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Old 11-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #1
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First timer here, please be gentle

Hello folks,
We are taking a big life changing step and selling our home and moving into a Monaco. we have two small kids 3 and 6.
We found in our price range a very well maintained 1986 monaco Executive 40ft diesel pusher.
its perfect for us in everyway, (other then the pink carpet )

we can't seem to find out if our bus is a 4 seasons or not. if not what can we do to help us n the colder temps? we hope to avoid the colder areas of the north during the salt season, but I hear florida even has some cold snaps.
We have so many questions, Like is it possible to add a jake brake to he cat 3208?
can we safely tow a 24 foot enclosed trailer with a 850 volvo inside?
what are some of the things we should make ourselves aware to avoid costy break downs on our vintage coach?
Thanks for all your help! We look forward to meeting you on the road! if you see us please don't hesitate to come over and say hello!
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:24 PM   #2
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Hi Summitsmtns,

and welcome on iRV2. Congratulations for your buy, I cannot do anything for your pink carpet but as far as towing a 24' trailer with a car inside, I would be concerned. I have a 20' full aluminum trailer with a race car inside and I'm already over 7,000 pounds (with a few spare tires and a small tool chest.

So a 24' feet steel trailer with a 3,500 lbs car will be (I assume) over 8'000lbs. So check your hitch rating, your GCWR before deciding to tow.

Good luck in your new life...and enjoy it!
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:37 PM   #3
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Welcome on iRV2, V and good luck
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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Lots of things to discuss, but I'll limit myself to "heating".

For interior heat, newer rigs not only have "furnace" (propane fuel) but also roof A/C units that work in heat-pump mode. Some have diesel-fired basement heat. But considering all that, I supplement these heating sources with two, 1500-watt plug-in space heaters.

There is a trick to using space heaters to supplement the heating of your rig. I'm assuming of course you'll be on shore power of at least 30 amps. You need to find two different AC (120V alternating current) circuits into which space-heaters can be plugged....because if you plug them both into the same circuit, you'll pop the onboard 15 (or 20) amp breaker for that circuit. On my rig, there is a bedroom AC circuit that is separately "fused" (circuit breaker, actually) from those AC circuits serviced by my Inverter. Just to have said it: running a 1500 watt heater via Inverter from house batteries is just not feasible (kills those batteries within a few minutes). But as long as I'm on shore power (or genset power), the Inverter just "passes thru" the AC current.

When looking for two separately breakered AC circuits in your rig, consider that many rigs have a dedicated circuit (and breaker) for the kitchen microwave. Well, if the microwave isn't being used, then a 1500 watt heater would be quite happy using that circuit. But you might have to "find" this circuit and add a receptacle that you can actually plug into (because of the "dedicated" nature of the microwave circuit as installed at the factory).

Finally, if using two space heaters, then also having your hot water heater running via AC power might put you "over the limit" and therefore trip the breaker at the shore power pole (if it is a 30-amp service). Run the HWH on propane, or just turn its AC power off overnight.

Distilling all the above into a cohesive thought: Living in an RV is a fun exercise in "power management". Sure: furnace heaters work well with all the BTUs that they throw out, but refilling the propane tank is on your dime. Using shore power rather than "propane power" is something to consider....when hooked up to shore power.

PS: Welcome to the forum. Enjoy!!
PPS: I think your trailer/car towing size would require a larger rig to gain needed stability (safety). "Bigger" in my definition would mean a "tag axel" rig.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:25 PM   #5
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" I sure ain`t no mechanic", but I think that all 3208 Cat`s, are not the same horsepower & torque -- That would be an important thing to find out -- At one time, I owned a mobilhome toter that had a 3208, it didn`t have much power or torque -- It had new injectors & was well maintained -- Even if you can add an exhaust brake, it will be a big hit on your wallet -- I added one to a 1993, 250hp Cummins, & that was about $2,500.00 back then -- Bill Willard
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Willard View Post
" I sure ain`t no mechanic", but I think that all 3208 Cat`s, are not the same horsepower & torque -- That would be an important thing to find out -- At one time, I owned a mobilhome toter that had a 3208, it didn`t have much power or torque -- It had new injectors & was well maintained -- Even if you can add an exhaust brake, it will be a big hit on your wallet -- I added one to a 1993, 250hp Cummins, & that was about $2,500.00 back then -- Bill Willard
its a 350HP turbo. I have driven the none turbo in a wanderlodge.
I understand the lack of power, however we are trading up from a VW bus, no need to worry about high speeds, RVing to us is about enjoying life, and slowing down! can you imagine I am only 33.
I am done with the rat race! Honk as you pass me on the highway!
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:03 PM   #7
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I agree with Robi. During cold weather I use two 15 amp Sunbeam space heaters. To avoid overloading the motor home circuit, I use a heavy duty rated extension cord that is routed out to the utility box. Works great.

As far as towing a car trailer, it's all about the GCWR (gross combined weight rating). Most folks think only in terms of power required, but much more important is safety (brakes and axle loading) and cooling capabilities. Your motor home has a listed gross combined weight rating designated by the manufacturer. Most 1990's Monaco's allowed 5000# over the coach weight for trailers. Some of the higher end coaches as well as the newer models allow 10,000#. There should be a tag somewhere next to the driver that states the weights. Like Cayman says, also check the weight rating on your hitch. It should be stamped into it.

A way to reduce weight would be to use a car dolly instead of a trailer. If the car is rear wheel drive, you can put the car on it "rear first" to avoid disconnecting the driveshaft. The drawback is they are very difficult to back up.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:13 AM   #8
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I'm in agreement with all above.
Considering the overhang and no tag axle, the only way i'd tow is with a yolk or travel trailer so there is no vertical load on the tow hitch.
Forget a jake brake they just make a lot of noise. If you use a tow hitch and say a brake buddy of some sort it will be far cheaper than a jake ( I assume you have an exhaust brake - it may be malfunctioning - read siezed)
I believe a 4 seasons coach typically has double glazed windows and some serious insulation including insulated plumbing. As above and in many threads here you will pick up great advice on cold weather camping.
I suspect you will find lots of things to spend your money on in your new home -I wouldn't waste it on any major mods.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:50 AM   #9
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Use the search feature for wording such as winter and you will find tons of data on cold weather camping/RV'ing.

Some things to consider, keep the moisture down inside. Condensation is a killer. Wiping or using a squeegee in the shower after use will help, by pushing all that moisture down the drain rather in to the air. This is more important in cold weather as the RV tends to remain closed up, keep a vent cracked.

A heated mattress pad

As others have said save the propane by using the CG electricity to power space heaters unless you have heat pumps. In most cases you are paying for the electricity already, some CG do use meters to charge you for the electricity.

Obviously be careful about overloading circuits. A fire hazard.

Skirting around the RV will keep the winds from blowing under. This will keep the coach warmer and help to protect plumbing. Insulation board form Lowes, Home Depot is easy to cut to fit, easy to transport and is not a fire hazard like dried straw or hay bales.

If freezing temps are an issue keep the utility bay warm with either a 12 volt heater or a 100 watt light bulb. Leaving cabinet doors in the RV open will allow the warm air to circulate around interior plumbing lines. Do not leave water in sewage hose, keep the tank valves closed until time to dump so water and other waste doesn't freeze in the hose. Wrap your city water hose in foam pipe insulation and then wrap heat tape around the insulation. I like to put foil over the tape when done.

Have fun and enjoy.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:01 AM   #10
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we went and looked yesterday, and she had some major water damage around the windshield, so the hunt continues. Thanks for the info. Jason
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