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Old 08-06-2016, 12:05 AM   #1
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Our first Motorhome!

Hello,
I am proud to announce to be a new owner of a MH! It is a 2004 Monaco Diplomat DP. We bought it from a wonderful couple in TX (who can't travel anymore due to health). Lee and Virginia kept their motorhome in a perfect shape, it literally looks like new! So we were very lucky to find them (and we named our MH - after the owner - "Virginia".
We went from Nashville TN where we live all the way to TX, where we were about to buy a used 2014 Berkshire BH390 in the MHSRV dealer, only to find out that that unit was simply devastated inside! So, of course they were trying to sell one of the new ones to us! No, thank you. We are very glad we found this unit, even if it's 2004, it's still in an amazing shape.
I am a musician. My wife, my 6yo daughter and I will travel around US to perform our show in Sep-Oct'2016 and Jan-March'2017.
I have a question:
We will be traveling in a very cold weather in January, and my question is: should I take the MH or rather take my truck (Toyota Sequoia) and stay in hotels for the month of January?
Our tour includes:
start in Jan 8: Minot ND; Anoka MN; Olney IL; Munster IN; Waukegan IL; Bryan OH; Seaford DE, Waynesboro VA; Hagerstown MD; Harwood MD; Washington SC; Lake City SC; & Jan 29 Lake City FL;
Thank you for your advise.
Safe travels,
Kuba
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:15 AM   #2
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If you are going to travel on snowy,icy roads I would winterize it and take car.
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:47 AM   #3
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I would take the truck. I would not drive on icy and snowy roads in the RV. Also, it costs a lot of money to heat the RV that time of year. You would need to make sure you found a campground that was even open that time of year and had propane delivery if you were going to stay very long. Yes, you can stay in the RV when it is very cold but it takes a lot of preparation. Given what you will be doing, a hotel is a much better choice,.
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:51 AM   #4
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Kuba, While I cannot speak to the winter use of rv, I would like to say Welcome to IRV2 and enjoy your new motorhome!
Mae
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:59 AM   #5
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I agree with the comments so far. I would also add that salt is a big enemy to RV's. We looked at a coach in Rhode Island, near the ocean. They would travel to FL for the winter but not leave until November. Roads in the Northeast are covered with salt and brine. In FL the salt air added to their woes. They are now TRYING to sell a 2007 unit that is about 36 ft long with bunks, ideal for a young family, but the storage compartments are rusted beyond repair.

Take the truck.
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:15 AM   #6
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I see MN and ND are on your list. Having lived in Northern MN for 10 yrs I can tell you that you do not want to try and live in a RV in January in MN or ND. All the above is very good advice. There are no campgrounds open then and boondocking will be impossible. I could go on and on with the problems, but best to not even think about doing it. Take the truck.
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:18 AM   #7
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Old 08-06-2016, 07:35 AM   #8
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I would drive our MH through MN & ND in Jan, but no way would I camp there in the winter. You would be looking at the very high propane bill, uncomfortably cold nights and the real possibility of frozen or burst water pipes. Then you have to walk through snow at -10 to -20* to fill with water, (most RV campgrounds turn the water off in Nov), hook up power and dump the black and grey tanks. Then there's the damage that salty roads can do to the underside of a MH. You're talking about a trip to hell and back. Wow, I'm starting to get depressed with all of the potential problems you would have. Either take your truck or reschedule your tour in AZ and CA.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:15 AM   #9
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Driving in snow is not that bad, use common sense and you will be fine. Plenty of weight over the drive wheels. Lived in Alaska for 8 years. Drove in snow quite often.

Ice is a different story, avoid it at all costs.

The bigger issue in the winter is camping. Hard to keep the coach warm enough, you must protect water lines from freezing, never leave sewer line out, dump, drain and store it away between uses. Use wet bay heater to keep tanks and pump from freezing. Best to run off FW tank. If you do connect to city water use heat tape on the hose from coach to city water spigot.

Resist the urge to put electric space heaters in every room, you will overload the electrical system.

Propane bill will be high from running the furnace.

If you can avoid areas that will drop below the 30s you won't have to worry about most of this. But overnighting in the 20s and teens and you will have to take all the precautions to avoid frozen and busted plumping. Block heater will be needed to warm the engine prior to starting.

It can be done but takes a bit of work.

As others mentioned the use of road salt is a big issue for your coach. Need to keep it washed off especially the underside as often as possible.

EDIT: Forgot to mention tire chains, some states mandate them. Check the states where you will be driving. You may not need to put them on but you must have them with you.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:20 AM   #10
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Nope

Been there and done that. Not at all recommend. Tested my coach to -5 degrees with no issues, but, that was after extensive insulation modifications to prevent freezing the plumbing and other insulation improvements. Still required lots of propane and electric heat, and, that was staying parked the entire time. Driving in the kind of temps places like Minot has in winter would only compound plumbing freeze-up issues, not to mention potentially freezing the holding and water tanks.

Having lived in Alaska since 1978, one thing you learn when living with snow covered and icy roads is, tires are everything! The typical motorhome comes with summer highway tires. Wholly unsuited for winter roads, especially ice. Unless, you are ready to spend four or five thousand dollars on a second set of tires for winter driving. Even though my coach has an aggressive tread on the rear tires suitable for winter driving and all six are siped, once the snow flies, it stays parked until spring. Not taking any chances. Happy to leave the big rig winter driving to the professionals. I will sick with my 4x4 pick-up fitted with studded snow tires for the winter.
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuba View Post
Hello,
I am proud to announce to be a new owner of a MH! It is a 2004 Monaco Diplomat DP. We bought it from a wonderful couple in TX (who can't travel anymore due to health). Lee and Virginia kept their motorhome in a perfect shape, it literally looks like new! So we were very lucky to find them (and we named our MH - after the owner - "Virginia".
We went from Nashville TN where we live all the way to TX, where we were about to buy a used 2014 Berkshire BH390 in the MHSRV dealer, only to find out that that unit was simply devastated inside! So, of course they were trying to sell one of the new ones to us! No, thank you. We are very glad we found this unit, even if it's 2004, it's still in an amazing shape.
I am a musician. My wife, my 6yo daughter and I will travel around US to perform our show in Sep-Oct'2016 and Jan-March'2017.
I have a question:
We will be traveling in a very cold weather in January, and my question is: should I take the MH or rather take my truck (Toyota Sequoia) and stay in hotels for the month of January?
Our tour includes:
start in Jan 8: Minot ND; Anoka MN; Olney IL; Munster IN; Waukegan IL; Bryan OH; Seaford DE, Waynesboro VA; Hagerstown MD; Harwood MD; Washington SC; Lake City SC; & Jan 29 Lake City FL;
Thank you for your advise.
Safe travels,
Kuba
Kuba; congrats on the Diplomat, sounds like you got a real clean Rig. We had the sister to that, A Holiday Rambler Endeavor 2004, and I will tell you it was an outstanding rig! We just traded it this year and never had any trouble with it. Although we used it during real cold weather, I wouldn't recommend it. It is a lot of work to substain for any length of time. Regards
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:28 PM   #12
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Congrats, have many safe and happy travels, but I would stay out of the snow with it. Good Luck.
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:46 PM   #13
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Congratulation on the new purchase.

I sold my previous MH to a Canadian that took it through ND. in Dec when the Temps were 38 below. He did $7,000 in damage when the hydraulic fluid froze burning up the pump and other items. I wouldn't chance it.
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:53 AM   #14
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Thank you everyone for your comments.
I expected that it wasn't good idea to drive the mh in such cold conditions. I decided to take my truck and stay in hotels thru January.
All the best!!
Kuba
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