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Old 06-12-2012, 10:46 AM   #1
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Too much rig for our first RV?


My DW and I will be going out this morning to drive and possibly purchase our very first RV. We hope to be fulltiming in 2-3 years. Also, my wife has some medical conditions which make it mandatory that we find an RV that is as smooth traveling as possible. We have decided on a Class A.

We are currently looking at a 2004 Monaco Dynasty, 42' with a king sized bed (one of our must-haves) The front passenger chair is a "buddy chair" which I had never seen before (1 1/2 normal width) but will be perfect for her.

I had never envisioned getting something this big or nice but it seems a good fit for us. The tag axle increased the maintenance costs but is probably worth it for the extra stability and carrying capacity. Any thoughts?

We are very happy to be new members of this forum and look forward to many interesting exchanges as we climb aboard the learning curve.

Darrell, Cindi and Snickers (the dog)

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Old 06-12-2012, 11:05 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum it's a great place to ask all the questions that you might have, about the Rv it's never to much its all about what makes you happy and what fits your needs and what you can afford. Joe

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Old 06-12-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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Buy your first one last. Our first and only vehicle rv was our 38' MH. We are in our 11tth year with the rig and still enjoying it.

You will learn to handle your 42' very quickly. It is a quality rig in my opinion.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
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Nothing wrong with the 42' choice. If it fits your needs then that's the one you choose. Actually I envy you. You'll be comfortable with it in no time at all. I actually wish we could move up just a bit in size but what we have is what we'll have and we make it work for us. Enjoy the coach and hope it serves well for your wifes needs as well. Have a great time.
Steve & Sally / HiTee & Hudson Our Little Poms / Heidi & Houston Forever in our Hearts
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22 / 05 PT Vert
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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You'll be fine. You'll have what you want with (hopefully) no regrets.

If you have never driven anything that big before, get yourself into a parking lot on a Sunday after church or a place that is closed on Sunday and practice, practice, practice. If you wife is ambulatory, let her be your ground guide and she can practice also in directing you. Especially when backing up. Use some orange cones that you can crush if you make a mistake.

Happy trails to both of you.

p.d., this forum is the place to ask your questions. There is a lot of good information if you just ask the question. Always watch the tail swing of the MH, and know what your turning radius is (not just the number, but a mind set) and once more practice, practice, practice. You'll be a "pro" in no time.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:32 AM   #6
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Hi darrello4,
Welcome to iRV2. The coach you have chosen is not too much for your first coach. My first coach was in 1978, a 26' Winnebago Brave. That may not seem like much, but at the time the largest auto I had ever driven was my Corvette! Make sure the coach fits your needs and you will be happy. Because you are buying pre-owned, consider purchasing a service contract. There are different companies, terms/conditions and pricing. I share your excitement for the adventure you are about to begin. Many happy miles, sights and sounds are waiting for you.
2005 Newmar KSDP 3910 + GMC ENVOY XUV 37K lbs Moving Down The Road
The Avatar Is Many Times Around The USA
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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Congrats on the potential new toy. besure and check the drivers license requirement for your home state. Some will require a license above the regulara auto class and some do not. Soem require a special endorsement for air brakes.

You can also find some drivers courses for the larger rigs to help you get settled in faster.

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Old 06-12-2012, 11:43 AM   #8
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I am assuming your rig will have air brakes. In our jurisdiction you need an air brake endorsement on your driver's license to drive such. I took a 1 day course-best thing I ever did. They taught us a lot about air brakes, setup, troubleshooting, how to drive them safely on hills etc. As well to do in cab diagnostics about the current state of your air system. Best day I've spent learning my RV.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by POPPASMURF View Post
I am assuming your rig will have air brakes. In our jurisdiction you need an air brake endorsement on your driver's license to drive such. I took a 1 day course-best thing I ever did. They taught us a lot about air brakes, setup, troubleshooting, how to drive them safely on hills etc. As well to do in cab diagnostics about the current state of your air system. Best day I've spent learning my RV.
That sounds very valuable PoppaSmurf - where should I look to find such a class? My understanding is that no special licensing is required for RV's in my state (OH) so I doubt there are any RV specific classes around.
Ron & Glenda (The Good Witch!)
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:57 PM   #10
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My first and present one is a 40 ft DP. IM GLAD WE STARTED OFF BIG.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #11
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I'm new to this too. Someone gave me several sites to look at and one of those is the following, it has several video tutorials that make a lot of sense. By the way (BTW---I've just learned what that means ) I have just ordered my first MH and it is a 44' Entegra and I too am somewhat intimidated by the thought of that and a toad, but hey, with the wife telling me what to do I think I'll make it! Good luck and take a look at the following link:

RV Driver Confidence Course: Part 1 - Better RVing

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Old 06-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #12
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You are making a very good decision in buying the Dynasty 42. I have the same coach (05) and was concerned about the size when I bought it. So glad I did. Handling is great even in wind and rain. The tag axle raises and you can get in and out of tight spots very easily. Never had any problems in state parks so far. Fuel mileage is very good considering what you are pushing down the highway. King bed is great and workmanship in the mid 2000's was excellent in my opinion for a production line coach. It will take you just a short time to be comfortable in driving it, just don't let anyone get you in a hurry for any reason. Keep a short "mandatory" check list to get rolling. Will be happy to pm you mine if you wish. The folks on this and over on the Monaco Owners on this site are more than willing to get you over the rough spots. Welcome and enjoy.
2008 Mobile Suites RE3/2004 F450 Chassis Cab
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:00 PM   #13
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I think that if you believe this is your first and last rig...ya done good! It looks like a great package.

When we started our search we thought that maybe we would get something to "test the waters" but after we found our rig, we jumped in with a big splash and weights tied to our ankles. LOL

It can all be overwhelming at first so take your time. Get familiar with how the rig drives and what it will be like to live in it. We hand ZERO camping experience. Tomorrow is our 2 month anniversary for purchase and we are just starting to get a good handle on lots of little and big issues. In fact I just made reservations for our first ROAD TRIP in July! OH YA!

The first month was tense. Lots of CASH spent on getting it ready. You can't believe how many "perfect" garbage cans my wife tested out. LOL Loading it with tools, supplies and other things so you don't have to haul them to and from home seemed to never end. Finally last week we got 6 new tires that we knew we would need.

I'm not trying to scare you because I'm excited as heck about how much we have learned. I'm just letting you know that (my favorite phrase), "you don't know what you don't know." Enjoy the journey of learning your rig and keep a good sense of humor...your gonna need it at times. My rig is more complex than the airplanes I have been part owner in.

So at some point you will be ready to make your first road trip. I just went crazy last Sunday as I watched 5 rigs and toads motoring together. Yes, I had just spent the weekend in our RV at our home base CG but no road trip yet. I was freaking envious. Got home and DW and I made plans for our first trip. But, there is no doubt that the last 2 months of learning and working the kinks out will make our first trip much more pleasurable.

So, CONGRATS on the new rig. Learn it, enjoy it and when you are ready...HIT THE ROAD! Good luck!
Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Gardian Wings earned are GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 DSDP 4320, Spartan MM IFS, 2013 CR-V, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1, Samsung 197R Refer.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:05 PM   #14
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Hi and welcome to the forum! Congrats on the upcoming purchase and changes in your lifestyle. If you're anything like us, you won't regret a minute of it.

IMHO, you've gotten wonderful advice so far and every bit of it is spot on.

I'm glad there are others like us who decided to "start big". We had never owned an RV of any type when we purchased our new 40DP and decided to go full time. It seemed crazy and the coach seemed so big but I took my time, studied this forum, read everything I could get my hands on, and although after 5 years, 34 states, and 40,000 miles there two or three "dings"... they have all been self inflicted while parked.

I had never driven anything larger than my El Camino towing a ski boat but adapted to the big rig very quickly.

I'll also second the suggestion that you at least consider purchasing a service contract/extended warranty. IMO, the decision to purchase these depends on one's personality and how willing they are to accept risk. I don't look at them as an "investment" I expect to come out ahead on but rather insurance against being faced with a very large repair bill. For us, being so new to everything, the peace of mind was well worth the cost.

Best of luck and keep us posted on what you decide.


Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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