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Old 11-14-2019, 10:08 PM   #1
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Dutch Star 4018 drive quality

In the search for a coach, this model has many appealing qualities. I purchased the ratings guide from the RV consumer group. This model has high ratings for reliability and value. It has a low rating for "highway control". The rating seems to be mainly based on the wheelbase to length ratio of 52%. This ends up with a description of the drive as being fatiguing and difficult to steer much of the time. Can any of you confirm or deny this rating?
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:18 PM   #2
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"Elousv"......You can't always trust what you read in these type of consumer group ratings. It sounds like they listed the handing as poor with very little knowledge of the 4018 model. Yes the wheelbase is short for a 40' coach, but if they had actually looked at one versus doing the ratings from a desk, they would have seen that the 4018 is the ONLY 40' coach on the market with a tag axle, which dramatically extends the wheelbase. A tag axle on any coach adds quite a bit of ride quality/stability.

The Newmar 4018, over the past ten years has had Comfort Drive, a system that helps control the steering in wind and road crown conditions. I think the consumer group rating in this instance is pretty much junk.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
"Elousv"......You can't always trust what you read in these type of consumer group ratings. It sounds like they listed the handing as poor with very little knowledge of the 4018 model. Yes the wheelbase is short for a 40' coach, but if they had actually looked at one versus doing the ratings from a desk, they would have seen that the 4018 is the ONLY 40' coach on the market with a tag axle, which dramatically extends the wheelbase. A tag axle on any coach adds quite a bit of ride quality/stability.

The Newmar 4018, over the past ten years has had Comfort Drive, a system that helps control the steering in wind and road crown conditions. I think the consumer group rating in this instance is pretty much junk.


The Tag plus Comfort Drive will make it enjoyable to drive.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:51 PM   #4
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Elousv,

I had a similar question about why RV Consumer showed this warning for almost all of the Newmar tag axle motorhomes. I had a Tiffin Allegro Bus and had test driven 4 or 5 Newmar tag axle coaches. I knew that they drove very well. I contacted RV Consumer and they told me that they only use the manufacturer's "published" wheelbase specs for their ratings.

The "problem" ended up being that Newmar is the only company I know of, that calculates the wheelbase of their tag axle coaches from the center of the front axle to the center of the drive axle. All the other companies that I checked with, calculate the wheel base from the center of the front axle to the center point between the drive and tag axles. Since the normal tag axle is 4 feet behind the drive axle, that adds 24" to all the other manufacturer's wheelbase calculations compared to Newmar. So, take the Newmar listed wheelbase and add 24" to that number. Then, use that number to compare to the compitition!

Like they say, lies, dam* lies, and statistics!
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
"Elousv"......You can't always trust what you read in these type of consumer group ratings. It sounds like they listed the handing as poor with very little knowledge of the 4018 model. Yes the wheelbase is short for a 40' coach, but if they had actually looked at one versus doing the ratings from a desk, they would have seen that the 4018 is the ONLY 40' coach on the market with a tag axle, which dramatically extends the wheelbase. A tag axle on any coach adds quite a bit of ride quality/stability.

The Newmar 4018, over the past ten years has had Comfort Drive, a system that helps control the steering in wind and road crown conditions. I think the consumer group rating in this instance is pretty much junk.
Agree as well … I have had two (2) 4018's and have always enjoyed a great ride and drive.

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Old 11-15-2019, 04:47 PM   #6
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I have a 4018 Ventana with Tag. I find it very stable and with great ride quality and it feels very safe going down the road. I would love a Dutch Star with the same layout as mine!
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Old 11-15-2019, 07:29 PM   #7
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Kinda what I figured. When looking at that rating it just did not seem to make sense. I have seen videos of a dealer driving it with 2 fingers. He also whipped it around a cul-de-sac that I would have a hard time with my crew cab long bed pickup.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:11 AM   #8
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Their drive quality rating is based on how much overhang you have in the rear past the axle and it is purely just a formula based on brochure wheel base vs coach length. They do not count the tag, they are just calculating wheel base from front to first rear axle and assuming the rest of the length is overhang. A tag cuts down on rear over hang but also adds additional stability that they do not count.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:03 PM   #9
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Compared to what?


I find it hard to believe, frankly. -Paul
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elousv View Post
In the search for a coach, this model has many appealing qualities. I purchased the ratings guide from the RV consumer group. This model has high ratings for reliability and value. It has a low rating for "highway control". The rating seems to be mainly based on the wheelbase to length ratio of 52%. This ends up with a description of the drive as being fatiguing and difficult to steer much of the time. Can any of you confirm or deny this rating?
As others have said, don’t believe everything you read, first I suggest you test drive one, second I drive a 4054 and drove across country 2300 miles in some really nasty weather my couch drove brilliantly I don’t drive it for extended periods but see no issues in doing so never tired or “fatigued” as you said the tag axle it’s a perfect combo for the size of coach, having said that tire pressure plays a very important role but you already know that.

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Old 11-16-2019, 07:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tqqest View Post
Elousv,





The "problem" ended up being that Newmar is the only company I know of, that calculates the wheelbase of their tag axle coaches from the center of the front axle to the center of the drive axle. All the other companies that I checked with, calculate the wheel base from the center of the front axle to the center point between the drive and tag axles. Since the normal tag axle is 4 feet behind the drive axle, that adds 24" to all the other manufacturer's wheelbase calculations compared to Newmar. So, take the Newmar listed wheelbase and add 24" to that number. Then, use that number to compare to the compitition!



Like they say, lies, dam* lies, and statistics!


Actually this is correct for Freightliner, however Spartan uses the middle point of the tag and Drive axles
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:37 PM   #12
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Stuart,

Spartan might on their own website, but Rv Consumer uses the Newmar published specs, and for both chassis in a Dutch Star, Newmar shows “288 inches plus tag” for the 4369 model. Not sure why Newmar doesn’t just use the same wheelbase specs as all the others. I have to say that I think that the way Newmar does it is more honest though.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:16 PM   #13
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Dutch Star 4018 drive quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by tqqest View Post
Stuart,

Spartan might on their own website, but Rv Consumer uses the Newmar published specs, and for both chassis in a Dutch Star, Newmar shows “288 inches plus tag” for the 4369 model. Not sure why Newmar doesn’t just use the same wheelbase specs as all the others. I have to say that I think that the way Newmar does it is more honest though.


I’m speaking about the 2018 model year, Newmar’s specs showed two different measurements, I actually call Spartan to find out why their dimensions were different then FL.

It looks like they have now standardized
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:43 AM   #14
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I’m speaking about the 2018 model year, Newmar’s specs showed two different measurements, I actually call Spartan to find out why their dimensions were different then FL.

It looks like they have now standardized
Thanks for the correction Stuart, I didn't realize they had changed the spec info. recently. I don't want to pass on bad information!
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