View Full Version : Just looking

Stick Miller
02-26-2009, 10:00 PM
I live in the heart of Bluebird country - only 45 miles from whatever is left of the old Wanderlodge factory. Lately, Newell has piqued my interest for a variety of reasons and I'm reconsidering looking only at Bluebirds.

My wife and I are 4-5 years from retirement -depending on what the stock market does - and we will be doing some extended traveling.I grew up in an Airstream home, but my wife wants to ride! Where can I get information on the different models. Seems to me that there must be high end models and less high end models, I just don't know what to look for.

Where's a good guide to model number? Are there good and bad models? How about a model 2000

Stick Miller
Americus, Georgia

02-26-2009, 11:29 PM
Hi Stick, welcome to the website. All Newells regardless of vintage are great coaches. They are all built on the Newell chassis and have the best of materials and fabrics installed by craftsmen who care about their quality of workmanship.

Models prior to 1989 were known as Newell Classics. They didn't have slides and usually had 8V92 or 6V92 Detroit Diesel engines. Many are on the road today and they have a special place in the hearts of Newell lovers!

The Newell 2000 series began in 1990 and had larger windshields and a totally different look. Most of them had 8V92 DD engines. In 1997 Newell installed a slide room and some models had 2 slides. Also, the 2000 series had many upgrades: total electric coach with inverters to power refrigerator etc when the generator was not running and independent front suspension for a shorter turning radius.

I'll stop here because I am not that familiar with the newer ones and their corresponding model designations. Michael Day had a post awhile back that explained the newer models clearly.

Hope this has helped you. I had a 1987 Newell Classic, a 1993 Newell 2000, and presently have a 1999 Newell 2000 w/2 slides.

If you would like to see several different Newell models come to our mini rally in Austin, TX this April 19-23. You can ask questions and see the different coaches from Newell Classics to a 2009 Newell quad slide (Mike Haddox's coach). We would really like to meet you and answer some of your questions.

Stick Miller
02-27-2009, 02:17 PM
This can be a daunting task! So much to look at and such a buyer's market. Your information is appreciated

Richard and Rhonda
02-27-2009, 02:23 PM


Just to add to Tuga's comments, a bit of explanantion may help. Unlike other manufacturers, Newell did not make different levels of coach, so the term models is not applicable in the same sense that it would be with Monaco or Newmar for example.

Newell did change "model" designations when they underwent body style changes over the years as Tuga did a nice job of explaining.

The Newells were all custom built, and vary from serial number to serial number in their mix of features depending on the options and layout that the owner wanted.

You will find many similarities between Newell and BB in the use of robust and redundant systems. Most of the systems used are fairly straight forward to work on. Many of us looked hard at BB's.

If you want to narrow your search, I would suggest using the following criteria to help.

Decide what your budget is. That will put you in the year range.

If you want the four stroke Detroit Diesel, you will have to start with model year 1995. If you want slides then start with 97 or 98.

Look at the classified section on this site. Look at the used ones for sale at the Newell site. That will give you a good idea. You will see that the change from year to year is more evolutionary than revolutionary. In one way that's good, because Newell didn't have to debug a new design every other year, and in another way it's a bad business model cause it doesn't give the hots to trade up every other year either. :-)

All of the Newell coaches are built on similar chassis. Over the years Newell changed vendors of suspension and what not, but the construction technique is very similar across the years.

Richard and Rhonda
02-27-2009, 02:24 PM
An oh yea,

Say hey to Jimmy Carter for us.

02-27-2009, 03:03 PM
when i started looking for a coach i knew i wanted a bus. so i spent 4 months looking at bluebirds, almost buying several different ones. then a friend said i should give a newell a look. i did and i was hooked. given what i know now, i would have been happy with either, but on the older ones like i have, the many systems in the coach need some tinkering that comes with age and those many systems on a wanderlodge are larger in number. like electric drapes, etc.

i have to admit, i have done a ton of work on my coach. some of it to fix stuff, but most to update it.

i have no regrets. there are more wanderlodges out there for sale usually at any one time so that makes it easier a tad, but you generally still have to travel to go look at either.

any of us that have gone through the search process would be glad to talk to you. if you want to talk, just private message me with your number and i will give you a call.



02-27-2009, 04:02 PM
Hi Stick...welcome to the forum! After looking at Monaco's, Safari's, and other Class A DP's of that sort I stumbled across my 1982 Newell on Craig's List, of all places. I had never heard of Newell before. We weren't looking for anything over 20 years old, but more like 10 years old. After seeing this one in person we were hooked, and have no regrets. The quality is startling. Ours is extremely lotech, which I love. Means I can work on most things myself. Like others have said, there will be at least 11 coaches at the mini-rally in Texas in April ranging from Classics, to series 2000's. It would be a great opportunity to see a wide variety of Newell's all in one place at the same time.

02-27-2009, 05:28 PM
Welcome Stick. As with the others, when I was looking to move up to a quality coach, I looked at Prevost conversions, Wanderlodges and Newells. The Newell met our needs and desires.

Prices of all motorcoaches have been dropping lately due to the economy and the credit crunch. Anyone with the cash can get a deal on a used top end coach these days. Newell just sold a 1996 Series 60, no slide (slides started with the 1997 models) for $100,000. That was a killer deal!!

As others have stated, has always built only one 'line' of coach. Each Newell has been high quality construction for its time. Certainly the features, size and weight of Newells have grown over the years as with most coaches but attention to detail, quality and customization to meet the owners desires have remained top priority with Newell.

There is no coach manufacturer that has offered the degree of customization that Newell has. Building their own chassis using a proprietary design allows amazing flexibility in interior layout. Newell has had several 'model' changes over the past 40 years. The most notable were 1972 with the introduction of the rear diesel engine units, the introduction of the widebody models in 1986, the introduction of the Series 2000 in 1990, the use of the Series 60 in mid production year of 1994 and the availability of a two height raised roof in 1995 to allow still more headroom, the introduction of slides in 1997, the introduction of the bath and a half in 1998, a front cap redesign and a change to the Boden air operated entry door in 2000, the incorporation of triple and quad slides in 2001, the switch to Valid electric slides in 2003, incorporation of the ZF suspension with the steerable tag in 2004, the introduction of the 2000i model which incorporated the roof mounted awnings in 2005, and the introduction of the P2000i (P being the Porsche design) in late 2006.

No two Newells are exactly the same. Although in any given year, there were 'standard' floor plans available, most owners personalized the coach layout and decor to meet their particular desires. Through the years, many Newell owners have returned their coaches to Newell for updates, both interior and exterior. Changes, both styling, features and powertrains, were made during mid model years and if the customer has a fetish toward a particular engine, an individual coach might have a Cummins or a Cat or a Detroit substituted for whatever engine was typically being installed at that time. Certain owners always ordered a layout with a bidet or an oversized kitchen.

Let us know how we can help.

Stick Miller
03-11-2009, 09:13 PM
OK, guys. Having read every word on this website and every other one containing the word Newell (I now know how to install a newell post), I'm getting there. I think I'm going to want an 86 or an 87 since I like the widebody and that is closer to my price range. Anything newer would have mega-miles on it to be affordable.

I guess it still goes back to the question, how did you make up your mind - Bluebird vs. Newell. I think I know the answer and I believe it has to do with relative simplicity of systems. I am also concerned about changes at Bluebird that I don't see happening at Newell.

I wanted to thank all for the warm welcome. I haven't convinced my wife yet, but I am working on her. Thanks again.

03-11-2009, 09:35 PM
Bluebird vs. Newell decision making was easy for us. Georgia liked the interior of the Newell better than any of the Bluebirds we looked at. When Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy.

Seriously, the Newell is hard to beat when it comes to livability and that was extremely important to us. I love instrumentation, which is a strength of the Bluebirds but the roominess and understated elegance of the Newell interior was the deal maker for us. Secondly, Newell's tech support is second to none. Bluebirds have great on-line forums but with Bluebird's recent closure it is up in the air what will happen to records, documentation, etc. This forum helps take some of the load off of Newell's fabulous tech support but it is great to know that the folks that built your rig are available to help. Additionally, Newell's 24/7 emergency hotline is superb. I have had to use it late at night when my headlights went out in the middle of nowhere on I-8 in Arizona. I did the basic troubleshooting but they had one of their electricians call me back and pointed out that based on the diagnostics I had already done on my own I likely had a bad dimmer switch. He told me which wires to jumper and I had low beams again and could continue my trip with a stop the next morning to a Chevy dealer in Yuma for a replacement switch. That level of support is just not available with Bluebird.

03-11-2009, 11:25 PM

value wise, the prices have come way down the last couple of years so you should be able to find something nice for a fair price. i wouldnt rule out the early 90's as there has been a few great deals on them lately.

i have to admit, after spending some time with wally and jim with their 88 and 87 coaches, i really love the look of that body style. theirs are beautiful.

if you want to call and talk about any of this, please private message me your phone number and i will give you a call.



03-11-2009, 11:58 PM
Hey Stick:

Welcome. My wife and I own a 1992 Newell, very similar to Michael and Georgia's(fulltiming). We had not owned anything prior to this and are now going on four years of experience. We are very satisfied for the reasons others have metioned afore. What I am most pleased with, is that, I am not nearly as capable or technically savvy as these owners on this site. I have relied on them for assistance with minor challenges that have come up over the years. I am so grateful for their availability and generous assistance with simple solutions, manuals and even private phone calls. Secondly, as Michael mentioned, the 24/7 service hotline with the Newell Factory is really tremendous. Simply decades of experience at your fingertips day and night. Their policy is a return call within 15 minutes. That is very comforting and I have used it and have been treated with respect, even though ours is a 1992. Imagine that. Newell's quality and luxury are simply unmatched and these helpful owners on this website make it a total win/win.

Clarke has a great suggestion to please come out to our mini rally in Austin, TX April 19-23rd. You would be welcome to tour our coach, and I'm sure many others.

In summary, our 1992 with four years of ownership now, has been a very pleasant experience with minimal challenges. I'm quite happy about that. We have put 10,000 miles on it in that time and have plans for another 10,000 in the next 15 months. We are quite excited about this lifestyle and opportunity to meet new folks and make fast friends. We hope to welcome you into the Newell family.

David and Denise

Stick Miller
03-20-2009, 02:09 AM
Thanks guys, for all the replies. As I look around I notice that there are those with tag axles and those without. Any advantages to the tag vs. non? I will not be able to come to TX for the Rally...I have trouble getting to Perry GA, which hosts its share of rallies - hopefully when I retire. I'm still looking.

03-20-2009, 03:57 AM
Tag axles are put on longer, heavier coaches. Newells have gotten heavier through the years and longer through the years. When coaches are less than 38'-40' and weighs less than 30,000-36,000 pounds, a tag axle is not required. When length and weight increases, a tag axle is needed. A tag does add some weight, some complexity and takes up bay space but it increases load carrying capacity and increases straight line stability.

Newell added a tag axle to a single coach for the first time in 1978 but didn't build any other coaches with tag axles until 1986. Since then, tags have been used on most coaches 39' and longer although through the '80's, a 40' could still be ordered without a tag. By 1987, a 40 footer had a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating without a tag of 35,200 and one with a tag had a GVWR of 45,200.

03-20-2009, 05:00 AM

my 38' 1990 has no tag. it is rare i know, but i like it a lot. i still have a gvwr of a little over 40,000 pounds by my vin plate.

i have talked to several people who loved the non tag newells. like michael says, if you get 40 foot or over the weight becomes the reason for the tag.

mine at 38 foot is easy to park and turn and according to michael who has driven mine a little, it is much easier to make turns with than his...though his is 5-6 feet longer and has the room inside it mine doesnt.

i was concerned when the coach i bought didnt have a tag and talked to some people at newell and they said they were great coaches, so it made me not worry any more about it.

i have now put about 13-14k miles on mine the last two years and love it.

hey, it is cheaper on tires too......


03-20-2009, 05:49 AM
I, too, love my non-tag Newell...of course I own one of the shorter ones made at 36', but I can get into tight places...was at Yosemite last year and squeezed into a 35' pad on a narrow interior road with trees in all the wrong places. Recently spent the weekend at Faria County Park (Rincon Parkway just north of Ventura) and was able to back into one of the tightest spots ever, while other coaches my length, or longer had to pull forward into the same tight spots. As I maneuvered my coach at 9pm at night and the locals gathered loudly predicting my demise, I backed into the spot first try. Anyway, I love my coach!!!

03-20-2009, 01:18 PM
Stick - I am no expert on such things, but I often wonder whether the non-tags might contribute to better fuel mileage. Less tires on the ground = less rolling resistance. I have an '87 40' 6V92 non-tag and love the 9.9 mileage that it delivers. I don't have any friends that get that kind of mileage. It is 38,900 on the vin.

I also agree with the statement about tire savings. I just put new Michelins all the way around and would not have wanted to buy 2 more.

Larry P.

03-20-2009, 04:52 PM

i think the 9.9mpg must be related to having two less huge pistons sucking up diesel fuel. my coach is a non tag 8v92 that gets around 7mpg.

9.9x.75 (2 fewer pistons)= 7.4mpg

hey, all those years in engineering school and a minor in math allows me to do such complicated calculations....

9.9mpg is fantastic.


Show 488
03-20-2009, 05:32 PM
Stick, I love the tag axle, the improved stability is very reassuring. My wife & I once watched a non-lifting tag maneuvering around in a fuel stop, looked like he left 2000 miles worth of rubber on ground due to the tire scrubbing. At the time we owned a Pre-Monaco, Beaver Marquis 40’ w/o tag and thought we would never want to own all that extra weight, tires Etc… Well, the Newell has a much tighter turning Radius than the Beaver, due to the shorter wheelbase with the tag lifted. We tow a Jeep on all fours, and manage 6.8 -7.2 mpg with a 8V92 running @ 68 – 70 mph.

03-20-2009, 07:04 PM
Duanne, does your tag actually lift? The tag axle Newells that I am familiar with dump the air pressure to the tag but do not actually lift the tag off the ground. With the tag dumped, you do get a smaller turning radius and don't scrub the tires much since only the weight of the wheel, tire and brake are apply any downward force. Those coaches with lifting tags actually have springs that hold the tag off the ground when you dump the air.

Weight is the largest contributor to fuel consumption. Of course engine size is also a factor. My coach with my PT Cruiser attached (total weight of about 48,500 lbs) gets about 6.4 mpg without the generator and about 6.0 with the generator on when traveling. Many 8V92's get about 5 to 5-1/2 mpg pulling around 48,000 lbs.

Show 488
03-21-2009, 12:12 AM
Michael, I think it just unloads, but when the tag is dumped you can actually see daylight under the Tag Tires, haven’t actually measured the clearance. I think how much clearance you get under the tag is directly proportional to the Rear Suspension height valve setting.... That said, I should probably start checking the “Travel dimension or Travel Height Setting” just to make sure all is well. Usually run down the road with 25 psi on the tag. I only dump the when rolling under approx. 10 mph or so to make sure we’re not flat spotting the tires with Brake application.


Show 488
03-21-2009, 01:05 AM
Michael, after discussing the clearance under the Tag with my wife (The “Real Navigator”) it turns out that she’s only seen the Clearance under the Tag when getting out of our driveway at home (inclined). When I’m pulling the coach out, I have to raise the rear suspension all the way up to get the necessary clearance, I’m sure that the rear system has not fully returned to Travel Height when we have noticed the Clearance under the tires, I will follow this up after getting the Coach out for our next trip.

Attached are a couple of pictures showing the Newell pad under construction, before the final Concrete pour, as you can, it’s an interesting elevation change in a short distance.