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Old 07-04-2016, 08:34 AM   #1
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Monaco trek

Anyone have any comments on the new Monaco Trek? Considering a new, 26-30 foot Class A. Just discovered this Monaco Trek. Comparing it to the Thor ACE, or Forest River FR3....Trying to stay under $90K.... Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated....
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:01 AM   #2
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As long as your expectations are properly in check, you could really enjoy this unit.

There's some math running around about the wheelbase and how to check it. Someone will come along and chime in about that. Something about overall length compared to wheel base as some of these shorter units recently have been plagued with handling issues. Too much over hang over the rear or something...

I've read some good, some bad about all of these units, and generally the complaints were based on expectations.

I think it's important to grasp the concept that these are all entry level coaches, that's not bad, but that will be... hmm... entry level in all aspects. Be prepared to possibly plug another 2 to 3k into external handling improvement devices.. such as a safe-t plus, and extra sway bars. I think every motorcoach should have these regardless, but in some cases, you must or the bad handling can get overbearing.

So some questions come to mind...

Do you plan to travel LOTS of miles, or simply this a weekend get away machine for local trips.

What's your past experience with any type of camper/trailer/motor coach?

Do you live near the factory of any of these three brands?

Does 90K absolutely blow your budget, or is 90k not a bad spend for you but just don't want to invest more in the task? (which is totally understandable!)

How important are the "looks" of the unit over functionality? Are you attracted more to 'brand new' or are you more attracted to "solidness" of function.

All of these things will play into your decision making.

If 90K is like..... oh my gosh, that's a ton of money to me, that's ALL of my money, then I might encourage you to reconsider. It seems when people spend their absolute budget.... particularly on an entry level motor coach...., the more disappointed they are at all the little things that go wrong. especially in a brand new unit, and they are all bound to have some shake down issues or worse.

Phrases like "You would think for 90 ding dang thousand dollars this thing would rub my feet while I drive it, and park itself!" when in reality one must come to grips about what you are really purchasing. A lower budget, not the most comfortable driving chassis with a big lumbering box on top, made quick and fast with lower budget materials and craftsmanship and marginal engineering... which is not to say it's bad, it all lies where your expectations are.

Mind you, I'm only picking this up from "reading". I have never driven any of these units, or for that matter, even stepped inside any of them.

I would absolutely encourage you to spend some time in each of them, preferably asking the sales person to leave you alone in it for a bit so you can look carefully without small talk.

I would positively encourage you to drive them each, and at highway speeds, in traffic, and fully understand there are differences between the models... if you test drive a 34 footer, it might drive completely different than the 36 foot version of that same model on the stretched, or "enhanced" as they say, chassis.

I would certainly encourage you to trust your gut over what the salesmen tells you... they've been known to stretch the truth. Phrases like "They all do that" or "That's normal" or "We can fix that" are commonly tossed around.

And If I were about to pull the trigger on one, I would thoroughly and repeatedly test every function in the actual unit I was about to buy, and there would be none of this "Oh yeah, we can fix that later, just sign here" Nope, fix it first, then I'll sign. There can also be significant differences between units of the same model.... as in one handles great, and that other was aligned by bubba's 5 year old niece. No way in the world I would order one... I'm taking the unit I can see and touch.

Certain companies I would trust to order... a Newmar Dutchstar for instance.. absolutely I would order one of those, but when it comes to entry level motor coaches, or travel trailers.. I want to see it first.

If I were to spend 90k, knowing what I know now.. I wouldn't.... I would spend 30 to 50k on an older unit, make some improvements inside and keep my money in my pocket, provided all systems, power plant and drive train checked out. BUT, I would also have to be ok with the grandmas house appearance inside, and the plain jane appearance outside. As a means to an end, I would be ok with this because the savings are substantial and my goal is to get there comfortably and reliably - which may be different from your goals.

as a for instance....
1998 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 34WDS Priced at $ 34500

I'd drive the wheels off that thing.... after i replaced the couch, and all the gold hardware, and probably the wall sconces and lights and removed the mirror and replaced the wall paper in the bathroom - I'd probably improve the bedroom TV situation.

or

1998 Foretravel U320 36 Priced at $ 59500



I'm positive that actual owners will come along and shed light on the subject for you. I'm just a food for thought type of guy.

also, get recommendations to dealers.... ask the forum about dealers near you... working through a dealer that other people have had positive experiences with can be a life saver.

Your Mileage May Vary. No brains cells were harmed in the formulation of this opinion, which is only worth 2 cents.
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:02 AM   #3
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Thanks much for the reply!
We sold our 41 foot Monaco Diplomat last year, and wanted to downsize. We full-timed it for 3 years, but now it would just be the occasional 3-4 day trips, and a couple longer ones once or twice a year. $90 is the absolute MOST we would spend. This TREK seems to MSRP for around $70,000.............
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:35 PM   #4
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A friend was a Trek owner for a short time.

He bought it used. Then spent about $6k trying to conquer the road handling issue it had. Then sold it about six months later in disgust.

Do drive the unit you plan on buying to see if there is a similar issue with the new ones.
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:05 PM   #5
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Years ago, my dad had a Trek. Don't remember the year, but mid to late '90's vintage. He absolutely loved it. Large bath, full size matress (came down from ceiling in living room) and fairly short moho overall-he always preferred the smaller rigs. He went all over it in. His only complaint what he thought the brakes were inadequate.


I borrowed it once. I hated it. Didn't like the way it drove, it was a hand full with x-winds, trucks passing, everything. You get my drift. Floor plan for me, wife and 2 kids just didn't work, but again for Dad, it was wonderful.


Now maybe today they've improved on the handling of it. But if it's like it use to be, I wouldn't trade a Yugo for it.
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Old 07-04-2016, 03:58 PM   #6
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We had a 2000 Trek (in 2000). It was fine for what it was. The only real handling problem was in a crosswind -- it was like a shoebox on ice. Had to slow down a lot. We had it two years and drove it a good bit. Construction tended to be flimsy in order to cut down weight.
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsorbill View Post
Years ago, my dad had a Trek. Don't remember the year, but mid to late '90's vintage. He absolutely loved it. Large bath, full size matress (came down from ceiling in living room) and fairly short moho overall-he always preferred the smaller rigs. He went all over it in. His only complaint what he thought the brakes were inadequate.


I borrowed it once. I hated it. Didn't like the way it drove, it was a hand full with x-winds, trucks passing, everything. You get my drift. Floor plan for me, wife and 2 kids just didn't work, but again for Dad, it was wonderful.


Now maybe today they've improved on the handling of it. But if it's like it use to be, I wouldn't trade a Yugo for it.
that was probably the Safari Trek.... totally different animal.
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:28 PM   #8
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Agree. I think the handling comments of a Trek are referencing a Safari Trek. Which is a totally different coach from another era - built on Chevrolet P30 chassis - and yes, had handling issues. I had a 1995 Safari Trek.
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:31 PM   #9
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Even though Monaco bought Safari (and TREK) in the late 1990's, the recent "Monaco Trek" has been thoroughly disparaged by owners of real TREKS. It's nothing more than an entry level generic Monaco RV with a different label and exterior graphics and has been withdrawn from the market. Safari TREKS were first built on Izusu chassis in 1991, then GM P-30, then on Workhorse chassis with the last one built in 2008. Like every motorhome built on an automotive supplied chassis, there might be handling problems. These are solved on TREKs just like other units built on the same chassis.

Safari TREKS are literally a different species of motorhome. Those of us who love them are satisfied that we have something unique. If this isn't your cup of tea, that's OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by windsorbill View Post
Years ago, my dad had a Trek. Don't remember the year, but mid to late '90's vintage. He absolutely loved it. Large bath, full size matress (came down from ceiling in living room) and fairly short moho overall-he always preferred the smaller rigs. He went all over it in. His only complaint what he thought the brakes were inadequate.

I borrowed it once. I hated it. Didn't like the way it drove, it was a hand full with x-winds, trucks passing, everything. You get my drift. Floor plan for me, wife and 2 kids just didn't work, but again for Dad, it was wonderful.

Now maybe today they've improved on the handling of it. But if it's like it use to be, I wouldn't trade a Yugo for it.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Schweikle View Post
the recent "Monaco Trek" has been thoroughly disparaged by owners of real TREKS. It's nothing more than an entry level generic Monaco RV.
I am an owner of the new Trek. I have read many of the disparaging comments from owners of the older Treks. What was not clear to me when I read those comments was which of the comment makers actually owned a new Trek which would have been good to know to understand the basis for their comments. I think probably none of them is the answer. Actually I am familiar with the old Treks by Safari as well and it is clear there are many differences one of them being price. The new Trek is an entry level coach for sure. It probably does not help that it is on the Ford F53 chassis. Yes there is a lot of overhang with only having a 158" wheelbase on a 27' 10" length. And I am sure this plays into its handling characteristics but the Cheap Handling Fix which I implemented has helped considerably. I will follow that up with a rear track bar, as I pull a Honda Element, and a Steer Safe. In fairness I can see where the owners of the old Treks could be concerned about a lower cost model and associated quality reducing the resale value of their coaches and hurting the brand. Legitimate concerns for sure although this is only speculation on my part as none of the comment makers voiced such concerns. All politics is local as Tip O'Neil used to say.

But so far, 6 weeks and 1500 miles later, it has provided great value (value = what we get in return for the money we spend [our definition, YMMV]) to my wife and I when you consider the price. There is no perfect solution IMO for sure. You need to define your mission, ours being fly fishing, and make your decision on which way to go. We were camping in a Honda Element, with a porta-potty and cooler, that had an aftermarket roof tent installed on top by Ursa Minor in Chula Vista, CA. Our Trek is a real step up. We love the generator! We love the separate toilet and sink, across the hall, from the shower. A neat feature is the queen bed in the rear of the Trek raises up and with it brings a very large wardrobe out of the trunk. My wife likes lots of storage space and this wardrobe combined with the side wardrobe and all the basement space including a pass through provides us more than enough storage. And with the bed raised I can lay a board across the dressers and have an office workspace for my computer. And the Triton V-10 engine on the shorter coach pulls our 3600 lb Element easily.

Now we are not full timers. We are weekend warriors. The quality of the coach so far is on par with what we expected for the price. It may not be a Trump Hotel, we have stayed in a Trump Hotel and Towers in Chicago, but we do fine with Hampton Inns. We are just that kind of people. We have already had great times using the "new Trek" and its presence has brought my wife and I closer together. We spend more time talking and in the same room these days as we plan our next adventures, which is what makes it priceless. We even had friends sleep in it, we store it on our driveway, when they came to town. Another friend will be staying 16 nights this month and paying rent while she is here. Can you say I now have money for my Steer Safe! :-) And my niece and nephew will be flying out from Chicago and will have their privacy in the coach. So we have an additional 220 sq. feet now! If we decided to Airbnb it we could get a minimum of $70/night given we live centrally located between San Francisco and San Jose.

This Trek is just a warm up for a Diesel Pusher when I retire in about 3 years. This entry level coach, the new Trek, is a great way to cut our teeth so to say and get us ready for the big time. I do know this, whatever a person decides to do as far as a purchase there will always be some level of risk. My wife and I have been fortunate in life and we can maybe take on more risk then others. We can self insure ourselves from bad decisions I guess you can say. We have made a few and time tells all!

I guess this is a very long winded way of saying:

1. Know your mission which will define your requirements
2. Know your budget
3. Conduct your search to meet as many requirements as your budget will allow
4. Make the purchase and jump in the water!
5. Learn from your first purchase so you are better informed on your second
6. Have fun and enjoy life while you still have it to live!

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Old 07-06-2016, 11:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvtrekers View Post
I am an owner of the new Trek. I have read many of the disparaging comments from owners of the older Treks. What was not clear to me when I read those comments was which of the comment makers actually owned a new Trek which would have been good to know to understand the basis for their comments. I think probably none of them is the answer. Actually I am familiar with the old Treks by Safari as well and it is clear there are many differences one of them being price. The new Trek is an entry level coach for sure. It probably does not help that it is on the Ford F53 chassis. Yes there is a lot of overhang with only having a 158" wheelbase on a 27' 10" length. And I am sure this plays into its handling characteristics but the Cheap Handling Fix which I implemented has helped considerably. I will follow that up with a rear track bar, as I pull a Honda Element, and a Steer Safe. In fairness I can see where the owners of the old Treks could be concerned about a lower cost model and associated quality reducing the resale value of their coaches and hurting the brand. Legitimate concerns for sure although this is only speculation on my part as none of the comment makers voiced such concerns. All politics is local as Tip O'Neil used to say.

But so far, 6 weeks and 1500 miles later, it has provided great value (value = what we get in return for the money we spend [our definition, YMMV]) to my wife and I when you consider the price. There is no perfect solution IMO for sure. You need to define your mission, ours being fly fishing, and make your decision on which way to go. We were camping in a Honda Element, with a porta-potty and cooler, that had an aftermarket roof tent installed on top by Ursa Minor in Chula Vista, CA. Our Trek is a real step up. We love the generator! We love the separate toilet and sink, across the hall, from the shower. A neat feature is the queen bed in the rear of the Trek raises up and with it brings a very large wardrobe out of the trunk. My wife likes lots of storage space and this wardrobe combined with the side wardrobe and all the basement space including a pass through provides us more than enough storage. And with the bed raised I can lay a board across the dressers and have an office workspace for my computer. And the Triton V-10 engine on the shorter coach pulls our 3600 lb Element easily.

Now we are not full timers. We are weekend warriors. The quality of the coach so far is on par with what we expected for the price. It may not be a Trump Hotel, we have stayed a Trump in Chicago, but we do fine with Hampton Inns. We are just that kind of people. We have already had great times using it and its presence has brought my wife and I closer together. We spend more time talking and in the same room these days as we plan our next adventures, which is what makes it priceless. We even had friends sleep in it, we store it on our driveway, when they came to town. Another friend will be staying 16 nights this month and paying rent while she is here. Can you say I now have money for my Steer Safe! :-) And my niece and nephew will be flying out from Chicago and will have their privacy in the coach. So we have an additional 220 sq. feet now! If we decided to Airbnb it we could get a minimum of $70/night given we live centrally located between San Francisco and San Jose.

This Trek is just a warm up for a Diesel Pusher when I retire in about 3 years. This entry level coach is a great way to cut our teeth so to say and get us ready for the big time. I do know this, whatever a person decides to do as far as a purchase there will always be some level of risk. My wife and I have been fortunate in life and we can maybe take on more risk then others. We can self insure ourselves from bad decisions I guess you can say. We have made a few and time tells all!

I guess this is a very long winded way of saying:

1. Know your mission which will define your requirements
2. Know your budget
3. Conduct your search to meet as many requirements as your budget will allow
4. Make the purchase and jump in the water!
5. Learn from your first purchase so you are better informed on your second
6. Have fun and enjoy life while you still have it to live!

Well put sir
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:27 AM   #12
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Bill wrote a good post about his new Monaco Trek. The owners of the original versions didn't like the newer one, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good motorhome, it's just significantly different from the original concept.

Note to self. Remember "There are always two sides to any issue"
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Bill wrote a good post
George you are fine. Everything you said in your first post was factual. I think what you shared was very important for Cuttymeister to hear. The great thing about these forums is that the quality of the information available here is very good. That is why I enjoy being a member here.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:38 AM   #14
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Thanks to all of your replies.......

We are doing the opposite of many of you, going from a 41-ft Diplomat DP to an "entry level" coach for "part-timing". We "full-timed" it for 3 years in the Diplomat, and put 54,000 miles on it.
But those days are over, we now have a home, and all we need is a small coach for trips of 3-4 days, and occasionally, 3-4 weeks.
This Trek looks good, and the price is right.
The only concern is the rear overhang. I know it will not handle like the big Monaco, but I hope it's not all over the road either.
We have to travel 350 miles to go see the Trek...it's a long way to the dealer if something is wrong..........
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