>>The issue that I've heard most consistently about Safari problems is delaminiation. The sides and basement doors are aluminum, so I assume the delamination must problem must be in the front/rear caps or the roof. You could try the old boat yard technique of tapping the fiberglass with a hammer and listen for a 'soft' sound. <<
The delamination on Safaris is NOT in the front or end cap. Somewhere in the late 90's, I would have to check for a specific time, they changed over from riveting the aluminum sides on to the framework to gluing the aluminum sides on to the framework. Some of those glue joints came apart. That is the delamination so many people talk about. I had it on my 2000 Continental. The 98 was built by Safari, as was my 2000. We wanted a Panther in the worst way when we bought ours, but couldn't quite come to a deal. Monaco stood behind our problems with the side, and took care of it. Ours was still in warranty at the time, though. Many of them did not have an issue with the sides, and I would guess if that 98 doesn't have any loose spots, it probably never will. It was not a moisture problem like so many fiberglass units that delaminate, it was just the glue wasn't applied right. When fiberglass delaminates, the layers are actually separating, not so on the Safaris. 425 in that coach would be absolutely great, we love everything about our 2000, but it could use a little more go. It should have an air suspension or the tortilastic. They switched the Continentals over somewhere in those years. I'd be happy to try to answer any more questions. We love our coach, and are very sad that Monaco decided to end the big Safari's. Although the Beaver's of the same years are almost clones.
Kawami, I had a thread last week on this forum, titled "Why are Safari coaches so cheap?" It should be a few pages deep by now, but you might go read it as well. I started it because I have never been in a Safari, but in my internet shopping search, I had noticed they were selling a little lower than I expected.
I think I have learned from the great members who posted about it, that Safaris have a few details which make them usually a little less expensive. Things like torsilastic suspension rather than air ride, delam problems of the end caps like Steve mentioned above, and such. I think all it calls for is a close inspection, and knowledge of what to adjust or fix to make you comfortable with the coach, but isn't that the case with any used rig? I know that Brett Wolf is highly educated about the suspensions and can help with things like weight distribution affecting the ride/handling.
I doubt that you will be troubled by your purchase, and I am just eat up witih envy over a Continental Panther! It looks like I will probably end up living in a wheelbarrow attached to a bicycle - but I guess, if I get to park next to the Grand Canyon, it'll be okay!
Anyone out there have any information or opinions on a 1998 Continental Safari Panther 425 40 foot? Looked at one this morning for about 2 hours. Loaded with options, One owner, Low miles, 1 slide, great floor plan. I know that the company was purchased by Monaco some time back and these were high end models, just can't find out much about them on the Internet. If anybody out there has had an experience with Safari I'd love to hear about it.
* This post was
edited 07/22/06 10:11pm by kawaml *
Kevin & Alexis... Now gainfully employed fulltimers!
There's another thread on this forum regarding Safari coaches you might want to read.
The late 90's were not supposed to be a good time for Safari, but that doesn't mean the coach you are looking at isn't a nice coach. The issue that I've heard most consistantly about Safari problems is delaminiation. The sides and basement doors are aluminum, so I assume the delamination must problem must be in the front/rear caps or the roof. You could try the old boat yard technique of tapping the fiberglass with a hammer and listen for a 'soft' sound.
Safari's in general are mid-range coaches. I believe the Panther was their top model & similar to my Beaver Patriot. Ours is a 1995 though. I was talking to a past Beaver manager recently and he suggested that the ideal year for a Beaver Marquis was 1997, but I can't remember for certain what happened in 1998. I think it was the switch from Gillig to Magnum chassis. The Magnum was a Safari in-house chassis that began in 1993. The Patriot was switched from Spartan chassis to the Magnum chassis in 1996, so this is probably a moot point for the Panther anyway.
Monaco purchased Safari in 2001 and subsequently assimilated Safari into the Monaco lineup. Monaco appears to have eliminated all the upper Safari models in the last couple of years.
Steve & C. J. Gracie Rough Collie Bo'sun Bichon Frise Marli Lab