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Old 01-20-2022, 11:44 AM   #1
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Tiffin Owners Club
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Is a 2008 LaPalma XL 34 a good first time RV?

Just getting into buying our first RV. This 2008 Monaco LaPalma seems to have a strong power source and transmission. What "look outs" should I prepare myself with when buying? I hear the chassis is not as smooth as a Tiffin. Is this a major factor when running a Monaco? Smooth ride? Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2022, 02:35 PM   #2
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Monaco Owners Club
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Location: Morro Bay, CA
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I have a 2007 Monaco Diplomat that I bought new. Great coach. I am not familiar with the LaPalma, but it looks like a great coach for a beginner. There is a learning curve, but Monaco was making great coaches in that time period and they build every Road Master chassis themselves. They ride great.
Luke and Kathy & Bootsie kitty, Morro Bay,CA
2007 Diplomat 40' SFT
2013 Honda CR-V "More is the enemy of enough."
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Old 01-20-2022, 03:25 PM   #3
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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I take it this is a DP, the Roadmaster non-air-up chassis with Cummins engine. It has springs and struts, and hydraulic brakes. Not a bad coach. The LaPalma XL38 was built on the same chassis as my coach.
08 Holiday Rambler Vacationer XL 38PLT Workhorse R-26 UFO gas pusher,
2014 Cadillac SRX AWD, SMI Smart Box braking system.
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Old 01-20-2022, 03:41 PM   #4
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Holiday Rambler Owners Club
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Welcome to iRV2!

The Monaco LaPalma (and its twin, the Holiday Rambler Vacationer) diesel of that era were the "entry-level" diesel pushers in the product line. (Note: Both could come in a gas pusher chassis. They are rare.) Monaco reduced the cost by eliminating the air bags and air brakes of the "traditional" diesel pusher, using springs and hydraulic brakes instead. You have neither the complication of the air system, nor its its potential for a smoother ride. (Note: The ride may be fine as is- I don't know.)

There are a number of LaPalma/Vacationer owners on iRV2. Hopefully, a few will be along to fill you in from actual experience.

Several Monaco products of the time have a number of potential problems due to the way they were designed and made. They:

1) are prone to slide floor rot. This is a well-known problem; there are lots of threads on it. A common place for rot to occur is at the front, outer edge of the slide floor on the driver's side. The floor will be mushy when pushed up from the outside, and there will be a gap between the white plastic material and the lower edges of the slides- the gap being the place were water gets in. The gap allows the plastic to tear, too. Rot can be fixed, and Guardian Plates applied.

2) are prone to clear coat failure on the full-body paint coaches. This usually starts on the upper edges of the front and rear caps, then moves downward. Damaged areas can be sanded and repainted.

3) may have leaks along the upper "beltrail." These can cause water damage to the floors below the driver and passenger front windows. The fix is to refasten the joint under the beltrail. It is either time (for the do-it-yourselfer) or money (pay someone else).

Some coaches will have some of these problems. Mine has had all three.

Don't let these "class" problems keep you from buying a LaPalma. We're happy with our 2008 Admiral, which is the next coach model down in the product line. The 2008 LaPalma brochure is here.
2008 Holiday Rambler Admiral 30PDD (Ford F-53 chassis)
2009 Honda Fit Sport
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