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Old 07-30-2015, 12:05 PM   #1
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Trying to pick our first RV!

The wife and I have been looking at RV's for a while now. We both are really gravitating towards Monacos. We are are slowly narrowing it down.

1....200k mile 2002 Monaco Signature.... That is well under NADA low retail....It does show some wear and some delamantion around a window. Other than that looks good.

2....100K mile 2003 Monaco Executive...A little under NADA low retail. It shows normal wear, but has some clear coat issues at the top. Also few cracks around the rear bumper corner. A little concern for me...It looks as the engine compartment has been painted some, as there is paint on rad hose, and other places paint shouldn't be.

3.....50k mile 2005 Monaco Dynasty Dimond 4....its just at NADA low retail... A few wear marks here and there, but overall in good shape. Of course this one is at the very top of the budget... And the Wife is in love.... But it has a smaller 400 hp motor.

All of them are 12 hours away. We have good pics and vids of them.

So now how to choose?

Thanks for any guidance...
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:24 PM   #2
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I don't care what kind of shape you guys are in....the two of you aren't going to pick any of those up. They are all better than 20,000 lbs!
But seriously,
Option 1 has some risk involved. With those miles and that age, you have a bunch of things that can and may be going wrong. Getting the oil analyzed would be a great start for engine and trans IMO. And check out EVERYTHING. I'm not saying don't buy it. But be aware of what you are buying here. The delam is certainly a concern. Maybe not a deal breaker, but a certain concern.

#2 may be just someone trying to pretty it up so it shows nicely. Are there any rusting issues other places? For the problems listed, I would say pressure to go considerably below clean NADA is there.

If #3 isn't what both of you want, then keep looking.

I would say keep looking anyhow. Ones will show up closer to you, that you can go scope out and get the entire story about before investing 24 hours of travel. When you invest that in travel, a lot of people are reluctant to walk away, and it hurts your negotiating ability.
1999 Harney Renegade
Used mostly for weekends at the dragstrip with my rear engine dragster and my son's jr dragster.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:32 PM   #3
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Yes traveling that far to look at an RV does leave you in a hard position to walk... We both like option #3, but I like number #2 mainly for the 500up Cummins.. I am a farmer and Drag racer...so I can open a tool box. The wife likes the upgades already done to the o5 and its a 4 slide vs the other is 2 slide.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:34 PM   #4
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The 500 hp does get my attention. I pull a 28' trailer about 9,000 lbs with our 300 hp CAT in Illinois. It's great for Illinois. I don't run into hills that would give us trouble. Plenty of power. But for bigger hills it would be a different story.
I have no plan to go over a 10k lb trailer because I don't want to mess with the CDL.
1999 Harney Renegade
Used mostly for weekends at the dragstrip with my rear engine dragster and my son's jr dragster.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:14 PM   #5
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Four slides will bring a bit more money. If the 03 exec has three slides and a tag I would pick that, if all other things are equal. Of course tire age, maintenance records, upgrades like new sat etc all weigh in. I consider a private party transaction the most bang for your buck. You just need to know not to take anything said for face value. We kept looking and looking until we found the one that was pretty much exactly what we wanted. Best of luck and happy hunting.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:46 PM   #6
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For me the 200,000 mile Sig would have to be way under low retail, both the sig and Exe if they have the ISM that would be a plus for me but everyone has their rathers. The Dyn with the 400 hp ISL I think is plenty of HP for anything I can think of and with 50 miles the inside should be good. AS has been stated check out the one you want real good, it might be a good idea to pay a couple hundred to get a pro to check it out.
Walt & Will
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:17 PM   #7
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Don't be confused on the horsepower ratings because you have to consider the weight of the RV. Such as I have a Detroit Series 60 which has 515 hp but my Signature weights 43,000 lbs. Also I chose the three slides over four slide because not only is lighter I can also lay on the couch and watch TV while somebody else drives and you don't have the slide wall in the way if you are stopping for the night in a rest area or truck stop and can't put out the slide. They say mileage doesn't matter on these diesels and doesn't make a difference with NADA pricing but I think 200k is a little much on the brakes, steering components and suspension. 100k miles is not bad if well maintained. De lamination would worry me because it is most likely going to result in water getting in between the layers and getting worse. The 400 hp Dynasty is not that bad but be careful because the Cummins 400 ISL engine in 2005 and 2006 had a major problem with connecting rods and Cummins refused to fix them and just retuned them so they had less power. You need to check the serial number of the engine against NHTSA Campaign Number 07E033000.
Mike Canter
"Gunner" USN Retired, Airdale
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:18 PM   #8
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The 400HP will get you up the same mountain as the 500HP. Might be a tad slower but who really cares. These are big, heavy boxes on wheels not sport cars. Going a little slower up steep grades gives you a little more time to enjoy the scenery.
I would put more emphasis on the floor plan and amenities. You will spend much much much much more time parked and living in it that driving it steep grades.
Paul, Kathy, and Tux the Mini Schnauzer
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:25 PM   #9
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Clearly I am not impartial. Like Mike's coach, we are heavy: about 50,000# with the toad, so the ISM really makes a difference to us. Even with 1,550#ft of torque we go up major grades at 35 or 40mph. An ISL with 25% less torque might struggle with that much weight.
We have 2 slides. We'd like a second slide on the living room, but not enough to seriously think about changing coaches.
I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

Bob Covey
Home: 2003 Monaco Executive 43 SDDS, ISM
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:24 AM   #10
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I have to say I didn't realize the vast weight differences among different DP's. HP would obviously make a significant difference at those weight levels being talked about.
1999 Harney Renegade
Used mostly for weekends at the dragstrip with my rear engine dragster and my son's jr dragster.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:06 AM   #11
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You have got some really good things to think about. My advice would be to keep looking for lower mileage and stored inside out of the elements.
I just bought a 2004 executive with 44000 miles 20% under low book. Yes their are gremlins but I can't imagine he gremlins on a 200k coach. Good luck hunting.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:06 AM   #12
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I don't mind a high mileage coach (150k+) as long as I am the one who put the miles on her. That way I know how those miles were accrued and the maintenance that was done to go along with them.

As far as the Dynasty, Executive, Signature lineup, they are all on the Roadmaster S-Series chassis which is a very well built and robust chassis and will hold up for many years and miles, provided the maintenance is kept up.

I too was looking for an Exec. or Sig. when I was looking but couldn't find the "one" that we liked and was within our budget. I never even considered the Dynasty due to the fact that I wanted the 500 HP engine. After driving a 400 ISL equipped Dynasty from our local dealership I was impressed and put that on the list of possible coaches.

Another thing to consider with the Dynasty's 400 ISL is the gearing that the Dynasty comes with compared to the Exec. and Sig. Both the Executive and Signature are equipped with 4.30:1 gearing whereas the Dynasty has 4.78:1 gearing. This does equate to a little more RPM going down the road but the ISL seems to react well with this gearing.

My cousin has a 42' Signature and when loaded going down the road we are running right with them. Coming up out of Garden City, Utah there is an 8% grade that starts from a complete stop. Upon heading up this grade my cousin will create a small gap as we ascend the grade as it appears ours falls off just a tad sooner than his ISM, but once we are on the grade, he can't open that gap up any further and we can't pull on him, we are pretty much consistant all the way up and over the top. I am pleased with that but again, we are just in a little 40 footer. Would I like to have the extra HP and torque in our 40' coach? Hell YES. Am I disappointed in our performance? Not in the least. We get the to same places at the same time.

Find the one that has the floorplan you and wife like and I think you would be fine with either the ISM or the ISL for that matter.

Mike & Chrystal/ 2011 Jeep JKUR
FMCA # F315002
Our 2003 Monaco Dynasty Mods/Repairs Thread
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:51 PM   #13
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This is strictly personal observation. We had a 2005 CC 38' 4 slide it was the biggest piece of junk you could imagine. My wife told president of baudry that we wanted to trade it for a good dynasty or better He had a 2003 42 foot tag with more goodies than the CC and they all worked and the 3 slide was a much better floor plan.

We have done a lot to make it just what she wants res refer, chairs no couches, remove table and put in free standing drop leaf table. I will have to have the front 3m junk removed this winter and then it is good to go another 5 years. The isl 400 has all the power I need.

Find what wifey likes floor plan of and enjoy
Sheri & Don 2003 Dynasty 42" regal ISL 400
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Lets go we got it all loaded.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:07 PM   #14
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If Momma ain't happy...nobody is happy.

The biggest factor is layout and I wouldn't worry about power. I have a gas engine and run coast to coast with no problems so a diesel will do the job no matter what.

We've had our Monaco 10 years now and the only problems were chassis related. Everything that Monaco built held up fine.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
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