Editor’s Note: The following article, authored by Mark Quasius for the February 2015 issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine, offers an overview of London Aire 4553 coach by Newmar Corp. The magazine is published by Cincinnati-based Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). For the full story click here.
Newmar Corp. has been a well-respected manufacturer of quality motorhomes for decades. The recent popularity of 600-horsepower motorhomes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price in the $600,000 range prompted the company to fill that gap in its product line with a new model: the 2015 London Aire.
The London Aire once was known as Newmar’s flagship motorhome, until production ceased after 2007. The recently revived name is the only feature to be carried over from that previous era. The new London Aire sports a totally fresh design, and it is available in five 45-foot floor plans for 2015.
I recently reviewed the 4553, featuring a bath-and-a-half design with a full-wall slideout. Like traditional Newmar motorhomes, its interior décor is attractive, yet it differs from the company’s other units. It also manages to impart a high-end feeling without exhibiting over-the-top glitz.
London Aire Chassis
The London Aire is built on a Freightliner SL series chassis built specifically for Newmar, which comes with a side radiator, a tag axle, and front disc and rear drum air brakes. The chassis is powered by a 15-liter Cummins ISX engine rated at 600 horsepower and 1,950 foot-pounds of torque. An Allison 4000 series six-speed automatic transmission transfers that power to the ground. The chassis features ZF independent front suspension, a 52-degree wheel cut, and a 20,000-pound front gross axle weight rating (GAWR). The 20,000-pound-rated drive axle and 13,000-pound-rated tag axle are equipped with Michelin XZA series 315/80R 22.5 load range L tires, while the front axle is shod with 365/70R 22.5 tires. The chassis has a 150-gallon fuel tank and a 13-gallon DEF tank.
The London Aire is equipped with HWH hydraulic leveling jacks and Newmar’s Comfort Drive Steering. The coach has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 53,000 pounds and a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 68,000 pounds. It comes with a 15,000-pound trailer hitch.
We ran the coach across Cat scales to establish a realistic cargo-carrying capacity. With full fuel, full fresh water, and a 170-pound driver aboard, the total weight was 45,600 pounds, and the front axle carried only 16,800 pounds. So, there easily was room for another 7,400 pounds of cargo without any weight or axle overloading concerns.