I have posted individual threads pertaining to many of the upgrades and/or modifications that I have done to our 40' 2003 Monaco Dynasty Baroness over the years, however, I have decided to start one specific thread where I can update them in the future rather than multiple threads, kind of a "blog" if you will of our coach related repairs and/or modifications. I decided to do this after seeing one started by another forum member who keeps his updated. I have also done a lengthy buildup thread on my Jeep on another forum so I decided I may as well start and maintain one for our coach as I see us not only keeping the coach for a while but also as it is aging I see myself doing more and more repairs and/or upgrades in the future.
Hopefully this will either assist someone with any issues they are having or possibly inspire someone to tackle various jobs on their own coach.
Thanks in advance for looking.
To start off my wife and I purchased our 2003 Monaco Dynasty in Feb. 2007 with 55k miles on the odometer. It was in pretty fair condition but suffered from some neglect. It had two major issues and I think that is why the previous owner traded it in on a newer coach and which also allowed me to negotiate with my dealer on the price purchasing it in "as is condition". My wife and I realized that this coach was a huge upgrade from our 1991 38' Beaver Contessa and that with my mechanical aptitude we would not only be able to afford it, but also be able to maintain it properly.
The first two issues I had to deal with were the chassis batteries being discharged and not staying charged. Secondly was the leaking Aqua-Hot unit. Second one being the most worrisome as it could potentially be the most costly, also more than likely being the one that forced the previous owners to cut bait and run. I had never owned an Aqua-Hot equipped coach but after snowmobiling with a couple of people the previous couple of years it was on our "must have" list. Also a tag axle, minimum of 400hp engine, 10kw Onan genset and triple roof airs were on our list of must haves. Not easy to find in a 40' package but we had a very specific list of items we were looking for and we were in no hurry. We had looked for 9+ months before stumbling across this coach and purchasing it.
Upon getting the coach home I immediately found the charging issue, the 200 amp battery isolator was open and not charging the chassis batteries with the engine running. I replaced it but also rebuilt the Leece/Neville alternator because I was worried it may have damaged it internally and it would be much less costly do rebuild it in my shop vs. having to replace it with a remanned unit on the road somewhere. Once that was done I commenced on a major service of every fluid in the coach.
I then moved on to tackle the Aqua-Hot issue. It was leaking the glycol and upon some immediate research was told the unit had frozen and I would need to replace it. I had called and priced remanufactured units prior to purchasing the coach so I was prepared to spend the approx. $7k dollars to replace it. The Aqua-Hot unit is buried deep into the middle of the coach on the Dynasty models.
I removed the unit so I could get in on the bench in the shop and see if it was something that I could repair or worse case I would have to order the remanufactured unit and replace it, but either way the unit had to come out of the coach. Upon removing all covers I realized that on this unit the domestic water line ran around the outer permiter of the boiler tank and not internally. This wasn't making sense but the tech person @ Aqua-Hot (Vehicle Systems at the time) informed me that there was no sense messing with it and to just replace it. I didn't buy that because it didn't make any sense so I began running some tests of my own and I realized it was merely a solder connection between the steel boiler tank and the copper filler neck that had become disbonded.
I removed the filler neck, cleaned the joint and re-soldered everything back together. No cost to repair and it works great. I did replace all of the glycol mixture which was a couple hundred buck while I was reinstalling it because I was not sure how much the previous owner had diluted the glycol mixture. So for less than $400.00 overall in parts I had fixed both major issues (battery isolator/alternator and Aqua-Hot leak) that the previous owner had gotten rid of her for.
Next up was a MAJOR detailing job on the exterior. It took me about a week in the evening but I polished the entire coach and for the most part it was in good condition. It had a couple of scratches that I could not remove and one major one in a compartment door which I repainted. The Accuride aluminum wheels were appallingly neglected so off they came for some much needed polishing. I used a wool pad with tripoli at first followed by some jewelers rouge and then hand polish but they turned out amazing.
Here is a picture of our first outing with our coach back in 2007.
We used the coach pretty consistantly over the next couple of years with very few issues. I did install new drive tires during the spring of 2008 and unfortunately I replaced them with the same Goodyear G670 295/80R22.5 tires.
Fall of 2013 I commenced on another major service which included the following: changed the oil, oil filter, coolant filter, primary and secondary fuel filters along with both the serpentine belt and the A/C v-belt. I noticed that the serpentine belt tenstioner pulley sounded a bit dry so I replaced the tensioner. I am 100% sold on the Roadmaster S-Series chassis but I think they could have done a better job on the assembly line routing air lines. Over the past 6 years now of owning this coach I have re-routed and repaired multiple air lines going to air bags. I thought I had taken care of all of them a few years ago when I decided to look at ALL of them after repairing /replacing about the third one. I was wrong. They had routed the air lines for the two rearmost airbags on the front suspension right behind the shock. This not only pinched the air lines but they were ran around sharp edges of steel brackets. I decided to remove the shock and re-route them behind with some frame clamps to support the lines. I also greased all of the steering components along with the brake slack adjusters, s-cams and driveshaft slip joint/u-joints. I then serviced the wet hubs on the steer and tag axles.
While I was changing the oil I decided to add a Fumoto drain valve as they are much easier for draining oil. I installed one on out last coach but for some reason never got around to adding one on our Dynasty. When I changed that.
Here is the Fumoto valve after receiving it the other day.
Fumoto valve installed in the Cummins ISL oil pan after draining all 28 qts. of oil.
Oil filter and coolant filter replaced.
This is where I cannot for the life of me figure out why Roadmaster decided to mount the air dryer. It is just inside the left framerail slightly behind the left tag axle tire/wheel. I have found it much easier to service this desiccant cartridge by removing the tag axle tire/wheel on the left side and removing two of the bolts fastening the drier to the frame, swinging the assembly downward slightly, replacing the cartidge and then pivoting it back into place and resecuring it. When I say easy what I meas is less of a PITA, it is still far from easy. This alone took almost two hours to complete.
View of the air dryer from under the coach.
View with tire/wheel removed and the two top bolts removed allowing the dryer to pivot down slightly.
Cartidge removed. Be certain to clean the seating surface very good to prevent air leaks and also replace the o-ring with the new one supplied with the new desiccant cartidge.
New cartidge installed and the air dryer bolted back into its original position.
Torquing the tag wheel/tire back on. Torque is @ 475 ft/lbs.
New belt tensioner with new serpentine belt. I replaced the belts when we first purchased the coach back in 2007 but I thought it was time to replace them again. We have only put 40k miles in it in the past six seasons but I would much rather change these at home vs. on the side of the road.
New belts installed.
Belt tension set to spec for the A/C v-belt.
Toolcart. Holy cow it is amazing how many tools you can drag out for a simple job like replacing belts.