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Old 08-03-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
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2015 Dutch Star 4369 order

After lurking around on the Newmar Ownerís forum (and others) for the past 2 years, DW and I have decided to order a 2015 Dutch Star 4369.Basic features will include the Seville Exterior, Cordova Interior, Verona Maple cabinets, Euro Dinette and ODS recliners.Fortunately, DW likes the color schemes offered in the 2015s so we donít need to make any special adjustments.
We've managed to work through the option list and pick the things we just canít live without, but there are still a few items weíre on the fence about or donít fully understand.
Weíve concluded DishNet is more traveler friendly, but itís not clear to us from the build sheet the specific model of the Winegard open face satellite dish.We think it may be the SK-1000, does anyone know for sure?Any advice in this area would be welcome.
DW and I are in slight disagreement about the usefulness of the outside frig/freezer in addition to the residential fridge.Would like to hear from those who have one how much it gets used.Iím concerned it may end up as an expensive storage bin.
Weíre also debating the need for the aft awning.Is the additional shade necessary?Or is it just ďa nice to haveĒ on rare occasions?At almost $4K, it would need to be a regular necessity in my book.
Iíve followed the continuing saga of the Frigidaire microwave and notice that it has been replaced by a Whirlpool model for 2015.Does anyone have experience with this new model?If it works well, I think Iíll pass on the upgrade to the GE Advantium.
The AGM batteries are not listed on the build sheet but I know this is a popular upgrade.Does anyone know the approximate cost for this upgrade?Are they worth the additional expense in terms of battery life and performance?
We are also curious about the pros and cons of the overhead TV in addition to the televator.
For various reasons, we will be timing our order for a January factory delivery with the obvious concern being salty roads and corrosion.How concerned should we be?Is it reasonable to think a thorough pressure washing of the under carriage would eliminate, or at least reduce, this concern?
Finally, Iíve noticed many of you mention working with Michelle Howard in sorting out the details of your order.What is the best way to contact her?Email?Phone?
We canít thank the regular posters on this forum enough!Hardly a day goes by that I donít drop in to the forum to read the latest Newmar news and your personal accounts as you've personalized your dream machines.Your knowledge and wisdom have been invaluable.
Phil & Barbara
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:03 PM   #2
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Yes, the 1000 is for Dish Network


We use our outside freezer all the time. But, we're in our coach for 6-9 months at a time and choose to buy our meat in bulk. We refill the freezer each time we stop back to check on things.

Can't really help with the awning, there has only been a couple of times we thought our awning was to short. It wouldn't be worth the expense to us.

AGM are worth it, I'll be upgrading my batteries this winter. No maintenance.


We'd rather have storage then an overhead TV. Televator is perfect for us.

Jan. is always going to be a crap shoot on the weather. Washing as soon as possible is your best bet.

Call and make an appointment to spend some time with Michelle.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:02 AM   #3
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pshoe ... 1st congratulations on the Newmar decision. Sounds like you guys have really done your homework. Here is my 2 cents on a few points.

outside freezer - we did not get it as we are still working and are only in the coach 2-5 weeks at any one time before coming home. I use that bay for all my tools. If we were full timers or close to it like PDR John ... I probably would of gotten it.

AGM batteries - like PDR John, I will be upgrading mine when the wet cells wear out.

front TV - would rather have the storage up there. The televator works great and we also got the outside TV package which we use a lot.

January delivery - I did a February 5th factory delivery and lucked out. It's a gamble and I'd do several pressure washes if I could as soon as you could.

Michelle Howard - a big yes. I will PM you her phone number and email.

You guys are getting ready to really have some fun soon. Keep us posted.

Steve
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:46 AM   #4
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pshoe, Welcome to the Newmar family, now will come the hard part...waiting.

Unlike John and Steve I'm not a big fan of AGM batteries (for house batteries). I do like that they are maintenance free, but I've heard of problems when they start going bad. I do my own maintenance, so as long as the batteries are easy to get to I don't mind checking them.

The outside reefer we love, it's a good place to keep extra water and adult beverages and more convenient for guests.

We've got a Girard awning, we love the look, but it always makes me nervous that it'll bend, it's the lateral arm design. What will Newmar put in the place of the missing awning if you don't get it? As I understand it the front and rear caps are shaped to have the awnings butt up to them, so would they just leave an open space? You may want to ask.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:47 AM   #5
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Pshoe--Congratulations on your yet to be "born" DS! I would suggest you spring for the GE Advantium microwave--we did in our CS and love it! The "speed wave" cooking is far superior to standard convection-- the food comes out great and the coach doesn't get nearly as hot as when we used our Sharp convection in our old Newmar. It's a pricy option, but worth the $$ IMHO.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:01 AM   #6
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pshoe,

Please allow me to echo my congratulations to all the others. Great choice of Manufacturer, Model and floor plan. The most important choice has been accomplished. Now all that is left is the fine tuning. The members here were a tremendous help to me in this area. I will attempt to pay it forward.

I will comment specifically on the upgrades you are interested in that I selected for my 2014 Dutch Star.

AGM Batteries-Cost: When my dealer provided me a breakdown of the "Special Orders" portion of my build, he assigned an MSRP value at $1,977.00 for the AGM batteries. Of course, the final cost was reduced by the total purchase discount negotiated. Although expensive, I feel it was well worth it on many levels.

Front TV: I selected the front TV, in addition to the televator TV. In the morning, I will sit and have coffee in my euro booth, while watching the front TV head-on, while the televator is in the down position, allowing me to look at the scenery out the window. At night, I sit in my recliner (I also selected the dual-recliner option) directly across from the televator. Best of both worlds.

GE Advantium Microwave: The primary reason I chose this upgrade was due to the well-documented Frigidaire issues. Boy - what a great choice. I am blown away at the pure quality of the GE. It is one substantial piece of equipment. I was talking to the Newmar mechanic during the installation. As he picked it up to mount it, he commented that it weighed 75 pounds; he said it was twice as heavy as the Frigidaire. The Whirlpool may be just fine as a solution to the Frigidaire problems, however, if I were to choose today, I would still choose the GE Advantium.

Satellite Dish: DishNet - I am unsure what you mean by traveler friendly. If you are referring to in-motion, I have no opinion. If you are referring to quality, I will offer this observation: Because I have DirecTv at home, I chose the Winegard Trav'ler dish. I simply added two receivers to my home account, rather than establishing a whole new account. I am very happy with the performance, quality and ease of use of the Winegard Trav'ler.

January Delivery: I was at the factory the first week of February watching my coach build. There was nine feet of snow on the ground. It was one wicked winter. I was scheduled for an end of February delivery, and like you, was also concerned about the salt and road conditions. I asked Newmar to push my delivery back a month, to which they agreed. I took delivery on March 31st. Good choice.

Michelle Howard: The Absolute Best!!

Best of luck with your build -- The whole process is going to be an awesome experience. Please consider a factory tour while your coach is on the production line. As so many others here will attest, it will be an experience that will knock your socks off - Do It!

Jigs
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:16 AM   #7
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Big Smiles

So exciting and congratulations on the Newmar. You are going to just love the 4369 floor plan. The amount of space in the rear of the coach is just amazing. We really enjoy that part and many more with this floor plan.

Outside freezer - we did not get but once we are full timing we will. Even with the residential size Maytag refrigerator/freezer, the extra storage will come in handy.

Aft awning – We could have ordered this but choose not to. We have entertained with the regular size several times and feel it works well. We did order the awning over the full wall slide out windows. That awning we are really happy with. We have stayed at several locations where with the sun that awning comes in really handy. Even with the new style tinted windows on the coach and the shades, the window awnings help out dramatically in my view.

Dish TV – We went with the Winegard satellite however, we have the sealed roof mounted satellite which provides a signal to all three TV’s on the Dish Network. Our Televator TV and outside TV work off of one Dish receiver while the bedroom TV works off another receiver. You can watch one channel on the bedroom tv and different channels on the televator and outside TV. The sealed Winegard satellite works really well and I like that it is sealed from the weather.

GE Convection Oven - Originally we did not upgrade the convection oven however. While at Newmar doing our factory delivery we did upgrade to the GE Advantium and I can say without reservation, that was the best money I have spent on any appliance in the last 20 years. It cooks well, really well. If I had the chance to do it again, I would order it right from the start.

Batteries – We are all electric and have 8 Interstate batteries that have performed perfectly so far. Maybe when it is time to change these I will consider AGM but for now what we have is working great. I am sort of lucky on this one because we have an Interstate Battery distributor not 5 minutes from us if I ever have an issue and Interstate is a great battery in my view. We use our batteries often and again, they perform really well and do not require much attention at all, at least not so far.

Front TV – we did not add the TV and like others have stated we wanted the extra storage. We have the outside TV, Bedroom TV and of course the televator TV. We felt heck how many TV’s can you actually watch inside at the same time anyway. We are very pleased with what we have and again, glad we did not purchase another one up front.

January delivery – What I do know is this year there were a couple of shutdowns there at the plant due to bad snow storms. The first shutdown was for 2 days, the second for 1 day. This can be literally a hit or miss item because next year it may not snow while you are there at all. Again, a roll of the dice. We ordered in January, our coach was finished in March. Then Newmar had the coach for 3 weeks doing the factory delivery prep. We did April 28th pickup/factory delivery this year which worked out perfectly. No snow, no salt, no issue although you could as PDRJohn stated, power wash as soon as you get home.

Michelle Howard – She is as good as they come. She helped the wife and I with many items and is a perfect resource. She was also kind enough to take pictures of our coach while in production.

Good luck and again, congratulations on your Dutch Star.




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Old 08-04-2014, 05:03 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the great information and advice. Sorry about the formatting issues with my OP, I noticed the line and sentence spacing was lost. I wrote it in a text document and pasted it into the forum message window. For some reason, the formatting was lost when I posted.

Based on all the input, we've decided to get the freezer and the Advantium. We'll be passing on the rear awning and front TV. We're still on the fence about the AGMs.

Thanks,
Phil & Barbara
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:31 AM   #9
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Which dinette option did you end up going with? As I finalize my 4018 build this is one of the last decisions.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcervini View Post
Which dinette option did you end up going with? As I finalize my 4018 build this is one of the last decisions.
We are getting the euro dinette (booth). We think it will be more comfortable than the chairs. It is a bit small for more than two people but it will usually just be the two of us.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harleychief View Post

The outside reefer we love, it's a good place to keep extra water and adult beverages and more convenient for guests.
Curious...can this unit be used as both a fridge --and-- freezer? The options list in their 2015 brochure only mentions a "Dometic Freezer."
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:23 AM   #12
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Yes it can be used as a refrigerator, when we bought our coach off the lot it was an installed option we thought we had no use for and asked the dealer to buy it from us. They said nobody had ever requested one as an add on so they offered us $200 dollars for it. Since it was an almost $2000 option I said we will just keep it and maybe store things in it. But it turns out that we like to use it to keep foods and drinks used when cooking outside. So it is filled with cold drinks, hot dogs, hamburgers and condiments used when grilling.

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Old 08-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #13
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For the DSDP ordering gurus......when is the cutoff for ordering a specific model year? We will be ready to buy our fulltime RV around January of 2016. So we should be right in the middle of the 2016 model year, right?

Thanks,

Roy
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:11 AM   #14
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You should be OK ordering in January.
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