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Old 03-16-2017, 09:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler2162 View Post
Mike,

I looked at that link. Thank you for directing me there. Very helpful and its something to read for anyone considering buying a Monaco coach with a roadmaster non-tag 8 bag frame make prior to the early 2000's. After that they changed the bushings which partially fixed the problem but more is needed.

159 pages. By the time I read to page 20 or so I was ready to give up on this coach. Apparently some of these pre-2000 coaches are simply a nightmare to drive due to Monaco's chassis set up. White knuckled all the way, can't even take your hand off the wheel to adjust the radio. After 2-3 hours your exhausted.

And a quote from post 28 in the thread,

I also read that the president of Monaco RV took his family on a trip in one of his company's brand new coaches, and he was very unhappy with the handling, saying that he couldn't lift one hand off the steering wheel long enough to have a drink of water.

People were/are spending thousands to fix this to no avail.

I was thinking no way am I prepared to drive a 40' cracker box on wheels as one person has called it, that will not go straight down the road and gets blown all over the place by some thing as small as a large pickup truck ( one poster's experience).

I was thinking I would need to go to a fifth wheel which I really don't want to do...

Monaco acknowledges the problem but says "Thats how it is, live with it"

Luckily I kept on reading. I am still not 1/2 way through but it comes down to a flaw in how the running gear is attached to the frame. Short answer, it can be completely fixed but its not cheap. Need to replace all the chassis bushings and add a couple of Watts links to the front and rear under carriage. I would expect that by the time is all done, unless you are handy its a 4K to 5 K job.

Anyone reading this who has one of these coaches or is considering buying one should read this thread:

Wandering, sway bars, alignment, ride height, oh my!!

I will likely make an offer on the coach but it will be reflective of this condition and the cost to fix.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin, my 2000 Dynasty is on an S Series chassis and it drives very well. I can definitely drive it one handed, in fact I got dinged on my driving test for driving one handed. I haven't done any of the upgrades although the sheppard steering gear replacement is on my to do list. I'm not sure what chassis a 1998 is on, but it's worth looking at that.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:57 PM   #16
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Despite me being a Newmar owner, Monaco's of that vintage are great coaches. If someone asked me what my second choice would be, I would look for a 40' Dynasty tag axle. The 8-bag air on the Roadmaster chassis - what's not to like? Probably has AquaHot or HydroHot to boot.

I encourage you to hire an RV inspector to go over the coach, plus get oil analysis (Blackstone Labs or Polaris - was JD?) of at least the 8.3. Usually a low probability that the Cummins is sick, but an engine rebuild would be approx $20k.
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:31 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post

My suggestion is drive for yourself before you discount owning a Monaco coach. That way YOU are deciding rather than taking others words for it.

Your experience may differ though. Again, you must decide what is best for you which can/will be different than others.

Mike.
Thanks Mike. I still think that everyone who is contemplating buying those model years of the non-tag coach should read the article but I think they should read the whole thing and find there is a solution.

I really want a MH not a RV on a 5th wheel. I think that would be a pain in the petunias.

I am still pursuing that coach and just paid the RV shop a nominal fee to go over it with a fine tooth comb and tell me what is wrong. Its quite a ways from me and no point going without a conditional accepted offer on the table. Its got a few issues, the most glaring of which is the pull out bed sofa is complete ruined beyond hope and needs reupholstered or replaced. The rest of the coach seems in reasonable condition.

I have received an unbiased report from them on what worked and what did not and they have already told me stuff that they might not have told me if the owned it and it was not on consignment.

Again thanks for the input.

Cheers,
Colin
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:40 PM   #18
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Colin, my 2000 Dynasty is on an S Series chassis and it drives very well. I can definitely drive it one handed, in fact I got dinged on my driving test for driving one handed. I haven't done any of the upgrades although the sheppard steering gear replacement is on my to do list. I'm not sure what chassis a 1998 is on, but it's worth looking at that.
Dennis,

I believe it is on the RR8S.

If I followed most of what Van W was saying the problem was up to but not including at least some of the 2000 model year coaches. He also raved about how much better it was once he had the fixes in. Practically drove itself while you went in the back for a nap... ...

I am pretty busy with a whole bunch of stuff but I will likely put an offer in on the coach and then if it is accepted I will fly out to see it and test drive. Even if it drives crappy I know how to fix it and have that budgeted to do right away.

If it does not, so much the better I can bring it home and let my local mechanic who I would trust with anything take care of it.

All that said I need to upgrade my license to air brakes and at least heave truck for this. Can't afford to get busted due to some issues I would rather not talk about..... .....

Thanks for the input.

Cheers,
Colin
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sandy Swede View Post
Despite me being a Newmar owner, Monaco's of that vintage are great coaches. If someone asked me what my second choice would be, I would look for a 40' Dynasty tag axle. The 8-bag air on the Roadmaster chassis - what's not to like? Probably has AquaHot or HydroHot to boot.

I encourage you to hire an RV inspector to go over the coach, plus get oil analysis (Blackstone Labs or Polaris - was JD?) of at least the 8.3. Usually a low probability that the Cummins is sick, but an engine rebuild would be approx $20k.
Thanks Sandy. I will give some consideration to the analysis. The RV shop has it on consignment and they have been very forthcoming about its shortcomings. For a very nominal fee they had it in the shop yesterday and tested all of the systems they were able to considering the weather. The balance will be next week.

They pointed out some issues and they will need to be addressed, likely in the price as the owner does not want to get more money into it and just wants rid of it.

I am pretty handy, perhaps too much so if you were to ask my better half, I tell her it could be worse, I could be useless.

Anyway nothing there I can't fix except perhaps a trany and or engine.

This turns out to be a 38 non-tag rather than a 40 but its big enough for me.


thanks again!
Cheers,
Colin
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:30 AM   #20
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Colin, I bought a 1996 Monaco Windsor 38', 8.3 manual Cummins, 3060 Allison, pretty much (not quite) the same as the Dynasty, with out the slide. Mine was all done on the inside, two new couches, front window curtains, 3 flat screen TV's, 1 in the basement with a sound bar on a slide, wood floors, new toilet, 3 camera color system, bluetooth radio/cd, Bose surround sound, 3 year old tires, new Uline ice maker, Magna Shade sun screens for the windshield and the side windows, and for the wheel wells also! Only thing i had to do was replace the batterys, and have the Alt. rebuilt, and rework the propane side of the WH! And i paid well under 20K for it! And by the way, it drives great, no wandering, pulling, swaying, go straight and true, no play, and is great to drive! And it does need new shocks on the front, which i will replace.

So, i think you need to drive this coach, and see for yourself, what you think, how it handles out on the road! 30K is a lot, for a 98, slide or not, and with what you have found out already about it, i would be very careful going forward! The moisture problem is enough to walk away! This coach does not sound like it was well loved by the last owner, and that will be clear to you when you step inside it!

Proceed with caution! JMHO! Rail!,
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