View Full Version : New owner with questions

03-11-2008, 01:32 AM
I am the new owner of #266 1991 Newell. Unfortunately, no "house" manuals were with the coach & I have a few questions.

Above the driver there is a 3 position switch labeled "transfer". To the right of the switch ther are labels "generator" & shoreline". The switch is currently in the middle position, and I get power from the cord and generator without moving the switch from the certer position. What is the function of this switch?

Is there a switch to adjusts the brightness of the dash lights ? Mine are a little dim.

In the plumbing bay, there is a thermostat on the pass. side. On the drivers side there is a electric heater. Even with the thermostat on off, the heater comes on when it is cold. What controls it, or is my theromstat bad?
There is also a box? below the thermostat. Any idea what it is?


03-11-2008, 05:11 AM
Congrats on your new coach, you picked the best built coach made!

The 'trasfer' switch is to manually switch the used power source from generator to shore power. If I recall correctly my coach has auto transfer of power source in the middle position with priority given to shore power when connected.

My dash light brightness is adjusted by rotating the knob the turns on/off the driving lights.

On my coach the electric heater in the storage bay is on the drivers side but the thermostat that controls it is on the passenger side of the storage bay. The electric heater takes a few seconds to spool up before I notice the it working.

Not sure what the box below the thermostat is without more detailed description.

Troy Tikalsky
Waconia, MN
1986 Newell

03-11-2008, 07:18 AM
Gordon, my '92 which was built about 6 months after yours does not have an automatic transfer switch. The center position of the toggle disconnects AC power from the generator and shorepower. For yours to work with both shorepower and generator in the center position you must have either an automatic transfer switch OR a serious flaw in your transfer box that is allowing power from both sources simultaneously. I hope it is the first as the second is VERY bad. Check the transfer switch, likely in the bay directly in front of the engine on the drivers side to confirm that it is automatic. Assuming it is an auto transfer switch, it would function as Troy has suggested to allow auto operation in the center position or force the use of just shorepower or just generator power in the lower and upper positions respectively.

On my coach the light switch is a 3 position toggle switch. To my knowledge there is no dimmer control for my dash lights. All of my gauges are illuminated in red which makes them even dimmer but is great on the highway at night since it doesn't require the eye adjustment that a brighter white illumination would.

Is your coach equipped with a Primus Heating System? If so, the thermostat may be tied to the Primus Heating System. There is a significant difference between the operation of a coach with the Primus system and a coach that doesn't have the Primus (or later AquaHot) system. After you let us know if you have Primus or not, it will be easier to provide guidance.

Since each coach is somewhat different, it can be a challenge to determine the exact location or purpose of certain items.

As Troy said, more information on the box below the thermostat in the bay would be helpful. Any wires or airlines coming out of it? Any switches or controls on it?

03-11-2008, 04:00 PM
here is how my box is set up. it is the box in the electrical bay at the back of the coach. the pictures are before i changed the lights and contactors. will update later.


here is the picture of the new contactors and new neon lights.


so, i replaced the indicator lights with linrose 120v ac pilot lights on the box in the electrical bay where the contactors are. i traced the wiring out on them and at least on my coach they only work when ground power is plugged in and on. i put green for the 120v and amber for the 240 and red for the polarity. the green is Linrose part number B2112A5. about 3 bucks apiece.

when plugged into my house power (15amp 120v), the two green 120v lights come on. of course the adapter plug shoots 120v to both legs so that makes sense. the 240 lights will only come on when you are plugged into a 50amp source.


again, it you look at how they are wired, they only come on when connected to shore power. no matter what position the gen/shore switch is in because they are powered off the incoming power.

the indicator lights in the coach are powered off of both shore and gen power.

the fuse with the red wires on it take power from the shore incoming power anytime there is power applied and sends it to the switch up by the driver. when the switch is in the shore position it routes that 120v back to the box in the bay (red with black stripe) and goes to the normally closed aux switch on the contactor for the generator (which if closed, would route the 120v through it over to the solenoid power to energize the shore power contactor. so the only way the shore power contactor can be engergized is if the generator contactor is not energized.

the fuse with the black wire on it does the same for the generator switch in the cockpit. anytime the generator is running there is 120v to the fuse headed up to the cockpit switch. when you put the switch in the generator position, the 120v is routed back on the black with white stripe wire to the contactor box where it heads to the aux switch on the shore power contactor. if the shore power contactor is not energized, it will allow the 120v through the switch to power the solenoid on the generator contactor.

pretty cool how they made sure you could not power from both. just like a generator transfer switch for a house only a bit more elegant.

i plan on updating this with the wiring for the meters and indicators lights that are up by the driver at some point.

the contactors are just solenoids, so if you leave your coach plugged in for long periods of time like mine, they just wear out and start buzzing. the new contactors are different looking than the old ones and require the add on switch i refer to in the diagram. the old ones have it, but it is obscurely hidden inside the contactor and is much different looking.

my coach has an Electrical Management System that is wired between the shorepower cord and the contactor box to stop bad power from causing any problems. an EMS HW-50b....the newest is the 50c. this i did not show in the wiring diagram. it has a control panel that tells the status of L1 and L2 by giving volts, amps and hertz along with an error code if there is any problem.

keep in mind this is for my 1990 and yours may be different., Michael Days is the same, so it is good for a couple of years at least.

also, as usual, no guarantees on accuracy, this is 120volts, so be very careful when working with it. disconnect everything including the invertor to be sure there is no AC anywhere that can find its way to your fingers.


03-12-2008, 05:45 AM

Since you don't have a manual, I have scanned and converted the Owner's Manual for my 1992 into a pdf file. This is a large file, approximately 4 MB. You are welcome to download it here:


03-13-2008, 01:22 AM
To Michael & Tom
Thanks you for your extraordinary efforts in responding to my questions.

Tom, I now fully understand the workings of this device. I do have an auto transfer switch, which I negelected to mention earlier.

Michael, the manual answered many questions on various items I was anticipating posting questions on.

My headlight switch is a 3 position toggle, so I assume the dash lights are fixed brightness.

I have 3 LPG furnaces, & 3 electric in the coach. The thermostat on the pass side of the plumbing bay is a Dayton, just like the others in the coach. I assume it is for the electric bay heater on the driver side, but again, with it in the off position, the heater still comes on @ +/- 40.

The box below this theromostat I asked about is +/- 6"L x 5"H x 1" D.
Appears to have 3 x 14-18 Ga wires going to it. Maybe the odor control control?

Tom, on another post, I reviewed your new TV installation. I am in the process of installing an 42" LCD in the front & 26" in the rear. I have run an HDMI cable to the rear & also the bay. Also ran coax just in case.
Because of the size of the front TV, I chose to build a bracket, & hang it from the roof hat section just forward of the front cabinet header. I had removed so much of the cabinet, I was concerned with it's integerety. The TV will pivot up & forward @ the bottom to avoid obstructions while traveling. Also will have glass doors made for the sides. I will post pictures as I get closer.
I noticed in your pictures, you removed the cove exterior panel. I know it must be removable to change the bulbs, but for the life I me I haven't fount the secret. I studied the area with a mirror, front to back. I'm guessing there are brackets like the ones that hold other panels. ie Rear fuse area, old front TV surround. It seems pretty loose along the bottom, but secure @ the top on the ends.

Again, Thanks guys, you a making my life much easier.


03-13-2008, 03:15 AM
can you clarify what cove panel you are talking about? they took me a while to figure out if you mean the front valences. i took a bullet camera and plugged it into the front tv to see the inside of the area to see how to do it.

the front valence is two pieces. the exterior that is upholstered. it has 8 or ten screws that go from the back plywood into the valence plywood. then it just comes off.

the back plywood is then easily taken off by a bunch of screws that you can see once the front piece is off. then you have access to everything.

btw, if you are going to do multiple hdmi, you will need an hdmi switch and if you want to view on multiple tv's at the same time, an hdmi distribution amp. both are quite expensive unless you shop for them.

i wish i could have done a 42" tv, but my ceiling height didnt allow for it and i wanted a fixed tv to watch while driving. yours sounds really cool and i would love to see pictures as you go.

btw, my dayton thermostat comes one even if it is off as well. i just got a new one and have not got it in yet.


Richard and Rhonda
03-13-2008, 01:43 PM

To each his own. My bus has the exact 42 inch setup you describe. The TV is mounted to an electric swing arm, hidden in a box grafted to the ceiling, all nicley covered in matching vinyl.

I #$%*(&(+ing hate it. Why? One it's too big because you are too close to it when sitting on the couches. Two, when it's down, it really limits access to the front seats. Three, it limits headroom. Four, it really fouls up access to the overhead panels up front where my generator controls and power guages are. Five, a 42 inch plasma puts off a lot of heat for such small space. It's hot in the winter, and I can only imagine what it is going to be like in the summer. Six, it is not aesthetically pleasing to me having that box grafted onto the ceiling. I guess this last one is really the issue for me.

If you find a way to recess the box into the ceiling would you let me know. If I could smooth out the lines a little, then this would be a completely different ballgame. If I could get that box up into the ceiliing so that it was flush or only protruded a couple of inches, then I would be a happy camper. I would install a small flat screen in front console, and still have the big plasma too.

As soon as I can talk the lovely bride into it, that arrangement is coming out. Only problem is that she likes it. You know how that goes.

Did I say I didn't like :!:

03-13-2008, 11:47 PM
I used cove as a description as the lights that are contained in them are labeled cove lights. Infact, I was was referring to the valance as you figured out. I was able to see the screws you referred to in my mirror, but felt, given the way a Newell is build, I expected something more elaborate.
Because I an single & travel by myself, I did not give consideration to being able to watch TV while on the road. For that same reason I did not worry about a HDMI amp.

I had to read your post a few time do determine if you really did not like your TV or placement. I think the key to your problem is the placement & not the TV size. I did quite a bit of research, before I purchased the 42" Toshiba LCD. Most of the the other 40 & 37" Tv were very close in exterior size. Also Consumer Reports rated it as a best buy.
As to mounting, mine will protrude 2 1/2" forward from the front of the existing cabinet, and at the same angle. It will protrude 6" below the cabinet, but only in the viewing position. It will be flush with the bottom of the existing cabinet in the travel position.
Now the down side. I purchased the TV on Ebay, & it arrived with a damaged screen. I guess I'm not too smart as I purchased another one on Ebay & it also arrived damaged! It is not currently available locally so I am somewhat @ a standstill.
I purchased this Newell on Ebay, my GTO & the Eagle bus & up to that point, had not had any problems.
Richard, I point this out, as this maybe an omen to putting a 42" TV for a Newell!


Richard and Rhonda
03-14-2008, 02:17 AM

I'll look forward to getting some pics when you get installed. You are right, the TV is fine, it's the execution of the placement that I dislike.


12-07-2008, 10:07 PM
TV's been done for a while & I really enyoy it
Attached are 5 pictures
more to come


12-07-2008, 10:20 PM
more TV pictures
Also installed a TV in the bedroom. Originally there was a mirror where I installed the TV. It was a bear to remove the mirroe, glued with RTV to the wall. I ruined some of the Formica below the TV. A sharp eye will notice I used a portion of the old front cabinet doors to cover the torn formica below the TV.

Richard and Rhonda
12-08-2008, 02:37 AM

I know that COACH !!!!

It was the first Newell I drove. I looked at it over at Mr. Olivers about two years ago. It got me hooked. It was in pretty good shape if I remember correctly. The only issue I remember is the steering box or front end had some play in it.

12-08-2008, 03:34 AM
what amazes me is the creativeness that everyone comes up with to do different tasks in these machines. each of us have a unique approach to how we make our modifications that work best for us.

nice work.


Richard and Rhonda
12-08-2008, 01:25 PM
That is a far superior setup than the one that is installed in my coach. I need to take some pictures and post them to illustrate how NOT to do it.

My TV box is grafted to the ceiling and when it swings down it is a good 18 inches rearward of the front fascia.

You have given me some ideas on how to rework it to keep the big screen, which my wife likes, and give me back the access and headroom, which I like.

Great job.

12-08-2008, 02:04 PM
That is one of the great things about this forum. The sharing of ideas sparks potential solutions to others.

12-08-2011, 02:12 PM
mounted mine on the bedroom window on a false wall to cover the window . and a 40in in the bay with stereo and xbox