The RV

We have a 2002 Newmar DutchStar motorhome. It is a 38 foot diesel pusher with two slide outs on the driver’s side, one in the living room and one for the bedroom.


It has a Cummins ISC 350 HP engine with the Allison 6 speed automatic and air brakes. It also has an exhaust brake system. It is built on the Spartan Chassis so it has the air ride suspension too.

I took it to Navaro Brothers in Los Algodones, Mexico to have it painted. So far, we are the only non commercial red RV we have seen in six months on the road.

There are several things that have turned out to  be super features for us. One, it came with a 7.5KW Onan generator that can power the entire coach. I added four six volt golf cart batteries and a 2KW inverter. The generator can recharge the batteries from 50% in about two hours. That means, we can live off the grid and only run the generator a few hours a day.

I also added the Winegard Travel’r satellite system that handles multiple satellites and receivers so that Terri and I can each watch different shows at the same time on our TVs.

Terri wanted a washer and dryer, and it came with a combination unit, and that has turned out to be really great. Since it’s just the two of us, we only run it about once a week.

Finally, it came with a really neat dining room table that doubles as a desk. We generally keep the table folded down and I mounted a couple of monitors on a special stand so it acts as my workstation. Since we rarely use the table, I basically have a semi-permanent desk!

Our toad is 2012 Chevy Equinox that can be towed four down. I installed the Roadmaster Base Plate and we use their All Terrain tow bar and so far, it has been great. I added their wiring kit with diodes and a special braking system from M&G Engineering that activates the brakes in the Chevy when I step on the brakes in the coach.

All in all, it’s been a fantastic experience so far, but, I will say this, you better be handy if you don’t want to spend tons of money getting things fixed or installed! There are tons of systems to mess with, and so far, six months in, here are things I have added or fixed:

  • Winegard Travel’r satellite system (install)
  • Installed two satellite receivers.
  • Replaced transfer switch
  • Added New Circuit Breaker and Wires For Xantrex Inverter
  • Xantrex Inverter/Charger install (made all the cables)
  • Added Xantrex control panel
  • Replaced single house battery with four Dura Cell deep cycle 6v batteries
  • Installed Two Televisions (One of which smashed when it fell from mount)
  • Installed CD player w/Bluetooth for hands free talking
  • Fixed refrigerator condensation drain
  • Replaced coach air conditioner belt
  • Changed generator oil and filter
  • Adjusted main slide out
  • Added special battery monitoring system with shunt for current measurement
  • Fixed leaking kitchen sink (twice)
  • Removed bad water filters
  • Replaced clearance light covers
  • Added indoor/outdoor thermometer
  • Added XM Satellite radio and mounted antenna on roof.
  • Installed special dual monitor computer mount for desk.
  • Replaced fluorescent lights with LEDs removed ballasts and rewired (6 dual bulb fixtures)
  • Replaced incandescent lights with LEDs
  • Replaced door step cover
  • Removed old satellite antenna
  • Removed VCR
  • Added Apple TV
  • Replaced air conditioner cover
  • Patched hole in roof (Probably from when A/C cover blew off)
  • Replaced toilet sprayer
  • Replaced toilet seals
  • Replaced one leveling jack and had control panel fixed. (We paid for this to be done at the HMH Factory in Iowa)
  • Summer 2017, Replaced the other three jacks at HMH Factory
  • Fixed hydraulic leak that soaked the toad:) Replaced a blown o-ring.
  • Replaced inverter and house batteries with pure sine wave 3K and four 800 ah LiFePO4 batteries.





Adventurous Travels and Train Hopping