Jump to content

Post Trip Synopsis - Picking Up 2006 Monaco Dynasty Countess III in Salt Lake City


Recommended Posts

Our trip to Salt Lake City from the Orlando Airport on Monday February 28th to pick up our NTU 2006 Monaco Dynasty Countess III ended with a safe arrival back at our winter home in Flagler Beach Florida on March 10th after over 3000 miles of travel. 

The following is a shorten version of the challenges we encountered during the trip. 

Arrived at the airport but our checked luggage did not. The connection at Sea-Tac Airport was too short for the luggage to transfer in time. Therefore, it arrived sometime after 8 pm which then Alaska Airlines delivered it around 5:30 am the next morning to our coach which was parked at the Sam’s Club in South Jordon Utah where we decided to spend the night. 

The first setback I encountered was at the storage facility where we picked up the coach. I went to install the Pressure Pro Pulse Sensors to each of the 8 tire valve stems and immediately had a problem with the rigid valve extenders that I had asked the storage facility to install for me. I absolutely HATE any valve extensions, but I had to have something to easily get the sensors mounted. Luckily the owner of the storage facility had not left for the day and saw me outside having difficulties. He managed to tighten up the extenders such they would not leak on our trip back home. I will replace those stupid extenders with the Borg Dually Valve Stems when the tires get changed out. I will also make a separate post on my evaluation of the Pressure Pro Pulse TPMS.

We drove the 16 miles down to the Sam’s Club and got parked for the night. When I walked around the coach, I discovered that one of the rear axle cap covers had fallen off somewhere in those 16 miles. The next day we shopped at both Sam’s Club & Walmart to stock the coach for our trip back home. Went to start the engine, nada. Tried to start the generator, zippo! Called Coach-Net for a chassis battery jump start. After getting the engine started, I drove over to the service bays at Sam’s Club, purchased two new model 31 engine batteries and then used their tools to install them. Obviously at least one of the two batteries that were there had problems with it. What I also learned is that the generator starts off of the chassis batteries, not the house like it does on my Windsor. 

Only drove about 130 miles that day due to the time lost dealing with the batteries. Walked around the coach after we got parked and discovered a second rear axle cap cover disappeared somewhere in that short trip. OMG! I had not lost ANY cap on my Windsor since owning it for over 18 years and 75,000 miles of travel and I have lost two in less than 200 miles. 

Stopped in Las Vegas to dump tanks and put on more water as I was losing water out the freshwater hose and didn’t realize it until later. Went to dump, removed the cap and about one quart of wastewater flowed out onto the Service Bay floor. Obviously one or both of the valves were leaking and needs to be replaced. Purchase a plastic container to place under the output for future dumps to catch the liquid until I have time to replace both of the valves. 

Got to Quartzsite where we were meeting my sister for the evening. Woke up the next morning to get on the road. Turned out of the Hi Jolly BLM and pressed on the fuel treadle only to find that the transmission was stuck in 1st gear with a Check Trans waring light on the dash. Limped back to the BLM and called a local Allison Tech in Phoenix. He talked me through how to retrieve error codes using the keypad. Never knew how to do that as my Windsor has never had ANY transmission problems at all. Found two errors, 2511 and 6340. The tech zeroed in on the 2511 code which is the output speed sensor. He listed possible causes, etc. I was almost resigned to call Coach-net one more time to setup a tow into Phoenix for a repair sometime the next week as it was Friday and they would not have time to look at it until Tuesday or Wednesday. I fiddled with the transmission going from neutral to reverse to neutral then drive moving the coach in both directions a number of repetitions. Then decided to try it one more time getting back on the road. Well to my surprise it was back to normal. Called the tech later in the day to let him know what had happened. He said that he hopes that I won’t have any more problems with it on our trip which we did not. But now that I am home I plan to remove the connecter and clean it well with contact cleaner and WD-40. At the least this was a learning experience for me with the Allison Transmission in that I now know how to get into the Diagnostics of the transmission, retrieve codes, determine if they are active or not and delete codes. 

The next challenge was driving in 25-40 mph winds with gusts to over 50 mph through AZ. I was not impressed with how the coach handled in those conditions. It wore me out! The winds continued well into Texas during the trip. Once the winds subsided after getting to Louisiana, the coach was a pleasure to drive. However, now that we are home I will get under the front end to see what steering box the coach has and what else is under there. When time and money permit I will have the Watts Link installed by Barry at Josam in Orlando. 

Two additional problems surfaced during the trip. I discovered that the Dash AC system was not working as it should. Plus the HWH Air Leveling Compressor was not coming on. Both of these were checked out and given the OK by the “certified” inspector I had hired. 

Then the last two days of our trip were in rain from Alabama until we got home. While in Alabama I started using the wipers on and off for a few miles when all of a sudden the wipers went all the way to left such that the driver’s wiper was off the window completely and stuck there. Found a bridge to stop under and went out to move the wipers back into position and they moved freely such that they were free-floating. Tried to power them back on, NADA, NOTHING! So I had to drive with no wipers until getting back home. I did stop at a Walmart to purchase a bottle of Rain-X that helped a little but without a ladder to get high enough on the window it was a useless cause. 

So after all of our challenges on our trip I have a lengthy list of repairs to perform before leaving late in May for our Workamping jobs in New Hampshire. I will be posting for help on some of these as the coach and its system are new to me plus they are different than what I had in the Windsor. 

I am not disappointed in purchasing the coach. It is exactly what I was looking for and then some. I am VERY disappointed in the abilities of the “Certified NRVIA Inspector” to perform a proper inspection of the sophisticated systems the diesel pushers have, especially Monaco’s. In retrospect I should have either traveled to SLC to perform the PDI myself or did an extensive interview FIRST to make sure that the inspector was fully qualified to inspect the coach properly.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad you made it home. 

I guess I got lucky when I bought our coach back from FL to TN.  Only problem I had was the radio didn't work so when I stopped at a Walmart for the night I went in and bought a collection of "Marshal Tucker" and listened to that all the way back. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad you made it. Like they say, 'If you want something done right, do it yourself".  Your experience is a lesson for others.   After thought, a test drive is probably the best way to go, even if you would have to travel a great distance. Thank you for the update. 

Gary 05 AMB DST

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad you made it home safely!

 I can understand what you are talking about, my wife and I purchased our coach last September, did an inspection on our own with the owner (had an inspector lined up, that’s another issue, I’m not sure what I think of this NRVIA inspection thing, JMO!) and he showed us that all systems were working, and yes there were a couple of things that didn’t work a 100% but nothing I needed to get back to Minnesota from Oregon. The Owner had also give me the name and number of the RV shop that had done 90% of the maintenance on the coach and I confirmed that upon our inspection, and I had talked to them about the coach prior to our flight to Oregon. So armed with two bank cash bags of tools, a hammer, a laser temp gun, off into the wild blue yonder we go! We made it back just fine!

 It is kinda un-nerving just setting sail in an unknown piece of equipment not really knowing what you have under you!

 

   Congratulations on your new coach Dr!

Edited by Jdw12345
Link to comment
Share on other sites

With 85K miles on a 04 42’ Dynasty and now another 25K miles on a 08 Navigator I would wait on adding anything to the S-10 chassis. Adjusted the TRW box on the Dynasty a little at 50K miles. Adjusted the Nav a lot after the first 200 miles… took 2” of slop out of the steering wheel.

Rarely can I go across Kansas without holding 40 degrees of crab… one of the reasons I disconnected until I made the Safe-T-Plus adjustable on the fly (previous owner put it on). While not fun, I do not find it that tiring and still do 750+ miles most days.

Edited by Ivylog
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My only experience with an NRVIA inspector was not satisfactory.  Operating out of Delray Beach, FL, he was highly recommended, but I think overrated. This inspector (I need to look up his name) would not drive the coach or look under—insurance reasons he said.  This was our first DP, I now know Monaco’s are infamous for slide floor water problems.  I know now our coach was fitted with a fix similar to Guardian Plates—similar but not from the folks in FL that do this work.  Our Diplomat has a full wall slide which can be temperamental at times. No mention of the plates or slide operation by the “expert”.  I don’t think he opened the slides. The coach was missing the entry door awning-I knew this from the Prev. Owner but no mention by the “expert”. I could l list other minor issues not reported. Over all it’s a great unit that we enjoy but next time I’ll do my own inspection. 
 

Dwight. 07 Monaco Diplomat 400 ISL

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard, reading your story sounded like you telling my first drive home in my countess. I have the same problem of the small compressor not working and I had the driver side wiper go all the way past the windshield and get stuck there in pouring rain. Stoped at Walmart as you did and got rain x. I purchased a small ladder and was in the parking lot putting it on in the rain. I also have water coming out of my hose reel hose end. I put a cap on it for the time being. I think it’s a bad check valve but I’m not sure where it’s located. Anyways glad you made it back ok and I’m sure you will get everything to your liking in time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad you both made it back to Fl safely. Appears that a personal inspection and test drive should be done when buying a used coach. I look forward to the Pressure Pro write up and experience.

I know you are going to enjoy the NTU coach.

Bill B 07 Dynasty

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to keep a notepad nearby anytime I drive my coach. Or at least it seems that way. Turn the ignition key and something needs to be fixed. Owned it since new too. 

The only really major problem was years ago with a DPF failure that required a tow and plenty of cash. Forgot about the transmission control module getting wet and failing but that was basically a self inflicted wound.

But something is always broken or needs maintenance. 

Richard you have a lot more guts that I have jumping into a monster unknown machine miles from home. My hat is off to you and others that do this.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard:

 

Glad you made it back home. In time you will get the coach straightened around. Your Dynasty will have a TRW steering gear. Have it adjusted before throwing a watts link on it.

In regards to inspectors ? There are very few in the country that really understand DP's and how to do an inspection. They are very complex with many systems that need to be checked and tested. Finding one who knows all the systems is hard and when you do many prospective buyers wont pay the inspectors fee thinking it is exorbitant. I sent two of my tech's to Orlando to inspect an Entegra Cornerstone. It took them 4 solid hours to do a top to bottom inspection and they found over $ 15 K worth of deficiencies that needed to be addressed before the coach could be delivered. The coach was scheduled for delivery in a few days and it wasn't even roadworthy as it had no working tail, brake or headlights and wouldn't air up properly. The air leveling system was bad and a host of other things. It was the last inspection we did. Prospective owners who wanted to hire us balked at the fee. 2 - techs off sight for half a day got expensive for me and no one wanted to pay the fee. I lost money on that deal. I personally quit doing inspections as they are so time consuming and the payout isn't worth my time. I remember my last inspection. I was so thorough and found so many things wrong with a coach that a couple was buying from a dealer that the dealership owner told me not to ever comeback on his property. I tried talking my son into being an inspector as his DP credentials are off the charts - certified Cummins and Allison tech, Certified Spartan chassis tech, Certified air brake and leveling system tech, Aqua Hot tech and one of the very best coach electronic guys I have ever seen. He said the same thing - " People are too cheap to pay for a complete and thorough inspection by an expert. I wont do inspections. " I am sorry you found a dud. It happens all the time. I have to shake my head when people say " get your coach inspected before buying it ". Why bother when the majority of the inspectors do not know how to complete a thorough inspection ?

I am elated you got a coach that will work great for you two. I wish you many miles of safe and fun travels my friend. Call if you need anything. I am always here for you brother.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You’ll find those Monaco hubcaps tend to fall off if not properly installed. 

You mention Josams. I was there two weeks ago for a front end alignment and grease front wheel bearings. Barry said pulling the wheel and repacking the bearings wasn’t necessary, as they’ve found the stock bearings last a long time. 

I was told my coach was ready after waiting 2.5 hours. I paid and went to the bay my coach still was sitting in. I was about to back her out, when I thought I better check the work, as my prior experience with RV repair facilities has been poor. Good thing I did. Both front hubcaps had dents in them and were covered in grease. Plus they weren’t installed properly and would have fallen off as soon as I hit the road. I asked the mechanic to fix them. The dents easily popped out and I watched him install them. While waiting for this to be done, I notice a handle sticking under my coach. The mechanic left a large floor jack under my coach. Luckily I didn’t drive over it. 
 

I still lost a hubcap. Ugh. 

Edited by Pduggs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard 

Great post! I feel it brother, this is a great read for all the new coach owners, this is the real deal. Richard did a great job describing what is supposed to be an enjoyable adventure that turned into a little work, you probably noticed that he kept his cool, knew what to do /how to problem solve and manage to get himself to point B without stopping at Walmart for a sign to sell the rig. No one / dealers mention that "we have the perfect coach for you" bring tools,parts and a technician. 

Like WE always say," do not need any other hobbies when you own a coach"

I have a to do list that I hope I can get done this spring,just part of the game, money and time.

Richard will have that rid 100% in no time

Wayne 

1999 signature ceaser 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, throgmartin said:

Richard:

 

Glad you made it back home. In time you will get the coach straightened around. Your Dynasty will have a TRW steering gear. Have it adjusted before throwing a watts link on it.

In regards to inspectors ? There are very few in the country that really understand DP's and how to do an inspection. They are very complex with many systems that need to be checked and tested. Finding one who knows all the systems is hard and when you do many prospective buyers wont pay the inspectors fee thinking it is exorbitant. I sent two of my tech's to Orlando to inspect an Entegra Cornerstone. It took them 4 solid hours to do a top to bottom inspection and they found over $ 15 K worth of deficiencies that needed to be addressed before the coach could be delivered. The coach was scheduled for delivery in a few days and it wasn't even roadworthy as it had no working tail, brake or headlights and wouldn't air up properly. The air leveling system was bad and a host of other things. It was the last inspection we did. Prospective owners who wanted to hire us balked at the fee. 2 - techs off sight for half a day got expensive for me and no one wanted to pay the fee. I lost money on that deal. I personally quit doing inspections as they are so time consuming and the payout isn't worth my time. I remember my last inspection. I was so thorough and found so many things wrong with a coach that a couple was buying from a dealer that the dealership owner told me not to ever comeback on his property. I tried talking my son into being an inspector as his DP credentials are off the charts - certified Cummins and Allison tech, Certified Spartan chassis tech, Certified air brake and leveling system tech, Aqua Hot tech and one of the very best coach electronic guys I have ever seen. He said the same thing - " People are too cheap to pay for a complete and thorough inspection by an expert. I wont do inspections. " I am sorry you found a dud. It happens all the time. I have to shake my head when people say " get your coach inspected before buying it ". Why bother when the majority of the inspectors do not know how to complete a thorough inspection ?

I am elated you got a coach that will work great for you two. I wish you many miles of safe and fun travels my friend. Call if you need anything. I am always here for you brother.

I agree Chris. I hired an inspector prior to buying my coach and he missed a bunch of things. Didn’t even bother to check the inverter, genset, or Aqua-Hot. Luckily none of the problems were significant. I won’t hire an inspector if I buy another coach, but now I have a much better understanding of how things work in a DP. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great write up on the potential issues when buying a "nice" coach. Nothing major for sure, just those minor issues that can make things uncomfortable. As a newbie, I found that problem solving is the name of the game. I've been studying the owner's manual, and retrieving all related systems manuals offline since we got ours in December. As to hiring an inspector, I've heard that it is difficult to find one that will know all the systems. I went through our coach with the previous owner and asked that all major systems operation was  demonstrated. He also insisted on a thorough test drive of about 60 miles for familiarization and confidence. Still missed some things like standby electric compressor.

I'm sure you'll get it sorted quickly, the Dynasty is an amazing right, may you have many happy miles!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard,

It’s great you guys are back home safe and sound.   Sorry to hear about your issues.

 

I had similar issues with my transmission last year.   In the end, I cleaned the hell out of the connector, put dielectric grease in it, tightened it as much as i could and then sealed it from the outside with rubberized tape.   I also replaced the input sensor ( cheap and easy to replace ).    I haven’t had any issues with it in the past six months since doing all that.  


The pins on that big connector are really short, so there isn’t much to make a connection.   I had all sorts of errors show up for a bit, once it wouldn’t read the level and said the level sensor was bad.   Twice, it just would not shift into gear at all, once at a fuel pump after filling up.   In those instances just wiggling the cables with the awning stick made her happy enough to drive.

 

Granville Barker

05 Dynasty

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I won't need the services of ANY RV inspector ever again as this Dynasty WILL be our last. I thought that our Windsor was our last as we have owned it for over 18 years. However, once I got hooked on the 2006 Monaco Dynasty's, specifically the Countess III Floorplan, I was on a mission to find one that met my criteria.

The main reason for my post is to warn others, especially newbies, about NRVIA inspectors. As Chris stated most if not all are NOT qualified to thoroughly and reliably inspect Monaco coaches correctly.

Maybe I should go into the RV Inspection business myself! LOL

For anyone that doesn't have one, below is a 9-page PDI list that Chuck B, a member here, had posted years ago. When used correctly it could save you a lot of money, time and grief.

PDI Check List for RV Coach.pdf

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard, glad you made it home safely and gained a little on the learning curve on your NTU Coach. I had an RVIA inspector come into my storage yard recently to do an inspection on a Class C for a couple of ladies buying it. He never got on the roof or put the awnings out, who knows what else he did not check. I think checking qualifications is a must. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard, congrats on the new coach.  Sounds like u went right by me off I10 in AL in all our recent rain.  Glad you got home safely and have stories to share. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where is this connector for the TCM located that gets wet? I looked on line and some people say it’s in the front run bay on other Monaco’s. I haven’t had any problems with the transmission but if I do I want to know where to look first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Georgia Mike said:

Where is this connector for the TCM located that gets wet? I looked on line and some people say it’s in the front run bay on other Monaco’s. I haven’t had any problems with the transmission but if I do I want to know where to look first.

Its on the drivers side rear of transmission under the coach, huge round plug, aircraft style that screws together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike, I haven't read in this thread anything about a connector for the TCM getting wet. Are you sure you have the right thread?

Also, I have sent you a PM in regard to the wiper problem that both you and I had when bringing our coaches home.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, granvillebarker said:

Its on the drivers side rear of transmission under the coach, huge round plug, aircraft style that screws together.

Thanks, I am going to crawl under and see how exposed it looks and wrap it in some water proof material. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard,

Glad you made it back safely.  I’m sure you’ll get all of the bugs worked out. 

Your post-mortem was excellent.  It’s unfortunate that there are so many “wanna be” inspectors.  
Dan

Link to comment
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...