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Starting a new life chapter with an older coach.


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Hello all.  I've been reading ALOT of the trials & tribulations that ya'all have went thru with your Monaco Coaches.  Ya see, I'm about to take delivery of a '95 Executive, C6T8.3 Cummins, been mostly parked indoors for last 4 years.  Decent price.  Took it for a drive, seems good on the road.  Yes, there are some minor hiccups I've noticed exists but, I'm a retired Navy engineer who feels somewhat capable of dealing with issues.  Yes, I've started collecting the required pieces to perform the King Control throttle conversion by years end altho it's not seemingly an issue at the moment.  Six speed Allison shifts well, cruise control works as designed.  My plans are for massive preventive and corrective maintenance where needed.  Wet sand edges and brow of roof cap, coating with good marine enamel.  Roof cap gets repaired as needed with eternabond tape and coated with white siliconized coating.  Roof AC's will be thoroughly cleaned and capacitors electrically tested.  All 6 wheels will get new metal valve stems installed and I'll need to inspect and repack front wheel bearings.  I'm replacing the 2-way elect/propane fridge with a 12 volt unit and adding a 12 volt cube freezer to the storage basement.  Adding six (6) solar panels on the roof and going with four(4) Trojan T-105 house batteries.  I know some are partial to lithium, I'll stick with the Trojans.  I respect the opinion of others, asking those with experience with older Monacos if there are specific items, such as King Control throttle, that have given you headaches or fits during your chapter in life with your Monaco.  I realize they can be troublesome or not but, it's a new "hobby" I am taking on realizing there will be hiccups along the way.  Thanks in advance for you taking the time to read this !  Safe travels to all..... 

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Welcome aboard!

I have a bit newer, and shorter Coach. I’ve done a few things, really gutted it, and suspension mods.

You can read through the mod pages. Your engine and Trans are top notch. 
 

JD 

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Welcome

Just to let you know if interested, my Norcold started to act up on Sunday night, Monday afternoon I went to Binnacle and purchased a Vitrifrigo VF75p. It can be either operated as a fridge and or freezer, at this point we are using it as a fridge,have it set at - 8 Celsius. So far we are very happy with it,I will do the same and put it in the basement as a freezer. In the shade in the basement I am positive this unit will be very efficient in extremely warm environments. It has a battery saver options as well.we are boon docking and running the generator 3 hours in a 24 hour period. May be more trips to the local market but that's not a big deal for us.less food being thrown out. I can sleep at night not worrying about the generator running when the big fridge ran the batteries down.so before I pull the trigger on a residential fridge I am going to do some more research in regards to what is used on yachts, aircrafts. 

I have been part of the group for  4.5 years and this is the site for support.

When I first joined some said "when you own a coach you do not need any other hobbies"

Nice rig

Wayne 

1999 Signature ceaser 

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If you enjoy fixing and maintaining then you are in for a good time.  The coaches are pretty solid, except for if someone got behind on routine maintenance.  If it has not been driven much, I'd check the rear wheel bearings too.  Make sure the fuel shut off solenoid bolts are tight.  Seems like I remember someone having an issue of them working themselves loose.  I'd go easy on the eternabond tape... and not sure about enamel on fiberglass.  There is a special process of sanding, cleaning and sealing that is not an easy process but it sure looks good when you are done.  If you inspect the fiberglass closely for spider cracks, etc you will know when that is needed.  The air dryer is something that seems to get overlooked.  I opted to just replace the entire unit.  Fuel filters are always a source of problems if that gets neglected.  Hopefully it has the Winn fuel/water/air system on it...  easiest way to prime it after servicing it.  The inverter/charger may need to be swapped out... those have improved considerably in the last 25 years...  I also replaced all the 12 volt lights with LED...  Let me know if you run into something particular.  This is a great forum for these older coaches.  Happy trails.  Jim

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Welcome from the land of Mickey Mouse!

Just remember, new coaches have problems from the factory and older coaches have problems from deferred maintenance and life happening. Either way the coach will have problems. You aren’t alone in that respect but the people on this forum will be there to help you every step of the way. 

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34 minutes ago, JDCrow said:

Welcome aboard!

I have a bit newer, and shorter Coach. I’ve done a few things, really gutted it, and suspension mods.

You can read through the mod pages. Your engine and Trans are top notch. 
 

JD 

 

Thanks JD.  I'll look at your mods, I'm amazed at some of the things that are accomplished on these mammoth coaches.

4 minutes ago, tomevansfl said:

Welcome from the land of Mickey Mouse!

Just remember, new coaches have problems from the factory and older coaches have problems from deferred maintenance and life happening. Either way the coach will have problems. You aren’t alone in that respect but the people on this forum will be there to help you every step of the way. 

 

Yes, thanks Tom.  I'm sure whether old or new; they all can have their own issues.

12 minutes ago, Jim Bob said:

If you enjoy fixing and maintaining then you are in for a good time.  The coaches are pretty solid, except for if someone got behind on routine maintenance.  If it has not been driven much, I'd check the rear wheel bearings too.  Make sure the fuel shut off solenoid bolts are tight.  Seems like I remember someone having an issue of them working themselves loose.  I'd go easy on the eternabond tape... and not sure about enamel on fiberglass.  There is a special process of sanding, cleaning and sealing that is not an easy process but it sure looks good when you are done.  If you inspect the fiberglass closely for spider cracks, etc you will know when that is needed.  The air dryer is something that seems to get overlooked.  I opted to just replace the entire unit.  Fuel filters are always a source of problems if that gets neglected.  Hopefully it has the Winn fuel/water/air system on it...  easiest way to prime it after servicing it.  The inverter/charger may need to be swapped out... those have improved considerably in the last 25 years...  I also replaced all the 12 volt lights with LED...  Let me know if you run into something particular.  This is a great forum for these older coaches.  Happy trails.  Jim

 

Yes, I'm a little nervous about it setting mostly, lots of maintenance deferred.  I'm either having the fuel tank cleaned or installing a polishing system as a precaution against fuel contamination issues.   Spare lift pump and fuel shutoff solenoid on the list.  I think rear wheel bearings oiled by axle gear oil but I will check.  Air dryer definitely needs serviced soon.  A good marine enamel can go over fiberglass; that's what is used on all kinds of sailboats.  I'm going to replace the Winn system with a FASS fuel filtering system.  I will have to check out the inverter/charger and the ATS.  At least torque the connections after inspection to prevent arching and sparking.  May replace both.  I appreciate your input; it makes my maintenance list grow !  lol

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Welcome Randy, you have a good plan and will get her to running shape in no time. Improvements will however never end. My other hobbies went sideways since we got ours. Enjoy the ride!

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Hi, and as a close friend once said to me "Welcome to the Asylum" 🙂

Having owned and embarassingly large number of coaches through the years, a memorable fact from life with a 1998 Monaco Dynasty involved the alternater which went open-field and died. In the end, replacing the Cole-Hersee isolator and having the original alternator rebuilt was the final solution. I went through significant time and expense with various Delco-Remy and Leece-Neville Duvac and Non-Duvac alternators, with each being "sworn to work perfectly" but did NOT. 

In the final analysis, the old-school advice of "pull the old alternator and have it rebuilt by a reliable shop" cured all of the ills.

I know others may/will feel differently, but I could have avoided a host of problems and expenses if I had just pulled the original and had it rebuilt from the get-go rather than try to substitute alternatives that "should work".

Just my .02, and again - welcome. That is a fine, solid rig that you have there and in my opinion, Monacos of your vintage were some of the best ever built.

John

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Thanks John.  I will make a big note on the alternator......seems like one of those things that could get ya unexpectedly.  Who knows, maybe have it tested and head it off at the pass !  Well, I have a lengthy list but that's ok.  We are not planning on any major trips til spring.  Plenty of time to get acquainted with it !  😀

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When I had my Leese Neville rebuilt the guy told my the biggest reason for alternator failure in Pushers is the fact that they are in backwards from how they were designed to be mounted and also in the rear where all kinds of dust is kicked up. He suggested I blow out the alternator with compressed air a couple times a year if driven regularly or once a year if occasional 

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Something owners of older Monacos, and my guess other coaches, might also want to be aware of is with the design of the OEM alternator's positive cable post NOT being of press-in design, the positive post to rectifier plate connection can become lose over time. And this can result in high resistance between this positive post and the rectifier plate internal to the alt possibly resulting in a meltdown of the rectifier plate. I experienced this. As happened, my voltmeter indicated no charging was occurring and upon immediate inspection I discovered smoke rising from the alternator. Took alt apart and it was toast inside, fire wasn't far away. New replacement alt had modern press-in design post, so I used a nut on nut fastening of my battery cable to the post and confident of a less troublesome connection. Especially for older coaches, I might suggest a tightness check of your alt's battery post / cable connection, always remember to disconnect batteries before starting a wrench on the alt terminal. If I had checked mine I believe I would still be running with the original alternator.

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On 7/19/2022 at 5:33 PM, WayneC said:

Welcome

Just to let you know if interested, my Norcold started to act up on Sunday night, Monday afternoon I went to Binnacle and purchased a Vitrifrigo VF75p. It can be either operated as a fridge and or freezer, at this point we are using it as a fridge,have it set at - 8 Celsius. So far we are very happy with it,I will do the same and put it in the basement as a freezer. In the shade in the basement I am positive this unit will be very efficient in extremely warm environments. It has a battery saver options as well.we are boon docking and running the generator 3 hours in a 24 hour period. May be more trips to the local market but that's not a big deal for us.less food being thrown out. I can sleep at night not worrying about the generator running when the big fridge ran the batteries down.so before I pull the trigger on a residential fridge I am going to do some more research in regards to what is used on yachts, aircrafts. 

I have been part of the group for  4.5 years and this is the site for support.

When I first joined some said "when you own a coach you do not need any other hobbies"

Nice rig

Wayne 

1999 Signature ceaser 

There are 3 stages to charging your battery bank.  Bulk, absorption, and float charge.  The 3 stages can take up to 4 hours or more time.  If you do not allow the charger to complete the 3 stages, you will shorten the discharge rate time of the battery bank because the battery bank does not receive the full charge. 

Chuck B 2004 Windsor 

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Lots of good suggestions so far, here's my take

Do a thorough chassis inspection,

  1. look at the control arm bushings
  2. look for any structural problems such as cracks in the welds or metal
  3. start and run the rig to air pressure and shut it off, see how long the air tanks hold a charge. 
  4. take a spray bottle of soapy water and spray down all the fittings on the tanks, spray down the air bags and look for air leaks.
  5. check your right height and adjust to spec's

Go through the electrical system and tighten all connections, over time because of the vibration they become loose.  Look for any signs of heat.  Tighten all the ground connections, on my coach I have several grounding bars that all the grounds come too.  

Check the belt molding on the sides of the motor home.  I had a bad place on my passenger side rear that turned into a leak.  Best course of action is to remove the old caulk, clean, and replace. I did this last year, I bought a set of heavy plastic scrappers from Harbor Freight that worked great to clean the old caulk out.  I used a Geocel product to recaulk.

I cleaned and painted my roof last year, I used Rustoleum Topside paint from Lowes. 

Good luck, welcome to the "I'll never have much free time (or money) owning an older motor home Club"

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Aqua hot 🔥 

Just changed the combustion chamber on my Aqua hot, original, I used it many hours traveling from Northern Ontario to Gulf Shores/AR,in winter months, it had a major melt down,cause ,possible low voltage, 2hours to wrestle it out of there,new nozzle,photo eye,fuel filter,unbelievable amount of soote ,going to clean and blow out exhaust, oh ya that is brand new as well. I used a screw driver to move it like 1/6th of an inch, found a small enough bolt with small rope on it and put it in the hole,turned it so it would put even pressure on the chamber, hooked it to a 5000 pound rachet strap,other end around a tree that was perfectly inline,put some pressure on it tapped it with the hammer and lord and behold it came out.

Just thought I would share that ,just being creative with what I had with me at this time.

Wayne 

1999 Signature ceaser 

3 hours ago, Chuck B 2004 Windsor said:

There are 3 stages to charging your battery bank.  Bulk, absorption, and float charge.  The 3 stages can take up to 4 hours or more time.  If you do not allow the charger to complete the 3 stages, you will shorten the discharge rate time of the battery bank because the battery bank does not receive the full charge. 

Chuck B 2004 Windsor 

Thanks Chuck

I have the generator set to shut down when they are charged and or I wait for the like to flash full charge. 

Wayne 

1999 Signature ceaser 

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Welcome to the forum Randy!  You now have a hobby that will keep you entertained for years. The folks on this forum are amazing and they have an unbelievable  amount of talent and goodwill.  God bless you and yours, Ed and Sylvia

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