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Old 03-03-2016, 09:45 AM   #1
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Engine access on 2000 to 2002 Dutch Stars with a bedroom slide?

How do you access the top area of the engine bay from in side if there is a slide in the bedroom on the early 2000s Dutch Stars? I looked at at 2001 Dutch Star 3851 that had no slide in the bedroom and it was super easy to get to the top of the motor by just lifting the bed. But the ones that have the bed on a slide, what do you have to move to get to the motor?


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Old 03-03-2016, 11:18 AM   #2
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Hi G-JLD9,
Extend the slide, remove the bolts and lift the cover? I have not see your coach. The engine cover is not easy to move. To protect from exhaust, the cover has a very large rubber seal. Breaking the seal can be quite an adventure. In addition, the cover could be flat or "L" shaped. If it is "L" shaped there will be bolts to remove on both sides of the "L" legs.
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:32 AM   #3
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To access the engine on our coach you have to remove the panel attached to the wall below the closet - it's attached with Velcro. There are then 3 screws along the top edge. The wall then pulls back with a hinge on the floor. It goes up over the bed so place something on the bed to protect it from any dirt. There isn't anything to hold it open so either put a piece of wood between the opening and the wall to prop it or have someone hold it. I removed the mattress to allow more room when it's open.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:28 PM   #4
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To access the engine on our coach you have to remove the panel attached to the wall below the closet - it's attached with Velcro. There are then 3 screws along the top edge. The wall then pulls back with a hinge on the floor. It goes up over the bed so place something on the bed to protect it from any dirt. There isn't anything to hold it open so either put a piece of wood between the opening and the wall to prop it or have someone hold it. I removed the mattress to allow more room when it's open.
We dont have a Dutch Star yet, still looking everyday for one that will pass my inspections. The 2001 DS 3851 that I looked at a few days ago had stuff that needed fixed, like 2 pages worth, and they wouldnt budge from their already high asking price of 50K. I really liked how the engine access was on the ones with no bedroom slide, and it seams the one with slides is not too bad. I hope to go look at one this weekend that has a bedroom slide to see what the engine access is like.

I know our thorogh inspections will pay off in the end but when I offer the owner what I feel the rig is worth, pointing out all that needs fixed, they get upset. My husband says I am not a buyer a seller wants, I know way too much about what I am looking at and how much it will cost to fix. I tell them when I start looking Im a diesel mechanic and work on lots of heavy equipment. I pull out my 10 page check list and ask if there is any thing that needs repaired. They say everything is working but after 2 hours I have a long list of stuff that needs done or repaired, so I offer what I feel it worth but they say no. Usally we are the first ones to look at the rig because I look everyday and as soon as its listed we are looking. So maybe they will call back when it does not sell.

I know the right one it out there, and we have time.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:34 PM   #5
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Hi G-JLD9,
When the top of the engine is exposed, what are you looking for?
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:40 PM   #6
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We've had two Dutch Stars, a '00 3865 and '02 4090. Never found engine access to be a problem.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:56 PM   #7
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Hi G-JLD9,
When the top of the engine is exposed, what are you looking for?
Good question Gary. The only thing I can think of would be the Ex Manifold for cracks and the condition of the Exh Tube off the Exh Brake all of which can be done without removing the inside cover.
Not sure I would agree to removing the cover without some kind of commitment from the prospective buyer.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:02 PM   #8
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Hi G-JLD9,
When the top of the engine is exposed, what are you looking for?
I look at everything and touch everything I can reach. Looking for leaks, loose parts, rodent/bird nests, how clean it is, I look at the airfilter, exhaust manifolds, turbo and exhaust brake parts (if it has one), wiring damage or routed wrong, and check hoses. I take pictures of stuff that needs fixed so I can remember what I found and why I wrote it on my list. The 2001 DS 3851 I just looked at had room to work in the top access area and need to see how much room a bed on a slide has compaired to that.

I inspect heavy trucks all day long at work and inspecting DP are so much more enjoyable. I have only looked at rigs with Cat motors and Freightliner chassis since thats what I see at work, but the right Dutch Star might have a Cummins and Spartan chassis so I have been gathering info on them.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:22 PM   #9
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Good question Gary. The only thing I can think of would be the Ex Manifold for cracks and the condition of the Exh Tube off the Exh Brake all of which can be done without removing the inside cover.
Not sure I would agree to removing the cover without some kind of commitment from the prospective buyer.
Looking at these exspensive motor from all angles is the only way to do a true inspection. The air filter in the DS I just looked at was only accessable from above. Rodent nest was one of the things I found under the access area and could not see that from below. I would not buy a MH with out looking from the top area, but every rig I have looked at I had the money and willing to buy if it passed my inspections or the owner was willing to fix things or come down in price.

I do under stand that if its alot of stuff to move to get to the top area that a owner may be uncomfotable with that, but I have not looked at one yet that it was anything more then lifting the bed. If they said they would not let me look, then it would make me think that its because I would find something wrong.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:02 PM   #10
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Hi G-JLD9,
Your standards may be a bit too high for the average coach owner. My engine is professionally maintained by authorized Cummins shops. I change my own air filter (every 3 years maximum time out). However, it is filthy in the engine compartment. And I'm not going to clean it either. As far a rodent nests, one can be built and I would not know it (for up to 3 years) if nothing needed repair or maintenance.

Most coaches have few miles per year on them. While built very solid, Cummins and Allison seals do start to leak after 10 years or so. Other than that, I'd be more interested in fluid and filter changes, all rubber changes (hoses and belts).
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:24 PM   #11
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Hi G-JLD9,
Your standards may be a bit too high for the average coach owner. My engine is professionally maintained by authorized Cummins shops. I change my own air filter (every 3 years maximum time out). However, it is filthy in the engine compartment. And I'm not going to clean it either. As far a rodent nests, one can be built and I would not know it (for up to 3 years) if nothing needed repair or maintenance.

Most coaches have few miles per year on them. While built very solid, Cummins and Allison seals do start to leak after 10 years or so. Other than that, I'd be more interested in fluid and filter changes, all rubber changes (hoses and belts).

The nice thing about the 2001 Dutch Star with the Cat engine, and the side radiator is that almost everything is accessible from the back. The last item on my "baseline" checklist after we bought it 1 year ago is to replace the Desiccant dryer and coalescing filters . . . not sure when I'll get to to those. The back engine access panel with the bedroom slide isn't difficult to remove. We have the 3891. Good luck in your search!
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:36 PM   #12
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Hi G-JLD9,
Your standards may be a bit too high for the average coach owner. My engine is professionally maintained by authorized Cummins shops. I change my own air filter (every 3 years maximum time out). However, it is filthy in the engine compartment. And I'm not going to clean it either. As far a rodent nests, one can be built and I would not know it (for up to 3 years) if nothing needed repair or maintenance.

Most coaches have few miles per year on them. While built very solid, Cummins and Allison seals do start to leak after 10 years or so. Other than that, I'd be more interested in fluid and filter changes, all rubber changes (hoses and belts).
I know I will do more then the average coach owner, but thats only because I know how to fix and maintain it all my self. Im big into preventive maintenance because I do not want to be stuck on the side of the road, and aside from a instant failure while driving, many things can be caught before they happen. If the engine just has normal filth, Im not consered or think it worth less because of it. Its the OMG filthy engine that make it hard to spot problem during inspections and 3 I looked at just had normal filth.

I have worked in shops that say they preformed what the owner is paying for, but its not done or not done right. The owner does not know and thinks everything is good to go. There are lots of good shops out there but since I know there are bad ones, I inspect everything when it comes to buying one even if professionaly maintained.

If there is oil leaks, it can be fixed. I know since I like the price range of the older rigs, that they are not going to be perfect. If they are advertising something as in Excellent shape with the a high end asking price, then there should be nothing wrong at all and maintenance records to review. If its priced right and has things that need fixed, no worries I can fix it. My Dutch Star is out there and Im going to find it sooner or later
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:50 PM   #13
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The nice thing about the 2001 Dutch Star with the Cat engine, and the side radiator is that almost everything is accessible from the back. The last item on my "baseline" checklist after we bought it 1 year ago is to replace the Desiccant dryer and coalescing filters . . . not sure when I'll get to to those. The back engine access panel with the bedroom slide isn't difficult to remove. We have the 3891. Good luck in your search!
Im really liking what I see on these Dutch Stars, and we are pretty much set on they are the one we want. Im glad to hear the floorplans with a bedroom slide is not to difficult to remove, so we will leave them on the list to look at.

The husband keeps wondering over to the new Dutch Stars when we go looking at RVs and sometimes mentions we might like a new one. As much as I would love a new one, we would be MH poor if we did and pretty much eating Top Romin everynight. I tell him to get back over here to the 50-60k ones we can pay cash for.

Thanks,
Jen
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:26 PM   #14
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My 03 is clean as a whistle and could be for sale but you won't get it for 50-60......
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