How exactly would you tell the story of the Newell Coach? These large, very premium Class A diesel pushers have been a staple in the luxury RV space for 55 years. The company, under the leadership of the same family, continues doing things how it’s done them for three generations.
But, unlike other RV manufacturers, you can’t just go to the dealership and get a Newell and see that same coach in a campground a few spaces down.
Headquartered in Miami, Oklahoma, Newell coaches are unusual in so many ways, but one of those is the fact that the company builds the entire vehicle. Unlike most builders of Class A motorhomes, Newell Coach builds its own chassis and steel body.
The design of the present models started at Porsche Design, who crafted the exterior look of the coaches. The company also worked with The ZF Company, a German company that makes a lot of innovative products including the eight-speed automatic transmission in things like the Ram pickup. ZF was responsible for a steerable tag axle on these coaches which helps them to achieve a 38-foot turning radius.
But the tag axle design, according to some owners I spoke with, also helps stabilize the coach on the highway, resulting in a very relaxing and enjoyable drive. This isn’t something you’d think of when you think of a 30-ton beast pushed around by a 605-horsepower diesel engine.
With that Porsche Design Newell engineering, the next step is the owner who works with Newell to tailor the coach to their expectations. From decor to finishes to overall length to features – the company allows for a tremendous amount of input from owners to build just what one wants.
Speaking with a few owners, the experience they relay is one where their coaches are something they can rely on. But if something does go haywire, Newell has a 24-hour hotline for customers to call in and get answers.
In one circumstance, Newell actually flew factory experts to a coach to resolve an issue the owners were having. But the way the coaches are engineered, this need for help is more the exception than the rule.
For example, on the unit we’re looking at there are redundant systems for almost everything.
The water system is fed through a manifold such that if there is a leak at a fixture, that home run to the manifold can be disabled. That way you still have everything else in the coach working until the leak is addressed.
Want more? There are both primary and secondary water pumps installed. If one should fail, you have the second one as a backup. The backup pump is also a smaller pump so that you can save energy when just getting a drink of water or flushing the toilet.
The generator in a Newell Coach can also power your friend’s coach
The generator is a 20,000 kWh generator. It is so powerful that Newell includes a “buddy” outlet to power a friend’s coach if their generator goes out. But Newell also fully encloses the four-cylinder turbocharged diesel generator in a stainless steel housing. The generator’s cooling system is external to that. The reason for this is that it allows for better cooling but also a much, much quieter generator.
It also acts as a fire suppression where both the Cummins X15 engine and generator are in stainless steel enclosures. There is no propane aboard whatsoever. That means cooking is all-electric. It also means that there is no source of propane in the coach as a fire hazard.
Diesel fuel has a much higher flash point so it is a safer fuel than propane or gasoline. And that diesel fuel runs the water heater and cabin space heater, as well. Electrical systems have redundancies and are built such that the likelihood of an electric short or electrical fire is minimized. Significantly.
I have criticized some Class A diesel pusher designs as being a safety hazard in the event of a fire. But Newell explained to me how their electrical systems and engines are encapsulated and designed to minimize the risk of fire. Okay, I’ll accept that. But I also appreciate readers’ input on this.
You can’t really generalize information on a vehicle which is custom-tailored by the customer, but it’s still fun to look at a specific model. In this case, the one I am ogling is the coach built for the 2022 Tampa RV Show.
One of the things that absolutely floated my boat was their video projection system. Rather than take up up to 6” of width of the coach with something like a televator, this coach has a semi-translucent blind. There is a projector opposite that and a terrific sound system. You can sit back and watch a movie in here with the high-quality projector. But then, when the movie’s over, you can raise the blind and get your window back, or lower the black-out blind for nightie night.
But wait, there’s more! You can set the projector to reverse the image so you can watch it from outside! There are portable speakers that come with this coach, so that you can take them out and hear the movie as well. Yep, this is a $2.2 million outdoor movie theater.
Oh, and there’s a second projector and second blind system in the bedroom, as well.
Both driver and passenger have linked GPS but separate systems. So, for example, should you come across a challenge in the road such as a road closure, the passenger can route around it and then send this new destination to the driver’s GPS display. That’s pretty awesome.
A removable tablet computer controls anything in the Newell Coach
The coach comes with a tablet computer that can be removed from the instrument panel. It allows you to control virtually anything in the coach. You can carry that tablet outside and move slide rooms and that sort of thing. You can also take it outside and put out the awning for movie night or dim interior lights and so much more.
There’s a pressure washer system aboard so you can keep your Newell looking new. And there’s an air compressor, with redundancies, so you can blow off the coach.
But that air compressor also operates sliding doors and other things inside the coach, so you can go all Star Trek and slide open doors like magic.
The 20-foot sewer hose stays permanently attached, including the transparent elbow. This makes it much less objectionable to dump those huge holding tanks. In case 20 feet isn’t enough, there’s an additional 20 feet.
There is a camera at the fuel bay so that when you pull up to a pump, you know when you’re aligned with that pump. The diesel fuel and DEF tanks are in the same bay. All the bays have articulated doors so that you can open them with the slide rooms extended.
The family and team at Newell are clearly enjoying themselves. Employee retention at the company is very high owing to a good working environment. The team making decisions are RVers themselves, and that comes across in the product.
Rather than having a network of dealerships, Newel makes several show coaches every year and takes them to large public events such as NASCAR races. There they are opened up where folks can come in and dream. Enough of those dreamers become buyers so that there’s a two-year waiting list. But the fact that many, many people traipse through these show coaches shows how durable and high-quality the materials are that they are built with.
The company does have a network of service bays, however. Should you need service, you don’t have to go back to Oklahoma to accomplish that.
Watch for the monkeys in Newell coaches
Funny thing. I recently visited the area near where Newell coaches are built. It is called Monkey Island, a very prestigious resort area in Oklahoma. It’s quite nice, but the point of this is that long-time owners will look for a small, or sometimes not so small, reference to monkeys in their coaches. Nowadays this is referred to as an Easter egg.
In the show coach, the monkeys were pretty obvious – being in the wallpaper used in the bathroom.
Since each coach is custom built, there isn’t really a specific set of details I can offer. But I will say it’s rare that I get so fan-struck by an RV. I did ask if they needed someone to help take these coaches to special events, but they do like to maintain a certain reputation and, well, I can be abrasive at times. Just ask my wife.
These are individually crafted for each owner
These truly are remarkable machines that one would be fortunate to own. Rather than being a collection of off-the-shelf parts, they are each individually crafted to the taste of their owners.
If you’re fortunate enough to be in the space where you can be one of those people, figure on about a two-year wait. But it would seem that the wait would well be worth it.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
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.
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