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Old 07-06-2007, 07:07 PM   #1
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We are considering a 2008 Cayman 39PBT to upgrade from our 2007 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager 8389 Fred. My questions are as follows:

1) Will I be satisfied with the same Cummins 300 HP engine? I am not dissatisfied now, but an extra 30-50 HP would be nice. But that comes at the extra price of a Monaco Knight.

2) As much as I would love to get a Monaco Knight, the Cayman is more in our price range. Will I really notice a big difference in the 4 airbag/shock absorber suspension of the Cayman compared to 8 airbags in the Knight? Heck, I have NO airbags now and from what I have seen, 4 airbags seem standard in other manufacturers coaches.

3) We plan on doing the full time thing in this new coach. The 4 slides do look appealing (compared to our 2 slides now) and spacious up front in the living area where we would really appreciate the extra space. Are we sacrificing interior creature feature qualities to go into a Cayman? I'd sure like to have a mid cabin 32-36" TV, but that is not offered in this floorplan. Any way to add that aftermarket?

4) I priced out an almost fully loaded 2008 Cayman XL 39PBT with rvpricebuster.com. They say it retails for $187,995 and will discount to $143,235. Is this a fair price?

5) Perhaps one of the most important questions ... living full time in Orlando, Florida, is the insulation in a Cayman, sufficient to ward off the high temperatures and humidity we suffer thru in the summer months? We are having a bit of a challenge currently when parked in the open sun at campgrounds. I have read that Newmar and Monacho and Phaeton, are well insullated coaches.

Thanks in advance for your feedback and suggestions. Other questions may arrise. I realize there may not be documented, factual answers to my questions, but personal experiences are really what I am looking for. Constructive feedback and experiences are always appreciated.

Thanks in advance ... Ron
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:07 PM   #2
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We are considering a 2008 Cayman 39PBT to upgrade from our 2007 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager 8389 Fred. My questions are as follows:

1) Will I be satisfied with the same Cummins 300 HP engine? I am not dissatisfied now, but an extra 30-50 HP would be nice. But that comes at the extra price of a Monaco Knight.

2) As much as I would love to get a Monaco Knight, the Cayman is more in our price range. Will I really notice a big difference in the 4 airbag/shock absorber suspension of the Cayman compared to 8 airbags in the Knight? Heck, I have NO airbags now and from what I have seen, 4 airbags seem standard in other manufacturers coaches.

3) We plan on doing the full time thing in this new coach. The 4 slides do look appealing (compared to our 2 slides now) and spacious up front in the living area where we would really appreciate the extra space. Are we sacrificing interior creature feature qualities to go into a Cayman? I'd sure like to have a mid cabin 32-36" TV, but that is not offered in this floorplan. Any way to add that aftermarket?

4) I priced out an almost fully loaded 2008 Cayman XL 39PBT with rvpricebuster.com. They say it retails for $187,995 and will discount to $143,235. Is this a fair price?

5) Perhaps one of the most important questions ... living full time in Orlando, Florida, is the insulation in a Cayman, sufficient to ward off the high temperatures and humidity we suffer thru in the summer months? We are having a bit of a challenge currently when parked in the open sun at campgrounds. I have read that Newmar and Monacho and Phaeton, are well insullated coaches.

Thanks in advance for your feedback and suggestions. Other questions may arrise. I realize there may not be documented, factual answers to my questions, but personal experiences are really what I am looking for. Constructive feedback and experiences are always appreciated.

Thanks in advance ... Ron
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:35 AM   #3
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Hi Ron

Welcome to irv2 We're really glad to have you here as a new member and are looking forward to reading your posts about your RVing experiences and adventures. You'll find a great bunch of folks on this site who are very knowledgeable of RVing, the rigs we use, and the places we go in them. Enjoy the forums and post often, and when you want to be a official member of the Monaco forum, just let me know.


To answer your questions from a personal point-of-view:
1) I have an '06 Endeavor with the 400ISL engine, and it sure is a screamer performance-wise. I used to have a Jeep Wrangler too, and I swear I could drag-race it and win over the Jeep. But then, performance isn't always about burning tires. I get about 8.5-9mpg fully-loaded (and I do mean FULLY) with a 4000lb car behind, and doing 62-68mph. No problems at all on hills or getting onto Interstates. Everyone seems to be going to more HP, and it sure feels good when used. Do you need it? Probably not. Is it good to have? Yes. Will help with resale too, when the time comes. But there's more than just the engine to consider, do you like the Knight features as well/better?
2) I would have 50 airbags if I could. I now have the 8-bags, and they are great. Not only for taking bumps, but also for handling. These babies are big and top-heavy and the extra bags help a lot. I used to have a 37' GulfStream as well, and there's no comparison at all.
3) We full-time too (Atrium floorplan), and the extra space sure keeps the cabin-fever at bay. Plenty of room to move around and plenty of room to spread-out when parked.
4) Please check out DeMartini , hey have a location in Indiana and one in California. Several of our members (me included) have purchased from them, and they are great to work with. Have never found a major-purchase-item dealer as straight-forward and honest as they are reasonably-priced too. You may not end up buying from them, but they sure are worth a look. (it may sound like I work for them, but I don't)
5) At 40ft and 2 13.5k air-conditioners in Texas in the summertime, I'd like to have a bit more at times, but on the whole it works out well. We have big insulated shiny-faced covers that we put in the front-windows when parked facing west in the afternoon and they made a big difference.

This is number 7 for us, and will probably be the last one.
I found my coach isn't perfect, but then none are. However, it's as close as I could get for the price and trade-offs I needed to do. No one feature/drawback was a deal-maker or breaker, but when taken as a whole, it fits us just right.

Oh, and Monaco-support has been terrific for us. You're right near the Wildwood support facility if needed. We've not had any major issues, but the things we did have were handled by them spot-on.

Hope this helps a bit. And I'm sure other helpful folks are going to chime-in here with a lot more useful information. You're always welcome to ask more questions.


By the way, I think we're going to have to start the "Ron Club", there's at least 5 Ron's on this forum alone. "RON'S RULE!"
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:34 AM   #4
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Just a personal opinion...

I don't think the Cayman is really designed to be used as a full time MH.

All of the other issues would probably be trade off factors (want vs need).

I concur with Ron, check out DeMartini. Great people to deal with, honest, fair, and friendly!

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Old 07-07-2007, 10:14 AM   #5
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I agree with all the other Ron's

Before I would full time in a Cayman, I would have to give this one a real close look. Especially since they have it listed at $164,900



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Old 07-07-2007, 10:26 AM   #6
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OK... that last post was from MY RON...not by MonacoMama. They have it marked down to $164900
I would also look at this one ...or this one.
It may be easier to just peruse the DeMArtini site

As you can tell... WE are also big fans of DeMartini!



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Old 07-07-2007, 12:15 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RonL:
4) I priced out an almost fully loaded 2008 Cayman XL 39PBT with rvpricebuster.com. They say it retails for $187,995 and will discount to $143,235. Is this a fair price? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The dealer is making ~$9000 on this deal. Is that fair for you and the dealer???

I think the dealer should make less.

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Old 07-07-2007, 01:12 PM   #8
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I thought this forum was for all Monaco owners, not just the ones who have their noses up in the air. I am a proud owner of a 2007 Cayman. We travel a great deal for long periods of time and find the Cayman really enjoyable. It more than meets our needs. This is our third MH and the best of all. Price had nothing to do with our choice.
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:07 PM   #9
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The "Ron Club" ... wow, I like that :-)
That's about the best welcome a person could get.

Thanks to all the Ron's, and everyone who replied. All your comments are great. Personal experiences and needs do vary. Problem is, my wants and needs overload my ways and means. Champaigne taste on a Beer budget.

Thanks for the links to comparable, new and used coaches. Seems that DeMartini, has lots of part time sales people around the country. Just kidding of course, but it is good to see so many of you recommend the same dealer. That's the kind of advertising a dealer can not buy, they have to earn.

Only $9k profit on that rediculously low sale price? Wow !! How, DO they do it? Is that what is called "wiggle room"? Whatever it is called, I agree that it is too much. That's why these forums are so GREAT. A person should never be affraid to ask a question. We all learn from others experiences. I have read that 25% off MSRP is a good deal ... the closer to 30% off, the better the deal. I wonder? Is that rule of thumb applicable on a used coach? Like the one MonacoMama's Ron, mentioned for $164,900. 25% off that price would seem like a good deal for a Mandalay Presidio.

Thanks again for everyones input.

Ron
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:55 PM   #10
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RONL..
Welcome to IRV2...
actually the 2006 that my Ron mentioned is BRAND NEW...



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Old 07-07-2007, 05:00 PM   #11
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leader 1 wrote:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I thought this forum was for all Monaco owners, not just the ones who have their noses up in the air. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Wow, what a 2nd post. The other was, I presume, your hello to the board???

I normally ignore these kind if posts, but you need to go back to wherever it was you came from.
RonL asked for our opinions on full-timing in a Cayman. There was no limit placed on what he could afford, nor would anyone ask him that question.
I owned Fleetwood Bounders (entry level coaches just in case you don't know), from 1988 until 2006. Would I want to Full-time in either one I had?? No
Not knowing budget, we showed coaches with a better chassis, better transmissions, larger towing capacity, more HP and torque, nicer interior and on and on.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> We travel a great deal for long periods of time and find the Cayman really enjoyable. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Again, not knocking the Cayman....., Heck of a lot nicer than both Bounders I had. The ones I listed just have a lot of advantages when you are trying to live in them full-time.
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Old 07-07-2007, 05:47 PM   #12
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Upon thinking about RonL's price-question (and resulting comments) a bit more, I am reminded of the time my brother-in-law called me to ask if I had any suggestions for negotiating the price down even more on a new car he was looking at.

He had decided on a new Honda, and was playing 2 dealers off against each other for a specific model/color/etc. He had done everything he could and got them to within $50 of each other on price, after extensive haggling and back-and-forth driving and phone calls.

I asked him if he was happy with the car, to which he said he loved it but it became the principle of the thing - he wanted to dealer to bleed. I reminded him that he'd been working on the deal for almost 2 weeks and who knows how much money in time and gas, running around and pestering dealers.

My sister finally chimed in and said she was tired of the entire process, and told him to just get the one that was closer (by 3 miles) and then shut up about it.


Point is, if you're happy with it ... "GO FOR IT", it's not the chase here but the enjoyment of something you love. I am not dissing you, but want to help put it all in perspective. No sense fussing about a coach sitting in a dealers's lot if'n you can't be in it.

Please let us know how it turns out. And we all want to go for a ride in it.
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Old 07-07-2007, 06:15 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RonL:
I realize there may not be documented, factual answers to my questions, but personal experiences are really what I am looking for. Constructive feedback and experiences are always appreciated. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ron,

Not wanting to upset leader 1 again (or anyone else), I will NOT say that a Cayman is not a good coach for full-timing. However, I will give you something else to think about.... You already own a new 39' Diesel motorhome and you are looking to upgrade from that to go full time. What I would do in your situation is to forget price for a moment and make a list of every feature you want, or you think that would come in handy for full-timing that you don't have now. Forget the glitz (unless that's what you want) and just think about practical featues, like convenience features and lots of storage space, etc. It will help to look at coaches you cannot afford - just to get some ideas of what's out there.

Now, when your list is done, find a coach that has most everything you want. To get the coach down into your price range, simply go back a couple of years. I know that can seem like you are "moving backwards" when you already own a 2007 coach, but most coaches don't really change that much from year to year. You might well be able to find a 2005 model, like a Diplomat or Endeaver, or even some other brand on a Freightliner XC chassis for example, that has everything you want, and could be your dream coach for full-timing, for less than you spend on a 2008 Cayman. And better yet, somebody other than you will have worked out all the "new coach bugs".

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth of advice.

Also, FWIW, my last coach was a 36' coach with a Cummins ISB, and I thought it was significantly under-powerd, especially in terms of low-speed torque, until I added a Banks kit to it. Weighted up as a full-timer would, and towing an average size toad, I would not want to full-time in a coach with that engine.
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:51 PM   #14
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Good points indeed and no dissing taken.

Our very first coach of 3 months has about 2-3 months history of shopping, asking questions, learning, listening and viewing oh so many models, manufacturers and dealerships prior to purchasing. I think for our first coach we did very well. We are very happy with our selection, but now we are looking at 4 slides to go fulltime. I also think that we all have a tendency to over reach. Well, at least I do. In doing so I have more times than not, gotten that which I was reaching for. See, for me, the chase is a necessary part of the game and I like to ask what the rules are as I go so I can play the game, to WIN.

When we purchased this coach in March, it was the winter months of 2007. In Florida, that means thousands of Northerners (AKA Snowbirds), visiting here for the winter. The local dealers here would not negotiate prices since the demand was already there and there was no apparent need to discount the price significantly. Their attitude was, please step aside because the person behind you already has their checkbook out. So, I did my homework on the internet, searched for the coach which we narrowed our selection down to, and found a dealer in PA. They had frozen water pipes in their buildings, 4-5 foot of snow on the ground and a willing desire to reduce inventory at a discount. Short version of this scenario is that we bought the same coach that a local dealer had in Florida, from a dealer in PA, for about $20k less.

Granted, that is significantly more than a $50 and 3 mile difference than your brother. But, for me it was worth all the inquiries, phone calls, time and air fare to save $20k. And we had a great trip back to Florida. Our first night in our new RV was spent at a Wal-Mart parking lot, because I didn't know to call ahead for campground reservations.

You're right ... I did not mention my budget, nor did anyone ask. I picked up on that too and in my opinion that says alot for the helpful members here. Albeit they are Monaco owners or owners of other brands, but all are owners who have been there, done that and learned from it. Yes, a genuine desire to share those experiences without prejudice.

The chase for something you love is sometimes time consuming and laborious. Heck, just ask my wife of 36 years about how she let me chase her until she caught me ... LOL

I really do not realish at the thought of blood or drawing blood from a dealer. I do however work really hard for my $$ and I don't want to throw it away on the first offer from a dealer. I would never split hairs over $50. But when thousands of dollars are at stake for the exact same RV, item for item, option for option, I like to do my homework.

Dissing me? Not at all and I never took your helpful comments that way. After the first 30 days in our new RV, we have fallen in love with this lifestyle. We have since bought 2 lots in a gated RV/Campground and use 1 for a homebase for the RV with plans to put a Park Model on the other. Heck YES, we need to sell our house to make this all happen (shameless plug http://www.2796sheila.com). I do not provide that info to sound affluent (as we certainly are NOT) but to show our sincerity. Yes, this is our enjoyment of something that we now love. YES ... WE ARE GOING FOR IT.

Ya'll are more than welcome to join us on a ride and we would love to meet or camp with others from this and other forums. Monaco owners or travel trailer owners are all welcome.

See, I know that I can not afford, nor do I really want to own a Prevost. But, in my price range (which I have now disclosed), I have many manufactures to choose from. The decision is not easy as we all know. But in the same price range (okay a $25-$35k variance) there is Monaco Knight, Cayman, Holiday Rambler Ambassador, Mandalay Presidio (thank you MonachoMama's Ron), Tiffin Pheaton, Newmar Vantana, maybe Country Coach, Forest River Bershire, Fleetwood Discovery, Bounder or Expedition, Damon, Itasca or National, etc. etc. etc.

I appologize for being long winded. I DO appreciate any and all comments, replies and input into this thread that I have created. I am not ashamed to say that I am looking for a full time coach at a discounted price. Aren't we all? And how better to find that than to ask questions, accept input and do research?

Best regards,
RonL
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