With a good floorplan, quality construction, attractive dÃ©cor and the ability to custom select many of the options and accessories, this Newmar coach targets discerning buyers
The Dutch Star has always been one of Newmarâ€™s best-selling coaches, offering a selection of features at an attractive price. This year, the coachbuilder has stepped it up with a restyled Dutch Star packed with features and amenities. There are 13 floorplans in this lineup, ranging from 37-foot single rear-axle designs up through 43-foot-plus tag-axle coaches. The model 4369 we tested is one of the longest, with high-line livability in a bath-and-a-half configuration.
The Seville MasterPiece full-body paint on this Dutch Star is fitted with Diamond Shield front cap film to protect the paint from stone chips and other damage. Polished aluminum wheels and chrome trim panels help accent the beautiful paint. Frameless tinted flush windows and a Girard G2000 power awning built into the roof fascia make for a streamlined appearance with minimal wind noise. Side-hinged basement compartment doors give easy access to the cargo area and a keyless entry system handles the electric locks on the entry and basement compartment doors. An outside entertainment center places a 40-inch Sony LED TV and sound bar in the slideout, and a large Dometic portable refrigerator/freezer is mounted on a slide tray in the patio area to ensure that cold beverages are always handy.
The redesigned rear cap sports LED taillights and a flip-up engine access cover with an LED third brakelight. A chrome-accented stone guard is hung below the 10,000-pound-rated hitch receiver to help protect a dinghy vehicle from stone chips. A spoiler diverts airflow passing over the roof down to the rear cap, helping to reduce the dust buildup common to diesel pushers. A rearview camera is placed beneath the deflector to provide a feed to the color monitor on the instrument panel, and a pair of front cowl-mounted sideview cameras are also connected to that monitor and are automatically actuated via the turn signals.
The cockpit is well-designed for ease of access to the controls when driving. The instrument panel is laid out in the traditional three-gauge cluster fashion and the left-side console contains the transmission interface panel and rocker switches essential for vehicle control while driving. The parking brake is placed on the dash to the left of the instrument cluster. This is an easy-to-access location for the driver, yet prevents pets from accidentally stepping on it and releasing the brake if it were mounted on the side console, like many are. All of the rocker switches that control the shades, lights and other accessories are placed in a row at the bottom of the dash to the right of the driver. This allows easy access by either the driver or copilot. Immediately above these switches are the rear and sideview camera monitor and the entertainment and GPS navigation system. The Smart Wheel contains push-button controls for the windshield wipers, cruise control and the ICC and headlight flasher. The heated, six-way power cockpit seats swivel to face the interior for extra seating when in camp.
The 4369 has a large full-wall slide that extends along the driverâ€™s side. There are also two opposing slides on the passenger side. The interior is finished in the Cordova dÃ©cor package with Carmel Glazed Cherry cabinets. The glazed-tile floor is a perfect complement to the woodwork and cabinetry and adds an attractive look. The soft-touch vinyl ceiling is fitted with hardwood ceiling treatments that contain the air-conditioning discharge and return vents. These louvered panels are hinged to allow access to the intake filters for cleaning and allow for whisper-quiet airflow. Additional louvered panels are placed over the Fan-Tastic Vent ceiling fans to dress them up. Recessed LED fixtures in the ceiling provide bountiful light with less power draw and heat compared to quartz incandescent lighting.
The slideout ends are fitted with recessed mood lighting, which is placed behind translucent panels within the woodwork. MCD power daytime and privacy shades are used throughout the living areas and a wireless remote controller is attached to the wall via hook-and-loop fasteners so it can be removed and used as a handheld remote if desired.
The main salon is equipped with a pair of comfortable recliners and a moveable end table. On the driverâ€™s side, a large sofa bed is positioned in front of the 48-inch Sony LED TV, which is mounted on a powered lift. When raised, the TV is in perfect viewing position for the two opposing recliners. A Winegard TRAVâ€™LER automatic dish mounted to the roof provides satellite TV reception with the appropriate receivers or DVRs. This is a nice arrangement when the slides are out, but the extended curved couch cushion, combined with the TV behind the couch, makes for a very narrow aisle when the slides are retracted.
The galley area is well-appointed. A solid-surface Corian countertop features a flush induction cooktop, although a standard Kenyon glass cooktop is also available. Removable covers expose a dual-basin stainless-steel sink with extra-tall gooseneck faucet and removable sprayer head. The convection microwave oven is located above the cooktop and a ceramic tile backsplash adorns the wall to protect it from splatters. A large pullout workstation provides additional workspace and is also fitted with a solid-surface top. A drawer-type dishwasher is located beneath the cooktop.
On the opposite wall, a large pantry with pullout storage bins handles food storage needs and is located next to the 22-cubic-foot Maytag residential refrigerator with dual doors, a bottom freezer drawer plus water and ice dispensers.
You can chose from either an optional booth dinette with large storage drawers built into the seating, or a hide-a-leaf dinette. An extension board for the solid-surface table serves up additional space, and two folding chairs provide additional seating. Overhead cabinets extend the length of the galley and living area on both sides.
Immediately aft of the galley is the guest bath. Newmar designed a unique center pivot door that splits the difference when open, placing half in the bathroom and half in the hall. This offers more room in the hall, which is a plus when the slides are retracted. However, it does cramp the space in this midbath, given its small size. The bathroom includes a solid-surface vanity with classy raised-vessel sink.
Next in line is the bedroom. A 72-by-80-inch king bed is mounted in the curbside slide, tucked between a pair of nightstands. Overhead cabinetry holds multiplex control panels for the lighting as well as a generator start-stop switch. A Sleep Number Premier mattress is equipped with dual controls to adjust the inflation levels for each side. Directly opposite the bed, at the rear of the large full-wall slide, is a large storage center filled with wardrobe cabinet and drawers. A Sony 40-inch LED TV is located in the overhead cabinetry, which also holds a second Blu-ray player and space for a second satellite receiver.
The rear bath is an attractive feature that is very functional. Solid-surface shower walls are fitted with a rectangular glass shower surround. A fold-down teak wood seat provides room to sit or to place items on, although there are pockets in the shower walls for that as well. The macerator toilet is located next to the shower. On the opposite wall, a tall, vented enclosure contains a stackable washer and dryer, located next to the vanity. The vanity contains dual basin flush-mounted sinks facing a large mirror and medicine cabinets on each side. A stack of deep drawers is placed in the center of the vanity and is flanked by two large cabinet doors. Overhead vanity lighting provides illumination for primping and preening.
The rear wall of the bathroom contains a wardrobe. A pair of hinged center doors open to expose the clothes hanging area, which extends to the left, behind the medicine cabinet. To the right, a series of shelves can be accessed from within the wardrobe or from hinged doors from the bath area, and a wall safe is also located in this area and can be accessed in the same manner. Cubbyholes in the rear wall of the wardrobe can be used for storage of shoes or other similar-sized items.
This Dutch Star is an all-electric coach. Heating and hot water needs are met by an Oasis hydronic heating system, which can be powered by electricity or by a diesel burner. Warm air is distributed throughout the coach by a series of heat exchangers located in cabinets and other strategic locations. Hot water is delivered on demand so youâ€™ll never run out of water when taking long showers. Optional electric tile-floor heating is available.
Electrical needs are met by a 50-amp shorepower service and an Onan 10-kW generator. The generator is mounted on a slide tray that allows easy service access. The shorepower cord is equipped with a power retract reel, but the fixed-feed roller design tends to bunch up the cord in the middle rather than allow it to spool evenly across the reel. A Precision Circuits energy management system monitors available power and demands and can shed loads as needed to prevent tripping pedestal breakers. It also interfaces with the Magnum 2,800-watt true sine wave inverter to allow power assist prior to shedding loads.
The utility bay houses the usual freshwater control valves, water pump and holding-tank dump valves. A whole-house water filter, exterior shower, winterization kit and power hose reel finish out the bay. Unlike the power cord reel, this one allowed the hose to wind up evenly across the spool. The holding tanks are equipped with heat pads to prevent freezing in cold weather.
There is plenty of basement storage space in this coach. One of two large pass-through storage bays is equipped with a full-extension slide tray that can be accessed from either side of the coach. Bay doors allow access to the hydronic heating system, power cord reel, chassis batteries and DEF tank, as well as the house batteries, which were mounted on a slide-out battery tray.
Newmar incorporates Comfort Drive on all of its diesel pushers. This allows the user to dial in the level of power assist given to the steering. In a stiff crosswind the system compensates so that the driver doesnâ€™t have to hold the wheel and fight the wind. Drivers may lose some feeling for the road with the system set to maximum assist, but fortunately it can be dialed down to suit individual taste. Once you drop down to a few miles per hour, the system goes into full assist to allow the driver to spin the wheel around with ease for tight maneuvers. The system also automatically straightens the wheels once the ignition key is switched off. The ZF front axle has a 56-degree wheel cut.
Driving the Dutch Star is a good experience. The Freightliner tag-axle chassis does a commendable job of driving straight in brisk crosswinds and that was with the Comfort Drive set to full stiffness. It maneuvered well pulling into a tight campground and was easy to navigate through a crowded truck stop and scale platform. The GPS system tracked accurately, but the voice commands are annoying. Wind noise and ride comfort were what one would expect in a diesel pusher of this caliber.
All in all, the Dutch Star is an attractive package. The combination of performance, good floorplans, quality construction, attractive dÃ©cor and the ability to custom select options make this motorhome a good choice.
Newmar recently released a wheelchair-accessible floorplan in a diesel pusher. The Dutch Star 4311 is a 43-foot, tag-axle coach with a triple slide configuration that allows full wheelchair access throughout the coach. The power dinette is designed to be raised or lowered via fingertip control switches and all light switches, drawers, countertops and the convection microwave oven are designed to be accessible from a wheelchair. The bath area features a wheelchair-height sink, grab rails and an extra-deep roll-in 62-by-36-inch shower. A BraunAbility wheelchair lift is installed midcoach on the patio side.
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