My review of the Newmar Allstar model 3950 and 3951.

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Torchbearer

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I recently test drove the Newmar Allstar Model 3950 and 3951.  I have a family of 5 and I loved the floor plan when I found it on the internet,  It has a loft over the master suite in the rear of the coach.  It also has a booth that makes into a bed that should easily sleep 2 people as well as a fold out couch that sleeps 2.  The loft has 2 single beds.  My wife and I were so interested in this unit that we drove to Phoenix to look at it.(we were going out west anyway)  Here is a list of my likes and dislikes.

Likes- The exterior was beautiful.  The sleeping arrangements were unmatched in a class A.  The drive was  the best I have ever driven.  I have test driven the Monaco LaPalma, Knight, Winnebago, and a Fleetwood Expedition.  I am not an expert by any means, but of these units the Allstar was by far the best.  I loved the fact that you could stand up in the master and not hit your head on the over head loft. ( I am 5'10)

Dislikes- The mid engine diesel was very loud in the coach.  When you would use the engine break, it rattled everything in the kitchen area.  I also didn't like the slide out, it was very slow compared to the Knight and it was loud as it slid out.  It also has a brace bar that you have to disengage before sliding out and you have to make sure the drivers chair is out of the way before sliding out.  The booth was nice, but the table has a leaf that must be put down to go past when the slide is in.  The leaf was very flimsy.  I knew my kids would break it.  The unit had almost no outside storage.  I think it had one compartment for storage and it was small.  The hook ups were under the slide out.  I hated this.

Overall, the floor plan gets a 10, but many of the features that I have listed in my dislikes killed this unit for me and my wife.  We are in the targeted group for this floor plan and we really wanted to purchase one of these units until we went to see it.  Great idea, but they need to go back to the drawing board on this one.
 

blueblood

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FWIW You might not be aware that Newmar is one of the few who will build it your way. They have options and then specials  most companies limit it to options. To the degree it would be possible to fix some of the dislikes you might wish to look iinto it.
 

Smoky

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I can confirm what Blueblood is saying.  We ordered ours from the factory and had about 8 or 10 "specials".  These are not options, but can be a one of a kind request.

Obviously, you cannot do anything about the engine and most likely nothing about the utilities under a slideout (though I would not completely rule that out), but furniture changes could easily be made.

Smoky
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Good report and many thanks  for posting it.  The first thought that went through my mind upon reading it was "Welcome to the world of RVs, where EVERYTHING is a tradeoff."  Onviously this one traded quite a few things to get the space to needed to aprovide adequate sleeping arrangements for a family.

You might want to send a copy to Newmar and see what their reaction is.
 

Jackliz

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Howdy, Torchbearer.

Thanks for the report on the Allstar.

Dislikes- The mid engine diesel was very loud in the coach.  When you would use the engine break, it rattled everything in the kitchen area.

Yup, that's what I suspected would happen. It would take some major insulation to dampen that noise.

Oh, well, you did the SMART thing and test drove it.

Best regards,
Liz
 

blueblood

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RV Roamer said:
You might want to send a copy to Newmar and see what their reaction is.

I sent it to the Newmar Customer Rep I know so they have it.
 

blueblood

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Jackliz said:
Yup, that's what I suspected would happen. It would take some major insulation to dampen that noise.

Best regards,
Liz

Actually, the new Cummins diesels are quite quiet. No louder than a gas woould be under the bonnet in the front I would expect. Also, I don't understand the retarder acting so strong.    I am going to try and drive one myself; it will be very interesting. I like the new cycle hauler that has two slides that come out and drop down a ramp from the rear of each and then you can ride the bike right into place, close the slides and go.
 

Kenneth

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Torchbearer said:
I recently test drove the Newmar Allstar Model 3950 and 3951.? I have a family of 5 and I loved the floor plan when I found it on the internet,? It has a loft over the master suite in the rear of the coach.? It also has a booth that makes into a bed that should easily sleep 2 people as well as a fold out couch that sleeps 2.? The loft has 2 single beds.? My wife and I were so interested in this unit that we drove to Phoenix to look at it.(we were going out west anyway)? Here is a list of my likes and dislikes.

Likes- The exterior was beautiful.? The sleeping arrangements were unmatched in a class A.? The drive was? the best I have ever driven.? I have test driven the Monaco LaPalma, Knight, Winnebago, and a Fleetwood Expedition.? I am not an expert by any means, but of these units the Allstar was by far the best.? I loved the fact that you could stand up in the master and not hit your head on the over head loft. ( I am 5'10)

Dislikes- The mid engine diesel was very loud in the coach.? When you would use the engine break, it rattled everything in the kitchen area.? I also didn't like the slide out, it was very slow compared to the Knight and it was loud as it slid out.? It also has a brace bar that you have to disengage before sliding out and you have to make sure the drivers chair is out of the way before sliding out.? ?The booth was nice, but the table has a leaf that must be put down to go past when the slide is in.? The leaf was very flimsy.? I knew my kids would break it.? The unit had almost no outside storage.? I think it had one compartment for storage and it was small.? The hook ups were under the slide out.? I hated this.

Overall, the floor plan gets a 10, but many of the features that I have listed in my dislikes killed this unit for me and my wife.? We are in the targeted group for this floor plan and we really wanted to purchase one of these units until we went to see it.? Great idea, but they need to go back to the drawing board on this one.

Holiday Rambler (Monaco) Has the Ambassador PLQ 40 foot ,and one of the floor plan options 2007 is a rear sleeper sofa in the back office, they claim sleeping for ten !
 

CurtRR

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I looked long and hard at the All Star (3953).? The idea of having my reloading shop in the coach was very tempting.? But the problem is you're living in a 30 ft. coach with a 10 ft. shop.? But the quality was very impressive and got us to looking at other Newmars.? We settled on a Dutch Star with 4 slide-outs.? If you have 4 slide-outs, darn near everything is under a slide-out.? We hook up utilities and then put the slides out.? Not a major deal.?

The more we use it and hang out in it (slowly moving in to sell the house and move in full time), the more impressed we are with the quality.? I had an electronics guru over last night with a RF converter for the TV/DirecTV/DVDs so I can control the DirecTV (and TiVo) from the bedroom.? He was as impressed with the neatness of the wiring harness as I was.

If you go to the Yahoo Newmar diesel pusher forum, you find guys complaining about the most minute things and asking how to fix little things.? Other forums have people complaining about serious, major problems on some brands.? (I'll admit it's a controlled forum, with all posts approved by the moderators.? They might be editing out the rants.)
 

Smoky

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Did Newmar change the Dutch Star utility bay?  The 2006 and 2005 versions had the utility bay BETWEEN the forward and rear slide on the driver side, right out in the open.
 

Torchbearer

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I appreciate all of the feedback. ?I went on the Holiday Rambler site and looked at the Ambassador SKQ, I didn't see where they were offering a bunk in the back. ?I do see that it would easily fit. ?It is definietly something I will look into. ?I tell you the coach that has me really excited is the Monaco Knight model 40 skt. ?That floor plan has the kitchen area as you walk in and the living room area after that. ?Kind of reversed from ?almost all other coaches I have been in. ?A couple of the things I like about it is that the windshield is all one piece, that doesn't seem like a big deal, but once I drove it, it drives me crazy having the split down the middle of the windshield. ?The second thing is that the t.v. is not hanging over the windshield. ?It has a flat screen in the coach. ?With kids, that is huge not to have to hear Sponge Bob Square Pants while I am driving. ?Lastly, there is simulated tile as you walk in and not carpet. ?That is also nice with kids. ?Have you guys seen this model and if so, what do you think?
 

Kenneth

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Torchbearer said:
I appreciate all of the feedback. ?I went on the Holiday Rambler site and looked at the Ambassador SKQ, I didn't see where they were offering a bunk in the back. ?I do see that it would easily fit. ?It is definietly something I will look into. ?I tell you the coach that has me really excited is the Monaco Knight model 40 skt. ?That floor plan has the kitchen area as you walk in and the living room area after that. ?Kind of reversed from ?almost all other coaches I have been in. ?A couple of the things I like about it is that the windshield is all one piece, that doesn't seem like a big deal, but once I drove it, it drives me crazy having the split down the middle of the windshield. ?The second thing is that the t.v. is not hanging over the windshield. ?It has a flat screen in the coach. ?With kids, that is huge not to have to hear Sponge Bob Square Pants while I am driving. ?Lastly, there is simulated tile as you walk in and not carpet. ?That is also nice with kids. ?Have you guys seen this model and if so, what do you think?

My short list is down to Newmar,Monaco,and Tiffin, its been a long hard journey but from what I can tell ,these have the best following for my budget.
There's a picture of one at  Pedatarvcenter,  look for the 2007 PLQ that sleeps 10.
 

Smoky

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What do I think?

Well we test drove motorhomes for two years.  In the end we were down to Holiday Rambler (or Beaver Santiam or Monaco Diplomat... all three are the same coach) along with the Mandalay, and finally the Newmar line.

First off the short list was the Mandalay.  It was packed with features.  One of the few coaches in its price range with Independent Front Suspension on a Freightliner chassis.  But ALL the models we looked at had quality control problems.  Door frames pulling out of walls, mirrors falling off walls, beds that would not go down after opened, engines that would not start, etc.

Then finally the Monaco line came off our list because none of the models had IFS.  The more we test drove, the more IFS became an iron clad requirement for us.  The Monaco line was tiring to drive, as they all tended to wander and required a lot of steering.  Not bad for a short trip, but very tiring if you are going to drive all day.  Don;t know if the current 2007 models have IFS or not as we no longer are looking.

In the end, Newmar won hands down in our price range, which appears to be similar to yours.

Be sure to test drive at least one coach that has IFS, then go take another ride in your favorite Monaco.  And don't let them brag too much about their 8 air bags.  I never found any advantage to that suspension system.  If you do end up with Monaco, it will not be a fatal mistake.  They do have a lot of good things going for them and we almost bought one after two years of research.
 

Torchbearer

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You know everytime I think I have it figured out something new comes out.  I didn't know about IFS.  I guess the Newmar Allstar has it.  As I said in my review, it drove the best of all o hte coaches.  I will check and see if the Knight has IFS.  Thanks for the input.
 

Tom

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As Smoky mentioned, none of the Monaco line has IFS. However, be aware that when we first took delivery of our Monaco Camelot, it needed two hands on the wheel continuously. When I checked the tire pressures, the tech had aired them up to 140 psi. When I and another forum member subsequently weighed the coach and looked at the corresponding tire chart, the correct tire pressure was only 90 psi in the front (and 95 psi in the rear). I lowered the pressures and the steering issue went away.

I recall when Smoky was test driving various coaches, we joked about needing to take along a tire pressure gauge to check pressures. You'd think this shouldn't be necessary, but my experience showed that "steering wander" may just be related to incorrect front tire pressure. I don't mean to take anything away from coaches with IFS; All reports I've read say they drive extremely well. and hopefully I won't incur the wrath of folks who own such coaches.
 

Ned

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There are many factors that contribute to handling and IFS is only one.  We don't have IFS and I can't say that it would make our coach handle any better than it does now.  Of course, you would have to talk to my driver about that :)  But then, she hasn't driven an IFS chassis.  I don't think we have any steering problems, from the times I've driven it.  The choice of front suspension would be well below other considerations in choosing a motorhome, and I wouldn't rule out a coach with our desired features just because it didn't have IFS.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Much of the Monaco line uses a different suspension technology that is unique to the Roadmaster chassis and neither a solid axle nor an IFS. It has some of the characteristics of both. I am referring to the "floating H frames" of the RR8 and larger Roadmasters, with multiple outboard airbags on a floating subframe under the main frame.    However, I believe the Knight model is on the RR4 Roadmaster, which is pretty much a standard air suspension, solid axle chassis. RR8 usage starts with the Diplomat and the Holiday Ambassador, I think. You can check the Roadmaster chassis web site and it will identify which motorhomes are built on each model of chassis, at least in 2006/2007.
 

Tom

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The Roadmaster Chassis web site contains videos that illustrate what Gary described very well.

For clarification, the Monaco Knight uses the RR8R chassis, which includes the floating-H configuration.
 
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