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Neglected maintenance


Norman Austin

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I bought my 2004 Holiday Rambler Neptune from an elderly gentleman a month ago. If I wasn't in such a hurry to find somewhere to live after selling my house (I only had 6 days to move out) I would have given this MH a wide berth. But I was totally green and now I have a huge learning curve.

Practically everything has been left half done and a lot of parts have either been removed or are not working properly.

Norco fridge doesn't run on AC despite AC being available. The inverter was removed and replaced by a converter. The Central Vacuum was removed. Ice-maker removed. No flexible soil pipe. Generator doesn't run. Fuel gauge not working. One of the leveling jacks was jammed so I replaced it with a new one. Solar panel doesn't do anything. The exhaust brake doesn't seem to function, drivers windshield is cracked, Etc etc. AAARRRRGGGHHHHH!

The bit I am currently concerned with... The four house batteries took 1.5 gallons of distilled water to top up, so I guess they need replacing... which leads me to the battery compartment. It is a total nightmare with disconnected wires everywhere and odd wires simply cut off and left. The guy just gave up half way through jobs and I have no idea where all these spurious wires are supposed to connect. There are a bunch of heavy duty wires left unconnected in the inverter compartment so I guess they will be needed if I buy a new inverter.

So... I have been advised to drive the MH to Eugene in Oregon to find some place where they would know where things go and buy some new parts. Can anyone recommend a company I can take it to to try and sort out this mess, Since that is where Monaco were originally based? I think the first thing will be for me to buy a new inverter, house batteries and solar panel/s.

Any suggestions gratefully appreciated.

(PS. I paid $33,500 which I thought at the time was a bargain. Was I had?)

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I paid 32k for  my 02 Diplomat 34, with a rotting floor. 
 

I agree, where are you located? Brian in Coburg Or and he used to work for Country Coach and just quit premiere RV and does freelance work and consulting. He can point you in the right direction. 
 

I think if you want to tackle it, you can get most of it figured out just by being here, and YouTube will be your biggest friend. 
 

I have a mod thread for my coach, and while there are many, many more that know more than me, I am more than happy to help where I can. 
 

https://youtube.com/channel/UCk1GlrzcUB_kVQQiK4WvlOg

 

https://youtube.com/c/AZExpert

 

 

 

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I think you would be better off ingratiating yourself with knowledgeable RV'ers 🙂 Paying someone outright (like a shop) to fix all of that would be big bucks. If you're lucky, it could easily be a lot of small things - you just have to get it back to stock. I've seen people like that before and had a vehicle (or two) like that before. Many times all it took was getting it back to stock (fixing what the person 'fixing' it did) and then determining what the real issue was....and properly fixing it. So it might not be that bad. 

With any RV purchase, you have to budget in spending dollars to address stuff. Batteries are so common to replace you might as well just add them to the budget right away. Trojan makes good ones. In the US you can usually get a good deal on an inverter from Magnum. You'd be surprised how much you can do with a couple thousands bucks if you're willing to do some work.

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I learned a valuable lessen on my first 40’ Monaco DP by not knowing enough about them and trusting the seller. Although it was not near the issues you appear to have, it had a lot of hidden ones, wiring, inverter, air leaks, air valves, microwave, satellite, to name a few. But, i was only in to it for $22k and got all my money back plus repairs and my labor when I sold it. I was very thankful as it could have been an expensive lesson instead of a lesson learned.
The 04’ I now own was a one owner with all service records on everything that has been done to it along with all manuals. I verified that the rear control arms had been replaced as they would fail eventually, and they had.  Also learned to verify everything worked as it should prior to purchasing it as well as the age of the tires. This DP cost a couple thousand more than the one you purchased.
My opinion is you paid a little more fir it than you should have considering the issues.

I am not sure where you could take it unfortunately, but will say with a little search effort on the net and these sites, you should be able to find all the info you need to do the repairs yourself and save dumping thousands more into the rig with labor cost.

good luck,  keep us posted on the progress and ask away with any questions. There is so much knowledge and information on the site and the great folks are always willing to help.

27 minutes ago, rogers59 said:

Where are you located at?

 BIO says Neotsu, Oregon

Edited by ncsteve
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Thanks guys. It's the electrical stuff that worries me... I don't want to set the whole thing on fire, so I'll look for professional help for that.

I'm currently living in Ashland, Oregon. If there was a specialist nearby that would be good but have been advised to take it to Eugene.

JD, do you have contact info for Brian in Coburg Or?

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Cool! Welcome to the world of DIY motor homing. First thing, is see if you can find he manuals for your bus. I was lucky and got 2 complete set with mine. I posted them on this site. Slow down and take your time. There is help a plenty out there and don't be afraid to ask questions. good luck.

Just_John

97 dynasty 40'

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7 minutes ago, Norman Austin said:

Thanks guys. It's the electrical stuff that worries me... I don't want to set the whole thing on fire, so I'll look for professional help for that.

I'm currently living in Ashland, Oregon. If there was a specialist nearby that would be good but have been advised to take it to Eugene.

JD, do you have contact info for Brian in Coburg Or?

Do you Instagram?

The top link in my last post takes you to his YouTube page as well 

https://instagram.com/brianmoto773?utm_medium=copy_link

 

about Brian 

 

23D72692-2913-4BFF-B1FE-5FE59265BB92.jpeg

Edited by JDCrow
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If you can't do 90% or more of the work yourself, you should consider selling this.  The electrical alone could cost $1,000s in new parts and labor.  Paying someone to replace a detective component is one thing, but rewiring when you have know idea what has been sabotaged is quite different.   These coaches were wired before cabinets and such were installed and access to the original wiring runs is often impracticable.  The only way repairing a coach like this is if you can and want to put your time and effort into it, unless it has some special sentimental or collector value.  

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Thanks again guys. 2 recommendations for Elite in Harrisburg... I'll give them a shout. I also sent an email to Brian Van De Walker.

I'll do what I can personally but get the electrical done by the experts.

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Welcome to the club.  Coburg Oregon is your friend.  MANY of the guys are still around there.  The REV shop in Coburg is top notch in my book, they've helped me a lot, fixed my Kongsberg Chassis Multiplex, which for 6 months and many shops I was told it could never be fixed.  There is another shop with some of the old Monaco guys and I believe the name is "Armstrong", not sure since we have never used them but one of the old Monaco guys at REV told me about them and their shop rate is more reasonable.  You have a mess to be sure.  We bought our coach with almost nothing in the way of records.  Stuff re-wired and re-plumbed with no documentation.  On our way home from buying the coach the Power Gear leveling system began to "beep".  The generator quit working.  The chassis and house batteries were almost dead.  We traveled from Texas to Washington state listening to the "beep", did get the generator going.

Long story short, if you like the floorplan and your engine is good, fix it, they don't make them like that anymore.  Expensive?  You bet.  The more you can do yourself the better.  You couldn't give me a brand new coach unless it's a Foretravel, Prevost or Newell.  Oh, Marathon is also in Coburg if you wanted to trade up, but you'll need about $2 million.  Good luck.

Woody Miller

09 Dynasty Regal IV

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15 minutes ago, woodylmiller said:

Marathon is also in Coburg if you wanted to trade up, but you'll need about $2 million.  Good luck.

...Thanks Woody, that gives me more faith in this contraption. Who knows, maybe I'll customize it one day if i feel the 300hp Cummins is good enough.

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I agree with Woody. I got my 97 4 year ago $8000.00 as is. I have been through it front to back. So far I have spent $70.00 in shops. Broken link on the  pump on the Gen slide. All the other problems I fixed myself, some parts here and there I look at it as maintenance. Mechanically the running gear is sound. Been to Oregon, California, Arizona, Idaho. Averaging 12 mpg. Done some up grades and wouldn't buy a newer coach. These older ones are built to last and the systems aren't as high tec as the new ones. Anything high tec I put in myself.   Still some things I need to do, but enjoying the journey. 

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"REV shop in Coburg"  I'm currently at the Rev shop in Decatur trying to get the air leveling fixed.  Losing faith fast that they can fix it.  Oregon is too far and time is limited for a trip.  I've already been here for 3 days as they work with power gear to find out what the problem is.  Anyone know of someone east of the Mississippi that knows the roadmaster chassis?  

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Dbircky, that sucks.  My guess is no one in Decatur ever built any of the original Monaco's.  But Valid has always been great with tech help.  Doesn't make any sense.  Many techs simply don't know what they are doing, no offense to the techs that do.  The Valid Power Gear doesn't appear to be that complicated.  I had a shop in Spokane WA do some work on my system while it was under a service plan.  It looked like the coach had a "power rake" going on with the rear end clearly way above the front.  They fixed it, but I couldn't believe their first attempt.  I don't have a single complaint about the REV Center in Coburg except for their shop rates.  One complaint about REV, you used to be able to talk with the techs over the phone, not anymore, now you leave a message or email and then wait.  We were stuck with a slide that wouldn't retract and I called REV in the morning and had to leave a message.  I pleaded with the girl that answered the phone explaining that we could not move without the slide coming in; "sorry, leave a message".  Bullcrap.  I fixed it myself after some trouble shooting.  REV finally called me about 6 hours later.  We were already in another state by then.  It seems like today it's "customer no service" going on.  But 3 days????  Bullcrap.  Have you tried any of the independent shops around?  Some of the truck shops know what they are doing and have worked on my Roadmaster.  Good luck.

Woody Miller

09 Dynasty Regal IV

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