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Old 09-21-2015, 05:14 PM   #1
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2016 Dutch Star - Factory Delivery Experience

After completing the Factory Delivery Process this past week (starting 9/14) I hope to provide those who will be going through this process in the future with information and insights based on our experiences. First, as a first time DP owner, I found the whole experience to be not only necessary but absolutely the most beneficial delivery process one could select. I talked with many owners while staying at Camp Newmar and without exception every person I spoke with wished they had taken the Factory Delivery option. While many spoke highly of their dealers they all stated they would opt for Factory Delivery the next time. Most received 4 to 6 hours of dealer tech service for their delivery. For me as a first time DP owner I could spend that time just in the cab area. Not sure if 4 to 6 hours is what all dealers provide but again for me that would be woefully lacking.

Once production has completed our coaches, the Factory Delivery tech receives the unit and begins an ~two week review for the unit he has been assigned. They review everything on the exterior (finish, blemishes, imperfections) then move to the interior looking for fit, finish and imperfections. Next, the tech operates all systems on the coach assuring each function performs as designed. If any issues are found, the tech repairs, removes and/or replaces the discrepancy found without hesitation. As we were going through our delivery process a coach scheduled for customer factory delivery the following week was right next to ours going through the two week tech review. I witnessed several items being changed out and I spoke to the tech about what I was seeing. According to the tech their goal is to get the coach in as near as perfect condition as possible for the customer. I won't go into detail here but I was very impressed with what I saw being removed and replaced to make the unit right. My personal preference would be that the units come from production in this condition, but thats currently just not reality. I find it difficult to believe that any dealer PDI would get done what the factory delivery techs get done in their two week review. I'll admit I was one who thought the Factory Delivery option was expensive and was a little skeptical. But as many have stated and after experiencing it first hand, I agree 100%, the Factory Delivery Option is worth every penny.

We arrived at building 42 at 7:30 am to start our first day. We were introduced to our tech (Stan) and were lead to our coach. It is sitting right in the front stall with all slides out, all awning deployed, all cargo bay doors open, interior lights on surrounded by carpet...It really is an amazing moment. You then are taken into the coach and the tech leaves so that you and your wife can spend time just looking around, taking it all in. He then returns and is ready to start the process in any manner you want. He'll lead or he will let you lead. I had taken a detailed PDI list posted by someone here on the forum and modified it to include things I had questions about from reviewing the forum for the last year. My PDI list ended up being 12 pages. I advised Stan of my PDI list and he was very amenable of going through my list. We started on the roof. Stan moved a large step ladder next to the coach and we both climbed up. We walked around and I asked a few questions and pointed out a couple of things I would like to have adjusted. Without hestitation Stan noted them and later made the adjustments. We then moved to the front cap where each item on my list was reviewed and checked off. Next came the rear cap followed by both sides of the coach. The only things found were minimal, two screws needed tightening on the side radiator grill, security light lens needed cleaning on the inside due to overspray and the door awning needed a slight tightening. After completing the exterior walk around portion of the check list, we moved on to start opening up the hood, engine compartment and cargo bay doors. My checklist was exhaustive for this portion but as we opened up doors I flooded Stan with many other questions, primarily "what is that" and "what does it do." Amazingly Stan knew the answer to all my questions and more amazingly seemed eager to show me everything I wanted to see and explain things so that I could understand.....great service. We finished day one with Stan pulling the unit out of the building I drove the coach to Camp Newmar where Stan helped us set up. It was a truly amazing but tiring day. Nothing like getting fed with a fire hose. Oh, one thing to not forget....have them reserve a FHU site at Camp Newmar. FHU sites are hard to get on a first come first serve basis.

Day two started when Stan arrived at Camp Newmar at 7:00 am to pick us up. We were ready at 6:00 am and there is a bevy of activity with all the other units going in for service. I drove back to building 42 where we continued our delivery process. We finished everything on the exterior and moved to the interior. The fit and finish was nothing less than spectacular. We found nothing so we started going through the cab area, operating everything that runs, checking lights, outlets throught the coach, just everything in sight. We ended the day with me driving the coach back to Camp Newmar. Angel and I did all the set up while Stan observed. We advised Stan he didn't have to pick us up in the morning we wanted to try to do it ourselves.

Day three started for us getting ready to leave Camp Newmar around 7:00 am. All went well in the breaking camp process but I learned the slide outs will not retract with the engine running. I know there are some of you laughing but I didn't know, won't soon forget that. We made it back to building 42 and continued our checklist. Long day and all went well. Took the coach for a somewhat lengthy test drive using cruise control, jake brakes etc. At the end of the day around 2:30 we drove the unit back ourselves.

Day four started as day three. This time there were no operator error problems and we made our way to building 42. We basically finished our checklist items by early afternoon. There were only two adjustments made; we had the air conditioners checked for a slight humming sound; found that the A/Cs were to be torqued at 61 but were actually only torqued to 31. The other item was, we reqested that the anti-scald ring be removed from the shower handle. Overall, the coach was almost flawless. Having said that, I do not know what Stan fixed during his two week review. I didn't ask and it really wasn't important for me to know.

Day five started just as day three and four did, us leaving Camp Newmar around 7:00 am. Basically I used the last day as a final walk around/walk through of the unit. Stan walked with me as I opened up every door and touched every switch, knob and button I could see. I also made sure I knew what most of the control boxes, filters etc were. I also spent part of day five having Stan install my TPMS booster while I programmed the display module and installed the sensors.

We left Newmar over the weekend having a very positive experience. They do an outstanding job with the delivery process. Having now been through the process I highly recommend everyone who is considering the Factory Delivery Option to have a plan on how you want the process to be conducted. I elected to develop the most comprehensive PDI list I could to give me confidence I would check everything that needs to be checked and for me, to try to learn everything I could. I didn't want to leave it up to some one else to lead me through a process who might accidently overlook something important. You may want to handle the process differently and the techs will conduct the process however the customer wants, but this is what worked for me.

I hope this was informative and I apologize for being so long winded. If you want to PM with any questions, please don't hesitate to do so. There have been many who have helped me along the way and I want to do my best to pay-it-forward.

Allen
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:37 PM   #2
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Wow, that's quite a story. I assume part of the cost of this Factory Delivery is paying Stans salary for 3 weeks.

My dealer PDI lasted about an hour. My tech mostly gave me blank looks when I asked questions. He shows me how to raise the bed to get to the storage and then he broke the clip that held it up when he forced it closed instead of releasing the mechanism properly. I asked about 10 questions that were answered with a "you'll have to ask your salesman"

I have a low BS threshold so I basically told the guy to get lost and went through things myself. My dealer had some sort of camp option, we probably should have tried it but we had to work the next day. Things worked out. Have had it back 4 times so far for warranty stuff. Had to take it to Cummins to get the genny looked at. But i guess I'm fareing better than many.

Good luck with your DS and let us know how things are working out
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:44 PM   #3
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Making me want to buy a DSDP just to go to school and do all that stuff!
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:49 PM   #4
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What a great write-up, Allen! I haven't read a more-detailed explanation of what goes on during factory delivery. It sounds like you made great use of the checklist.

One question: you said to "have them reserve a FHU site". How did you have the do this? Did you tell your dealer and he let them know, or did you speak with someone at the factory?

Thanks for taking the time to get it all down! Kudos for a job well done, and congratulations on your brand spankin' new 2016 Dutch Star 4018!!

Mike
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:14 PM   #5
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What a contrast to our experience I am green with envy!
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:22 PM   #6
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Allen,

Congrats again to you and Angel on your new DS. Great write up. We're looking forward to our delivery on Oct. 12th and I appreciate you sharing your approach and experience. We got the PDI checklist and I plan to adjust it fit our needs.

Great meeting you guys in July and I hope we can get together in the future.

Steve
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:31 PM   #7
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Enjoy your new DS! And welcome to the Family!
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:35 PM   #8
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This was awesome. I am so happy for the two of you. I think all PDI experiences should be done by a tech who actually knows what he/she they are talking about. That has been our frustration with our last two purchases. You guys deserved a great experience and you sure got it. Enjoy!
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:44 PM   #9
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Mike,
I wanted to make sure we had FHU so I asked our tech (Stan) if he could make that happen. I asked him to do that early on our first day. Even though I think it should be, I don't believe reserving a FHU site is something that is automatically taken care for customers taking Factory Delivery. I'm not sure who he contacted but someone at the Service Center placed a "Reserved" cone in one of the FHU sites. Each morning as we were leaving for building 42 we placed the cone in the site in order to retain the site. It worked like a charm and we had the same site all week.

Allen
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:09 PM   #10
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Wam16-- congratulations on your new coach!! Thanks for the great write up.

Mike
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:43 AM   #11
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Very nice write-ip. You mention that the "interior lights were on surrounded by carpet", what carpet is that? I thought there was none in the 2016.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:48 AM   #12
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Sorry, I wasn't very clear there. The carpet I was referring to was the full length carpet they have outside on each side of the coach. As a result of the HWH FWS there is no carpet inside the unit.

Allen
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:53 AM   #13
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Great write-up Alen. Hope your ride home was fun also.
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:00 PM   #14
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how far ahead did you get information about your factory pick up? We got a verbal date over the phone of November 16 but haven't gotten any email or written correspondence since. I was told to show up October 6 to take pictures of production.
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