Today’s RV review is of a Newmar Bay Star 3014, a gasoline-fueled Class A motorhome. It might almost seem counterintuitive to consider a gasoline-fired motorhome with fuel prices where they are today. In fact, I can almost hear some of you looking for the papers to have me certified insane.
But hold on.
You’re too late. No, wait. That wasn’t it.
This actually makes sense and may even make more sense than the diesel-powered Newmar we looked at last Sunday. Though they are a different class of rig.
But first of all, you can buy one of these for almost the same price as some Class B vans. Plus, it actually has real holding tanks and a bathroom that’s usable in size. This motorhome is shorter than my own pickup truck and smaller travel trailer when going down the road. However, you might bring along a towed daily driver, which changes that.
The price difference of buying a big Cummins diesel engine compared to this Ford V8 is many, many thousands of dollars. Not all motorhomes log a lot of miles, and you may find yourself saving a good amount of money over time with something like this. Plus, it’s short enough that you can take it to a lot of places that larger rigs won’t be able to get into.
Further, you can find gasoline all over the place. But not all stations carry diesel, particularly if you travel like I do on the side roads rather than the major highways. I feel that I’m seeing “the real America” rather than just another off ramp with the same selection of fast food favorites.
Further, if Bubba at the filling station can’t work on a Ford V8, we have been taken over by the communists. Period.
Newmar does a good job with their motorhomes in general. I think this one is a much, much better value than a lot of Class B rigs. As you would expect from Newmar, this one has really nice cabinetry and interior fittings.
I really like how they integrated lighting into the slide room fascias—it’s both attractive and serves a good purpose.
Bring the kids
This motorhome could be a great choice for people who might have an occasional guest, including grandchildren or friends.
There’s an optional bunk over the cab of this rig that deploys very quickly and really is well thought through. If you’re thinking you might have guests, this isn’t a bad place if they’re younger.
There’s also an adult-sized sofa on the road side. It features three lap belts, as well.
One thing to note: There are states where occupants of specific ages and/or weights cannot ride facing sideways, according to the law. Of course, I rode in plenty of motorhomes when I was a kid that had no seatbelts at all for us brats, er, kids. We also drank from the garden hose.
Cockpit in the Newmar Bay Star
I really like the passenger-side cockpit on this motorhome. It features a flip-up table, so you could literally have a notebook confuser or a tablet and get work or navigation done as you’re going down the road. Almost universally my wife is the navigator and she’s darned good at it, but she is doing it with a smartphone.
Imagine the places we could go if she could spread out with a laptop or tablet?
Of course, these chairs spin around and face the main living space. There’s a clever table that slots between them. Add the dinette and you legitimately can feed, sleep and seat everybody you brought along. I’ve seen lots of towable RVs that have dining for four and sleeping for 8.
I’m still surprised to see that this rig has a three-burner propane cooktop and propane-electric fridge. While I’m very glad these are still available, I would personally rather see an induction cooktop and 12-volt compressor fridge at least as an option.
This brings up the fact that the best way out of here in a fire is going to be through the door. Unfortunately, you’ll be running right past one of the prime ignition sources for RV fires—the refrigerator. I was so very happy to see the escape ladder in the previous motorhome and am very disappointed that something like that isn’t here.
At least a larger window and escape ladder or anything would be better than how things are done now.
Boondocking and travel access
Motorhomes are really good for boondocking—so long as you can get them there. With huge holding tanks and on-board generators, they haven’t really started to join the solar revolution yet.
Yeah, yeah. There’s an inverter on here that is wired to all the plugs and you could upgrade the standard house batteries to something from this generation. But that’s not what many motorhome owners are used to.
You can get to the bathroom and fridge when the gigantic road-side slide is in for travel mode. It’s a bit tight, but not so much so that even I couldn’t do it.
Of course, there are certainly disadvantages to a gas-powered motorhome like this. The one I think most people cite relates to the beast-like torque of the big diesel engines that are common in diesel pushers.
But Ford has really done a good job with this gasoline V8. I don’t think you’ll be suffering in most circumstances with this engine.
However, unlike a diesel pusher, that gasoline V8 is right there at your feet. So there is the factor of noise and vibration to deal with.
Further, the suspension on the big diesel pushers really provides a delightful ride and handling experience. This chassis absolutely doesn’t feel as refined.
I respect the giant diesel engines that are in diesel pushers for their massive amounts of torque. Being out back also helps with the noise, vibration and harshness experience.
But a Class A gasser is also a right decision for some people, and I think Newmar has done a good job with this one. The entire exterior is painted rather than emblazoned with stickers. The attention to detail inside reflects the Newmar brand expectations. And there are some innovative features like that optional flip-down bunk in the front.
I would like to see, as an option, a convection stovetop and a 12-volt fridge. Also, a better way to get out if there’s an RV fire is something I would demand if I were a customer.
But the overall size of this is a nice compromise for a lot of RVers who might want something that goes more places.
More from Tony
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Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping .
You can also check out his RV podcast with his wife, Peggy.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. 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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