OK. This brings us to our current coach, not a vintage but getting there.
My wife and I have been blessed with the ability and desire to work hard over our almost 25 years of marriage. Although we don't make great money by today's standards we do ok and I have always wrenched on the side for extra money so we could enjoy some toys along the way. The only reason I mention this is because for our age we catch a lot of crap about our toys from family, neighbors and co-workers who seem to think we have endless piles of money. We do NOT, we simply save, work hard and play just as hard.
We had used our previous RV's to haul our race car, sand toys and snowmobiles around, however, by the mid-2000's we had also developed a love of merely traveling around and seeing the country. My wife and I decided that we wanted to upgrade coaches again in 2006. We put together a "must have list" and a "would like to have list" and called my local dealer to assist in finding us our dream coach. Items that were on our "must have list" were; semi-monocoque chassis, 400hp (minimum), 40' (not 38' and not 42'+), tag axle, Aqua-Hot, 10kw generator, triple roof A/C units and it still had to be fully functional/usable with the slides retracted. The last one was mainly due to the fact that I didn't want to have to put the slides out when loading in the driveway due to space limitations and also because we used our coaches to haul our snowmobiles up on the mountain and I figured rather than mess with snow on the slide toppers as well as more cubic feet to heat when the temperatures were in the single digits it would simply be better to not deploy the slides when sledding in cold and snow conditions.
We looked for 9+ months and was about to either throw in the towel and keep the Beaver or we would have to step to a 42'. A 42' would hang slightly over our sidewalk when parked in the driveway which wasn't the end of the world, I just didn't want that and I also knew we were looking to step up from our 24' enclosed trailer to a new 26' so a 40' was ideal.
I was also having next to an impossible time finding a 40' with triple roof A/C units and the larger genset. Most, if not all, 40' coaches have dual roof A/C units and the 7500 watt genset. My wife didn't see the big deal but she also knew that I am quite particular and must have had a reason for my/our needs.
One day in mid-January 2007 I got a call from my dealer that said he had shot me an email with a build sheet for a 2003 coach that fit my description. I told him that 2003 was much newer than the 1998-1999 that we had discussed and had budgeted for. He replied he could get us into this for the same money we had discussed for a late 90's. I didn't see how that was possible but after getting home that evening and viewing the build sheet I started to get excited.
The coach showed up early February on a Friday morning and I got the call that it was here. My wife and I ran at lunch to look at it and it was filthy from the drive in. Overall, we liked what we saw but I wanted to see it cleaned up and also to see how it towed our trailer over a nearby mountain pass. It was also somewhat neglected as far as detailing went and the 3M mask on the front was hideous as it was yellowed and peeling severely. My wife started thinking that it was a mistake due to the amount of work it would require, however, I could see the hidden beauty that lurked just under that neglected surface and after some much needed maintenance and work. I quickly began to see why the price was what it was.
On Saturday morning we picked up the coach, went home and hooked up to our loaded 24' enclosed trailer and commenced our "test drive". One thing that my wife and I both commented on was how nice and warm and even the heat was distributed while traveling up and over the mountain pass in 10 degree ambient temperature. I fell in love with the solid foundation of the coach and the wife liked the floorplan, although she really liked the side aisle and stand alone bathroom in our Beaver vs. the pass through bath room/shower area of the Monaco. She absolutely fell in love with the fact that it was the only coach that we looked at so far that had a sink in the head as well as a sink in the rear bedroom. That was a big plus for her. I was not happy with the washer/dryer to be honest because I simply thought that is one more thing to maintain as well as winterize. She really didn't think anything of it, at least not until our first week long trip. Now that is one of her favorite features.
After our test drive we returned to the dealership and made an offer. After about 10-minutes of negotiating we were the proud new owners of a 2003 Monaco Dynasty Baroness 40' coach with 55k miles on the odometer.
Luckily the weather in February that year was mild so I immediately commenced getting the coach up to our standards mechanically. I ended up having to rebuild the alternator after realizing that there was a charging issue and the batteries were crap. I also changed all fluids/filters and greased the drivetrain/suspension components. After a couple of weeks of mechanical work I started to work on the cosmetics. First I installed some new tires on the steer axle and moved the steer to the tag. While the wheels were off I polished the aluminum wheels which were in very poor shape, I doubt they had been polished in the 55k miles that were on the coach.
I then removed the drive wheels/tires for inspection as well as to polish the wheels. March turned out to be good weather as well so I spend a week heating and peeling that damn 3M film off of the front in peices. The paint was also severely chipped under the film. I sanded the front cap down from a few inches above the bottom of the windshield and got the paint codes so I could have some paint mixed. I painted and clearcoated the front cap as well as repaired and painted/clearcoated the three front compartment doors on the curbside which had about a 5' scratch/crease down them. After painting was complete I then began going around the entire coach with a buffer, section by section, until it was completely detailed and started to look like something I wanted sitting in the driveway.
By late March after almost two full months of work she was ready for travel. We took a quick weekend trip to test everything out before a week long trip to the south end of the Grand Canyon that we had planned from the previous winter.
Here is a picture from our mayden trip. Paint and wheels all polished up and flat-towing our 1996 Grand Cherokee.
Parked in front of our house in 2008 after picking up our new 26' Haulmark Edge race trailer. Within the first 15-minutes of being home with the new trailer I had the heat gun out and all of the stickers, labels and emblems were removed from the trailer.
On our first trip out in March 2011 the slide topper over the bedroom slide come apart. The stitching failed which is quite common on these but more importantly I really didn't like the looks of the exposed roll (you can see for reference the original awnings in the two previous pictures). I had seen the new toppers out by Carefree on the new coaches that had the anti-billowing cover over them and the "bronze" colored slide toppers and bedroom window awning did nothing for me. I wanted to upgrade to the new style and go with black slide toppers and window awnings. Also, another pet peeve of mine was the streetside forward slide topper was also a combined window awning that pulled out with the slide, then you unlatch it and pull it out farther for the window awning. I absolutely hated that design so I ordered a seperate window awning for the window over the dinette and couch on the streetside.
Here is the new slide topper with separate window awning for the front streetside slide.
Curbside slide topper and bedroom window awning.
Bedroom window awning.
Personally, I think the enclosed black awnings/toppers look much better than the open material bronze toppers.
Coach and Jeep hooked up in from of our home after returning from a weekend getaway last fall.
Coach and trailer parked in Moab last fall with the Jeep.
I don't have any shots of the interior but I will have to get some. All in all my wife and I love our Dynasty and although it turned over 95k miles on her on the last trip we took in October of last year, we look forward to putting many more miles on her. I hope she is just getting broken in and has a lot more life and miles left to give.
Here is also a link to a thread I did last fall when I performed the fall service on the coach before putting her away for the winter.
Dynasty Service Performed