Saturday, November 21, 2015

We canceled our order

Yep.  You read that title correctly.  We canceled our order.

The front axle weight issue and the lack of an immediate solution gave us serious doubts about buying any 2016 Dutch Star.  We love Newmar and will continue to love their products, but they got this wrong and the fix is too far down the road for us to wait.

If you're unfamiliar, Newmar increased the overall weight you could carry in its 43-footers because they bumped up their GVWR by 2,400 pounds.  This seemingly solved my previous problem about possibly having very little weight we could put in the coach.  So what's the issue?

As more people focused on the overall change, there was considerable talk about the weight on the front axle.  Specifically, the front GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) is 17,000 pounds for the 43' Dutch Stars.  However, some people that reported their axle weights were showing that they were over that limit by several hundred pounds.  Others said that they were within 300 pounds and didn't even have a full tank of fuel.  There's a very long thread about this on, so I won't dive into the details here.

Safety is #1.  So even though it would have been a stunning coach, we decided that we didn't want to constantly worry about our weight on that axle.  Because of that, we canceled our order.

As soon as we did, we knew we'd have to make a decision.  Wait for Newmar to come up with a solution?  Wait to see what they would do in the 2017 models?  Get something from another manufacturer?

Newmar has called many of its customers and told them that it is looking to install a valve that will take weight off of the axle and re-apportion it to the rear axles.  How much weight?  They don't know yet.  Freightliner is working a solution but won't have anything until mid-February.  Then Newmar has to test it.   We figured that if we waited to see if it is a viable (to us) solution, then we wouldn't be able to give the go-ahead on our 2016 coach until - probably - the beginning of April.  But since they will probably begin taking orders for the 17's in May, it makes more sense to just order a '17.  But Newmar won't say how the problem will be resolved in the 2017's, so it's tough to know what to do.

Look for my next post soon after Thanksgiving.  You'll see how we examine our options and reached a few conclusions that make sense.

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