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Old 01-19-2015, 07:18 AM   #43
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Welcome CaberMJ to the forum and irv2.
Here is a Brochure and Owners Guide for you.
In this link are many video's that may show you clost space for the particular coach if no answers here.
Below in my signature are links for your future Newmar.
Good luck in your quest and enjoy the forum.
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:37 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by CaberMJ View Post
I'd like to thank the members for providing such great information to Newmar customers and prospective customers. We are contemplating an upgrade and the DS4312 looks like a great floorplan. However, we are a bit concerned about closet space. A few questions:

1) I see that there are shirt wards to the left and right of the bedroom TV and a full length ward to the right of that. Could someone please let me know the configuration of that ward? Does it have an upper and lower rod, or something else?

2) Do you find that you have enough closet space for extended trips?

3) Are there any livability issues that have not already been mentioned in this thread?

Thank you very much.

I can help with this

My wife constantly feels the same way. Over Christmas, we took a week long trip to Stone Mountain near Atlanta. We had to bring extra jackets and some cold weather gear since they convert the area into "Snow Mountain" in the winter. We did not have any issues. My wife and I use the shirt wards and about 3 drawers between us. Two kids use the bunk room drawers and shelves for all their stuff, and the third kid uses 3 drawers. The closet provides the rest of the normal space. The cabinets over the bed have some clothing, games and our laptops.

Our closet came equipped with an upper rod only. (This was because we optioned in the closet safe. If I had a single regret on our order, it is that safe. It's huge! Takes up way too much space, and I'm thinking of removing it) We then placed a shelf in the bottom to give us a space for shoes and boots. On top of the shelf is where we place our laundry hamper. That leaves the upper rod for coats, etc. I'm going a bit from memory, but believe the dimensions of the closet are: 23" wide x 21" deep. Can't recall the height.

Attached is a photo of ours as is. Note that we use the bottom half for shoes, laundry hamper and the vacuum and hose. The "shelf" in the back is the safe. It sticks out about 6" from the wall and takes most of the lower half. The closet and shirt wards have nice bright lights.

Hope that helps.

Cory
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:18 PM   #45
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Thank you

Fantastic information, Cory, thank you very much!
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:07 AM   #46
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What a fantastic review. Thank you. Could you please give some more details of your TPMS please?

Thanks

Jonathan
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:58 AM   #47
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What a fantastic review. Thank you. Could you please give some more details of your TPMS please?

Thanks

Jonathan
Sure, not too much to tell... I use the TST system with the regular sensors for the coach and toad. By regular, I mean the non-flow though type. I tried the flow through and they were not reliable and actually made filling the tires more difficult. TST changed them out at no cost to me and I've been very pleased since. All the sensors work fairly well without the repeater, but since TST gave it to me, I have it in the compartment with the chassis batteries. This turns out to be pretty much the ideal location. Newmar wired it into the existing fuse panel in that compartment and it only functions when the ignition is on.

Works well. I believe a TPMS should be legally required on these rigs. It is for cars, and is even more important on a vehicle of this size.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:59 AM   #48
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TPMS

Thanks for your fast reply. I too agree that TPMS should be standard on RVs. I have had it on my car now for the past three years and it has saved us once already. With a big rig and a trailer I would love to know what was going on. I have just looked at the TST site and see that they do internal sensors as well. These would really interest me. Shame we need another box on the dash, integrated would be so nice.

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Old 01-26-2015, 12:45 PM   #49
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Great Write up..... thanks for the detailed information. Concerning the Newmar customer service...... Ditto on the Rick D. Rep. Still waiting for him to call me back on a minor concern.
Just to be fair and give both sides to Newmar's customer service representative Rick - I just had an issue I called Newmar about. I was having trouble getting service done on a warranty item at a dealership, so I called customer service and spoke with Rick. He was willing to listen, understood the issue and resolved the issue quickly and followed up with me. Kudos to Rick and Newmar.
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:31 AM   #50
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Hello Esprit, I would be happy to discuss the TST Internal TPMS if you would like. I am available until midnight daily at 770-889-9102 Thanks Mike
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:06 AM   #51
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CapUTech. Thanks for the great write-up. Would like to hear your compararions to the Berkshire now that you have had the DSDP for a few months.

Also, assuming the Berkshire provided you an identical floor plan as your new DSDP is the Newmar that much better in all regards to warrant the approximate $100k price difference? tks
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:49 PM   #52
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CapUTech. Thanks for the great write-up. Would like to hear your compararions to the Berkshire now that you have had the DSDP for a few months.

Also, assuming the Berkshire provided you an identical floor plan as your new DSDP is the Newmar that much better in all regards to warrant the approximate $100k price difference? tks

I currently own a Berkshire 390 BH, the only similarity is the bunks. But they are configured differently.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:52 PM   #53
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CapUTech. Thanks for the great write-up. Would like to hear your compararions to the Berkshire now that you have had the DSDP for a few months.

Also, assuming the Berkshire provided you an identical floor plan as your new DSDP is the Newmar that much better in all regards to warrant the approximate $100k price difference? tks
Short answer = YES. See below for the longer answer.

We had the Berkshire 390BH and enjoyed it for a year. There were a few things that caused us some frustration which was one of the motivators to upgrade. Those were the desire for a residential fridge, better and quieter AC and better carrying capacity. The floor plans are different of course, but I'm taking your question to mean that if they were the same, is there $100k difference. Obviously, this differs in opinion, but for my family it's a resounding yes.

Below is a quick summary of a few of the things that make the Newmar so much better in my opinion - in no particular order.
  • Slides - the Berkshire had 4 slides and used 3 different technologies. The two front slides were hydraulic and would creep out slightly after a couple of weeks in storage. The bunk slide used a series of cables and pulleys that was virtually certain to fail (many Berkshires owners already know this). The bedroom slide used an electric gear driven mechanism that also was prone to failure. The slides fit was also fairly sloppy. As an example, our TV remote would often fall off the counter while moving the dinette slide and fall outside on the ground - undamaged! There was enough gap that it easily fit through! Conversely, the slide drive mechanism in the Newmar is very beefy, electrically driven, cog wheels. It is simple and very efficient. The slides have very tight tolerances and do not have even the slightest draft getting through. Its a dramatic difference. Oh, and the Berk's slides continuously damaged the rear carpet - which was normal according to Forest River.
  • Craftsmanship - it's not even close. The Newmar woodwork is the best you can expect. Everything is built to a much higher standard. The cabinets, faucets, doors, dinette, furniture… everything. The side walls are about an inch thicker and the entire front cab area is so much more solid. I always felt that the driver's side window in the Berkshire would blow out in strong winds. It would shake and rattle like crazy. The overall driving experience is also a big difference. Not just Comfort Drive... the overall experience. There are virtually no noises, expansion joints are easily soaked up, potholes on one side don't slam the whole coach. When I owned the Berkshire, I thought it drove very nice. Then I drove the Newmar. It's like going from a compact car feel to a high end sedan or SUV. It's smoother, quieter and promotes much more confidence. It's also easier to maneuver as the IFS has a nearly 60 degrees wheel cut - turns on a dime.
  • Sound and Insulation - the AC is almost as quiet as our house. To give you an idea, the Berkshire AC used to register around 60db on a SPL meter. The Newmar on high fan speed is closer to 40db. That is a massive difference. The Berkshire would also vibrate the coach and was particularly bad in the bedroom making it very difficult to sleep. The sound of outside noises is also dramatically less. We could hear everything with the Berkshire, the Newmar deadens a lot of the outside noises. The insulation is far better in the Newmar. There are no hot and cold spots and the coach stays on temp a lot better.
  • Technology - whether its the electrical system with the better inverter, gennie control, energy management system or the A/V system with Sony components that sound spectacular (I’ve been meaning to do a write up on this for a while…), it’s just all superior. Even things like the lighting, furnace and water heater (Oasis), kitchen and bathroom faucets are just in a different category.
  • Exterior - the baggage doors close like car doors. Much better feel and seal. The Berkshire’s basement would get wet in the rain, the Newmar stays dry even during a trip with 9 hours of torrential rain. The basement floor is also about 1.5-2 inches thick and full of insulation. The Berkshire’s was 1/2inch plywood. The wet bay is insulated with a radiant heater.
  • Chassis - my Berkshire was over the front axle limit from the factory! Forest River did upgrade the tires and axles at no charge, but that only gave me 1500lbs of carrying capacity. With my family, groceries and a full tank of water, I was again over the limit. I’m not even close on the Newmar. It’s probably one reason why the Newmar rides so much nicer. It’s just so smooth and effortless. You could tell the Berkshire was always on the limit.

One area that the Berkshire did win out though was in fuel mileage. I’d routinely get 11-12mpg, while the Newmar is stuck about 7.5mpg.

I hope this does not sound too negative on the Berkshire. We did enjoy it for about a year, but it had enough annoyances that it affected the enjoyment for my family. The Newmar is basically our vacation home and feels comfortable for us all.

Overall, Newmar’s are built more to the quality of a nice house, the Berkshire was clearly an RV.

I guess I’d liken it to comparing a Chevy to a Mercedes - both get the job done, but for most the Mercedes is worth a lot more.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:26 AM   #54
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We are looking at the same transition. We currently have a Berkshire and we are looking at going to either a 4369 or perhaps an Entegra Anthem if they come out with a suitable floor plan. We like the Berkshire, but it is in a class below the DS. We have no complaints on the Berk, but just looking for a nicer "last" rig now that our girls will start college in the fall.

Thanks for your great posts. Very helpful and informative.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:55 AM   #55
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Thanks for the detailed write-up Caputech. I suspected all and more that you mentioned would be better in the Newmar. I also like the comparison to the RV vs house. Wonder what FR does with the Charleston model. That is supposed to be their top end but I don't see much comments on it even the FR forum. Maybe the price they want is too much while being inferior still in many regards to the Newmar's, Entegra's, Tiffins etc. so it makes no sense to buy a Charleston but at the price point of the Berk people will sacrifice knowing they are saving a ton.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:52 AM   #56
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"upgraded solar prep wire to heavier gauge"

Does any know what gauge of wire should I upgrade to for the solar prep?
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