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Newbie...with a few questions of course!
#1
Hi,

We are in the process of purchasing our first Newell.  Unit number # 1413.

A few questions......

1.  Has anyone updated the Silverleaf Digital Dash Unit.  The coach is a 2011 and Silverleaf appears to have updated their dash units through the years since this bus was manufactured.

2.  Weight of the coach - are these coaches typically over weight?  I have not had this one weighed.  The reason I ask is because they have 150 more HP then a typical Prevost conversion....don't get me wrong, I love power!

3.  Reliability - How is the reliability?  We are trading an Entegra Anthem in the purchase and that Anthem has been truly problem free for 28000 miles.  I drove (2) Newells while shopping and both of them had issues...issues to the point they were barely drive-able. Both were low miles coaches 2009 and 2011.  Being a pilot I have flown lots of different types of Jets.  Some were very reliable and never missed a mission, others would break down seemingly on every flight and it seemed to be model specific and consistent.  There is no place on line where I can find owner perspectives regarding reliability.  Please chime in if able.

Thanks in advance for any feedback and suggestions.

Tom
2011 Newell # 1413
2013 Entegra Anthem (sold)
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#2
#1413 should have a GVWR of 63,600# so carrying capacity should NOT be an issue.
Michael Day
1992 Newell 43.5' #281
NewellOwner.com
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#3
(07-07-2018, 06:58 PM)skyking650 Wrote: Hi,

We are in the process of purchasing our first Newell.  Unit number # 1413.

A few questions......

1.  Has anyone updated the Silverleaf Digital Dash Unit.  The coach is a 2011 and Silverleaf appears to have updated their dash units through the years since this bus was manufactured.

2.  Weight of the coach - are these coaches typically over weight?  I have not had this one weighed.  The reason I ask is because they have 150 more HP then a typical Prevost conversion....don't get me wrong, I love power!

3.  Reliability - How is the reliability?  We are trading an Entegra Anthem in the purchase and that Anthem has been truly problem free for 28000 miles.  I drove (2) Newells while shopping and both of them had issues...issues to the point they were barely drive-able. Both were low miles coaches 2009 and 2011.  Being a pilot I have flown lots of different types of Jets.  Some were very reliable and never missed a mission, others would break down seemingly on every flight and it seemed to be model specific and consistent.  There is no place on line where I can find owner perspectives regarding reliability.  Please chime in if able.

Thanks in advance for any feedback and suggestions.

Tom

Did you get info what updates can be done on aspects of the Silverleaf??
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#4
Hi Tom,

Having just purchased a 2008 Newell this winter I can give you some advice.

First, and most important, are you purchasing this coach from the factory with a factory warrantee?
This is an important issue as it directly effects the price you should pay. If your buying from a private individual you must factor in the cost of getting the coach back to the factory to have some amount of service done a your expense and the repairs over the first 2 years of ownership. Some good prices are available on used coaches from the factory, factor in a percentage reduction from that for what you pay privately. I would figure $10-15K each year for the factory visit plus $20K in repairs but who really knows.

Newells are complex and they do not have schematics or other normal technical documents such as wiring diagrams available from the factory. Yes Really...   You will have to rely on the Newell factory people to lead you through repairs when you are out on the road. Finding shops capable of dealing with any complex component in the rural areas is very difficult. Engines, yes. Generators, maybe, so long as you can get to a decent size city, but everything else you will be on the phone with the factory.

The people at Newell are very helpful as far as they can be but when it comes to Silverleaf or Spyder controls (lighting, doors, etc.) you will find those companies actually have all the information available on your coach as long as you can provide the Vin #. Silverleaf is a great company to deal with. They helped me with several difficult problems AND they have available the components to upgrade my system to the current technology. Spyder has also been helpful with a bug my system has. We have not yet traced down the exact problem but they are very helpful. I speak with the company president on a regular basis to discuss the issues. 

To find out about the Silverleaf dash upgrade history just give Mark a call at Silverleaf Controls 1-541-967-8111 and he can give you all the info your looking for and he can lead you through the process to get the version number of the programming the system has installed. He set me up with a programmer that allows me to look at the set up of the controls. The programming supplied by Silverleaf is annotated to list the mods done to each upgrade so its very informative. 

Regarding weight. Ugh, yes they are very heavy. As each coach is custom made its the customer that drives the designs. All stone and tile are the stuff you would find in your home. Very high quality and very heavy.  The Federal law allows City Buses and Motorhomes to have up to 24,000# axel weights. Otherwise these coaches would not be legal on the interstates. How legal they are on state highways is a bit of a grey area. I just looked at the specs on a new Newell and the drive axel weight was listed over the 24,000# limit so perhaps something has changed in the law or its just a statement regarding the rating of the axel not its loaded weight.  

Regarding HP, you want as much as you can get. I have the Caterpillar C15 625HP, 2050 ft/lbs of torque. Towing a good size pickup behind its a great engine especially tied to the ZF 12 speed.  If I am careful on how I approach a hill I can keep my speeds well within a comfortable range and when slowed by other traffic it has the power to keep from becoming bogged down. Cats are fuel hungry (5 avg to 6 best MPG) I understand the Cummings are getting as much as 7+ MPG.

Reliability.... If the person you are purchasing a used coach from has not been very active on keeping up with the repairs you will have work to do, even if purchased from the factory. Either way, my advise is get the coach to the factory have it gone over with you present. Ask allot of questions you will need to understand the systems before hitting the road.  Make notes and videotape a discussion about each system with one of the factory people. Next take it for a short 2 week journey and work the systems. Then take it back to the factory and have everything you found repaired.  Then take it out for the season and at the end of that period bring it back and have everything repaired. Visiting the factory each fall is a pretty normal thing for most of the owners I have met.

Newells are great coaches which due to the ZF suspension handle very well. Turning radius is better then anything else in the field. I truly enjoy having it on the road. BUT, your going to need to approach this much like an aircraft. Work done in preparation will yield you an enjoyable time on the road unless visiting repair shops is what you find fun about a road trip.

Good luck and hope it all works out for you.

Mike
2008 Newell #1223 4 slide, Cat C15 with ZF 12 spd, 2004 Chevy Silverado 4x4 Duramax 6.6İmage Toad for fishing. 
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#5
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your input. How long ago did you buy # 1223? I want to say I was talking with Newell about that one about 6 months ago and then it sold....LOL. BEAUTIFUL COACH!!

I purchased the coach through a dealer consignment for its original owner. This was his second Newell. The original owner had recently serviced the coach and we did a thorough PDI which included r & r of several small parts, and (4) drive tires. This coach has the Cummins ISX 650 HP with Allision Tranny. It goes pretty good. I had a bullydog tuner on my 2013 Entegra that we sold in this purchase and that tuner worked very well increasing the power and the fuel economy. I am considering their HD Tuner for this coach which can boost up to 15% power and increase the fuel economy. Will let all know if I give it a try. Worked very well on the ISL in the Entegra.

I do intend to take it to the factory in a few months and let them give me a thorough walk through and answer questions that I will be compiling. There are several small things that I have questions about, but this is my 5th class A coach and I do have a basic understanding and fairly good DIY mechanical sense.

A few things that I need to figure out should anyone be interested......LOL

* Can't figure out how to turn off the camera video player at night or put it in the standby mode where it awaits a turn signal or reverse activation. If i try to turn off the camera system the screen remains on and bright BLUE...(there is no on-off switch on the video monitor)

* Need time with the Silverleaf dash.....still haven't found the TPMS readouts. Lots of cool information in the dash and in the overhead panel screen.

* Still trying to figure out the DC/AC electrical.....I have had dual inverter coaches before so its just trying to understand what the silverleaf is telling me in different positions.

* Same with the (4) AC UNITS. On the silverleaf i can see that 2 of them are heat pumps.....trying to move my finger on the fan looking half circle I never seem to get what I want....it either changes the temp or the fan speed when i want the other.

* There is a switch on the drivers overhead that says FRONT AIR and REAR Air.....haven't figured that one out. There are controls for the front air (chassis ac to the driver compartment) on the rt side panel.

* Of course the Logitech stuff for all the electronics I just have to play with for a while. This coach has 2 different satellite receivers, one for in motion and the other when stationary and its all wired into these universal remotes. I just need to use it a while, I'm ok with that stuff as I have similar set ups in my house.

* Only one waste tank. What do folks do if the sewer connection is beyond the reach of the provided hose? The fancy green hose end does not seem to be removable to add an extension.

Otherwise, it drove great on the 5 hour trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas with a few hours of that at night. The headlights worked very good. We have only had one day to play with it but will be taking it on a trip around the west in September. It is in air conditioned storage right now.

Thanks again for your input.....please keep in touch.

Tom

P.S. I have been working with Pat D. at Newell and I am aware of the Newell used units having a warranty. Pat does not put or offer warranty on coaches that they do not sell, but we got a pretty good deal on it and did a pretty good PDI so hopefully we can get by with minimal issues for a while.
2011 Newell # 1413
2013 Entegra Anthem (sold)
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#6
before you put a tuner on your 650hp engine, make sure the tranny can handle the extra horsepower. that is a lot of hp

tom
2002 45'8" Newell Coach 608  Series 60 DDEC4/Allison World 6 Speed HD4000MH

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#7
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the advice. Yes, I checked the specs of the 4000MH transmission and it is rated to handle up to 2644 TQ and 800 HP in the motorhome application. The stock ISX 650 is 650HP and 1950 TQ. Here is a chart from Allison......

http://www.allisontransmission.com/docs/...f?sfvrsn=2

Not positive that I will put the tuner on this coach as it accelerates fine as is, but I have had real good response from these tuners in other motorhomes including significant gains in MPG, most recently in an Entegra Anthem with the 450HP ISL cummins. Shifted better, accelerated better, and had instant gain in MPG. Not interested in motorcoach racing, but any gain in performance with a gain in economy with no ill effects sure sounds like a win win for us.

Thanks again,

Tom
2011 Newell # 1413
2013 Entegra Anthem (sold)
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#8
Regarding the not-long-enough green hose, to the best of my knowledge there is no easy fix. I knew right away this was going to be a problem and, indeed, in two of the first four campgrounds (real, commercial, class A campgrounds) I ran into problems with being able to use the sewer because it was too far behind the coach.

I talked to the guy who invented the darn thing, and the problem is, if you want to change it to have an extension, then:

a) you can't retract the hose back up into its holder neatly anymore, and

b) you have to store the extra hose length somewhere, like just in your bay.

In addition, my particular green hose end piece was leaking/failing, and the replacement cost was pretty high.

People wax ecstatic about this sewer hose/system, but to me it just seemed like a problem. So, I took it out and put in a Sanicon macerator and a very long hose. I also removed the wet bay sink so that I had a big open area to put my hose in. The new system works great at any distance (even 100 feet away if I add a garden hose), but it is not without its tradeoffs, too. Fortunately, the Newells have that lovely auxiliary dump on the other side. In a pinch, I can switch to a traditional hose and dump over there, should something break. I'm sure something will break soon. Smile
2008 Newell #1234
Boulder, CO

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#9
Nebster,

Thanks for your input....that is EXACTLY what I was thinking to do. The end valve on my green hose is leaking a bit also. My previous coach (Entegra) had a macerator pump and long flexible HD tube.....it was great. I noticed a "T" on the passenger side compartment where I could replace and reduce down to the small hose. Pix of your installation would be great.

Thanks again for the input!!!

Tom
2011 Newell # 1413
2013 Entegra Anthem (sold)
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