A four-wheel-drive Super C motorhome suitable for many types of terrain.
By Mark Quasius, F333630
NeXus RV recently launched a new motorhome model called the Rebel. This Super C is equipped to go off the beaten path via a four-wheel-drive chassis, yet it still provides a comfortable drive on pavement. Currently, the Rebel is offered in 30-foot and 35-foot lengths. The 35-foot 35R reviewed in this article comes with bunk beds that can be replaced with additional cabinetry as an option, making this RV a consideration for larger families or anyone else who desires plenty of storage space.
The Rebel is built on the International CV chassis, which is a step up from the Ford F-550. The CV was a joint venture between Navistar and General Motors, and when you step into the cockpit, you’ll feel as though you’re sitting in a Chevrolet Silverado. Basically, the cab on up is GM, with its creature comforts, while the frame on down is Navistar, offering heavy-duty strength and performance.
The Rebel is powered by the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine, rated at 350 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. An Allison 1750 series six-speed automatic transmission delivers the power to the wheels via a Meritor two-speed transfer case that allows you to slip in and out of four-wheel-drive mode as needed. The tilt-forward hood provides easy access to the engine’s service points. A 65-gallon fuel tank and 7-gallon DEF tank feed the engine.
The Rebel has a 22,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and a 37,500-pound gross combination weight rating (GCWR). The front axle is rated at 7,500 pounds; the rear axle at 15,500 pounds. The review unit crossed the scales at 6,530 pounds on the front axle and 12,151 pounds on the rear axle, for a total weight of 18,681 pounds. This weight included a ¼-full fuel tank, full propane, and one person, yielding an occupant and cargo carrying capacity (OCCC) of 3,319 pounds.
A 15,000-pound-rated hitch and seven-pin trailer lighting socket make the Rebel ready to tow most anything. An automatic hydraulic leveling jack system is standard.
Unlike most manufacturers, NeXus does not use wood or aluminum in its motorhome structures. Instead, low-alloy steel is incorporated in the sidewalls and roof members, and every window or door opening is framed in steel. NeXus literature states that steel is 72 percent stronger than aluminum. The steel adds a minimal amount of weight — only about 70 pounds in some models. Company officials believe the increase in structural strength, torsional rigidity, and occupant safety is worth the trade-off.
Some of that weight is recovered by eliminating plywood and lauan from the wall and ceiling and replacing it with Azdel composite panels. Azdel is lighter than wood; it also has a higher insulation rating, is impervious to water, cannot rot, and will not support black mold. Azdel is used on the outside as a bonded backer to Talon gel-coated fiberglass, and on the inside of the vacuum-laminated wall structures. The steel subfloor also is laminated and has a 3,000-pound payload capacity per truss.
The Rebel features fiberglass sides covered with deluxe four-color full-body paint. Our review unit was finished in Blue Sky, one of three available color schemes. A seamless fiberglass roof wraps around to the sidewalls to allow any roof water to run off rather than become trapped. The molded front overhead fiberglass cap, molded cab steps, and cab-to-body flared wings create an attractive and stylish look. A roof ladder, frame-less tinted windows, and a power awning with LED lighting are all standard, as is an outside shower. All exterior baggage doors now feature a side-hinge design.
The 35R has a full-wall Norco slideout room on the driver’s side. NeXus chose Norco’s cable-driven slides for their reliability. All basement compartments are made using galvanized powder-coated steel instead of rotocast plastic and are lined with rubber. The coach’s hydraulic levelers are dual powered: They use hydraulic power to raise the jacks as well as to extend them. An optional outside entertainment center contains a 32-inch LED TV in a patio-side enclosure.
This particular unit also had the optional outside kitchen installed, which is located on the patio side of the coach, near the rear. It includes a 12-volt refrigerator, overhead cabinetry, and a gas cooktop with a griddle on a pull-out shelf.
The Rebel review unit incorporated the Linen furnishing and the Oak flooring color choice. Three interior furnishing and two woodwork choices are available. Glazed-maple raised-panel hardwood cabinetry is standard, although this coach included the optional Slate wood cabinetry. The Beauflor composite-engineered flooring is resistant to stains, scratches, dents, and mold. The soft-touch vinyl ceiling sports LED lighting and a pair of ducted rooftop air conditioners. These A/C units are fitted with galvanized steel ductwork, eliminating any potential for loose foil tape or collapsed ducts.
The cockpit area mirrors that of our Chevy Silverado 2500HD pickup, with the exception of the Navistar logo on the steering wheel. The center dash holds the radio, which also serves as a display panel for the dash heating and cooling controls and the Bluetooth interface for a smartphone and Apple Car Play or Android Audio. The cab-over area has a cutout to ease access to the cockpit from the living area. It makes up into a roomy bunk area that measures 48 inches deep by 90 inches wide and can be used for sleeping or for storage. The six-way power driver’s seat and the copilot seat were comfortable.
In this unit, the main living area held a trifold sofa bed covered in Ultraleather fabric; theater seating is an available option. The dinette booth seats, also featuring Ultraleather, were fitted with large, lockable pull-out drawers; the interior of the drawers are finished in a clear coat to prevent snagging clothes or bedding. A 32-inch TV has now been positioned in the dinette area to make viewing from the sofa much easier.
Both the sofa and the booth dinette can be made into additional sleeping accommodations. Add this to the cab-over bunk, and larger families have plenty of room. Nighttime-privacy roller shades are installed throughout, and in the test coach, an optional Nexair vent fan was in the living area, near the galley.
The galley is equipped with a solid-surface countertop that holds a dual-basin stainless-steel sink with removable solid-surface covers. A 10-cubic-foot 12-volt stainless-steel residential refrigerator is standard; a 7.5-cubic-foot propane/electric absorption-style refrigerator is optional. The fridge is flanked by a small pantry with adjustable shelving. A three-burner cooktop completes the galley base. An optional over-the-range microwave with an exhaust fan can be added to the overhead cabinetry.
The bunk beds mentioned earlier reside in the driver’s-side slideout and are accessible from the hallway that passes the bathroom and connects the main living area to the rear bedroom. Each bunk has its own window and LED lighting; large storage drawers are located beneath the bottom bunk. Curtains provide privacy for the bunks.
Although the bunks can be used for storage as well, an optional wardrobe can be selected in their place. In that scenario, a large wardrobe takes up about two-thirds of the bunk area and is concealed by raised-panel doors. The remaining third is devoted to a large pantry with a frosted-glass door. This option creates a vast amount of additional interior storage space.
The Rebel’s bath area contains a circular fiberglass shower enclosure equipped with a hand-held showerhead; an optional glass shower door is available. A skylight in the shower welcomes in lots of sunlight, and an electric vent fan exhausts moisture or heat. A porcelain toilet and a vanity that holds a stainless-steel sink are located opposite the shower. A mirrored medicine cabinet hangs above the vanity.
What makes this floor plan stand out is the pass-through bath design. The bath area is equipped with two entry doors. One affords access from the front living area, while the rear door connects to the bedroom. When the full-wall slideout is retracted, as for travel, this pass-through layout enables easy access to the rear bedroom from the front of the coach.
The bedroom holds a 60-inch-by-74.5-inch queen bed with a deluxe innerspring mattress. The bed extends from the curbside wall and has a padded headboard and overhead storage cabinets. Opposite the bed, a large cabinet section is housed in the full-wall slideout. This enclosure holds mirrored wardrobe closets and a battery of drawers. A 32-inch LED TV is also located in this cabinetry, with room for a Blu-ray player and a satellite TV receiver.
The Rebel is equipped with a 50-amp power cord. An automatic transfer switch connects the coach’s breaker panel to shore power or to the Onan 6-kw diesel-powered generator, which can be operated from the dash. A pair of 12-volt deep-cycle batteries provide DC power. They are charged by a 60-amp power converter. An optional 1,000-watt inverter provides power for the entertainment center and receptacles.
Solar prep is standard, and this unit was equipped with an optional 100-watt solar panel and a 30-amp charge controller; additional panels are available. A Winegard 360+ omnidirectional antenna picks up off-air broadcast TV, and the Winegard Gateway router with GPS connects to Wi-Fi or 4G signals to provide your own private network.
A 15,000-Btu air conditioner with heat pump supplies cooling and warmth via the galvanized steel ducting in the living room; a ducted 13,500-Btu air conditioner handles the bedroom. The 35,000-Btu propane furnace furnishes interior heat through ducts mounted in the cabinets, eliminating any floor vents for things to drop into. An optional Truma on-demand water heater supplies domestic hot water needs. Each plumbing fixture comes with shutoff valves, which allows it to be serviced individually without shutting down water flow to the entire RV. PEX water lines beneath the galley sink rest on rubber padding to prevent any abrasive wear from chafing.
The NeXus Rebel is a standout. The International CV chassis and Duramax engine take it to a high level of performance. With 700 pound-feet of torque and 15,000 pounds of towing capacity, this coach gets up and goes. The four-wheel-drive chassis gives you the flexibility of going off-pavement while still affording a comfortable ride on conventional roads. NeXus’ construction, based on a steel super-structure with extensive use of Azdel, makes for a durable coach, which is backed by the company’s 12-year structural warranty.
The pass-through bath design gives easy access to the bedroom when traveling, and the ability to sleep up to 10 persons in the bedroom, bunks, cab-over area, sofa bed, and dinette benefits large families. The standard bunk beds in this floor plan can be replaced by the wardrobe/pantry option, which greatly increases interior storage. In my opinion, these features combine to make the Rebel an excellent choice in a 4×4 coach.
SPECIFICATIONS | NEXUS REBEL 35R
NeXus RV, 3400 Reedy Drive, Elkhart, IN 46514; (855) 786-3987; www.nexusrv.com
International CV Series
Chevrolet Duramax, 6.6-liter, 350 horsepower at 2,700 rpm, 700 pound-feet torque at 1,600/2,900 rpm
Allison 1750 series six-speed automatic
4.30 to 1
LT 225/70R19.5 LRH
front — parabolic taper leaf spring with shock absorbers;
rear — Vari-Rate springs, standard; LiquidSpring suspension, optional
chassis — (2) 12-volt, 1,300 cca, maintenance-free;
house — (2) 12-volt deep-cycle
Onan 6-kw diesel
34 feet 11 inches
12 feet 2 inches
6 feet 9 inches
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front — 7,500 pounds;
rear — 15,500 pounds
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
OCCUPANT AND CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (OCCC)
3,319 pounds (as tested: ¼-tank fuel, full propane, one person)
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 50 gallons;
black water — 50 gallons
65 gallons; 7 gallons DEF
35,000-Btu propane furnace
(1) 15,000-Btu, ducted, with heat pump; (1) 13,500-Btu, ducted
Dometic 12-volt with 1,000-watt inverter
coach — 12 years structural,1 year workmanship and material;
chassis — 3 years/36,000 miles; engine — 5 years/100,000 miles;
transmission — 5 years/unlimited
BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
AS-TESTED SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE