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billy1davis

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Posted: 01/08/18 10:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are seriously looking at 2002 Monaco Knight 30 ft. I have read the stories of the 2008 and newer issues. Wondering if there are any thoughts out there on the 2002 as far as quality and especially the ride as my wife has a bad back

gswcgi

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Posted: 01/08/18 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2003 Safari Cheetah, by Monaco. Original owner now with 55,000 miles on it. It is a diesel, CAT engine. Very happy with it. The 2002 Knight has the same chassis, only 4 air bags. I have not found the ride unreasonable. We replaced the original shocks with Konis, helped quite a bit. Check the trailing arms before you buy. Some Monaco products had problems with the original trailing arms which need to be replaced and there are quality after market replacements out there.


'03 Safari, DP, 36" Nissan 4X4 toad

DSDP Don

Moorpark, Ca

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Posted: 01/08/18 11:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to buy what will fit your needs and budget, but a 30' DP is going to be a ROUGH riding coach. I owned a 36' Diplomat and did many suspension changes to get a decent ride. I would NEVER buy a diesel pusher under 34' - 36' in length. Just too short of a wheelbase.


Don & Mary
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billy1davis

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Posted: 01/08/18 12:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So any body out there that has a short wheel base DP or gasser that feels the same way about a short WB,ie...not a good ride?

cdavid57

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Posted: 01/08/18 05:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 39ft 2002 Monaco Dipolmat purchased new in 2003. Didn't like driving until I changed shocks and added torison bar. Drives great now and we love it. Just turned 100,000 miles on way back from Alaska.

dougrainer

Carrolton, Texas

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Posted: 01/08/18 06:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Monaco Knight has a 4 bag system instead of the 8 bag system. people that have had BOTH, did not like the ride of the 4 bag system. The reason they traded. You need to drive a 8 bag and the 4 bag and see if the ride is worth the cheaper cost of the Knight. Doug

DSDP Don

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Posted: 01/08/18 10:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Billy...I wasn't trying to leave you hanging regarding the short coach. There are many NEW models out right now like the Thor Palazzo and Tiffins that come in a short wheelbase. The difference.....those units are designed on a shorter chassis with a smaller motor. They're actually a downsized diesel.

The older coaches you're looking at, are full size chassis/coaches that they chopped the frame down shorter. There was a Country Coach model that was very short and a lot of effort was used to actually design a good handling coach. Those coaches are very hard to find as they're older and few were made.

Monaco used a few different chassis'. They were all made by Monaco and called the Roadmaster chassis. The Roadmaster chassis was a great chassis and is what made Monaco a great coach. Their low end chassis was a 4 air bag chassis (R4R), just like most other brands. One of the things that Monaco did was mount their airbags outside the frame, rather over the frame like everyone else does. This made them handle better.

As you stepped up in the Monaco line, they made the RR8R Roadmaster chassis. It had 2 airbags at every wheel. They were a much better riding chassis. Their top of the line added more air bags to the tag axle and a larger bag up front for a softer ride.

Our friends bought a 2007 Cayman (Holliday Rambler-Monaco product- Knight equivalent). It had the four airbag system and was 37' long. It was so rough riding, that it would knock the clothing off the rack in the closet. I installed new Koni shocks, adjusted tire pressure and made sure the ride height was set properly. It still rode rough.

After Monaco went out of business, a small group of employees began making aftermarket products for Monaco coaches. One of their products was to create a ride improvement kit for the 4 airbag coaches (R4R). The cost was about $4K and included new airbags and shocks. Many said it was an improvement, but still a rough riding coach.

I primarily posted on your thread because you stated your wife has a bad back. I didn't want you to get stuck with a rough riding coach. In later years, Monaco upgraded the Knight to an 8 airbag system. It had all the features of the Monaco Diplomat, except the big engine.

As you look, you'll have a hard time finding older shorter coaches. People just were not interested in them and they rode poorly. Not until recently did they improve the ride in short DP's.

billy1davis

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Posted: 01/09/18 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks so very much for that very complete answer. That is very helpful for me.
So we are looking at two resolutions here...a longer wheel base Class A or a fifth wheel with "air Ride" being installed on the Dodge Dually we have. My wife can't stand to ride in the truck very much as it is and we have hear allot of good things about the air ride modification which removes the leaf springs entirely.
Thoughts???

wildmanbaker

Kennewick, Washington

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Posted: 01/09/18 11:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bill, it depends on what you plan on using the MH for. If you plan on Boondocking in remote places, with limited means of access, a long wheelbase will not be very useful to you. You will trade some ride qualities for better access to remote areas. I am not saying that you cannot take a tag axel MH to these areas, but most do not want to go on rough, narrow dirt roads. On the other hand, we have seen tag axel MHs in snow parks, in the winter. We have went into there same areas in the summer, and they were pretty rough. The short diesels that you are looking for, are somewhat hard to find, as when they are for sale, they do not last long. You only ride in it to get to where you want, then you are in a small house, so floor plan should be more to consider than actual WB. We have a gas, 208" wb MH. Our other choice was a 228" wb, but we do boondock, and the shorter wb does the trick for us. We can get the 34 foot MH into the same areas as we did the TT.


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billy1davis

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Posted: 01/09/18 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My main concern is the ride comfort as my wife has a bad back. The fact that it is short or long really only matters in how it affects the ride down the road. We would prefer camping out in the wilds but if a longer MH eliminates that then we will make do. We want to travel in our last years but we don't want to stop every day having only gone 100 miles because the wife's back is not tolerating it.
So now the consideration is which option is going to be the best in comfort going down the road....Class A or 5vr? with the Dodge dually having air suspension?

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