View Full Version : Karl Blade Defends Newell Coach

05-06-2009, 12:56 AM
I ran across a thread in RV.net where Karl Blade, president of Newell, corrects some mis-statements made by a bus conversion proponent named Cody. The good stuff starts on Page 4:

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: opinion on prevost (http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/22649970/srt/pa/pging/1/page/4)

Karl starts responding on Page 6 with several posts. Good information on Newell design philosophy.

05-06-2009, 02:57 AM
Glad you brought our members attention to this post. I don't know this Cody person kept running on and on with the same rigamarole that he did. I can see he is

obsessed with his buses especially a Eagle which had their share of series rust issues which related to structural integrity. Karl Blade never put down another coach

manufacturer, just stated facts vs. Cody's fictional falsehoods.

Props to the CEO of Newell Coach whom builds the most pristine motorcoach to ever roam the earth! And Thank YOU for your support!!!!!

05-06-2009, 03:42 AM
What a great thread......I think Karl definitely go the best of "Cody".......seems as if Cody was just making "stuff" up on the fly. Tim...thanks for bringing this RV.net thread to our attention!

Richard and Rhonda
05-06-2009, 03:47 AM
I surf the bus conversion forums from time to time, and Cody has posted the same comments there in the last couple of years. The bus forums have a lot of folks with pretty strong feelings about things.

I guess the funniest part about the whole debate was that if you follow the bus conversion forums, they are chock full of horror stories of what people find when tearing into a bus that has been used for commercial use. Many of them put up to a 100 k into getting a bus road worthy and converted, and that's for a bus with a two stroke DD. Not all of them spend that kind of money, but the one's converted on a shoestring definitely look like it too.

I've spent a lot of time under my coach. My neighbor actually thinks I nap under there. And when I was looking, I spent some time under Prevosts and Bluebirds. It's the same running gear when you compare similar years vintage.

It was quite brave of Karl to go on the forum, and he represented himself well.

05-06-2009, 03:55 AM
i read the entire posting as well and thought it was very interesting. i love the prevo's and wanderlodges and MCI's and Eagles. i almost bought several different wanderlodges and would have been happy with them too. i am glad i got my little old newell.

05-06-2009, 07:56 PM
It are frequently interesting discussions between the bus folks (converted Prevosts, MCI, VanHool, etc) and Newell enthusiasts. (I won't call them busnuts even though some of them refer to themselves that way.) Realistically, a bus chassis makes an incredible platform for a motorcoach as far a quality of build goes. The downside is that you are taking a vehicle designed for one purpose and using it for another. This puts constraints on modifications and that is where Newell comes in. L.K. Newell, from the beginning, identified a number of features he felt were objectives in constructing a first-class motorcoach. These included:
1) Rear diesel engine
2) Under floor storage
3) Air brakes and suspension
4) Front mounted generator
5) Mid-entry door
6) Systems built into body and chassis during manufacture
7) Flexibility to custom build to customers desires

Note that from the early 1970's until 2005, Newell incorporated ALL of these attributes into their coaches while bus conversions only incorporated #1-3 and to a much lesser extent than Newell, #7.

The advent of slides in motorcoaches modified #4 and #5 and accentuated the differences in #7. Larger slides are possible with a front entry so beginning in the 2005 model year, Newell offered a front entry as an option and by 2009 most, but not all, Newells were being ordered with the front entry at the customers request (remember #7). The front entry reduced the space available for the front generator. That and the increased weight of the slides pushing the limits on the front axle caused some Newells to be built with side mounted generators, using the front compartment for additional storage. However, the real difference between bus conversions and Newells is #7.

A bus is designed to move large numbers of passengers over the highways. Placement and integration of living facilities such as kitchens, full baths, closets, entertainment systems, etc were not a consideration in the original design of the bus chassis. While converters had done miracles in adapting bus chassis into motorcoaches, access to systems, arrangement of floorplans, and more recently, the addition of slides has been hampered by the original design of the bus chassis. Newell brought slides to the luxury motorcoach market years before the converters were able to. Newells were available with 3 and 4 slides before converters were even offering a single slide. Newells offered flat floor slides beginning in 1997. I have not seen a bus conversion with 4 flat floor slides ever built. There may have been but I am unaware of it.

Since Newell builds their own chassis, any floorplan, slide arrangement and length that the customer desires can be constructed. If a floorplan and the owner's wishes dictate a 44' 4" coach, Newell can and will construct it. With a bus conversion you typically can have any length as long as it is 45' or in some limited cases 40'.

Does Prevost make an excellent chassis, yes!! Does Newell make an excellent chassis, yes!! Prevost depends on converters to take their bus chassis and make a motorcoach, with varying degrees of success, while Newell offers the buyer more choices and more flexibility in designing their coach for the purposes they want and need. Have you seen an extended length rear bath in a Prevost?? Newell is now making them available. Have you seen a quad slide Prevost with a Murphy bed, theatre seating and projection TV?? Newell has been offering them for years. Have you seen a Prevost with a 600+ horsepower engine?? Again Newell has been offering them for years.

Most of the bus converters build a number of spec buses for sale (designed in house with no particular customer in mind) while Newell has historically built almost all (typically 90%) of their coaches to a specific customer's requirements. The result is that, from what I have heard, only 2 Newell's have been built identically and those were ordered that way by the owner.

If I were purchasing a bus to transport dozens of people hundreds of thousands of miles each year, I would strongly consider a Prevost (that is their design role). For livability and use as a motorhome (truly a Rolling Mansion on Wheels), Newell offers more flexibility of design and more bang for your bucks.

Building the entire coach from the ground up allows Newell to do things that are just not practical (although virtually anything is possible if you throw enough money at it) when you start with a bus chassis. Compare prices and features on a new Newell with steerable tag, a 625+ HP engine, Spyder Digital Multiplex control system, oversized quad slides and almost an infinite list of options (bidets, outside cooking centers, etc) with the bus conversions and it is easy to see why Newell has so many repeat customers.

05-07-2009, 12:23 AM
I suppose I played some role in the discussion on the RV Net forum as I saw a post that made little sense and that rapidly advanced to idiocy. My wife and I had just returned home after visiting the Newell plant in Miami and had decided that Newell was the coach we wanted to full time in. I guess I was primed to take on this, to put it nicely, bus advocate.

It became clear that he had little if any knowledge of Newell coaches and to say I was delighted to see Karl step in would be an understatement. I received a nice note from him thanking me for my support of Newell.

Alice and I look forward to joining the Newell family shortly. We are working out some personal and business details and are in discussion with the plant on their pre-owned coaches.

My Best,

www.larryholcombe.com (http://www.larryholcombe.com)

05-07-2009, 12:23 AM
I would have to think that Cody had looked at Newmar's and got them mixed up with a Newell. A Newmar is a fine motorhome but a different class of motorhome than either a bus conversion or a Newell Coach. As Karl Blade put on several posts, a Newell Coach is a premium upgrade from a commercial bus.

That is exactly what a Newell Coach is; A Premium Upgrade of a Commercial Bus! Should I repeat that again? Or do we have an understanding here folks? I think we are all on agreement that Mr. Blade knows his coach.

Richard, I would have to believe bravery comes natural for Karl Blade when he feels the need to put arrogance in its place as it has defamed something he has built and stands behind.

Ken W

05-07-2009, 12:30 AM
Thanks Larry. While I don't like being a bone-head about things, there are folks that just can't see anything good about things that don't match their ideas. Obviously, there are those who will not acknowledge the positive points of anything other than what they have or want. I will not demean the Prevost conversions. They are excellent coaches. Not my choice, although I did look at a number of Prevost conversions before purchasing my Newell, but excellent coaches.

Congratulations on choosing a Newell in your future. Based on my experience, you will not be sorry.

05-07-2009, 03:28 AM
I have spent the last 3 years as a member of POG, Prevost Owners Group. It is a group of people who are interested in learning more about Prevosts. I joined at the urging of a friend who has a Liberty. I was the only Newell owner in the group.

I have heard the Newell vs Prevost arguement many times on POG and since my purpose in joining POG was to learn more about Prevosts I did not engage in demeaning the Prevosts but rather in pointing out the attributes of the Newell (of which there were many!). Some members of POG didn't like having a Newell owner in the group, but most(98%) welcomed me and have become my good friends. There will always be a guy like Cody or whatever his name was who will belittle Newell and praise their favorite converter. I just consider the source and move on.

In the course of discussions about everything from getting stuck in the mud to the advantages of the rear bath + half bath it was clear to many of the POG members that Newell was a force to be reckoned with. I got my Newell stuck in the mud twice (don't ask how) and my locking differental got me out once and the second time I had to call a tow truck. Point is Prevosts don't have a locking differential. Every time some of the members tried to show where Prevosts were superior there was the Newell with the same or better engineering or components.

I test drove 2 Prevosts: one was an XL (the older version of Prevost shells) and an XL II which is the newest version. Both rode very tight and smooth. IMO the Prevost had a SLIGHTLY better ride than my 1999 Newell. The XL was a 99 Vogue & the XL II was a Millenium w/2 slides. After I drove these 2 buses; I posted on the forum that I liked the Prevost ride better than the Newell but I would still buy a Newell over a Prevost because of the livibility and the rear bath + half bath. Also, the Newell slides are far superior to the Prevost slides from a reliability standpoint. Prevost slides are trouble; they are currently on their 4th generation of Prevost slides and they still give trouble. Newell slides are virtually trouble free, at least mine are!

I too was glad to hear Karl defend the ridiculous accusations of some nut making assinine comments about a 350,000 mile useful life of a Newell coach. What a dummy! Karl Blade is a brilliant businessman and one hell of a coach builder. I am proud to be on his team. I will never own any coach but a Newell. It is as simple as that!

Wally Arntzen
05-07-2009, 08:58 PM
Thanks Karl for jumping in and clearing up the nonsence of "Cody" who does not have any idea what he is talking about. Last year there was a prevost proud rally at the RV park I stay at in Arizona and I got into a discussion with the owner of one of the converters which I will not identify and he made some similar statements about Newells not being a bus and not in the same league as the Prevosts.
I made it clear to him that those who sell their products by condeming other products generally have inferior stuff and use scare tactics to move things and in the long run it backfires on them. In listening to Cody's" coments he sounds like he is very close to the guy I spoke with in Arizona. It was like I was back talking to the owner of the conversion company all over again, and I suspect that they know they have a product that is inferior to Newell and are unwilling to accept reality.
I have a good friend who gets a new Marthon Prevost every 2 years and he thinks it is the best coach on the market. He is the former CEO of a fortune company and speaks highly that Marthons are the superior Prevost conversions and has strong comments on the quality and creativity of our Newells.
I have 2 other friends that have never owned a coach of any kind and they are both considering purchasing Newells at some time in the future.
I'm in a different league than my friends and have owned 2 older Newells, one of which I am now living in and would not own anything but a Newell, but I respect anybody loving their Prevosts just as much as we love our Newells.
Cody has been mislead and does not what he is talking about and I wish him well and hope he gets out of his state of confusion. (For he knows not what he is talking about)
Wally Arntzen