Originally Posted by Jim28730
Thanks for your replies, that all makes sense.
I'm still on the hunt for a DS and have an excellent price on a leftover 2015. Even with depreciation on a 2015, the price is almost too good to pass up.
I have been studying posts on the Newmar forum and doing my research trying to decide if I should wait and get a 2016 with the improvements is chassis, FWS, and passive steer tag. Obviously the price differential is substantial.
I just retired and we will be traveling about 4 or 5 months a year, not full timing.
What a dilemma
Congrats on your retirement........
I was at the International rally in Lewisburg W Va., and test drove the 2016 Dutch Star with STAR chassis, passive steer tag axle, and new HWH hydraulic slide, of course IFS and 450 HP cummins. I now own a 2015 Ventana 4003 (tag axle, 400 hp, beam front suspension).
I spent some time inspecting the STAR chassis in the bays, and had a demo of the HWH slide. I have to say I was impressed with both.....the STAR chassis looks pretty stout.....clearly an enhancement over the previous chassis. The HWH hydraulic slide operates very nicely.....in my opinion much better than my slide.
Upon closing there is a lever-arm that raises the room.....and then when raised.....it moves to the closed position. A smooth operation.....appearing to me better than the prior year (mine included) slide operation.
Instead of carpet in the slide-room it now has tile with a rubber (or something like rubber ) gasket to "dress" the seam between the tile in the slide and the tile in the main room. I didn't like the gasket 'look' and don't really like the idea of the added weight of the tile in the MH in the slide. Don't forget not only is there the added weight of full tile room but the weight of the STAR chassis, and I presume some weight of the steer tag axle----and all the while with the same 450 hp engine as the 2015 model.
I presume the STAR chassis will address the complaints owners have had deploying the full wall slide.......
Regarding the passive steer tag.....well it does make a nice difference in the ability of the rig to turn tightly......forward only....it locks straight in rear-ward motion.. I have become very comfortable driving my 40' non-steerable tag Ventana and don't feel the need to switch for the improvement of the steerable tag.
Now the answer to your question as to buy a good deal on 2015 or pay more for 2016....... I suppose if the 2015 unit you are looking to buy doesn't have a full wall slide I would buy it. If it does have a full wall slide and you are comfortable with the procedure and the comments about its use from those on this forum I would also buy it.
The STAR chassis, passive steer, and HWH hydraulic are nice.....and if money is not an issue for you I would buy the 2016....... ( I presume if money were not an issue one would buy a Newell or Liberty).....for 4 or 5 months I think you will be very happy with a good deal on a 2015 DS.......
I would certainly look closely at the FWS threads to see what those pre-2016 folks are saying.....my recall is most are happy.
Frankly.....for 4 or 5 months you might also want to consider a Ventana......less weight (no IFS).....same torque.......400 hp vs 450hp.....and rear radiator vs side.
luck on your decision