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Old 01-27-2023, 10:26 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post
Ironic this thread popped up today.



The wife and I have been looking to upgrade from our 2003 Monaco Dynasty over the past few months. Somewhat seriously looking and not just tire kicking and after waffling on a few various makes/models and years we found a few to go look at as well as inquire for more details.



Ultimately a pre-emissions Prevost conversion have always been high on our list but also the Foretravel Nimbus/Phenix models around the 2008~ish range but more recently the Entegra Cornerstone's.



We've pretty much ruled out the Prevost conversion at this point due to having to spend nearly 2x what the others are going for to get a comparable year to what we already have and the couple we looked at in our price range having nearly a quarter of a million miles and needing a lot of maintenance driving the cost of admission higher than we are willing to go currently.



What has shocked me is the Foretravels, we were not as impressed with the newer Foretravels after the Fore family sold around 2004. The U320's prior were top shelf all the way but I was not as impressed especially after hearing some of the issues.



We then looked at a couple of Cornerstone's. While we were somewhat impressed with them overall, I was worried about all of the technology in the newer ones and how long until major upgrades were needed or failures in those systems started to occur. The couple of older Cornerstone's we looked at that didn't have the high level of technology such as around 2013-2015 which were more in line with my thinking to avoid some of the higher problematic "fluff" but after going back and forth on a couple the wife and I decided to just keep our Dynasty for a few more years as it is in pristine condition, everything works and maintenance is more than current.



To be honest, I have been somewhat disappointed with so much activity on Monaco FB and other sources of people who are buying these well built coaches but they are in such disrepair and needing so much attention. Don't even get me started on the people buying them that have no clue on owning a motorhome of this caliber, let alone what it takes to revive one. I've come to the conclusion that not everyone should own one of these older gems if they're not going to take it seriously and give them the proper maintenance and love they need. Personally, when I see one of these well maintained and cared for coaches on the road or in a campground I seek the owners out to converse with. Most of the time we have much in common as the owner does most of the work and after talking to them I've discovered that like me, theirs is also a labor of love. Anyone can sign on the dotted line and drive a new one (well within reason) but it takes someone with passion to keep these older ones on the road and in proper repair.



The wife and I just decided last night that we will keep our oldie but goodie a few more years and rack up some more miles on her before selling. Then this thread popped up today.


Beautiful coach and excellent write up, couldnít agree more.

I donít think id trade my old girl for new even if it was an even swap.
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Old 01-27-2023, 12:45 PM   #30
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We own a 1993 Holiday Rambler Navigator and love it. Not everyone should own this old of a unit but because I can fix nearly anything it has been great for us. The quality of this machine more than makes up for its age.
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Old 01-27-2023, 06:09 PM   #31
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We owned a 2017 Fleetwood that was a piece of junk, every time we took it out for even a 200-mile trip I had a list of things to fix when we got home. Traded it in for a 2004 Monaco DP and couldn't be happier the workman ship is superior compared to the Fleetwood. Got a great deal and it only had 24000 miles on it, drove to Texas from California and back, only had one issue the chassis shut off switch went bad and shut the engine and all lights off at 130 in the morning on Hwy 10. Luckily the tow truck driver knew what the problem was helped me fix it and on my way with no charge, but he received a great tip. Happy Travels!
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:58 PM   #32
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Hi Mike; Been following your work on your 03 Dynasty since you first started posting. I am really envious of all the equipment you have in that new shop you built not too long ago. If we were ever in the same place the wife would say, well he's not coming back for a long time after talking to Mike! I enjoy talking to other Monaco owners also when we run into them. Lots of info to exchange.

Love our 01 Windsor and as others here have mentioned these years are great built coaches. I think you and your wife are making a good decision on holding onto the Dynasty for a while. It's fun to look, but when you start comparing the new stuff to what we have and see the price, ouch, not doing anything soon. Have a great weekend!
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Old 01-28-2023, 07:08 AM   #33
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Zmotorsports. You certainly made the right decision. The Enegra is impressive but the quality has slipped. There is a Nbus in this park. Every time I pass by the Fiberglass looks like a Newby did a hand layup
The pre 04 320 is one of my favorite coaches. While at Q we had new slife toppers imstalled. Plan on spending a few more $$. We will probably keep this unit until they pull my license. I did look seriously look at an 03 40 ft. Marathon. The price dud not scare me but the maintenance is very high. Some buyers take them to a shop that will ZERO the unit. They bring it back to when it left the factory. If the unit was looked after would probably cost $50,000. Upgrades would triple that cost!!!
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Old 01-28-2023, 06:31 PM   #34
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I have had a 1998, 2008 and now a 2018. It's amazing how much better the coaches are after a decade of upgrades. For the guy who said who needs a bath and half, I said I don't need heated floors, a tag-axle or a bath and a half. Now I would never own a coach without those 3 items.
It's getting more common now, for shops to refuse to work on RVs older than 10 years. They can't get parts for them.
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Old 01-28-2023, 06:53 PM   #35
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Nonsense.
Parts are available. A tag axle is not a luxury item like a bathroom. It is a handling update. It is rare to hear of a MH that cannot be used due to a lack of parts.

The dealers that will not work on them are sissies. That is the strongest word that can be used in this forum. Independent shops have a better attitude
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Old 01-28-2023, 08:15 PM   #36
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I have had a 1998, 2008 and now a 2018. It's amazing how much better the coaches are after a decade of upgrades.
The last time I went shopping for an RV, the first term that came to my mind when looking at the latest offerings was "cheaply-built, disposable garbage". Lest you think that I'm picking on RVs specifically, let your mind be at ease: the boat market is no better. I.e., a 1970s Pearson sailboat is unkillable - you could buy one today in decent condition for $5k, add some auxiliary equipment, and sail it around the world (assuming your seamanship was up to the task.) A new boat of similar length - say, a Beneteau 27 - would cost $120k+, and I wouldn't bet on it being safe enough for San Francisco Bay in average weather.

The reason I mention boats is because the root cause, as I see it, is the same in both cases: higher demand and less sophisticated/discriminating buyers. As an old-time boat dealer in Annapolis ruefully told me, when I bought my Morgan 45' from him, no one asked for engineering surveys or the architectural plans/scantlings anymore; the main (and often, the only) question from new buyers was "how many does it sleep?"

The same thing applies in coaches. My Windsor has great quality wooden furnishings, solid fittings, excellent access to most systems, quite decent engineering, and an obvious focus on workmanship throughout (mostly, that is; my engineer's mindset is never fully satisfied with anyone else's work, and I've revised a few things before I was reasonably happy with it.) I live about 20 minutes away from a fairground that has one of the larger RV shows in the country, and attend at least one of those a year, and 99% of the time, I come away totally unimpressed; the only time I see this kind of professionalism in the design and workmanship is in coaches costing well over $1M - Prevosts and similar (and I'm frankly revolted by all the glitz and flash with which they load those things.) If someone was to offer me a choice between getting the average 2023 coach for free against an unlimited budget for bringing my Windsor up to factory spec, I would choose the latter every single time... although I'd want to swap out the injection system on the ISC engine (the one piece of undeniably stupid design on this thing that I put up with due to the high cost of tearing it out and redoing it right.)

Quote:
It's getting more common now, for shops to refuse to work on RVs older than 10 years. They can't get parts for them.
I've never run across a shop like that. There may well be some specialty shops, or ones that are tied to a specific manufacturer with narrowly-defined insurance, etc. regulations that can only work on a given range of models... but there's no reason to deal with anything like that when there's more than plenty of competition, any more than there is to demand service on your Toyota truck from a Chevy dealer.

Food for thought: there's a very old English expression (so old, in fact, that Will Shakespeare punned on it) about comparisons being odious and engendering conflict. It's true - so it's not a great idea to jump in and be disparaging when a bunch of people express their liking for their older coaches... because you just might get the same, and more, back, and with plenty of solid reasons for it. It's a good place to tread softly, and with a bit of caution.
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Old 01-29-2023, 03:55 AM   #37
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We have remodeled our interior in various ways.

Of course, installing a residential refer. New AC units. Repainted the brows front and back of the RV as well as the top edges.

Replaced all exterior lights with led lights, headlights included.

Removed the love seat, and installed a euro chair. Tossed that, and tried a recliner there. Tossed that.
Used that space to build a counter and installed an apartment-sized dishwasher, pantry, garbage can holder, and kitchen appliance holder.
The counter space has added great utility to the kitchen.

Removed the miserable sleeper sofa that looked dated when new. We tried various things to make it comfortable it was tossed and two recliners were installed.
Those worked well until a couple of weeks ago.

My wife and I are going through our second honeymoon, 48 years so far, and decided sitting apart was not as much fun as together.

Critical measurements and some simple shop woodworking has allowed the installation of a two-section (Sactional). Look them up and get creative.

The furniture is very well built and comfortable. As a bonus, there are a couple of holes in the bottom of them where the original seat belts can hold them in place. The lock together with some metal clamps and have removable covers.

The original kitchen chairs were worn and dated so the wife has replaced those. There was a folding third seat that was never used so now there are just two matching chairs and an adjustable roll-around office-type chair to use as the third seat. It adjusts for my wife or me depending on how we are using it.

The tv was replaced long ago and a swivel mount was installed so sitting where the couch used to be and is once again, allows a much better viewing angle.

Our entertainment cabinet has been renovated so many times there are zippers in place along with lighting inside to see where all the cables go.

The quality of this coach was obvious when purchased in 2008 and it is still a ruggedly built home that we have lived in for over ten years now.

All the dash area has been remodeled and renovated over the years.

It would be easier to tell what has not been changed than what has. They take a tremendous amount of work to keep up.

The exterior takes a lot of work for sure.
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Old 01-29-2023, 07:36 AM   #38
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We own a 2009 40í Safari Chetah. We have been to the Super Show in Tampa quite a few times now. There is honestly not much at that show that I would trade for. Iíve done numerous upgrades on my coach. Iím slowly getting a new coach piece by piece. My coach is almost entirely electric now. The only thing remaining are the furnaces, and even that hardly ever gets used as I use small space heaters to heat it if need be.
I could never sell it. We live full-time and itís part of us now. Itís built like a tank, everything is solid, itís pre DEF and I understand how everything works. It truly is one of a kind now. They say to buy your last coach first, I did.
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Old 01-29-2023, 11:13 AM   #39
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I'm thinking maybe we need to play the "classic" card with those parks who seem to think 10 years old = cousin Ernie with the sewer hose looped around the ladder. We own classics--just like classic cars. Only much, much bigger
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Old 01-29-2023, 11:21 AM   #40
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Nonsense.
Parts are available. A tag axle is not a luxury item like a bathroom. It is a handling update. It is rare to hear of a MH that cannot be used due to a lack of parts.

The dealers that will not work on them are sissies. That is the strongest word that can be used in this forum. Independent shops have a better attitude
I agree. I went to the Transwest dealer in Denver, who sells and services very high end coaches, about having a service done to my '07 Holiday Rambler Navigator. They told me that they wouldnt work on it because it is over 10 years old.....but I've noticed that from time to time they will sell a used high end coach that is over 10 years old. They have a terrible arrogant attitude in Denver and you almost have to be interviewed before they will "accept" your cash as a customer. I wouldn't do business with them even if I won the lottery tomorrow and was considering buying a new highend coach.
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Old 01-30-2023, 06:45 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by 8.3Oilbuner View Post
Hi Mike; Been following your work on your 03 Dynasty since you first started posting. I am really envious of all the equipment you have in that new shop you built not too long ago. If we were ever in the same place the wife would say, well he's not coming back for a long time after talking to Mike! I enjoy talking to other Monaco owners also when we run into them. Lots of info to exchange.

Love our 01 Windsor and as others here have mentioned these years are great built coaches. I think you and your wife are making a good decision on holding onto the Dynasty for a while. It's fun to look, but when you start comparing the new stuff to what we have and see the price, ouch, not doing anything soon. Have a great weekend!
Quote:
Originally Posted by moisheh View Post
Zmotorsports. You certainly made the right decision. The Enegra is impressive but the quality has slipped. There is a Nbus in this park. Every time I pass by the Fiberglass looks like a Newby did a hand layup
The pre 04 320 is one of my favorite coaches. While at Q we had new slife toppers imstalled. Plan on spending a few more $$. We will probably keep this unit until they pull my license. I did look seriously look at an 03 40 ft. Marathon. The price dud not scare me but the maintenance is very high. Some buyers take them to a shop that will ZERO the unit. They bring it back to when it left the factory. If the unit was looked after would probably cost $50,000. Upgrades would triple that cost!!!

Thanks for the kind words guys, muchly appreciated.

Moisheh, a 2003 Liberty on a Prevost XLII chassis was one of the contenders. I do a thorough process of zeroing out anything new to our stable as well regardless of age or miles. Wife and I have a new to us Fifth Gen Camaro in the shop now that we purchased last summer that I'm in the middle of zeroing out now.

The Prevost would probably have been my first choice but it was also a 2003 same was what we currently have, although completely different world in terms of construction. The wife liked a 2013 Cornerstone and I actually really liked the 605 HP Cummins compared the 515 HP Detroit Series 60 in the Prevost but didn't necessarily care for all of the emissions crap on the newer Cummins. I would also agree that the newer Cornerstone's didn't appear to be as well built as in the 2013-2015~ish range which really surprised me.

To be honest, I think with what the last 3 years of new RV owners has proven to the market is that most don't know the difference between good or bad quality, only the fluff. The more bells and whistles the manufacturers can throw into a coach (or anything built in the last 3 or so years) the better as far was what people "think" is high quality. Seems like the newer buyers over the past several years are clueless as to what to look for when buying a coach other than if it's pretty and how many USB chargers it has.

I have been saddened by how little people have researched purchases over the past few years and just figured they can afford the payment so let's pull the trigger, with no thought of the maintenance or what the coach will be like after several years.

My FIL traded in his 2016 Jayco Eagle fifth wheel for a new POS that literally had trim falling off the walls on the first trip. I was shocked when I found out what he traded his fairly nice Jayco in for just to have new and modern interior but absolute GARBAGE as far as build quality. Then the extremely poor workmanship by the dealership when he took it back to the trim and window blinds reattached. I don't which was worse, the original build workmanship or the workmanship at the dealership that did the warranty work. Both were frightful.

As for having a shop not work on anything over 10-years of age, if that is their business model then that's their choice but as far as I'm concerned that speaks volumes to the caliber of people they have working there as they're more liken to parts changers than actual mechanics. Also another reason that I will never take my coach to a shop for repairs as I don't trust anyone to perform the work to my satisfaction. Am I being too picky? Maybe, but it's my money and I insist on maintaining the coach to the highest level and I simply don't see that possible based on the workmanship today.

Now while I am certain we will upgrade at some point in the future as we near retirement, I just can't seem to pull the trigger right now when I feel what we have is just as good, if not better, than what's out there in the $300k-$400k~ish range.
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Old 01-30-2023, 07:19 AM   #42
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We own a 2009 40í Safari Chetah. We have been to the Super Show in Tampa quite a few times now. There is honestly not much at that show that I would trade for. Iíve done numerous upgrades on my coach. Iím slowly getting a new coach piece by piece. My coach is almost entirely electric now. The only thing remaining are the furnaces, and even that hardly ever gets used as I use small space heaters to heat it if need be.
I could never sell it. We live full-time and itís part of us now. Itís built like a tank, everything is solid, itís pre DEF and I understand how everything works. It truly is one of a kind now. They say to buy your last coach first, I did.
Back 20 years ago I did exactly that! Researched for one year and bought my 2002 40 foot Monaco Windsor PBT. Over the course of the next 19 years, I did a significant number of upgrades and modifications to make the coach exactly how I wanted it to be. Then one day I drove a friend's 2006 Monaco Dynasty with a tag axle and the rest is history.

Found the perfect 2006 42 foot Monaco Dynasty Countess III with the exact color scheme inside and out that I had been looking for. Plus, it had a custom-built shower that I have never seen in any other 2006 Dynasty I had looked at previously. It had also been upgraded with a residential fridge and Induction Cooktop.

The LPG tank is full but will never get used unless I modify the outlet to use my gas grill someday.

Sold my Windsor to a newbie in New Jersey who absolutely loves the coach and is now using it to Full-Time RV in it which I had done for over 14 years myself.

No plans to ever buy another one as this is it!
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