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Topic: Newmar Fifth Wheels

Posted By: oklahomamike on 03/12/12 03:40pm

On March 01, 2012 John Sammut, V.P. of Sales and Marketing sent a letter to any Newmar dealer (active or inactive) that had any Newmar fifth wheels in stock…..even if it was 5 years old. On March 09, 2012 at 10:47 pm John Sammut authorized us to go public with this information.

DEALER LETTER:

In 2011, Newmar Corporation built 30 units of its fifth wheel brands. Understanding that our company needs new floorplans, new interior designs and new exterior paint graphics to even try to grow this volume, we have been studying the amount of engineering time and resources it would take to freshen the Kountry Star, X-Aire and Kountry Aire brands for the 2013 model year.

It has become very apparent to Newmar management that the entire RV towable market has changed considerably and become more competitive over the past several years. Newmar’s management team has also come to the realization that building fifth wheel products on the same production line with its motor home brands, retailing for as much as $800,000.00, is no longer a legitimate means by which to participate in the towable arena.

With all this in mind, Newmar Corporation will cease building its fifth wheel products at the conclusion of the 2012 model year. Should you have any retail customers still in the market for a Newmar fifth wheel, the final production run in which a Newmar fifth wheel could be scheduled for production is April 25, 2012. That unit would ship to your dealership around June 8, 2012.

As with all decisions of this nature, this was a difficult choice. After much analysis, internal discussions and prayer, Newmar’s management team feels that this is the best road to follow at this time. Rest assured, Newmar Corporation remains committed to the RV industry and the gas, diesel and luxury motor home markets.

I thank you, in advance for your understanding and support of this decision.

Respectfully,


John Sammut
V.P. of Sales and Marketing
Newmar Corporation


Posted By: The Mad Norsky on 03/12/12 03:57pm

Great.

Another good brand bites the dust. I hate to see this happen. They had a really good line of fifth wheels.


The Mad Norsky, Doll, Logan, Korey & Rocky
2011 Ford F350 Power Stroke dually
2008 SnowRiver 10-8 D/S Torklift, FastGuns, StableLoads
RV'ing since 1991

I took the road less traveled .....Now I'm Lost!


Posted By: SooperDaddy on 03/12/12 04:17pm

"Say it ain't so Joe!"

Marvin Newcomer and Marvin Miller (New-Mar) have been building 5th wheels since they started in 1968! But they have to do what will help them get and stay stronger. End of an era tho...some supurb 5th wheels were made there!

1978 Newmar Kountry Aire




2001 first Class A motorhome, the Newmar Country Star



My posts shouldn't be taken for factual data, and are purely fictional, for entertainment purposes, should not be constituted as related to scientific, technical, engineering, legal, religious, spiritual, or practical advice. After all it's FREE! Amen.



Posted By: oklahomamike on 03/12/12 04:44pm

Deleted


Posted By: John Bridge on 03/12/12 05:05pm

. . . and some not very superb fifth wheels as well. Extremely heavy with week undercarriages. I've replaced almost every component of my Cypress fiver. I'm certainly not surprised to see them abandon the market.


Semi-"retarred" in 2006. :-) 2008 Newmar Cypress 5th wheel, 2008 Dodge diesel dually to pull it with.



Posted By: Randu on 03/12/12 05:39pm

They were great rigs in their day as I really liked my recently traded 2004 Kountry Star. I noticed a downhill slide starting about 2007 and did not consider them when I started looking for a different rig in 2010. I came to the conclusion that they were becoming dated and value was lagging when compared to other models in the market place. Just look at forum signatures and you see many more Carriage products than Newmar. There are many new companies that are entering in the upper level 5th wheel marketplace. Thor Redwood and the new company that will be a stand alone division of Evergreen RV come to mind that are managed or being formed by former Carriage employees. My hope is Newmar can continue to build great motorhomes and survive to fight again another day when they feel the market is right for them. Randu


2014 Chevy 3500HD SRW Crew LTZ
LB,4x4,Duramax
2008 Mobile Suites 36TK3



Posted By: Luke Porter on 03/12/12 05:46pm

Well, if they built more, they might sell more. I've been looking for the last three years and couldn't find a dealer that had "one". None anywhere.

I stopped at North Trail in Nov. Ask if they were going to have any. The guy said they were negotiating with Newmar to have some units at the Tampa show. Negotiating---I don't get that?

Newmar has done everything possible to kill their sales---dropping American Star, Kountry Star, and Mountain Aire. And coming up with the lame Cypress and Torry Pine.

I have a 04' Mountain Aire that I love. I would have traded years ago--but Newmar stopped building what I wanted.

I really hate to give up my back window, but probably would be better suited with a toy hauler. Saw one, several years ago at North Trail--only one. None of the current floor plans have a walk-thru bath.

My 04' is looking a little rough on the outside. Yet I am constantly running into folks that notice the dual tandems. Then they take in the whole thing--are really impressed

Newmar has caused their own problems. Last year, they switched back to their old brands--due to "dealer and customer" demand. But none are on the dealers lot.

Really sad Newmar Marketing has done so poorly.


Yep, actually drove to all of these places---in the last eight years. Missed Rhode Island and New Jersey.


.



Posted By: newk on 03/12/12 06:18pm

Ohhhhhhhh, that's sad. They were top drawer. It seems all the best ones are biting the dust.


Posted By: gitane59 on 03/12/12 07:20pm

I am getting closer and closer to making a decision on a new retirement 5ver and am very sad to read this announcement. Not surprised but saddened.
I too believe that there was a conscious decision somewhere in their marketing department to slowly kill off the fifthwheel business. Uniquely engineered yet simplistic rugged slideout systems and well built unit's pre-2007. I too agree things got pretty dodge about 2007, but thought the latest Kountry Aire's had promise with a little more money spent on engineering for 21st century features and options and a concerted effort to market the brand.
But alas it appears the bean counters had other ideas.

I wonder if their management team reads these forums.


2014 Landmark Savannah, Mor-Ryde IS with Dexter disc brakes, 17.5 wheels with Sumitomo skins,
2010 Ford F350 Lariat CC LB DRW 6.4L Diesel, Firestone Ride Rite Airbags


Posted By: Bill1374 on 03/13/12 08:47am

What a shame. Years ago, had a Kountry Star fifth that was very nice. It's certainly bad news when a high line manufacturer stops production. WE've also had a Dutch Star MH that was very nice.

Bill


2014 Crossroads Cruiser
2006 Dodge quadcab,dually 2 wheel drive
2014 HD softtail deluxe red sunglow/blackened cayene


Posted By: John Bridge on 03/13/12 11:49am

'08 Newmar Cypress fifth wheel -- 39 ft. 7 in. About 16,000 gross.

Both front landing gear have been replaced twice. Finally got upgrades only because the originals were no longer made. Second time my extended contract paid.

Mor-Ryde spring equalizers have been replaced twice.

Spring hangers/shackles have been replaced twice.

Springs have been replaced once with upgrades from five leaves to six. Extended warranty paid. Newmar would have nothing to do with it even though they delivered a trailer that was way over what is should have been dry.

After the "options" were added at the factory there was little carrying capacity left. If you load in the bare essentials you're overweight. There is no specification for weight on the landing gear, but I weighed them, and they support just under 4,000 lbs. That's with just a very few items in the basement. Nothing in the bedroom closets.

I don't know what the pin weight is presently, but I know it's over the spec.

My trailer has two doors in the bathroom. It has a separate toilet room inside the bathroom (which is nice, by the way.) One problem is, though, that they used solid core (particle board filler) doors which weight a ton. I know because I've had one of them off. There is also a sliding bedroom door.

I have put lots of miles on the trailer. I should be able to do that; I paid plenty of money for their idea of heavy-duty construction. I have had no issues with the wall construction or any of the trim. It's just that they overbuilt and failed to design in an undercarriage to provide for it.

It's not that Newmar is any worse than any other manufacturer; it's just that they claim they are better than most. They are not.

I do think that company marketing people keep track of these forums. That's why I'm posting this. For Newmar and for anyone considering buying one of their fifth wheels.


Posted By: buc1980 on 03/13/12 06:16pm

A lot of company try to cut the cost of theirs products buying from China.That the biggest mistake they made.Everything come from China is SH....I hope that the government stop imports staff from China and start to make products here in USA.


2011 Ford F350 DRW,2005 Kountry Star 35ft,Breaksmart controller(not install I use Ford controler ),Equa-Flex.6 points LIPPERD Level-up.



Posted By: a_flyfisher on 03/13/12 07:03pm

I have a 2008 Newmar Kountry Aire and have not experienced any of the problems you others have mentioned, other than the ordinary bugs that all RV's have from time to time, and am saddened by Newmar's decisions to exit the 5th whell market, although I fully appreciate their reasoning.


a_flyfisher


Posted By: jeb5 on 03/13/12 07:16pm

We have a 2003 Kountry Star 5th. It has been a great unit. The rumors about the death of the Newmar 5th wheel has been floating around for many months. This is a sad day for Newmar. It might be the correct decision for their business, but it is a sounding board that the 5th wheel market has far to many high end units. A few drop out and many new ones enter the market.


Ford F-350, 6.7 Diesel, 4x4, Long Bed
Newmar Kountry Star 5th Wheel



Posted By: bstark on 03/13/12 07:31pm

Anybody here remember the LondonAire trailer that was the pattern for later Newmar products?

We deserve what's happening now with our demand of deep discounting for merely walking through the showroom door leading to manufacturer's cheapening everything to keep profits rolling in.

We also contributed to the demise of the better rigs by purchasing absolutely crappy outfits with lots of "eye candy". We bought into the optioned-to-the-hilt "sows ear" type of buying that sent signals to all the builders that while we claim to want quality we willingly bought junk as long as it came with an electric awning, dishwasher or a fireplace.

Don't be surprised if Walmart starts marketing a trailer for the masses AND sells all they can bring over from China.


Today is just the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!


Posted By: mbrule on 03/13/12 09:01pm

Just bought an 04 Kountry Star last fall. I love it and am very impressed with the quality. I was the minute i walked into it.

Just went to the camping show in my area a couple of weeks ago and there was not a new fiver there from any manufacturer that I would trade it for....

And it was a big show with many fivers, a lot of high end ones too.

Damn shame that Newmar is giving up the fivers


Posted By: gitane59 on 03/14/12 05:02am

jeb5 wrote:

We have a 2003 Kountry Star 5th. It has been a great unit. The rumors about the death of the Newmar 5th wheel has been floating around for many months. This is a sad day for Newmar. It might be the correct decision for their business, but it is a sounding board that the 5th wheel market has far to many high end units. A few drop out and many new ones enter the market.


I too love my Kountry Star and also feel like you about the Newmar decision.
However I do not see any truly new high end units being brought to market.
The new Forest River Trilogy is a single floorplan that purports to be high end but Forest River is not offering it with disc-brakes or independent suspension and the unit at my local show did not have dual-pane windows all items which I support is a requirement to be truly considered a high end unit at 18K GVWR.

Which now leaves only NH, NUWA, and DRV as what I would consider high-end manufacturers.
Back to Newmar I may have to find a pre-loved Kountry Aire or consider a couple NOS Kountry Aire's in locations and floorplan's that I'm not partial to.


Posted By: mbrule on 03/14/12 07:51am

I have to agree with your comments on the lack of true high end units.

I also am not sure that my Kountry star would be considered "high end". In my mind if high end is a Cadillac, my Kountry Star is probably a Buick.

Another issue I see with the market (IMHO) is a lack of solid offerings in the smaller better quality units, my 30RKCL is a little over 30' long with one slide, double pane windows, 11k dry weight, shocks, etc. A lot of the quality of higher end units without being 36' long with multiple slides. Just about perfect for me. not a lot of options like it out there.

Matt


Posted By: thomasmnile on 03/14/12 12:31pm

Gitane: Gotta ask: You put a lot of thought, money, and effort into the renovation of your Kountry Star. Why let her go???


Posted By: superbird69 on 03/14/12 03:22pm

we own a 2000 Kountry Aire 5th wheeler, and we have looked ,but nothing else measures up to our home. yes I said home, because we full-time in it. We have been pulling our home for over a year. we bought our home from a couple in the middle of Kansas. We LOVE OUR HOME !!!!!!!!!!!!


FINALLY -FULLTIMING AND LOVEING IT


Posted By: gitane59 on 03/14/12 03:54pm

thomasmnile wrote:

Gitane: Gotta ask: You put a lot of thought, money, and effort into the renovation of your Kountry Star. Why let her go???


Good question!! I keep asking myself that. I will be retiring in 4 years and hopefully will enter the fulltime lifestyle. Our current trailer has a much smaller basement storage area than current Z-frame based fifthwheel's as well as a six inch step up into the bedroom area from the bathroom area.
I am trying to make a decision when to take on the debt of a new fulltimers unit. Do I take it on now and have a 3-4 years to pay it down resulting a 3-4 year old unit at retirement with little of no debt or do I wait till much closer to retirement and carry some debt into retirement.
Everytime I go into my coach I ask myself why I would consider selling or trading it because it is all renovated just the way we like it.


Posted By: bstark on 03/14/12 07:41pm

Gitane: You face the conundrum that many have faced before you and you've got a big advantage with knowing your coach inside out.

Many of the high end Carriage units had not one, but two steps in the bedroom area and I remain convinced that folks who owned them just didn't notice that after a while. Storage area usually comes at a sacrifice elsewhere in framework size and configuration.

All of your appliances have not received any meaningful redesign in the area of reliability such as fridges having a better thicker wall tubing in the coils or better circuit boards etc., problems of yesterday are still there today with many units fridges crapping out after a couple of years of usage. Same story for A/C units and water heaters.

If your unit is clean and dry inside with no roof weaknesses and the frame and suspension has proven to be reliable, I'd be one to advise keeping the rig as it's build quality will be hands down better than anything rolling out of ANY shop today.

RV shows are really an eye-opener when you really look into the nooks and cranny's of these things and notice the cheap hardware, woodwork, plumbing fixtures you just wouldn't tolerate in a sticks and bricks. getting on your back and actually wriggling under one will often open your eyes to the many corners they've cut on stuff like the underbelly covering and insulation package.

As an example; I'd be willing to bet your unit came out of the factory with minimum 60oz carpeting with the new stuff all less than 40oz and when you point that out to people, they don't even know what the h*** you're talking about.


Posted By: Butch50 on 03/14/12 08:06pm

Besides the before mentioned high end rigs of NH, NUWA, DRV everybody seems to be forgetting that Excel (Peterson Industries) is still making a high end unit. I can vouch for them as I have had 2 of their units in the past, a well built solid rig and they also make their own frames. We down sized to our Arctic Fox as we are not living in our 5er full time now and have retired so are not on the road doing projects anymore. Back to stick and bricks. Even though I would prefer selling both of our houses and fulltime it but other half won't go for it.


Butch
2015 Winnebago View Profile 24V
2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Orange Tangerine Pearl-Toad (on order)
2010 Can-Am 650XT Outlander Max
2012 Harley Tri Glide


Posted By: thomasmnile on 03/15/12 03:24pm

gitane59 wrote:

thomasmnile wrote:

Gitane: Gotta ask: You put a lot of thought, money, and effort into the renovation of your Kountry Star. Why let her go???


Good question!! I keep asking myself that. I will be retiring in 4 years and hopefully will enter the fulltime lifestyle. Our current trailer has a much smaller basement storage area than current Z-frame based fifthwheel's as well as a six inch step up into the bedroom area from the bathroom area.
I am trying to make a decision when to take on the debt of a new fulltimers unit. Do I take it on now and have a 3-4 years to pay it down resulting a 3-4 year old unit at retirement with little of no debt or do I wait till much closer to retirement and carry some debt into retirement.
Everytime I go into my coach I ask myself why I would consider selling or trading it because it is all renovated just the way we like it.


As many reason to keep as there are to cut her loose. If you let her go, I would think you could fetch a good price, some products these days don't look that good rolling out the factory door! Good luck with your decision.


Posted By: Dave58 on 03/15/12 06:57pm

We have a 2002 Kountry Star 34RLCK that we spec'd when we purchased it. As with all fulltimers, our home had to be a good fit for us. We still like it and will probably keep it for a few more years until we decide to go back to a house. At a recent RV show in the Rio Grande Valley, we were unable to find anything that we liked any better that the one we have. THank you Newmar for this wonderful rig.


2002 Newmar Kountry Star 34RLCK Fifth Wheel
2001 Ford F350, Dually, PSD
"Lovin' this Full-timer thing."


Posted By: colliehauler on 03/16/12 09:24am

Sounds like what Fleetwood did.


Posted By: JEBar on 03/16/12 06:36pm

oklahomamike wrote:

It has become very apparent to Newmar management that the entire RV towable market has changed considerably and become more competitive over the past several years.



as they note in their press release, the RV towable market is most certainly changing .... the number of folks in the market for high end unit is small and, trends seem to indicate, will continue to shrink .... as the pool of folks looking for such high end campers continues to decrease, it is going to be difficult for any company which only provides high end units to stay in business .... I hate it for Newmar and for the folks who depend on their products

Jim


'07 Freightliner Sportchassis
'06 SunnyBrook 34BWKS


Posted By: colliehauler on 03/17/12 07:27am

As disposable income shrinks and gas prices rise it will be difficult for a lot of mfg to stay in business.


Posted By: jeb5 on 03/18/12 10:22am

Mr. John Sannut spoke at the Newmar Kountry Klub International 2 years ago. "He said that the 5th wheel business was about 15% of the Newmar business. They would NEVER get out of the market that made them the best RV company in the business." This is a great quote from the X Fleetwood Manager.

We have a 2003 Kountry Star that is outstanding. We saw that this change was coming last year when the did not introduce new models. Let's look at a few issues.

All Newmar products are made on the same line. There is more profit on the $800,000 than the $65,000 units. They can not make a profit on the 5th wheels.

They have not made introductory towables for many years. Others (Jayco as an example) have made this the basis of their existence.

There are far to many higher priced 5th wheels than the market can stupport.

The cost of fuel and the economics have had a big change in the RV Market for many years.

Now for the issue that Newmar has really forgotten. The snowbirds that decide that they now longer want to travel make the change from a motorhome to a 5th wheel so that they can kept their unit, but not move it. Motorhomes are a disaster when you allow them to remain in storage. 5th wheels can be used by fixed snowbirds for many years. This is a BIG issue in SW Florida. Older users change to 5th wheels as their last camping experience. NEWMAR HAS LOST THIS MARKET.

Thank you to the Miller Family for providing us with a quality product to use in our retirement. I recognize that you had to make a business decision. I regret that I do not have the same warm fuzzy feelings for Mr. Sannut and his Fleetwood leadership style. Remember John, that you never slept in an RV until a forced trip by Newmar last year. Shame on you for your failure to learn about your products by using your products.

* This post was edited 03/18/12 12:24pm by jeb5 *


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