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Old 06-18-2011, 06:27 AM   #1
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We are looking to upgrade from our '04 5th wheel rig to a used MH. Seems the more we look the confuseder we get. !! Budget range is under $90K, so we're looking used - somewhat older. We will be towing a small SUV. Currently looking at '04 Journey (39') 42K miles, '07 La Palma (34') 7500 miles, '03 Dutch Star 4004 (41') 63K miles. All are in price range and seem in tip top condition. Looking for advice/comments from this pool of experience specifically on Dutch Star. Price for it is $75K. (Of course comments on any is welcome.) We like it a lot, but wonder about the 63K miles - we've seen many older coaches with less than 40K, so 60K seems high. But I'm tyhinking the diesel really negates the concern about mileage in that range? Tires are beginning to show a slight dryness. Should we be looking for or checking out anything in particular Also any advice on the shorter vs. the longer coaches. Our use will be mostly travel, not extended stays. Thanks
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:08 AM   #2
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:19 AM   #3
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We have a 35 foot dutch star and love it . It is a DP with 48k for miles and runs great, had a DP before this one it had 68k on it and was just getting broke in. Diesels will run a long time and the power is really worth it,and my fuel mileage is better than my gasser was. The one thing I learned is that if you do any of your own minor repairs it is nice to have a side radiator. it makes it a lot easier to change belts and to get at stuff. We had a 38 footer but traded for the dutch star which is 35, we like state and county parks and a little more rustic camping so its a little easier to get around. We did give up a few things by going shorter especially in the bathroom area but what we have is still nice. I could go on and on but for a reply I guess the is long enough, happy shopping can't go wrong with dutch star.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:47 AM   #4
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First, decide diesel or gas. With your budget you can buy a late model nearly new low milage gasser or probably a 8 - 15 year old DP. The advantage of the Diesel is that it was a substantial upgrade in suspension, ride, and build quality to begin with, but the disadvantage is the fact that all the appliances and systems are 8 - 15 years old. Milage on a diesel is really not the issue, it's how well everything else has been taken care of that matters. The advantage of the gasser is that everything is newer, appliances, electronics, flat screen tvs and newer decor. My wife had trouble with the floral prints and brass cabinet hardware on the older coaches and that's what you find pre 2006-2007. If you are planning on putting ALOT of miles on it, I would say diesel but if your trips are shorter and you wont spend a lot of time behind the wheel then a newer gasser might be the way to go. Just went through the same situation last fall moving from a big toy hauler to a 2007 Southwind ( gas ), I wanted a diesel but with my budget which was similar to yours I was looking at 2001 and mostly older that would have needed a lot of interior upgrading to satisfy DW. I went to several dealers and told them what I planned to spend, actually less because they will try to upgrade you, and waited for replies. I received several calls and looked at several coaches both gas and diesel before finally getting a call about a 2007 with 2600 miles on consignment due to owner illness, make offer. When we walked in it we just knew it was what we wanted but a little high in our budget at the asking price. We made a lowball offer and surprisingly they took it. Also taxes are cheaper here when you buy from an individual than a dealer, but since it was on consignment at a dealer, they conveyed all the discounts and services that they give new customers, I'll go back!
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:04 AM   #5
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You probably will not gain any room moving from a 31ft 5th to a 34MH and possibly lose some depending on the floor plan. When we moved from a 31 ft toy hauler to a 31 ft MH , we gained a lot on living space , but my TH had a separate rear garage and boy do I miss that storage, I had a full size grill on wheels that I would roll up and down the ramp plus an aluminum patio table and chairs that would fit even with one bike or one golf cart. None of that would fit under the MH so we had to rebuy and reconfigure all our outdoor stuff. As far as what to look for, check tires and I suggest finding an independent service guy to go over it with a fine tooth comb. I sent my neighbor who is a certified diesel mechanic as well as a lifelong RVer to look at this one without me. He was subjective and not biased since it wasn't his money and he spotted a few things that I couldn't from the" new and I want it glare," but I felt better just to get another opinion.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:38 AM   #6
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You mention build quality. Winnebago makes both gas and diesel motorhomes on the same assembly line. The build quality is the same. I bought an Itasca Suncruiser which is their top of the line gas model. The same floorplan on a diesel chassis was $40,000 more which is why I chose gas. I got the same quality of box and amenities.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:00 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for your comments. U having a '02 Dutch Star and being happy with it adds weight to your opinions. We are leaning hard towards the DSDP even though it is older. I plan to check out appliances best we can and get an extended warranty (3 year) through Assurant Solutions, dealer recommended company. BYW - any recommends on warranty companys?
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:04 AM   #8
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My 2006 has 51K miles...I use it and not concerned as with miles like I would be with a gasser.
Floor plan is important and once you have made your choice inspections of chassis and house by professionals. Age of tires on all should be checked.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:07 AM   #9
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My advise is this, buy the most you can possibly afford. If you want a diesel pusher, and all the amenities that go along with it, you're not going to be happy with the gasser. If you decide on a late model gasser, but then wish you had air-ride suspension that you could have had in an older dp, will you be happy? Get what you want, equipted the way you want, even if it's 5-10 years old. You'll be happier and less likely to spend more money in a short time to get exactly what you want. If you have to re- decorate to make mama happy, it's cheaper than trading because you didn't get what you wanted to begin with. I believe in your price range you can do alot better than an 8-15 year old dp. Shop around, if you see something at a dealer you like, shoot high, offer low, you've got nothing to lose. I guarantee you if you tell a salesman you want to spend $90,000, he'll start showing you junk that just happens to be $90,000. Don't show your cards too early.
You can get a lot more from an individual for your money, keep that in mind. Get what you want, They're out there, get to shopping.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Sage
You mention build quality. Winnebago makes both gas and diesel motorhomes on the same assembly line. The build quality is the same. I bought an Itasca Suncruiser which is their top of the line gas model. The same floorplan on a diesel chassis was $40,000 more which is why I chose gas. I got the same quality of box and amenities.
Good point but most manufactures use the price of the diesel chassis as an excuse to upgrade from carpet and vinyl flooring to ceramic or marble and the cabinetry will be 100% wood instead of just faced with wood(that which you see on the outside, door etc) the biggest upgrade is suspension and braking plus tow capacity. I too am more than happy with my gasser for our purposes. It's hard for me to justify that $40,000! The only thing my friend with a tiffin Pheaton has that I envy, is through storage and slide out storage trays underneath. We both get about the same fuel milage and gas is a little cheaper right now so that's pretty much a wash.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:27 PM   #11
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I have been searching for a 2002/2003/2004 Dutch Star now for 18 mos or so and have looked into several. There was a 2003 4004 DSDP that I was seriously interested in and was dealing on until it was sold to another. From what I have found, $75k is trade-in value on a 2003 4004. The one I was interested in was listed at $99,900. The dealer dropped it to $94k and when I got serious he quoted $90k, without me having to dicker with him. I was planning to offer less when I had all my ducks in a row. This one did have lower mileage, about 30k. I have seen comparable DS models listed as high as $115k. Of course that is what the seller thinks it's worth, not what it would finally sell for.

If you find that everything checks out, I think $75k for a 2003 DS 4004 with 60k miles is a good buy... I would consider it. New Michelin tires will run $3000 to $4000 +/- (for 6).

My opinion is, you won't regret buying Newmar, and I wouldn't have any less than a Dutch Star DP.

If you don' buy it, let me have it... I'm still looking. My problem is that I cant time the sale of mine when I find one I want.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:02 PM   #12
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We went through the same search you are engaged in about a year ago. We decided early on that we wanted a DP because we wanted ~40 ft or more in order to fulltime. One thing to bear in mind with used DP's is that the NADA guide doesn't even consider mileage as a price factor because these engines can last for ~500k miles or more if properly maintained.

We decided we wanted to buy a "higher end" model even if that meant we had to buy one older than we initially planned to (it's a 2000). We took our time and ended up with a Beaver that had been garaged and immaculately kept. Yes, we've replaced most of the audio/visual electronics to bring them up to today's HDTV quality, but there's no way any newer coach we could afford would have the solid cherry cabinets built by Beaver in that time period. It's all a matter of personal choice; we're happy with our decision. Spend enough time looking to make sure you are happy with yours.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:06 PM   #13
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We're on our second DSDP and wouldn't buy anything but a Newmar if we had to buy again. Every one is custom ordered either by the dealer or for a customer, none are built on speculation. We used to belong to a private RV club, of the MH's there almost half were Newmar products.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:07 AM   #14
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Wound up buying a 2004 Monaco Camelot - Four slides/40'/400 Cummins/32K miles. Been on a couple of trips now (one 1300 miles) and we've really enjoyed it. Handles real well, looks almost new and fits us well. Towing a RX300 on a dolly trailer. So far, so good. Thanks for all the input.
Anyone have anything particular to this coach be glad to hear it.
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