Top-quality luxury is crafted into Royale Coach by Monaco conversions, which feature Prevost bus shells and fabulous interior appointments.
By Jim Brightly, F358406
Clients of Royale Coach by Monaco include celebrities such as Dolly Parton, and owners who are not as renowned but nevertheless appreciate fine luxury coaches. A long list of successful people own these coach conversions, which have price tags that can reach above $1 million.
Royale Coach offers clients a choice of six floor plans based on either 40- or 45-foot bus shells made by Prevost Car Inc. For the 2005 construction season, the company has been using only 45-foot Prevost XLII chassis, all with two slideouts.
This coach conversion company actually began in 1977 as Royal Motor Coach. It was founded and operated by George and Mary Cornish of Elkhart, Indiana. Monaco Coach and a group of investors purchased the company in 1989, and Monaco became sole owner in 1994.
Royal Motor Coach carried a reputation for creating luxurious custom conversions for its customers. The company accommodated a variety of clients over the years, among them a surgeon whose coach had an operating room in the rear, and a dog fancier who needed space for grooming and showing purebred canines.
When Monaco purchased the company, it added an "e" to the name. The first motorhome to carry the Royale Coach name was sold at the March 1990 FMCA convention in Tampa, Florida.
The Elkhart company was making only 15 units each year in 1989 when it was purchased, and one of the early aims of the new owners was to increase production without decreasing quality. Production is up to approximately 24 units per year now, and coach number 425, a pre-sold unit, will be completed this month.
Royale Coach conversion interiorThese coaches may be purchased from the wide selection available at Royale's exclusive dealer, Buddy Gregg Motor Homes. Or, customers are encouraged to visit the factory in Elkhart, Indiana, to see the coach's construction quality and provide input on customizing a coach to meet their individual needs. We’ve all seen experts who make what they do seem effortless. That’s what Royale Coach employees do during the construction phase.
While you’re visiting, if you’ve ordered a coach already, you’ll work with Royale Coach’s professional designers, craftsmen, and technicians at different phases of the construction process to create an individual rolling masterpiece. With careful engineering and fine craftsmanship, every coach detail is planned, executed, and completed.
Even floor plans may become a product of the customer's wishes. Jim Fox, general manager of Royale Coach by Monaco, said, "Depending on what a customer wants to do, we will modify these or start from scratch. Of course, the costs are directly related to how far a customer wants to go away from our current offerings. We try very hard to help a person avoid mistakes in layout, yet we are open to ideas and features that are brought to the table."
Regarding the coach's interior design, Mr. Fox said the sky is the limit as far as customer input is concerned. "We aim to give the customer the freedom to be creative, yet we are always there to help them. … We want the process and the results to be enjoyable and exciting."
Each coach can take in excess of 7,000 hours to create — even longer for those with more complex designs — but the result is among the finest combinations of luxurious lifestyle, transportation, and dependability available. The company’s high-quality production standards, close engineering tolerances, and great attention to detail ensure that each coach remains free of squeaks and rattles during its lifetime.
Royale Coach conversion galley features wood cabinetry.Approaching the construction of each coach like assembling a major jigsaw puzzle, Royale makes certain each individual piece of the puzzle dovetails as seamlessly as possible into each of its surrounding pieces. Royale can customize and interchange features to form a one-of-a-kind statement with each coach.
Royale has always been known for the fine quality of its wood cabinetry, and that continues today. It's one reason among many that make Royale a favorite coach. Royale cabinetmakers traditionally use solid cherry, maple, and walnut hardwood. All cabinet doors and drawers are hand-aligned in the coach, and all drawers receive full extension roller-bearing slides. They have positive catches called Grabber Catches that lock the drawer in place when closed.
Components are chosen from among the best available. Each coach comes with a 20-kilowatt Power Tech turbo diesel generator and six 8D 12-volt deep-cycle absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. The batteries are wired in parallel and together produce a total of 1,530 amp-hours. This makes the coach capable of quite a bit of dry camping. The coach's electrical system is wired using 0000 heavy cable for the house batteries and short runs in general where possible, with marine-grade waterproof protection around each connection.
Royale coaches also feature the Aqua-Hot system, which provides domestic hot water and interior heat when and where needed. Other standard items include a side-by-side refrigerator and a two-burner cooktop in the galley; a 37-inch LCD TV on a retractable lift in the living area; and a 22-inch flat-screen bedroom TV, as well as Bose surround sound. Powered living room and bedroom window shades, solid-surface countertops, and porcelain or granite flooring in the galley and bath also are featured.
The outside paint scheme, beginning with the external full-body paint treatment, offers many options and available designs, including some exclusive creations. Royale’s stated goal is to provide each of its customers with a unique product that reflects the customer’s individual lifestyle.
The Prevost XLII-45 shell that is currently used as the Royale's foundation has a 314-inch wheelbase and a 515-horsepower Detroit Diesel EC V Series 60 engine coupled with an Allison World 4000 MH six-speed automatic transmission. These Prevost shells come with an independent suspension system, a liftable tag axle, and all-disc brakes with ABS.
Royale Coach Club, a community of Royale Coach owners, is an FMCA chapter that rallies together in the spring and fall. Because all Royale motorhomes are founded on Prevost chassis, their owners are qualified to join the Prevost Prouds chapter, too.
Royale owners now can visit Monaco service centers for service on their coach conversion. The service center at the Royale Coach facility in Elkhart, Indiana, has been upgraded dramatically, and its technicians now have many training and certification opportunities that weren’t apparent in the past. Royale Coach's addition to Monaco’s national parts organization has helped to streamline the flow of parts.
Royale Coach conversion bedroomMr. Fox said that Royale service became Monaco service about a year ago. "Having Monaco units to work on as well as Royales has allowed the service department to have more steady employment and thus we are better able to keep our good talent working year-round. In addition, this move has allowed Royale service the opportunity to better utilize the training and talent afforded by Monaco's service organization. Monaco is also working with Prevost to get the necessary training on the chassis to better understand how the conversion and shell work together."
Royale coaches also can be serviced at the three Buddy Gregg Motor Homes dealerships in Knoxville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; and Lakeland, Florida.
Since Royale Coach now enjoys the assistance of Monaco’s well-established advertising department, the company Web site recently received an overhaul that has not only increased the amount of responses dramatically but also made it easier for current Royale owners to use the site. Beyond this, all major departments at Royale Coach are tied to the equivalent area at Monaco, and so are able to reap the benefits of the new system.
Royale Coach has dramatically changed the look of its coaches over the past year or so and has taken some giant steps into the fast-growing use of more sophisticated electrical systems. Royale has always tried to be conscious of the desires of the marketplace, both from a form and a functional aspect.
Royale Coach converion interior: solid-surface countertops in the bath"We've been taking a hard look at all the systems on board with thoughts toward upgrading to new concepts that make the coach easier to build, more reliable, and exciting for our customers," Mr. Fox said. "All through the process we have tried to always maintain the reputation we have for user-friendliness. A great deal of what we have added or changed with our coaches is a result of input from our Royale owners."
Information about these luxury conversions is available by contacting Royale Coach by Monaco directly or by contacting Buddy Gregg Motor Homes, the exclusive dealer for the coaches, in Knoxville, Tennessee (800-421-0031); Dallas, Texas (800-858-7139); or Lakeland, Florida (800-243-5278); www.buddygreggmotorhomes.com.
Royale Coach by Monaco, 1330 Wade Drive, Elkhart, IN 46514; (888) 749-3155; www.royalecoach.com.