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Old 05-20-2010, 11:49 AM   #29
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Monaco Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bonney Lake, WA
Posts: 351
Originally Posted by mykee50 View Post
Hi Phil, I just bought a 98' Beaver Patriot 6 weeks ago. I almost bought an 04' Windsor but couldn't get the seller below $100K (he sold it for that). I think that I looked at just about every Windsor in the country that was listed on the internet. They are pretty coaches... Just couldn't find the right one.

That's when I stumbled on the Beaver on Ebay and got it for $51K. I couldn't pass it up. I flew down to Phoenix, bought it and drove 1500 miles home. After spending another $7K on it in tires, shocks, batteries, TV's, fluids, etc., etc., I have a very very nice coach.

What I found out when looking, was most coaches were selling for far LESS than what they were listed at on the internet. More than 20% BELOW low book. So what you see out there and what is happening are 2 different things. They are trying to keep the posted prices up and trying to make you think that they are getting them (at Dealers).

It looks like you are in the Seattle area. If you buy the coach take it to Infinity Coach in Sumner. I highly recommend them. They are also custom coach builders. They can check everything out.
http://www.infinitycoach.com/ Use the internet special for the oil change ($50 off)

And if you do need batteries, Battery Systems in Sumner, (253) 826-4793

Just make sure the bones are good (were they having recall problems on the trailing arms that year?). Make sure there are no leaks. Anything else can be repaired.

Good Luck, Mike, Issaquah, WA
Thanks, Mike, really good info here. I've called Infinity Coach and made an appointment with Jim for tomorrow to look everything over. I told him you referred me, for whatever that's worth!

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Old 05-20-2010, 11:55 AM   #30
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Winnebago Owners Club
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Originally Posted by Steve Ownby View Post
The Pros:

The chassis is Monaco's series s chassis which the Windsor was built on until '02. This chassis is no longer built without a tag axle but it is very strong and is still the chassis the Monaco Signature and several others are built on.

The Cons:

The time it has been setting.
The low hours on the generator. Is it diesel or LP? Generators need running time with an electrical load.
The previous owners. From what you say they do not have a clue. You need to try to get any maintenance records they might have and you need them to tell the shop that did the servicing that you can have access to the records. You also need to know what they spent thousands on. The whole "battery problem and re-wiring" makes no sense whatsoever and you need to ask questions & see if you can get the real story.
The dealer you are working with. It does not sound like they are being forthcoming with you. If the air dryer caused a loss of suspension pressure which could also cause the parking brake to lock, it could have already caused some problems in the air system.

I would want a chassis shop, such as a freightliner dealer or other big truck shop that does a lot of motorhome business to go over the chassis systems, engine, transmission, brakes, etc. so you will have an idea how much money might be required to put it in 1st class condition.

The really good news:

If there are no serious issues then that is probably a great coach.

Steve O
More good info, Steve, thanks. I especially like to hear the chassis is a great one. The generator is diesel, starts and runs strong, but that is all I know. I do know they have to be run under load on a regular basis and have always done that with my gas coaches. I've got an appointment with a shop tomorrow to go through it. Hopefully, all will be well and we can complete the sale and move our stuff in!
Thanks again, Phil

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Old 05-20-2010, 12:05 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by cncjim View Post
I don't like the sound of the deal your getting into. If the previous owners sold it to the dealer for $30,000. Then if you take a bit more time looking you could possibly buy a similar coach private and hopefully in better condition and the difference of $20,000 can pay for a lot of repairs you may not need, and smaller payments.
The coaches are out there just keep looking.
Thanks for your thoughts, cncjim. I told the previous owner I wish I would have found her first! I'm sure there are deals out there, but we have been looking for about two years without finding one. I spent some time last night shopping online at RVTrader.com. There is absolutely nothing out there that is comparable at this price point. I mean, not even close. I figure even if I have to put 5k into it (and I don't expect to) I will still have a good deal. But, I've yet to drive it, that's tomorrow. I'll know a lot more after that and after I have it looked at. I have gotten some great opinions, ideas and information from just this thread. I feel much more enlightened after reading all of them.
Thanks, Phil
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:15 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by jimkate View Post
We bought our used 1995 Monaco Dynasty a year and a half ago. We've learned a lot. The Windsor is essentially the same coach. Built really, really strong. There's no trailing arms to worry about on these models. They're the strongest of the strong.

But....Don't let yourself be fooled by 'good looks'. They are a beautiful coach, even if they are in bad shape mechanically, waiting to cost you thousands of dollars to fix.

Go back and look at this coach as if it's the last thing on this earth that you want to be stuck with.

Check the roof. Get up there, and look really hard at everything. Look for cracks in the fiberglass. Look for bad caulking.

Check the ride height. Generally, when the coach has built up the air pressure, it should be sitting nice and level.

With engine not running, press the air release and lower the air pressure to about 70 lb. The coach should lower a couple of inches evenly. Lower the front center leveling jack until you've raised the front of the coach an inch or two. Then lower the rear jacks individually to level the coach. This is the correct procedure for leveling this coach. If not done this way, you can crack the windshield. Check the windshield. Is it original, or are there signs of continuous work being done. Maybe the windshield has caused trouble on this coach. Some do. Some can't be fixed.

With air pressure up, engine off, check for obvious air leaks.

Drive it. It should handle nicely, no hanging onto the steering wheel to keep it running straight. Pay attention to that. You might not pay much attention to it wandering on a one to ten mile run, but after a 300 mile run, it might be a serious problem. It should ride nicely, no swaying, no bouncing. New shocks will make a huge difference. Count on spending somewhere around $1000.00 for shocks.

Tires: if you know them and cared for them, change them at 6 years old. This coach needs new tires now. $2500.00-$3000.00.

Turbo Boost: drive it. Push the pedal down. When it shifts from 1st into 2nd, the gauge should climb. You should see at least 25 lb. If it doesn't, possibly $1000.00's to fix.

Run the generator. It should start well, after a few moments it should start charging the batteries. Watch it, make sure it's working right.

This coach has an inverter/charger. Check it: make sure it's working right. It should provide 110V power to the plug ins from the batteries. Hook up to shore power, the charger should go through the charging cycles properly.

Check the cruise control, the air conditioners (don't forget to check the dash air), the furnace, the fridge. Check the fridge to make sure it's not on the Norcold recall list.

Take your time, check the mechanical operations. Find someone that knows Monaco coaches, and/or someone that drives and knows trucks and/or coaches to drive it and look it over with you.

This coach needs all filters and fluids replaced right now. And there's lots of them. Don't forget to replace the air filter, and the air dessicant cartridge.

Make sure the owner's manual is there with the coach. It's a huge binder like book. Take it home and study it, then go back to the coach and look again. The previous owner's service records should be there with it. It's a real problem if the owner's manual is missing.

If this dealer got it for $30000.00, and he wants $50000.00, he needs to spend some money on it to make sure it's right. In today's market, for that price I would expect everything to be right.

Once you sign the dotted line, it's yours.
Wow! Really great, detailed info, Jim, thanks. This really, really, helps. I've been on the roof twice. It is very clean with no signs of aging, leaking, cracks or anything else. I do know the manuals are there, we looked through them a little trying to find the slideout switch. I will spend more time with them, but the information you have given makes me feel like I have an idea of what to look for and how to determine if systems are working. I really appreciate the directions for the air suspension and how to check it out as well as the Turbo boost. Well, just everything you've said!
Thanks, Phil
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #33
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No one here can answer your question. Only you can. However, you should consider all the advise offered to help you spend your limited funds wisely.


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