These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
By Tony Barthel
For 2021, Newmar has gone through its Canyon Star line and stepped things up significantly. The 2021 Canyon Star now sits on a Freightliner MC chassis which has a 30,000 lb. GVW and sports a 340 horsepower Cummins diesel engine up front that boasts 700 ft-lbs of torque.
This new chassis also now incorporates air brakes and a rear air suspension, and comes in models from 35-39 feet in overall length. For 2021, RVBusiness named the Canyon Star 3719 one of its top ten RVs, and the changes to the model are significant.
First of all, gone is the Ford chassis and gasoline V8 with that Freightliner chassis and front diesel engine in its place. That means a new instrument panel with significantly larger displays including an optional Rand McNally RV-specific GPS wherein you plug the dimensions and specifics of this coach in, and it is better at keeping you out of places where you don’t belong.
Also larger due to the new chassis are the storage bay doors which are a full 2 1/2 inches taller than last year’s model. Inside those storage bays, you’ll find upgraded lighting as well.
There is now an Apex motion-sensing awning that has no arms down the side of the coach and which retracts when it senses wind. I can’t tell you how many customers came into our dealership and wanted their awnings covered under warranty because the wind ripped them off the side of their RVs. That isn’t going to happen with this kind of system.
Another improvement is a one-piece fiberglass roof which means potentially less maintenance and longer life. I don’t know why this isn’t common in the whole RV industry but Newmar has been a leader in a lot of factors for some time. They have been a smaller family-owned company for years and the value of that was seen by Winnebago who bought the company in September of 2019.
While I’ve seen some RVs that have been advertised as luxurious places to be, Newmar absolutely delivers with this model and the newly upgraded interior really does come across as a place to enjoy in luxury. The upholstery and furnishings all speak to being of high quality and with great attention to the customer experience.
In fact, I am somehow visually drawn to the new ceiling relief which I think is beautiful. But, again, beauty is always subjective.
What isn’t subjective is the potential enjoyment of the tankless water heater that provides “endless” hot water. The king-sized bed is nice, but the optional Sleep Number upgrade is even more so. There is also a quiet diesel-powered Onan 6kW generator standard on these, with an optional 8kW generator if you really want the power.
A question we used to get a lot at the dealership was about the entertainment systems and why they didn’t accommodate Blu-ray players. That wouldn’t be a question a Newmar salesperson would shy away from at all, as there are two in the Canyon Star – one in the dining area and a second in the bedroom – and they have Bose soundbars through which to blast the crystal-clear sound.
The TV in the dining room is on a stand that raises and lowers and is on the passenger side by the dinette, which makes sense as the lounge and recliner are on the opposite side.
There were a few things that left me scratching my head with this unit, but only a few and all of them were subjective. The first was the lack of a proper oven, but I guess I just like to cook and bake. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s a convection microwave, but give me a proper oven instead.
Also, again subjective, but the giant “swooshy” paint job isn’t my cup of tea. On the plus side, though, it’s all paint and no stickers and it’s very nicely done.
One of the nice things about these is there are lots and lots of options to tailor it to your liking. You can get an RV gas absorption refrigerator or a residential-style refrigerator, induction cooktop, washer and dryer, dishwasher and much more.
Newmar continues to deliver beautifully made motorhomes that really do reward the owners with outstanding interiors and good craftsmanship. I also really respect that they have models that cater to those with mobility challenges – such as their 3911 – so more of us can enjoy the great outdoors. Although with an interior this nice I wonder how much I would go outdoors?
With all the troublesome issues that todays diesels have, ( the emissions systems, etc,) that is the last thing that I would want. In my opinion, the extra MPG of a diesel doesn’t justify the extra cost of a diesel engine, extra cost of diesel fuel, including maintenance and repairs. Today’s gas engines last so much longer than ever. My E350 has 806,000 miles on it, and has only 1 Motorcraft brand engine and transmission replacement that cost me $5,000 for both. A diesel owner may experience a repair bill of that size.
Why a front engine diesel?
It only has the 2500 Allison transmission, why not the 3000?
How is the front engine noise compared to the normal rear engine noise?
Is there a big hump between the driver and passenger to accommodate the engine?
Thanks but no thanks, I’ll stick to my rear engine diesel motorhome.
My first question when I saw front engine. We had a gasser long ago. Did not like the noise or the hump in the middle. If you look at the interior picture there is no “hump”, but there is a big plate on floor that is raised against dash and then slopes to the floor. Would not like that. Ugly and something for me to trip over…lol.
Would like to understand the reasoning behind going to front engine. Has to be cost.
The reason for the front engine is it’s a toy hauler. You need the space in the back for the garage. To those that wonder why the diesel, it’s the lack of power and fuel mileage in a gas engine.👍
The beauty of the front engine platform really comes across in the toy hauler model in this series. I wish they gave me these RVs to review for a week because riding near a Diesel engine makes me wonder about sound levels.
I can’t speak to the transmission decision.
“And there’s the company themselves, a smaller family owned operation …..”
owned by Winnebago!
That was going to be my comment – Newman was bought by Winnebago within the last year!
Aw, dad gum I had forgotten about that. You are absolutely correct in this. I will fix the review – thank you for bringing this to my attention.
As soon as Publishers Clearing House pays me I’m ordering the 39 foot one fully loaded. We just sold our 38’ gas Newmar and I miss it, it was a 2002 model and 96% was original equipment. Newmar is another way to spell Quality in my opinion.
Hi, i really question having what sounds to be a dealer post these. Has the reviewer driven each and every one of these units? Have they stayed in them, found their individual glitches? It seems, Chuck, that the reviewer is doing exactly what you have been and continue to rail against: false promises of a beautiful experience with no problems ever, especially when driving out of the dealer driveway, with the sun shining and birds singing. Sorry, bu I won’t read these again until you post real-life reviews of using each vehicle for at least a week. That is how auto writers do it, with some even keeping a vehicle for staff use for up to six months. I’m really sorry that you are posting these.
I agree — these overview / opinion reviews are interesting but not too useful without reports of real test experiences. Also, have you noticed that there have been no negative reviews, despite all the complaints from Chuck on down about RV quality?
I have mentioned in the past that I used to review new cars for a living with a column in over 200 newspapers nationwide. The auto manufacturers have press vehicles just for the purposes of being reviewed.
The RV industry has none of this so that’s why we invite owners to share their experience here in the comments. The reviews are really a recap opening the door for discussion of the model and my take on the RVs based on years of experience.
I, too, would love to take each of these out for a week and thoroughly test them but the RV industry doesn’t have any provision for this. That being written, we are not paid by the RV industry nor do I work for the RV industry (other than, of course writing about RVs for independent media like RVTravel).
It looks a little short in the food prep area. The only real countertop is if you were to cover the sink, which isn’t often very practical.
No fireplace. No oven. Newmar’s test score is an incomplete.
I can pass on the fireplace. But no oven????
We have a Dutchstar and had the option, which we chose, to remove oven for 3 large drawers. We like the convection oven, but don’t full time. For how we cook the convection works great.
I fully agree with you, hauling around propane tanks and worrying about filling them is not worth the small oven they put in them. Most modern motorhomes are full electric for a reason. If you want to boondock for long periods I would suggest more solar panels.
That was my thinking but then I also know a lot of RVers, including full-timers, who are mostly restaurant diners and would rather have the cabinet space.
Still, it did seem odd to me and so I noted it in the review.