View Full Version : Newell vs Wanderlodge

09-08-2012, 11:44 PM
I have no idea where to put this so I'll just put it in the least likely place possible :laugh:
What are the main differences between a Newell and a Wanderlodge?
I have been looking at Wanderlodges but the only thing I can find in my $20k price range are old Front Enging models. We will not have anything with the engine in front... plus I like a mid-entry door. I know a pretty good bit about the BBs now but not much about Newells.
So now I'm going to sit back and drink a nice cold drink on my balcony overlooking Birch Bay and watch the fir fly lol!

The Newell
09-08-2012, 11:52 PM
Hi Adrian,

That is a very common question please read the following topic also entitled Newell vs Wanderlodage might answer some of your questions



09-08-2012, 11:59 PM
Adrian welcome to the Newell talk forum and websites. We have been down this road so so many times and I'm sure this comparison will be going on for eons, lol. It's all good though. Ask away and we will hop at the opportunity to share what we know. I have now owned 3 Newell's, so we are tied. The years of ownership were 1976, 1978 and 1986 and the hunt for another too. I do know about some others for sale depending on what your trying to accomplish.

Wish I could join you for that drink. If you speaking of Birch Bay, WA, I know the area well as I used to moor my Carver in Birch Bay and then moved it to a slip in Oak Harbor.


09-09-2012, 12:52 AM
That's because that vintage of Wanderlodge is a glorified school bus..And that is a lot of dough for a skoolie in my book. I know a guy who put $35k plus 7 years of labor into a Bluebird school bus, then retired and really enjoys it with his 391 Ford gasser. He figures time and labor there is about 110k in it and doesn't care it's worth about $8,000. To each his own.

Newell's by far are the best kept secret and the secret is starting to get out because of this website. Ken my man, that is a good thing!

09-09-2012, 02:29 AM
They are both good coaches, really depends on what you are looking for. We are all in this together but I am stoked to have a Newell.
OK Newells are Aluminum and not Steel. Our is 38' & no Tag Axle. I am sure that there are more differences.

09-09-2012, 04:22 AM
Believe me, there are a lot of 80's Newells out there in your price range. You just have to be patient. Most Bluebirds I have seen have a front entry door, which I don't like. A very good friend of mine has a 1984 and 1/2 Bluebird, 36' with tag.....his coach weighs in at 39,000+ lbs....my 1982 36' Newell with NO tag weighs 29,000+ lbs. The weight difference is due to the heavy use of aluminum framing above the main frame by Newell, and the the all steel construction used by Bluebird, plus the tag, and abundant and heavy cabinetry that Bluebird employed. I believe, and my good friend agrees (even though he loves his Bluebird) mine is more livable. One thing those 80's Bluebirds had is a strong over engineered roof....you can put 10 people up there with chairs....no problem....I wouldn't think of doing that on my Newell. The other thing Newell did, at least in the 80's, is use marine/military grade components on the Detroit Diesels they installed. This means things like the gear driven water pump is easy to find, whereas the water pump on my friend's Bluebird is very hard to find, and expensive....his replacement cost over $300....mine cost $89. A big difference between his and mine is I can climb in the engine bay to work on my DD, but in his Bluebird the DD takes up the entire space....we both have the same 6V92 engine....it's just the way Bluebird constructed theirs that makes the difference. I can have an in frame rebuild....he would have to have his DD removed to rebuild it. And on it goes......

09-09-2012, 05:33 AM
Something that none of the articles touch on is the fact that I can actually go down to my Credit Union and get a loan on a 1985 Wanderlodge PT40 where as the Newell I cannot! Why the heck do the Newells not show up in the NADA guides? Are they all really that custom built? Surely they had standard floorplans to start from... That is the reason we are looking at very old Newells vs. younger BBs... very frustrating but I will buy one, drive it for a year or two, sell it and upgrade... just like we did with all our Foretravels

09-09-2012, 05:58 AM
Hi Pairodice,

Newells are custom built from the ground up and no 2 newells are a like. Most banks will not loan on an RV over 10 years old regardless of brand, which is why people tend to go with their credit unions if they are a member of one since most will loan if you have 1, the credit and 2, a good re-pore with them. If you get an appraisal on the newell coach you have picked out that might change the mind of the larger banks if your looking to get a loan. You have the right idea, drive it for a year or two the upgrade. I think that is what most do and the great thing about that is there will always be a buyer for a Newell so you really can't loose. To get an idea of the values take a peak at NewellClassifieds.com (http://www.newellclassifieds.com)

Hopefully I answered some of your questions,


09-09-2012, 02:50 PM
Adrian and Karen,
Yes they are that custom and as I know, they were built as ordered with a custom floor plan. I like the Birds and almost bought one that is until I went through our '82 Newell. Clarke's was built with ours for brothers and are decidedly different and yet similar.
I agree with Sean that an appraisal may help you get a loan. I would suggest that you discuss this with your Credit Union to see if this would suffice. I am a Marine Surveyor and appraise boats every day that I work. Some are very custom and some are junk. The better the underwriter, the more accreditation the appraiser needs. An Appraisal could also help with an insured value.
Having said all of this I wonder if Newell would be able to help with Replacement and Market Values on whatever you will be looking at.

09-09-2012, 03:08 PM
Wanderlodge probably built 3-4 times as many Rvs as Newell and not because they are any better but not as custom. I have owned a Wanderlodge two years newer than my Newell and I love my Newell more.

09-09-2012, 03:23 PM
I checked with my CU before and they will only use NADA value, not an appraisal, so I had not been looking at Newells, Prevosts, etc.
Is there any corrosion issues I should really check for when looking at a Newell?
I am used to the way Foretravel builds their coaches (all steel semi-monocoque). Should I be worried about the sections in a Newell where steel touches aluminum due to oxidation?
Did a 1974 come with 24.5 in wheels/tires? I hope so...

09-10-2012, 04:45 AM
If they truly only use NADA, that will be an issue. NADA does not list values for Newells. They are extremely low production and each one is different so they do not list them. They do list Blue Bird Wanderlodge and some of the Prevost conversions (Vogue, Marathon, Liberty, Country Coach, etc).