Part 1 My buying my new Motor Home

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OBSESSED
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Part 1 My buying my new Motor Home

Post by OBSESSED »

Buying of our New Monaco Diplomat Adventure 4-26-2007

Some where around the end of September, maybe early October, wife [Cathy] and I started to kick around the idea, maybe a new Motor Home would be fun and nice. Our current MH [a T350 Tropical] had nothing major wrong, however, sometimes the bug to get one just bites. We searched around, we went to a couple of “Shows” and to many dealers lots. I went on line and read many RV related forums. I asked questions and read many different web sites. My friend Jeff was just completing his buy of a new Monaco.

The Dealers… Most dealers set the ‘window sticker’ price at above MSRP. Who would pay this[?] only those with more money than sense. Reading forums, you hear deals, MSRP -20%, 25%, 30+%… Whom are you going to believe? No one wants to brag they got a bad deal, so the braggers, shout the best deals…Some [me] think some posted deals false...Trust me, I got the best possible deal on this Monaco Diplomat.

On line, I read about a dealer up north , in Grass Valley CA. His name Tim DeMartini of DeMartini’s RV. I decided to give him an E-Mail [this back in October]. He returned my e-mail by phone the next day. We talked for a moment, and he sounded like a stand-up genuine type of guy. He quoted me a price for the model I had seen on his web site. Whom ever does there web site, does a great job, MSRP, at DeMartini’s is, the starting point for figuring how much off you want to try to negotiate. I felt Tim was being very open with me, open honest and no salesman BS... I told him, we really wanted to buy from him, the only sticking points were the exact colors and model, and length. I told Tim, we were going to drive up and pay him a visit.
“If you’re going to drive all the way up here to check us out, the least I can do is put you up for the night in a hotel…” When we checked into the hotel, I told clerk, I want to spend maybe an extra night, could I do so. “Sir, Mr. DeMartini has already paid for two nights…” It was a cold January day, but the adventure was taking shape, I got a nice warm feeling inside.

After a great nights sleep, Cathy and I made it down to the ’lot’. Busy place, and busting at the seems! MH’s door to door, mostly Monaco’s, with many exactly what we were looking for the Diplomat.
Cath’ and I walked in one unit, out into another, we were able to compare, all the colors in a very close proximity. This really worked out for us. We went up to DeMartini’s with a certain color scheme, then as we checked them, side by side, we changed our minds. We also found out, that you could combine one outside color with another interior color. We started to ask ourselves, if we should maybe ‘special order’ the new Monaco Diplomat, from the factory. Our existing MH was fine for now, and we were not in a hurry, we were not going to panic buy…YET!

Most Diesel Motor homes in this size and price range, have tables and chairs. I’m not a small fellow, 6’2” and pushing 275 lbs… It started to feel like, every chair at every table I would sit in to get the feel of would break under the strain of holding me up! At a ‘show’ in Pomona, Cathy said get up quick! That chair is about to break! This was in a very nice Camelot. So if we were to buy off a lot, 95% had tables and chairs, it looked like, we were being pushed into ‘special ordering’.

It is now the middle of February, I call, and ask Tim the ‘how to’ of the special order. Tim has his daughter Vicky, take down my credit info, and get back to me. Five months into the looking process, we are getting serious! I find out, that Monaco has purchased [a bunch] of 400 hp Cummins ISL’s to put into their coaches. The EPA has forced the Manufactures of all vehicles to start using the new Smog ready engines in 2007. Monaco has foresaw this and purchased many to be put into the 2007 rigs, with a fine of $1000 per coach. I started to worry about this new smog device for Motor homes. How could it work properly, would there be issues? I concluded [this is just my opinion and worry] that the heat generated to burn, and re-burn the emissions in a Motor Home engine compartment would not be a good thing [for me]. I feared [right or wrong] that the new engines would have problems, and may take a couple of years to iron out. My friend [connected at Ford] told me of some of the Ford trucks exhaust systems shooting flames 3 feet out the exhaust because the need to cool the exhaust was being done by throwing raw fuel at the heat, which would then blow out the tail pipe, it a big flame… Sounds like a site, I would not want to see in my rear view camera, going down the freeway in my new Motor Home! So our buying time table, was pushed forward. Cathy and I decided to place the special order.


I was searching a bunch of dealers web sites to make sure, we had not missed a special, some where. We wanted to make sure we were making the right choice. We wanted a 38 PDQ model. Did any dealer have what we wanted on their lot already? I came upon a very interesting unit for sale a 2006 38 PDQ Camelot. This exact unit, we had walked through at one of the Pomona shows, months before. The Camelot is the next level up the food chain on the Monaco product line. This Camelot had sat through many walk ins. It was not the exact color we wanted, however, if the dealer was motivated maybe we should make an offer, fair, but low, all this ’other’ dealer could say was “no”. I truly believe that the 40 PDQ is a great size and has more to offer than the 38 PDQ [this fact is born out by Monaco not offering a 38 PDQ on their 2008 Diplomat units]. We however are limited by length, we pull an OHV filled trailer. So the 38 PDQ fits our needs just right. The 38 PDQ Camelot [2006] had already sat on this dealers lot, for a year and a half. Think about it, would this Camelot which has an MSRP of about $300,000 ever be sold? If you can afford a DP with this many bells and whistles, why wouldn’t you just get a new 40 PDQ? Anyway, the offer was not accepted on the Camelot, and I felt good about it. We were now going to special order our Diplomat, exactly the way we wanted, and be very happy. My friend Jeff, said, to give his dealer a call, and see if his guy could beat DeMartini’s deal. The quote I got from this now new dealer, was about a thousand less than DeMartini’s best quote. So I gave Tim a call. I found, The factory charges dealers a fee to get the MH’s you buy from the factory to the dealer lot. Jeff’s dealer was located closer to the factory, so he was paying $2000 les for exact same rig. So in essence, buddy Jeff’s dealer was charging $1000 more than DeMartini. I asked Tim, if we could pick the new rig up at factory. Tim said no, but they did have a Store in Indiana, just down the street from Monaco. So the decision was made to drive to Grass Valley, for the trade, fly to Indiana and get the new Dip, and drive it home. I just needed to finalize the order, and make arrangements to get to Indiana.

Dealing with Vicky DeMartini on the special order process has been actually fun. Colors and trims, special fabrics on the booth dinette, Vicky made it easy, and made herself very accessible to & when I needed a quick answer. She told us it would be about a 8 week build. Wait in line, chassis build, and then production line build, our Dip would come off the line near the end of April, the 24th was the estimate. So I made the plane reservations and planned for the trip to Indiana [for a week after the off line date]. I guess I better do a map quest for the nearest Wal-Mart and Camping World near by, because the new Dip will be empty! All our existing MH stuff, is now in my garage, waiting for two weeks from now when we will get home with the new rig. I just took all the stuff out of the Tropical, it sure is a nice rig. Someone, will buy it from Tim, and get a good coach.

So this is the plan for next week. Drive up to Grass Valley on Monday afternoon, stay one last night in the Tropical. Finish up the paperwork Tuesday Morning. Hitch a ride to the Sacramento airport, for the 1 pm flight. Get to Chicago at 6 pm local time. Drive [loose another hour] then to near the Monaco factory, and spend night in a hotel. Getting to hotel around 9 pm Indiana time [after we sneak a peak at DeMartini‘s Indiana store-to see if we can see the new Dip]. Wake up Wednesday morning and do the PDI. Then as time permits take the Monaco factory tour, and spend the night in the area. Thursday morning, drive towards Des Moines IA, and spend a day with my uncle. Then who knows, depends on weather, maybe a side trip up towards Mount Rushmore & the Crazy Horse Monuments. Taking 7-10 days to learn the coach, and get home to So Cal.

Excited? Yes I am! Fun filled anticipation? Yes it will be… Stress? Maybe, but a good kind of stress.
I can not say enough about how Vicky & Tim DeMartini have treated me. Worth the drive from So Cal, the whole buying experience so far, has been great! I’ll write more [as if this isn’t enough?!] when the deal is completed in Indiana, and how the PDI process goes. I don’t anticipate any problems, however, if we need to stay in Wakarusa while new Dip goes back to factory to be tweaked, so be it. I’m expecting a great time, and experience … So Far So Good! My glass is more than ½ full, and I expect it to stay that way!

Steve Brooks

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Post by MR. PETE »

Congrats on the new rig!

We bought our coach from DeMartini 3 1/2 years ago.

After going through HELL with the So Cal commissioned dealers for 3 months, I found the DeMartini website and emailed them as well. I got the same phone call back the next day too.

Tim and his brother John were very honest in their dealings with me.

I knew more about the Monaco coaches than most of the RV sales people at all the other local dealers. RV sales people can be worse than used car dealers.

Anyway, Tim gave me a quote for an '04 that was only a little higher than all the '03's that the other local dealers had been quoting me - and the '04 was a 40 footer. The '03's were 38 footers. I was able to get all the '04 upgrades for only a little higher price than a shorter '03.

So, as a last ditch effort to check out the local dealers, I went back to them and asked for their best deal on an identical '04 that Demartini had quoted me. When the local dealers gave me their price, I mentioned that I had a quote that was 20 -25K lower than theirs.

Shocked, they would ask me where my low quote was from. When I told them it was from Demartini, a couple of them got really irritated and told me to go buy it from Demartini - in other words, they were done with me. Apparently, DeMartini has a reputation, which few if any other dealers admire.

So the next week my wife and I fly up to the Auburn airport and take a rental car over to Grass Valley to see Tim and John. After looking the MH over, we made the deal, left a deposit and flew home.

One week later, when the coach was ready, we flew back to Auburn and DeMartini had his driver pick us up.

After the 2-3 hour walk through, Tim had his driver drive the MH with us into Nevada to finalize the deal. We took delivery of the coach there in Nevada. The rest is history.

By the way, I asked John about an extended warranty for the coach and he told me that if I wanted one they would sell it to me, but they felt that it was a waste of money. Every other dealer told me that I needed to get the extended warranty. Dealers can make a good chunk of money off of extended warranties, and this helped confirm my belief that the DeMartini guys were fair & honest people.

I have since told anyone who is looking for a new MH to call DeMartini.

We love our Monaco Windsor. Sure there were some bugs that needed to be worked out, but it has overall been great to own.

If we decide to get a new coach someday, you can be sure we will be contacting Demartini. Good people make for good times!

Enjoy your new coach!

Post some pic's too.
______________
Peter

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Post by warlock »

good deal sounds like fun god I still love buying stuff.and I do it for a living too. By the way the guy that said the rv sales people are worse than used car sales people is 98% correct. most of them are the lazy car people that got kicked to the curb.Ive come across a few that really know what there talking about and it shows. awesome for you though new toy,thank god the wife wasnt here to read this your making trouble by posting this stuff lol... :D

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Post by Kevlar »

Another DeMartini fan here. I purchased the 2005 Diplomat 38PDQ from Tim after reading a lot of posts like yours over on RV.net (here's mine http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fuse ... 516365.cfm You will love the Diplomat. Had no problems whatsoever in the 2 years I owned it. I had no problem selling it and the resale value was very good.

One question though, won't you spend at least $1,000 with your flights and gas on the return trip?

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Post by OBSESSED »

Kevlar wrote:Another DeMartini fan here. I purchased the 2005 Diplomat 38PDQ from Tim after reading a lot of posts like yours over on RV.net (here's mine http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fuse ... 516365.cfm You will love the Diplomat. Had no problems whatsoever in the 2 years I owned it. I had no problem selling it and the resale value was very good.

One question though, won't you spend at least $1,000 with your flights and gas on the return trip?
Oh sure, I am not doing this to save $$$
However, the factory charge to ship Dip to West Coast is $2,000 more that to ship it down street in Indiana!

So my little vacation adventure is being paid for by Monaco!?? :wink: :?: :!: :!:
Don't fear death, celebrate life.
Live Every Day to the fullest.
Live your life with no regrets.

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Post by RX 4 INSANDITY »

Hey Steve--

Good read!! Nice to keep up with you. Are you going to get a stacker now?? 8) 8)

Missed you this weekend. The dunes were as perfect as they get, with nobody there!! We actually went to Gordon's Well, but duned Glamis on Saturday. Butter Cup on Sunday. All three major areas of the ISDRA and two countries (I slipped into Mexico by mistake) in two days!!! :shock: :D :D 8)

Have fun and be safe on your trip back from the midwest.
8)
--Mike
Offroading and Concern for the Environment are NOT Mutually Exclusive

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