What an interesting day!
Here was the plan for the day: After turning over the coach to the technicians, we would try to find some parts for the Blue Ox towbar and then take tours of the Monaco and Roadmaster production plants.
After six months of heavy use, there were two parts on the towbar that needed replacement; minor fixes really. With all the production of motorhomes in the area, we should be able to find what we need. Stopping at a Blue Ox dealer, we found and installed the parts. Problem solved. The Blue Ox towbar has worked really well and we highly recommend it to solve your towing problem, if you should ever have a towing problem.
Before reading the next paragraphs, it should be noted that Monaco does not allow taking pictures during the production line tours. Although this is an understandable policy, it is unfortunate that we can not share the visual experience with the reader. We are grateful that Monaco offers these tours and very much enjoyed the experience. We came away impressed with the quality of their product and the care that goes into its construction.
The coaches are built at a huge facility in the nearby town of Wakarusa, about ten miles from the warranty facility. We were absolutely amazed at the complexity of the facility and the motorhome product it produced. The scale of the operation is hard to describe. The assembly area covers over 20 acres, which doesn’t include the facilities needed for the sub-assemblies. The place was a beehive of activity. Of particular note was the paint facility that included 30 huge paint booths. Painting a 40 foot motorhome is no small task and is very, very labor intensive. Try to imagine a building large enough to house 30 paint booths large enough to handle a full size motorhome. The place was huge.
In the afternoon, we toured the Roadmaster chassis plant. Roadmaster was bought by Monaco several years ago and produces chassis on which the coaches are mounted. The tour of this plant was just as impressive as the coach plant. Due to the nature of the product, the assembly process is what you would expect for a heavy duty industrial item. Motors, tires, axels, steel, hydraulics and wires are all welded and bolted together on various production lines in a noisy and gritty factory. The tour guide knew his product and gave specific, detailed answers to questions. We learned many important things about the motor, transmission, sub-systems and maintenance.
We are very glad to have taken the tours and learned much about our coach. There is no doubt our coach is a quality product that should provide years of good service if maintained. If you are ever in this area, I would highly recommend taking the tours just see how something this big and complex is produced.
Returning to the warranty facility, we were informed late in the day that our repairs were completed and to show up tomorrow morning to complete the paperwork.
After dinner and a trip to Borders to update the computers, we watched some TV before going to bed.