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Old 09-07-2015, 05:01 PM   #1
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New site member shopping for a used MH

As a newbie to RV'ing it has been a bit daunting trying to sort out what one should be on the lookout for when looking at a used class A.

The very first question would be thus: I have found a very clean older Monaco signature. It has been owned by one family. the father gave it to his daughter upon her wedding as a gift. He just didn't use it. It has spent it's whole life inside a garage. The daughter just recently traded it for a smaller unit as she felt intimidated by it's size.

The coach has a mere 16,500 miles. One slide, Cummins 525HP, Allison 4000 6speed, Aqua hot system, Auto Hyd leveling. Onan 12.5 KW QD. Tag axle. a proper MH four door fridge. This coach is incredibly clean and is priced in the mid 90k range. But of course a vehicle that sits for too long has it's own set of concerns.

Are their any opinions on what I should be looking for? Superficially it is flawless.
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by super7pilot View Post
As a newbie to RV'ing it has been a bit daunting trying to sort out what one should be on the lookout for when looking at a used class A.

The very first question would be thus: I have found a very clean older Monaco signature. It has been owned by one family. the father gave it to his daughter upon her wedding as a gift. He just didn't use it. It has spent it's whole life inside a garage. The daughter just recently traded it for a smaller unit as she felt intimidated by it's size.

The coach has a mere 16,500 miles. One slide, Cummins 525HP, Allison 4000 6speed, Aqua hot system, Auto Hyd leveling. Onan 12.5 KW QD. Tag axle. a proper MH four door fridge. This coach is incredibly clean and is priced in the mid 90k range. But of course a vehicle that sits for too long has it's own set of concerns.

Are their any opinions on what I should be looking for? Superficially it is flawless.

You say "older" but that is a relative term. What model year? I'm guessing 2000 or earlier. Those years had the Cummins ISM which was rated at 500 hp. The first year the 525 ISX was offered was '03, but by '03 there weren't any single slide floorplans.

Lots of folks will tell you that an older coach will very low Milage is a risk but I'm of the opinion that for the right price & a truly complete maintenance cycle can overcome that. These Signatures are spectacular coaches, my wife & I have lived in one for 8 years now.


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Old 09-07-2015, 05:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by super7pilot View Post
As a newbie to RV'ing it has been a bit daunting trying to sort out what one should be on the lookout for when looking at a used class A.

The very first question would be thus: I have found a very clean older Monaco signature. It has been owned by one family. the father gave it to his daughter upon her wedding as a gift. He just didn't use it. It has spent it's whole life inside a garage. The daughter just recently traded it for a smaller unit as she felt intimidated by it's size.

The coach has a mere 16,500 miles. One slide, Cummins 525HP, Allison 4000 6speed, Aqua hot system, Auto Hyd leveling. Onan 12.5 KW QD. Tag axle. a proper MH four door fridge. This coach is incredibly clean and is priced in the mid 90k range. But of course a vehicle that sits for too long has it's own set of concerns.

Are their any opinions on what I should be looking for? Superficially it is flawless.
Year?
Does it start?
Does it move on it's own?
Generator start?
genny produce elec?
ACs work?
Fridge work?
And I'll mention tires because sure enough someone will say run out and change them right now and they may be right.
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:49 PM   #4
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Sorry. Should have mentioned the year and such:
1999
it does start. No long crank time to fire up either.
The gen set also fires up and registers on the internal distro panel.
The AC was cold. It was about 80-85F outside.
I haven't driven it yet.
Didn't check out the fridge.

I was of course concerned about the stuff under the deck that can be an issue from sitting. Engine seals and things like that. When I take it for a drive I will try to park it on a "clean" spot and come back after a bit to check for drips.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:02 PM   #5
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Sorry. Should have mentioned the year and such:
1999
it does start. No long crank time to fire up either.
The gen set also fires up and registers on the internal distro panel.
The AC was cold. It was about 80-85F outside.
I haven't driven it yet.
Didn't check out the fridge.

I was of course concerned about the stuff under the deck that can be an issue from sitting. Engine seals and things like that. When I take it for a drive I will try to park it on a "clean" spot and come back after a bit to check for drips.
I would say the price is a little higher than I would want to pay but within the NADA recommendations. I would like to pay between 70-80K. Knowing the exact model or length would determine a little closer to what NADA says it's worth. They are not the end all beat all price guide though. It sounds like it is probably a good buy. As long as you are happy with it. I really would check the date codes on the tires. More than likely they are old. Most of us believe that RVs should get a new set of tires every 7 years regardless of tread depth. It will cost you upwards of 4k or so for new tires so maybe use that as a negotiation tool. There will be lots of advice on what to do to bring it up to snuff if you buy it. Plan on spending some money to get all fluids and such up to date. Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:07 PM   #6
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Not to be a downer here but just my ideas. I just bought a 2004 executive 2 slide 500 cummins 31000 miles for 96500. It is really nice inside but!
Needed All fluids and filters changes
new tires
Aqua hot serviced
Then their are the gremlins of bad grounds check engine light with no codes a slide that sometimes will no go out or come back in. Unless everything is up to date and works perfect after 300 miles I think the price is fairly excessive. Have you ever driven a large coach before as they are quite intimidating if you never have?

Good luck and keep asking questions.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:36 PM   #7
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Sounds like a great find!! I've purchased several used coaches, some 7-8 years old. I would set aside $15,000 after purchase for new tires, batteries, Norcold replacement, all required maintenance, all repairs, upgrades to video system, all within the first year. If you have some of the money left over, take the DW and enjoy a nice vacation. Been there, done that, I speak from experience. Forewarned you will enjoy the experience much more!
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:31 PM   #8
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I agree that the price is high. I will be taking an experienced rv'er (former Beaver owner) along to look at it.

I don't need to be in a hurry as the wife will not retire for 18-24 months. But it is tempting as the coach is only an hours drive from us and it is so easy to deal with a nearby seller. Walla Walla is pretty much in the middle of no where.

What's so strange is that I have owned three 18 wheelers and drove them 1.5 million miles and had one turbo failure (Mack engine) that cost about 2K to replace and routine maint wasn't all that bad. These engines and transmissions are made to last.

Yet to peruse this site. One would come to the conclusion that there isn't any coach builder that can screw two aluminum panels together much less build a full coach. Is it really that bad? Or is it just the squeaky wheel syndrome.

I'm not worried about having 15 TV's and forty speakers installed. So that should cut that 15K mentioned earlier by quite a bit.

I have also thought about an even older Prevost without slides, as slides seem to be an issue no matter what they are installed in.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:25 PM   #9
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I would say the price is a little higher than I would want to pay but within the NADA recommendations. I would like to pay between 70-80K. Knowing the exact model or length would determine a little closer to what NADA says it's worth. They are not the end all beat all price guide though. It sounds like it is probably a good buy. As long as you are happy with it. I really would check the date codes on the tires. More than likely they are old. Most of us believe that RVs should get a new set of tires every 7 years regardless of tread depth. It will cost you upwards of 4k or so for new tires so maybe use that as a negotiation tool. There will be lots of advice on what to do to bring it up to snuff if you buy it. Plan on spending some money to get all fluids and such up to date. Good luck.
It's the signature classic single slide 45'

Roman sand Ralph Lauren color package inside and out.

1999 Monaco Signature 45, Pasco WA - - RVtrader.com
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:26 PM   #10
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I'm guessing about 95+% of us have no issues with PowerGear slides.

Shwintek on the other hand.....
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:39 PM   #11
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Some people like to change tires at seven years, not even the tire manufacturers state that so it's more of an internet legend than anything else. What they do state is that as tires age they do tend to have more troubles and should inspected yearly starting at five years old and definitely be changed at 10 years of age.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:45 PM   #12
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What's so strange is that I have owned three 18 wheelers and drove them 1.5 million miles and had one turbo failure (Mack engine) that cost about 2K to replace and routine maint wasn't all that bad. These engines and transmissions are made to last.
I wish that was true of the 2007 ISX engines! 45,000 miles and two top end rebuilds, two DPF's and three turbos.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:43 PM   #13
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It's the signature classic single slide 45'

Roman sand Ralph Lauren color package inside and out.

1999 Monaco Signature 45, Pasco WA - - RVtrader.com
Very nice, low retail around 85K, if in as great a shape as you say and you like it, go for it! But like I said, unless they have all records and everything (fluids, filters, ect...) is up to date, including tires, negotiate yourself some room to spend 15K or so getting it ready. And remember, all the negative posts you see on here are people having issues. For every one of them there is probably 1000 that are not having any problems sitting fat, dumb, drunk and happy around a camp fire enjoying themselves. Good luck and Happy Camping!
PS. Just looked at the website. This is being sold by a dealer. That means they probably low balled the previous owner and only paid 60K for it if that. I would offer 70 and let them get me up to 75-78. But again, its worth whatever you are willing to pay. And by the way, if a salesman's lips are moving...you guessed it, he is lying!
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:47 PM   #14
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We don't buy any vehicle nor a MH without having it checked out by an experienced RV mechanic. It can look great, drive nice but it's what you don't see that can cost you big $$$. There are too many good used MH out there so if it doesn't check out, move on. Are there complete maintenance records? Definitely tires as I have recently seen too many incidents reported on this site with blow outs. Don't risk it nor the safety of your family ... Get new tires. They will deteriorate just sitting.

FYI -- This site is generally for newbies, those in need of help and those that want to report problems or to sound off. As one member said, you just aren't going to see posts saying, "Had a great trip, refrigerator was cold, AC worked fine and the slides went in and out perfectly!"

Get a MH and hit the road and just have FUN!!
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