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Old 08-24-2015, 07:42 PM   #1
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2000 Newmar Dutch Star

I've been looking for a Dutch Star DP for a while now. I may have found one. A 2000 Dutch Star DP w/7.2 L6 Caterpillar on a Freightliner Chassis, with low mileage (60,000) Anyone with experience with the Dutch Star? please fill me in with the good and bad they bring. I currently have a 1995 Kountry Aire w/460 gas and as far as I'm concerned, Newmar is the top of the MH kingdom. Can anyone tell me what to look at/ for during an inspection of the coach and more importantly the Diesel engine? I know a lot about gas engines but very little about diesels, except I have always wanted a DP MH. I'm looking at a Newmar with a 300hp 7.2 6L diesel Caterpillar engine to purchase.
Any comments good or bad is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:01 PM   #2
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Since you have owned an older coach you are familiar with the challenges that go along with the house portion so I won't bore you with that.

The things you should look for as far as the DP Chassis are:

Check the date codes on the tires. 22.5" tires are in the range of $4500-5000 to replace and if they are over 3-4 years old you need to be concerned.
Check the house and Chassis Batteries (load test). Replacing these will cost you $1000 or so.
Take fluid samples of the engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid and differential and have the lab reports reviewed by a good technician if you are not familiar with them on your own.
The transmission fluid should have been changed to Allison Transyd from the original type A. Count on another $1000 bucks for this procedure.
Are there any maintenance records you can look at? Routine maintenance is important over the life and these records are a good indication of whether or not the maintenance has been done.
Have the chassis inspected by a good Freightliner Shop to check steering linkage, suspension, brakes, driveline, air bags etc. at the same time, have them look at the ECM for any fault codes that may have occurred and ask them to check the engine crankcase pressure which will indicate worn piston rings etc.
Good luck,,,,
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARFFMAN View Post
I've been looking for a Dutch Star DP for a while now. I may have found one. A 2000 Dutch Star DP w/7.2 L6 Caterpillar on a Freightliner Chassis, with low mileage (60,000) Anyone with experience with the Dutch Star? please fill me in with the good and bad they bring. I currently have a 1995 Kountry Aire w/460 gas and as far as I'm concerned, Newmar is the top of the MH kingdom. Can anyone tell me what to look at/ for during an inspection of the coach and more importantly the Diesel engine? I know a lot about gas engines but very little about diesels, except I have always wanted a DP MH. I'm looking at a Newmar with a 300hp 7.2 6L diesel Caterpillar engine to purchase.
Any comments good or bad is greatly appreciated.
I've attached a list I came up with for another member. You didn't mention whether you were looking at a dealer, or through a private party, but most of the info below applies in either case. We have a similar vehicle to yours, a 2001 Dutch Star with the Cat 3126B, 300 hp engine.

Take it to a Spartan dealer/repair station and ask them to do an "IN DEPTH DOT" safety inspection. It will probably cost you about $150 to $200 for the inspection. Have the pull the codes on both the engine and the transmission. (they may not be able to pull the codes on the transmission unless they are an Allison dealer.

Have them pay particular attention to the brakes, whether the desiccant air filter has been replaced (a $400.00 cost to replace if a dealer does it). Also evidence that the chassis has been lubed.

if the Coolant surge tank is the plastic kind, look it over CAREFULLY for any evidence of cracks or leakage. $200.00 part plus installation if deteriorated/leaking. Also check the belts and hoses.

Note: If the dealer balks about taking it to a Spartan repair shop to get it inspected, I would walk away, but that's just me. You will have to pay for the inspection, money well spent. If the shop will let you, get under the coach with the tech, ask him to point out what he is looking for/at. Have him explain anything he finds.

Look at the battery CABLES, both chassis and house, paying particular attention to the ends. Look for any evidence of corrosion (green discoloration), If present, the battery cables need replacing.


Check over the batteries, both house and chassis, look for low fluid levels, age (if annotated on the top of the batteries) and signs of bulging, or excessive gassing)


Don't rely on the dealer going through all the systems. Run the slides in and out at least a dozen times, looking for binding.

If the slide awnings (and the main awning) don't have the metal covers visible when the awnings are retracted, then get on the roof and check very carefully where the fabric attaches to the coach. Any perforations, the awnings need to be replaced.

Fill the coach with water, turn on the electric hot water heater. Go about your business looking at other things, after about 25 minutes, run the hot water for awhile. Then turn on the propane hot water heater, make sure it starts and STAYS running. Check the faucets while hooked up to shore water. Disconnect, turn on the water pump and run the faucets again. Make sure the electric water pumps shuts off when the faucets are closed.

With the slides extended, check out the underside of the slides for soft spots, check ALL 4 corners in particular. If soft wood is present, the slide needs some major work. Still with the slides extended, check the inside of the coach at the ends of the slides for soft flooring. It may not be apparent if there is carpet, tile etc, Do the best you can.

Turn on the generator, wait until picks up the load. Turn on both AC units as well as the electric hot water heater. Make sure it keeps running. Check ALL the electrical, lights, wall outlets, test the GFI's. DO NOT RELY ON THE DEALERS TEST OF SYSTEMS!

Run the leveling jacks out to level. Make sure ALL 4 go down. Retract them, see if one drags or takes longer to retract.

On the roof, check ALL seals/caulking. Especially where the front and back cap attach to the roof. Walk around with your shoes off, socks on. Feel for soft spots. Raise/retract the TV antenna. Check for binding. Check seal where TV wire goes through roof.

Check the windshield for chips, cracks. Check all 4 corners to ensure the glass is not popping out of the seal. Check condition of the seal.

If equipped with dual pane windows, check for "fogging". Expensive to repair.

Inside, flush the toilet. Look for leaks. Turn on fans, check for operation. Check TV's if equipped. Bring a Dvd, check dvd players. Check oven, microwave, Fridge/freezer for proper operation.

Check the date codes on the tires and make sure the tires are of a size and capacity that are recommended for your coach, load rating etc.

Don't let any money change hands beyond a deposit until you inspect the coach and get the DOT inspection. Make any sales agreement contingent upon successful passing of inspections. Serious problems found can be used to adjust the purchase or to allow you to get you deposit back and back away.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Since you have owned an older coach you are familiar with the challenges that go along with the house portion so I won't bore you with that.

The things you should look for as far as the DP Chassis are:

Check the date codes on the tires. 22.5" tires are in the range of $4500-5000 to replace and if they are over 3-4 years old you need to be concerned.
Why? 3-4 yr old tires still have years of life left and I paid around $3000 for new ones on our 2002.

Check the house and Chassis Batteries (load test). Replacing these will cost you $1000 or so. House batteries should only run $300 to replace since, if it's like our 2000 DSDP, it only had two wet cell for the house. Might only be one chassis battery and it should run about $150 judging from the 4 I just bought for our present rig.

Take fluid samples of the engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid and differential and have the lab reports reviewed by a good technician if you are not familiar with them on your own.
Good advice and worth the cost.

The transmission fluid should have been changed to Allison Transynd from the original type A. Count on another $1000 bucks for this procedure. TranSynd should run $35 a gallon and the filters less than $70. Easy to do yourself since you can't use a vacuum pump to drain it per Allison. Should be able to do it for $3-400 max. But it also needs to be done twice to do it per Allison so it could get near $700.

Are there any maintenance records you can look at? Routine maintenance is important over the life and these records are a good indication of whether or not the maintenance has been done. Have the chassis inspected by a good Freightliner Shop to check steering linkage, suspension, brakes, driveline, air bags etc. at the same time, have them look at the ECM for any fault codes that may have occurred and ask them to check the engine crankcase pressure which will indicate worn piston rings etc.
Good luck,,,,
See notes above
Please be aware that the prices above are for doing the work yourself
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:04 AM   #5
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ARFFMAN..... Roof, batteries, tires. You have enough coach experience to take care of the box itself.

Hit the Rhod gave you a valuable (and lengthy) list of points to look at, but I don't know why he wants to send you to a Spartan shop! I would suggest a nice 48 hour test drive as you take the DS out to the Freightliner factory service in Gaffney SC. Best FL shop in the country. I know folks all over the US who arrange their travels specifically so they can make an annual stop in Gaffney for routine servicing. Have them do a thorough checkout and you can feel confident with the information.

Good luck with your DS!
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:43 AM   #6
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I'll just throw this in; you're looking at my coach ( only one year newer). If something were to happen to my coach, I wouldn't hesitate to look for an exact replacement.

Check the " Files " drop box in the blue bar under your welcome message and down load a copy of " The Buyers Check List".
Here is some reading to help you up to speed on diesel engines.
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File Type: pdf diesel_basics.pdf (154.5 KB, 82 views)
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:06 AM   #7
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Sorry, I attached the wrong file to my first post.

Here is the correct file and another that may be of interest.
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File Type: pdf 3126B Heui Engines.pdf (168.7 KB, 87 views)
File Type: pdf 3126B specs.pdf (113.9 KB, 64 views)
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:01 AM   #8
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JFXG: Yep, goofed on that one. Freightliner shop, not Spartan! As to lengthy, guilty as charged!

Mr. D. Not sure difference between 2000 and 2001, but our 2001 has TWO chassis batteries and FOUR coach batteries. Depending on what batteries you buy, and who puts them in, the original estimate may be closer to the mark. Whatever, figure pessimistic, and pay optimistic!

Any way you look at it, if it has been well maintained (with proof in records) it is a good coach. OP didn't mention the asking price, or if he did, I missed it.
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:07 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the great information. I'm a firefighter and some of our older fire trucks had this engine. I talked with our truck mechanic and he said that these engines were very well built. He said that they were firefighter proof. I can resemble that remark.LOL
I also talked with another diesel mechanic that did most of the work on our trucks ad he pretty much had the same things to say. If anyone has any more links/PDFs please share.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:40 AM   #10
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I have the same rig that your looking at with 68k on the clock. It's been great, bought it from an individual that took good care of it. I'm believer in the good of people and their representation of their product. With that being said, be sure to do your homework. The engine has been superb, not the quickest, but gets decent fuel milage, and is easy to maintain. Check the roof really well. The rig is 25yrs old, that could be a lot of years out in the elements. Check the slide seals, the become dry, break and leak. The caulking around the clearance lights can dry up and cause leaks in the cap aswell. Check the genny. Don't over look this important aspect of your rig. A bad running genset can mean the difference between a good trip and a bad one. As with a lot of components, a lot of aftermarket companies are available to purchase parts and save you money. (Overflow tank on Amazon) much less and works great.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:11 PM   #11
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I've owned my 2000 Dutch Star for 2-1/2 yrs now. Bought it with about 40k on the clock and it was a very well cared for coach. It was a 1 owner and it sat idle quite a bit. In the relatively short time I've owned it, I've had to: re-seal the roof seams, replace/seal all new running lights front/rear, new tires, rebuild engine hydraulic pump, replace all engine coolant hoses, recharge dash A/C system, replace 1 front axle seal, replace rear coolant overflow tank, replace engine belts, fix rust/repaint engine oil pan, repair thermostat buttons, repair VDC unit, repair inverter/charger, then replace all filters and fluids on engine, trans and generator. Also upgraded/replaced the front stereo and TV. Good thing I was able to do most of those myself or I'd have spent $10k in labor for someone else to do it. This is my first RV, I love it so far and I've learned a lot. But mainly what I've learned is that on older RV's they WILL nickle/dime you to DEATH especially if you aren't able to do most work yourself.

PS, the CAT engine has been good to me but I think the Cummins is a better engine if you can find one with that option.
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:10 AM   #12
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You sound like my twin brother. I bought a 1995 ountry air and experience the same problems and spent three years storing it and now I'm looking at Dutch star diesel so I have a gorgeous 1995 with every nook and cranny/component go through for sale on to bigger and better
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:16 PM   #13
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I have the same rig that your looking at with 68k on the clock. It's been great, bought it from an individual that took good care of it. I'm believer in the good of people and their representation of their product. With that being said, be sure to do your homework. The engine has been superb, not the quickest, but gets decent fuel milage, and is easy to maintain. Check the roof really well. The rig is 25yrs old, that could be a lot of years out in the elements. Check the slide seals, the become dry, break and leak. The caulking around the clearance lights can dry up and cause leaks in the cap aswell. Check the genny. Don't over look this important aspect of your rig. A bad running genset can mean the difference between a good trip and a bad one. As with a lot of components, a lot of aftermarket companies are available to purchase parts and save you money. (Overflow tank on Amazon) much less and works great.
Actually, by my math, the rig they are looking at would be 15 or maybe 16 years old, NOT 25 years old! Still, ANY motor home deserves to be inspected very thoroughly, especially for leaks and mechanical condition. If they don't have maintenance records, assume that maintenance hasn't been kept up on.
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Old 08-28-2015, 02:29 PM   #14
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Oops, yes 15yrs old is what I meant. Thankyou
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