A Half-Century, Built One at a Time

At Newmar, 50 years of building high-quality recreational vehicles has taught us a lot, including the fact that people will always build the best product. That’s why we take the time to handcraft each of our coaches one by one, just like we’ve done since 1968.

It’s lessons like these that will continue to shape our next half-century, one we will realize with help from each of our carefully selected dealers, highly skilled employees, and incredibly loyal customers.

"We’ve learned a lot in our first 50 years, including the lesson that superior quality will always be accomplished by hand."

Matt Miller, Former President

In 1968, Mahlon Miller along with Marvin Newcomer, who had worked for Mr. Miller as a Sales Manager, left their jobs at an established RV manufacturer to found Newmar Corporation in the small woodworking town of Nappanee, Indiana.

“Having lived in Nappanee all my life, I knew it was home to many skilled and dedicated men and women. Fortunately for me, many of them ended up becoming Newmar employees.”

– Mahlon Miller, Co-Founder

Their shared goal was to build and sell the best-quality recreational vehicles the world had ever seen, a mission that began with the 1971 Kountry Aire fifth-wheel travel trailer.

“We never designed RVs according to what we thought was best. We built the RVs our dealers asked for, based on what our shared customers were asking for from them.”
– Mahlon Miller, Co-Founder

The introduction of the Kountry Aire made Newmar one of the first and largest fifth-wheel builders in the RV industry. Newmar continued to grow throughout the 1970s, and in 1984 the company was bought by Mahlon Miller, who gave up his position as President of Holiday Rambler to purchase a 51% ownership stake in Newmar Corporation.

“I had other offers as I was looking to retire, but I would only sell to someone who I knew would keep Newmar in Nappanee. Mahlon was that person.”
– Mahlon Miller, Co-Founder

During the 1980s, Newmar entered the Class A segment for the purpose of crafting premium-quality motor coaches in small numbers.

“When I first proposed the idea of building Class A motor coaches, not everyone was on board. But once each person within the company was able to see what kind of coach we were capable of building, we all knew it was a golden opportunity for us to set a new standard in the Class A segment.”
– Mahlon Miller, Co-founder

In 1990, the company introduced two iconic coaches that still exist today – Dutch Star and Mountain Aire.

“Both models flourished because they each filled a gap that existed in the marketplace, which is why the pair is loved by RVers to this day.”
– Mahlon Miller, Co-founder

At the same time, Newmar began to pioneer features and technology that would change the industry, including the first power and flush-floor slideouts ever featured in a Class A motor coach.

“I had several people say, “You can’t put a slideout in a motorhome. It’s impossible.” So I hooked up one of our fifth-wheel trailers fit with a slideout and had a driver take myself and a pair of engineers over some of the roughest roads in Nappanee. Through it all, that slideout stayed as quiet as can be, to the point where one of the engineers proclaimed, “Well, maybe we can put a slideout in a motorhome!”
– Mahlon Miller, Co-founder

For three years, Newmar was the only Class A manufacturer offering motor coaches with slideouts.

“Our competitors tried to sell against our slideouts for a while, but they eventually joined us in offering their own. Being the first put us ahead, and in the RV industry, if you don’t stay on the front-edge, you don’t last.”
– Mahlon Miller, Co-founder

In 1991, Mahlon Miller purchased the remaining 49% of Newmar Corporation. Just four years later, a new 116,000-square-foot manufacturing facility was erected in Nappanee, helping to further centralize the production process.

During the late 1990s, Newmar became the first manufacturer to offer full-body paint on both its towable and motorized RVs. To support this practice and ensure superior quality, a 45,000-square-foot paint facility was created.

“Stick-on decals and graphics didn’t reflect our commitment to superior quality, which is why we chose to apply full-paint finishes on everything we built from then on.”
– Mahlon Miller, Co-founder

And in 2004, Newmar added one of the industry’s first and only air-conditioned production environments in the form of a 150,000-square-foot chassis prep and welding facility, in an effort to optimize the work environment for the company’s production employees.

In 2006, Mahlon Miller’s son Matt was named President of Newmar Corporation. When the economic recession hit just two years later, Matt overcame his first major challenge by insisting Newmar stay the course and maintain commitments to both its dealers and customers.

“The recession gave us as people an opportunity to reaffirm to our customers, dealers and employees that Newmar will never waver, not only in our commitment to building high-quality products, but in our dedication to their success and well-being.”
– Matt Miller, Former President

In 2012, Newmar made the strategic decision to exit the fifth-wheel category that had helped shape the company decades earlier, choosing to dedicate all of its resources to assembling the world’s finest Class A motor coaches.

“The towable market had changed considerably over the previous two decades, and we felt we could no longer be competitive in that segment without compromising service and quality, so we decided to spend all of our time and energy on building the best Class A motor coaches on the market.”
– Matt Miller, Former President

This renewed focus has led to several innovative breakthroughs in recent years, including the Comfort Drive™ steering system, the STAR Foundation, and the world’s first wheelchair-accessible Class A motor coaches.

Today, Newmar is working toward an even brighter future thanks to an unwavering commitment to quality, service, and innovation that remains unsurpassed.

“Our obsession with constant improvement is ingrained in our culture. Those who bring our coaches to life represent a tight-knit group of people who care deeply about their craft, their families, and the community we all share, and their commitment to excellence could never be overstated.”
– Matt Miller, Former President & CEO

See why newmar products withstand the test of time.

  • Strength that rises to every occasion
  • Excellence, front to back
  • Bursting with detail
  • Remarkably radiant
  • The first then. The best now.
  • Relentless quality


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