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Old 10-13-2010, 10:35 PM   #1
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Bringing it back to life

I have a 2001 Monaco Diplomat 40 PDQ. I bought this coach new and used it quite a bit until about 2005. Then off to storage, and unfortunately, I neglected it.

I got it out and brought it home, cleaned it up best I could inside and out and then took it to a local dealer/service center. They seem to be VERY nice folks and the owner of the place was very enthusiastic about helping me get my coach back on the road.

Fortunately, all the systems I've checked out seem to still work. After I replaced the engine batteries and house batteries, the engine restarted and the generator started. The tires, miraculously, have no weathering or cracks - even though they are 9 years old.

We did have a couple leaks. Damage seems to be under the refer (it's off the floor in a cabinet) and by the drivers window - the wall board inside seems to be bubbly. The carpet, of course is shot and full of mold. Some ceramic tile cracking. All the floors seem solid.

So far the dealer has re-sealed the roof and replaced the refer hood shroud and will take out the carpet and tile, fix the wall, and pull the refer and fix the that cabinet floor. He's also replacing my trashed slide-out awnings.

The dealer also took it in for engine oil, filter change, tranny flush, and will service the genset.

So he's my project list going forward -

Putting down vinyl tiles squares - Saw the Roma Stone display at Lowes - they have them setup with an acrylic grout and it looks like real tile. Leaving carpet only on the living room slide and over the engine and closet in the rear.

New tires, of course. Leaning towards Goodyear. Dealer strongly urging me to go with "RV" tires as opposed to truck tires.

Chrome mirrors - got full set really cheap - frivolous, I know.

Replacing the CRT's with LCD's. Ordered Winegard auto dish for the roof that gets the HD satelites. Still scratching my head on how to get hdmi cables to the bedroom and my outside compartment. I've seen an ASUS wireless HDMI setup that looks pretty cool, but it would be simpler to run cables if I could.

Going to try and buff the fiberglass and see if I can get some shine back. If not, then I may do full body repaint. May be expensive and hard to find someone who can do it.

Any advice on these items, or if I've overlooked something you would do, would be appreciated. I seriously thought about just liquidating this thing and getting a new or newer one, but I really liked this coach when I was using it. Like the design and the way it drives, and I had spent alot of time shaking the bugs out when it was new. Still has many, many miles left in it. Fixing things up is find of a fun project, albeit expensive.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:16 PM   #2
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rmerritt....Looks like you're rebuilding from the ground up. Regarding the HD setup. Your new satellite comes with two cables and can accept a third to run to HD boxes. Obviously, one cable will go to the box up front. If you want HD in the bedroom and outside (outside would be the easiest) you can run the additional cables from the sat under the coach to the rear bedroom and outside storage. You would need three HD boxes or at least two and move one outside when needed.

It's extremely difficult to split HD ( I tried) unless you buy a double box, which will still cost almost as much as two boxes. Running an HD cable the length of the coach is another issue (about $100.00). The DirecTV HD box can not have it's HDMI cable split after it leaves the box. It will short one of the lines either the audio or video. You could use a splitter in a spot that is easy to access and unplug one line when you want to use the other. There are also a couple of companies that make powered splitters (110v) that are suppose to be able to split the line, but that requires another power source to run all the time.

Here's what I did. There are RCA jacks and one HDMI on the back of the HD box for DirecTV. I hooked my front TV to the HDMI connector and I hooked a modulator (Best Buy $20.00) that will accept the RCA jacks from the back of the DirecTV box and then converts them over to the standard cabling in your coach (two outputs). Connect the cable to your bedroom TV and your outdoor TV to the modulator and you'll be able to get Digital TV from your other two TV's. It wasn't critical for us to have HD in the bedroom.

DirecTV also makes two remotes. If you order an HD box you usually get their upgraded remote that can be turned from Infra Red (IR) to Radio Frequency (RF). This allows you to operate the box at the front of the coach from the bedroom without line of sight. The remotes have a number in the upper left corner. I beleive they add an "R" to the number to identify the RF model.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Don.

I'm assuming you loose resolution using a modulator.

The HD box I'm considering is actually a DVR. It doesn't have any RF out.

I thought about using a 4 x 4 muliplexer switch. I have a 4 x 2 that I use at home that works quite well. Yes, it has to be powered. This box should be able to serve any signal to all displays simultaneously. It is a bit expensive at $400.

I have other devices I also want to serve to the other TV's - namely a mac mini that is running a program called Boxee to play archived movies, as well as an xbox 360 for the kids.

Routing HDMI cables thru the coach is a head scratcher though.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:38 PM   #4
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I'd like to hear from anyone on tire advice. Been reading posts about upping the size from 255 to 275.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmerritt View Post
I'd like to hear from anyone on tire advice. Been reading posts about upping the size from 255 to 275.
I'd think seriouisly about replacing with Goodyear RV tires based on the number of posts of people having trouble with them. I had to replace the front Goodyears on my Ambaassador at 25K miles due to rivering. Now the front tires on my Scepter have the same problem and are scheduled for replacement.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:01 PM   #6
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On the tire subject, you will get a number of opinions. I too had trouble with the Goodyear rv tires that came on my coach. I personally think as soon as "RV" is stamped on the tire the price goes up and not necessarily the quality. Supposedly a difference may be uv inhibiters, but I've read they are also in the truck tires. Not an issue with me since my coach is parked inside when home. There are a number of good tires out there that are road tested by truckers who go a lot more miles than we do and rely on them to make a living. I went with Firestone FS560 Plus on the front and Continental HSR1's on the rear. The reason for the different brands is I bought the fronts first and the Firestones were not available when I was ready to do the rears. Just got back from a 3000 mile trip and love the way they handle and ride compared to the Goodyear's. You may have search several brands to find your size.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:00 AM   #7
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Tires – a subject which can fill volumes. We have Goodyear’s on our Alpine APEX. They are 4 years old, no cracks or any discernible damage and have 20K miles on them.

Goodyear puts more UV protestant in their tires I have been told. Since I am not a tire engineer, I don’t know if that is fact.

Michelins are good tires, they don’t make all the RV sizes for every coach, so if you like that brand and they have a size to fit, go for it.

I don’t know if any real difference exists between truck tires and RV tires, except possibly the load range needed. Truckers do put the miles on those tires, so if there is a comparable tire which fits and the brand is good to you get that one.

LT-RV-ST tires all cost more than the comparable regular tire, because they are designed to meet certain weight-use restrictions and are supposed to be made with thicker cords and more UV stuff. If that is true, I cannot say, but then those symbols might just mean the size range needed for a specific use.

I would just go to the tire store you trust, and talk to them so you understand the difference. Sit down with the owner or manager and take notes.

I was unaware of Goodyear having any tire problems, and I check the recalls all the time. Our tires sit more than we drive them, so that is what kills them, also not being anal about the air pressure as well. Good luck.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for the kind advice. I'm pretty much decided on either Goodyear or Michelin - leaning toward the Michelins.

I'm interested in going up in size from 255 70 R22.5 to 275 70 R22.5 on my Diplomat. Have to check to see if there is adequate clearance. I suspect that the bigger size is more available, and should positively effect handling and ride. I'm investigating a Michelin XZA-2 that is actually a higher load rating - J, than the H tires I'm running now - Goodyear G149's.

Dealing with the local tire and service dealers locally is very frustrating - here near Greenville, SC they are all big truck service centers - so they don't even know what customer service even is. I had one guy laugh at me and actually say who cares what you put on it - you don't drive enough miles to worry about it - guess in the trucking world, all that matters is how many miles you can get out of them.

Well, I'm pretty nervous about tires. I had blowouts on my old Adventurer and I've seen a few fatal accidents in the last couple years. I'd feel alot better knowing there is reserve load capacity and they run cool.

Any suggestions on the larger size, or who to deal with in my neck of the woods would be appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:02 AM   #9
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I don't think you would need to run Long hdmi cables if you have 2 hd dish boxes. . One at each tv. you just need to run the coax cables to each box . Then hdmi cable from the box to the tv . Try walmart online for cheap hdmi cables or amazon .

Also diplomat don I don't understand what that part from best buy does . Could you post up a pic? What I did to get tv reception from the front box to the back tv was just connecting the coax thats labled rear tv to the coax connector on the back of he dish network box that says OUT TO OTHER SET then connecting that coax to the back tv in the bedroom . But I'd like more info on your way because I would probably get a better picture

Thanks
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:57 AM   #10
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I think if you go to a bigger tire, that your speedmeter will read a little low, so it might cause a speeding ticket. Someone can correct me on this. It won't make more than 5% difference I think so it's just something you need to be aware of.

You need to know what is on it, because although it won't be miles which kill it but time, he is right in that statement, but it' needs to be rated correctly for the load of the coach. So he is wrong in that statement. We wont ever run the treads off our tires, but we dont want them to fail either. Michelin is my second choice if we change our tires next year.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:38 PM   #11
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gto19......The HD receiver I have doesn't have a coax output. No loss of signal with the modulator.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:36 AM   #12
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I strongly recommend Hankook AH12 tires. Extremely smooth riding, quality built tire at about half the price of Goodyear G670 or Michelin RV tires.

Good luck with the restoration.
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:30 PM   #13
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And I would not; I believe they are either Korean or Chinese parent companies. If I'm wrong correct me. At lease Goodyear’s are made here, and Michelins are from a European company (France I believe), and might be manufactured here or in Mexico.
I believe our balance of payments to China is large enough without us buying their tires as well. If I’m wrong I will accept that.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:09 PM   #14
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The last Michelins I bought this year were made in England. I had a total of twenty seven (27) goodyears wranglers that had tread seperation. (I know I'm a slow learner). Went to Michelins two years ago and haven't had any tire problem since on truck or 5er. Will never go back to Goodyears again and will also switch to Michelins on the flat bed trailer also when time comes.
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