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Old 04-16-2020, 12:37 PM   #1
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Upgrades/Repairs Thread - Big Blue - 2001 Monaco Signature

When we bought our 2001 Monaco Signature Series “Big Blue” in October of 2019, we knew there would be a pretty good list of upgrades and repairs needed. Since then we have been adding to the list! Last fall we focused on priority items for the winter trip, this included all new Toyo tires, Aqua Hot service, and making sure the chassis side was up to snuff.

We are the third owner. The previous owner who owned it the longest, kept it stored in a temperature controlled hangar at a local airport. Being a pilot, the previous owner took meticulous care of the chassis and maintenance side. However, since the house systems were rarely used, and not for some time, we have had a handful of system related issues to repair here and there.

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Big Blue is incredibly (and thankfully) original, as it was from the factory. There have been very few modifications completed, which leaves us with a blank canvas and not having to repair sketchy work completed by past owners. Both the exterior and interior were special orders from the factory, and remain completely untouched. The original owner although having a bold exterior taste, picked a very neutral interior which is more to our taste, as oppose to some of the pink, cyan, light green colours often used in the late 90s early 2000s. So no major interior alterations required.

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This summer we had planned to work on a number of these projects, and thought it might be beneficial to share some of these (and hopefully continue to get all your expert advice) with everyone. Given everything going on, we have a bit more time on our hands, so seems like a good distraction to get started!

So thankful for the abundance of help and answers we have received from so many here already. What an invaluable resource! You may just learn a few ways not to do things in this thread , so no guarantees it will be educational, but surely it could be entertaining!
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:45 PM   #2
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Big Blue To Do List as of April 2020

The current To Do List as it stands today. Ever changing and in no particular order:

To Repair:
- Bose system control unit
- Engine cover door seal and pistons
- Water tank filling while on city connection (pump or valve?)
- Leaky bath faucet
- Leaky exterior faucet
- Chassis air leaks (let the games begin!)
- Windshield wipers (erratic speed control)
- Co-pilot seat heat
- Water system expansion tank
- Generator “Out” dash light
- Salesmen switch solenoids
- Air leveling system and aux pump
- ABS light on

To Upgrade:
- Digital TV antenna
- Upgrade TVs and entire entertainment system
- Install Winegard Connect 2.0 Wifi/LTE
- Upgrade dash radio system and integrate GPS/Backup Camera/TripTek (Halo9?)
- Outdoor basement TV
- Add side marker lights/Turn signals
- Upgrade exterior lighting to LED
- Upgrade interior pot lights to LED
- New tank monitoring system
- USB outlets/ports
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Old 04-16-2020, 01:00 PM   #3
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What a beautiful coach...enjoy and most of all use it. I have done or had done a few on your list also. Had all of the air bags replaced. My coach only had 51,000 on it in 2017 when I bought it...sat too much. Now just 62,000. I rebuilt all 12 air valves. Now the ride height and leveling work great...Oh HWH had to repair the controller too. I'm not impressed with the Winegard Connect 2.0 Wifi/LTE for Wifi reach, but does make an open system more safer to use. On the engine cover seals and gas shocks, I have stand offs my brother made to hold it locked open 6" My engine door only had a 1" gap at the top to exit hot air. The engine ran cool but the whole compartment was too hot. Now everything stays cool. The problem is the 120 volt wiring goes up through the engine compartment to the breaker box in the bedroom. Pulling grades out of Phoenix, AZ in hot (110F) weather I would pop breakers for the A/C. Willard (Poster on here) told me about the problem. So rather then doing fiberglass work my brother made the standoffs for me. Good Luck, Tim
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:34 PM   #4
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A lot of those items are or have been on our list. We have completed a bunch so far we have a 2000 exe.

I am wondering about the engine venting that was posted we find the bed is extremely warm after a trip and have also had the ac breakers trip I never thought about venting the compartment.

Could you send some pics with the stand offs?

Adding you your list on mine is

Inverter/charger upgrade to psw

Lithium battery upgrades

More solar

New toilet with porcelain base

Replace the front wrap around curtains with shades.

We almost have the floor and new cabinets in but some life stuff happened and delayed the finishing.

We also had the captian and co captain chairs reupholstered

I have a thread with the floor replacement but I need to post more picks of how far we have gotten.

The battery stuff is my weakness.
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:38 PM   #5
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One other thing we did was replaced all the water faucets with ones from the big orange store one of the best things we did. Still have the shower to do.
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timaz View Post
What a beautiful coach...enjoy and most of all use it. I have done or had done a few on your list also. Had all of the air bags replaced. My coach only had 51,000 on it in 2017 when I bought it...sat too much. Now just 62,000. I rebuilt all 12 air valves. Now the ride height and leveling work great...Oh HWH had to repair the controller too. I'm not impressed with the Winegard Connect 2.0 Wifi/LTE for Wifi reach, but does make an open system more safer to use. On the engine cover seals and gas shocks, I have stand offs my brother made to hold it locked open 6" My engine door only had a 1" gap at the top to exit hot air. The engine ran cool but the whole compartment was too hot. Now everything stays cool. The problem is the 120 volt wiring goes up through the engine compartment to the breaker box in the bedroom. Pulling grades out of Phoenix, AZ in hot (110F) weather I would pop breakers for the A/C. Willard (Poster on here) told me about the problem. So rather then doing fiberglass work my brother made the standoffs for me. Good Luck, Tim
Thanks for the kind words Tim! As it is a family coach, it has so far been used every day since we've had it .

We are just at the beginning of the rabbit hole for air leaks. The air bags have been replaced, so those are good. I hear air leaking from the front after shut down, and we loose pressure quickly from the front tank. Looking underneath, I see the aux pump for the air leveling in that area as well. I am sure that could likely be the cause or related cause. About as far as we have gotten. I also understand the Signature has an inflating door seal, yet another thing I have to investigate.

Thanks for the feedback on the Connect 2.0. Being Canadian our data options are both significantly more limited and more expensive. None of our carriers really have pay as you go options, and none really work with any of these antennas. Not like in the US where you can pop in an AT&T or Verizon SIM. I believe the Connect has decent reviews, but is not perfect. However, the Winegard Freedom data that is pay as you go and works in both the US and Canada is a significant draw for us and how we use the rig. If anyone has any other ideas though, I am certainly open to them.

The engine cover I was referring to, is actually the outside rear door. The pistons are dead and we have a rubber weather stripping that is starting to peel away. Thankfully for us, our interior engine hatch is both solid and seals very well.

Josh
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biljol View Post
A lot of those items are or have been on our list. We have completed a bunch so far we have a 2000 exe.

I am wondering about the engine venting that was posted we find the bed is extremely warm after a trip and have also had the ac breakers trip I never thought about venting the compartment.

Could you send some pics with the stand offs?

Adding you your list on mine is

Inverter/charger upgrade to psw

Lithium battery upgrades

More solar

New toilet with porcelain base

Replace the front wrap around curtains with shades.

We almost have the floor and new cabinets in but some life stuff happened and delayed the finishing.

We also had the captian and co captain chairs reupholstered

I have a thread with the floor replacement but I need to post more picks of how far we have gotten.

The battery stuff is my weakness.
Thanks for the comment, Biljol. Sounds like we will have a lot of common projects with our sister coaches!

Our coach came from the factory as an all electric coach, and so we have dual inverters and a residential fridge. The first owner also had 8 solar panels installed at the factory instead of 1. This also included a second solar charge controller. The previous owner just replaced all the batteries with 5 Rolls Engineering AGM batteries at I think 220AH or 240AH each. This is all to say that, one day this will be a significant project to upgrade this system. Since everything is working just fine at the moment, and the capacity is well more than we use for our style of camping so far; this project is hopefully well into the future for now. Although I do believe it will be a fun one, one day.

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I will see if I can find your floor update thread, thanks.

Josh
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biljol View Post
A lot of those items are or have been on our list. We have completed a bunch so far we have a 2000 exe.

I am wondering about the engine venting that was posted we find the bed is extremely warm after a trip and have also had the ac breakers trip I never thought about venting the compartment.

Could you send some pics with the stand offs?

Adding you your list on mine is

Inverter/charger upgrade to psw

Lithium battery upgrades

More solar

New toilet with porcelain base

Replace the front wrap around curtains with shades.

We almost have the floor and new cabinets in but some life stuff happened and delayed the finishing.

We also had the captian and co captain chairs reupholstered

I have a thread with the floor replacement but I need to post more picks of how far we have gotten.

The battery stuff is my weakness.
Ok, here are the Standoffs. When you look at your engine cover linkage it will be easy to see how they work.

Also is a picture of the UV water filter I put in. So all of the water in the pipes are clean. And the SeeLevel gages in put in.

One more, I have a projector 1080P TV with a pull down screen up front 80"

Enjoy
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:53 PM   #9
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You will find that the list may evolve but it never seems to get any shorter lol.
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Old 04-16-2020, 05:07 PM   #10
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TV Upgrade Project - Post 1

And we are off to the races! First bigger project under way. Always working on smaller repair projects too, so those will be sporadically mixed in.

Here are the original TVs still in place from the factory. I'm sure the 27" Sony up front (a $280 option over the standard 24" ) and the 20" Sony in the rear, were advanced in 2001. Funny how quickly technology moves. As I've mentioned, everything is original including the DVD/VCR combos and the Bose Lifestyles 30 Theatre System. More on the Bose later. It has some issues, but I'm going to try and reuse it. Stay tuned.

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Here is the rear bedroom TV removed. The 20" Sony weighed about 60lbs or so. We will be taking back all this unused space and using it for our tech cabinet (Wifi router, modem, etc).

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Here is the where the 27" Sony front TV use to live! Wow, I reckon about 90lbs. That's a 150 lb weight saving alone, for TVs . Amazing how well built the woodwork and cabinets are to support the weight. Everything behind the cherry hardwood is 3/4 plywood construction. Not a single piece of flimsy 1/4 anywhere in this coach. Really why we went for a 2000s Monaco.

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And finally for this update, here is the front TV cabinet and media cabinet cleaned up of all the old cables and brackets. Probably saved another few pounds of weight here.

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Old 04-16-2020, 05:10 PM   #11
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You will find that the list may evolve but it never seems to get any shorter lol.
Haha! Ain't that the truth. Take one down, add two more on . If I'm honest we get antsy without something to work on, so I can't complain.

Beautiful Beaver you have there! Incredible interiors, was definitely on the list while looking.

Josh
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Old 04-16-2020, 05:16 PM   #12
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Ok, here are the Standoffs. When you look at your engine cover linkage it will be easy to see how they work.

Also is a picture of the UV water filter I put in. So all of the water in the pipes are clean. And the SeeLevel gages in put in.

One more, I have a projector 1080P TV with a pull down screen up front 80"

Enjoy
Wow! Brilliant on the drop down projector screen. Hmm, the 40" LED we ordered is seeming awfully small now .

How difficult was the SeeLevel tank monitor to install? Are the tank sensors installed on the outsides of the tank? I'm quite interested in the Simarine Pico monitor, but it requires you to reuse your existing sensors. But it also integrates battery monitoring and other functions. https://www.simarine.net/product/pico-battery-monitor/

Josh
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Old 04-16-2020, 05:21 PM   #13
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Was debating the front screen idea but did not like the seating options. We did a rising tv from the cabinets we installed for our two workstations on the dinning side of the coach. Need to get it cleaned up to take some pics.

Look for a thread called removing tile.
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Old 04-16-2020, 10:48 PM   #14
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Wow! Brilliant on the drop down projector screen. Hmm, the 40" LED we ordered is seeming awfully small now .

How difficult was the SeeLevel tank monitor to install? Are the tank sensors installed on the outsides of the tank? I'm quite interested in the Simarine Pico monitor, but it requires you to reuse your existing sensors. But it also integrates battery monitoring and other functions. https://www.simarine.net/product/pico-battery-monitor/

Josh
The Seelevel is pretty easy. If you do it like I and others on here have done, you strip off the stock gage strips and put the seelevel strips in their place and then use one of the stock routed wires to the gage from the tank strips. The directions are good and there is a couple Youtube videos. I just didn't have the room in my coach for a TV lift behind one of the couches so I went with a high end projector TV (BenQ) and a good roll up screen. Every night is movie night.
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