I have followed some threads for a while on the topic of induction cooktop v. electric cooktop. In particular, I have been looking for info to determine the feasibility and cost of changing out the two burner electric cooktop on our 2013 all electric Dutch Star 4018 to the True Induction two burner induction cooktop that Newmar has been installing for a while on Essex and King Aire and recently been making available on Mountain Aire and Dutch Star when the coach is originally being planned. I have seen several comments in the Newmar Owners' Forum from others who own the True Induction unit and those comments have been uniformly positive.
This past week, I contacted Newmar to ask whether the replacement could be made by Newmar and if so how much it would cost if done there. I want to share the info I received from Newmar with the Forum.
In the 2013 Dutch Star -- as opposed to the 2014 model -- the countertop has a cut out for the cooktop. The '13 Dutch Star design is the same design in many other Newmar coaches. In order to use the cooktop, you simply lift up the cut out countertop and lock it in place in order to have access to the cooktop (the '14 does not have the cut out as the cooktop is flush on top of the countertop).
Newmar told me initially that while the True Induction two burner cooktop has a retail cost to customers of (only) $511.00, the problem with the installation is that the entire countertop has to be replaced in order to do the change out -- and in our case, since we optioned our Dutch Star with Mountain Aire marble countertops, the charge for the new countertop material would be another almost $2,000.00.
The need for replacement of the countertop occurs, as I understand it, because the induction cooktop is slightly smaller than the electric cooktop and in order to assure integrity of the fit of the induction cooktop, new countertop material with the correct fit cut out to install the new cook top is necessary.
I wrote back to Newmar and said that this did not make sense to me because of the design on the 2013 Dutch Star with the cooktop being under, but not on top of, the countertop. I asked them to check that again. I also asked for a complete price to do the change out with replacement of countertop in the event that I was wrong and that replacement of the entire countertop would be necessary.
In response to my questions, I was told first that in order to do the entire job with replacement of the countertop, the cost would be somewhere in the $6,500.00-7,000.00 range! I was then later told a few hours later in a separate email with no further explanation that Newmar would not be able to do the retrofit.
I have to say that I am surprised at this. This is a job that must be able to be done -- the only issue can be cost. There may be reasons that Newmar doesn't want to do this work, but I am of the belief that induction is a much better system than electric and that the induction cooktop would work fine with the existing circuitry. I understand that there is a technical issue with size between the two cooktops, but I have a hard time believing that the entire countertop material would have to be replaced, especially in the 2013 Dutch Star model with the cooktop being placed under the countertop, not on top of it like the '14.
So ... I pass along this information for anyone looking to do what I am trying to accomplish and I also invite any comments or suggestions from anyone who can think of another, reasonably priced way to make this work.