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Old 03-24-2015, 02:15 PM   #1
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Newcomer's first motorhome

I'm about ready to buy , and am looking at a diesel pusher in the price range of about $60,000. Noticed a lot of Damons ,Alfa -"see ya, and Monacos in my range. Anyone have any thoughts on what is better or what to stay away from in the 2002-2005 range.

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Old 03-24-2015, 02:21 PM   #2
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Glad to have you here with us.

Monaco in those years was a nice coach. There are quite a few well made coaches in your price range. Newmar, Holiday Rambler, Entegra. I'm sure others will chime in on their favs too.

Take your time and look at a lot of different ones. It will help you decide which model and floor plan is best for you.

Best of luck with your search. Happy Trails!!!!

Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi, Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy. TST 507 TPMS
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:59 PM   #3
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We are very happy with our 2002 Monaco Windsor, which would not be much over the budget figure you mentioned.
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:00 PM   #4
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The 2002-2005 motorhomes are usually solid. However, Alpha has a problem with delaminating of the fiberglass panels (popping).

For Monaco and H/R (same manufacturer) stay away from any R4R chassis. There is a known problem with trailing arms and are known for questionable ride characteristics. This will include 2002-2004 Knights and Ambassador and 2002-2009 Cayman and Neptunes. Same with Simba of this age. Problem can be solved but in the $5-6K range.

Good luck. Great units out there to enjoy.
2005 Monaco Knight 40PLQ
2013 Ford Edge
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:35 PM   #5
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Good advice from xydial. Alfa's also had problems with cooling the interior due to poor circulation with basement a/c unit. Nationals are a good brand as well and will be in that price range. Sports Coach (Coachmen), Fleetwood Discovery or Expedition, and Tiffin Phaeton's may also be good choices.

Build quality makes a difference in price as does length, engine size and mileage. Many say that floorplan is the most important consideration as that will greatly impact your enjoyment

Regardless, try to get service history and assess the condition of the rig either yourself, if you are qualified or have a survey done. New tires alone can be $2000-$3000.

Good luck
Palm Springs, CA - 2005 National Tropi Cal 370LX on a Freightliner, Cat 350 power. Towing a Rinker R1 - Lake Havasu Bound!!
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:22 PM   #6
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We've had very, very good luck with a Fleetwood Revolution 40C. It's a 2002 we bought two years ago. Great floor plan, very solid coach.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:13 PM   #7
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Don't get a Damon avanti, bought one in December and quickly traded in for a 2015 Fleetwood excursion 35b. The Damon Avanti seemed to have one thing after another go wrong in only 2 months. The maxxforce 5 engine was nothing but issues. Especially the EGR cooler.

2015 Fleetwood Excursion 35b
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:47 PM   #8
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If you search this site you'll find plenty of Alfa threads with the issues and pros and cons. However, I'd say that if you can bump your budget at all you can get entirely out of the entry-level coaches and into a lot of very nice 10-15 year old coaches that were built to a much higher standard, and that's what I'd strongly recommend.

The Green Machine -- 2000 Mountain High Coachworks Summit (Spartan chassis / Cummins ISC)
...and F-Troop: Fearghus, Fiona, and Frankie (Cairn Terriers)
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:59 PM   #9
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Good luck with your choice.
John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L W24
08 14 Lincoln MKX AWD
See My RV Upgrades
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:06 PM   #10
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First Rig

Originally Posted by Gdgb23 View Post
Don't get a Damon avanti, bought one in December and quickly traded in for a 2015 Fleetwood excursion 35b. The Damon Avanti seemed to have one thing after another go wrong in only 2 months. The maxxforce 5 engine was nothing but issues. Especially the EGR cooler.

2015 Fleetwood Excursion 35b
Whichever has been given meticulous maintenance, never lived in, driven regularly and stored indoors. With older rigs, that's what really matters.

Our first rig was an '05 Excursion. A great bus, spectacular performer despite having nearly 100,000 miles when we traded it in. BTW, don't go down that road: a 100K rig can be a better value than every other 20K rig out there, but the market simply cannot comprehend that. Stick with the ordinary, don't stray from the pack in terms of mileage, horsepower, length, number of slides, etc.

(Today, driving home for seven hours from the beach, I saw Alfas all over the place. For something I thought was so rare, there seem to be lots of 'em out there!)
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Old 03-25-2015, 06:19 AM   #11
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Wish I could put your reply on every RVing forum.
We have a beautiful 2004 DP exactly as you describe with 80,000 miles. We are trying to sell it and everyone we have talked to is afraid of the miles.
Maybe your advice will open some eyes.

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Old 03-25-2015, 06:51 AM   #12
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When we were looking for our current coach I called several independent service folks about Alpha. Every one said we should continue looking and find something else.
2005 Newmar Kountry Star 3742
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:27 PM   #13
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I had a 2006 Damon Astoria pacific Edition that would fall around your price range. It was a very good coach, no major problems in the 8 years we owned it. The only reason I traded for the Ventana last fall was because we wanted something with more room.
Tricia & Dennis Lockhart
2010 Ventana 4333
Spartan MM w/Cummins 360 ISC
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:07 PM   #14
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I would not rule out Winnebagos top-of-the-line models. They are reliable, solid MH's, and Winnebago has a very good reputation.

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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