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Newell 1281

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

It makes more sense to talk about what the Newell 1281 coach doesn’t have rather than trying to list all of its
features. When you’re discussing a top-end motorhome in the million-dollar stratosphere
there’s very little in the way of materials, accessories and features that are left off.

Newell is known for building high-end motor coaches, and the 45-foot
model 1281 is the latest example of the genre. Built on Newell‘s own bridge-construction-type steel chassis, the coach is
topped by an aluminum-framed body that helps keep the center of gravity low. The rig is
powered by a Cat 625-hp diesel engine backed by a ZF 12-speed transmission. ZF also
supplies the front independent suspension components and an eight air bag support system is

A look at the coach reveals the steerable tag axle that, along with the sharp
front-wheel cut angle, adds up to a 37-foot turning radius – pretty amazing for a 45-foot

The coach’s exterior is high on “wow” factor with a sleek, classy body style
with aluminum skin and molded-fiber-composite end caps. Full-body paint adds the high-end
automotive touch desired by buyers in this range.

A step inside through the air-operated
entry door reveals a stunning and expansive interior. This 1281 model features the optional
Ultra Wood cabinetry that is mostly assembled in smooth curving surfaces. A combination of
light- and dark-leather upholstery and complementary solid-surface counter-tops with
tasteful but impressive trim further enhance the interior’s luxury image.


The effect of the
Ultra Wood cabinet surfaces is striking, and it adds a visual touch unequaled by today’s
more common woodwork species. The motorhome’s flowing, rounded surfaces, including the
hallway walls, bedroom vanity cabinets, kitchen counter and cabinets confirm the impression
that this coach is something special.

The driver faces an expansive windshield and a
SilverLeaf LCD screen dashboard delivers a broad array of vehicle systems and operating

This four-slide-out coach includes a forward lounge area followed by opposing
kitchen and U-shaped dinette sections, a mid-coach half bath accessible from the bedroom or
the forward living area, large master bedroom and aft-end main bath. Although there are no
“catalog” Newell coach designs, floor-plans like this one are considered “for
reference only” because each Newell is custom built to order.

As an example of the high-end
technology in this motorhome, the two front slide-outs feature flush floors both deployed
and withdrawn for travel. When the slide-out retract control is activated, the floor section
inboard of the slide-out lowers several inches and the slide-out moves in smoothly until the
space is filled and the flush floor is again intact.


Powered amenities abound in the 1281. Window curtains that open and close at the touch of a button, driver’s compartment
sunshades and privacy screens, and a main 42-inch TV in a lift that rises from a curbside
desk/cabinet alleviate some of the manual chores involved with coach use.

A 20-kW AC
generator provides enough power to operate the brace of four rooftop A/C units plus any of
the rig’s other electronic goodies. These include the Dolby 5.1 surround receiver, a
premium stereo system and a buyer’s choice of in-motion or high-def satellite TV systems.
For quiet-hours operation there are a pair of Outback 2,800-watt inverters

From the
flush-mounted refrigerator/freezer with icemaker to the Gaggenau electric cook-top, the
galley abounds with top-end appliances. The inclusion of a panoramic-size window gives the
cook a great view to the outside.

The bedroom uses the traditional dual-slide-out design,
but that’s where the resemblance to any other coach ends. The color-coordinated Corian
counter-top is shaped in a graceful arc that mirrors the curved cabinetry below, and a large
picture-size window brings a cheerfulness to the room.

The master bath, a step up from the
bedroom floor level, is an array of components suitable for a luxury home. Black granite
flooring, a glass-enclosed custom-fitted shower stall, a mirrored aft wall of closet doors,
Corian counter-tops and a freestanding-style glass bowl sink enhance the room’s visual
appeal. Naturally, the craftsmanship throughout is superb.

How could you further improve on
a motorhome with this much equipment aboard that’s assembled in such an exquisite package?
The designers at Newell will be happy to help you take on that challenge.

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