I've owned two motorhomes, the last being new 2001 Country Coach Intrigue (40' w/2 slides). I was retired and full-timed in it for about three years, then sold it and returned to sticks and bricks (and work). I'm another few years from my next motor home and today I've narrowed my choices to either Foretravel or Newell. Couple of reasons: 1) they're both still in business and 2) RV Consumer Group ratings for dependability and value. I've seen classifieds here for coaches under $100k (wow!). I figure I'll not full-time again but rather spend half a year or so on the road. I know Newell's are built from the ground up and use 'bridge' construction. Beyond that I don't know much about leveling systems in older coaches, suspension or weight ratings for axles, etc. Safety and durability rule, then comes comfort and esthetics. I choose quality over size (in houses and motor homes). Most conversions look like they were decorated by the same people who do Vegas hotel rooms (yuk!). Give me simple luxury with quality woods, fabrics, and stone or tile.I think I prefer the Series 60 engine and I loved the independent front suspension of my Country Coach. I think in all this is a request for your recommendations on what to look for in older or vintage Newells. I think a journey to Miami is in order also!
Welcome Gene. I think we can provide some information that will get you started in the right direction. First, I would suggest that you try to tour a few Newells and Foretravels. There are some similarities and some significant differences. Exterior - Foretravel - Fiberglass, Newell - Aluminum. Interior - Foretravel - wood, Newell - laminates (generally). Series 60 first became available on the Newell during the 1994 Model Year (some 8V92 and some Series 60). By 1995 they should be primarily Series 60's. I say primarily because Newell is custom and if someone insisted on a Cat or Cummins, Newell would install it. Both Foretravel and Newell made coaches that were much more subtle than many of the Vegas hotel room interiors of the conversion buses. Pick a year and I can probably give you some idea of the weight ratings for the Newells. They are fairly heavy coaches but typically have 5,000 or 6,000 pounds + carrying capacity. Newell had a major styling change in 1990 when the 2000 Series was born. Many still prefer the Classic (pre-1990) body style. Newell started selling large numbers tag axle coaches in the late 1980's. The 1987 tag axle Newell had a GVWR of 45,200 lbs (13,200 front, 22,000 drive and 10,000 tag). Without the tag, drop 10,000 pounds since the tag doesn't exist. At this time, the suspensions were 2 air bags per side per axle using HWH air leveling system. Over time, the GVWR started creeping upward. By 1995 GVWR was 46,000 lbs. Independent suspension arrived in some 1996 models. The IFS dropped back to 1 air bag on each side on the front axle. 1997 saw the first slide equipped Newell. Steve Magown's 1997 Coach 458 may be the first Newell with a slide. Bath and a half started in 1998. By 1999 GVWR was up to about 51,640 pounds on slide out equipped models. 2001 saw the introduction of the first triple and quad slide Newells. During 2003 some Newells were switched from HWH to Valid air leveling and slides and a major switch from basement air to roof airs to better deal with the multiple slides interfering with air circulation. During the 2004 model year was the beginning of the ZF steerable tag axles. 2005 was the introduction of the 2000i Series. By this time the GVWR was closing in on 60,000 pounds and many of the Newells were being equipped with CAT's rather than Detroit Diesel Series 60's. During the 2006 model year, Newell introduced the P2000i. By 2009 the GVWR had hit 63,600 pounds.
Typically Newells have had a GCWR of 20,000 pounds greater than the GVWR so with the right hitch you could tow a 20,000 pound trailer.
Take a look at the gallery and you will see the interiors and exteriors of Newells through the years.