We love our RV, but we’ve talked about downsizing for years. So we were excited to see the Newmar New Aire, which promises to provide the quality of a larger rig in a more compact size.

When asked what the “right size” RV is, our standard answer is “Buy the smallest RV you think you can be comfortable in.” Now, we know this might sound a little disingenuous coming from a couple of guys touring around in a 43′ big rig, but needs do change over time, and nothing is 100% perfect for every situation or every RVer. But take it from us… we’re talking from experience… if we could go back in time and do it over again, the one change we’d make is to go smaller.

Don’t get us wrong… we love our Mountain Aire. Our 13 years on board is hands down the longest either one of us has ever owned any single home our entire lives. And it is just that… HOME. But when we bought it, we accepted that its length would be a hindrance to getting into many places.

Since we’d spent a frenetic first two years on the road visiting literally every National Park in the Western US (many of them repeatedly), we decided that we’d be okay visiting them less often, and in a different way…. parking outside the parks and using our toad to get around inside.

Now there are a lot of National Parks that any RV can fit in. But even in those, the longer you are, the fewer site choices you’ve got. So we haven’t had any shortage of return visits to many of our favorite places. But the trade-off for “luxury” is just that… a trade-off. We long ago decided that ANY new RV we got would be smaller.

Of course we know lots of people travel full-time in far smaller rigs than we’ve got. But we do have our limits, which makes us tip our hats to the full-time-travel-trailer crowd. Do they keep a lot of belongings in a relative’s basement or in a storage facility? Do they wear smaller clothes than we do? Are they simply okay with far stricter limits on stuff than we’re comfortable with? Whatever the differences, we’ve developed a particular affinity for some of the things that, simply put, require space.

For example, we had a queen size bed in our first rig, a Fleetwood Bounder. Now we have a king, and would rather not give that up. We also had a typical combo washer-dryer in the Bounder, and Hated it (with a capital H). Not only was it tiny, but you (obviously) couldn’t run a second wash load until the first load was done drying. We’ve had our fantastic apartment-size separate washer and dryer for 13 years now, and Love it (with a capital L). We hate resorting to laundromats, and the ability to do real life-size loads of wash while we’re here working on board is something we’re not willing to do without. Luckily, the same type of separate washer & dryer we have is now far more common… as is our residential fridge, which we also would not want to be without. But all these things do require space.

So chopping 9 feet off our current RV without losing certain features that we’ve found to be highly desirable for us personally… hmmmm. It’s all about floorplan, but you still can’t defy the laws of physics. How small can we go while still keeping the minimum features that we want?

We’ve also gotten a bit spoiled by Newmar’s quality. We think our RV has higher-quality materials than most of the other “comparable” rigs we’ve seen. But with so many manufacturers cutting corners over the years, to save both weight and cost, has Newmar maintained the level of quality we’re used to?

Also, technology has come a long way since 2005 (thirteen years is an eternity when it comes to tech). So this new RV brings with it all sort of upgrades that weren’t available back in ’05: glass dashboard, multiplex wiring for lights & window shades, 360° “birds-eye-view” cameras, and more. These are the kinds of things that get our geeky hearts fluttering!  ?

With all the whiz-bang new features now available, will we even care about size & quality?!? We address these questions in this video, during our first look at a 2018 Newmar New Aire.


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We looked, but Amazon doesn’t stock Newmar New Aires ? … so, instead, here’s a list of a few of our favorite products that any new RV owner might want to stock up on.