Buying a Newell motorhome is a unique experience. Potential owners start with a concept, plan every step through a private consultative process and then the first piece of metal is pulled from the shelf, starting the life of an extraordinary motor coach. Think, building a custom home.
Once the decision is made to buy a Newell, the coach gets a number and is named after the new owners. From there, the process involves deciding on a length, floorplan, décor, appliances, accessories and color scheme, inside and out. Newell consultants provide guidance, both verbal and through printed and electronic brochures, but the final say-so comes from the new owners.
Most buyers choose lengths from 39 to 45 feet; 45 feet seems to be one of the most popular sizes. A printed guide suggests a number of popular floorplans that can be used as a starting point for those buyers who don’t have a specific arrangement in mind. Once the floorplan has been created on paper, a team of engineers, product planners and interior designers works closely with the owners in developing the final package. Many times the décor is patterned after specific themes, and the use of exotic materials is commonly used to get there. In all cases the result is simply gorgeous.
We spent time with a 2011 45-foot P2000i coach with an F-6 floorplan, which features a rear master bathroom that’s right behind the master bedroom to form a very roomy personal suite. A second bathroom is positioned in the center of the motorhome with the galley and living room up front. The tremendous amount of floor space afforded by the sheer length of the coach is augmented by four slideouts.
Walking inside through the air-powered entry door opens up a world of sensuality unmatched in the motorhome world. Everything is exquisite, supported by a who’s-who list of manufacturers that typically provide luxury components to the home-building industry.
Granite flooring in the salon (the luxury world’s term for “living room”) and ornate ceiling treatment complemented by a strategically placed array of flush-mounted lighting lure occupants to sink into the plush leather upholstery and simply gawk at the surroundings. In this plan, the sofa and ottoman share the front streetside slideout with a free-flowing galley. Opposite is a beautifully appointed desk and Euro recliner, next to a wraparound dinette that’s also housed in the curbside slideout. The 46-inch TV is concealed within the desk structure and is brought up using a motorized lift.
Like most of the mechanized components in this motorhome, the slideouts move in and out flawlessly. When extended, aircraft-style inflatable seals lock out the elements; when retracted, the edges become flush with the exterior body and are almost indistinguishable. The mechanism operating the slideouts uses precision linear bearings and provides a completely flat floor when extended.
The galley is simply a work of art. Ultra Wood cabinetry takes on a European flavor and is fitted with a single stainless steel sink with high-end fixtures, all placed in a beautiful solid-surface countertop. Appliances include a Gaggenau electric cooktop and GE Advantium microwave/halogen oven, dishwasher and built-in coffeemaker; a Sub-Zero refrigerator resides across from the galley.
Obviously, this coach has a large appetite for power, which is supported by a huge bank of batteries (eight 6D Lifeline AGM), multiple 12-volt DC chargers and a turbocharged diesel generator. A 240-volt electrical system provides 120- and 240-volt AC power to the appliances and accessories.
Adjacent to the entry to the master bedroom, inside a contoured structure, is a half-bath, which is perfect for guests, or when the coach is on the road. A stacked washer and 240-volt AC high-performance dryer occupy the other side of the aisle.
The bedroom and far rear bathroom create the aforementioned sanctuary that’s fit for royalty. Lush cabinetry and window treatments surround the plush mattress. Those lounging in bed can control the articulating mattress, lights, pocket doors, window shades and most other electronic components using remote controls. And that includes the motorized screen at the foot of the bed that’s part of a very sophisticated home theater system complete with an HD projector, Blu-ray player and receiver. Breakfast in bed, anyone?
Out back, the master bathroom uses generous portions of finely crafted tile, mirrors, glass, fancy fixtures and a classy vessel sink. Of course, there’s the very best china toilet and enough room in the multi-fixture shower to really luxuriate. No worries about hookups — this coach holds 143 gallons of freshwater, and has a 143-gallon holding tank.
While wanting to surround yourself in pure luxury is certainly a good reason to plunk down $1.5 million for a coach, the fun of driving this machine runs a very close second when it comes to desirability.
Newells are not built on a subcontractor-supplied chassis; the bridge-construction structure is built, piece by piece, by experienced craftsmen. That, combined with the powerful Cummins ISX 650-HP engine (1,950 LB-FT of torque), Allison HD 4000MH six-speed transmission and ZF air suspension catapult this coach into one of the most drivable vehicles on Earth. It hugs the road, provides a smooth, whisper-quiet ride, accelerates with ease and brakes efficiently, not to mention the incredibly tight turning radius for a tag-axle coach. Throw in an orthopedic power captain’s chair that rides on air and the driver has to be literally coaxed off the road. And with 225 gallons of fuel on board, that doesn’t happen very often.
A stunning paint job — customizable to the whims of the owners — finishes off the exterior of the coach. The polished aluminum wheels and mirrors contrast nicely with the paint scheme and body contours that are uniquely Newell.
Creating a Newell motor coach and taking delivery of the final product is certainly reserved for a select few people. The start-to-finish process takes six months and countless worker hours. Everyone who touches the coach as it progresses through the assembly process is a highly skilled professional. When the process is completed, every Newell that exits the factory becomes an extension of the owners’ personalities and a motorhome that will elicit pride of ownership for many years down the road.
Chassis: Proprietary Bridge Construction
Engine: Cummins ISX
Fuel: 225 gal
GVWR: 63,300 lbs
Width: 8′ 6″
Height with A/C: 12′ 10″
Interior height: 7′ 6″
Freshwater cap: 143 gal
Gray/Black-water cap: 143 gal
LP-Gas cap: N/A
Base msrp: $1,248,500
Msrp as shown: $1,549,300