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Old 09-17-2017, 04:10 PM   #1
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Tips on ordering a new Dutch Star

We are seriously considering ordering a new Dutch Star 4002 to replace our 2014 Ventana LE. We've never ordered a new coach; our first two were bought off the lot. Now, we'd like to customize a coach to our specifications.

So, how do you sort out all the options? Some of the option descriptions on the Newmar website are a bit confusing and not very descriptive, at least for someone who has not previously had a Dutch Star or ordered a custom coach.

Then, there is the Spartan vs. Freightliner decision. Personally, I like the availability of Freightliner service in my local area, and in the areas where we travel most. Are there really any major differences or is this a Ford/Chevy preference kind of thing?

And, there's the factory pickup vs local servicing dealer pickup decision. Is there really a lot of difference between the two? We only have a couple of Newmar dealers within 400 miles, but would likely use one of them for warranty service rather than driving 2,500 miles back to the factory.

Finally, if we wanted a mid-April delivery, when do we need to order by? It looks like from what I've been reading, order-to-delivery time runs about 4-5 months. Is that correct?

Any words of wisdom and experience will be greatly appreciated.

TJ
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:13 PM   #2
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Do check out your thoughts on ordering a FL chassis. If you check the last month FL forum on irv2 you will see a number of major problems with tag axles and fan drive brackets break. Spartan and Newmar are the way to go.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquil Jim View Post
We are seriously considering ordering a new Dutch Star 4002 to replace our 2014 Ventana LE. We've never ordered a new coach; our first two were bought off the lot. Now, we'd like to customize a coach to our specifications.

So, how do you sort out all the options? Some of the option descriptions on the Newmar website are a bit confusing and not very descriptive, at least for someone who has not previously had a Dutch Star or ordered a custom coach.
**Ask us about specific options, a lot of experience here.



Then, there is the Spartan vs. Freightliner decision. Personally, I like the availability of Freightliner service in my local area, and in the areas where we travel most. Are there really any major differences or is this a Ford/Chevy preference kind of thing?
** For me it wasn't a decision to make, I have been waiting for 3 months so far and a total of over 5 to get the Spartan. The Spartan has rear axle disc brakes, a frame that weighs 420 pounds more because it's thicker and has a lifetime warranty, open the rear engine door on a Spartan you can see the engine. Freightliner customers have had quite a few nightmare stories to tell.


And, there's the factory pickup vs local servicing dealer pickup decision. Is there really a lot of difference between the two? We only have a couple of Newmar dealers within 400 miles, but would likely use one of them for warranty service rather than driving 2,500 miles back to the factory.
** runs close to $4k

Finally, if we wanted a mid-April delivery, when do we need to order by? It looks like from what I've been reading, order-to-delivery time runs about 4-5 months. Is that correct?

**to get it in April you may have to take over a order that a dealer has in the pipeline I would not wait to much longer!!

Any words of wisdom and experience will be greatly appreciated.

TJ
see ** for my answers
happy to help you, if you like you can message me. Stuart
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:31 PM   #4
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TJ,

I ordered my first RV (Mountain Aire) in late June. FPU is scheduled for the first week of December. Just over 5 months. I don't know how the time varies by model.

As for selecting the options, we worked with the dealer to understand what each option was. We also picked flooring from the King Aire. This wasn't one the options on the form. After we ordered, we found out we could add a kitchen window. It wasn't on the options form. From what I understand you can request anything you want. Newmar may not approve it, but I don't think it hurts to ask. I would recommend looking at some higher end units to get a feel for what some of the possibilities are.

As for Spartan vs FL, we originally went with the FL chassis but then switched to Spartan. We originally chose FL because of the number of service centers. After checking out reviews of the local service centers, this reason lost some value. We liked the fact that the Spartan chassis has the Safe Haul feature which means MH mods would not be required to use the SMI Air Force One braking system on our toad.

We purchased our MH from a dealer in Florida. We traveled there because there were multiple dealers in the area covering multiple manufacturers. We were originally planning on picking up the unit from the dealer, but we heard so many good things about FPU, especially for first time RV owners like my wife and I. We'll spend 5 days learning about the RV from the manufacturer, getting any issues resolved in the process. This compared to the 6 hours that we would spend at the dealer without exercising all of the MH systems.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:54 AM   #5
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OK, here are a couple of specific option questions.

What is the "Energy Management System" option all about? Is this something that goes with solar (which I am not interested in) or something else. Any idea of the option cost? One drawback to the Newmar "build" app is that it gives no prices.

Also, has anyone had customer-supplied options installed as part of the build?Specifically, I'd like to have a Kenwood DNX571R radio/cd/DVD/navigation system installed instead of the Excite system. I like the Garmin interface better. And, I'd like to have the RF Mogul Eagle-3 satellite dish installed instead of the Winegard. Will Newmar order and install them? Or, will they install them if I purchase them and ship them to Newmar?

I'll probably have plenty more questions as I get further along in the process.

TJ
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:53 AM   #6
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Given that I take delivery of my first MH in December, I'm definitely not an expert here. Also I ordered a MADP which has different options than DSDP. Newmar uses the Silverleaf EMS system. My understanding is that as you move up the Newmar line the system become more capable. One capability of the system is to automatically turn on the generator when electrical service is lost or if the interior temperature reaches a certain threshold. You could use this to ensure your pet doesn't overheat if left in the RV while you were out. I'm not sure which features are available on which models. A dealer can definitely help you here.

A dealer will also provide you will the build forms which lists all the standard options and the MSRP pricing. The dealer can be a valuable resource (as can irv2). You're paying the dealer their cut of the purchase price, you might as well have them work for it, even if you haven't down selected which dealer you will use. I even engaged a dealer via emails and they were very helpful. Some posts in the 2018 deliveries thread indicated that the owners had provided items for Newmar to install, so I would definitely ask, but they do draw a line, so you may or may not have success.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tranquil Jim View Post
OK, here are a couple of specific option questions.

What is the "Energy Management System" option all about? Is this something that goes with solar (which I am not interested in) or something else. Any idea of the option cost? One drawback to the Newmar "build" app is that it gives no prices.

Also, has anyone had customer-supplied options installed as part of the build?Specifically, I'd like to have a Kenwood DNX571R radio/cd/DVD/navigation system installed instead of the Excite system. I like the Garmin interface better. And, I'd like to have the RF Mogul Eagle-3 satellite dish installed instead of the Winegard. Will Newmar order and install them? Or, will they install them if I purchase them and ship them to Newmar?

I'll probably have plenty more questions as I get further along in the process.

TJ
Go to https://www.newmarcorp.com/dealer-resources/

Then click on ORDER FORMS

Then click on DUTCH STAR

Then for the model you want, click on PRINT FORM

This will bring up the order form you can use, with options and prices. I started a thread a few weeks ago and many others said they printed out the order form, marked what options they wanted, and then scanned back in and emailed several dealers for quotes. I am looking to order a new Ventana in about 2 years and have been "studying" for about a year now. I will retire in 2 years and plan on ordering about 6 months before so I can have a new MH right as I retire.

Good Luck,
Bob
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:59 AM   #8
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We ordered our first Dutch Star in May. Think it is critical to first study not only the DS options but things you like in the other coaches, i.e. floor in King Aire. After going through initial selection with dealer plan on spending a day with Michelle at the plant. She is great and knows just about everything you can customize, including paint colors. . Ask about everything you want changed, worst case they say NO. We made significant changes and felt the price for the extras was more than fair. I also spent a lot of time looking at units at different dealers to see things they did. Example one dealer put in double size kitchen window from New Aire, our dealer had never seen that before.

Our coach comes in Sept. 28. Talking to dealer last week he said acting NOW would get a late April delivery.

Good luck,
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:13 AM   #9
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A knowledgeable sales person is absolutely necessary. Even after we met with Michelle Howard, submitted our options and specials, our salesman went to bat for us to get a special that Newmar originally declined. When you submit your list of specials, Newmar will say yes or no, not well if you do this we can get you close to that. Even Michelle said no on something, we said, well submit it anyway; Newmar approved.

We have an Essex floor, Essex countertop, Essex window over the bed in place of headboard, and custom paint as well as 28 other special items. So it is a process and not something to rush into. Study other models, go visit dealers and shows, and be willing to compromise.
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tranquil Jim View Post
We are seriously considering ordering a new Dutch Star 4002 to replace our 2014 Ventana LE. We've never ordered a new coach; our first two were bought off the lot. Now, we'd like to customize a coach to our specifications.

First thing is to get hold of a Factory Sales Rep - otherwise you are just dealing with the local dealer who will then have to go to the rep who will then get back to the dealer ............ Critical - cut out the Middle Man - talk directly to the factory - may not be easy but this will be very close to .5 M so ...JMHO

Second - Get your Options in a very organized - Form - to email to the Factory so everyone is on the same/right page.

Third - GO TO Nappanee. Nothing Beats Face to FACE!


So, how do you sort out all the options? Some of the option descriptions on the Newmar website are a bit confusing and not very descriptive, at least for someone who has not previously had a Dutch Star or ordered a custom coach.

What do you want? Needs to be listed without any restrictions as to Model (this will then give the factory Rep the Knowledge to give you really good Advice) - you may find that a Mountain Air or Essex is for You. (As to what you want and what is included,$$vs$$$)

You are correct as to the confusing/changing facts - another reason to Talk only to a Factory REP. Trust me even he does not have it all all the time.

Then, there is the Spartan vs. Freightliner decision. Personally, I like the availability of Freightliner service in my local area, and in the areas where we travel most. Are there really any major differences or is this a Ford/Chevy preference kind of thing?

I'm a Spartan guy - so........

And, there's the factory pickup vs local servicing dealer pickup decision. Is there really a lot of difference between the two? We only have a couple of Newmar dealers within 400 miles, but would likely use one of them for warranty service rather than driving 2,500 miles back to the factory.

Factory pick up is the only way to go.........then will require you to reschedule 6 months later........ then any Authorized Dealer can do warranty.

Finally, if we wanted a mid-April delivery, when do we need to order by? It looks like from what I've been reading, order-to-delivery time runs about 4-5 months. Is that correct?

Get your airline tickets today - think you need to start NOW to have any chance - even after the deal is made schedule a slip factor, of 30+ days.

Any words of wisdom and experience will be greatly appreciated.

TJ
This is just my own personal Opinion.......... Did this with my TS 14 years ago and never regretted it - Talked to Newmar as it was between them and TS at the time but Newmar would not make the changes needed.

On that Note you may want to include Entegra on your factory visit - just up the road - just to have some comfort level and some leverage.

Hope this helps,

ps - if you just want to talk send me a PM to swap phone numbers and we could talk.
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tranquil Jim View Post
OK, here are a couple of specific option questions.

What is the "Energy Management System" option all about? Is this something that goes with solar (which I am not interested in) or something else. Any idea of the option cost? One drawback to the Newmar "build" app is that it gives no prices.

Also, has anyone had customer-supplied options installed as part of the build?Specifically, I'd like to have a Kenwood DNX571R radio/cd/DVD/navigation system installed instead of the Excite system. I like the Garmin interface better. And, I'd like to have the RF Mogul Eagle-3 satellite dish installed instead of the Winegard. Will Newmar order and install them? Or, will they install them if I purchase them and ship them to Newmar?

I'll probably have plenty more questions as I get further along in the process.

TJ
GET A LIST - A COMPLETE LIST OF WANTS AND NEEDS.

Otherwise this is a wasted exercise.......... Once you talk with a Factory Sales Rep you will be amazed at what else is available and you find you need.


JMHO
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:59 AM   #12
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Jim

You can ask on the radio and sat system but will more than likely be refused. At least during the build. They may be able to quote you to do it through the service center but it won't happen during the build.

Newmar does have regional sales people but they only work through the dealers. For your options (Newmar calls them specials) there are lots of good ideas here on the forums. Once you have your list you can submit them thru a dealer.

As mentioned another good idea is to do a factory trip. Setup a meeting with Michele Howard in their design center. She can be a great help in the specials area.

Another suggestion, go to the Tampa RV Supershow in January. You can walk through 50+ Newmar coaches. See just about every imaginable configuration and that will help in picking and choosing specials like flooring, fabrics etc.

Even though this isn't your first coach factory pickup is the way to go. Full week with a tech doing any final adjustments after they have had it for 3-4 weeks prior to your appointment. Worth every penny paid and you will test drive, find squeaks that need to be fixed, learn all of the systems and get to exercise all of the systems to find any last minute bugs.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:24 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the info, folks. It is greatly appreciated...especially the link to the order forms/build sheets. That gets me started down the right road.

I also received an e-mail from, and, subsequently, had a phone conversation with, another regular Newmar Owners poster. I won't post his name; if he wants to join this thread, he'll identify himself. In any event, we had a very useful conversation. Thank you!

So, for the moment, I have plenty of homework to do; including identifying potential dealers I may want to solicit a price quote from.

Thanks again.

TJ
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:27 PM   #14
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OK, I think we are making some progress here, thanks to Boomersooner's link to the order form. So, the next question is in regard to price. Do I assume correctly that the cumulative price shown on the interactive order form is MSRP? If so, what's a reasonable discount expectation from a competitive dealer's bid? I have seen references to 28% or so. Is that somewhere in the ballpark?

Given that I was a bit surprised at the price on the Dutch Star, we may expand out search just a bit to the Mountain Aire. We'll see.

TJ
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