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Newmar Ventana LE views and opinions


Chris-n-Dennis

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We're looking for a little bigger rig and come across the Newmar Ventana LE line. Buying used of course but the prices seem to be a bit low considering the Newmar name.

So, the questions I put forth are:

1) the LE line is their entry level coach. After looking at the specs and several interiors it seems their entry level is more like a top of the line Tiffin or slightly better. Agree?

2) There is also the Ventana line (without the LE) and appears to be a step up but the price points still seem low. Thoughts?

 

We remain in the looking stage and our search could be up to 2 years before we really make a decision so no rush. All opinions are welcome.

 

Dennis

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One thing I noticed about the LE series is that with some of the smaller models there's a bit of a conflict between the tow rating, the GCWR and the GVWR. If you fully load the MH to the max GVWR you would not have the full 5,000 pound tow rating available without exceeding the GCWR. To say it another way to tow a 5,000 toad you would have to ensure that you didn't load the MH to its GVWR. As I recall this only happens with the smaller LE models. I first heard about this on one of these RV forums from someone who didn't find this out until after he had purchased one and wasn't happy about it.

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One thing I noticed about the LE series is that with some of the smaller models there's a bit of a conflict between the tow rating, the GCWR and the GVWR. If you fully load the MH to the max GVWR you would not have the full 5,000 pound tow rating available without exceeding the GCWR. To say it another way to tow a 5,000 toad you would have to ensure that you didn't load the MH to its GVWR. As I recall this only happens with the smaller LE models. I first heard about this on one of these RV forums from someone who didn't find this out until after he had purchased one and wasn't happy about it.

Thanks Doc. That is something I will keep an eye on for sure as I don't want to get stuck dropping my eggo's just to tow the car.

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I believe the order with increasing price is:

 

Ventana LE

Ventana

Dutch Star

and then the various Aire and Essex are above that.

 

You can look a brochure info from older Newmar models here:

 

http://www.newmarcorp.com/resources/brochures-archive/

 

I would say the Ventana competes with the Tiffin Phaeton or the RED and the Dutch Star competes with the Tiffin Allegro Bus.

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I love my Newmar fiver, and would buy again if they still made them. But note Newmar is not bashful about some parts prices. Example-I'm getting my Kountry Aire painted, and asked for a price on the 2 words. "Kountry" is a decal, $30. "AIRE" is slightly raised stick-on letters. Price ? $ 257.30

What are they smokin' out there, Labrador? I could get gold leaf for that!

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If you want to compare Newmar and Tiffin you are going to have to really get into details. The Ventana LE is more like the Tiffin Allegro RED but without the goodies that Tiffin includes. The Ventana is similar to the Phaeton but not directly comparable. The Dutchstar and the Allegro Bus are similar but not equal. Tiffin interior storage is the best in the industry.

 

What I really find hard with Newmar is that everything is optional. Whereas, Tiffin tends to build with all the usual options as standard and only a few things optional. If you want to customize everything, by from Newmar, if you are OK with most of what Tiffin offers and want to save some money, buy from Tiffin.

 

Both companies are excellent with customers are the two I recommend that you focus on for a new motor home.

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You don't mention size, and I can only infer a rough price range based upon the Ventana LE, and your commenting used.

 

If you are looking for two years out, you could add used Entegra's to your search. And I'm also a big fan of moving up in quality of coach, dropping years to remain within budget.

 

For example, a year or two drop will get you into a Dutch Star or Mountain Aire, vs the Ventana. (I'm sticking with Newmar here, because that is the line you were talking about.)

 

Comparing coaches is tough. Brand loyalty of owners kicks in (Oh, and by the way, pay no attention to my coach in my signature. But forget all the rest, go with Country Coach. Much better build quality then the coaches mentioned. And to tease Roger, they have the best interior storage in the universe:)! And heck, they're so good, you have to stop every 400-500 miles, and syphon fuel out of the fuel tank - as they generate fuel while driving! Yes sir, CC all the way.)

 

But all kidding aside, both Newmar and Tiffen do have loyal owners, and are pleased with the customer service they receive. But the same can be said for say American Coach, Monaco's, Alpines, Foretravel's, etc.

 

You guys have experience of traveling, and probably already have a good feel for what you want. You may want newer, vs higher quality and older to remain within budget - and that's OK, as you're writing the check(s). But, in the next two years. Maybe go look at say a Monaco Executive/Signature with the Big Detroit engine in them. Or a Foretravel U320 with the ISM and retarder transmission. Or Country Coach, Beaver, etc... Look over these better built and higher quality upper end models that could be even 5-7 years older then a Newmar Ventana. See what you get, see the solid chassis, see what I consider a solid foundation to then modify/update/customize the interior to what you both specially like/want.

 

You have the time to do this over the next two years. Or not, as it is your choice:)!

 

Happy hunting,

Smitty

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Good points Smitty and some that have reached out and slapped me up side the head only recently. Bill Joyce pointed out one glaring drawback on the Ventana line - hitch weight. We own a 33 footer currently with a 10,000 hitch weight so didn't even think to look at it on larger rigs thinking they would obviously be bigger than the paltry 5,000 rating they are.

 

So, knowing a bit more my modeling has changed and the seemingly low price point of the Newmars has been explained. Back to shopping.

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