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Old 02-21-2013, 02:04 PM   #43
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Hey Deek!

Wow!!!!! Your coach turned out awesome! The extra time you spent mixing and matching materials really came together well. Very nicely done.

Sounds like you got your money's worth with the factory visit. Without the confidence our dealer built with us over the last 6 years I would have seriously considered going to the factory as well. Can not say enough good things about the way Midway prepared and supported us on our 2006 Ventana we bought off the lot new from them.

Great write up (as I expected from you - LOL!). Your usual expanded insights to your surroundings is always interesting and informative (I particullary was interested to find out about the filled treats at the bakery - LOL!).

So a couple questions for you:

1) What would you have done different if you could back to the point you decided to get the Dutch Star?

2) Did you find the comfort drive and tag axle to make as big of a difference in drive comfort as we are hearing?

3) How did you find the L sofa? I really like the look in the materials you selected for it.

4) The issue with lighting in the rear bath. Is it the shadow area under the medicine cabinet shown in the attached picture you posted?

Well thanks again for taking the time to let us share in your experiance with your new DS. It was really interesting and enjoyable to go thru.

Have fun...

Ma Snart
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:05 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ma Snart View Post
Hey Deek!

Wow!!!!! Your coach turned out awesome! The extra time you spent mixing and matching materials really came together well. Very nicely done.

Muchas Gracias!

Sounds like you got your money's worth with the factory visit. Without the confidence our dealer built with us over the last 6 years I would have seriously considered going to the factory as well. Can not say enough good things about the way Midway prepared and supported us on our 2006 Ventana we bought off the lot new from them.

Would do factory deliver again in a heart beat. Those guys are terrific and we got to go over the coach with a fine tooth comb in a way we never did with our selling dealer on our Ventana deal. When we get the Mountain Aire (DON'T tell my wife yet), we will do factory deliver again.

Great write up (as I expected from you - LOL!). Your usual expanded insights to your surroundings is always interesting and informative (I particullary was interested to find out about the filled treats at the bakery - LOL!).

Again, Muchas Gracias!

So a couple questions for you:

1) What would you have done different if you could back to the point you decided to get the Dutch Star?

Really, not a lot. That is only because we got such great help from Michelle Howard and Roxie Rice when we put our ideas into their hands and they helped us finish the selections we made -- straightening us out on a couple of things we had jumbled up and needed to be fixed (such as color of counter tops and the style of table we made a mistake on). The only possible thing I might have changed when all is said and done is taking the fiberglass roof option. However, I did raise that with both dealer and Newmar and at each juncture I was told that both are fine and they really don't have problems with the Bright Tech. That was a savings of $1,100.00. I love your dealer and I know I have told you that. They were one of eight dealers I worked with to get pricing on our coach but they were not in a position to come close to the deal we got from Sky River RV in San Francisco -- and they were very up front to say so and encourage us to take the SF deal (which we did). All things being equal, if I found a good deal with Midway, I would not hesitate to go to them in the future.

2) Did you find the comfort drive and tag axle to make as big of a difference in drive comfort as we are hearing?

Most, most definitely, no question about it. You will see firsthand with yours. I have said several times in various posts that Comfort Drive, IMO, is simply a game changer. It makes driving so much easier in whatever conditions are thrown at you. For instance, coming down through Tennessee and Georgia, we had strong and gusty winds most of the way in both states, compounded by 200 miles of rain in Georgia. In the coach, you really had very little idea of it. My wife asked me how the coach was handling and when I told her of the strong winds, she was completely surprise because we were so smooth and steady with the Comfort Drive. The tag axle is also a huge deal. You notice more stability, more comfort and more smoothness on the road. Going over bridges or uneven pavement, you just sense all of those -- much more so that we did before. And something you didn't ask about -- the power with the 450 HP engine. It is just awesome. On hills, I used to get passed by trucks; not anymore. Now, I pass all the trucks. The cruise sticks like glue when you set it, almost no matter how steep the hill. When we went into the Smokies, there were sharp curves and steep grades -- with the 450, we never lagged. You might see a mile or two off the cruise for a little tiny bit, but really no discernible change in speed. Comfort, smoothness, power -- these are all you are getting with the '13. Will the 43 be different? I don't know and can only speculate but I suspect not. You have slightly larger wheels and tires -- 305 / 70 v. 315 / 80, a slightly longer wheel base and overall 2 feet longer coach. Yes, it's heavier but I suspect the ride is very comparable.

3) How did you find the L sofa? I really like the look in the materials you selected for it.

Believe it or not, we love it. I worried about this with all the bad press about it. But for us, the layout is great. When Joanne is sleeping and I want to read, I spread out on the sofa with the LED light above me and am most comfortable laying out. I am 5' 11" and I fit perfectly on either side. We like the way it faces the tolerator -- it is one of the reasons we got dialed into the 4018 style in the first place. Yes, the straight sofa would be better for guests -- no question about it. The L has nothing that can be called a decent pull out bed like we had on the Ventana -- you could sleep two small kids comfortably in it but no adults at all. But we are the ones who will be using the coach for 95% of the time and for us the L sofa just works. We are thinking about what to do about overnight visitors and we will come up with something -- probably a good quality stand along Aero bed which can be set up in the main salon area next to the L sofa. For now, we do not regret sticking with the L.

4) The issue with lighting in the rear bath. Is it the shadow area under the medicine cabinet shown in the attached picture you posted?

Yep, a definite drawback. Steve Morrison and I have discussed this at length. Steve has been in touch with Newmar and is noodling out a solution with the stock LED lights we both got -- probably two under the main bath cabinet and one under the half bath cabinet. Steve and Lisa are camping with us this weekend and hopefully we will have a solution for this issue that we can share. There is no question that additional lighting is needed under the cabinet as you see it in the pic. The other lighting is super but under counter is needed and you will definitely want it.

Well thanks again for taking the time to let us share in your experiance with your new DS. It was really interesting and enjoyable to go thru.

For us, half the fun has been posting about our adventure so that all of us on the Forum can enjoy and learn from each other. My honor and my pleasure to share the info.

Have fun...

Working on it, baby! Pulled into River Bend RV Resort in Ft. Myers yesterday, spend all day cleaning the coach and car (what a LOT of work! Will have it hired out for sure next time) and are really enjoying the coach, the weather, the place, and looking ahead to thirty days here while the shovel the snow at home. Not sure it we're going to like this change in schedule (my wife retired as an inner city high school prinicipal at the end of June and I have maybe another year before I am done) but I am thinking I am liking what I am seeing thus far ....

Ma Snart
Deek
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:56 AM   #45
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Thanks for the Q & A.

Enjoy the weather.

Will be looking for the under cabinet lighting solution that Steve and you come up with.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:29 AM   #46
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Will be looking for the under cabinet lighting solution that Steve and you come up with.
JohnT,

I ordered the LED lights from Newmar yesterday. They are the same type as the recessed lights in the ceiling and also the over the bed reading lights. The entire light unit (including the LED bulb) was about $21/unit. Ordered two (2) of them for the master bath and one (1) for the mid-bath. Plan to install them under the medicine cabinets and wire to the existing light over the cabinet so they are switched by the same switch. Will post pictures of the install when done.

So far I have made the following mods to our coach. Will post some pictures of them soon.

Disabled the back-up buzzer ... can easily reconnect if ever needed.
Added a tube under the coach to store sewer hose in.
Installed a Progressive Industries 50 Amp Hardwired Integrated Display EMS-LCHW50C Surge Protector.
Added four (4) towel bars in bedroom/bathrooms for bath towels.
Added another towel ring in bath for 2nd hand towel.
Added single wall hooks in bath and bedroom for hanging clothes.
Added key hanger in front cabinet.
Added shelf in the under bay peg board compartment.
Added full length mirror to back of back bathroom door.
Changed out shower head to one that you donít have to lay against the the wall to get under when in the holder.
Added wall mounted make-up mirror in back bath.

When I ordered the coach, we did not get the safe option and later decided we wish we would of. I have ordered the same model as Newmar installs and will put that in as well. As much as I like using the coach Ö I also enjoy this phase as well!

Headed over (with our coach) to spend the weekend with Deek this afternoon.

Steve
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #47
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Hey Steve!

Very interesting improvements you have made. Looking forward to some pictures.

You are enjoying having the new rig to not only live in, but to play with as well. Very cool.

Having an engineering degree as well, I understand your need to "improve" - LOL!!

Enjoy...

Ma Snart
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:44 PM   #48
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I added a row of cup hooks above the windshield, to hang lights or signs off of. There is plenty of space between the shades and the glass. It's where we hung the Christmas lights, then plugged them in the AV cabinet.

Full length mirror

Hooks in the overhead compartment for keys

I just got in most of the LEDs for the puck lights

I all so removed everything in the AV cabinet and reset everything to fit with the dish 622 receiver.

There will be many more to come for sure.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:34 PM   #49
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It sure was fun having Steve and Lisa with us for our first weekend of camping in our new Dutch Stars!!!

Steve has done some fabulous mods and it is such a help seeing all he has done.

I remember reading PDR John's gushing review when he got his new DS and was so happy with it. We are definitely having the same experience and I see exactly what John was gushing about! It's like a whole new world!

Deek
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:53 PM   #50
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Its been 10 years since we got our last Newmar , enjoy them all everyone, time sure moves fast as you get older.
We are near the end with ours, sure wish we had the time to start over these new Newmar coach's sure make it hard to give up the RV lifestyle.
Even with some of the newbie's getting some good looking oldies, you can be envied.
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