We have a 98 Newmar Dutch Star...Sort of the Upper Middle of the Pack as far as these things go. I used to say that They were the Oldsmobiles of the RV Industry. Then GM axed that brand so I guess it's now a Buick!
Anyway We have had her for almost 4 Years now. She had 46 K Miles when We brought Her Home and now has almost 60 K of Trouble Free Miles. Average Fuel use has been 8.5 MPG over the time that we have owned Her. A Lot depends on how far My Foot has been pressed and How much Weight we carry.
She is on a Spartan Chassis and has a C8.3 Cummins with 300 HP and the usual Allison 6 Speed Automatic Transmission.
We have no regrets buying Our Dutchess Used and although She has a few Battle Scars there are No warts!
Rob & Jean
98 Dutch Star Diesel Pusher ..92 Tracker 4X2
We purchased our 2002 used in 2005. She had 50K on her and we've since added another 65K. Yup, cracked exhaust manifold and lift pump - - lots of people have had those problems with the Cummins and sometimes they were still under warranty and sometimes not.
For 65K miles we have averaged 8.73 mpg. Of course we travel at about 62 mph which seems to be a sweet spot for her. We fulltime so no hurry to get anywhere.
Barb & Dave O'Keeffe - full-timing since 2006 Traveling catpanion Shadow (age 16) Figment II (2002 Alpine 36 MDDS) Mischief (2004 Subaru Forester Toad) FMCA - F337834, SKP #90761 Our Blog
We just got used new to us DP a few weeks ago...too soon to tell.
However, 2 tips. Make a check list with features and equipment you want and put a couple of columns by the item for yes or no, such as "4dr refrigerator" yes or no, "tow hitch" yes or no, "power sun visors" yes or not, "aluminum wheels" yes or no, etc. After you've looked for awhile everything becomes blurry. If you find a unit that might work, "Google" as much as you can to find possible problems or positive owner comments.
We had a gas rig, class a for the last 3 years but finally found this DP with the a floor plan that we wanted and most everything on our "Check List". Very hard to do when looking at used units.
2003 Safari Sahara 350 Cummins ISC Allison 6 speed
Model 3753 - Triple Slide
2002 Jeep Liberty Limited 4x4 tow vehicle
Willow, our 5 year old female White Boxer
In 2008 I bought a 2003 Winnebago Journey, with 23k miles on it. We've put 29,000 more miles on it, with very little service required. Everything was working well when we got the rig. Now I need to fix the slide seals and a couple of electrical repairs, but that's it.
What I liked about it was that it had enough gadgetry to make it nice to live in (hydraulic levelers, 2 good slideouts, good a/c, a variety of heating sources, adequate engine), and not so much high end stuff as to require all sorts of maintenance (4 slides, Hydro-hot, airbag leveling, tag axle, sat TV, etc).
And the interior decor does not remind me of a French house of ill repute.(Not that I've ever been in one!)
I bought a 2002 Newmar Kountry Star in 2006. It is 37.5', 5.9 ISB cummins 300 hp. I set a budget, and had the same coaches on my list. The Newmar came up, checked it out, and bingo. I am a fulltimer, the coach is very serviceable. If I knew more at the time of purchase, the 5.9 ISB might have scared me off. Had to replace the fuel pump (quite $$$), a known bosch product problem. The engine is not as powerful as some, but I do get there. Get about 9.5 mpg towing. The coach had 32k miles when I got it, now has 84k.
It has 2 slides, none on the curb side, which I like. More under awning space. It was plumbed for w/d, which I added. The ccc is a little over 3k. i am pleased with the Newmar quality, and that is on one of the lower end models.
'02 KOUNTRY STAR DP
2012 HONDA FIT "PUMPKINMOBILE"
GILLIGAN- 1ST MATE CAT - 3 HR TOUR
You should expect 6 to 10mpg on a DP depending on the size/weight and engine.
My previous coach was a 34' Newmar with the Cummins 300 ISB and it got 10 mpg. My curent coach purchased a year ago is a 42' Monaco Dynasty with the 400 ISL and it gets 7 mpg.
I picked this particular make and model because I consider it to be built to a high standard as far as materials and workmanship and it's on the Roadmaster S chassis.
I picked my particular coach because it had the floorplan I liked the best.
It was already loaded with most options but I had the combo W/D replaced with stacked units at purchase because planning to be in it 5 months of the year with the wife didn't include using laundrymats.
I had all the batteries replaced as a part of the purchase and I installed large new LCD TVs to update it to what's available today.
I ran the original tires for a year (8000 mi) and have now replaced them (at 6 years old) because I don't know their history and don't want to chance it.
No regrets so far and I'm still impressed with the quality of the workmanship throughout.
2007 Monaco Dynasty Emperor IV
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Also not one of the coaches you mentioned, we have a 1999 National Tradewinds 7370 with a 300 Cat, 63,000 miles towing a 2001 Honda Odyssey. Our mileage runs from 9-10 depending on terrain and wind. We bought used in 2003,19,000 miles, and have purchased one set of batteries and are on our second set of tires.
Problems/ Repairs: Replaced front air AC condenser fan, 2 times in shop for Generac ( not my favorite) generator, Replaced switch that shut off battery power to coach, need to replace water heater element, Replaced most outside storage door lift arms, Repaired front (driver) AC, needed charging, Replaced tail pipe extention.
We run Amsoil in engine and transmission and change engine oil at 10.000 miles. Have normal maintance on filters, air and fuel.
We especially like the open bathroom with the closet in the bathroom area rather than in the bedroom. Having the toilet in a little cubicle was not a floorplan we liked. Have a hookup for W/D but would rather have the storage space. Have an icemaker that we could do without although we use it some.
All in all we are very happy with our selection and would choose it again. We wish you the same happiness we have as you make your selection......Arnold
1999 National Tradewinds
2001 Honda Odyssey--Toad
We bought an 04 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom in 08/11 with 33K miles on it.
Have made several long trips. Most problems so far have been relatively minor: shower fixtures, awning straps, vacuum line, batteries, etc.
So far we are averaging about 7.5 MPG.
"I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure."
Just remember that all Chasis's are NOT created equal, just because it has air suspension doesn't mean they all ride the same. The more air bags, doesn't mean it's better either. Test drive various motorhomes on various chasis's and see what you like.