Country Coach vs Monaco

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countryjoe

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Country Coach Allures and Inspires seem to cost more than Monaco Windsors and Camelots in the same length and engine sizes, yet Monaco has an eight bag air suspension vs Country Coach's four bag system. What's the difference? Is Country Coach really a better coach, and if so, how? Anyone have an opinion?
 

Ron

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The Country Coach, like the American Coaches, have Independant Front Suspension (IFS) while the Monaco has the old straight solid axle.? Personally after driving a coach with IFS I wouldn't even want a coach without it.? Members with each brand seem very happy with what they have. All are quality coaches.? I would recommend you drive a coach with IFS and compare it to one without.
 

Terry A. Brewer

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>>Anyone have an opinion?<<

They have very different construction ideas...When you are spending that much money I tell everyone to visit the factory to see how they are made. You also have to drive them over the same route to judge them fairly, FMCA Rallies are a good place to do this.? By the way my 1999 Country Coach Magna has 8 large bus type air-bags.

Another good idea is to look at 7-10 year old coaches of the same brand to see how they are holding up, it will give you a good clue to how they were constructed & the quality of materials they used

 

countryjoe

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Thanks for the replies. I completely overlooked the fact that Monaco does not have an IFS. Monaco's chassis website implies they have it because they say the air bag system allows each side of the suspension to act independently.
 

JerArdra

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Countryjoe,

Monaco does, as quickly as possible, add air or deflate air from the bags during a bump or leaning on a turn but it is not the same as IFS because, on a Monaco, when the straight axle is raised on one side it does affect the other side even if the air pressure is quickly changed.  I have a Monaco and in driving both IFS and a straight axle I cannot feel any difference in ride quality.  I can in a car but not in a heavy MH.  The real difference between IFS and a straight axle is turning.  Monaco can get a 49 to 50 degree cut whereas some of the IFS axles can get a 55 degree cut so they do turn sharper.  My 40 Monaco turns quite adequately on 90 degree turns as do Country Coaches but a Country Coach can make a U-turn where I cannot.

After owning five MHs (four of which had factory delivery) I believe that there an MANY more much more important factors that must considered than IFS vs straight axle.  Some of the factors that I feel are more important are (this list is not ranked, it is in a random sequence):  cost, the engine size, can you get factory delivery, mfg'er (not dealer) service after purchase, can you get custom features if you order a new coach, interior layout, net carrying capacity, underbay doors below the slideouts and so forth.

I must add one prejudice of mine.  After 5 new coaches I would not even buy a new coach if the mfg'er did not have a factory delivery option (both Country Coach and Monaco do).

By the way, tires can make more difference in overall ride quality than IFS or straight axle but IFS wins in sharpness of turn.  RE sharpness of turn, if you buy a 40 footer with a tag axle it will turn a little sharper than a 40 footer without a tag axle because the overall wheel base is a little shorter.  The tag axle pushes the drive axle foreward just a little bit.

JerryF
 

Tom

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I've never driven a coach with IFS, so I can't (and won't) comment on the differences. When I asked the Roadmaster/Monaco folks at FMCA if/when they'd introduce a chassis with IFS, they were very clear that they had no plans to. When I pressed for a reason, they said the Roadmaster chassis handled adequately without IFS, so there was no reason to change a good design.
 

JimChan52

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Something else to consider is that Country Coach is now owned by National.  From some comments, I've heard that quality has suffered on newer coaches......  I suggest you check with owners of the new National Country Coach and see if things have changed.... just my 2Cents...
 

Kenneth

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JimChan52 said:
Something else to consider is that Country Coach is now owned by National.? From some comments, I've heard that quality has suffered on newer coaches......? I suggest you check with owners of the new National Country Coach and see if things have changed.... just my 2Cents...

In my search for a new coach , I spent some time looking at the new National Tradewinds DP, I was impressed to say the least, so far its one of the nicest coaches I've come across. The sales person said it has been re-designed from the ground up. All wood cabinets screwed and glued and no trim ! every thing was butted up perfectly. Fit and finish was a 10 in my opinion. Its on my short list  ;D
 

Jeff

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Kenneth said:
In my search for a new coach , I spent some time looking at the new National Tradewinds DP, I was impressed to say the least, so far its one of the nicest coaches I've come across. The sales person said it has been re-designed from the ground up. All wood cabinets screwed and glued and no trim ! every thing was butted up perfectly. Fit and finish was a 10 in my opinion. Its on my short list  ;D

Kenneth:

We own a 2001 Trdewinds and have had great luck with it. While at FMCA Pomona we went through the new Tradewinds on display and you are right they are very nice looking.

What concerned me with the new model was the weight! The CCC of the coach we looked at was less than 2000 pounds, almost 1000 pounds less than our current coach and not nearly enough for that class of m/h.
 

Kenneth

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Jeff,

That's why I am still looking  :mad:  So far I have contacted two National RV retailers and as of yet they can't supply the shipping weight of the coach  ??? But they sure had no problem dropping their pants on the price, without me even asking :-\ You think they might just have a $250k mistake in the inventory ? Still like the coach but until I get the hard facts on the CCC, it will still be on my short list.

 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Kenneth said:
Jeff,

So far I have contacted two National RV retailers and as of yet they can't supply the shipping weight of the coach  ???.....  Still like the coach but until I get the hard facts on the CCC, it will still be on my short list.

Kenneth,

If there is one there on the lot ask the dealer to let you take it to a scales and weigh it. You can add the weight of fuel, water etc. to the scale weight. Subtract that from the GVWR and you have the CCC and you get a test drive.
 

Kenneth

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I believe if I was to show up during the week, when the business office is open ,they could pull the MSO and give me the weight. My next choice is an HR Ambassador PLQ with the office in the rear. I really like that option. Haven't made it to see the Newmar coaches yet. That's next weeks plans  ;D
 

Jim Godward

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If you do go and look at the Nnewmar ones be sure to drive either a Mountainaire or the Essex with the new TRW steering system.  The reports on it are amazing.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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All the weights are posted on a big sticker right in the coach - all they have to do is go out on the lot and look at it if they have the unit in stock. Or any unit of the same model & floor plan will have the same weight except for any differences in installed options.
 

ArdraF

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I don't think anyone has mentioned taking factory tours.  There's nothing like seeing how something is put together, whether it is structural or quality.  Before purchasing our first Monaco we toured the (then) Safari, (then) Beaver, Monaco, Country Coach and Alpine factories.  Since then we've toured the Winnebago factory and would have toured the Foretravel factory, except it was closed.  I think anyone who's going to invest that much money in an item that is both a house and a vehicle should take as many factory tours as feasible.  You learn far more that way than talking with dealers who sometimes don't know anything about anything.  It's like when we were looking for a new 4WD and asked a car salesman whether his car had a transfer case and he asked US what a transfer case was!!  We fled.  By contrast, when we attended an RV show a Monaco rep took us for a test drive and really explained things.  During the drive he made sure we were all belted in and no other vehicles were near and then pulled the emergency brake so we would know how it responded and what it felt like.  These are the things that really help when purchasing an RV.  The things that really count are structure, performance, interior layout, whether it has what you think you'll need for livability (refrigerator size, oven, storage, etc.) and the like.  Don't let one thing grow in importance to the exclusion of others that might really be more important.  In the case of suspension we love our Monaco and those who have IFS love theirs so I'm not convinced suspension should be emphasized as a primary concern, unless it doesn't handle well, in which case you should be leery of it.    Also, look at whether the vehicle was built during a time of transition which can mean lots of problems.  I've heard folks say that they bought a MH and the company was bought out and the new owner can't help them.  I've also spoken with manufacturers who say they do the best they can, but when the old company was failing and it didn't keep drawings or whatever, they have difficulty helping their new customers who have coaches from another manufacturer they've acquired.  Sometimes there are so many issues they wish they hadn't made the acquisition!  By the way, ask other owners about follow-up care.  Some are wonderful and others are not.

ArdraF

 

Charles

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At a Perry rally, we drove a Monaco Sig back to back with a CC Affinity, on the same road. 

We had heard a lot about IFS, so were really interested in how it compared to the Sig (we then had (and still have) a Dynasty so we were already familiar with the monaco ride).

We drove the sig first, then the CC.  At the end of the CC ride, I told the salesman "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I really don't see any difference in the rides, other than the monaco has better lateral stability."  He seemed shocked, but that was our honest assessment.

I mentioned this to a Lazy Days rep.  He asked me what kind of road it was.  I told him pretty smooth, pretty ordinary, no harsh bumps or expansion crackes, etc.  He replied, "that's why the ride seemed the same - on a rough road is where you'll be more likely to notice the difference."

That said, when we got our 02 Dynasty, it road like a truck - a rough truck.  We focused on getting it to ride better rather than trading it.  We changed the front tires to Goodyear G670rv, added "equal" balancer, weighed the axels and adjusted tire pressure, and finally changed the 4 front shocks to the new Koni FSD.  I'll now put its ride up against anything short of a Prevost or Newell.

Ask yourself how much time you'll be driving vs sitting.  Ask yourself if the ride is more important than floorplans, ambiance, general personal satisfaction with one over the other, etc. 

Then get what YOU like.  If either CC or Monaco were substantially superior to the other, one would not be in business.  Whether a Cadilac or Lincoln, a lot is just personal preference.

 

Chet18013

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We just returned from the Beaver pre-FMCA rally in Marion, NC. We have a 1991 Beaver Marquis. In 1994 Beaver was purchased by SMC  and then subsequently sold to Monoco about 2 years ago. So now the Beaver is manufactured by Monoco in the same factory which makes the Monoco coaches.

Anyhow, the point I'm  leading up to is Monoco has assumed the service of ALL old Beaver coaches. While at the pre-rally, they treated us just like a Monoco owner and preformed free service on our coach, just as they were doing on the newer units which really were the only ones they truly were responseable for. Thet had a good supply of parts there, even for our older coach.

The attitude, professionalism and response of the Monoco folks was excellent! Based on this experience, we have to look hard at Monoco if we ever replace our present coach.

Chet18013
 

Tom

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Chet,

Glad you found the Monaco folks helpful. All the Beaver owners we spoke with at the Monaco service center had nothing but good things to say about the way they were treated.
 
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