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Old 07-19-2020, 12:38 PM   #1
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Arrow Options - good or bad?

Hi guys - Class C owner thinking of upgrading to a Ventanna, 34-37 ft or similar model. Contemplating new vs. used, and I see there is an overwhelming number of options to choose from if one buys new. Looking to crowd source some recommendations about that:
  • What options did you get on your new coach, or came with your used one, that have become can't-live-without-it status?
  • What options did you NOT get on your new coach, or were not on your used one, that you REALLY, REALLY wish you had gotten?
  • What options did you get on your new coach, or came with your used one, that you look at and go "that was a waste"?
  • Are there floor plans that you really love, or really don't like? I think I prefer a dinette over the pull out table. And TV viewing is important.
  • More specifically, how do you feel about the dishwasher? My wife says "meh," I say "How can we live without it?"
  • More specifically, how do you feel about the washer/dryer? My wife says "more storage without it," I say "How can we live without it?"
  • There are a bunch of options for cellular service boosters, WiFi boosters and Sat TV antennas - any recommendations for what to get or avoid?

Thanks in advance! I know this is long, but there are a bunch of voices in my head asking questions.
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:46 PM   #2
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
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Newmar Owners Club
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We bought our first 2014 Dutch Star new off of the lot. It was the 4018 floorplan which we really liked. It came with a booth dinette, which we hated. Or previous coach had a large slide out table, buffet and four chairs. After two trips, my dealer ordered me a slide out table and and chairs. I removed the booth and sold it on Craigslist. Our 2014 also came with a "L" shaped sofa which was VERY uncomfortable and useless.

Our 2014 came with the dishwasher, fireplace ad stacked washer/dryer. We love the dishwasher and ordered one in our 2019. We place dishes in it over three days and then turn it on. It's whisper quiet. The washer dryer was a must, especially if you intend to take trips longer than a week. It's also been handy when camping with our daughters with their RV's. The grandkids have an accident and you can wash the sheets.

The fireplace was also something we really liked. It was nice to just simply turn it on for heat anytime you needed it, without dragging out a heater. We would let it run overnight and radiate into the bedroom versus running the loud heater.

Fast forward to 2019 and we ordered the same Dutch Star 4018. The 2019's did not offer the "L" sofa, so that issue was resolved. There are also about five different dinette setups. This time we ordered the free standing table and chairs, with the buffet along the wall. When pushed in, half the table goes under the buffet. On our 2014, the table was sooooo narrow, you couldn't put two place mats across from each other without them overlapping. The new table is much wider and comes with a 12" leaf. We can move it to the center of the room and seat six. We like to play games at night with another couple. The new table is perfect.

Some things we custom ordered.....The cabinets above the dinette are shallower than the cabinets that they attach to that are farther forward. I think they do this so someone doesn't hit their head when standing up from the booth dinette. We had those cabinets made all the same depth. In 2019, the doors between the bedroom and main body of the coach had glass panels, we had solid doors installed. We did some other small mods like added wiring.

One of the biggest items we ordered in our 2019 was heated floors. We almost passed on them because we live in California, but got talked into them. We've stayed in 30 degree weather where all we've had on inside was the heated floors and the coach stayed at 70 degrees. Even in weather where it drops down in the 40's and 50' at night the heated floors are great. Now that we have the heated floors, we rarely use the fireplace for heat.

Our house has one TV in the family room. Our DS has four of them. In our floorplan, we typically watch the overhead TV which is an option. We'll use the televator TV on a movie night when we have guests over. We don't use the outside TV a lot, but again, the grandkids get a kick out of it. We also use it for outside stereo. Older Newmars had a stereo below the outside TV, the newer ones have a sound bar that you can bluetooth something like Pandora or play the dash radio via the sound bar.

Personally, WiFi and cellular is changing sooooo fast, that we didn't have any boosters on our 2014 and didn't order any on our 2019. We use an ATT Mobley for WiFi, which works well without any specialized equipment. We do like to watch TV and like DirecTV. The 2014, I installed DirecTV, on the 2019, I ordered it with the Winegard Travler for DirecTV already installed.
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:03 PM   #3
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I completely agree with Don about the table and chairs vs a traditional dinette. Much more room for playing games, puzzles etc. plus you can add an addional 5th or 6th folding chair with an extendable model tabletop. We've spent many a rainy day there.

Dishwasher, meh, suppose we'd use it.
Washer dryer, yes.
Garbage can/recycle pull out a must have.
50a cord reel, yes.
Ice maker, yes.
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:26 PM   #4
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Main item we donít have and wish we did is heated floors, we didnít want full wall slide Iím very glad we got a quad with center bath (4054) and dining table with chairs, so much more comfortable

Zzotte
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:29 PM   #5
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We currently own a 2016 Canyon Star 3914. When we retire in a couple of years, the hope is to buy a Dutch Star 4369.

We have the desk/buffet and love it. After trying out booths on our initial search we nixed the booth idea and will not reconsider. We toyed with the idea of the free standing table like Don has, but decided against it since that probably was not the way we would use the coach.

Our Canyon Star does not have a dishwasher (was not an option when we purchased). After comparing what we have in the drawers in the kitchen, the wife has determined that she will gladly give up the dishwasher to have the additional drawer space.

When we purchased, having a window in the kitchen was an option and the window was pretty small. Now the window is huge. We really like the amount of light it lets in. When we look at ones without a window, it is a very striking difference. The wife tells me that is non-negotiable.

We are currently both still working and we only do weekends and the occasional week. Still, we greatly value the washer and dryer and have determined that when we retire and travel for extended periods they will be a must.

We currently have a fireplace and love it for the same reasons Don mentions. Unfortunately when we upgrade we will probably not get that floor plan option for other reasons. The CS does not have a heated floor option, but when we camp in the cold, we really appreciate those warm spots on the floor where the underfloor ducts run. Heated floors will be a must for our next one.

We follow the Oklahoma State Cowboys and do a lot of tailgating, so we have 4 TV's. Before or after we go to our game in the stadium, we have a group at the coach and we watch other games. When the weather is not great, we can have two games going in the coach. When the weather is nice, we are outside watching but can have another game on the front TV that we can watch through the windows to get updates on.
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Old 07-20-2020, 05:39 AM   #6
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We are full time RVers so that may make a difference these are options that came with our coach that I might not have sprung for and would have really regretted not having.
They are kind of in order:
1. Washer and dryer (not combo). This has major quality of life impact. No need to find or go to a laundry ever. We've even learned how to manage our water so that we can use them without full hookup.
2. Quality residential refrigerator. I set the fridge to 38 and the freezer to 0 and it stays there. It has an ice maker that pumps out the ice. It is large and we can really stock up keeping us out of the grocery stores and in the park for longer stretches. The fridge comes with more batteries and a bigger inverter. Both very good to have.
3. Outside TV. I would never have gotten this thinking who going to sit out side and watch TV. We use it for workouts and probably have it on more than any other TV.

Things I don't have that I wish I had are:
1. A stackable hybrid inverter.

Best things I installed that the company didn't offer:
1. Lots of solar
2. LiFePO4 batteries.

We have two couches. One is a double recliner with pull out foot rests, total was of space. Would much rather have had a desk and some storage, but you'll probably never find a coach like that.
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Old 07-20-2020, 05:46 AM   #7
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A couple floor plan things I didn't think about before reading other posts.

We have a pull out dinette table and the TV is on one side of it great for watching TV during dinner. I bought some Herman Miller Aeron chairs for the dinette, so comfortable, and the wheels makes it easy to switch sides to watch TV.

I wish I had a king bed (real king not RV king) we have a real queen but a king would be better.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:28 AM   #8
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We have the 4369 floor layout with the half bath mid-coach. For us, that layout is best.
Having two bathrooms makes things work out much better - especially on the rare occasion when we have guests traveling with us.

For our use, the full-size refrigerator, dishwasher and separate washer/dryer are essential. We're not full-timers, but spend up to 6 weeks at a time on the road. Being able to pretty much empty our home fridge and load everything into the MH is a plus on both ends. We would hate to have to find laundry facilities while traveling. The dishwasher frees up a lot of after-dinner time.

The extendable dining table and chairs vs. a dinette was a must-have for us. My wife and I both spend a fair amount of our time on our laptop computers, and the built-in workstation on the aft side is perfect as a computer work space. There's room for asmall printer in the cabinet below. On the opposite side, there is a drawer stack, which I modified by replacing the top drawer with a pull-out platform so that my wife now also has an identical workstation for her computer. Works perfectly for us. With a dinette, we'd not only have less efficient work areas, but would have to stow everything somewhere each time we traveled.

I added 800W of solar panels and 600AH of LiFePO4 batteries. For us, that is an essential upgrade, not just for boondocking, but with this sytem, I can leave the inverter on with the fridge running while the MH is parked without power hookup and it will run indefinitely (10 days is the most I've tried - batteries never dropped below 13.1V). Newmar doesn't offer lithium batteries (to my knowledge), and their factory solar is completely inadequate.

We have never used the outdoor TV to sit and watch television (not sports fans), but we use it pretty much every day for streaming music services. The Bose soundbar is very good quality.

Even though we're "cord cutters", I purchased the traveler satellite system for our old coach, but never used it. I skipped it on the new one. The prep is there (now standard on Newmars) if anyone ever wants to add it.

I would never get any kind of cell booster or WiFi/cellular system from Newmar. I got the WiFi Ranger SkyProLTE system on my 2020 Ventana, but it has since been removed. While it might be OK for someone who never had a WiFi-as-Wan and LTE cellular device, it is technologically ancient (Cat 4 cell modem, while current technology is Cat 19). I've added my own Pepwave cellular modem and rooftop antenna. You can read ad nauseum here about why cellular boosters are a waste of money.

Finally, I would get full-length cargo slides in the basement. Our coach came with one, and I added the 2nd one. Huge advantage to make basement storage more efficient and convenient.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:48 AM   #9
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Floor plans also dictate basement storage and where you have carpet on a Ventana. I have a friend with a 2019 Ventana 3412 and I know there were some limitations on height in the storage bays on passenger side due to the 2nd flat floor slide in the front.

My recommendation is to see the floorplan you want in person and spend time sitting in it and looking at where you will put anything you consider essential in both the house and basement.

- Richard
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:48 PM   #10
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One thing for sure, don't get the $650 foot stools. They're $30 at Walmart.
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Old 07-21-2020, 03:00 PM   #11
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If you get satellite, be sure to explore Dish. They offer a package for RV's that allows you to pay month to month so you aren't paying for something when it's not being used.
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:07 PM   #12
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One thing that the posters didn't hit on much is carpeting... nix on carpeting! Any new or used coach I get won't have ANY carpeting. Yes to wood (or foux wood) floors and tile. I've heard bad things about FWS slides and would rather have 3 or 4 slides instead. Expand the living area on both sides. A side radiator for sure! Maybe a tag axle... A viewable 50" TV is a must, not one of those things that face the front windshield. At least one recliner. Washer/dryer (stackable), dishwasher, residential fridge... and a pull-out sofa for rare guests. Three A/C units with 15K BTUs or two 15K units and one 13.5 BTU unit all with heat pumps. Heated floors would be nice and I would also want a coach where the water bay etc. would not need winterizing. I don't mind a propane stove and propane hot water heater but would go with the flow. Lots of folks complain about Aquaheat and Oasis so... not a big thing for me. Definately would need a strong inverter (PSW) and AGM batteries to keep the fridge cold.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:20 AM   #13
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We have a 2019 Ventana 3407.

Regarding major appliances, we love the all electric coach without the need for propane to fuel some appliances. But I realize everybody doesn't camp the same way. We're rarely camp without plugging-in but camp frequently without water and sewer hook-ups.

We also love the washer and dryer! That's a must for us now that we have them. I our opinion, a dishwasher is not good use of space in a 34 - 37 ft. coach.

The dealer ordered a few options we like. These include: central vacuum - the dustpan feature is very handy; Sleep number bed - we would order this again but wouldn't have if we had ordered the coach ourselves; solar prep - just in case; power cord reel; fiberglass roof; water line to generator area; chrome power baggage door locks - very handy; and, Carefree window awnings - we use these much more frequently than deploying the large awning because of windy conditions.

The dealer ordered holding tank heat pad that we will likely never use. It was only $329.00 MSRP. The Oasis system will keep the water tanks plenty warm.

The dealer also ordered the prep for satellite which includes wiring for ground tripod antennas. We carried a tripod antenna with our previous rig because the old satellite antenna was obsolete and we didn't want to spend the money to update it. So when we bought the new rig, there was no need to purchase a roof satellite antenna. We like this setup in the new rig. The only campsites that have not allowed tripod antennas over the years have provided cable service as part of the nightly fee. We also carry a Verizon jet pack for connectivity and have not needed a booster to date.

As far as floor plans, we decided long ago that if we owned a Class A, it would have a King bed. That's our first determinant when evaluating floor plans. We also prefer rectangular shower stalls rather than radius shower stalls.

Best of luck with your decision(s). Hope this helps.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:35 AM   #14
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After having the bath and a half, we would not go for less. Same for the stackable washer/dryer and the residential refrigerator. We also have the buffet dinette and would not have a coach with a booth dinette. When we move up to our next one, it will be a Ventana 4037, or preferably a Dutch Star 4018.
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