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Old 11-04-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
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comparison advice wanted

We're looking to buy our first MH! We've been doing a lot of shopping and comparing. Here are a couple of options:
(1) 2003 Monaco Executive, 500 Cummins, model 40 PBT, 88,000 miles, 3 slides, gorgeous; downside is that in place of second sofa it has a recliner and built in end table and then a dinette set rather than a booth. It really then only sleeps.4 without getting another sofa and pulling out the end table. Plush carpet and marble floors. $129,000

(2) 2007 Tiffin Phaeton, 350 Cat, 4 slides, tile floors, and King bed, 2 leather sofas and dinette booth, so sleeps 7. 24,000 miles. Not sure how long it is. Would love the king bed because of the three doggies, but looks like there are no bedside tables for books etc. Maybe fold down shelves could be made? $133,000

Any advice, assuming both in equally good condition? Thank you!
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:47 AM   #2
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I don't know very much about Class A MH's. I do know that I'd personally be more worried about the engine and the construction of the MH. How's the roof? Any signs of water damage? Are there service records available for maintenance on either unit?

That's just how I think - I dunno
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:18 AM   #3
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Every input helps us think more clearly. Thank you!
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:02 AM   #4
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There are many factors to consider. First, what are your needs, and how do you plan to use the MH? How many miles a year, and full-time or vacation. I would recommend you develop a list absolute needs and nice-to-have stuff, and that will give you a start on sifting through all the equipment on the market now. Motor homes are complex, and deferred maintenance can build up, especially on units older than 7-8 years old, so be wary. Use someone with some expertise in evaluating them - money well spent. Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:05 AM   #5
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Thanks, good advice!!!!!!!! Will do. Going to look at the Tiffin today.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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I would be more concerned how comfortable it is for 2 (plus furry companions of course!)? Buying with company on mind generally doesn't work out - unless - they will be with you on every trip?
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:12 AM   #7
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By the way the question was phrased it is very clear the floor plan on the Monaco is not to your liking. That alone should scratch it off the list. If you are not happy with the layout move on to one that will work. It is very important to not have any regrets going into such a major purchase.

I have found that when I "settle" for something less than ideal in the first place I usually end up buying what I originally wanted later on. It is best to avoid that unnecessary frustration and expense. It is always best to buy right the first time when possible.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:21 AM   #8
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Ver good advice! The problem is that we fell in love with the Monaco because it's so gorgeous! Plus, it has a design with purple on the outside and very tasteful purple on the inside! We are TCU football fans, and I am an alumn! Dumb reason to buy, I know. I do think the Tiffin is better for floor plan and doggies, however. We like the idea of a king bed, but there are no bedside tables. Have you ever heard of adding fold-down tables or something?
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:18 AM   #9
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For the difference in price you could very easily refit the Monaco with another sofa, dinette and bedside tables/cabinetry. You will love the 500hp. Personally, I would take a Cummins over a Cat. I'm not trying to start a brand war.

Like others have said, check maintenance records and inspect for missed things like roof seal condition, tire age, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:59 AM   #10
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Im also a newbie but looking at a new motor home vs a used one. But i am finding similar problems as you are having in identifying the perfect use vs the perfect look. Im looking at construction first at the recommendation of many members on here. Additionally roof damage and any other 7 year old problems are serious things to consider. Join the forums of Tiffin and Monaco and you'll see what others are experiencing in a coach that old. My opinion is you could be getting a problem which somebody is unloading. These are really complex machines with a lot of working mechanical parts and fittings and materials that wear out with age regardless of the quality of the manufacturer. Monaco is an excellent coach but i took them off my list due to their recent financial problems and the way they treated people who had one and ignored their warranties. Business is business but Tiffin has been a strong coachbuilder for a long time and still is. Dont get too emotional about this purchase and glitz because that can be added at any reputable dealer for a fraction of the cost of what you plan to spend.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:27 AM   #11
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I concur with slowing down a bit. Do some homework on the purchase of a big ticket item. Learn enough to get a list of 'Mechanical' (Engine, Side vs Rear Radiator, Exhaust or Jake (2 or 3 stage Jake?), Tag or Non Tag, CCC, Towing Capacity, Self Leveling, Tank Capacity (Grey/Black/Water/Fuel/LP), Generator on slide out or not, and several more if it were me.). And a list of 'Inside' (Floor layout, Cosmetic, Storge, Access when slides are in, shower big enough, private water closet, etc.).

Both of you consider these things and come up with a list of 'Must Have's' and 'Nice to Have's' - then go check several RV's and grade them.

Along this way, you will learn the pecking order of coaches, both within the model line (Bounder vs American in the Fleetwood line, as an example). You will get a feel for what is important to the both of you.

IMO, but the best quality coach you can afford, that meets your needs. Drop years to obtain quality. (That's my opinion. Others say it is better to get 3-5 years newer within a price point, and get a lesser quality rig. To each their own.)

Consider your usage. You two 80% of the time? How oftern will you need to sleep more then four people. Blow up floor mattresses work great, for the once in evey two year usage.

Between these two specific coaches, you have a real apples to oranges. The Monoaco rig is a far superior coach in the mechanical, materials department. And it is just about broken in for that Big Block diesel. No contest between these two coaches IMO. But, what is it you want to do with the coach? That is what will matter in determining what is right for you.

Very good advise on paying for a professional to do an independent inspection of any rig that you buy, money well spent.

Best of luck, have fun,
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #12
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Both Monaco and Tiffen make good coaches. I agree with the others who discussed maintenance. The four years and 60K difference could be significant, either way. If the Monaco was better maintained and upgraded when needed, it could be in just as good or better shape than the newer model if the newer coach was beat with kids and dogs and vacation sand with no maintenance. The Monaco was originally more luxury than the Tiffen so you will have some standard items not found on the middle of the road Tiffen. I also agree that for us, we did not need beds for 7. Unless your plans include taking kids/grandkids with you or your primary use is taking groups to NASCAR, having extra sleeping capacity is not that important. We tell our family, our coach can have 6 visit, 4 for dinner and "sleeps 2". That is an exageration of course but the primary reason we got the coach was for my DW and I to travel with the dogs to shows, and to take extended vacations into retirement. We have family use the coach as an extra bedroom in our back yard when we need it, but we seldom travel with more than us and one grandchild, since we have 15 grandchildren, if we are taking more, we usually take a second vehicle.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:43 AM   #13
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Check the 2007 Tiffin. Go to the Tiffin forum, I seem to remember something about the Floors above the wet bays or holding tanks rotting. I could be wrong.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:28 PM   #14
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All I can say is there is a huge difference between a Cat 350 and Cummins 500!! The cummins is obviously preferred, regardless of what coach it's in.

But do your homework. Do research on each particular model.....then go over each coach with a fine tooth comb. 2007 is newer, and often new is better, but that 03 was mucher higher end in its day, so if it's immaculate, you'll be getting more bang for your buck.
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