06 Starwood LX FW "Buyer Beware"

06 Starwood LX FW "Buyer Beware"

Monaco is terrible about taking care of their customers and my dealer I purchased through in Houston was COMPLETELY useless. We had purchased a new Holiday Rambler Ambassador 38' Diesel Pusher that had total brake failure twice and partial failure a third time.

Ended up going to TXDOT and filed a lemon law complaint and won our case. Even with winning we still ended up going through 18 months of agony because the brakes were just one of the 12 issues we could not ever get resolved. Many water leaks, slide-out problems, cabinet doors falling apart, you name it.
06 Starwood LX FW "Buyer Beware"

I have mixed opinions about this. That is, I don't believe a salesman about anything, and if you are a tech with plenty of experience you had the capability of doing your own research and calculations, which most buyers don't have.
I have a house on a code 200 amp service and when I add up all the appliances at 80% of the breakers they exceed the 200 amp main and it's not a problem. Should rv's be like this? Probably not, as Monaco, for another hundred dollars could have made it a 50 amp unit. I don't like Monaco and where they have gone in the last few years, but that is opinion.
I have 50 amp but don't get to plug in much, other than 30, and I am used to having to turn off something so I can make coffee etc. You're not alone in this as the rest of us have learned to accomodate.
All that said, there are some things you can do, as I have made a few mods to the electrical to make things easier. The fridg is the easiest as you can connect its' 110 directly to the 20 amp at the pedistal with an extension cord.
You can add a couple of outlet boxes to the water heater so it can be rewired with a plug to plug in to the rv power or external 20 amp circuit. My rv has been highly modified regarding electrical and plumbing to correct for design shortfalls and to make it the way I want. I don't know of anyone who hasn't made changes to their rv systems to make them more of what they want.
Should Manaco have made your unit 50 amp? Yes. Are you going to win this one? Maybe, but not because it's not 50 amp.
I think your water leaks are the big issue and that's where you need to apply pressure.
06 Starwood LX FW "Buyer Beware"


Should I have researched? Probably. Though, don't know where I could have gotten factual information about appliances without removing cover from A/C and getting into rear panel of refrigerator and water heater. Most people simply don't do this, nor do they care. They expect it to work. For if I had relied on Monaco to supply me with documentation on each appliance, it would have been what they gave me when I purchased the rig. And lo and behold there is not ONE SINGLE appliance spec. regarding current draw.....only line voltage requirements. It seems this industry is reluctant to supply factual specifications because they know the consumer will hold them to it.

As far as the house goes. I'm assuming most people have 150-200amp main breaker, and I'll bet every single one of us can run our A/C, water heater and refrigerator without exceeding 80% of the main breaker rating. A builder would be ludicrous to install such a system. I am only asking the same thing from an RV manufacterer. I'm not talking about running coffee pots, toasters and/or any other external appliances. I'm only talking about running the basics.

As far as you not being able to plug in very often. You might try this gadget http://www.rvexit.com/details.asp?Product=431&SubCategory=99 it's called a "cheater box" and it will combine 20 and 30 amp shore power circuits into a single 50amp outlet that you can plug your rig into.

I too have thought of rewiring....in my case the A/C...because this is the major current contribution. But, I figured why not get the dealer to do it for me. After all I did just pay close to $30k. And I see no reason for me to have to redesign the electrical system, knowing fully well the first time something goes wrong with the electrical system, they will refuse to repair it under warrenty because I modified it. If I don't win my case, this is what I'll end up doing. But, I have 11 months left on my warrenty, and they're going to keep hearing from me along with everyone else who agrees with me.

Thanks again for your input and I don't mean to sound smug, however, it might come out that way.
06 Starwood LX FW "Buyer Beware"

I'm sure most people can understand your frustration. When you bought your trailer you had stars in your eyes and great expectations of fun for you and your family. Then you took the trailer home and found things wern't as perfect as you had imagined. I think they call this a reality check. I'm not trying to say you don't have issues, but the 30amp service in your trailer is the same service all the factories have been using for years. The only thing that's changing is the number of appliances that are now considered standard, even in the entry level coaches. You can always upgrade to a 50amp service, but what good is that going to do you as most parks are wired for 30amp service only. If that isn't enough, most parks are inadequatly wired for even 30amp services, as most expierienced RVers already know. If any thing the factories need to make standard an "Energy Management System" in all coaches to juggle the appliance load for you. Either way 30amp services are a fact of life in RVs and you need to learn to live with it. As for the rest of your list, with the possible exception of the leaky window, this stuff should have been caught in the dealer Pre-delivery inspection. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend Monaco, they're more than capable of screwing things up, but they pay these dealerships to take care of there customers and fix these problems. Most of your problems appear to be minor. You should put some of blame where it belongs, and ask why these problems were not taken care of before they became such a problem. LOL
The Boz
06 Starwood LX FW "Buyer Beware"

I've thought about this some more. My earlier post regarding you checking to see if the electrics were adequate was off base. It's the same as crawling under the coach and measuring the springs and getting the steel specs to see if the springs will carry the load. I agree that Manaco screwed up, but unfortunately, as the previous post pointed out, most use 30 amp. I believe 30 amp is obsolete as manufacturers tend to use it on single ac units and go to 50 [100] amp on units with two ac's. That doesn't make sense as the extra ac only adds about 50% more load where going from 30 amp to 50 is more than a 300% increase in capability.
Again, I don't think you are going to win the 30 amp thing, however, Monaco might be willing to pay for a single 50 amp circuit, ie, if the wires from the beaker box to the power cord compartment can be repulled with 6-6-8, a 50 amp breaker installed and a 6-6-8 power cable terminated with a 50 amp plug connected at one leg then it would solve the problem. I've had success with manufacturers in the past with these types of compromises.


Senior Member
06 Starwood LX FW "Buyer Beware"

I think that Benwd's first post has a lot of truth to it. If you go look at your main power panel in your stick house you can easily add the total of all circuit breakers and it will nearly always exceed the max. of the service feed. It is very common for the total of all breakers to be near 150% of the supply. That is because it is very unlikely that you will ever have all house circuits running at max. load at the same time. But, and RV is pretty different, especially when wired for 30A service. There are RV owners who prefer 30A service because many RV parks will charge extra for 50A service. A great deal of that is because the 50A service is actually two separate 50A breakers while 30A service has only one breaker. In practice, an RV with 50A service can easily use 80A continuous and 100A for brief periods, so they can use more than twice what the 30A RV can. That is the reason that so many parks do charge extra for it.

I suspect that a major part of the reason that customers are not generally told about the difference in 50A/30A service and the limits of 30A service is the fact that very few sales people know the difference. It is probably true that a new customer should be made aware of the limits of having 30A power service, I think that it is probably very rare for that to actually happen. This whole discussion supports my philosophy of "Never trust a commissioned sales person!" Even if they do know the difference, very few would tell you.

Thirty amp electrical service has been the standard of the RV industry for more than 30 years. That came about when we began to have more than just a few lights and a refrigerator to supply. It came to be a standard as the air conditioner became a common appliance. But RVs have increased in electric power demands just as other areas of life have, but the RV industry has been slow to increase the capability of the power cord. There are quite a few reasons. The 50A cord is difficult to manage and especially so when in cold weather. The cost of the cord and extra wire requirements and distribution panel and such are probably a factor. And not the least of importance is the fact that 50A service is still rare in public parks and older RV parks. At the same time, the higher end RVs are rapidly moving to 50A service as the standard, but the lower priced ones are usually 30A with some offering an upgrade to 50A for extra cost. I'm not sure that I have an answer to the obligation of the industry to move to the 50A standard. I do know that many RV manufacturers are still building to a 30A standard but then installing power management systems that will select loads to keep you below the 30A limit and a few even have that available with a 50A cord but the ability to select either 50A or 30A service as the management point. That is probably the best system.

Yours is not the first nightmare about Monaco that I have heard in the past few years and this company that once had an excellent reputation seems to have been sliding in quality the past few years. I still believe that the leak issues should be the highest priority to be corrected and doubt that the power question is winnable. But those leaks can, and will make the RV unusable in a pretty short time! I clearly do stand behind you in the effort to get that repaired. One thing I will say for Monaco is that I have heard some great reports about the repair services at the factory, if you take it there.