View Full Version : Hello from Montana

09-07-2013, 06:09 AM
I'm a former BlueBird owner and loved my coach. Still scratching my head over why I sold the old girl.

Now in the research phase to find another top flight coach, but still about 2 years away from a purchase.

Living in Montana, 40 foot or greater coaches and tag axles are not practical. For the most part, the newer coaches are too big for me, although they look great. Of course, money comes into play as well.

Saw an '83, 36 foot Newell a couple of weeks ago that would be dandy for me and the wife. We want to see the USA in a...fine motor coach, equal to my old Bird or better.

So I'm here to learn and eventually get some guidance.

Best regards,
Griz aka Steve

09-07-2013, 11:34 AM
Welcome, there are many people here who are super knowledgeable about Newell's and are more than happy to share

09-07-2013, 01:55 PM
Welcome Steve, there is a few that are looking for the same thing, shorter quality coaches that are a little more practical for getting into tighter spots, they are not very common, a few of us are working on upgrading some of these, stay tuned...

09-07-2013, 03:28 PM
Welcome to the Luxury Coach Lifestyle family Steve. We'll have fun here and hope to share a lot of information. Montana is a great state to live and visit and whatever you may end up with in a Newell or any other pristine type of luxury coach you will be always welcomed here.

The Newell
09-07-2013, 03:57 PM
Hello & Welcome Steve,

I hope you are enjoying the Newell Forums, You have just found and joined the friendliest & most informative website pertaining to Luxury Coach Ownership on the web. If you have any questions/answers please feel free to post them or to send one of us moderators a private message. We are all here to help so don't be afraid to call on us!

Welcome Again!


09-07-2013, 05:07 PM
:welcome: Griz to LCL-Luxury Coach Lifestyle. So glad you found us Steve and we are here to assist you in your quest any way we can. I along with many others around here are also Wanderlodge enthusiasts. You have a taste for extreme classic quality in luxury motor coaches. You will fit in and get along just fine around here. As Rellick state above, there are a select group of us trying to bring some pretty cool offerings in the way of upgraded customized flare to the classics and or shorties. I have been contemplating similar thoughts as I have owned three Newells under 40 feet and have driven others over that including bus conversions and really like the advantages of the shorter models. So, I've been thinking real hard about a classic cruiser converted with a couple of slide-outs.

09-07-2013, 11:38 PM
Welcome aboard Steve. Be a little cautious when chatting with Ken, he's known as a little bit of a tease, ie; his "Name the Classic" contest he's been teasing us with for, what seems like, an eternity, other then that he's a great guy with lots of knowledge about Luxury Coaches. This forum along with Newells 24/7 service line makes Newell a solid choice! Sounds like you have some nice travel plans in your future. Driving a Newell on your adventures would be pleasant as well as sharing your stories and pics, on this forum, with fellow enthusiists. Good Luck in your quest!

09-08-2013, 04:33 AM
Welcome Steve it's good to have you! I know you'll enjoy this forum we have a great bunch that are full of knowledge and wisdom when it comes to Newell coaches. Good luck on the hunt for a new coach.

11-13-2013, 09:40 PM
I am resigned to a long search. 38' pusher with a full basement would be the optimal size, but I've not seen any of those. I don't know how tag axles would do on the roads that I travel.

I'll keep looking...

11-13-2013, 09:44 PM
They're out there griz. I just traded a 1993 39' no tag Newell for a 45' double slide.
The 39' was much more maneuverable. I think any Newell 40' or longer will have a tag.

11-13-2013, 09:58 PM
Wasn't there a 96 sine axel in New Mexico for sale last month

11-13-2013, 11:55 PM
I may have one for sale closer to spring if you are interested pm me

Ron Skeen
11-14-2013, 12:20 AM
First motorhome I own was a 40', then went to 34', then 40', then 45', then 45'8". Going down the interstate the longer with a tag the better and in tight parks, shorter the best. Once you get use to what your driving it become a matter of what you want to do and where you want to stay. I am reducing my 96 from 99K to 95K and the 04 from 399K to 380K. Need to sell one. Email for pictures and info.

11-14-2013, 12:43 AM
Welcome Steve,

What year range are you seeking? I know of a few early to mid 80's for sale.

11-14-2013, 12:45 AM
The lower priced united is within reach, but not until Fall of 14.

I've expected to learn that a 40 w/tag is better down the road than a 40 w/o tag. However, for my purposes, a 40 may not make it where I go to the edges of the Montana wilderness. I always thought that it would be tough going for a 35' w/3 topside AC units going down the Forest Service roads that I enjoy so much.

If I could support multiple busses, I'd have a little one and a big one.
I can't, so I must make a sound compromise.
That's so easily said….

11-14-2013, 01:05 AM
Hey Ron I told a guy looking for a series 60 no slide about yours, told him it maybe best no slide out there..

Ron Skeen
11-14-2013, 01:52 AM
Thanks for the reference. I had installed (stand alone) auto gen start on the 89 with a Freedom modify sine inverter/charger and on the 96 with a Magnum Pure Sine inverter charger and auto gen start. No problem with either. I have a magnum (stand alone) auto gen start for the 04 that I have not installed yet on the xantrex prosine inverter. I have used auto gen start for the last 12 years and have never had any problems.


11-14-2013, 05:44 PM
For highway travel handling the longest legal coach will get you there most comfortably. For off highway handling you want the shortest coach you can live with. Since you seem to be most interested in "country roads take me home" John Denver style, it would seem to me you want the shortest coach you can live with for the length of stay you wish to have. For me the length of stay is a large determinant of what would work. I can live in a pop-up for a couple days, though my wife wouldn't. After that I would be really eager to have more of my own stuff. I once had a 28ft Airstream motorhome that we took into some pretty wild places, the limitations were more due to height than to width or length. The other limiting factor is weight, given its weight I took that 28 footer places I wouldn't even consider with my current 39 foot Newell. I love the Newell but it certainly will not reliably go, and return from, places we quite easily went in the Airstream.

Since you appear to highly respect the Newell's quality I would suggest you think about the characteristics of locations you wish to visit, define the motorhome characteristics that best fits those locations, and then determine the highest end manufacturer that makes coaches to those characteristics. Getting fixated on a brand best fits at the end of the selection process rather than on the beginning.. The question is what motorhome is best at doing what I want to do, not that I would like to own. If it does what you want to do you will like it in the end.

11-14-2013, 06:18 PM
There were no tag axles made prior to 1987 to my knowledge, even on the 40' models. I have seen a few coaches made since then that were shorter than 40' without tags.

11-14-2013, 07:32 PM
We just toured through Montana and other states in our 40 non-tag Newell and we had no problems, although there are length restrictions in some of the National Parks. We spent 90 % of our time on the secondary roads at high elevation and tight turns with no problems. 40' is perfect in my mind, lots of room to relax and quite easy to manoeuvre.

11-14-2013, 09:53 PM
I do like the older Newells & Birds real well; had some bad experiences with tupperware "coaches." Even coaches like the Beaver, Foretravel, and Country Coach give me pause - though I know that I should know better.

If it does what you want to do you will like it in the end.

Finding one that does all of that and pleases the wife too would be a miracle :laugh:

I've made quite a bit of going into the Montana Forest, but only once did I need to leave my Bird behind and drive into the woods in my dinghy. …so what's another 4-5 feet in length…as long as it's not "Going to the Sun" road.

I've never had much luck at buying things based on my research and my imagined needs, so doing that with a coach is a high dollar game of chance. I imagine there will be few disappointments buying a classic Bird or Newell; I know what to expect from those coaches…everything else, IMO, is a crapshoot.

That said, I truly appreciate the reasoned response.

11-15-2013, 01:14 AM
One thing that's really nice on my '86 is the airbag leveling. I can raise the coach well above normal ride height and leave the leveling switch on and drive the coach. I wouldn't want to do this while traveling down the highway, but wouldn't hesitate to do it to navigate off paved road to get to a 'special' site.

11-15-2013, 06:27 PM
Ground clearance would be one of my biggest concerns travelling on back roads, also trees. I also wouldn't find one with a super nice paint job. I would carry a chainsaw and a winch just in case.

11-15-2013, 07:38 PM
I just came back from hunting. My buddy & I discussed driving a coach around today's trails. It's his opinion it can be done. The paint job would surely suffer and the chance of banging into tree limbs is a real problem. However, ground clearance isn't the biggest problem, really, but the chance of getting high centered would really make a guy's day. :crying:

11-15-2013, 09:16 PM
Were getting a fresh dump of snow here, going out to find a cow moose in the morning. What are you hunting for?
You could go with a 96" wide vs the 102" also build some guarding for the ac units. Perhaps some guards for the front that you can mount with pins then take them off and stow them on the roof for when your not in the bush, maybe something like the gladiator!!lol

11-16-2013, 02:33 PM
Keith, I hope you get that cow!:thumbsup: What a big prize that would be.

Griz, if you are really liking the back roads and trails you may be best in a classic of 40' or less do to all the clearance issues. I think the rounded roof will be less likely to shave off tree limbs..... and way easier for paint touch up if or whenever needed. Like Keith has stated, 96" wide would trim some fat as well, and if that's the case look at '85 and back.

11-16-2013, 03:08 PM
I'm hunting for a black bear, a bull elk, and either a breeding white tail buck or a 3-4 year old mule deer buck. We saw bear tracks yesterday, but last night's big snow in the mountains may have put the black bear to bed. An elk would be a happy accident. It won't be difficult to get a buck if I put in the time.

All along I've been thinking late 80s or early 90s classic coach, but the re-power job makes it possible to go back further.
One of my concerns about the classics, though, is that old things break and coach repairs ain't cheap. Of course, with the forum, getting a trustworthy mechanic should be much easier :thumbup:

Thanks for all of the input.

11-16-2013, 03:23 PM
Having owned a 77 coach for 10 years I have to say I'm amazed at the number of things that were original and still functioning when I sold it this summer. Depending on your skills there is much that can be done yourself and save a ton a money. It really is a matter of buying it according to what is needed and being thoroughly realistic about it. As long as the engine is in good condition I wouldn't care what vintage it was, but the older it gets the more thorough job I would do to verify its condition.

Finding one your wifie likes depends on your wifie. The 77 I sold this summer, the wife was the one that instigated the buying. It's a matter of taste, she either likes the traditional stuff or she doesn't. And if she doesn't I have no clue what penalty you will pay but I'm thinking somewhere between big and HUGE.

In real estate it's location, location, location. With these older coaches it's condition, condition, condition. My 77 coach over a 10 year period probably cost me no more than I'm expecting the 93 coach will cost me over the same period.