Every now and then, a standard bearer arises that defines the epitome of quality and performance. These products are considered above their peers and garner the respect due to any item that exceeds all expectations. In the watch industry it’s definitely Rolex that sets this standard. In the RV industry, Newell is the brand that holds that title.

A Newell Coach is unique. Unlike traditional motorhomes, Newell does not purchase a chassis nor does it convert an existing bus. Each Newell is built from the ground up and is custom built to each buyer’s unique specifications. It takes 5 1/2 months to build a Newell Coach and thousands of man-hours by skilled technicians are combined with the highest quality materials to create the ultimate motorhome. Newell strives for constant improvement and innovative designs and technology to create the ultimate driving experience. Naturally, this kind of uncompromising commitment to quality and performance does not place them in the average person’s entry-level budget but if they are within your price range, they truly do offer a ton of value for the price. Newells are not just a dressed-up, high-end, Class A motorhome. They are a blend of cutting-edge technology, superlative engineering, and attractive décor.

Most road tests and reviews are based upon a typical motorhome with a popular floor plan. Because Newells are highly customized, no two coaches are alike. Therefore, this review will explain the common features incorporated into every Newell rather than get too detailed into the unique specifics of a particular coach. The coach that was used for our road test, photos, and review was typical of most Newells so it will serve as an accurate barometer for anyone fortunate enough to be able to consider a Newell Coach purchase.

Building a Newell
Before any actual construction is done, a prospective buyer will spend several days with Newell discussing what that buyer is looking for in a coach. Once a basic floor plan is chosen, it is customized to meet the needs of that person. An intensive equipment list is gone over and specific equipment and appliances are chosen and logged into a 20-plus-page options spec sheet. Cabinetry, interior décor, and exterior paint schemes are selected. A wide selection of exotic woods, solid-surface countertops, fabrics, plumbing and lighting fixtures, and other design elements are chosen. Newell’s commitment to quality limits them to producing 24 coaches per year so once the order is finalized it will be a five-month wait until production begins. Up until that time it is possible to alter these details and make changes, which happens more often than not.

Frame and Superstructure
The actual construction of a Newell Coach begins in the frame shop. Skilled welders create a chassis framework that is custom designed for that particular coach. Axles and suspension components are added. After approximately two weeks the chassis is rolled to the net bay, where the engine, transmission, generator, and various brake and air system components are added. The unit receives a 7-inch-thick floor comprised of high-density structural foam sandwiched between layers of 3/4-inch plywood.

At the next station the structural tubing is added to support the walls and roof. Traditional construction consists of lowering a pre-fabricated wall assembly onto the floor structure and holding it in place with screw fasteners. Newell welds an aluminum skeleton to the chassis structure, which creates a continuous monocoque structure capable of distributing stress and forces across the entire chassis, resulting in a rigid structure that doesn’t flex when driving. Aluminum skin is then applied to the wall exteriors and roof. Before going any farther, the coach is leak tested to ensure that everything is properly sealed. Any in-wall wiring is then run and passed through looms and conduits in the grometted wall tubing and ceiling trusses. The interior walls are then sprayed with a high R value insulating foam.

Making it a home
The next step is to apply the interior wall plywood and build any partition walls for this particular coach. Wiring and plumbing are also run at this time. All plumbing is run within the floor to keep everything insulated and protected from freezing. Troughs are cut into the floor and any pipe runs are made with the proper pitch to the holding tank before refoaming the floor and replacing any missing plywood. Cabinetry and interior wall coverings are installed and work progresses as the final flooring, appliances, and wiring is finished up over the next few months.

Paint
When the coach is almost complete it will be driven to the paint shop where the custom paintjob is applied using high-end BASF paint. A total of seven coats of polyurethane clearcoat are applied with various cut and buff steps in between, resulting in a glassy smooth finish with excellent depth. After the paint shop is finished the coach will go to final fit and finish where mirrors, awnings, and other exterior items are added. The final entertainment system components are also added at this time. During this final phase the coach will undergo a series of road tests to properly calibrate the engine’s ECM, the transmission, and the computer-assisted suspension. Anything that doesn’t seem right is written up, corrected, and retested. A final water test is then run and the coach is cleaned up and will undergo a final Executive Review by management before signing off as complete. The extensive quality control begins in the frame shop and is continually monitored throughout production, resulting in a flawless product ready for delivery to the customer.