Current Issue | Family Motor Coaching
Travelers will feel like royalty aboard this elegant home on wheels, which includes numerous updates for 2017.
By Mark Quasius, F333630
The King Aire is Newmar’s premier motorhome and sits at the top of the luxury-coach hierarchy. The 2017 model year marks Newmar’s scheduled life cycle change for this model. Updates include redesig
ned front and rear caps, a new dash, new exterior paint, and a host of new features and floor plans. I recently spent time with the King Aire 4513, which debuted in 2017.
The King Aire features Newmar’s hung-sidewall construction. Similar to residential construction, this method incorporates 16-inch on-center framing, as opposed to vacuum-laminated construction. The King Aire offers impressive insulation values: an R16 floor; R11 walls; an R4 basement floor; and R24 in the roof (R19 Polar Pack insulation plus 5/8-inch R5 foam board).
The new 4513 floor plan contains three slideouts, including a full-wall slide on the street side, plus a “cathedral ceiling” in the rear bath that adds 6 inches of headroom.
Spartan’s K3 chassis replaces the K3-GT previously used for the King Aire. The K3 is equipped with a side radiator, full air-ride suspension, Newmar’s Comfort Drive steering, six-wheel antilock disc brakes, and a passive-steer tag axle.
A 15-liter Cummins ISX 600-horsepower diesel engine is paired with the new Cummins Connected Diagnostics System. This enables the engine to communicate directly with Cummins staff; in the event of a diagnostic fault code, Cummins will contact the customer to initiate assistance. A 200-gallon fuel tank with dual fills supplies the engine. The 15-gallon DEF tank also has dual fill ports.
Electronic stability control (ESC) and a built-in auxiliary braking system for towed vehicles are standard on the King Aire. The optional On Guard collision mitigation and adaptive cruise system will warn drivers. It will automatically adapt the cruise control speed and even apply the brakes, eliminating any lag in driver reaction time.
Newmar has added its STAR Foundation to the K3 chassis. This steel substructure supports the floor and provides additional strength and rigidity.
The King Aire offers a 54,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), with a 74,000-pound gross combination weight rating (GCWR), a 20,000-pound-rated towing hitch, and a net carrying capacity (NCC) of 6,200 pounds. A 20,000-pound front axle with independent front suspension is equipped with 365/70R 22.5 LRL tires; the 20,000-pound drive axle and the 14,000-pound steerable tag axle are fitted with 315/80R 22.5 LRL tires. The rims are polish-free Alcoa Dura-Bright aluminum.
HWH leveling jacks are used in combination with the Hadley Active Air leveling system.
The King Aire is one impressive coach. Newmar’s full-paint Masterpiece Finish provides a high-gloss look that is cut and buffed. The redesigned caps feature LED lighting, as do the side marker lights. Nanoshield front paint protection helps to prevent stone chips. Chrome baggage door locks and stainless-steel accent trim further enhance the façade.
An air lift system powers the rear engine cover for easy access. A baggage door alert system will warn the driver if any basement compartment doors are open when the engine is running.
Hydraulic entry steps are new for 2017. They extend effortlessly to the ground and will automatically retract if they come in contact with a curb, person, etc.
The King Aire’s frameless windows are deeply tinted. They are further shielded by large Girard Nova power awnings, which are built into the fascia along the sidewalls and laced with LED lighting. The awnings can be operated by remote control or via a switch panel in the cockpit. Another Girard power awning is installed over the entry door. A keyless entry system controls the power locks for this door and the baggage compartments.
The test unit’s exterior entertainment center held an optional Sony 43-inch 4K LED TV with a sound bar.
The 4513 is one of six King Aire floor plans available for 2017. Four interior decors and five wood finishes are offered; this coach featured the Camber interior, with Havana Rift Oak high-gloss cabinets. Optional heated porcelain tile plank flooring, plus power shades, solid-surface window sills, and exclusive Ralph Lauren fabrics appear throughout, along with Villa furniture upholstered in Ultraleather.
In the cockpit, the two-tone instrument panel was redesigned for 2017. Its centerpiece is the SilverLeaf electronic dash, which allows the owner to arrange the instruments as desired. The glass dash also displays warning messages and status indicators for various systems, such as tire pressure monitoring. Along the lower edge of the dash, accessory rocker switches are easily accessible. A convenient wireless charging pad for compatible smartphones is located on the dash, left of the driver.
The center console sports two 10-inch touch-screen monitors. The left monitor doubles as the dash entertainment center interface and GPS display; the other shows views from the camera system. An optional small monitor near the passenger seat allows the copilot to monitor the GPS. A fold-down workstation is also attached to the passenger’s seat. Both cockpit seats are heated and cooled, feature lumbar support, and incorporate power footrests and an optional massage function.
The rear camera view can be switched to views from cameras embedded in the side mirrors. They are part of the impressive Total Vision system, which features a motorized camera, placed inside a dome, that pans and tilts via dash-mounted controls. But one really cool feature is the 360 perimeter-view camera.
The 360-view camera transmits images to the cockpit’s 10-inch right-hand monitor. Think of it as a satellite view zooming in on the motorhome from above. The system is also a great tool when maneuvering in tight quarters. When backing this coach into a camping space, you can enable 360-view mode and see everything around you as though you were 50 to 75 feet above, looking down. You won’t have to worry about hitting pedestals, shrubs, picnic tables, etc.
The 360-view mode also is useful when driving. The system creates this view by merging the outputs from cameras positioned at the front, rear, and side awning areas of the coach into one seamless image.
I tested this feature while parked. As a couple approached the front of the motorhome and walked past, I viewed a seamless image in the monitor — no jumps or gaps. Such eye-in-the-sky technology is one of the most useful features on the King Aire, in my opinion.
On the street side of the living area, the full-wall slideout holds an 87-inch-long sofa bed with a gel mattress. Slideouts in the 4513 feature flush floors. When a slideout is extended, its floor remains level with the main floor, giving the appearance of one continuous wall-to-wall surface.
Across the motorhome, in an opposing slideout, is a 59-inch-long sofa, with a 49-inch Sony 4K LED TV on a power lift behind it. The test coach also contained an optional 43-inch 4K LED TV in the front overhead cabinetry, as well as a Winegard Trav’ler automatic satellite dish and a Winegard Rayzar automatic antenna.
The 4513’s galley is a departure from the norm. Its U-shaped kitchen features a large farmhouse-style, single-basin, stainless-steel sink in a peninsula. When the slideout is retracted, half of the sink is covered by cabinetry, but the removable sink covers allow use of the other half.
The optional recessed two-burner electric induction cooktop is also removable for use outside, if desired. A dishwasher drawer is mounted beneath the cooktop and trimmed with a stainless-steel front. The 19.7-cubic-foot residential refrigerator is angled so that it backs up against the midbath wall. This arrangement places everything at the cook’s fingertips, but it does reduce counter workspace when both sink panels are removed.
Just aft of the galley is the curbside half bath, which is equipped with a Dometic macerator toilet.
Directly opposite the galley in the mid part of the full-wall slideout is a Hide-a-Leaf dinette and buffet, flanked by a base cabinet with drawers. A full-height pantry stands beside it.
In the bedroom, a curbside slideout contains a 72-inch-by-80-inch king-size bed topped by a Sleep Number radius-corner mattress, with storage below. Windows behind the bed are sealed off by sliding panels. Across the way, a storage ensemble contains cabinets, drawers, and another 49-inch 4K LED TV and Blu-ray player.
The step up to the rear bath reveals a spacious area that feels even more open thanks to the cathedral ceiling. A 50-inch-by-34-inch fully tiled shower contains a fold-down teak seat and is surrounded by glass. A Fresca panel with massage sprays and foot wash is complemented by a rain shower head at the top of the enclosure. Next to the shower sits another Dometic macerator toilet. Nearby, the vanity incorporates two vessel sinks and is accompanied by a backlit mirror and a medicine cabinet. An emergency egress door behind the toilet facilitates a safe and quick exit from the coach should the need arise.
A stackable washer and dryer are located to one side of the cedar-lined wardrobe across the rear wall. Shoe storage pockets and a wall safe are recessed into the rear wall also.
Utilities And Electronics
Lighting, power management, heating and cooling, fresh and waste water management, and shades can be accessed via touch-screen panels in the front overhead and in the bedroom. These panels interface with SilverLeaf’s Total Coach multiplexed wiring system. The SilverLeaf system also can be operated using a Sony tablet that connects via the wireless router or remotely via the internet.
A Bose home theater system provides the surround sound in the front of the motorhome, while a Bose Solo 15 sound bar handles the bedroom TV.
Electrical needs are supplied by 50-amp shore power via a power-rewind cord reel. A Cummins Onan 12,500-watt diesel generator is mounted to a hydraulic slide-out tray in the front cap and is also controlled by the automatic generator start module. The TRC 40350-RVC automatic transfer switch offers adequate surge protection and low- or high-voltage shutdown. Two 3,000-watt true sine wave inverters provide additional power when running the generator is not desirable.
A bank of 16 six-volt AGM batteries — eight standard; eight optional, with the induction cooktop — are mounted amidships on a pull-out storage tray; they offer a whopping 1,760 amp-hours of battery capacity. The King Aire also comes prepped for solar power and can handle up to 1,200 watts of solar panels.
The interior is kept comfortable by an Oasis hydronic heating system, which also supplies unlimited domestic hot water. Three Dometic 15,000-Btu air-conditioners with heat pumps provide cooling or warmth as needed. The Total Coach system controls all three hydronic heat zones, the heat pumps, and the air-conditioning, plus the in-floor heat. It can be set to automatically switch between heating and cooling as the ambient temperature changes.
Plumbing conveniences include a 105-gallon fresh-water tank that supplies the on-demand water pump, plus an 80-gallon gray-water tank and a 60-gallon black-water tank. Electric dump valves can be used with a 3-inch gravity dump or via the optional macerator pump. A power rewind hose reel holds 50 feet of drinking water hose. A whole-house filtration system is augmented by a secondary filter for the kitchen sink drinking water dispenser. An auto-fill valve can be used to keep the fresh-water tank filled while connected to a campground spigot. The Viega Manabloc plumbing system allows individual fixtures to be isolated and provides even, consistent water flow throughout the coach. An optional RoadWave pressure washer is mounted in the front-most curbside compartment.
Basement storage has changed from previous years. Because most K3 chassis come with 150-gallon fuel tanks, the King Aire’s 200-gallon tank necessitated a few changes in the basement storage layout. The front-mounted tank takes away from the two large pass-through storage compartments. I found that the power slide trays were narrower than those typically on other coaches. Conversely, the two front compartments flanking the fuel tank are much wider.
Newmar made a big improvement, in my opinion, by relocating the large battery bank to just ahead of the rear axle. This helps redistribute weight to the rear and tag axles. The battery tray is accessible from either side of the coach.
When it came time to log some miles, the King Aire did not disappoint. I began by filling the 200-gallon fuel tank. That makes for a sizable bill, but the additional cruising range afforded by the larger tank means less frequent fill-ups. It also gives RVers more flexibility in choosing when and where to stop.
Next, I weighed the coach on certified CAT scales. Its total weight, with full fuel, fresh water, driver, and a bit of gear, came to 49,660 pounds, yielding a cargo carrying capacity of 4,340 pounds. The front axle weighed 18,240 pounds, which gave it another 1,760 pounds of front axle capacity, eliminating any potential concerns about front axle loading. The drive axle weighed 19,400 pounds, and the tag axle weighed 12,020 pounds, which seems typical for this size motorhome.
The King Aire 4513 was a joy to drive. I adjusted the Comfort Drive to its stiffest setting, with minimal power assist, and found that winds did not affect the big K3 chassis. The coach handled effortlessly at highway speeds and in city traffic. It easily negotiated rotary intersections, which aren’t designed for long vehicles that don’t bend in the middle. It exhibited no wind noise or whistles.
The King Aire was also easy to live in. The 4513 seems best suited for entertaining, but with six floor plans, plus customization available, buyers have an abundance of choices. With the slideouts extended, the flush full-tile floor eliminates any ledges or steps. The interior is comfortable and quiet. If you want to relax after a long day’s drive, you can turn the captain’s chairs around, switch on the massage feature, and be pampered. Or you can relax in the rain shower with the Fresca massage panel.
It’s good to be the king.
Newmar Corporation, 355 N. Delaware St., P.O. Box 30, Nappanee, IN 46550; (800) 731-8300; (574) 773-7791; www.newmarcorp.com
2017 King Aire
Spartan K3 with Newmar STAR Foundation steel substructure
Cummins ISX 15-liter, 600 horsepower at 1,800 rpm; 1,950 pound-feet torque at 1,200 rpm
Allison 4000 MH Series six-speed automatic
4.3 to 1
front — Michelin XZA 365/70R 22.5 LRL;
rear — Michelin XZA 315/80R 22.5 LRL
320 inches (292 inches + tag)
six-wheel antilock disc
Reyco Granning independent front suspension; 55-degree wheel cut
chassis — (2) 950 cca, 12-volt;
house — (16) six-volt AGM (8 standard, 8 optional); 1,760 amp-hours
(2) 3,000-watt true sine wave
Cummins Onan 12,500-watt diesel
44 feet 11 inches
13 feet 4 inches
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front — 20,000 pounds;
rear — 20,000 pounds;
tag — 14,000 pounds
(weighed with full fuel and fresh water, driver, and gear)
front axle — 18,240 pounds;
rear axle — 19,400 pounds;
tag axle — 12,020 pounds;
total — 49,660 pounds
NET CARRYING CAPACITY (NCC)
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 80 gallons;
black water — 60 gallons
200 gallons plus 15-gallon DEF
Oasis hydronic heating
Oasis hydronic heating, 50,000 Btu
(3) 15,000-Btu Dometic with heat pumps
Whirlpool 19.7-cubic-foot residential
(2) Dometic with macerator
coach — 1 year/unlimited miles
structural — 5 years;
chassis — 3 years/50,000 miles
BASE SUGGESTED PRICE
PRICE AS TESTED