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Old 10-20-2015, 02:52 PM   #1
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Passive Steer Tag & Other observations on 2016 Dutch Star 4312

I just received a text from one of our good friends on this forum asking for my initial thoughts on the new passive steer tag on the DS. Instead of texting him a reply I thought that I'd just post my thoughts here. Here you go Scott W

In a word- It Works. Meaning, if you are looking for a tighter turning diameter, it delivers. We live on a cul-de-sac and with our a 15 Dutch Star it was kind of a crap shoot if we could make the turn without hitting our mailbox. Oftentimes we have the towed hooked up and we are attempting to load and go without unhooking the towed. With the 16 DS this same maneuver is much easier with room to spare. You will also find your right turns to be easier without the need to compensate as much. Thumbs up on this feature.

One observation: After you make a tight forward turn to the right or left and the passive steer is doing its job (turned hard in the opposite direction), if you turn the steering wheel the oppositte direction and immediately start to reverse, the whole setup looks really goofy because the tag will be pointing in the "wrong" direction. This does not affect anything because as soon as you put it in reverse, the air pressure is dumped from that axle. After a little bit of travel in the reverse direction the tag does find its way back to pointing "straight" and then locks in place. I am not sure if I've confused everybody by trying to describe that scenario. I'm only mentioning it because it looks really strange the first few times you see it.

The quality of the ride is as amazing as before and probably better. No complaints in this department. All of the extra steel in the chassis does seem to make for a tighter/quieter ride while traveling over rough surfaces. All I can say is that if you found the ride quality to be satisfactory prior to the STAR chassis improvments, you will probably like the 2016 version even better.

Yes, there has been much discussion regarding the added weight of the new 2016 models. We have not found this to be a problem. We travel with 5 people. Two adults and 3 children. Believe me, we travel with a lot of stuff. We are going to weigh again, but based on the first weight, we cannot be close to the limits. As for the added weight being too much for the 450HP motor, I have not yet driven in the mountains. We are now towing a Suburban which is about 2,000 lbs heavier than the last towed. Almost 5,000lbs more total with the new chassis, more floor tile and toad. No difference noticed in normal highway driving and city acclerating. Could we lose 3-5 mph while climbing a steep grade? Maybe. I guess it is not a real concern for me as little time as we spend in the mountains.

As for the new hydraulic HWH FWS slide mechanism: The biggest comment I have here is that we no longer have to put down the tile protectors. We never had any trouble with the FWS in our 2015 DS. It is a little smoother operation in that it goes straight out and then quietly lowers itself level with the floor. In the 2015 I never did get used to that "thud" sound at the end when the slide leveled itself. I would always "freak" thinking we hit something on the outside.

Love, love love the DEF fill on the correct side. We've only topped it off once. I can see doing that on a much more regular basis. I hated the exercise of driving into the truck stops "backwards".

These are my initial impressions. If there is something you are wondering that I have omitted, please ask away.
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:22 PM   #2
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Sorry to be completely off subject but the 4312 is the model we'd love to own. The rear bunk house seems like it would be perfect for our daughter. I'm amazed this floor plan is not more popular with the "high end" motorhomes
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:16 PM   #3
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Man, I loved to read your post!
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondrew View Post
Sorry to be completely off subject but the 4312 is the model we'd love to own. The rear bunk house seems like it would be perfect for our daughter. I'm amazed this floor plan is not more popular with the "high end" motorhomes

The age of the children may influence this more than I imagine, but I can't see putting my kids in a closet behind the bathroom, with the only access to the main living area (salon?) going through my bedroom. This is completely subjective. As they say, there's no accounting for taste.



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Old 10-20-2015, 04:35 PM   #5
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Would really like to see your corner weights when you get them.

2016 43' DSDP Weight Issues?
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:54 PM   #6
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Nice to read some early first reports.
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:49 PM   #7
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Thank you for the info, great to hear!
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:53 PM   #8
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My coach will be back at the factory next week for 12-15 ( typical) warranty items. Does anybody know if the factory would be willing to weigh my coach at all 4 corners? I guess I'd be willing to pay for it if they charged me. I just don't know where else I could go to get it weighed at all four corners.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:02 PM   #9
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Yes the factory will weigh your coach for you. We had ours weighed on our first trip back to the factory so I could get an idea of the loaded weight.


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Old 10-22-2015, 08:40 AM   #10
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That's exactly what I saw

CentILRVer said:

One observation: After you make a tight forward turn to the right or left and the passive steer is doing its job (turned hard in the opposite direction), if you turn the steering wheel the oppositte direction and immediately start to reverse, the whole setup looks really goofy because the tag will be pointing in the "wrong" direction.


Yep, that's exactly what I saw at a dealer's lot recently. Sure looked odd but driver had no problem backing into tight spot.
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:05 PM   #11
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Great right up Adil, thanks for the information. Nice to see these new features have improved the already terrific Dutch Star model. I would love to have that stuff but I will resist!
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:06 PM   #12
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I drove one today. Salesman made a U turn in the lot that my 40' phaeton couldn't come close to making. Very impressive ride. Salesman did not know that the FWS is hydraulic until I pointed out the hydraulic actuator and the input and return lines in the basement. He thought they were all electric. Anyway.... I will likely become a new DS owner next year if I can sell the wife on it. I pretty sure she will cave. LOL.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:13 PM   #13
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Do all of the 2016 models include the exit door behind the toilet? I do not see it listed as either an option or a standard feature, but I do see it in some of the pictures in the marketing materials.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:15 PM   #14
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Do all of the 2016 models include the exit door behind the toilet? I do not see it listed as either an option or a standard feature, but I do see it in some of the pictures in the marketing materials.
I believe it's standard in all the floor plans with the rear bath.
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