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 > 7 Year Cost of Operating the Dutch Star

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burgess001

Springfield, MO USA

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Posted: 07/12/12 07:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, the numbers are in. 7 1/2 years ago, some of you may remember my questions as to whether or not I should buy a "New" Newmar coach that came with NO factory warranty. I took a chance and did it. Now, I have gone through the file, invoice by invoice and I can quantify my experience. The dealer included a 7 year/ 100,000 mile service contract in the deal. My net cost was:

Out of pocket for routine maintenance and servicing was $9,698.
Including 6 tires, converting to synthetic ATF, etc.
Out of pocket for stuff that broke prematurely was about $1,390.

I could have missed a little something, but not much. So, since my purchase price was about 65% of MSRP (including the service contract), I think I did OK. Thanks for all the good advice 7 1/2 years ago. Now... If a radiator cap cures the overheating issue next week, I'm a happy camper.


Jerry and Katie
More than 20 great years motorhoming and still loving it...
2004 DSDP 3810 (more than I needed...less than I wanted)
2004 Trailblazer (too heavy but well worth dragging)

larry cad

ohio

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Posted: 07/12/12 07:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Spartan chassis no doubt. Overheating could be a problem in the hydraulic system that drives the cooling fan motor. Filter stack in a hydraulic fluid reservoir, priority cartridges partly clogged, side mount radiator going bad (it's about time for that), Cummins recall on the hydraulic pump drive shaft that runs through the air compressor drive is also a possibility. The side mount radiator has a tendency to get clogged and needs cleaned out from the back side. We assume you have changed the hydraulic fluid and filters as prescribed by Spartan, correct?


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burgess001

Springfield, MO USA

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Posted: 07/12/12 08:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, its a Freightliner/CAT. I'm hoping it fails a pressure test or has a stuck thermostat. The CAT shop is going to look at it next week. I have faithfully followed the maintenance schedule. The Freightliner shop at the factory in Gaffney has done most of it. Radiator has been cleaned twice. Coolant has been changed. I suspect the overflow cannister may have a pressure leak that could be a problem??? However, I never have to add anti-freeze. Lots of possibilities, but I don't understand a lot of what you mentioned on the Spartan. I will pass the thoughts along to the CAT guys and see if it applies. Thanks for the suggestions.

jorbill2or

Oregon

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Posted: 07/12/12 11:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good Info to Know , thank you. I would think pretty typical.Thats why Maint warranties make dealers lots of money. I've been more interested in General Maint figures as I move to a DP and I'm glad to see my plan is about right ( thinking it would take a budget of about 125 a month for routine Maint). Heres to good luck and a simple solution to your cooling issue! ;-)


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paulcardoza

Southeastern Massachusetts

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Posted: 07/13/12 05:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Out of curiosity, how much of that $1390 was in the last year or two?

PC


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larry cad

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Posted: 07/13/12 08:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

burgess001 wrote:

Well, its a Freightliner/CAT. I'm hoping it fails a pressure test or has a stuck thermostat. The CAT shop is going to look at it next week. I have faithfully followed the maintenance schedule. The Freightliner shop at the factory in Gaffney has done most of it. Radiator has been cleaned twice. Coolant has been changed. I suspect the overflow cannister may have a pressure leak that could be a problem??? However, I never have to add anti-freeze. Lots of possibilities, but I don't understand a lot of what you mentioned on the Spartan. I will pass the thoughts along to the CAT guys and see if it applies. Thanks for the suggestions.


So much for assuming!

Actually, none of what I mentioned about the Spartan has application for the Freightliner chassis. Freightliner used a shaft driven cooling fan and Spartan uses a hydraulic driven cooling fan. Just ignore what I said. I have heard that the overflow bottles on FL have a tendency to develop leaks, but cannot speak from personal experience.

webhannet

Southern Coastal Maine

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Posted: 07/13/12 08:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

THANK YOU for posting this information. It's hard to find such stuff!

burgess001

Springfield, MO USA

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Posted: 07/13/12 11:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

paulcardoza wrote:

Out of curiosity, how much of that $1390 was in the last year or two?

PC


I just spent yesterday listing all the costs, so they are easy to retrieve. Of course, this does not include several misc. items picked up at Walmart, with no record in our DSDP file. The out of pocket since July of 2010 has been:

Adjusted the front slide N/C
Misc House Repairs - lightbulbs, filters, etc 107
Generator Fuel Pump - Warranty 50
Check Overheating (unsuccessful) 422
Hydraulic Oil Cooler - Warranty 50
Misc House Repairs - Damage in storage area 133
House Water Pump - Warranty 50
Remote Mirror Switch - Warranty 50
Total 862


As you can see, the costs in the first 5 years were minimal. The overheating fiasco distorted the averages too. This does not include servicing and normal wear and tear stuff. With tires/tailpipe/servicing, that would have been another 5000.00 or so. It ain't cheap.

rvrepairnut

bc

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Posted: 07/13/12 03:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

burgess001 wrote:

Well, the numbers are in. 7 1/2 years ago, some of you may remember my questions as to whether or not I should buy a "New" Newmar coach that came with NO factory warranty. I took a chance and did it. Now, I have gone through the file, invoice by invoice and I can quantify my experience. The dealer included a 7 year/ 100,000 mile service contract in the deal. My net cost was:

Out of pocket for routine maintenance and servicing was $9,698.
Including 6 tires, converting to synthetic ATF, etc.
Out of pocket for stuff that broke prematurely was about $1,390.

I could have missed a little something, but not much. So, since my purchase price was about 65% of MSRP (including the service contract), I think I did OK. Thanks for all the good advice 7 1/2 years ago. Now... If a radiator cap cures the overheating issue next week, I'm a happy camper.

BUT?? how many Miles are on the unit?

tommy wilson

southern ca, usa

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Posted: 07/13/12 03:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

do you have a transmission temp guage. if the torque converter is not locking properly the trans temp guage will start getting hot before the engine temp guage goes up.


tommy wilson
1996 kountrystar dp
spartan mountainmaster chassis

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