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Old 06-22-2018, 09:53 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
The ceiling height is important to me (I am 6" 1" and a bit more). So does the 2008 with a Detroit Series 60 avoid whatever bad thing they did to diesel engines after 2006? I have a vague understanding it is some sort of emissions requirement, but if Monaco bought the engine in 2006, they could still put it into a 2008 model.

Dad says he did a good job with the Series 60. He was literally beaming with pride when I told him they used them as recently as 2008 and that I would try to find one with a Series 60 in it. I wonder how much if any of his work remains int eh Series 60. DDA was still a GM division when he worked there.

I will have to ask him about the post 2006 emissions thing. He retired in 1987, but he still hangs out with some of the engineers who worked under him (even though they are almost all retired now too, they may know what happened in 2006). I see some acronyms I can look up but having it explained would be better.
Just for reference, I am 6'2" and our son is 6'4" and in our 2003 headroom hasn't been an issue. That being said, more isn't a bad thing but I wouldn't let that alone deter me from one if it had everything I was looking for.

As for the Detroit engines, the EPA reg's changed for 2008 so anything prior to that in engine production doesn't fall under that guideline. The Ugly Fix affects the EGR valve by taking it out of the equation but that is on pre-2008 engines anyways. From 2008 production engines upward, no matter the manufacturer, they are required to have DPF's (Diesel Particulate Filters) on the exhaust and 2010 to current will have advanced EGR function as well as DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) in addition to the DPF's. Also 2010 was when Detroit Diesel changed to the Blue Tec engine emissions design and I don't think they were used in the general RV industry from there, but I could be wrong on that. I know all of our new OTR trucks have the Detroits and they are still great engines, we are running the DD13 along with their new DT12 auto transmissions.

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Old 06-22-2018, 10:46 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post
Just for reference, I am 6'2" and our son is 6'4" and in our 2003 headroom hasn't been an issue. That being said, more isn't a bad thing but I wouldn't let that alone deter me from one if it had everything I was looking for.

As for the Detroit engines, the EPA reg's changed for 2008 so anything prior to that in engine production doesn't fall under that guideline. The Ugly Fix affects the EGR valve by taking it out of the equation but that is on pre-2008 engines anyways. From 2008 production engines upward, no matter the manufacturer, they are required to have DPF's (Diesel Particulate Filters) on the exhaust and 2010 to current will have advanced EGR function as well as DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) in addition to the DPF's. Also 2010 was when Detroit Diesel changed to the Blue Tec engine emissions design and I don't think they were used in the general RV industry from there, but I could be wrong on that. I know all of our new OTR trucks have the Detroits and they are still great engines, we are running the DD13 along with their new DT12 auto transmissions.

Mike
Thank you. I will still ask Dad because it will make him happy to explain it if he knows, but now i will be able to more readily follow what he says.

Are you full time? Ceilings an couple of inches above my head would not bother me for occasional vacations. In 100% of my home, it may be a different story. One of the appeals of a 5th wheel is the higher ceiling heights. But for some reason the 5th wheels we have looked at all have showers where I have to stick my head into a skylight to stand up fully. the front bedroom where the shower usually is have very low ceilings, lower even than a motor-home I think.

No more bounding on the bed I guess.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:54 AM   #87
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Thank you. I will still ask Dad because it will make him happy to explain it if he knows, but now i will be able to more readily follow what he says.

Are you full time? Ceilings an couple of inches above my head would not bother me for occasional vacations. In 100% of my home, it may be a different story. One of the appeals of a 5th wheel is the higher ceiling heights. But for some reason the 5th wheels we have looked at all have showers where I have to stick my head into a skylight to stand up fully. the front bedroom where the shower usually is have very low ceilings, lower even than a motor-home I think.

No more bounding on the bed I guess.
No, my wife and I still work full-time. Even when we retire we won't go full-time because I can't/won't give up my home or shop. We will however go for extended trips for a few months here and there when we retire compared to the week plus long trips now.

That being said, we have spent up to two weeks in our current coach and I don't think I would have an issue living in it but that would be up to you on whether or not the few more inches of headroom is a "must have" or "want" in your RV.

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Old 06-22-2018, 11:16 AM   #88
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Looking at older Beaver Motorhomes made me realize something. I thought I did not care at all about the exterior paint scheme or colors, but some of the Beaver paint jobs make it look like a giant turd. I guess I do care a little. Personally I prefer a solid color, maybe a mural. the disco swirls do not do much for me, but they are not offensive either (well except for the big turds). The beaver I remember was called "Pearl" at the end, is that a color or a model? (Sorry if you are the owner of a big beaver turd, everyone had different perspectives and I am sure they are beautiful to some people.).

We did see a MH driving in our town that was a glittery metallic grey/black. It was beautiful and appeared absolutely huge. It had no name on it but is absolutely oozed quality and class. The guy driving it saw us pointing at it and staring in appreciation and the smile on his face could have lit up a dark room. He was obviously very proud of his beast. I wonder what it was. Custom maybe? There are a few appallingly rich people where we live.

Some of the FSBO ads are funny. Hey take your pictures during the daytime, not at dusk. Also inside and especially when taking a picture of the basement compartments, use a flash. Seven photos of what appear to be doors into the abyss are not of much use.

Dropping back to about 2000 - 2003 and earlier, Some of the Prevosts and Newells drop into our price range. Might be food for thought, but I have yet to see a Prevost that I like. At that age, they are mostly two slides or none. So a compromise is less space. I also noted almost all of the Newells and Prevosts have DDA engines. I guess that must be considered the premium engine, or at least it was 15 years ago? (That will make Dad even happier).

The Monaco and especially Beavers have prettier interiors, but the Newell's are very practical. I love their big long couches. (I like laying on the couch, it is my favorite lazy place in the house.)
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Old 06-23-2018, 05:46 AM   #89
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A " few more inches of headroom is a "must have" or "want" in your RV???". At 6'4" ceiling height in cars or MHs is important for me. I've gotten out of many a car and MH when my head is too close to the ceiling. We spend 3 months snow-birding each winter for the last 10 years in our 04 Dynasty...do not have to duck anywhere and never really thought about the much higher headroom in out new ride being that much nicer. I guess it is.

When upgrading, I wanted the double awnings that started on some 05 rigs as the single awning on the LR slide is not very long...a negative of double LR slides. This is also when higher ceilings started which pushes the height of either side to 12'6" and only 2" higher in the middle...guaranteed to get some tree limb scratches.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:47 AM   #90
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Thank you. I will still ask Dad because it will make him happy to explain it if he knows, but now i will be able to more readily follow what he says.

Are you full time? Ceilings an couple of inches above my head would not bother me for occasional vacations. In 100% of my home, it may be a different story. One of the appeals of a 5th wheel is the higher ceiling heights. But for some reason the 5th wheels we have looked at all have showers where I have to stick my head into a skylight to stand up fully. the front bedroom where the shower usually is have very low ceilings, lower even than a motor-home I think.

No more bounding on the bed I guess.
Suggestion on fifth wheels. Look into front bedroom or front kitchen models like the montana 3820FK. They basically reverse the conventional layout and have the bed and bath at the rear. This also tends to result in better segmentation of space due to the split in elevation between the living and kitchen areas. You also might want to look at the jayco eagle and highland ridge open range travel trailers. They are basically flat deck fifth wheels with an even interior height of 7' 4'' and 7' respectively. They also happen to be some of the only TTs I know of that are actually designed and tested to handle true cold weather.

FYI the reason the front of a 5th wheel has lower ceilings is clearance. If they make the front area over the pinbox too tall you won't fit under overpasses. They will also lower the ceiling even further then that requires on a lot models to reduce wind resistance when towing and help keep weight down.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:58 AM   #91
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I am now developing a list ranking various kinds of DP motor-homes that we like. I am still focused on Monaco/Beaver as they may be the best qualityand layouts at the price level, unless we go a few more years old and look at Newell and Prevost. I have not figured out where HR fits into the picture, but it appears it woudl be in order: Beaver, Monaco, HR. Is that correct?

It also appears Entegra, Newmar, Ithasca, and maybe Tiffin are at about the same level as Monaco and its family - maybe a bit below. Is that essentially correct? I am not sure Tiffin belongs in that group. Maybe Country Coach belongs in that group?

At the top are Prevost, Newell,and American Coach. Kind of in that order. Newell is fancier, but Prevost seems to be more focused on construction/durability.

Given the affordability of oldish but still awesome RVs at the Monaco family level, I am not bothering with anything significantly below that level (give or take a bit for opinion impact). I see no point in it.

Initially the idea of a higher quality but older Newell or Prevost had a lot of appeal, but those higher end RVs will cost more to repair and being older will likely need more repairs or upgrades. The Newells with their curvy cabinetry are all going to be proprietary. Anything that breaks or you want to upgrade will require Newell materials or a really good custom cabinet guy. Luckily I have a close friend who is about as good a custom cabinet person as exists in the world (5th generation - give or take a few generations - Dutch carpenter), but he lives in Tennessee, and he is not cheap even if he would give me a discount.
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:05 AM   #92
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Suggestion on fifth wheels. Look into front bedroom or front kitchen models like the montana 3820FK. They basically reverse the conventional layout and have the bed and bath at the rear. This also tends to result in better segmentation of space due to the split in elevation between the living and kitchen areas. You also might want to look at the jayco eagle and highland ridge open range travel trailers. They are basically flat deck fifth wheels with an even interior height of 7' 4'' and 7' respectively. They also happen to be some of the only TTs I know of that are actually designed and tested to handle true cold weather.

FYI the reason the front of a 5th wheel has lower ceilings is clearance. If they make the front area over the pinbox too tall you won't fit under overpasses. They will also lower the ceiling even further then that requires on a lot models to reduce wind resistance when towing and help keep weight down.
I had decided at to 5th wheels that I preferred rear living room because I like having large windows on three sides, but I am changing that at least as far as models with the shower in the upper portion. I do not like crouching to shower, I am too old for that nonsense.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:43 PM   #93
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In the 2004-08 Monaco era the Monaco Signature, HR Navigator, and Beaver Marquise were at the top of the food chain. Next was the Monaco Exe , HR Scepter, and Beaver Patriot Thunder. Next was the Monaco Dynasty with the HR Scepter being closer to a Dynasty than a EXE. The HR Navigator was between a Exe and Sig unless it had a bunch of options added.

No way would I put Country Coach after Newell or even above Monaco/HR/Beaver. My rating is Prevost, Newell, Foretravel and then your favorite brand...in my case, top of the line Monaco products as they are the least expensive of the 10 airbags chassis that the top three all use. Excellent handling without adding huge sway bars, complicated IFS, or other band-aids.
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Old 06-26-2018, 01:34 PM   #94
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(I like laying on the couch, it is my favorite lazy place in the house.)



If you like long couches and want to stay in the Monaco line, look at a 2003 HR Navigator PBQ pair it with the Detroit 60 and you have one sweet ride.



They came with very long couches for that year only. You only get 3 slides but the toilet room is larger than the newer ones and those couches are HUGE
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:31 PM   #95
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If you like long couches and want to stay in the Monaco line, look at a 2003 HR Navigator PBQ pair it with the Detroit 60 and you have one sweet ride.



They came with very long couches for that year only. You only get 3 slides but the toilet room is larger than the newer ones and those couches are HUGE
Thank you. Going to look for one online now.
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:21 PM   #96
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Had a 2003 Safari Cheetah for 3 years and could not understand why it was so hard to drive. Alignment, shocks, tires, steering stabilizer all made minimal improvements. We found that we were reluctant to go because the drive was so uncomfortable. When we "traded" it in we found that there were a lot of dealers that were unwilling to give us a fair trade in value. I think that the 3312 model just was not right in some way, maybe too short, and this model in particular got a somewhat deserved had reputation. As I understand it, that was around the time that Safari went out of business and Monaco bought them up. May have been that the were using old stock during the transition to their own designs.

If I had it to do over, as I made the same transition as you, 5th wheel to MH, I would drive several motor home models to form an opinion about how they SHOULD drive. A good MH will be very much like your 5er, stability-wise. THEN make your choice. The two really are different animals..

Hope this helps.

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Old 06-26-2018, 03:29 PM   #97
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Very happy with our 2002 Dynasty!

FWIW, long string with lots of good ideas so I thought I would throw our experience in.

We bought a 2002 Monaco Dynasty with tag axle for it's great build quality, all steel monocoque construction, 10 bag air-ride and much more. Our rig was very clean and presentable on the outside, but needed a facelift inside, so we pretty much gutted it, leaving just the solid cherry cabinets, and put in cherry floors, all new stainless appliances including residential fridge, wainscot, new wallpaper, all LED lighting, faucets, cedar closet lining and more. Also replaced both ac units, fans, inverter (went to pure sine wave), tire minder system, and other stuff I cant remember at the moment. Of course we had to put in a satellite dish, electric fireplace and big screen TV mounted on an electric lift that hides behind the fireplace when not in use.

Also reupholstered the captains chairs and all of the window surrounds.

My favorite mod was to remove the original shower and install new solid surface walls and base, Grohe control, and new door. In the process, I found that I could run the drain plumbing UNDER the coach floor with the use of a waterless trap, lowering the shower base to floor level and picking up 11 inches of headroom!

We love the rig, as it has performed very well, drives great, and was affordable. With all mods, we are in at under $100K.

Bottom line, if you feel handy and want to end up with a great modernized coach on a budget, consider a Monaco Dynasty, Exec or Sig in the 2002 - 2005 range. The are built like a brick house!
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Old 06-27-2018, 01:01 AM   #98
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It's been mentioned in one posting already but I thought I'd mention it again. If considering a 2002-2004 Monaco be sure to google "Monaco Trailing arm recall" and read up on what models have defective trailing arms. These arms can crack separating the axle from the frame which is not a good thing to have happen when traveling down the road.
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