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Old 10-17-2014, 02:45 PM   #1
USMC1968's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: MACON, GA
Posts: 99
Want a newer motorhome...

would like your input... going to see one Monday, so fire away... I want to be objective... want a DP, like how they ride and drive..what do I watch out for... 2004-05... budget minded...

2004 National Tropi Cal T370, Cat Power
"SEMPER FI" Married to my best friend for 47 years
We are self employed dog groomers for 43 years
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:37 PM   #2
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Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 4,833
You should be able to find a nice coach in this year range.

Probably the most important thins is the floor plan. You'll have to decide if you want 2,3, or 4 slides. Prior to 2002 not many motorhomes had more 2 slides but most manufacturers went to the quad slide configuration over the next couple of years.

Other options that might sway your decision


Engine manufacturer & HP

Radiator configuration, side radiator is easier to maintain but usually costs more.

Towing capacity and carrying capacity.

Heat and air, Aqua Hot systems are nice but does cost more.

When inspecting look for delamination on sides, leaks on the roof/ceiling, soft spots on floors particularly around the slides. Try all the appliances, air conditioners, heaters etc. Check the tire code dates.

Good Luck

Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:59 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: MACON, GA
Posts: 99
Thanks... trying to read EVERYTHING i can... downloaded a check list and taking a few supplies... what an adventure
2004 National Tropi Cal T370, Cat Power
"SEMPER FI" Married to my best friend for 47 years
We are self employed dog groomers for 43 years
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:12 PM   #4
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Willow Lakes RV & Golf Resort, FL
Posts: 3,131
Use the google IRV2 search in the top banner. You'll find volumes of information. Use due diligence. Always use a qualified tech, preferably a certified RVIA tech for a survey of all systems. Look for maintenance records there extremely important. Have the oil analyzed without fail. Etc. etc. best of luck, the search can be a lot of fun.
Clay & Pebble.. Miss Butter our sweet Goldie (Jan. 2005-Jan. 2015) Sissy our Border Collie
2012 Providence 42 M. Spartan Chassis, 450 ISL
Ford Edge toad, RM All Terrane, TST TPMS, SMI Air Force One, RVM95....
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:57 PM   #5
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 75
Think about how you want to use the coach. Do you want to go just to warm climates? Or do you want to also use it in cold climates? If you are going to use it in cold climates you'll want a coach with an enclosed basement rather than the boxes that travel out on the slides.

We previously had a 2005 Excursion 39L and a 2008 35' Southwind.

Older units often have fewer power plugs, and will have older electronics (TV's, etc.)

If you get slides, check for air gaps when the slide is out. Not a huge deal if you're only using in warmer weather, but our 2005 Excursion was a big problem in cold climates. We were stuffing rolled up beach towels around the slides to block the drafts in winter while going snow skiing.

Some of the things (less obvious) that I'd pay attention to now:

1. Width of the entry door. You're going to go in and out carrying stuff, etc. Some of the units are narrower.
2. Furniture height. My wife is short....some of the furniture she can't get her feet on the floor. Sounds funny, but when your legs dangle and go to sleep, not so much.
3. Access to controls...what can you reach and what can't you reach from the driver's seat?
4. Dash gauge colors....sounds silly, but I'm over 50, and have trouble reading the white letters on a black background during the day with sunglasses on in bright light.
5. Towing capacity
6. Location of fuel filler. The 35' Southwind was gas powered, and the filler is on the back. It was sometimes difficult to get into fuel islands when pulling a vehicle, and truck lanes aren't an option for a gas engine.
7. Check the date codes on the tires! You may find units out there in the age range you're looking at with original tires. If so, they will need to be replaced.

Those are the things that come to mind....


Cliff McGlamry
2013 Itasca Meridian 42E
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:24 AM   #6
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Country Coach Owners Club
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Location: Redding
Posts: 3,520
I would watch out for a good condition 2003 Country Coach Magna with two slides.


1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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