Jump to content

Recommended Posts

So..... I do not know where to put this. But I have posted before asking for parts for a 1999 Monaco Diplomat 38A. Well, I am now going to give you a tour of my current journey to overhauling this hidden gem that I hope one day will be better than her glory days. It is a 1999 Monaco Diplomat 38A  VIN: 1RF120514X2005581, Serial #: 990119713873009, and Coach #: 104468. I bought her in 2014 after loosing my car in an accident due to a red light runner. I had to get a new car which was more than what I could afford living on post so we got a RV and Full-timed to cover the difference. Ok back to the backstory, We started F/T in Dec. of 2014 and on our first night we had a leak from the kitchen faucet drain, which I fixed promptly with flex seal, I planned on properly fixing it. Well, we lived in her for about 9 months with an occasional poop flood due to clean out, this happened 4 times. We promptly cleaned up, even used microban to ensure the rv was sanitized and we didn't have residual poop in the hard to reach places. During this time I hate the front over head since it was built for an older tube TV, so I began ripping it out to redesign a new one in its place  made for an LED tv. I got orders to South Korea so we packed up and lived in Korea for two years while Martha, the RV, was in storage in El Paso,TX. By the way, it is a great place to store a RV. We had no mice, snakes , or well anything to deal with while it was stored. We came back about six months in and did a thorough cleaning since when we left, it was a literal mess we left behind. 

Well, a year and half later and we come back to a clean and oxidized RV. We took her out and began the process of getting her ready for her longest voyage with us as of yet, a near 950 mile trek to Fort Riley, KS. I replaced the oil, coolanct, generator oil and fuel filter, and every other filter I could find.  Surprise, the slide out motor decided to say, "I hate you", and died on us. ~$100 later and a week for the part to come in, the slideout was still broken. We bought a trailer and hauled our left behind belongings from El Paso, TX to Junction City, KS. By the way she pulled that 7,000-8,500 lb trailer with no problems. Surprisingly enough we were getting about 8-9 MPG all the way, even with running the generator at night for charging the batteries and running our fridge. We get to Fort Riley and we have no issues with driving her to and from post each and every day. I didn't have a vehicle due to it being shipped back from Korea. We found a quiet and nice RV park in Abilene, KS and drove the 45 min trek back and forth each day, with staying on post till I was done for the day. Ran the generator for the family to keep A/Cs on and to allow for the kiddos to watch TV and the wife to handle her daily tasks she needed to get done, i.e. read a book, and not wanna kill the kids. That was a joke by the way. Remember, my slide out is still broken, I have been getting parts made from a local machining company, which by the way they are a godsend, I was able to get the new motor, new connectors, and new modified rods in to successfully get the slide out to open and close on its own. Well, we were good till one night, while the wife was in the shower..., she smelled a very distinct smell. FIRE!!! Oh the dread, our 1990s model Kariba washer had finally given up, after washing hundreds of loads of clothes, and caught on fire, which was put out before it could harm Martha. It was a small fire but a fire nonetheless, which in every RVers mind is the worst thing that could happen. Well, I put it out and officially decommissioned the combo washer dryer, that I had got back to working condition just 3 years earlier. 

Deployment, great gotta leave and havent even assessed if the wife can handle herself in the RV after we just had a fire. We have no ability to wash clothes in the RV which means we gotta use one of the two washers and dryers in the provided laundry room. So, we decided for now to move on post and park Martha in storage at the same place we were full-timing at, Four Seasons RV in Abilene, KS. The storage area was just part of a farmers field which means field mice.

Well now, we are finally caught up to the almost current status of Martha. While Martha was in storage, we would occasionally go and check on her from time to time. My first time after my deployment, that I actually looked at Martha and checked the inside out, I was horrified. I had mold right behind the Driver's seat. The slide out that I spent weeks fixing had pulled in the ever so annoying slide out awning in with it and allowed for the rain, snow melt, and every other water source to come in and run havok all down and around the front portion of the slide. Well, that's a project for another day, when I have the time, when I have the money, or well pretty much never since I had neither of those. She spent two more years, for a total of around 3 years in the storage facility until I was able to have a place where I could actually park her at my house. Yes, I bought a house and then went and drove Martha to said house. Oh how joyous a day that was. It wasn't, not only was I combating a mold problem, but mice had decided that they liked Martha so much that they made little homes in any crevice they could find. Well, when you have mice you have SNAKES! I absolutely hate snakes and so when I saw a small one on my countertop in the kitchen, I freaked. He was dead but still. So on this day in June that we decided to go save Martha from her hellish parking spot, I had a couple problems to start with, dead, fresh battery and brakes locked up. Well, I finally got her to run but now she wouldn't move due to the brakes not releasing. The mice had gotten to the air lines and decided they liked them more somewhere else. Whelp, run to Napa and get some press connections. Now to get this girl home. I made it back in one piece, at least that I know of. 

Now we are caught up. We have begun the job of cleaning up and getting rid of the mold. Yea this is a bad idea by the way. So I begin by vacuuming as much poop and whatever else is on the floor, the snake on the counter, and the random bits on bobs the mice decided to bring in with them. Once that was complete, we began removing any and all items of our we left in there out to help with the cleaning process. Wiped down the walls, the counter tops, the tables, and the floors. Now, we are on the mold removal and getting rid of the ever so wonderful carpet that was installed. Come to find out, it was not the original carpet. This coach had a pinkish, rosey carpet that someone decided they didn't like and had it replaced. I removed and tossed the mold-filled jacknife flowery couch and the mold-filled carpet. After removing that, I found that the mold and water damage had gotten into the subfloor of the RV and the subfloor of the slide out. Not only was that needing replaced, but the walls of the slide out, near the front of it, needed to be cleaned out and repaired, or so we thought. There was residual water in the wall past the styrofoam and into the batting and the wood backing of the fiberglass outside. We have begun clearing the walls, in that area, of all styrofoam, batting and paneling. The Captain and Co-Captain chairs have been removed and so has the Co-Captain drink holder and storage area has been removed. The Captain area has had the side control panel removed and the center drawers with the assembly removed. The dash portion that houses the instrument cluster has been removed. While removing most of the dash area, I had to revacuum as there was two more nests in that area. The vinyl flooring has been removed from the front, which has shown that the water that the water from the slide out had been running along that area by the captain's chair and area is soaked in water. More than likely, the walls next to the driver will need replacing, the front area behind the 'firewall' will need to  be replaced possibly. Well, that's what I have been up to for the last few days now. Oh and pretty any and all wiring in the front has been eaten plum through. So please wish me good luck on figuring out where each and every wire goes. 

So, what is our goal for Martha? Well, that is not a simple question and it doesn't have a simple answer. I do not know. The overall plan hopefully, if finances allow, we would like to repair all damage and do an entire update with Ikea on the interior. We want her to be inviting and with 3 kids now, we need the ability to sleep everyone. I would love to take her out of the '90s with new LEDs and a more modern paint job as she is really faded now. We hope to have her around for many more years and enjoy her even if not as full-timers then as seasonal and whenever and wherever the Military takes us.  Oh by the way, did I let you all know, I have 4 months to get Martha up, running, and liveable before we leave for Fort Drum, New York?

Sorry for the Loooooooong post. Future updates will be shorter I promise. The pictures posted are of Martha in El Paso a few months after we had bought her.  If you have any recommendations on cost savings or where to get random parts, please let me know, honestly, anything and everything helps. I will be posting in the other areas when needed. We love RVing and really love our RV we just want to do what's right for Martha and for the long journey ahead.

List of repairs to date of post:

kitchen drain- Leak

Kitchen faucet- Leak

Showerhead- unuseable

Wineguard TV Antenna- Coax cable

Slide out seal- Damaged bottom

Slide out motor and mechanism- Complete failure

Leveling jack system-  Switch inoperable

Porch light- Wiring

Washer/Dryer combo- Wiring

Engine heater- Bad plug

Microwave- Bad plug

Fridge- Propane side

Ice maker- Leaks

House Batteries- Dead- 2x replaced

Chassis Battery- Dead

Toilet- Leak

 

List of modifications or upgrades

Bedroom outlet- replaced with one that has USB built in, only one side of the bed.

Bedroom carpet- Removed and installed click type flooring

Shades- removed all window coverings replaced with curtains and blinds

Monaco Martha.jpg

Monaco Martha- Front.jpg

Monaco Martha- Right.jpg

Monaco Martha- Front Overhead.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like mine. I left my rig in Oregon, which is a killer of RV's because of the moisture, but I had some guys (thieves) come in and go through it looking for copper wiring. They cut hydraulic lines, air lines and complete wiring harnesses, so mine has been sitting where I parked it in 2006. I only took one trip in it but I really like it. As they say you need to find one with a floor plan you like. I really like the windows. I live in it on my property. I took all the shades out after being broke into as they ruined them after I went through and had just fixed them. I even washed them. Now they are in the shed.

If I keep it I want to replace all the windows as the south facing ones have failed on the slider section. I would want just double pane glass and no opening or slider just a fire escape feature. I would put insulation foam board on all the walls then cover that. I really would like to cover the roof in solar and make it electric. Put the AC in the basement as a European split system they are putting in homes. The cost of those rood units is a crime when you can buy a window unit anywhere for a couple hundred. I already have a residential fridge. I just bought a electric mini water heater. I bought a new furnace but is still noisy and obnoxious as ever. The furnace should be put in the basement. RV people have been given the same appliances for the last 50 years. I would like to have 4 awnings sitting on the roof and powered with no individual window awnings. Make the bedroom a secure room with a proper locking door, unbreakable windows, and a safe. Try a stove burner with electric. I'm using 24 volt and then an IOTA 12 volt for all the battery circuits. I took out my dash a long time ago. I have the recliner and built a shelf system next to it behind the passenger seat. Well I have to go to the 24 hour laundry. They stole my washer combo also.

Good luck.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Having been born and raised in that area around Watertown, it is a nice area with the scenic Thousand Islands and Adirondacks so close by to enjoy.  But winters used to be brutal.  Cold cold way below zero then suddenly warm up and melt snow then cold and more snow.  Wind and blowing snow...

Best wishes,

Allen

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Tim503 said:

Sounds like mine. I left my rig in Oregon, which is a killer of RV's because of the moisture, but I had some guys (thieves) come in and go through it looking for copper wiring. They cut hydraulic lines, air lines and complete wiring harnesses, so mine has been sitting where I parked it in 2006. I only took one trip in it but I really like it. As they say you need to find one with a floor plan you like. I really like the windows. I live in it on my property. I took all the shades out after being broke into as they ruined them after I went through and had just fixed them. I even washed them. Now they are in the shed.

If I keep it I want to replace all the windows as the south facing ones have failed on the slider section. I would want just double pane glass and no opening or slider just a fire escape feature. I would put insulation foam board on all the walls then cover that. I really would like to cover the roof in solar and make it electric. Put the AC in the basement as a European split system they are putting in homes. The cost of those rood units is a crime when you can buy a window unit anywhere for a couple hundred. I already have a residential fridge. I just bought a electric mini water heater. I bought a new furnace but is still noisy and obnoxious as ever. The furnace should be put in the basement. RV people have been given the same appliances for the last 50 years. I would like to have 4 awnings sitting on the roof and powered with no individual window awnings. Make the bedroom a secure room with a proper locking door, unbreakable windows, and a safe. Try a stove burner with electric. I'm using 24 volt and then an IOTA 12 volt for all the battery circuits. I took out my dash a long time ago. I have the recliner and built a shelf system next to it behind the passenger seat. Well I have to go to the 24 hour laundry. They stole my washer combo also.

Good luck.

Geeze at least I didn't have that issue. I am fortunate on that part, well maybe, the mice were kind of thieves, they ate my wiring and removed sections of it to new places so I am playing which wire goes to which wire.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

**** Update******

I have pictures of the current damage. and I have a ton of questions and in need of help. I have wires that were chewed and connectors that I do not know where they go. In the last photos I am showing where I found humongous mice nests. I mean they were big, it took every bit of my 6.5hp vacuum to suck it all up. I found items from all over Martha in there as wells as items not native to Martha. And lastly I know, I know, Jon you shouldn't have a bullet heater in the RV. I got it. I am trying to dry out the wet wood and dry out the mold.

PXL_20201005_003549807.jpg

PXL_20201005_003555324.jpg

PXL_20201005_003603301.jpg

PXL_20201005_003610053.jpg

PXL_20201005_003620299.jpg

PXL_20201005_003626279.jpg

PXL_20201005_003726053.jpg

PXL_20201005_003731322.jpg

PXL_20201005_003737436.jpg

 

MORE!!!!!!!

 

So... I was wondering why my lights and my porch light didnt work and so I pulled my switch panel from the front off and this is what I found.

PXL_20201005_003743801.jpg

PXL_20201005_003747421.jpg

EVEN MORE!!!!!!!

So remember at the begining of the post, I said I had questions. Well here they are. Can someone help me figure out how to put these back together? and Where this oddball connector goes? Where these connections for the Step Cover goes? and Lastly WHY DID MONACO PUT THE SAME COLOR WIRE ON SO MANY DIFFFERENT THINGS??????

PXL_20201005_003827980.jpg

PXL_20201005_003824460.jpg

PXL_20201005_003912218.jpg

PXL_20201005_003906206.jpg

PXL_20201005_003901931.jpg

PXL_20201005_003928002.jpg

Edited by Military RVer
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...