This is ours. 1976 Executive that my Grandfather bought new. 102k on the odo. The photo was taken less than a month ago in Moab. Traveled down from Idaho with a crew from Happy Trails for a nice getaway. Averaged 7.25 mpg running 65mph the whole way. Dodge M500 chassis with the 440-3 motor. Headers, intake, carb, ignition, cam and some mild headwork.
I must disagree with the common thought that buying a newer coach is somehow more reliable than an older one. Until January I worked in the high end RV industry and my father has a 2004 Monaco Executive 43' rig. He has as many, if not more, component failures than I do. We both have the laundry list of small repairs to do on our rigs year to year. The key is to find an older one that was owned by someone who cared about it.
Ours is perfect. Nothing like dry camping out in the boonies for a week. Getting back from a day of riding, kicking on the generator with a press of the button from inside, cranking the AC to cool her off while I jump in the shower to wash off the days dust. Get out and pull clean clothes from the closet while sipping on a cold beer from the fridge. Screw tent camping.
I have done many things to this coach from year to year. Just part of owning an older coach, but also part of the enjoyment. Just added Firestone air bags all around on the suspension with Bilstein shocks and wow, did that make a huge difference.
A couple of years ago I replaced the older type of water pump for the house with a new Shur-Flo unit and I have water pressure in the shower almost like home. Updated the battery pack to handle extended dry camping and have plans to add a couple of large solar panels to the roof.
This coach does not leak, rattle, shake, smoke, or leave parts on the side of the road. It does require care and upkeep, but if you think a newer coach does not, your kidding yourself. Each time I address some system on the coach, I do what I can to bring it up to modern standards and technology. Hell, I even have a Vorad collision avoidance front and side radar system on it. The same systems they are (were
) putting on the high end Monaco's as of late.
It is due for a new coat of paint, and that is on the list. I have a friend that is a painter and he and I do a lot of trade out so it will not cost me much. We re-did all the upholstery last year and added new captains chairs as well.
If you think that it is an awful lot of money to spend on an old coach I would willingly compare my expenses on a PAID OFF coach with that of one who is making payments on theirs. In the 13 years my wife and I have enjoyed this coach, it has only had one failure that kept it from moving, and that was a starter failed in Seattle. Took me a couple of hours to round up a starter from a local shop and get it installed and be on my way again. When you only use a coach a few weeks a year, why buy one that you have payments on?
I love this rig, and we use it a lot. Packing it up for this weekend as we speak.