A wide range of choices exist when it comes to buying an entry-level coach, and if you’re
looking for a diesel-pusher, you may want to add the Holiday Rambler Neptune to your list.
Available in six specific floor-plans based on 35- to 39-foot lengths and in three full-body
paint colors, the Neptune can meet the needs of a growing family as well as empty nesters
ready to travel.
The Neptune 38PBD rides on Holiday Rambler‘s Roadmaster raised-rail RR4R chassis, designed
exclusively for this line, providing full-width cavernous storage between the axles and
cushioned on the frame rail-aligned, four-bag Air Glide suspension with front torsion bar.
Three sensors actively monitor body attitude and initiate changes in air-bag pressures
while driving to minimize any porpoising or sway, enhancing stability and comfort in
The single choice of the Cummins ISB 340-hp power plant mates
to an Allison 2500MH six-speed World Transmission with push-button shift convenience.
Automatic traction control in slippery conditions and ABS braking supplemented by the
Cummins’ variable geometry turbo – using engine braking much like an inline exhaust brake –
is also featured. An aluminum stacked radiator and turbo air cooler keeps the Cummins
happy, as does a transmission cooler for the Allison. Safety is further improved with a
steel firewall protecting the cockpit.
Stepping into the Neptune, with its beautiful fit and finish, we had a first impression
of a far more expensive coach. The cockpit is laid out with the driver in mind, using three
main 5-inch gauges that display multiple engine functions in a clear analog style that’s
easy to read. A comfortable power driver’s chair and a tilt and telescoping steering column
provide drivers of any size a clear view of all dash and console features. The center dash
houses the optional ($547) three-camera backup monitor and optional ($833) GPS system. An
optional ($350) Sirius satellite/AM/FM/CD unit mounts directly below. Centered on the dash
are the climate control switches, easily reached from the optional ($605) six-way power
copilot chair with power footrest. First-class visibility is provided by the panoramic
one-piece windshield kept clear by no less than six defroster vents and 32-inch wipers.
Forward-mounted rear-view mirrors not only provide clear vision without taking your eyes off
the road but also house a camera in each – connected to the dash monitor – for additional
safety when changing lanes or backing.
Once the automatic hydraulic leveling system has
landed, both driver and copilot chairs can be swiveled for additional seating in the
spacious cabin. The 38PBD floor-plan creates very usable space by combining the optional
($735) 74-inch sofa bed with air mattress and optional ($791) free-standing dinette and
chairs in the 12-foot street-side slide lined with deep overhead storage cabinets above. An
optional ($71) 60-inch Leatherette love-seat behind the copilot chair provides additional
seating and valuable interior storage for large flat items under it with more storage
cabinetry above it. However, given the considerable basement storage available in this
floor-plan, this space would seem to be better suited for a recliner and computer
workstation. An optional ($693) 32-inch flat-screen LCD TV handles the main cabin
entertainment needs and is mounted in the cockpit overhead for an unobstructed view.
upscale galley is laid out with an angled double sink set in a solid-surface counter-top
with a residential-style pullout faucet and a three-burner cook-top set on top of drawers.
Baking needs are handled by the microwave/convection oven combo with oversize pot storage
above. Holiday Rambler incorporated the solid surface material into the
cook-top backsplash using inlaid natural stone mosaic tiles for an ornate touch. The
optional ($455) stainless-steel appliance package includes the 12-cubic-foot, four-door
fridge that anchors the curbside galley. The lighted entertainment hutch has multiple use
possibilities and forms the division point between galley and bath.
The bath and toilet
room occupy the full width of the coach, with privacy created by matching pocket doors at
opposite ends. A beautiful sky-lit neo-corner shower across from the corner lav will
accommodate the tallest of users and the layout provides plenty of room for two. The toilet
room employs a clever and useful Jack-and-Jill storage cabinet arrangement that can also be
accessed from the bedroom when the optional ($1,438) washer/dryer combo that occupies that
space is not chosen.
The bedroom uses the second slide to hold the spacious hanging
wardrobe and two-drawer dressing vanity, allowing full use of the platform queen bed
without having to extend the slide. Under-bed storage is available for bulky items and also
houses the compact optional ($364) central vacuum system. More storage surrounds the
headboard, with needed drawers for small items under each matching nightstand. An optional
($119) ceiling fan is suspended from the roof and gives the bedroom a residential look. The
coach’s standard 19-inch wide-screen LCD TV is perfectly situated, built into the door of
the upper storage cabinet at the foot of the bed.
Overall, the Neptune 38PBD has the look and feel of a much more expensive coach,
and with its elegant features and quality craftsmanship it’s a good candidate for buyers
looking for an entry-level diesel-pusher.