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Old 06-03-2011, 03:58 PM   #1
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Thoughts on a 2001 Itasca Horizon 36CD vs. a 2002 Monaco Knight 36PBD?

Hey everybody - first post! After camping it in a tent all of my life, I've finally decided to pull the trigger on getting a RV... I've done a ton of research and have come to the conclusion that a used diesel pusher makes the most sense for me based on what I'll do with it. That all being said, I think I've narrowed it down to two models:

- A 2001 Itasca Horizon 36CD with a 330HP Caterpillar 7.2L (860TQ) and a Allison 6-speed

- A 2002 Monaco Knight 36PBD with a 315HP Cummins 8.3L (950TQ) and a Allison 6-speed

I know Monaco had a serious problem with trailing arms on the 4-bag chassis during the years I'm looking at... That being said, this particular coach already has the heavy duty Source Engineering trailing arms as well as the Source Engineering ride enhancement kit. I also know Monaco shut its doors and is under new ownership now. My concern is what kind of support (if any) could I get from "the new Monaco" on an older coach like this? There are pros and cons in my book to each of the floorplans, but I guess my main concern is would I be stuck with an orphan if I went with the Monaco? The Itasca is slightly down on power compared to the Monaco (although hardly underpowered), but I'm guessing I'd get better support from them on a used coach then I would with the Monaco.

For what it's worth, I live in the midwest / great lakes, but I'm also a big car guy and plan to tow a Corvette on a flatbed trailer behind the rig (right around 5,000 lbs) - hence me looking at DP's for the torque. I arrived at the 36' length because it seems to be the shortest overall length where I can still get the more stable 228" chassis.

Any feedback on these two coaches would be greatly appreciated
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:16 PM   #2
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We have a 2000 Horizon and are very happy with it. It has over 120K miles (Cat 300 hp), runs like a dream, has no problem towing the Grand Cherokee (4 down). The GC probably doesn't weigh as much as your proposed combo, but we've never had any problems in the mountains, just gear down to 2K rpm to keep everything cool and climb to the top.

I don't know where the Knight falls in the hierarchy of Monaco coaches, but the Horizon/Vectra were the top of the line in that era and have a lot of options as standard equipment. Really the only thing we added to our coach was a central vacuum system, everything else we wanted/needed was already installed.

Winnebago/Itasca are still in business, Freightliner still makes the XC chassis.

The skylight over the shower started leaking this winter in Florida, the local dealer had one in stock, took about 30 minutes to R & R. Might not have the same availability of some parts on the Knight.

Our basement air/heat pump keeps us comfortable, but we try not to be too far south in really hot weather. We like it because it's much quieter than most rooftop units we've been in.

Can you tell that I'm satisfied with our Horizon?
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I'll ditto most of what Denny said. The Horizon was the top of the Itasca line then and I believe the Knight was the entry level for Monaco so I would expect to see a lot of differences in fit and finish. We have been very happy with our Itasca Ellipse and the support from Winnie.

I have no direct experience with how Monaco support is these days on older units so I'll leave that to others to comment on. Sounds like you're really doing your homework and it will pay off in the long run.

Best of luck and let us know what you decide.

Rick
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:05 AM   #4
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Winnebago has been excellent customer support and getting parts if needed is a snap. I don't know anything about Monaco.
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the replies so far! What everybody has been saying about long term service has me leaning more and more towards the Horizon. I guess that's part of why the Horizon has a $10k higher wholesale value despite being a year older (although it did have a higher original MSRP according to NADA).

As much as I prefer the appearance and powertrain of the Monaco, the Horizon isn't exactly lacking in either department - and I prefer the Horizon floorplan for the most part. I'll be going up to look at the Horizon tomorrow... I'm very excited to see it in person!
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtb75 View Post
As much as I prefer the appearance and powertrain of the Monaco, the Horizon isn't exactly lacking in either department - and I prefer the Horizon floorplan for the most part. I'll be going up to look at the Horizon tomorrow... I'm very excited to see it in person!
I know what you mean about the appearance. Monaco has always made a very stylish looking coach IMO. Also IMO, Winnie hasn't been very concerned with making their coaches look sleek until this year with the new lines on the Ellipse... and I believe Tour. Very nice looking coaches and readily availble for >$300K

Best of luck with your choice.

Rick
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