Our Home on Wheels
Our motorhome is a 2000 Newmar Dutch Star diesel pusher, model 3858, on a Spartan chassis with a Cummins 330HP engine. We knew that Newmar was coming out with a heavier GVWR in spring, so we waited to get a coach with a 29000 pound GVWR rather than the early model year GVWR of 27400 pounds. The extra carrying capacity was well worth the wait.
While we were at the FMCA convention in Brunswick ME in August 2000 we had the Dutch Star weighed by A-Weigh-We-Go (AWWG). I am putting the weights here for your reference. We were quite pleased with the results, and proud of ourselves for loading the it, especially the basement, such that it was pretty well balanced. Here is the data from the weighing:
* The front is rated at 12, 000 pounds (6175 on each is what AWWG wrote on the report). We came in at 5500 on the right front and 5160 on the left front for a total of 10,660. Pretty well balanced. I asked about the difference and the Spartan guy at Newmar says it wasn't a problem. They allow for 10% difference between the wheels.
* The rear is rated at 17,000 pounds, although the word is that it really can handle 19,000 pounds. Newmar won't say that so they can keep a differentiation between the Mountain Aire and Dutch Star. We came in at 8550 on the right rear and 8675 on the left rear for a total of 17,225. Over the 17,000 but within tolerances. Plus we did have full water back there.
* The GVWR is 29,000 pounds and we came in at 27,885. We were happy with the weight given some of the war stories we have heard about folks not having much carrying capacity.
At one time, I said I didn't want to drive anything bigger than 34 feet but, as you can see, that didn't hold. As we were doing our research, we just kind of talked ourselves into a bigger coach after we decided we would full-time. It was quite daunting to think about driving such a big rig, but it has, so far, turned out to be easier than I thought it would be, although there are some stories in the travelogues of situations we got ourselves into and had to unhitch the toad to extricate the motorhome and get it turned around.
People who are doing research on motorhomes always ask about which options were chosen, so we've decided to put list them here:
10 cu ft refrigerator
larger, 30" convection microwave oven in lieu of a gas oven - this offers additional storage in place of the oven.
dinette slide, as opposed to galley slide - this offers some extra space since the dinette slide goes out further than the galley slide.
Splendide combo washer/dryer - again, we opted for the extra storage above the combo that would be lost by the stackable unit.
Newmar built a stereo cabinet to my spec to house two Sony CD jukeboxes (one with 200 CDs and one with 300 CDs).
manual roof-mounted satellite dish - the consensus seemed to be to save the money over the automatic dish since it was easy enough to find the bird
manual leveling jacks - again, the consensus was to save the money because it was easy enough to level manually vs the automatic jacks
Here are several photos of our home on wheels. Now when folks ask us where's home, we can honestly say "Home is where we park it".
(Click on the thumbnail photos to view an enlarged version)