View Full Version : Handling Characteristics

Richard and Rhonda
05-18-2009, 09:42 PM
I admit that I am the anal engineer type when it comes to the driving and handling characteristics of a vehicle. I am curious to learn of your seat time impressions of your Newell compared to other Class A's that you have driven. I thought starting this topic might be an interesting way of gathering the collective knowledge.

I'll kick it off.

I have driven three Newells. Mine, a 95 42.5 ft, a 97 45 ft with IFS, and about a 92 45ft?.

The 97 45ft was the clear winner in the handling department even though it needed new tires badly. It was rock steady on the freeway, and required very little steering input to keep it straight. The ride was smooth and steady. I would rate 9 on a scale of 10. It had the S60 and was plenty of power. I kick myself for not buying it, but it needed a lot of work, and I knew nothing about the Newell guts at the time.

Mine is as smooth as the 97 and requires slightly more steering input. The only real issue I have is fighting mine in a crosswind. Trucks do not blow me around, and rough two lane roads aren't an issue either.

The third Newell now belongs to Gordon Hummel, so he can straighten me out on exact year and length. The ride quality was about the same as mine. The steering had some play in it that I felt was a loose steering gear box, but other than the play the handling was just about the same as my coach. The 8V92 didn't quite have the low end grunt that the S60 does but once above 35 mph, I don't know that I could tell much difference in acceleration.

Now, other comparative coaches I have had seat time in.

2002 Newmar Mountain Air on IFS Freightliner ISL 370 HP, my previous ride.
I worked on the steering a long time to get the coach to stay in the road. After three different alignment shops worked on it, it turned out to be as simple as toeing the front end in a little more. The wind and trucks blew this coach all over the road, even though I got it to track straight with very little steering input, you had to anticipate a truck passing you or you would veer from your lane. The ride was harsh, even though I fitted KONI FSD shocks all the way round. The coach moved around a lot in the back and midships. It was much much louder than the Newells. Something was always rattling. The 370 ISL Cummins was plenty of engine. I never felt it needed more even in the Colorado mountains.

2008 Newmar Mountain Aire 45 tag
This had the Comfort Drive Steering on a Spartan Chassis. This was very different than the MADP I owned. The comfort drive is kind of gimmicky, but it did drive very nice. I think that it allows them to use a much smaller steering wheel which reduces your perception of "correction" The ride comfort was on par with the Country Coach tag axle.

2003 Country Coach Magna with tag, 525 Cat 42 ft
I would rate this coach below any of the Newells in both steering input and ride quality. Not bad, but noticeably a little more movement in the steering and also in the movement of the coach. I did not notice that the 525 Cat really made the coach accelerate more quickly. It did not seem as powerful as any of the DD coaches.

2002 Country Coach ?? Single Axle 40 ft
This is what started my quest for a better driving coach. Although the CC had the EXACT same front and rear suspension as the Newmar MADP, it drove and rode completely different. Why? The CC frame mounted larger diameter air bags more outboard than the Freightliner chassis. It made the ride calmer and softer at the same time. I drove this coach three times trying to figure out why it drove better than my MADP. It required modest steering input, more than the tag CC above, more input than a Newell or Prevost, but less input than the MADP. It had a ISL 370 and seemed adequately powered.

2004 Foretravel Tag Axle 40 ft
Definitely the sports car of anything I have driven. The ride was a little tighter meaning harsher than Newell, Prevost, or CC. The steering input required to stay in the road was on par with the Newells and Prevosts I have driven, but the feedback through the steering wheel was definitely the most car like of the whole bunch. The brakes were head and shoulders above anything I have driven for both stopping distance and modulation feel.

2006 Revolution LE 40 ft
Same handling and ride quality as the Freightliner chassis. Not impressed.

1995 Prevost Country Coach conversion 45 ft
Probably the best coach driven with regard to little input required to keep in straight in the road. There was no steering feel, the steering wheel is simply used to point the coach. This coach had the smoothest ride of any coach I have been in. However, for some reason the coach was scarily underpowered. The coach was owned by a well known Dallas developer, and maintained by Prevost, so I don't think there was a problem, but it had no acceleration. Once at freeway speed it was OK, but worrisome on an on ramp.

1996 Prevost Liberty 40 ft
About the same steering as the 45 ft Prevost, but slightly more movement in the coach because of the shorter wheel base. Much better power for some reason.

1995 Prevost Marathon 40 ft
Nice smooth ride, but the steering input was busier than the Newells, and other Prevosts I have driven. Power was the strongest of the three Prevosts and equal to the Newells. Super Quiet on the inside. Quieter than the other Prevosts and Newells.

In summary, here are my seat of the pants conclusions.

Prevosts have the most comfortable ride in both the coach and drivers seat. The steering is numb and totally detached. The steering input is the same as with a Newell.

The Foretravel had a tighter ride than either Prevost or Newell, but also had the most car like feedback for the driver.

The Country Coaches had a good ride, and decent road stability but below the three above.

I would put the Newmar Mountain Aire on the Spartan Chassis with the comfort drive next.

Then Revolution LE on the RR8 (I think) chassis next.

Finally the Fl Chassis under my original Mountain Aire.

05-18-2009, 10:04 PM
Wow, Richard....I've driven two motorhomes....the Class C I had before (Ford E350 chassis), and my current Newell. Sometimes I'm glad I don't have much to compare my Newell with because I am so happy with it compared to the Class C, but that's my nature. A number of years ago my good mountain biking friend bought an Intense Tracer MTB. He kept wanting me to test ride it, but I knew as soon as I did I would start hating my current bike. The first time I rode an Intense Tracer was the day I bought my own. The same for my current Intense 5.5. Now, yesterday, he bought a new Intense Tracer VP and wanted me to test ride it, but I held fast. I love my 5.5, and I love my Newell. No point in confusing the issue by test driving other bikes, or rigs, but I totally understand where you are coming from, because my friend is an engineer type also....I get it. I'll just live with your great descriptions of how other rigs handle.

05-18-2009, 10:28 PM
Richard, thank you. This is very informative as Denise and I have always wondered about other coaches. We hadn't even owned a tent before we purchased 303 and so we have nothing to compare Newell to, now we do. In my 30's, which you know was a long time ago, I rented a Southwind 27' and a 34', each for two weeks. I am glad to be alive to enjoy ownership of a Newell.


Wally Arntzen
05-19-2009, 02:16 AM
Richard, I started with 78 Winnebago brave a long time ago in 1979. I bought it after a lady purchased it and had a wreck on her first trip. My borther-in-law and me fixed it up and I must say that trucks and large pick ups blew me all over the road.
My next venture I got into a 1976 GMC with the front wheel drive and mechanically rebuilt the entire coach. I drove, rode and steered well. I installed some special torision bars that made a stable coach with the wind and trucks. I then got into a 1978 GMC that I restored from the frame up. Everything new so actually had a new 78 with a lot of extra goodies. This was a tremendous coach but they are just to small to spent a lot of time in them. GMC was way ahead of their time and could have built larger coaches and been a big hitter in the marked but they quit after 1978.
About 10 years ago I got into a 1978 newell with a 555 cumins engine and completely redid the entire inside of the coach. I drove, steered and rode well but it was only a 36 footer.
About 5 years ago I got into the 88 Newell that I now have and it is wonderfull in every way except we are now fulltimers and a couple of slide outs would sure help.

1. The Winnebago was a different league altogether and does not compare to any of the other coaches I owned.
2. The 2 GMC's were great little coaches with a smooth ride and my 78 we changed the tornado engine to a 500 cadilac and it had more power that you could imagine.
3. 1978 Newell was a great coach but lacked power with the 555 cumins.
4. 1988 Newell has been a special coach for us with minimal problems and is by far the best coach I have ever had or driven.
Thanks to Newell for keeping ahead of the others with there inovations and creativity.


Richard and Rhonda
05-20-2009, 02:28 PM
Thanks Wally.

Those GMC's have quite a following of their own.

Maybe some more owners will chime in with their seat of the pants impressions.

05-20-2009, 03:50 PM
OK, even though I've only owned two coaches I'll describe each from my limited comparative experience:

1987 Fleetwood Tioga Arrow, 26' Class C: Prior to buying this motorhome back in 2003 I had owned a small tent trailer back in the early 80's. It (the Tioga) was very unstable in cross winds...actually scary. Passing semi's would cause me to wrestle the steering wheel to keep the beast on the road. The driving compartment offered little room for seat movement, so the only comfortable way to drive was on cruise control, otherwise my right foot would get a cramp from the akward angle needed to press on the accelerator pedal. I always felt like one of those little old ladies who drive hunched over the steering wheel. It had the large block Ford 460ci engine with carb....I think fuel injection was introduced to this power plant in 1988. When I first got it the mileage was around 4.5 to 5 on a flat road with a tail wind. I found out that one of the heads was warped, so it had to be removed and machined. The next thing I found was the carb had been rebuilt, but some parts put in backwards, so it had to be rebuilt. After numerous other work, and emptying my bank account to the tune of a few thousand, I got the mpg up to 6.5-7. It had a 40 gallon tank, but I could only get 32 in as the pump flow was too great for the filler tube configeration. I had to hand pour in the last 8 gallons to get a full tank that would take me, on a good day, 280 miles, so I was always thinking about the next tank of gas. I added rear air bags, which improved the ride, replaced the tranny which went south due a bad fan clutch, which was not activating the radiator fan at low speeds (think climbing a 9% grade at 20mph), so when I climbed Towne Pass into and out of Death Valley that toasted the tranny as the tranny fluid passing through the cooler located near the radiator was not getting enough air flow at low speeds. I hated the bed, which was located in the right rear corner of the rear bedroom....guess who slept next to the window...me, of course, so I had to climb over Elaine to get out of bed. Lost track of the number of times I banged my lower back on the hanging closet. Had to rebuild the cabover due to water damage....common problem in the older class C's. At any rate, I learned a lot from owning that rig for 5 years, and knew exactly what I wanted in the next motorhome.

1982 Newell 36' Class A DP: Prior to test driving our Newell I had driven a Safari, and Fleetwood (both Class A DP's). Both seemed sluggish accelerating, and the suspsension seemed mushy. What I was looking for in our next motorhome was a walk around bed, a washer/dryer, diesel pusher, comfortable driving compartment with highly adjustable seat, big front windows, stable ride in wind, no evidence of water leaks ANYWHERE, separate bathroom and shower area, under 38', and basement storage. As soon as we entered the Newell for the first time, Elaine was sold. I spent a few days playing catch up...LOL! First of all I had never heard of Newell, EVER. My friend who owns the Bluebird had, and eased my fears. I did a Google search and found an article about LK Newell, and was very impressed. I checked pricing on other 1982 Newells, and thought the asking price was about $20,000 below the market. This coach had been kept inside a climate controlled barn for 22 years, and then in a climate controlled warehouse the next 2. It was only kept outside the 2 years prior to my purchasing it. It had been well maintained. I have all the maintenance records going back to it's construction in 1982. The test drive was the clincher....quiet, no rattles, stable ride (it happened to be windy the day I drove it), it tracks well, meaning I can take my hands off the stearing wheel for 20 seconds and it tracks straight on a flat road, and everything worked except the cruise control and dash A/C, walk around bed, washer/dryer, basement storage, and under 38'! Well, the rest is history. We love our Newell, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

05-20-2009, 10:18 PM
Hi Richard,
Are you still in Austin? Thanks for all your help in Austin.
After years of camping in tents and small trailers, we purchased our first motorhome in 82. It was a Sportscoach, 28ft, 454 chev. engine. For that time it was a move away from the box look. It had a pointed nose and a slanted windshield. Even though it sat unused for several years everything worked. The vents leaked and the whole ceiling had to be rebuilt. It was simpe to drive but would be subject to "involuntary" lane changes in windy conditions. The power was fine. The 454 engine and tranmission were well matched and had great power to pull a 24ft Wellcraft boat, or our 74VW, or our 18ft Sol C,at catamaran. We drove it for five years with minimal maintenance issues. With the engine between the driver and the passenger seat it was very noisy on the road. Finally, all the nights we spent on Padre Island and on the beach caused the rust to do it in. Then, one day we saw another coach at a used car dealer. It was larger, loked great from the expressway, so we checked it out. Much to our surprise, it was another Sportscoach. This was a 1986 Sportscoach, Cross Country. To make a long story short, we had to have it. We owned it for about 4-5 years. The coach had a great layout and good quality materials. One problem was the chasis was probably too light for that size coach. It was great on good roads, but on cocrete or back roads it was a challenge. The turning radius was great but the aft section past the main wheels was so long that it was easy to turn and swing the rear end into a vehicle or fence next to you. This usually happened at service facilities with staff who should not be allowed to drive the coach. The wind and trucks had their usual impact also. The 454 engine like the other coach had its usual exhuast manifild leak and was loud in the front. This size and weight was probably max for this drivetrain. The miles were getting up there and the hrs on the generator were high. Some minor problems caused us to look around at other options before we would encounter major issues. We went "off the deep end" and bought a 37' fifth wheel. We towed it with a 3/4 Dodge Ram Diesel. Backing up and pulling into tight parks was a new experience. With slideouts the trailer was great when parked. During the trips the ride was "like in a truck". We had to stop for every little thing... When we arrived at the destination we had to "work" before we could settle down for the night and we had to wait for the thing to cool down with only one ac unit. One day Debbie and I went to our local RV dealer and saw a DP on consignment. It was open, we looked inside, and found a coach with a side isle, a great bath layout, and bedroom very private from the rest of the coach. It had everything in it we would ever want and in colors we liked. But we had this great fifth wheel trailer... The price was way out of our range also. So we left it thinking that if we ever purchased another coach, one like this would be it. Another year went by and I saw this same coach at the bank with a for sale sign. It was a repo. We bought it at 1/2 of its wholesale value. It was another Sportscoach IV. Now we made it to the DP level. We had a DP, and the coach we liked. It took us another 8 months to sell our fifth wheel at a low price. The chasis was a Spartan with a Cummins engine. The ride and feel of this coach was better than anything we had ever driven. It was steady on the road but not great on power at the low end of RPM. We used this coach weekly, even if we just went into town. It took us two years to work out some electrical gremlings. Every once in a while the engine would die while driving without warning. The ac system was innovative but problematic. It had the compressors in the front of the coach at the road level with poor air circulation. I was getting very good at replacing compressors. About 90k miles later we moved to Padre Island, on the water, on the beach. No place to park the coach and too big for the new lifestyle. So I opted for a 28ft boat in our back yard and sold the coach and so we would still have something to travel in, I settled for a 28ft Class B, Coachman Concord on a Ford 450 chasis. Great to look at rough to drive. This certainly was no comparison to any class A we ever had. For two years it satified our vacation and travel needs. But everytime a DP would be close it was like I lost my best friend. I must say that the Ford chasis is a workhorse. However solid it is, it is rough and loud and the wind noise in the whole coach was very high. It also was a learning experience to stay straight, wind or no wind. Getting in and out of the drivers seat was difficult. The feet would not fit between the engine cowling and the seat without some fancy manuvers. My head had many encounters with the opening to the cab area because it was so low. And then, one day, we saw the Newell #419. I don't know why it took us so long to get to the "top" but now there is nothing in the past that even comes close to #419.

05-20-2009, 11:58 PM
i wasnt going to add to this but i guess i will.

we have had 3 coaches. the first was along time ago in the mid 80's and was a mid 70's Travco. it was shaped like the GMC and in its day was a fine coach. it was my in-laws and they passed it onto us. he had a propane business so everything they had ran on propane. this was a front engine gas rig. he added a humongo propane tank on an extended rear bumper so it looked like a propane truck. when that tank was full, the front end was so light it almost bobbed up and down. it really was not much fun to drive, though was very comfortable to stay in. it was quite short. when we moved one time we drove it to our new location. i put my bag of silver dollars in that coach and my wife and i remember hiding them so they wouldnt get found. well, they didnt by us or anyone else and at some point someone got a very nice surprise.

the next was a mid 80's 35' executive we had in 1984. on the P30 chasis and a ford 460 gas engine. we bought it, and then spent the summer in it on our first sabbatical. this coach was the one that i learned the motto "there aint nothin a credit card cant fix". we broke down everywhere.
it drove ok, but wandered in the wind. that said, my older kids were very said when we sold it after a couple of years. however, we then bought our cabin, and that has almost gone up 3x in value. i dont think that old executive is worth 3x nowadays.

then enter the newell. i had told myself if i get another coach it was going to be a bus. weighty, built well and a diesel pusher. our baby is all of those...though not as big or fancy as alot of yours, it is an absolute joy to drive and is stable as all get out on the road. when driving in a 50mph crosswind at 75mph (yea i was crazy), it got pushed around alittle, but so were the semi's. when we were driving last summer on our ten week trip, my wife asked me a number of times if i was tired. i kept saying not at all and that it was fun driving and was like driving a race car if i knew what that was like. i enjoy every minute of driving the beast and sometimes i just start it up and sit in the seat in the driveway to imagine driving somewhere. sometimes i just unhook and go for a drive and it has a calming influence that is unbelievable for me. i work in a high stress job i hate, and it is fun to have a machine like this to help reduce it.

i bought my coach 2 years ago for a very cheap price and have put quite a bit in it to totally update it. so i have not taken the beating many of you have on coach values, but it still is certainly not a great investment other than the fun and experiences of learning a lot.


05-21-2009, 02:20 AM
Very funny and interesting. Depending on the market, the silver dollars may have gone up and down as well. We have been home three days now, and your comment of sitting in the coach and imagining(sp) being on the road is very very true. I am getting restless. It is like the road is calling. We do take off in a few weeks again and I am already, like you, thinking of the good times ahead. This lifestyle may not be any less expensive than a shrink, but at least it gets us off the couch. lol.

Richard and Rhonda
05-21-2009, 03:16 AM
Well the official story is that it's good to drive the coach to keep the tires from rotting, charge the batteries, and keep all the seals pliable. The truth is that a couple of times a month, I just go drive, because it is incredibly relaxing. Tom was the first to confess, but I have to fess up too.

Wally Arntzen
05-21-2009, 02:25 PM
I have always said since begining with the GMC's that the best thing I like about my coach is driving it. As I went from the GMC's to yhe Newells I realized that the bigger the better. So it really is true that bigger is better.
Richard, you stirred a lot of interest with this subject, way to go.


Stick Miller
05-21-2009, 03:12 PM
I guess I'm seeing what I perceive are some "apples to oranges" comparisons here with Winnebago Braves vs Prevost. I didn't ever see Bluebird in the mix. I have driven a couple of PT 40's and was frankly disappointed by the ride and the cabin noise. I'm sure if I owned the coach and was traveling, there are some things I could do to hold down the rattles. In ranking the true busses how would the ride for a later model Bluebird compare? I have not driven a Newell, but am more and more interested in doing so.

This is really a learning experience and I thank each of you, whatever you contribute.

Stick Miller
Americus, GA

05-21-2009, 03:24 PM
My wife has said often, especially on the last trip, she is amazed at how relaxed I am after 6 hours of driving the Newell. I'm almost disappointed when the end of the day comes and we have reached our day's destination. I never get tired of driving my Newell, and like Tom, and Richard and Wally have said, sometimes I like to just go to the storage yard and sit in the driver's seat and imagine the next trip, or remember one just completed. The only other times I get that same "feeling" of serenity is when I'm sitting in the back yeard with Elaine by the outdoor fireplace talking, or mountain biking.

05-21-2009, 06:48 PM
i gotta tell ya, i love the bluebirds too. but my experience is with the newell and I don't want to start over. the cabin noise you refer too is kinda like saying "what is that noise rattle when my house shakes in an earthquake?" i'm fat and this is a 40k pound house going over bumpy roads, so some noise is gonna be there. the bigger deal is how they ride and drive.

now i am sure the newer newells are quieter than my rattler and i would hope so, but i would guess it should be for a ton more money.

most cabin noises are related to stuff bouncing around...statement of the obvious....i have even driven with the garbage disposal on till it burned out wondering what that noise was.....dummy me.

when i gutted my interior and updated it, 90% of my noises went away. also, i dont live in my coach so i am not carrying everything under the sun like some crazy fools here do. i also hate rattles, so it drives darlene crazy that when i hear a new one i make her walk around while i am driving to find it. when she drove last time on the freeway, i spent most of my time finding rattles. i identified about 4-5 sources i am in the process of fixing. wish me luck.....

i put a sound barrier rubber mat on the floor before i put new flooring down to help as well, but that floor is already 2 inches thick.....i also put insulation in some of the front bays like where the genny blower is and the 110v air compressor bay on the other side.

the metal miniblinds were the biggest rattle in mine and i took them out and put the fabric cellular blinds in and love them.

but....compared to other coaches i have owned or been in, this one is much quieter. some wind noise, but expected, the ones a few years older are the same. darlene and elaine rode in each others coaches and the 82 and 90 were about the same.


05-21-2009, 09:16 PM
Greetings from N/LA (home of the roughest patch of I-20 and many secondary roads with no shoulders but plenty of trees to stop you):

I've had four GMC's over the years. The first had bias ply tires and handled like a dream. The next three had radials. White knuckle= anticipating the next semi coming in the mirror and at the proper time steering out when he is even with you and creating a vacuum and then steering in as he goes by and the push starts. The whole process only takes a few seconds but it meant I had to drive every mile of every trip because it was terrifying. The GMC has narrower track in the front than rear so many of them had "wiggle-waggle" and you constantly see-sawed the wheel. My last did none of this despite the same alignment etc. I never figured it out.

I've driven a 91 Prevost 45' and the steering input and feel were fine. I had never experienced an air-ride seat, so when the coach dropped down in front and the seat went up I thought I was losing control. The ride was so quite that my son fell asleep on the test drive as the scenery just slipped by like on a train but without the clacking.

I owned a 2000 Holiday Rambler 38.5' on a Freightliner chassis with a 330 hp Cat and 6 sp Allison. The handling was fine with vague steering input, on center was tight, but it had a lot of roll and the center of gravity was fairly high, like a box on wheels. Double pane windows and day-nite shades made for a quiet ride. Crosswinds and semi's were no problem at all.

My 97 Newell 45' is very quiet except for some wind noise at the driver's window I need to address. I love the steering input and feel like I'm down in the coach and part of it is due to the lower center of gravity. I haven't had any trouble with crosswinds or semi's, as a matter of fact, I think I may wiggle them when I go by! I've had to adjust to the turning radius and have almost gotten trapped a few times in tight spots like parking lots. I'd love to have an 04 with the tighter turning circle. I drive my rig in town like a station wagon with no trouble at all.

Well that's my summary and covers me from 1981 until now!

05-21-2009, 10:50 PM
My story is a little different; I started out with a Newell - never owned anthing else.

When I sold my boat in 1992, I was driving back from Miami, FL and saw an advertisement for Buddy Gregg (I think) so I pulled in and looked at a used 1988 Bluebird. It was really nice inside and it looked as strong as a tank. I was impressed. I started reading and talking to everyone I could about motorhomes. I joined FMCA after reading one of their magazines that I borrowed from a friend.

I started out looking at a mini Class C - no way - too small. Next I looked at a new Holiday Rambler Navigator; the price was about $260K. Then back to the FMCA magazine and I noticed Newell advertisement: Their slogan read "The vehicle for getting there becomes the reason for going". So I called Newell and Dave Prince suggested that I call Arnold Bernard who lived a short distance from my home. Arnold & Connie answered all of my questions, let me drive their coach, and I was hooked at this point. I made an appointment with Dave Prince to fly up to Miami and wound up buying a 1987 Newell 40' w/tag axle. My logic was simple: I could buy a 5 year old Newell for the same amount that I would pay for a Holiday Rambler. No contest, the Newell won hands down. I did drive a Newmar Dutch Star once; I didn't like it.

You'll have to go a long way to find a better value than a Newell. Dollar for dollar it has no equal.

05-23-2009, 03:22 AM
My Newell is a 1991 #266 41.6'
You are correct that the steering was loose on mine when I got it. I figured, for the price, a reman steer gear would be reasonable.
I had the TRW box rebuild $475, @ a shop in Dallas in Feburary. I had had some previous experience with that box, and 170K miles it was a little early for a failure. I suspect the existing problem caused the early failure of the steer gear by constantly having to work the steering.
As it turns out, the box, fixed about 70% of the problem. When I'm starting out in the AM, initially I can hear some clucking comming from the right front, the noise goes away after a few miles. It's not the king pin or tie rod end, so I suspect the "sway bar", panhard bar mount, or bushings in the "torque beam".
I have traveled 4k miles since I left Tulsa in Feb & the handling is fine except on crowned roads, where it tends to wander. Will fix these in Oct in Tulsa on my way west for the winter.

My first motorhome was a new 1978 Titan on a Dodge chassis. this had to be the worst combination of a chassis & body. It had that new low compression 440 which had no power & as I recall Goodyear tires that had "thumpless" on the sidewall, but they weren't.
The first 2 months I owned it was spent @ the dealer in Sacramento trying to fix manufacturing shortfalls.

My second was a 1983 Pace Arrow. Compared to the Titan it was like driving a limo. The Chevy chassis with the independent front suspension was day & night in the handing over the straight axle Dodge. I did replace the 8.00 19.5's with Michlen 225/70 Pilots & added 2 degrees of caster & that added to the tracking.

My third experience was with my 1989 Eagle bus. This has torsion bar suspension & the ride is excellent. I only drove it 750 miles to Tulsa, with the intention of building a coach. The ride & handling, even with +700k miles was equal or better than any other large vehicle I have driven, including my Newell!


Richard and Rhonda
05-23-2009, 07:56 PM
Good post Gordon.

Please keep us updated as you continue to refine the suspension. I am very interested in what you find, and the impact on steering.

Can you give more description about the differences between the Eagle and the Newell.

Stick Miller
05-24-2009, 04:20 PM
I'd also like to discuss ride and handling comparison between a Bluebird DP and a Newell. Given correct tires and pressure and condition, and all other conditions being somewhat equal, how do these 2 compare? Ceiling height is also important in that I'm 6'5"

05-24-2009, 06:20 PM
i can only make a partial comment on ceiling height. i am 6'2".

a raised roof was an option on the older newell's, but almost all of them have it. mine does not and is still tall enough for me, but at 6'5" it would be close.

i have only been in a couple of newells that are not raised higher. the newer ones are i believe all much higher.

most of the ones of my vintage are 4" taller than mine and would be no problem for you. mine would be close....i have a friend who is 6'9" or so and he came over a while ago and wanted to see inside. he couldnt stand up straight inside.

but once again, mine is one of the rare ones that didnt have a raised roof.

as for the bluebirds, i dont know what the standard ceiling height was.



05-24-2009, 10:21 PM
My Newell (#512) has the 4" raised roof option the entire length of the coach. Some coaches have the raised roof half way back from the front and others have it 1/3 of the way back. I'm only 5'6" so it is of no advantage to me.

The couple that built coach #512 were very tall; hence the raised roof option, I think that it is 80" high from driver's seat to rear bath.

Stick, my coach is for sale if you think you would be interested give me a call.

05-24-2009, 11:07 PM
My 1992 has the 4" raised roof and has approximately 80" (6'8") front to rear inside. The P2000i (starting with the late 2006 models) series Newells have 89" of headroom inside. I believe that the 2000i (starting in the 2005 models) also had 89" of headroom.