderlodge along with bus conversions, and have a lot of respect for Bluebird and what they had offered. Depending on what year your talking about and your style, taste and certain preferences may determine your choice. I agree with others that Newell Coach has 24/7 service and is still in business, a major plus. Maybe not necessarily true for the owner of an older Newell Coach as support is only as good as the current knowledge at hand over at Newell. This message board is more valuable for older coaches as with the Wanderlodge forum is for all years.

Something to chew on I guess. Personally I love Newell Coaches too!
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:08 PM   #8
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If it makes a difference my dog whose actually pretty smart was with us when we bought our first Newell and before we actually consummated the deal went into both the Wanderlodge and our soon to be Newell, and paws down he wanted nothing to do with the Wanderlodge. So, maybe he is right or maybe he is wrong?


Ken and my Dog Fly Baby!
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:18 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your input. The positive response I've gotten here is great and you've all been helpful.

I joined over at the Wanderlodge forum and they were quick to bash their competitor. I posted over there and also read several old posts where they had a hay day going on about how the Newell isn't this and it isn't that.

They also liked mentioning the pricing of Newells and how the prices are controlled. Is this true?

I understand they are no longer in business but maybe that was due to poor business management or is the crash of the RV industry to blame?


I'm not into others bashing a competitor and I won't lie it turned me off a bit about the Wanderlodge motorhome and it's owners. I would never want to be apart and or belong to such a group of people if they had to go as far as some who remarked some harsh words.

I respect the fact that owners here left comments worth reading.

Thanks again,
Derek
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:42 AM   #10
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Let me share a short story with you about the way current owners Karl and Alice Blade came to know about the Newell Coach prior to even becoming its owners.

Back in 1979 Bluebird Corporation was building at a fairly high capacity Wanderlodges on a shared platform as a school bus. The Wanderlodge was considered a quality motorhome and an alternative to an expensive over the road rear engine bus conversion.

In the fall of that same year, Karl and Alice Blade were driving through Miami, OK in their brand new Bluebird Wanderlodge they had just picked up at the factory in Georgia. While going through Miami, OK they notice the Newell Coach factory and decided to stop and take a look and find out what these motorcoaches were about. After touring the factory and the build of the customized Newell and its offering with a rear engine diesel and air-ride suspension, they became immediately hooked.

Shortly thereafter that same year the Blades and two business partners negotiated a purchase of the Newell Coach Company. A couple of years later the Blades bought out the partners and the rest is Newell history.

Besides having a wonderful history as a successful luxury motorcoach manufacturer, they are positioned to continue the journey forward delivering the most pristine coaches to ever roam the earth.


Ken
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:54 PM   #11
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Derek,

I am a member of POG (Prevost Owners Group). Myself and 1 or 2 other Newell owners post on that forum. I have made many good friends on POG, and we good-naturedly tease each other about which coach is better. Karl Blade(owns Newell Coach) and Frank Kosingner (owns Liberty Coach) kick around which coach is better in a good natured way. So my point is, some folks like Chevy and some like Ford.

It's a classic arguement that will never be resolved. It all comes down to personal choice. Buy the coach you like the best for your own reasons. No one can tell you which is the best because they both have advantages over the other.

Whichever one you buy will make you happy for your reasons. Enjoy the open road!
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Knight View Post
Thanks for all your input. The positive response I've gotten here is great and you've all been helpful.

I joined over at the Wanderlodge forum and they were quick to bash their competitor. I posted over there and also read several old posts where they had a hay day going on about how the Newell isn't this and it isn't that.

They also liked mentioning the pricing of Newells and how the prices are controlled. Is this true?

I understand they are no longer in business but maybe that was due to poor business management or is the crash of the RV industry to blame?


I'm not into others bashing a competitor and I won't lie it turned me off a bit about the Wanderlodge motorhome and it's owners. I would never want to be apart and or belong to such a group of people if they had to go as far as some who remarked some harsh words.

I respect the fact that owners here left comments worth reading.

Thanks again,
Derek
Derek,

With regard to Newell controlling prices is a common retort in a Newell vs Prevost or BlueBird arguement. While Newell Coach controls the price that they sell a used coach for, they can not set the price on all Newells for sale in the marketplace!

Let's take an example: 2 Newells are for sale - both are 1995s w/175,000 miles. Joe Blow is asking $100,000 for his and Newell under cuts him by $20,000! Joe's not going to be too happy. Additionally, Newell Coach has to ask a little more to make room in case a potential buyer wants to trade.

If you think about it Newell is not trying to keep the price high; the market controls that. If a coach is priced too high it will not sell - so the market controls prices not Newell Coach.

One last thought: asking prices are one thing, selling prices are another!
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:48 PM   #13
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Derek,

I tried finding a link to an article that changed the way I look at motor homes forever but unfortunately it is now a dead link. I did however find reference to it in a 2006 post on this site.

12-03-2006, 04:22 PM
fulltiming

You might take a look at this article written by Bob Gummersall, the Chief Technical Officer for RVersOnline.org.

The Chassis under 99% of the Class A Motorhomes manufactured today is a basic Frame Rail. One Hundred % of over the road passenger buses are built on monocoque or semi-monocoque chassis. Full monocoque chassis surround the complete vehicle with frame members. Semi-monocoque chassis use frame members on the lower half of the vehicle, and that provides a very strong base for the rest of the coach. I wonder why that is? A monocoque construction technique is like that of a girder type bridge with support elements diagonally placed between vertical and horizontal elements. Like bus chassis a motorhome semi-monocoque chassis use less weight and gain more strength. Like Greyhound type buses and all new automobiles, this technique provides more rigidity while providing huge inside storage and living space. Frame rails are used in most trucks from pickup to 18-wheelers and the cab is always separate from the payload body. That is because, no matter how big and strong the frame rail is, there is significant torque turning, or twisting, from the front to the rear of the vehicle. In order to limit the damage from this twisting process, truck chassis manufacturers heat treat or temper the rails after key holes are drilled to accommodate components to be attached. Drilling new holes or welding any new components to this hardened frame rail, voids the warranty because it is therefore weakened. Special fasteners, called huck bolts, are normally used to attach truck components to the frame rail because normal bolts no matter how tight they are installed, will eventually loosen.

Motorhome manufacturers use the front and rear caps, the side walls, roof and floor to stiffen the box against this always present torque or twisting. They use special glues and fasteners to attach large sheets of plywood and fiberglass to a simple steel or aluminum frame for all six sides of this box to make it stay together. If perfectly done, the box sides will stiffen the whole vehicle. If not perfectly done, fiberglass will be delaminated, rear overhangs will droop, front and rear caps will crack, many unfixable rattles will develop, and the structural integrity in case of an accident will be weakened. I have seen roll over accidents where all six sides of the frame rail chassis came apart. I have seen roll over accidents of monocoque or semi-monocoque chassis that have simply been righted and driven away. I have not seen any roll over accidents with frame rail chassis where all six sides stayed together. I have not seen a single roll over accident with a monocoque or semi-monocoque chassis where the six sides did not stay together.

If you ride in a 20 year old passenger bus or semi-monocoque motorhome you will find that it is still tight and almost rattle free. It is rare if you find a 20 year old frame rail chassis that that tight. There is really no comparison between the chassis types concerning passenger safety. The monocoque or semi-monocoque wins every time.

So why don't more motorhome manufacturers use a semi-monocoque chassis? The reason is primarily cost. Spartan, Freightliner, Ford, and Union Bay (used to be Chevrolet) supply frame rail chassis to volume motorhome manufacturers. Some makers like Winnebago, cut a frame rail in two, and build a center section that is semi-monocoque design to strengthen the vehicle and gain large storage compartments. All other makes of monocoque or semi-monocoque coaches, manufacturer custom chassis to meet their own specific requirements. Newell, Vogue, Monaco, Foretravel, and Country Coach are the major coaches makers that use custom designed semi-monocoque chassis. These companies have a chassis division that supplies them with proprietary products.


I have bolded several significant sentences.

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Old 09-03-2012, 09:26 PM   #14
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Michael,

What type of chassis does Prevost use?

I noticed it was not mentioned in the list above (Newell, Vogue, Monaco, Foretravel, & Country Coach).
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:49 AM   #15
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Tuga, Prevost builds a full monocoque designed chassis from lower frame structure all the way up the sides to the roof out of steel tubing. This gives the Prevost great strength against roll-overs.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:12 PM   #16
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I think the monocoque issue was best described in a 2007 post by Karl Blade, owner of Newell Coach:

Quote:
Monocoque or semi-monocoque are labels that lack precise definition when applied to motor coaches. Neither Prevost nor Newell use a separate frame-rail chassis, while certainly neither is a pure monocoque in the aircraft sense. Both are most accurately described as semi-monocoque. But there are differences that are especially relevant to including large, multiple slide-outs.

Newell uses heavier steel framing below the floor and aluminum for the body framing above the floor line. Prevost uses a lighter steel frame below the floor and heavier steel body framing. The Newell approach results in more strength from the floor down. The Prevost design relies more on the body structure above the floor, in particular on a horizontal trust-like structure from the floor to the bottom of the windows running the full length of the coach. A significant difference in the results is that the Newell structure, deriving more of its strength from the structure below the floor and comparatively less from the body side walls, has been far more compatible with the addition of slide-outs, particularly larger slide-outs and multiple slide-outs, that require the sidewalls to be cut vertically.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:10 PM   #17
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Derek,

You might also want to read this topic:

http://www.newellclassic.com/forum/g...blue-bird.html
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:53 PM   #18
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We love our Newell and enjoy our trips, its what makes our traveling happy travels. You will find many members here have owned more than one Newell coach because after owning a Newell coach you'll never want to own anything else!
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