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Old 08-01-2015, 05:14 PM   #1
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Why do I have to solve my coach problems!!!

I purchased my 2008 Dutch Star 4317 in September of 2014. The coach had 24,830 miles. I have posted before about the porpoising problem and how the coach would hit both the up and down stops. I have talked with Newmar, there response was it is a Spartan problem. I spoke with Spartan and there response was that it is a Hendrickson problem. Spoke with Hendrickson and they say it is a Bilstein problem. The last trip I broke the shaft at the eye bolt. Due to time restraints I replaced the front Bilsteins with the same shock. Koni did not have better replacement shock for my chassis that we could find. As I mentioned earlier the Bilstein that Hendrickson chose for the front axle is rated at under 12,000 lbs. GAWR and the coach front end is 14,600 lbs GAWR. That means the shock is rated at 2600 lbs. less than the front axle weight. The new shocks were not any better than the ones I removed. I had been in contact with the people at Super Steer in Grants Pass, OR and changed my vacation plans to include a stop at there shop. Super Steer had been using a new Koni shock part# 99B-3209 on the Western Alpine. These shocks were used with a very slight modification to the mounting bracket and now coach can handle any dip in the road, plus it handles better on the curves, much less roll. We put 7213 miles on this trip and my wife no longer has to grab the seat when she sees a dip coming. I also replaced the drive and tag axle shocks with the Koni 8805-1013 shocks. This has been a 7 month process, with the mfg. and there subs saying they have never heard of the problem. Bilstein was the only one to say the shock chosen by Hendrikson was under rated for the front axle. This goes along with the problems the previous owner had with the drivers side slide. Thousands of dollars had been spent with no fix. I called Intelltec, the mfg. of the controller and there first question was is the coach a Newmar, when I responded yes, he said to take all of the grounds for the four slides and attach them to the negative side of the inverter. Problem solved. Since I returned from the vacation I dropped the coach off at my local Spartan dealer to repair the dash A/C and the headlights that don't work. It took me two weeks to get the drawings for the headlight wiring, with Newmar saying Spartan had them and Spartan saying Newmar installed the headlights. It finally turned out that Spartan designed the wiring. I also placed a parts order for $296.00 with Newmar to replace other items that broke on the trip. The people at Newmar are very nice to deal with, but I do get frustrated that they have never heard of the failures that I am experiencing. I have the only DSDP in the world with problems!!! I didn't waste my time on my inoperative Oasis hot water system. I set up an appointment with the Vancouver, Washington office, they were super. I arrived, they guided me in to the service bay, we went to lunch and on our return the coach was ready to go. The issues I have had are not unusual for a motorhome, I just wish the makers would follow the posts on the internet and then they couldn't say that they have never heard of the problem!!!!! Toby Andrews
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
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Welcome to the reality of owning a motorhome. Your problems don't seem above average for a 7 year old coach. You are out of warranty on everything so you are on your own. You could get a service contract which would cover your expenses if you think there are major expenses ahead but a lot of us just take the risk.
My previous coach was an Alpine so I understand about the shocks. The new ones you have seem to have cured the problem the previous ones had.
Newmar have heard of your problems but they won't admit it. They don't monitor or respond to any comments on these forums so don't expect help that way. Post specific issues here and others will suggest solutions, otherwise find a good service center. Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:28 PM   #3
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Welcome to the world of RVing.
I could go through some of the list of corrections I have made over the years for the coach's I have owned including the three Newmars.

You stuck with the problems and solved them which many of us have done once your out of warranty, its a different world when talking to chassis and coach mfg's, I am sure they have heard them from many that could explain the problems so wouldn't admit it.

To get frustrated over a problem won't help, its easier and quicker to just fix yourself and move on.

Your shock problem was a good example, we had a gas Workhorse chassis that did the same thing driving over dips in roads, if my wife did not have a seat belt on she would have hit the ceiling, my costs were a lot less than yours and I have always changed out the shocks on both the Fords and 03 WH that I have owned.

You say Newmar or chassis MFG's do not follow the forums well following year 04 Workhorse started to install the Bilstein's, most WH owners were all ready installing.

With the wrong shocks you sure loosen up the coach on the front end for sure.

Thanks for the post I am going to put in QT's # 3 so others with the same period coach will see it and I can reference them too it also.
If you have other problems read the links below in my signature and find many problems resolved by people like yourself, so they could move on and enjoy their coach.
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