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All The Comforts: 1986 Newell Motorhome

UPDATE – This Newell is surprisingly still for sale considering its fantastic condition! I admit to really wanting a motor home to tow my racing car to events and this one fills the bill (but my racing budget is too small to accommodate it, unfortunately). It’s listed for sale here in our Barn Finds Classifieds for $40,000 and is located in Taylor, Missouri.

Many people will spend their adult lives residing in the suburbs and undertaking that daily commute to their 9-to-5 job. When they reach the golden day of retirement, little will change except that the commute will slowly fade into a distant memory. However, a hardy few will long for a life of adventure, of being footloose and fancy-free. If you fall into the latter category, maybe buying a vehicle like this 1986 Newell Motorhome offers you the opportunity that you are seeking. Climbing aboard this classic will allow you to go wherever your fancy takes you, and you can do it whenever the urge strikes. It also means that you will be undertaking these adventures with all of the comforts of home at your fingertips. If I have now managed to get your imagination racing, you will find this Newell located in Taylor, Missouri, and listed for sale here on Barn Finds Classifieds.

The first thing to note about this Motorhome is how nicely it presents. Its color combination of red, silver, and black is striking, and the paint appears to be in excellent condition. Looking along the sides of the vehicle reveals no panel damage or problems, while the trim and wheels look flawless. It also features a roll-out awning that stretches between the front and rear wheel wells, offering shade on sunny days and some protection over the door on wet days. Newell Coaches was a groundbreaking company in the production of motorhomes, and the next owner of this vehicle will benefit from that lateral thinking. Until the late 1970s, most of these vehicles were based on buses and coaches that featured a front-engine, but Newells could see a better way forward. As such, all of their vehicles from 1972 onward featured diesel engines, and all were rear-mounted from 1970. This configuration allows a flat floor to run the entire length of the motorhome, and it keeps the mechanical noise as far away from the occupants as possible when they are on the road. It also allowed the vehicle to be built with significant storage space, and this motorhome has some sizeable belly lockers located between the wheel wells.

The driver’s compartment of this Motorhome presents superbly, with all controls easily at hand and seats that appear to be extremely comfortable. There are no issues or problems to note, and the occupants will benefit from air conditioning on warmer days. It seems that the vehicle is fitted with a reversing camera which takes the guesswork out of that process. Some people might find the prospect of slipping behind the wheel of one of these vehicles to be daunting, but I’m here to tell you that it isn’t as scary as it might seem at first. After a lifetime of driving mainly family sedans, station wagons, and pickups, I drove my first 41-foot passenger coach when I was 50-years-old. I approached this with some trepidation but was amazed by how easy they are to maneuver. They offer a commanding view forward and to the sides, and with the exterior mirrors properly adjusted, you will always be aware of what is beside and behind you. It took me about 30 minutes in a car park to understand the quirks and capabilities of these machines, and I was tackling narrow suburban streets later that day. So, if you feel intimidated, there is no reason to be. It takes no time at all to adapt to driving vehicles like this.

If you’re going to lead a life of adventure, there’s no need to rough it if there is an alternative. This Newell offers that because it features all of the comforts of home. As you can see from this long shot, it is equipped with a dining table that could seat four in a pinch. The kitchen features an oven, a microwave, a fridge, and more cupboard space than you can poke a stick at. Occupants can relax after a busy day in the lounge area that features a 3-seater lounge and two chairs with a convenient side table.

If we move towards the rear of this Motorhome, we find a queen-size bed with side tables, more cupboards and storage space, and a shower and toilet. Once again, all the comforts will allow its owners to remain entirely self-sufficient. The crowning glory is that as well as being nicely equipped, all of the fittings and fixtures are high quality. They are also in excellent condition, which means that the buyer shouldn’t need to spend a dime on refurbishment. This Newell is a plug-and-play proposition.

Owning a holiday home is a tempting proposition, but it does come with drawbacks. These will always require maintenance, which compels the owner to spend their valuable spare time performing tedious but essential maintenance work. A motorhome offers a level of freedom at a fraction of the cost of a holiday home, with a unique experiencing awaiting its owner every time they hit the road. If you have reached the golden day of retirement, this Newell need not be viewed as a home away from home. The owner might choose to sell their family home and make this their primary residence. That way, they could spend their remaining days living a life that many of us only dream about. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?


  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    40K for an 80’s time warp motorhome with unknown mileage, transmission, and engine specs! Really? Why in the world would the seller not include that information? It doesn’t look to be in bad condition, but we wouldn’t know that from the description. Also, for the price that they’re asking, put a set of batteries in the dang thing! Sheesh!

    Like 43
    • Larry Member

      FYI-due to the fact that where this motor home is stored, there is no electricity. So replacing the batteries at this time would be futile as they would drain charge very quickly

      Like 6
      • Terrry

        so what’s the engine and transmission?

        Like 5
      • Sheesh

        Put batteries in but leave ground cable unhooked. Sheesh 2!

        Like 7
      • Me

        Put in new batteries and leave the ground cable off. Sheesh2!

        Like 4
      • Jon

        Should have battery cut off switches,just like on a boat.
        Nothing can drain them if the switch disconnects them

        Like 4
  2. RoughDiamond

    If someone else was driving, I wonder how well one could sleep with the sound of that diesel more or less right under them? I’d say pretty good, provided they were majorly intoxicated.

    Like 13
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      Different subject, but Jackson Brown recorded the song “Nothing But Time’ aboard his Silver Eagle tour bus. You can clearly hear the drone of the diesel throughout the whole song, especially when the driver is shifting during the bridge.


      Like 8
      • Jcs

        Indeed you can, Blue. Thanks for the diversion, that was a fun listen.

        I am left wondering how the hell they fit so many fans in the coach that clapped and cheered at the end. 🤔

        Like 3
    • dakbeach

      You mean as in “PASSED OUT”

      Like 0
    • Sheesh

      If you were ever a truck driver driving team in a cabover you slept that way all the time. Pony express riders could sleep in the saddle of a running horse. Just have to be tired enough.

      Like 2
    • Me

      If you drove a cab over truck as a team driver you can sleep. Motor lullaby. Pony express riders slept on a running horse. Just gotta be tired enough.

      Like 1
  3. Bob

    A buyer needs to know what motor,trans and miles. Because of the year its probably a detroit 8v known for leaking more oil than they burn. Most diesels will go between 500 thousand and a million miles if serviced properly. If it needs an overhaul could cost North of 25000 dollars. Do your homework on this one

    Like 15
    • Phillip Tenney

      You are a bit wrong in thinking 25000 for an overhaul if its a detroit it might be less than half that.

      Like 5
  4. Naptown Mark

    Ah, motorcoaches. If you can’t afford a new one, you can’t afford to keep up an older one.

    Like 34
  5. stevee

    The seller needs to look at an rv for sale site, and learn how to write an ad. What they think they are selling is not what a real buyer is looking to buy. I am familiar: live full time in a 1991 Foretravel 40’ Unihome.

    Like 13
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      After searching for a couple of years, I bought a ’91 Foretravel 36′ Grand Villa near the end of 2018 a couple of hours N. of Spokane, WA.

      Great shape, needed a few things… Don’t be afraid of the diesel.

      There were tons of cheap ones made, many on GM P30 chassis. inexpensive, and most are long gone to scrap. Quality coaches were built to last if properly cared for and maintained.

      I was looking at Foretravel, BlueBird, a couple of others. This Newell was beyond what I was willing to spend, but it looks good.

      Certainly more information is needed, about the miles, drivetrain specifics, age of the tires, function of house items, generator, etc…

      Like 7
  6. John

    While I do agree that more information on the ad would be helpful, a prospective buyer can always ask questions. This could easily be part of an estate sale and whoever selling it probably doesn’t know a lot about the particulars of the coach. This coach has obviously been well maintained and it shows, replacement value would probably be leaning toward $750K. I fully acknowledge that the interior is a little dated, but as clean as it looks, it seems to be very appropriately priced oh, and maybe even under Market for the type of Coach it is. Newell’s were very well-built stand the test of time a whole lot better the other standard issue motorhome of the day. Yeah, napping I’m a queen bed while driving down the road might be a little noisy oh, but it’s probably a whole lot better than trying to catch a nap on a commercial airliner and you could always sleep on the sofa in the living room if you want quieter. Most will drive all day and use the queen-size bed at night. Despite all the negativity in comments here, I think somebody that can appreciate this coach will be very happy with their purchase. I enjoy my 1985 vintage 29′ Foretravel coach that it’s in my garage and always gets amazing attention whenever I have it out. I have no desire to upgrade but if I did, this would certainly be a contender.

    Like 21
  7. Larry Member

    OK, so I am not very up to date with motor homes. I am selling this motor home for a friend of mine. I am also selling his 1982 Bluebird 35 Foot Wander Lodge Motor Home. If any one is seriously interested in viewing either one, come and look at them. Call 573-541-1970 to set up an appointment.

    Like 5
    • mike

      Looks like an old Blue Bird School bus I once drove way back in the day. lol

      Like 2
      • Larry Member

        The Bluebird is factory made and was never a school bus.

        Like 6
  8. stevee

    An issue in selling aging motor homes is there is little to no financing available. And, cash buyers are quite informed and discriminating where they spend their money. There is a Newell website, for buying and selling vintage Newell vehicles. I think the same for Wanderlodge. The seller needs to earn their interest and ultimately the $$. The bargaining advantage is with the well informed, be it buyer or seller! We watched for a Foretravel Unihome 36’ to 40’ for several years, finally spotting this one in Idaho, on CL. Cash got us a wonderful coach for less than 1/2 of the asking price here.

    Like 5
  9. Jim

    Bluebird does make school Busses I have seen plenty


    Like 3
    • Bhowe Member

      Of course they make school buses. His point was that this one was originally built as a motorcoach, and didn’t start its life as a school bus only to be converted later.

      I’m stunned how many negative comments have been directed towards this seller. Good golly people have some manners

      Like 35
  10. John

    JB, I’m not sure what pictures you’re seeing that I am not that shows the filthy disgusting carpet you refer to. I see plastic protective runners that are darker and I see some items that look like they would vacuum up easily just outside the shower. I certainly don’t see filthy disgusting carpets that indicate this is coach has had no care. I have no interest in the sale, but I do feel the negativity hear his unwarranted. I’m sure Newell is definitely not your cup of tea, but at least be kind.

    Like 21
  11. Claudio

    Here is my take
    These diesel engines are good for a milion miles in vehicles that are driven regularly but sadly the motorhomes are not driven as much and i have seen many major failures at much less miles
    I have seen many adds where the seller writes that the engine is rebuilt and miles are less than 200k
    I have stayed clear of diesel engines ever since i had a failure while on the road and had to deal with the crooks that enjoy that you are far from home …

    Like 6
  12. Sid Member

    A lot of nicer RV parks will not allow older motor coaches.
    Good if it is a POS.
    Sad if it is a pristine classic.

    Like 5
  13. Larry Member
  14. MrBZ

    Tough crowd here a few months back, but good luck to you and your friend, Larry!

    Like 4
  15. Rick Member

    Let the friend sell it. Selling for a friend always bothers me.

    Like 1
  16. Rick Member

    Selling for a friend bothers me. Let him sell it.

    Like 2
    • Larry Member

      Rick, he is 90 years old, has impaired hearing and is blind in one eye.

      Like 5
  17. Lowell Peterson

    Hey Rick! I have been ‘selling for a freind’ a small car collection and a motorhome. Not in that business ,but he has a wife in very advanced alzhiemers. Should say ‘had’? He passed and now his son has a mess and mom in a facility.

    Like 2
  18. Phil

    The Blue Bird RV’s had the chassis and body shell built in the school bus factory. They were finished at the Wanderlodge factory across the road. (Fort Valley, GA)
    I sold the Blue Bird school buses for years and have been in both factory’s many times.

    Like 2
  19. Dave Peterson

    These vehicles should be at least accorded the respect they earn. Demeaning a seller is not constructive, nor does it reflect well. If I am spending $40k you can bet I will ask for more info and if not forthcoming then the seller will not earn the money. The entire web has enough vitriol without adding our benign little community to the heap.

    Like 6
    • Doug

      For 40k (or any amount for that matter) there’s no reason a potential buyer should have to ‘extract’ the pertinent information from the seller.

      Like 2
    • CVPanther Member

      Very true, Dave. Half of these people act like rabid d*cks.

      Like 0
      • Sheesh2

        Rabid Ducks?

        Like 0
  20. Guggie 13

    Nice older Bus , well kept , a couple questions , how old are the tires , and whats the miles , and how old are the battries , these things run up the cost , hope it finds a good home .

    Like 1
  21. Doug

    I have no dog in the fight, but I was curious to see who was brokering this vehicle. Going by the phone number it’s Larry Brown Collector Cars of Taylor, MO.

    Type in his business name in a search and see what comes up. Make your own judgements from there.

    Like 2

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