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Old 11-07-2010, 10:15 PM   #1
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Smile Country Coach vs Monaco

We are looking at upgrading our current 2001 Tiffin 43’ Zephyr, single slide with 400 Cummings. We are not “full timers” but spend 35-40 weeks a year out mostly in the west/southwest...fair amount of mountain terrain.

The 2 coaches under consideration are:
2005 Country Coach Inspire, 40’, 3 slides; 400 Cat C-9; (new engine @ 26,000 mi.); 44,000 miles; 6 speed Allison transmission; Dynomax chassis
2007 Monaco Knight 40 SKT – 3 slides, 330 Cummins, 10,000 miles, Allison Transmission, Roadmaster Chassis
We lease for 2-4 years and are responsible for maintenance. Entry and monthly lease cost are comparable.

Will the 330 handle the hills? We tow a 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan. Shared thoughts on serviceability, ride and performance would be appreciate.


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Old 11-08-2010, 04:00 AM   #2
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Wow, I did not know that one could lease a big class a for a long period of time. Interesting.

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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I'm curious on why you wouldn't consider buying a later model Tiffin coach? You realize that both those coaches you mentioned have no company support structure? I know I'm going to get flamed for saying this, but it's more like you buy it you own it ! JM2CW !
2011 Tiffin Allego Bus 40QXP
450 hp Cummins ISL 9, Powerglide chassis
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:58 PM   #4
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The Cat c-9 and the Cummins ISL produce almost exactly the same amount of torque. They will perform about the same in the mountains which will be adequate but not quick.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses…We leased our 1st coach 4+ years ago, following several years of “considering” an RV. We’re in the specialty food business; travel the west/southwest…like having my own bed after an event, cooking at home and enjoy the people we meet in our travels. Like the lifestyle, but it is business related.

Our business plan projects in 3-5 year terms, therefore by leasing we “theoretically” limit our financial obligation (exposure) to a fixed amount. I think it is better than investing $250,000+ in a “wasting asset” as I do not know if we will be in RV mode 3+ years from now.

The downside in leasing is you don’t necessary know the maintenance history on the vehicle (even if you ask..owners are not always honest). Our first coach was a National TRADEWINDS, like the Tiffin, which in my opinion is a much better built coach, would look to lease another if one was available but both of the leased units were not properly maintained (we incurred a lot of deferred maintenance ($15,000) in each of the coaches leased).

Appreciate the info on the engine performance…would you recommend boasting the HP on either? If anyone is interested in the leasing options email me at vinbiz43@gmail.com,, I’ll refer you to the broker I use.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:54 PM   #6
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We recently purchased a 2007 Allegro Bus after looking at many different models over a long time. A 400HP engine was a minimum, after looking at all the torque charts, etc. One of the sellers we seriously worked with told us her late husband worked for Caterpillar for 25 years but insisted on a Cummins engine in their RV. In the end we passed on it because it was a Cummins 360. In the mountains you can't have "too much power". On the flats, you will only use what you need to cruise.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:44 PM   #7
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Monaco is taken over by Navistar. Not the same support as the original Monaco Corp. Country Coach is out of business, zero support.

I bought a Monaco over the Country Coach. At least I can get some info from them.
But, when it comes to service most RV shops can service anything in the BOX , and Most Truck/Bus repair shops can handle the DRIVELINE.
I highly recommend extended warranty plans. We have the Good Sams Club Silver plan. We have used it and it is well worth the investment.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:53 PM   #8
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Cummins Tech told me that at 370 hp (my current engine), it's not worth it to increase the hp, unless we are going up to500+. That's when the torque increases, and you would get a much better benefit for your investment. He advised that I should not spend the cash. Increasing the hp without getting the increased torque was deemed 'a waste of money.'

What do I know?

Tom & Kelly
'02 MADP
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:05 PM   #9
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Doesn't the Knight have a rear radiator? If so, take that one off the list.
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Raca-roni View Post
I'm curious on why you wouldn't consider buying a later model Tiffin coach? You realize that both those coaches you mentioned have no company support structure? I know I'm going to get flamed for saying this, but it's more like you buy it you own it ! JM2CW !
You need to do more research before you post "information". Other than the woodwork in a Country Coach what couldn't be fixed on that coach that a good RV center couldn't handle? And I'm not sure that the woodwork couldn't be recreated by a good cabinet shop. As far as the Monaco goes they're in business and doing just fine.

To get back to the original thread, I'd stay with the Inspire. Bigger engine, nicer interior.
2000 HR Imperial 40' DP w/350 Cummins
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:54 PM   #11
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I'm not up on Monaco's in the 2007 year, but could not the 330 be the ISC vs the ISL.

Either way, on both engines also get the Torque, as part of your decision process.

Good luck,
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:30 AM   #12
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330 hp Cummins is the 8.3L ISC engine. Then they boosted these 8.3's to 350 hp. After that HP rating , I believe Cummins went into there Big Block series engines.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:44 AM   #13
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IMHO, I would stay with the rig you are now running.

Except for the number of slides, it would seem it is a higher quality rig than the ones you targeted which are more entry level than high end models for their manufacturers.

The extra 3' in length you now have is about 24 sq ft in interior space. The extra space you get from three additional slides may not be much more than that.

However, I do not know how the lease program drives the decision so JMHO.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:32 PM   #14
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I too have the same feelings as deandec. Big Tiffin Zepher a great coach.

Of the two makers the RVCG always rates Country Coach as much better than Monaco. When I was out coach shopping a year ago I found Monaco and CC to make very similar products.

I drove two Inspires when I was looking at motor homes a year ago. It would be my strong recommendation to only buy an Inspire with a side radiator. A previous poster indicated the Knight you are looking at has a rear radiator. If that is true it is a mark against it.

I bought a Country Coach a year ago and have had exactly zero issues with getting parts or service. Monaco has not closed and they had numerous new coaches displayed at the FMCA rally we went to a couple of months ago. The posters that said they provide zero support should not be putting up information that is outside of their area of knowledge.

If it were me I would go up at least one notch on the Country Coach and Monaco lines to the Intrigue and similar Monaco.

If you really want to know about the motors take both coaches up the type of hills you are worried about. Test them yourself. IMHO either motor will go up a hill about the same.

B Bob
Country Coach 42' Affinity
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