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Old 09-14-2020, 02:11 PM   #1
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Chassis Confusion -- Can Someone Help?

I've been researching RVs for about seven months, first just looking at floor plans and not realizing just how different RV construction is from manufacturer to manufacturer. After learning about the steel cage construction of Country Coaches, I tried to figure out if there were others who had similar type construction and learned about Monaco's semi monocoque construction.

At that point, it didn't occur to me that there were base construction differences within the manufacturer. After a while, I learned that the Windsor, Dynasty, Signature, and Executive models had the structure I had been reading about. Then I found a discussion that said it depended on the model year, so I started looking at individual brochures for model years and that brings me to today where I feel so very confused.

Looking through the 2007 brochures, I see that there's semi-monocoque in the top four, Alumaframe in three of the models, RR10S in the Camelot, and less in the bottom models. Then I dropped down to look at 2004 models and find different terminology. In those, I couldn't even find mention of the semi-monocoque in the Windsor. At that point, I stopped and felt overwhelmed and confused.

Can someone provide any input? Are there big differences throughout the model years? Is there a chart or spreadsheet anywhere that someone has put together?

Maybe it all doesn't really matter that much. I'm really just trying to find something that's fairly safe for extended trips (and possibly full time for a year or two). I've seen photos of RVs overturned that crumple, so I'm really just trying to find one with a durable structure since we will be spending a lot of time out there on the road. That led me to Monaco, Country Coach, and Foretravel, but then I get confused when I realize there are differences within the brand and even the model years. And, honestly, there isn't a lot of Country Coach and Foretravel here on the East Coast, so I've really just been looking at Monaco and trying to figure out their lineup.

Thanks for any input. It will be much appreciated!
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:55 PM   #2
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Monaco's top three models, the Dynasty, Executive, and Signature were built on the Roadmaster "S" series semi-monocoque chassis from the early 2000's until the end in 2009. They will have a side radiator and tag axle. Depending on year, these coaches were offered from 38' to 45' models (38' models do not have a tag). 42' and longer have three A/C units.

The Windsor was never built with a tag axle. Early Windsors were all steel upper structure. In 2003 the Windsor was changed to an aluminum upper structure to save weight. Most believe Monaco learned the aluminum upper structure construction when they acquired Holiday Rambler. Windsors were offered from 32' to 40' models.

The Camelot was introduced in 2003 just under the Windsor. It was built on the RR10S chassis. After Monaco dropped the Windsor in 2006, they upgraded the Camelot to a tag axle and also offered it in 42' models.

Attached is a Roadmaster chassis chart with all the various models.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Roadmaster Chassis models.pdf (322.7 KB, 5 views)
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:21 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for that very detailed reply.

That helps a LOT! It sounds like I was almost there with my research, but I got so frustrated when I saw that the Windsors weren't all alike, and I figured I was wasting my time trying to figure it all out.

Thank you for the PDF file, too! That also helps a lot.

I read about the difference between steel and aluminum frames when fire is involved, but at that point, I'm just not sure it really matters if something horrible like that happens.

In accidents though, is there a massive difference between the steel frame and the aluminum frame? I'm assuming there has to be some, or they wouldn't go to the trouble to have the different frames. My husband says just pick a layout that I like and don't worry about it (he doesn't care if there's any kind of structure or not), but I feel like there's a bit of a difference between weekend / vacation RV'ing and actually spending six months traveling around in your RV full time. I like the idea of knowing that it's somewhat safer if we were in an accident.

Thanks again for all the info! It's very much appreciated!


Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
Monaco's top three models, the Dynasty, Executive, and Signature were built on the Roadmaster "S" series semi-monocoque chassis from the early 2000's until the end in 2009. They will have a side radiator and tag axle. Depending on year, these coaches were offered from 38' to 45' models (38' models do not have a tag). 42' and longer have three A/C units.

The Windsor was never built with a tag axle. Early Windsors were all steel upper structure. In 2003 the Windsor was changed to an aluminum upper structure to save weight. Most believe Monaco learned the aluminum upper structure construction when they acquired Holiday Rambler. Windsors were offered from 32' to 40' models.

The Camelot was introduced in 2003 just under the Windsor. It was built on the RR10S chassis. After Monaco dropped the Windsor in 2006, they upgraded the Camelot to a tag axle and also offered it in 42' models.

Attached is a Roadmaster chassis chart with all the various models.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:37 AM   #4
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This is just my opinion but I would never own a class A coach due to the lack of substantial structure above the chassis. Something else to think about is the lack of structure between the driver's and passenger's seats and the front of the coach. A front end collision is much more likely than a rollover. I my case I have chosen to go with what is called a "Super C". It is built on a truck chassis with a truck front end and I have heard they are 11 time safer that a class A coach. (I can't document this unfortunately) My point is that if your are concerned about safety almost any coach is safer than a class A. Choose wisely as your life may depend on it.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:06 PM   #5
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Maybe some confusion?
The main frame rails in all Roadmaster chassis are steel. Some are thicker or larger than others. Only the upper structure is aluminum on the 2003 and newer Windsor.

You would be hard pressed to find a stronger chassis than a Roadmaster "S" series. The 3" X 8" x 1/4" 60,000psi rectangular steel frame rails are larger and stronger than most class 8 trucks.
Monaco purchased the original design from Chrysler who originally designed it for a military vehicle.
When comparing the Roadmaster chassis to the newer designs it's only flaw is extra weight.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:11 PM   #6
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Our 2002 Windsor has the steel structure!
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:45 AM   #7
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The steel structure is what drew me to the Monaco coaches, with their Roadmaster chassis. Where I get lost is in the upper structure. Is the Alumaframe structure still pretty solid, or is it not even close to the same level of structure that you get with the semi-monocoque frames?

The PDF that you sent me, which I very much appreciate, shows that the RR10S chassis has almost all of the features except for the semi-monocoque. Is it truly that much more superior than the rest of them?

I have looked at the Super C's that the other poster mentioned because I originally thought the only way to have any safety was with a big truck rig on the front, but once I started reading about the steel structures and read accounts of people who had been in accidents with them, I felt much better about it. It's just sorting it out to figure out the different chassis models where there isn't a ton of information, except from owners who know them so well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
Maybe some confusion?
The main frame rails in all Roadmaster chassis are steel. Some are thicker or larger than others. Only the upper structure is aluminum on the 2003 and newer Windsor.

You would be hard pressed to find a stronger chassis than a Roadmaster "S" series. The 3" X 8" x 1/4" 60,000psi rectangular steel frame rails are larger and stronger than most class 8 trucks.
Monaco purchased the original design from Chrysler who originally designed it for a military vehicle.
When comparing the Roadmaster chassis to the newer designs it's only flaw is extra weight.
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Old 09-18-2020, 06:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpacker View Post
The steel structure is what drew me to the Monaco coaches, with their Roadmaster chassis. Where I get lost is in the upper structure. Is the Alumaframe structure still pretty solid, or is it not even close to the same level of structure that you get with the semi-monocoque frames?

The PDF that you sent me, which I very much appreciate, shows that the RR10S chassis has almost all of the features except for the semi-monocoque. Is it truly that much more superior than the rest of them?
.
here is some basic info on the Roadmaster S and RR series.
I copied this from my chassis document that I wrote after spending a lot of time researching this (link to document in my signature line).

The RR series (RR4R, RR8R, RR8S, RR10S) is a “raised rail” frame for increased storage. This design uses aluminum framing (rather than steel as the S-series) for the house shell, which is then bolted to the chassis frame rails, instead of being welded (like the S-series).

The RR-series was developed as a way to reduce manufacturing costs over the “expensive to build” S-series chassis. This aluminum-cage-bolted design resulted in a less ridged structure than the S-series, so to accommodate the reduced rigidity, the main frame rail webs were increased from 8” x 3” x 1/4” (of the S-series) to 8-5/16” x 3-1/2” x 3/8”.

The wide frame crossmember spacing of the S-series remained the same at 44 inches. This design is known as the RR8 or RR10 (for 8 air bag or 10 air bag). It was offered in both the “S” and “R” configurations (Side and Rear radiator configurations).

Note that there are know problems with the RR10 chassis - see the document in my signature line if you want more info on this.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:31 AM   #9
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Wow! That's quite a lot of information you collected during your research. Thank you so much for sharing!

Your explanation clears up some confusion I had between the S-Series and the other chassis models.

I had read in other places about issues with the RR10, so I'm trying to avoid that one.

Thank you again! The information is much appreciated!


Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryB View Post
here is some basic info on the Roadmaster S and RR series.
I copied this from my chassis document that I wrote after spending a lot of time researching this (link to document in my signature line).

The RR series (RR4R, RR8R, RR8S, RR10S) is a “raised rail” frame for increased storage. This design uses aluminum framing (rather than steel as the S-series) for the house shell, which is then bolted to the chassis frame rails, instead of being welded (like the S-series).

The RR-series was developed as a way to reduce manufacturing costs over the “expensive to build” S-series chassis. This aluminum-cage-bolted design resulted in a less ridged structure than the S-series, so to accommodate the reduced rigidity, the main frame rail webs were increased from 8” x 3” x 1/4” (of the S-series) to 8-5/16” x 3-1/2” x 3/8”.

The wide frame crossmember spacing of the S-series remained the same at 44 inches. This design is known as the RR8 or RR10 (for 8 air bag or 10 air bag). It was offered in both the “S” and “R” configurations (Side and Rear radiator configurations).

Note that there are know problems with the RR10 chassis - see the document in my signature line if you want more info on this.
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