Ok Flyer, you asked why Monaco over Winnie. Here goes (in a long, round-about way)...
My first mh was a 1982 Minnie-Winnie that I'd bought used (very well used), and though I'd camped and then trailered for years before that, I didn't know what to look for in a mh. So, after replacing the AC, rebuilding the gennie twice, replacing the sagging floor and new wood and adding vinyl then Berber carpet over it (why? Because I'd gone with vinyl, then someone gave me an exact size piece of Berber, so why not?), replacing both engine exhaust manifolds, 3 wheels and 4 tires, new water-pump and alternator, and a few other things I've forgotten, I got it right where I liked it. Except I suddenly realized it was too small. But since I'd been everywhere inside and outside the entire vehicle many many times, I liked what Winnie did with their coaches (can you really call a 20' mh a coach?), and was looking for the same type of construction in a larger one.
Couldn't find another Winebago I wanted, but did see a 1992 27' Gulfstream Class C that fit the bill. It even had semi-basement storage! Whoo-hooo! Now I can haul everything with me. Oh, and it was ėus' by now, meaning a 120# German Shepherd Dog and a GF. Fast forward, and skipping over the dealer and his service (or lack thereof), we put almost 180k miles on it in 8 years. Overall a good vehicle, but the last straws were multiple blowouts (remember when I'd just said we could haul everything? Its gross weight was just that: gross!) in the last 5k miles, plus a gennie-failure when GF wanted to make a margarita. So we went looking.
Found a 2000 Rexhall 32' Class A (wow! More basement storage!) that was perfect, it even had ... gasp... a slideout. Now this is living! And it was, for another 38k miles and 5 years, til the engine blew up. No warning, no hot-rodding (like the dealer had insinuated... Darn, he musta saw the racing slicks on the back. He got me!
) or nothing, just cracked a head. Ford stepped up and covered parts, even though it was out of warranty, but non-local dealer just laughed (we were 1500 miles from home. Why do these things always happen then??) when I suggested they good-will their labor. But, it was working fine when we got it back, and didn't have any more problems. Still, I wasn't 100% confident after that. So, we (by now it's DW, and not GF anymore
) went shopping again.
This time we found a leftover 2004 (by now, we're now Ĺ way thru 2005 model year) 37' Gulfstream Atrium gasser, and at a right price. Superficially, it had and did everything we wanted and needed. Oh, to turn back the hands of time... I'd go and slap myself silly if I could, over that deal. Ever get a tiny feeling that something wasn't right, but you just ignored it because you could never put a finger on it? In all my years of buying ANYTHING, that was by far the worst move I ever made
. I won't go into details over it, but we started calling it "The POS"Ě, and that doesn't mean Point-Of-Sale! Someone else recently tagged one of theirs "The BBT"Ě, which would have good since mine was brown too.
Anyways, we had it 6 months of which 5 was at dealer, waiting for GS to approve the 6-page defect list. GS disallowed it, saying the dealer was padding the repairs. So, we crossed our fingers hoping it would make it and went to the factory. They worked on it 3 weeks and finally said they'd need it another week, because they'd have to re-fiberglas over the main-door and recut it, since the original was cut crooked. At that, I gave up.
We'd gone looking at the Newmar, GS's, and Monaco/HR factories while in Indiana, since we had a LOT of time to kill each day while they worked on the POS. Totally, absolutely, and completely head-over-heels fell in love with the Monaco/HR's. Since I can (well, most of the time
) see good workmanship and quality when it's staring me in the face), I knew we had to have one of these. Yes, we'd looked at all brands each time we went shopping for a new mh, and Winebago was always a strong contender each time, but this is what I'd build if I could build a mh. I wanted one that would take us into retirement and beyond, and here was one that had the structure, comfort, amenities, and details to do it.
Only problem was would it fit on the backyard-pad at home? So, we told GS to forget the rest of the repairs, picked up the POS and raced back home, measured the space to see if 40' would fit where 37' barely did (did you know these things can almost bend in the middle, if you try hard enough?) and then called DeMartini to tell them to do the make-ready because we were on our way back with a check. All this in 4 days!
Fast-forward to the present. We've had the 40PAQ for 9 months now, and had not had one single thought of "Uh-oh, why did I do that?"Ě. No hesitations whatsoever. The HR does everything we want/need, and does it better than anything we've seen from any manufacturer, plus the mfgr/dealer-chain has been superb.
BTW, I mentioned all of the above, not to brag or bore y'all, but to show that by now this ain't my first rodeo, I've been bucked-off before.
So, to answer your questions, Roy:
1) Sorta like what the realtors said: "Quality, quality, quality"Ě.
2) Yes, very much so. Overall as well as minutely.
3) Can't really think of any, except that I've heard Winnie gives customers wiring diagrams, etc, as part of the sale. I've gotten everything I asked-for from Monaco/HR, but had to ask first. So, maybe that.
4) See all of above