Orphan RVs

 Posted by at 7:02 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 092009

I had two or three comments and e-mails from people warning me about the Holiday Rambler we are considering buying, because with the parent company, Monaco, now out of business, it will be an orphan unit.

I have never been a fan of Monaco, because their reputation for customer service has been pretty bad. However, that is not to say that every rig they ever built is problematic. As for the orphan unit concerns, the coach we are looking at is a 2000, so it is out of warranty anyway. The good thing about buying a used RV, besides the fact that someone else has already taken the depreciation hit, is that all of the bugs have already been worked out.

As it turns out, we may not have a buyer for our bus anyway, so the deal may not happen. Our potential buyer has some logistical problems that have changed the look of things, so if you know anybody looking for a nice bus conversion, send them my way.

There has been a lot of talk about orphan units around campfires and on the different RV internet forums. I’m not sure that all of this concern is really necessary. Even on a new RV, keep in mind that most of the components are covered under their individual manufacturers’ warranties, so the whole orphan unit thing doesn’t have to be a deal killer. If I were looking at a new orphan unit sitting on a reliable dealer’s lot, I would negotiate an extended warranty into the contract.  

Of course, keep in mind that my opinion of most RV manufacturers’ warranties is biased by the fact that Fleetwood never did address the problems we had on the Motorhome From Hell that we started our RVing life in. We had the factory warranty, for all the good it did us.

After a whirlwind weekend of stuffing envelopes, we’re driving back up to our mail service in Mesa this morning to get everything sent off. Poor Miss Terry has really been hitting it hard trying to make up for lost time.

After everything is in the mail, we’ll drive over to Apache Junction to visit with her Mom and Dad, Pete and Bess Weber. We’re pulled in so many different directions at times that it’s hard to squeeze in everything we need to get done. But family time is very important to us, and we take advantage of the opportunities we do have to spend with the people we love.

Thought For The Day – A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Orphan RVs”

  1. You know Nick, you might find alot of folks backing out on buying your rig. They will come to realize that they will have no privacy for a few months until word trickles down that the bus no longer belongs to you. They will get visitors at all hours of the day and evening from folks wanting to say hi or see the rig. (Because they think it is you)

    Then, on the other hand, if you tell no one what kind of rig you do buy, you can have months of anonimity. And truth be told, you enjoy folks dropping by to say hi. You would get lonely.

  2. We think that you are being more than a little hard on Monaco. We have had a Monaco coach going on 4 years. Our problems have been minimal. The service we have received from Monaco has been exceptional and the people have always been warm and friendly and eager to please. Don’t base your judgment on a few, they probably have more diesel pushers on the road than any and that says a lot. There is a new company in Elkhart, IN called Turning Wheel that has been started by former Monaco employees to work on Monaco, Beaver, Holiday Rambler and Safari motorhomes. There service is excellent, we found them to be friendly, helpful and eager to get you back on the road and satisfied with thier work. Hope everyone uses them that has a problem with their motorhome and are as satisfied as we have been.


  3. Nick,

    Your point about buying a used RV in order to have all the bugs worked out is exactly why we bought a 2000 Foretravel in 2008. As to warranties. Every issue of the Good Sam magazine has one or more letters from people who had their claim denied — often on a technicality. It seems like the odds are stacked in favor of the company issuing the warranty.

  4. Hey Nick…..you should be OK with a 2000 Holiday Rambler. That was before Monaco bought them out. We have a HR 5th wheel. Been a great unit. We did have a frame problem last year that HR helped correct. Like Pam said…you will be able to sleep in for awhile. You will be posting pictures of your rig, won’t you? John

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