Downsizing

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gdauth

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Posts
12
Location
TGO Titusville, FL
This past fall after yet another problem with my 2000 38? Ultimate Advantage DP, I decided to get rid of the turkey. I traded the ?Dis-advantage? for a 2006 30' Monaco Monarch 30PDD.  The Monarch is on the Ford 20,500 chassis with the new 3 valve V10 and the new 5 speed transmission. Some may think that this is a come down, but more on that later. It has living room and bedroom slides.

Just recently, I returned from my first trip in the Monarch. My trip was from Ann Arbor, MI to Titusville, FL. and return, which is a round trip of about 2400 miles. The route was US 23 to I75, I75 to I40, I40 to I26, I26 to I95and I95 to Titusville. The terrain varied from the flatness of Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida to the rolling hills of Kentucky to the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. I did not religiously keep track of gas mileage, since this was my first trip with the MH and it only had 2500 miles on it at the start of the trip. However, from Titusville to Columbia South Carolina on the return trip, I kept the speed at about 62 mph and I got some where between 9 ? 10 mpg on the leg.

Performance:

I was very pleased with the performance of the Monarch. The ride was good for a gasser. It tracked well in crosswinds and when passed by eighteen wheelers. The cockpit was relatively quiet except when climbing a steep hill. We were able to carry on conversation in a normal tone of voice. During cruising there was very little engine or wind noise.

The impressive thing was the performance of the engine and transmission. The GVW was 18,900 lbs (6340 on steer axle and 12560 on the drive axle) and I towed a 3200 lb toad. The V10 negotiated the mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina as well as my old DP with the 300 HP Cat and Allison 6 speed. In fact, when I reached the top of ?Malfunction Junction? at Jellico Tennessee, I was doing 50 - 55 mph. On the way up I passed several semis and motor homes. I had the same results in North Carolina. The transmission was a good performer when put in Tow/haul mode. It was almost like having an exhaust brake. The transmission kept the speed down to 50 ? 55 with only an occasional tap on the brakes.

Space and Amenities:

I traveled with a companion and a 70 lb Siberian Husky. When the slides were extended there was more than adequate space, of course with slides retracted, things were kind of tight. While I would not want to full time in this MH, I will not hesitate to take it a long trip in it. It was very comfortable especially after I replace the standard mattress with a Sleep Number bed. Storage is another issue. There is more than adequate interior cabinet and closet space, but basement storage is a little sparse. However, unless I start carrying lead bricks I don?t think that I will exceed the CCC. The only area that I would like more space was in the kitchen. Counter space is small. However, I will fix that with a drop leaf counter extension. The bath area was also a little tight, but adequate as long as I don?t gain any more weight.

Quality:

Well here I was pleasantly surprised. Not many things went wrong. The front TV set died, the AC vents did not distribute air properly and the jacks required some babying. All have been fixed under warranty. Compared to my Ultimate ?Dis-advantage? which had as many as 80 problems on the first two trips, the Monarch was a very pleasant surprise. Generally, the fit and finish were much better than the Winnebago.

Would I do it again? I should have done it sooner. I think that I got my monies worth this time. The smaller package turned out to be plus. I can conceive traveling without a toad. and I can fit into just about most spaces. The performance was outstanding and the ride was good. I had an earlier version of the Ford chassis and I was always tired at the end of the day. Not so with the the 2006 version of the Ford chassis. It was a pleasure to drive.

George Dauth






 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,937
George,

Glad to hear the Monarch worked out OK for you. I haven't previously talked with any Monarch owners, so thanks for your first hand report.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,604
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Glad to hear that the new rig has worked out fine for you. A modern gas chassis motorhome is a far cry from the overloaded designs of the 80's and 90's and I'm not surprised it performed well for you.
 

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