Saturday, November 28, 2015
We just got our new coach!
Given the issues with the 2016 Dutch Star front axle weight, we looked at our options and decided that we would do our best to find a 2015 that was as close as we could possibly get to the 2016 rig that we canceled.
Searching the Internet, we weren't surprised that the number of 2015's was dwindling fast. We got lucky when we found one that not only had the couch/recliners/maple cherry/roll-away dinette we had chosen, but had the optional kitchen window and the Bon-bon exterior (black/white/beige) that I had loved when I first saw the 2015 models more than a year ago. It was hard to give up the 2016's escape door, passive steering tag axle and our 40-something customizations, but we knew that the end result would save us a lot of money, be safer, and get us into a coach that had all of the things that made us fall in love with the Dutch Star.
The one we found was located at National Indoor RV Center in Lilburn, GA - a suburb of Atlanta. On November 19, we called them and asked a lot of questions and gave them a credit card deposit to hold it for us. On the 20th, we drove to Atlanta from Orlando, looked at it, drove it, added a larger deposit, and then made the trip back to Florida. Fourteen hours on the road that day, but the two and a half that we spent in Lilburn was well worth it. After years of research and a canceled order, we had found our new coach.
Yesterday, we picked it up. The technicians at NIRVC let us through all of the systems, explained everything in detail and answered our questions. Our salesman arranged for us to spend three nights at the Stone Mountain Campground, only four miles from the NIRVC dealership.
One of the things we had ordered in our 2016 coach was the Girard Nova awnings. I liked them for three reasons: the two stage "break" in the awning that provided an angle for a bit more shade, the LED lights along the edge of the awning, and the wind sensor. The coach we bought doesn't have the Nova awnings, so I thought that we had lost all three of the features. As it turns out, the standard awnings have the LEDs and the wind sensor, so we lost very little. This was a pleasant surprise.
I'll talk about our first night experience in another post, but I want to take a few minutes to thank some really great salesmen and technicians.
We ordered our 2016 at Independence RV in Winter Garden, FL. Our salesman was David Scott, who took the time to show us things on the Dutch Star's and explain a lot of details. David really helped us a lot, and we hated to cancel our order with him because of things beyond his control. When we went looking for a 2015, we looked first at Independence's inventory, because we wanted to buy from David. It just didn't work out because they had none in stock. David is a nice guy and we highly recommend calling him if you are interested in anything on their web site.
Our salesman at National Indoor RV Center was Tony Morse. Tony followed through with answering our questions, on the phone and by e-mail. He took us around the dealership and introduced us to a team of incredible professionals, including Stephen Riexinger (Service Manager), Justin Townley (PDI Manager), Mike (the guy who conducted our walk-through) and Luis Grove, the sales manager. What really impressed us with NIRVC was that everyone we talked to not only bent over backwards to answer our questions, but openly volunteered their cell phone numbers so that we can call them any time we need help. What? That kind of dedication is amazing. I actually took them up on it the first night out. At one point, Steven even told me that he would come out to my site - on a holiday weekend - to help me. The people at NIRVC have a steadfast commitment to customer service and should teach this stuff to other dealers.
Next up, I'll show off our coach with a few pictures, then follow that with a write up describing our first night out: what went wrong, what went right and what we learned.