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Old 08-10-2014, 07:01 PM   #1
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Considering A Beaver Coach

My husband & I are going to look at a Beaver Coach this week. It has an aqua hot heating system in it, what is the general consensus on this system? It also has a Banks System, what information can you pass along about it?

It is about 10 years old, any other things that we should look for that we might not think of? We know to check the systems, ceiling & windows for leaks, look for rust on body & under carriage, all the standards. Maintenance records are available with the coach & it has been professionally maintained.

It has about 50,000 miles on it.

Are there any inherent problems that Beaver Coaches are known to have? Are parts readily available if you do need something?

Thank you in advance for all the knowledge that I am sure will be passed a long!
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeresaOwen1 View Post
My husband & I are going to look at a Beaver Coach this week. It has an aqua hot heating system in it, what is the general consensus on this system? It also has a Banks System, what information can you pass along about it?

It is about 10 years old, any other things that we should look for that we might not think of? We know to check the systems, ceiling & windows for leaks, look for rust on body & under carriage, all the standards. Maintenance records are available with the coach & it has been professionally maintained.

Are there any inherent problems that Beaver Coaches are known to have? Are parts readily available if you do need something?

Thank you in advance for all the knowledge that I am sure will be passed a long!
Parent have an Aqua hot system in their Beaver Marquis 2000 and love it.

Be careful who's advice you pay for in terms of repair - they went to 3 places who were experts on it, only to drive back to factory to get the problems rectified which were a bad fuel pump and pressure regulator.

Some beavers used rivets to hold things together which although sturdy wasnt the most waterproof set up they could have gone with.

Usually Banks diesel setups are solid- what is on it an exhaust or a chip kit?

The wood cabinetry and interior in a pre 2005 Beaver is work of art.

The chassis use standard commercial parts that have not been a problem to get.

Which one are you looking at?

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Old 08-10-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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Beaver (and Holiday Rambler) are built by Monaco so any comments related to those are also relevant to Beaver.

Monaco of that vintage had an excellent reputation for quality and ride.

We love our Beaver. We don't have the Aqua-Hot but would love it if we did. It's on my wish-list if we ever change.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
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well w/o saying the year & mileage hard to answer.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:23 PM   #5
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I believe that the Banks System is exhaust & a cleanable air cleaner.

It is a Monterey.

Thanks for your input Uncle Dave!
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:29 PM   #6
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I own a 2001 Beaver Patriot.
The Aqua Hot system, when it works is great. If it doesn't work, it can be costly. Make sure both the electric and the diesel switches activate the system for hot water and heat. When I bought mine, the guy turned on the electric side and said don't bother with the diesel side cause it smells. Now I know why, it didn't work and I've spent hundreds so far and it's now in the shop to get it working. The electric side only is useless for more than a small sink of water for dishes. Make sure your exhaust brake works properly. Mine was unknowingly seized. There have been a few electric issues as well. Having the coach checked by a shop for complete function of everything would be advised. Like any coach, unless you can do the work yourself, it can be expensive to repair. What leveling system does yours have? If it's the SMC system it's hydraulic onto the frame, not jacks to the ground.
We are just about finished fixing everything on our Beaver, however, that doesn't mean all are bad. Some added advise would be to join the Beaver Ambassador Club. They are a great group of Beaver Coach owners and can help with most everything. Parts are a little tougher to get as Beaver was bought out by Safari Motor Coaches (SMC - now defunct) and then by Monaco (also defunct) but Beaver specific parts can still be found with research. Literature is also hard to find unless your coach comes with all manuals.

On a different note, Beavers are a nice, well built coach with lots of upgrades. Cabinetry is solid wood. Nice amenities and luxurious upgrades.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:57 PM   #7
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I believe that the Banks System is exhaust & a cleanable air cleaner.

It is a Monterey.

Thanks for your input Uncle Dave!

Monaco and Beaver after 04 are the same as Monaco bought the beaver product line. (pretty sure thats the last beaver year)

I have a very low mileage 98 Monterey (25K) I've modded a bit.

Custom paint
Diesel genset upgrade from propane.
Slide out trays in luggage bays
New hansgrohe plumbing in the shower

Im setup to use propane for water and coach heat -but would definitely prefer the aqua hot is really sweet especially in cold weather.

Beaver Ambassador Club is a great resource.

What year are you looking at?

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Old 08-10-2014, 10:22 PM   #8
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Some good inputs above. Beaver made solid coaches. The Aquahot is a great system--it allows you to preheat the engine, and gives you unlimited hot water. The downside is they require regular maintenance, but if you're in WA, there are a number of places in Junction City that are experts, and can take good care of the Aquahot system, to include Country Coach, OMC, Premier RV and others. Once you do annual maintenance it should be close to trouble-free.
Many folks have good words to say about the Banks system--we had a intake/ exhaust (post manifold) version of it on our gas motorhome, and it was trouble-free.
Does the Monterey have an exhaust brake? It also needs regular maintenance.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:58 PM   #9
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Some good inputs above. Beaver made solid coaches. The Aquahot is a great system--it allows you to preheat the engine, and gives you unlimited hot water. The downside is they require regular maintenance, but if you're in WA, there are a number of places in Junction City that are experts, and can take good care of the Aquahot system, to include Country Coach, OMC, Premier RV and others. Once you do annual maintenance it should be close to trouble-free.
Many folks have good words to say about the Banks system--we had a intake/ exhaust (post manifold) version of it on our gas motorhome, and it was trouble-free.
Does the Monterey have an exhaust brake? It also needs regular maintenance.
Mine has a pac brake and at about 20K of weight - its super effective I guess it needs the occasional shot of lube.

It will slow me down going down any hill Ive encountered yet - even the grapevine in so cal as long as Im not towing anything over 4K pounds.

Parents Beaver Marquis has a 2 stage Jake.

Ive been pretty happy with anything Ive ever had from banks.

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Old 08-10-2014, 11:03 PM   #10
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I own a 2001 Beaver Patriot.
The Aqua Hot system, when it works is great. If it doesn't work, it can be costly. Make sure both the electric and the diesel switches activate the system for hot water and heat. When I bought mine, the guy turned on the electric side and said don't bother with the diesel side cause it smells. Now I know why, it didn't work and I've spent hundreds so far and it's now in the shop to get it working. .
Les, when you get the diesel burner tuned up, run it for at least a cycle every two weeks. They like to run!
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:16 PM   #11
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Earlier Montereys had "stickers" on fiberglass. At some point Beaver went to full body paint (I think in 02)

If the the unit has been outside a lot these stickers will basically be "wasted" and fade then after more time they begin to crack. This isn't unique to Beavers, but just something to look out for.

My paint job was basically whats called a phase/stage 1 where you paint only where the stickers were. The rest of the body buffed out beautifully with rolite.

Some Beavers need a slobber tube mod (easy and cheap) and a radiator cleaning (not super easy or cheap)

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Old 08-10-2014, 11:30 PM   #12
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I looked at a Beaver Patriot, 97 yr, with 140k mi on it. One owner it's whole life. Owner took great care of it and it looked it. Only thing I didn't like were the oak cabinets, I really want cherry or maple. I'd guess most need work, but you are starting off with a great coach that was built well from the frame up. Hope I can find the one I want! 😜
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:02 AM   #13
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Since I have only owned a Beaver Coach I cannot compare it with any other. But, I do like most things about it. When we toured the factory (which used to be in Bend, OR where the coach you are looking at was assembled) we went across to Beaver Sales and talked with some of the folks there. One of the stories I remember most fondly was how the steering was so good you could almost walk down the hallway and it would drive itself. Well that has certainly not been the case in our coach. But, I have had others at repair facilities drive it and they say it drives just fine. Just know they drive like trucks.

I think Beaver is a good coach. Every maker has warts and Beaver has some, but nothing that are any worse than any other. One nice thing about the Monterey in that year is that all the interior wood is real. So many coaches in that price range used pressed board with vinyl cladding for the surround woodwork and just real wood on the doors. Beaver is all real wood.

Regarding the AquaHot; Beaver never installed a true AquaHot "system" on any of their coaches of the era you mention. The boiler is AquaHot, but all the radiators are another design that uses a fan versus a blower. The heat output is great, but the fans are nosier than the true Aquahot radiators. A good AquaHot is a dream. A bad one can be a nightmare. Before I bought a coach with one I would insist on turning it on (diesel burner) and running it full bore for at least an hour. Set the thermostat up high and let it cycle a number of times. Replacing one of these can cost over 10 grand. You want to know yours works right. Moreover, avoid most standard repair facilities for repair. Roger Burke is probably the best known traveling AquaHot repair guy. He attends a lot of rallies and you can find his schedule if you email him. I do all the routine maintenance myself, but he is probably the only guy I would trust to help me if I had a real problem.

Despite what others say, there is not a tight bond between Beaver and Monaco. Your best source for parts is Beaver Sales in Bend, OR. Monaco is usually a poor source of information or parts for these units. The only thing that is truly Beaver is the chassis and fiberglass body parts. Everything else is made by someone else who you can usually track down and find a replacement.

I would take a very careful look at the outside walls. If you see checking in the paint you have to decide if you want to live with it or not. It is a fault in the fiberglass, not the paint. I was told by a well-respected RV paint shop in Pomona CA that it costs about $30k to have the fiberglass removed, replaced and repainted. This much Beaver does have in common with all Monaco coaches of this time period. Something to consider.

Most of the other issues are not specific to Beaver and you don't mention whether you own a coach now or are going to be new owners. If you are new to the game you need to know that some of the double door refrigerators in the coaches of this era have various degrees of poor to bad performance. In addition all these units have been subjected to three recalls. You would want to verify that all these recall remedies have been applied to this coach.

You may think these are negative comments. I just think they are realistic. We purchased our coach some years back before many of these issues were known. I just think you need to have a realistic view of some of the issues you may confront and get a good inspection before you buy.

And, just so you know, I do love our coach. We just returned from an eight week trip across half the country and it was a blast. We had a problem with our bedroom slide and refrigerator. But, these are just like any problem that happens to any house.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:51 AM   #14
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I'd say the most common issue with the Monterey is weak brakes. My linkage was misadjusted from the factory and after proper adjustment were much better.

Checking can be easily fixed with surface prep and high build primer.
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