rules of thumb in how old of a newell coach to buy
Are there any rules of thumb in how old of a Newell Motor Home to buy? Also, if you go back too far there might be problems getting engine parts or coach parts. 5 years would seem to be no problem. What about 8,10 or 15? We know most people buy them around that age, but what are the pros and cons if any?
There really isn't a rule of thumb on how old of a Newell coach someone should buy. I would say it depends on your needs and budget. If you want an older vintage Newell you can find them but they will most likely need a lot of fixin. If you are wanting a project you will find one. However there are older ones that have already had updates and redos and have been well maintained. If you want one ready to go and with less things to fix a newer coach maybe the better route. Have you checked the NewellClassifieds.com ? Once you have an idea of a budget and your needs from a coach then you can narrow it down.
Honestly, Newell's are no different than a lot of vehicles out there, the older they get does make it tougher to obtain certain parts. However, you may be surprised to know that Newell Coach has a great inventory of many parts going way-back. There are some part numbers that are tougher to get, but many of us have found everything we have ever needed and we try to list those items in posts throughout this site. I have worked on '76 to '86 Newell's, and have found most everything I have ever needed for the engine, body and interior. Some items have improved replacements now available and upgrading can be a blast. There have been instances where I have either made or had made parts within a very reasonable scope. I'm not afraid of any era of Newell, just love them all.........
Previous Owner of 3 Newell's
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"I know I’m not perfect, and I don't live to be. But before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean."
I have never heard of a rule of thumb other than people try to compare age of MH and RV's to that of cars or pickups and that just don't hold water.
My opinion RV's do not get the mileage on the engine and chassis as an automobile so something that is 10 years old or so could still have relative low mileage. I think you need to keep a close eye on the "house" parts - Refrig, Micro, fresh water pump, water heater, upholstery drawers and cabinets. These are the things that gets wore out - oh yeah and some of the electrical system if equipped with inverters, converters and who knows what else "verters".
My suggestion would be to invest in a qualified RV technician to go over an older coach and look for those things that we don't even know to look for.
You may be looking at this from the wrong direction. I would suggest that you firstly decide what you are looking to do with the coach..dry-camping..weekend use..full time use. Now you should decide what power plant you want. Once you make those decisions and how much you are willing to spend then the age and size should fall into place.
I agree with the previous posts, an older coach may need up-grades and repairs. These can be challenging but if you have the knowledge and the skill will be very gratifying.
have Coach will Travel
Steve & Tricia
1982 Newell 38' (built before #1) 6V92 DD, 5 Speed Allison, 12.5 KW Kohler, Couch used to make into a Bed but I fixed it! https://newellshowcase.com/thumbnails.php?album=214
2007 Yukon, 1981 CJ7 Laredo, 2002 Honda CRV, 1955 Thunderbird, 1952 Pontiac Sedan Delivery, 1952 Ford 8N, 1958 Airstream, 1959 Glasspar 16' Avalon, Cabin in the Woods........what will I work on next
Steve makes very excellent points. Assuming your usage is not in conflict, you will typically be best served by buying 1) a coach in the best possible condition (unless you are looking for a bargain fixer upper), 2) the newest coach you can afford (better availability of parts) and 3) the coach that most fits your traveling preferences (an older, shorter coach with propane may be a better fit if you like to dry-camp off the beaten path in national forests or parks).
You will notice that there are numerous members of this forum that have a blast in their 70's and 80's Newells. The total investment they have in their coach is likely less than a years depreciation on a couple of year old Newell and it serves their purpose better. Many locations, such as California State Parks and many National Parks, are just not suitable for a 45' or longer coach (about all that has been built in recent years).
All vehicles have normal maintenance that needs to be done. All coaches will have normal maintenance to be done. I don't own a vehicle that is more than 2 years old because with an older vehicle comes more than just your normal maintenance. I don't want to waste my time worrying about things. I need to get in and go where I need to go.
A coach is a tad different as it can handle more years and miles under it's belt. My coach is a 2005 but I am already looking to upgrade. With my needs and wants in my case I don't want a Newell that is 10 years old. So, I am looking for a newer Newell before it reaches the 10 year mark. The older it is the more it will need and there will be more chances of major repairs. Don't get me wrong I know that major repairs can be needed even on newer coaches too. I don't do my own repairs I take it in to my mechanics and the less problems I have the better it is for me.
Pull up a chair, have a drink and let's discuss your question . Newell's are designed for the long haul and I would not hesitate buying a 10 year old Newell, even a 20 year old Newell if all the records are present and you know it was well cared for.
In my opinion purchasing a newell that is 8-10 years should only be considered if 1) The purchaser realizes that with age there could be repairs needed on the coach due to it's age and how well it was maintained by the previous owner/s
2) The purchaser should be very familiar with all operations of the coach including chassis components etc (this will help during inspection)
3) Purchaser should be mechanically inclined and able to do some of the needed repairs himself unless you can afford
to pay for your repairs. For myself I would want to stay as current in the model year as my funds would allow and wait for the right deal to come along and upgrade to a newer model.