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Old 05-14-2016, 08:17 AM   #1
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Newmar Dutch Star 4018

New to this forum so sorry in advance if I am doing this wrong.

I currently have a 2007 38' Fleetwood Bounder Diesel with only 9,000 miles. Just put on six new Michelin tires due to age, Alcoa wheels and today was at Blue Ox and had them install the Tru Center steering stabilization system and drove 200 miles back home in very windy conditions.

I am wanting to continue to update this coach but can't get comfortable behind the wheel even after these improvements.

I am somewhat familiar with the Newmar products but have only test driven them short distances. Please tell me if you believe you would experience the same side wind driving issues with your 4018. If not, what do you feel is the biggest contributor to a 4018's improvement over my coach. Comfort Drive, tag axle and heavier coach are what I am assuming I am going to get for answers but hoping for a little bit more detail.

I want a coach I don't mind driving on bumpy roads and significant side windy days. That does not seem to be the coach I own today.

Thanks for your help. Sorry about the length.
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:38 AM   #2
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Hi Doug! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Sorry I can't answer your questions! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:42 AM   #3
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Hi Doug



Glad you joined us here in the forum.

You hit the nail on the head, comfort drive and the tag axle will definitely make it easier to drive in winds. Gee makes it easier to drive, period!

Happy Trails!!!
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:00 AM   #4
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Have you had it weighed and adjusted the tire pressures?
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:01 AM   #5
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I'd like to add my welcome to the forum. Welcome!


I can't make a comparison between your coach and a 4018 nor can I explain the technical details of the Comfort Drive system. As shown in my signature, I own a shorter wheelbase, non-tag, Dutch Star with Comfort Drive. To me, the coach is comfortable to drive in windy conditions and while being passed by 18-wheelers. In fact, I keep an eye on roadside bushes and trees to gauge wind conditions. On the few occasions when I got that uncomfortable "seat-of-the-pants" feeling, I just slow down. If the wind got too bad I would not hesitate to pull off the road and stop.


I am also satisfied with coach's performance on bumpy roads.


Hope this helps. Drive safely. Have fun!
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:08 AM   #6
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Doug, I know that you don't have a Monaco, but some of this applies, read this thread and glean what applies to your situation. Mine was a Beaver with a different chassis, but correct air pressure and tightening up the steering box (TRW) fixed most of my similar problems.
Wandering, sway bars, alignment, ride height, oh my!!


Also look at this one
Steering Box Play- Sheppard M100 SHIM or Swap for a TRW ?
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug IA View Post
I want a coach I don't mind driving on bumpy roads and significant side windy days. That does not seem to be the coach I own today.

Thanks for your help. Sorry about the length.
Doug, first welcome to the best RV forum. Lots of helpful people here.
A short story: Five years ago, when we picked up our RV in Arizona, I was scared out of my mind driving it. But I had to drive it a lot to get it back to Ohio, because my better half sure wasn't about to. Gradually I started to feel more comfortable. Experience is a good teacher. And I've had my share of them (yup, clipped an orange barrel that had blown too far over onto my side of the road to miss.) It is kind of like learning to swim, or ride a bicycle or many other life skills.

I think the difference is that you feel that driving that big bus should be like driving the car that you are so comfortable with. And it is not. It never will be, regardless of how many convenience features you put on it, it will always be a 25,000 Lb. +, bus. You learn to keep an eye in the mirror and expect a little push when a semi roars by you, or when you are driving in a strong cross wind, and you approach an underpass you learn to tighten you grip just a little to expect the wind push to change.

One thing I noticed is that if I haven't driven my Rex for a couple of months, and I get out onto the highway, I find myself driving around 55 to 58 MPH at first. Then after a while I gradually , unconsciously increase the speed to 63 or so as my comfort level increases.

You will get used to your coach. Just give yourself time, and miles in the seat.
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
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Doug

First off I think you are doing the right thing by keeping your maintenance up and using the forum.

Concerning your Bounder drive recently. Most RVs do not handle well in "very strong winds". Sometimes the smartest solution is to wait another day. Secondly unless your Bounder was a rebuilt wreck I doubt the RV is malfunctioning. I have owned four motor homes. A 35ft, a 40 ft, both with dual tires, and later two tag axle RVs 43 and 45 ft. Without starting the trumpet calls for Comfort Drive from the Newmar owners the difference between driving a tag axle and a single axle is night and day with crosswinds and semi drafts. My older single axles handled okay but were intense during strong crosswinds. Even my tag axle I drive now I would delay driving if I knew the crosswinds were greater than 30mph.

As for the DS 4018, it is a fine driving RV. I tested one about four years ago and it did handle nice. It was actually the first tag axle I had ever driven. We bought a different brand for various reasons of our own. My point is if finances allow you to buy a DS tag axle, go for it, but don't dismiss other tag axle RVs in your search. There are some really great used Monaco Dynasty and Country Coach tag axle RVs out their 37-38 and 40 ft if you can find one.
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