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Old 05-10-2010, 12:45 PM   #15
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Do a search on trailing arms. If you purchase a Monaco coach you want to make sure this problem has been fixed as it is a big bucks issue and also a safety problem.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:10 PM   #16
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Hidesert,

Since you are buying used you should look at a whole bunch of motor homes - find the floor plan that works well for you. Drive them to see what feels right in the first five minutes. I would consider joining the RVCG and buying their disk that has almost all motor homes listed from 2000-2010. It is a quick reference for CCC, chassis length, and many important pieces of info. We took over a year to find our motor home. We ended up with a Country Coach. Why, because of the build quality, great ride, good driving ability. And we were compensated for the fact that they are out of business by a lower price. We have had not one problem getting parts or service. But there are lots of good choices. I have to say that in our search we also really liked Beavers and the American Coach line.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:01 PM   #17
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Here is our list. 400 motor, tag axle, IFS, side radiator, residential refrigerator, hydronic heating, stacked washer/ dryer.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:54 PM   #18
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make sure you look at carrying capacity,,difference from gvw and what coach weighs with water and fuel...some high end coaches actually have less than lower priced models...I had my 98 dutch star for 6 years and loved it now have dutch aire but the mountain aire of same year and 2 ft longer actually has less carrying capacity do to heavier engine and more stuff...also some of the lower end/entry level diesels do not have air suspension or ifc..
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:13 PM   #19
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As long as it is a Tiffin you can't go wrong. Sure can't say the same for Gulfstream.

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Old 05-12-2010, 10:48 PM   #20
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When we were looking for a motor home to buy for about a year in a search that ended last fall we looked at lots of different brands and models. I wanted to spend as little as possible but have something both the wife and I liked to live in and for both of us to drive. We looked at coaches as old as 1998 and new as 2008. I searched RVsearch and RVtrader + ebay and craigs + ppl in Houston. I bought the two RVCG compilation disks that had specs from almost every motor home from 1993-2009.

We looked for quality construction of the house and things that would be durable. We also were very careful to make sure that the coaches had enough CCC and the chassis was fairly long in comparison to the house.

We first started looking at moderate level coaches like the Fleetwood Providence. We loved the full wall slide on that one and I thought it drove well as did my wife.

Then we branched out into the brands that seemed to get the accolades from most people. Went to a couple RV shows. And so on and so on and so on. At the end we pretty much looked at all the mid-higher end coaches and drove many of them. Here is how I woul rank what was available last fall in terms of value for the money. And please keep in mind that this is just my humble opinion and motor homes are quite individual. Different things for different people.

1. We thought that easily the most consistently well built coaches that you could get at a good price that also drove well were - Country Coaches. No surprise then that that is what we bought. We also liked Foretravel a lot, but the prices were significantly higher and IMHO build quality was no better than CC.
2. We also liked Alpines a lot. These were overall the best driving coaches. And the interiors of the 2003-2005 were beautiful. We came very close to buying a 2004 40' Alpine instead of the CC. I am aware of some issues with Alpine, but you get a very big bang for your buck on these.
3. Beavers - we loved the interiors. What we found though was that only certain Beavers drove well. Many had short chassis or were overloaded. But some were great motor homes.
4. American Coaches - Great value and very well made. I liked them more than my wife. Not on their own chassis like the above ones.
5. Monaco - Reasonably close comparison with CC. I personally did not think Monaco was as good a quality as CC.
6. 2003 Dutch Stars
We also looked at Tiffin. There are a lot of partisan Tiffin people. There are many good Tiffins. However, there are also many models that are not so good. So I do not agree that if only has to have the name Tiffin on it to be good. I do agree that with the name Tiffin it might be good. There are just not so many Tiffins out west and we did not see any used ones we really liked.
We did like the Fleetwood Providence a lot. What turned us off was to see a 2 year old one with 17,000 miles on it and a lot of wear. The interior materials are no where near as durable as some of the better motor homes. That said, I think a brand new Providence used by a couple and keep in good condition is a good value.

We also drove several Winne's and none really fired us up. They are well built though and good values. We just did not find the right one.

For us the big keys were, 1. Beautiful interior 2. Drove securely and comfortably. We ended up with both.

I was not influenced by if a maker went bust of not. The reason was that very near 100% of parts are common and it does not matter if the assembler was still in business is the maker was still around. I always found that you were compensated for a maker not being in business. Everything else being equal I would have prefered that the coach maker would have still been in business. But most of our top picks were people who had recently gone bust for one reason or another. Motor homes are not cars though. You need a factory to support a car / usually. But motor homes are usually not hard to get parts for. I had an ancient GMC motor home that I had zero trouble getting parts for. And so far I have had zero problems getting work done on the CC. I also bought a Saturn tow car. I like them. Since it has never needed a part I don't know if they are hard to get.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:20 AM   #21
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Don & Mary,

Bob has just given you the benefit of his experiences and my thoughts and experiences are very close to his. My wife & I have lived full time in our coach for going on 4 years and the time and effort we expended on looking, studying and going to dealers and rallies paid off in spades.

We believe CC and Monaco to be quality equals for the most part with the exception of CC coaches built after 2004-5 when CC was owned by National RV. They had some serious issues during that period. We agree with Bob about Winnebago and Tiffin. Tiffin's reputation and owner loyalty stem almost completely from Bob Tiffin's personal commitment to customer service. The Alpine is truly the best handling coach I ever drove but the Monaco Series S chassis is close.

After looking at & driving lots of coaches we decided to concentrate on finding a Monaco built on the Series S chassis with a tag axle. We found our coach and we have been very happy with our choice.

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Old 05-13-2010, 12:06 PM   #22
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Steve,

The Monaco Signature is very similar in quality and driving to the CC Affinity. We would have bought either, but we loved the custom interior of our Affinity and the owner sold it to us for less than half of what he owed. Not kidding. 31,000 under wholesale NADA. My wife and I love it. Lots of complex and expensive systems though. Still doing a bit of sorting out.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:44 PM   #23
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Bob,

They are very similar and the Affinity was on our "short list" for that reason. When you buy used it becomes about watching and waiting for the right combo to come along.

I understand the "sorting out" also. I bought at Lazydays and let them do the first maintenance cycle but I have done all the regular maintenance since. It has been a learning experience but a good thing overall.

Safe travels,

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Old 05-14-2010, 11:39 AM   #24
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I appreciate all that have voiced their opinions here for our benefit. The coaches we have narrowed down to are the Monaco, Country Coach & Travel Supreme, 2008-2005. Engine 400, side radiator, tag, and trying to keep it around 42-43'.
We are now down to 10 days before our escrow on our stick house is closed. We Flew to South Dakota last week to get our drivers license changed from Calif to SD. We are now proud residents of the great state of South Dakota, wow, that will save a lot in tax's and registration from Calif outrages tax and registration.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:18 AM   #25
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Hi Hidesert,
You got a lot of good info here to help with your motorhome selection, the only thing I would add is that many have mentioned the importance of Cargo Carrying Capacity and if you're going to be fulltiming this will indeed be important. The rating of the CCC given by the manufacturer may vary by the options chosen by the original purchaser. For example a stacked washer and dryer and ceramic flooring throughout will significantly impact CCC. My advice is when you find the coach you ultimately want, take it to a scale and weight it with full diesel, propane and water tanks and empty gray and black tanks. This way you will know exactly how much you can carry and can adjust it by varying fuel and water quantities accordingly. Happy shopping!!
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