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Old 11-12-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
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first time purchaser ignorant questions: 2003 Monaco

In considering our first MH purchase, we have found a 2003 Monaco Executive 40 PBT at a dealer that we really like. I have read in this forum about a trailing arm problem and that the "8 air bag Roadmaster" doesn't have the problem. OK here are my ignorant questions:

1. What is a "trailing arm"?

2. What are the "air bags"? They must not be the same as in a car if they have something to do with the chassis and the ride.

From the female of the couple, who is doing all the research, even though DH is a submarine electrical engineer! (He probably just doesn't want to ask the dumb questions!)

Thank you for any help!
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:16 AM   #2
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The trailing arm is part of your suspension at the axles. Air bags are for ride comfort while traveling and help in stabilizing the unit when parked
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:10 AM   #3
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The trailing arms are a part of the rear suspension and I know that some Monacos had trouble with them cracking. I'm sure a search of the forum would yield a lot more specifics for you.

As also mentioned, the air bags are are also part of your suspension. They're made of heavy duty rubber and are about the size of a cylindrical beach ball. Some Monacos are built on a chassis which uses 8 bags instead of the more common 4. This is claimed to result in a better ride.

Good luck.

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Old 11-12-2012, 11:50 AM   #4
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No trailing arms problem on your Target coach.

Air Bags are also known as Air Springs. The bags inflate for traveling automatically to set the correct ride height for the drive shaft etc.

Operator controls are available to dump the suspension air or level the rig when parked if the rig boasts air leveling. I suspect the Executive has that feature instead of leveling jacks. It might have both.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:19 PM   #5
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Sherry, look at this thread. Trailing Arms Cracked on Roadmaster
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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Welcome to IRV2. Your coach will be fine...
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:13 PM   #7
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Question follow up on 2003 Monaco questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by deandec View Post
No trailing arms problem on your Target coach.

Air Bags are also known as Air Springs. The bags inflate for traveling automatically to set the correct ride height for the drive shaft etc.

Operator controls are available to dump the suspension air or level the rig when parked if the rig boasts air leveling. I suspect the Executive has that feature instead of leveling jacks. It might have both.
So yay, no trailing arm problwm according to Dean. I found out today that the coach has 10 air bags. She also has 98,000 miles on her. Any concerns there?

My thoughts are that since this MH started out costing so much (like $450k or more), it should have been very well built with the best of everything. So we should be better off with it than paying the same money for a new one that would not have the quality. Is that a safe assumption?
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:14 PM   #8
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you have an s chassis, it does not have trailing arm suspension per say, your suspension like mine has control arms and a complete full floating carriage that is supported by 4 air bags and held in place by three arms, two running front to back and one left to right, good luck

sounds like you have a tag same as mine, there is a trailing arm on the tags but I do not believe they have ever been a problem,
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #9
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First of all there I'd NO such thing as an ignorant or a dumb question. The only one is the one not asked.
Welcome to the forums.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weimaraner View Post
So yay, no trailing arm problwm according to Dean. I found out today that the coach has 10 air bags. She also has 98,000 miles on her. Any concerns there?

My thoughts are that since this MH started out costing so much (like $450k or more), it should have been very well built with the best of everything. So we should be better off with it than paying the same money for a new one that would not have the quality. Is that a safe assumption?
The Monaco Executive is like a Cadillac of motor homes. In the higher level Monaco coaches, you have the Dynasty, above it the Executive, and at the very top, the Signature.

The Executive is a first class motor coach. It rides on air bags instead of springs. On Monaco coaches, if you look at the front wheel, then look up behind that wheel and look up in front of that wheel, you'll see the air bags. They may be shielded with a rubber plate to protect them, but they are there. So, there are two air bags for each front wheel, two air bags for each rear axle wheel assembly, and an air bag for each tag axle wheel. That makes a total of ten air bags. It will be a magnificent handling and riding machine!

The trailing arm issue does not apply to the Monaco Executive.

The Executive has a semi-monocoque chassis. That means that the roof and wall frames are all steel, all welded together, and welded to the steel chassis. It's a very heavy, very strong chassis. Consider that most coaches today use aluminum roof and wall frames, bolted to the chassis, and you can appreciate the difference.

98,000 miles means absolutely nothing to this coach, provided that it has had proper regular maintenance.

I wish you all the best in your quest for a great motorhome.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:24 AM   #11
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Thank you!

Dear Jimkate,
that was great information, and the Monaco Executive is the one I really fell in love with. It is gorgeous with really elegant decor with rich purple accents. I went to TCU, and we have season tickets and will be tailgating in this coach, and our color is purple! My DH obviously cares more about the practical issues, so we really appreciate you sharing your knowledge. Now if we can just fit a king bed in there to acommodate our three doggies!

Unfortunately there are no maintenance records.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:00 AM   #12
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If you can look at the manuals you might be able to find the previous owner and give him a call. That's what we did.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:28 AM   #13
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Without the maintenance records, you would be money ahead to bite the bullet and have all the fluids changed out. Chances are, with an expensive coach, all routine maintenance was done, but peace of mind is worth the extra $
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:25 PM   #14
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I'd also suggest having the engine oil analyzied. It's very cheap insurance!
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