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Old 04-19-2011, 11:38 PM   #1
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Oh great ones - give a first time class-a buyer your thoughts!

Hi guys.... after some research/lurking on RV forums, this is the forum I've decided to join....

My wife and I are looking at the purchase of a used class-a in the next month or so.... we travel to race tracks about 20 months a year to ride motorcycles, and camping in the trailer or the back of our GMC Yukon is getting old....

I will be pulling an 8x20' Haulmark trailer, filled with a motorcycle and a bunch of tools and gear... although a 5000# tow would probably do it, I'm leaning towards a 10000# tow capacity to be safe.

I am VERY handy at fixing things... electrical, plumbing, mechanical... you name it.... so a slightly older coach does not deter me... I know there will be things to fix... and this does not bother me. In addition, my wife and I do not want to finance the purchase, so this is keeping our purchase price to a max of about $60k, and as she likes to remind me, more realistically under $50k.

So, three coaches I've been looking long and hard at:

1) 1993-1995ish Monaco Crown Royale.

2) 2000-ish Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser

3) 2001-ish Alfa See Ya

In short....

I know the Alfa would be pushing the budget... but I LOVE the look of them... so does the wife... so I figure if the right one comes along at the right price, that could work. I am aware of the fiberglass delam "cancer" issues... and them being out of business.... I'm thinking a coach of this vintage would either show the cancer quite plainly or be fine.... but I may be naive.

Also love the look of the Scenic Cruiser in the early 2000's vintage.

But the Monaco Crown Royale... wow. Even though it's a slightly "older" look... slightly "square"... man... when you step on the thing you really feel the solidness of the build... even though it's an 18 year old coach.

So, in short.... what would you buy? I was scared at the thought of the Crown Royale, mostly because of the age... but I've seen a couple that look to be well cared for.... and like I say... you can really tell the difference in build quality.....

Thoughts????

best,
trev
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:23 AM   #2
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Older Units

I think that if you look them over real close, you can't go wrong. I do believe that an older unit with low miles is not as good as an older unit with more miles. They just need to be driven. Last Nov, I bought a 1992 Airstream Legacy. It had some roof leak problems tha I corrected, and it drives like a dream 114,000 miles 454 with a banks system.. 10 mpg!!!! Just my opinion..
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:49 AM   #3
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Buying a older Coach has it's own special considerations.

There are some really good buys out there right now. The list you gave is a pickum list, any of those are good brands, another brand to look at is Tiffin, the company is healthy and never shut down the production line during the worst of times.

Here is a link to a document I wrote for a guy buying a older National Tradewinds. Some of the stuff in there is Tradewinds specific but there is enough generic info to be of use in you’re quest.

http://cid-ae67fff392766057.office.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/Tradewinds%20Docs/Buying%20A%2010%20Year%20Old%20RV.pdf

We have had good luck with our older coach and although it's required some work, most of it has been choose to do not have to do.

Good Luck

Dick
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:05 AM   #4
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Twowhelltrev

I believe that you have the right attitude about what you are getting into and you appear to have the knowledge required to fix issues that arise. We purchased a 24 year old coach because we could pay cash and not have a payment. That limited us to age, size, and condition. We have had experience with making repairs on a TT and the with the MH my DW has experience with engines and such. We inspected our unit and found it to be in good condition and sound in all the right areas. We didn't some minor repairs (about $400 into it) the only major issue came up were the brake hoses this week $600 which we couldn't do. So make sure the MH you choose has the layout you need and that you will enjoy it to the max.

Happy Travels
Arnold
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:19 AM   #5
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Hi Trev and

I agree that you seem to have the right attitude going in to this thing and anyone who can skim their knee along the asphalt at high speed while hanging off of a road racer should be just fine taking on a "mature" motor home!

Best of luck

rick
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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My suggestion, buy an older top of the line MH. A 1995 Country Coach Concept for example. Also Beaver Marquis and Monaco Signature. That Monaco Crown Royale is a great coach and beautiful design.

Also, I don't think any production line MH has a 10,000# towing capacity. It may have a 10,000# hitch but doesn't mean you can tow that much. The towing limit is based on the GCWR of of the coach. If I remember correctly, the limit of almost every MH is about 6,000# and some even lower.

Jim E
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:22 PM   #7
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Jim makes a good point.

Many of the older coaches had limited towing capacity.

However, many newer coaches have 10K# towing capacity and some highline coaches have 15K# capacity.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:26 PM   #8
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Guys,

Thanks for the advice and the warm welcome.... very much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pairajays View Post
Also, I don't think any production line MH has a 10,000# towing capacity. It may have a 10,000# hitch but doesn't mean you can tow that much.
Really? I've seen a few coaches (the Crown Royale as an example) that list the GVWR and the GCWR with a 10,000# difference.... I assumed that meant a 10,000# tow capacity.

I'm assuming now that my previous assumption was incorrect? I should learn in my old age not to assume!

best,
t
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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not sure what your budget is.. but
around here the 2010 new ones are already dropped by 1/2 list price
several 285k coaches are sitting at 125 to 140k

i am sure its the same in your area, fuel climbing off the rails again will surely drive another low demand and cripple the rv industry like in 07 08.
but the wary looker can come out with a steal of a deal and a full warranty.

that being said i found my folks an 04 bounder with 24k miles last feb for a song, just needed new tires.

they are out there to be had
good luck and welcome to irv2
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
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If the Crown Royale is in good shape there's no doubt which one I would buy...The "Crown" was top of the line Monaco in it's day, and like you said, you could just feel the difference in the coaches. The "Crown" was/is a higher line model coach than the other two coaches you mentioned....
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:14 PM   #11
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As others have said, there are a LOT of nice coaches in the price range you are talking about... some of which have the big motors to make towing in the mountains a lot nicer.

Steve
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeltrev View Post
Guys,

Really? I've seen a few coaches (the Crown Royale as an example) that list the GVWR and the GCWR with a 10,000# difference.... I assumed that meant a 10,000# tow capacity.

I'm assuming now that my previous assumption was incorrect? I should learn in my old age not to assume!

best,
t
My understanding is the same as yours. My GVWR is 32000# and the CGVWR is 42000 and I've interpreted that to mean I have 10000# towing capacity. I'd sure like to know if that's incorrect.

Rick
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO View Post
My understanding is the same as yours. My GVWR is 32000# and the CGVWR is 42000 and I've interpreted that to mean I have 10000# towing capacity. I'd sure like to know if that's incorrect.

Rick
That is correct if your hitch is rated at 10,000#.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:33 PM   #14
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My 2 cents: I own a 20 year old coach and love it. It's paid for and looks so good a lot of people ask me if it's new. It's also paid for BUT, after you are sure the engine and trans is in good shape:
1- check the tires for wear and tire dates. If they are older than 6 years or cracking get a discount (around $2000 - $2,500)

2- Take it for a good ride. Down the local roads and on the interstate. Take it up to 70 mph and make sure it handles well. Front end work isn't cheap. If it "wanders" expect to spend $1,200 - $2,000 fixing it.

3- Ask for and review all maintenance records. There should be a pile of them. If not expect to obtain a pile of your own. I had to spend $983.00 on the brakes alone.

4- Expect to spend from $1,500 to $3,000 to update and fix things. (we all do) that old tube tv and cassette player doesn't cut it anymore and the little things you will need add up. Water regulator. surge unit, sewer hoses etc.

I thought I stole mine and then had to spend over $5,000 to get it right because it sat for over 9 years in storage.

Good luck!
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