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rrlowther

Newmar Comfort Drive

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Greetings all.

I have finally decided that I need to upgrade from my 2000 Safari Zanzibar.  I listed it on RV Trader and it sold in 5 days.  For asking.  Which leads me to believe I probably didn't ask enough.  But I digress.

So in my  journey to find a replacement I've heard a lot about the Newmar Comfort Drive system for it's diesel pushers.   I use my coach for my work, and am typically under deadlines to get from point A to point B.  As such I tend to pull 12 to 14 hours behind the wheel of my rig to get there.  So the comfort drive system is pretty appealing to me.

Anyone have any experience with the system?  Is it as helpful at reducing driver fatigue as they claim?

Also, I'm having a **** of a time finding someone that wants to sell one.  I'm looking in the 2007 and up, between 38' - 42'.  MUST have a separate washer and dryer.  Would love a king bed but will settle for a queen.  Need four slides and really want an Aquahot or Oasis water system.  Need it to be a four seasons coach as I do use it during inclimate weather.  Pulling a full size Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab pick up, so want 350 HP or better and a 3000 series Allison transmission or better.  There's other things on the list, but those are the biggies.

Very curious to hear other peoples experience with this system.  There are a number of other manufacturers out there that have nice rigs, but I'm really stuck on that Comfort Drive.....

 

 

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I've had a Newmar since August. What you've heard about comfort drive is not hype, it's the real deal. Unfortunately for you, the used market is tight at this time and Newmar is not accepting anymore orders for 2018's. A friend ordered in Nov with a June delivery promise. The Newmar 's easily fill your requirements both mechanically and with the comforts of home.

My experience with the comfort drive has been awesome. Wind is not an issue and where I used to drive max of 300 miles per day, I've recently driven 500. Was I tired, sure, but I could have never done it in my previous pusher without near exhaustion. My wife drove our previous motorhome one time and said never again, she likes to drive the Newmar and it is 44' vs 38'.

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Most 45' coaches with  tag axles will drive better and handle adverse conditions (cross winds) better than short not tag coaches.

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We own a Newmar Ventana 2011 with the comfort drive. Bought the RV only 5 months ago. Drives excellent in any wind conditions. Quality and reliability on the other hand is something we are very disappointed with.  

1- Engine clutch fan assembly failed and need to be rebuilt because they no longer made them for the Spartan model we have = $7,000
2- Engine water pump failed - $800
3 - Electric level jack(s) failed and no longer supported - $5,000 to replace all and no alternative!
4- Air conditioner system wire shorted out and had to be fixed
5- Front window day and night shades brackets failed and need fixing
6- Kitchen slideout gear chain broke and needed repairing
7- Precision Temp hydra water heater sensor failure
8 - Precision Temp hydra water heater water circulation pump failure
9- Shower drain leaked water into the basement and needed to be replaced.
10- Ice maker in frig shorts out and the breaker panel will not allow it to run.
11- Numerous basement door latches and doors will not stay aligned and some have to be replaced

To say my wife and I are furious about the poor quality and durability of our new to us 2011 Newmar Ventana is an understatement. Every day we look for something else to go wrong and have a very hard time to get it fixed. The dealer we purchased it from service department is scheduling out 2.5 months and is located a great distance from us because of our travels. We bought it only 5 months ago thinking that Newmar's quality and durability to be one of the better brands. We truly regret buying this RV and now are already looking to replace it. We will have lost tens of thousands of dollars purchasing and trading this RV for another one. Do you want to purchase this one from us? Make an offer. 

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Sounds like you have a lot of chassis issues and issues with the components used in many different motor homes. I would really be ticked at Spartin if I were you.

I'm curious what leveling jack company is no longer supporting a six year old product.

Have you contacted Newmar customer service?

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TD.  Welcome to the Forum!

I'll have to agree with Jim, you can't expect any coach manufacturer to stand responsible for other components...they have their own warranty!  I certainly do understand your frustration.  Contact Newmar Tech.  Number 5, 9 & 11 are Newmar.

I suspect your Jacks are Power Gear by Lipper Ind., or HWH.  They are both in business and will support you.  I have the former and very seldom use the Jacks as I also have air leveling on same system.  When Jacks fail to work, it's mainly because of Hydraulic Fluid level, a leak in Hydraulic line or connector or a relay....the Tech Dept. can help you resolve the issue.

I have most of the components you have and mine is a 2010 American Coach 45, Spartan K2 chassis, 425 Cummins.  I have spent a lot more $$$ keeping it happy than you have.  It is after all a rolling earthquake, not a regular house.  Most things on your list, we can help you fix it. By doing it yourself, you'll get to know your coach and save you $$$.

Happy New Year

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Thinking so more about this, are you referring to the Horton fan clutch for the Cummins engine?  If so,  those are readily available as it is problematic for the ISB engine.  It's hard for me to believe Cummins can no longer provide parts for a 6-8 year old engine. 

I hope you come back with some more information.On edit: 

The 2011 Ventanas were built on the Freightliner chassis. The Spartain chassis is not available until you get to the Dutch Star line. 

May I ask which model you have and engine horsepower?

 

 

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Jim. Ventana and probably 400hp, your right about the cassis now, but his may have the Spartan Mountain Master or K2 if it's a 42'.

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I won't comment on TDconsult's posting.  The first couple of sentences are the only part that has anything to do with the original OP's question.  Everything else has to do with him having bad luck after buying a used coach, which maybe he should share in a new thread.

To the original OP, we recently went through a lot of searching for a DP.  We wanted one with a tag and one of our major concerns was drivability in all types of conditions.  After having a 38' gas coach I was tired of getting blown all over the highway by every truck that passed me.  We drove several brands, both new and used.  None of them drove out as good as our Newmar!

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On 12/29/2017 at 9:04 PM, TDConsult said:

We own a Newmar Ventana 2011 with the comfort drive. Bought the RV only 5 months ago. Drives excellent in any wind conditions. Quality and reliability on the other hand is something we are very disappointed with.  

1- Engine clutch fan assembly failed and need to be rebuilt because they no longer made them for the Spartan model we have = $7,000
2- Engine water pump failed - $800
3 - Electric level jack(s) failed and no longer supported - $5,000 to replace all and no alternative!
4- Air conditioner system wire shorted out and had to be fixed
5- Front window day and night shades brackets failed and need fixing
6- Kitchen slideout gear chain broke and needed repairing
7- Precision Temp hydra water heater sensor failure
8 - Precision Temp hydra water heater water circulation pump failure
9- Shower drain leaked water into the basement and needed to be replaced.
10- Ice maker in frig shorts out and the breaker panel will not allow it to run.
11- Numerous basement door latches and doors will not stay aligned and some have to be replaced

To say my wife and I are furious about the poor quality and durability of our new to us 2011 Newmar Ventana is an understatement. Every day we look for something else to go wrong and have a very hard time to get it fixed. The dealer we purchased it from service department is scheduling out 2.5 months and is located a great distance from us because of our travels. We bought it only 5 months ago thinking that Newmar's quality and durability to be one of the better brands. We truly regret buying this RV and now are already looking to replace it. We will have lost tens of thousands of dollars purchasing and trading this RV for another one. Do you want to purchase this one from us? Make an offer. 

It sounds like you've already fixed everything...  I'm really sorry you've had so many challenges so far.  When I bought my last coach (2000 Safari Zanzibar 40' 1 slide), we had very similar challenges.  I was fortunate though in that we had an extended warranty.  We still have to deal with the challenges, but, after fighting with them for a few days, they would end up paying for MOST of the costs.

If you're serious about re-homing it, I might be willing to take a look.  Couldn't hurt right?

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Thank you everyone for your input.  I'm hoping to be at a certain price point out the door.  I'm not looking for a new one.  I use my coach for work, so I'm not looking for a high dollar unit either.  Just something that's a lot easier on me to drive and that has a few perks that my last one didn't.

I did just learn today about a 2008 Mountain Aire with 107,000.  They want $139K (that the asking price).  I haven't seen the unit. But wonder does the higher mileage cause anyone any concerns?  Says something about road worthiness I suppose to have that many miles on it.

Thoughts?

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rr.  It's a diesel, we are never going to put the kind of miles a trucker would.  My question to you is a bit more information, like Engine and HP, have a mechanic that you know check out the coach.  It's a Aspirated re generation system, has it been baked or is it due for replacement (that is not cheap), DOT of Tires, age of and what kind of batteries, service records, etc.

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I would also have engine and tranny oil/fluid analysis done. Condition of belts and hoses is something to check also. Caulking along roof seams and of course check if there is any prior water damage.

Good luck in your search and keep us going informed.

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rrlowther - You need to drive a couple of coaches with Comfort Drive and decide for yourself if is what you want.  We have had our current motorhome for nine years now, bought it used, and we (wife and I) went to test out a number of rigs.  There were significant differences in the way they handled.  We bought the one that drove the best.  When we were looking 9 years ago I got a CD from the RV Consumer group that had all the coaches they had rated for about a ten year period.  One of the things they rated was handling.  Most of the coaches we test drove that they said would drive well did.  One of our close friends has a 2013 Newmar 38' with comfort drive he likes it.  But we have an older higher end coach than my friend and I like the way ours drives too.  We also have a tag and he does not.  That is a big deal.  And we weigh 10,000 more lbs.  

I have not driven a coach with comfort drive and so cannot comment on how good it is.  However, it is worth noting that a few very high end car makers like BMW have in the past ten years come out with electronic steering assist and almost to a man all the auto journalists who have driven it do not like it.  If it was an actual sensor system that sensed the lines in the road or worked to center your vehicle in the lane like Tesla does that would be another matter.  I think those auto centering systems are coming very quickly now and have seen a few of the high end motorhomes offer some of them.  I have owned a car with adaptive cruise control and however and in the end did not use it but used standard cruise as the computer brain kept getting confused.  

To me steering is best if precise and you can feel this precision through the wheel and "sense" the road.  Your brain learns to work with your other senses to keep the bus where it should be. To put something artificial between the wheels of the coach and the wheel in your hands might make it worse and not better depending on the system.  To really know if it is right for you drive a couple close to the time you drive a couple without.  That should be the proof.  

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