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 2001 Newmar Newaire -

A brief history of our motorhome ownership -

 Our first motorhome was a broken down 1975 GMC that had not run for 13 years when we purchased it. We brought it back to life and used for about four years. We loved the size including the low height, we hated the gas engine and particularly hated the three speed transmission and front wheel drive system. It finally got to the point where it needed a new engine and transmission and we found a new owner for the GMC. 

After that we had a couple of rear engine diesels, loved the comfort, loved the rear engine diesel, hated the size when driving, parking and storing. 

 

The Dream

Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a rear engine diesel the size of the GMC ? Found it, !! At some point we saw one of the Newmar Newaire for sale on E-Bay for $80,000, too expensive for us. Occasionally we would see one come up for sale, but still in the $80,000 to $110,00 range. Finally in late 2012 this RV came up for sale in Southern California for $8,000. It was advertised as not running and had a partially completed engine/transmission install. We bought it and had it shipped up to our mechanic in Petaluma CA. 

 

The Nightmare 

The RV showed up and basically had the wrong engine and transmission literally sitting on the engine mounts, not even bolted in.The complicated side-mount radiator and the associated hydraulic system was missing and all of the electrical wiring for the engine had been cut out. The generator was gone and a big chunk of the fiberglass front had been cut to remove it. A lot more work would be needed than expected.The RV sat in the mechanics lot for the remainder of 2012 and 2013. Cut our losses or move forward ? It was way too cool to destroy so we started putting it back together.

 

2014 We tracked down all the mechanical replacements and restoring the RV to operation began in March of 2014. By the end of 2014 the RV was running again but still a long way from being ready to drive. Another Newaire RV owner in Montana generously provided desperately needed drawings and digital photos of his RV.

 

2015  In 2015 the rest of the mechanical systems were largely replaced including air systems, complete brake system, diesel generator, hydraulic jack system, batteries and charging system. Extensive fiberglass repairs and partial repainting was completed

 

2016  Full testing began that resulted in replacement of the air springs and a minor failure of the of drive axle differential which required repairs, some redesign and machine shop work.

 

More of this  RV’s history  (based on bits and pieces of information that I have been able to put together)

 

This RV was the first of three test RV’s that Newmar built in 2000 to test/display what the owner of Newmar, Marvin Miller, believed to be a revolutionary new design. Once Newmar was through with them, the factory removed the engine, transmissions and  generators and donated them to a favorite church of the owners who was supposed to use them as temporary lodging for church guest. The three RV were supposed to be destroyed when the church was done with them. Instead the church sold this one to a guy in Indiana who started the engine replacement, who sold it to the guy in LA ,who sold it to me. We are the first registered owners of the RV.

 

Epilogue

 

The Newaire  model of RV that the owner of Newmar hoped would revolutionize the industry, ended up costing over $200,000 new and only a few were ever sold. It was only sold in 2001 and 2002. The 2002 model replaced the tear drop shaped side windows in the 2001 model with conventional square windows. Production of the RV was discontinued in 2002 after less than 35 were ever made. My guess is that there are only between 15 and 20 of the Newaire RVs left. The 2001 model with the teardrop windows, that we have, probably less than ten exist.

The cost of developing the Newaire model RV nearly bankrupt the Newmar company and it is reportedly still cursed by both the management and employees of the company.

 

Unique features

 

  • Extremely high cool factor

 

  • Fully molded fiberglass body and roof

 

  • Driver and passenger automotive style doors

 

  • Custom chassis with six wheel independent air suspension

 

  • All electrical interior - no propane

 

  • Marine style vacuum flush toilet

 

  • Marine style, high efficiency,  12v refrigerator

 

  • Hydronic Heat 

 

Newmar Motorhome Company

 

The Newmar motorhome company is a privately owned company based out of Nappanee, Indiana and has been building high end motorhomes for over 50 years. The founders Marvin Newcomer and Marvin Miller, knew how much innovative, well-made recreational vehicles mean to the people who own them. They were RV enthusiasts themselves, and had experienced firsthand the passion and joy that a superior motorhome can bring. Newmar is still owned and operated by the Miller family.


~ At this point we have not yet informed the Newmar company that we have brought their dark child back to life. I am not sure if they would be delighted or furious. ~