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Old 12-22-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
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Wanna-be Newmar owner

Hi,

In my search for the class A diesel pusher to replace our class C, I came across the Newmar owner's forum and have found a lot of useful information here. Due to budget restrictions I am not in a position to order a new coach built to our spec's so am stuck with buying a per-owned one. I have come across 2 that appear to fit our needs/wants based on the listings but would appreciate some input from owners of similar coaches and your experience with them. Our intended use is to do some shorter trips (pre-retirement) for a year or so and then possibly to to full timing or at least snow birding.

Coach one is a 2006 Ventana 3933 on a freightliner chassis with a 330 C7 cat engine with 20,000 miles, coach two is a 2004 DutchStar 4025 on a Spartian chassis with a 370 cummins with 42,000 miles. I have seen but not driven the Ventana but haven't seen the DutchStar. The DSDP has a washer/dryer and a direct TV sat receiver/recorder which the VTDP doesn't have but aside from this difference they are similarly equipped. They are also similar in listed price.

I am somewhat leaning toward the DSDP but would appreciate some feedback on the two units.

Thanks
Jake
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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I don't own a DP but in conversation with friends of mine and the liking of their coaches I think you would be much happier with the Spartan/Cummins combo in the DSDP. Good luck with your decision and hope you enjoy all your future travels.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
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I am totally satisfied, after 7 years, with my DSDP, Cummins, Spartan, and the Newmar quality. When you find a camdidate pull up the PDI checklist, have a pro check it out. Specifically Tires, roof sealing, Batteries and battery compartment (I say this because of battery corrosion caused by outgassing)
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
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I don't own a Newmar, but if I was ever to buy another MH, the Newmar range would be right on top of my list. I believe it to be a solid product which is (still) backed up by good to excellent after-sales service.

I think it's worth a second look although I have no personal experience with the product.

....and welcome to iRV2 btw
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:42 PM   #5
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Hi jarwiebe,
Welcome to iRV2 and the Newmar owners forum. The 04 DSDP and my coach should be very much like each other. Both coaches should be done with the new coach bugs. Since my coach settled down I have been very pleased with it. The 370 Cummins is the minimum engine for this size and weight of coach. I have the 330 Cummins and it does require planning and patience on long uphill grades. If there are any dark colors on either coach, take a very good look at them at a 45 degree angle. Look for small marks in the paint. They are random and about 1/8" long. Initially they look like road dings. This could be the beginning of paint checking. Drive both coaches. Drive on the Interstate as well as different secondary roads. For me, the Spartan IFS is not worth the $s. Pay attention to see if the coach wanders more than you'd like. I have found no advantage, but additional expense to the Spartan chassis. Crawl under the coach front end and look at the ball joint boots. That era of coach had some defective boots. The DSDP is a side radiator and the Ventana is a rear radiator. Overall, the side radiator is better. If there is a Norcold refer have the recalls (all of them) been done? What is the GAWR of the front axle? If it is not 14K, have the coach weighed. Pay attention to the front corner weights. The tire size should be larger than 275X70.

With all the above mentioned items one might be scared away. Please do not be. You'd get the same or longer list on just about any coach of that age.

Lastly do the usual due diligence on tires (date code) batteries (load test), make sure all the appliances work. Check the roof inside and outside), etc.

I hope to welcome you to the Newmar family. Let us know what you decide.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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So, I have split the difference. I have a 2005 DSDP with a cat engine on a Spartan chassis with a side radiator. Had a '98 before with a Spartan Chassis and a cummins, side radiator. When I was looking, one of the things that was important to me was the side radiator. I was very comfortable with the cummins and was hesitant to change to the cat but have not been unhappy with it. The difference in the years and milage are not that great so I would probably lean towards the DS, but don't think either one would be a bad choice if they have been well maintained.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:27 PM   #7
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The '06 Ventana was the first year of Newmar's entry level coach. Much less expensive chassis/drivetrain/suspension setup, no hardwood cabinetry, no pull out generator, smaller fuel tank, no option for one-piece fiberglass roof.

Depending on how the DSDP is optioned, it could be a lot more coach for the money, certainly below the house it is, regardless. It will have a lower ceiling, however.

If you plan to keep the coach and full time in it, '06 Ventana would not be my first choice.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the quick feed back. This is all very heplful information and will help us in our decision making process.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:42 PM   #9
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I would lean to the DS it has been the mainstay of the Newmar line for years.
Here is a Brochure and the Owners Guide for it.
Good luck in your quest and maybe a welcome to Newmar family.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:13 PM   #10
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We are on our second DSDP. Wife wanted more slides and I wanted more HP/torque that our 2000 DSDP would ever have.
So far the only thing that's really needed repair is the refer, replaced the cooling unit last year and the heating element this month. We also have trouble with the main slide motor, it still works but it is weak. Shop says they think a pole is gone and I agree.
No roof repairs or problems with the BriteTek roofing. Have replaced the tires and batteries along with the two CRT TV's. Everything else is as bought.
If we ever wear this one out we'll definitely buy another Newmar.
Oh yes, we did replace the hide a bed with two La Z Boy recliner rockers as well as the rocker recliner with another La Z Boy but just because the DW wanted it.

On edit: the 2002 was overweight on the front axle at delivery, Newmar had Spartan replace the stock 12,000# axle with a new 14,600# unit.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #11
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Apparently the 7500 W. Onan diesel generator in the DSDP has 2,000 hours of run time, is this something to be concerned about? Supposedly it has been regularly serviced and is working fine.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:02 PM   #12
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I would not be concerned with the 2000 hours as long as it had routine service at the recommended intervals. The onan actually suffers if not used enough.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:44 PM   #13
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I have 2500 hours on mine and it still runs like a new one.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:55 PM   #14
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The DSDP probably has independent front suspension. Our 2006 does and it is a big plus over the straight axle. You did not mention floor plans but that should e a big factor in your decision. Also,are you planning on towing? The 370 hp is probably the 8.9 ISL, and if so, that is a big plus for towing. As was mentioned above, the side radiator is an advantage also. What about the heat? Our DSDP has Aquaheat and that is a big upgrade. Not sure if the 2004 model had that option, but inquire about that. Good luck.
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