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Old 09-25-2018, 11:12 AM   #1
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2013 Winnebago Ellipse 42GD - Could use advice

Hello! First post and Im excited about a change of life events thats giving me an opportunity to pursuit my dreams of living on the road for at least a year.

Heres my question(s):

Im considering purchasing a 2013 Winnebago Itasca Ellipse 42GD for around $185k OTD with 44,000 miles. Im wondering if any of you that have them (or don't) could chime in as to the following:

1. Is this a good deal? I ask because normally I know but from what Im seeing there are a LOT more QD versions on the road. Ideally I'd like the QD because it appears to have more living space up front and Im assuming thats also why they are chosen.

2. If they are not as desirable, will it be harder to sell at the end of my journey?

3. What issues should I prepare myself for? Ive put a budget of around $3000 in repairs over the year. Is this low or high?

4. What MPG should I assume (keep in mind I'll be pulling a Jeep Wrangler as well - 4600lbs). I estimate 9-10mpg but am I dreaming?

5. DEF - How many miles to the gallon will I get with this? Im not a fan of this but I get it.

6. Boondocking - Its all electric so I get a little concerned about that. Am I overly concerned or will I be fine for a week off the grid?

7. Insurance - I know this is subjective but I figure I'll be traveling about 18 - 20k miles over the year. Im almost 50 with a clean driving record. Ball park figures and good insurance company recommendations would be appreciated.

Sorry for all the questions on my first post but I look forward to buying some type of Winnebago since Im sold on the brand. I just want to avoid ruining my dream with something that isnt right for me.

Thanks in advance for all your help! Im heading to the dealer for visit #2 to spend a little more time in it.
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:30 PM   #2
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See below for my thoughts and experience ... and welcome to a new set of friends!

1. Is this a good deal? I ask because normally I know but from what Im seeing there are a LOT more QD versions on the road. Ideally I'd like the QD because it appears to have more living space up front and Im assuming thats also why they are chosen.
-- Most of us pick a layout based on a personal preference - its only important that you buy what fits your lifestyle the best. We liked, and bought, the QD over the GD. Whichever model you choose take a look at the front axle ratings and weights - was the coach designed and built to carry the weight?

2. If they are not as desirable, will it be harder to sell at the end of my journey?
-- As full-time travelers we've seen a lot more QDs in campgrounds. That probably indicates they're more popular. Unable to comment on selling experience.

3. What issues should I prepare myself for? Ive put a budget of around $3000 in repairs over the year. Is this low or high?
-- Take a close look at the maintenance records including the generator and aqua-hot system.

4. What MPG should I assume (keep in mind I'll be pulling a Jeep Wrangler as well - 4600lbs). I estimate 9-10mpg but am I dreaming?
-- We've averaged 9K/year the last 4 years with an MPG of ~ 8. The 'sweet spot' on the engine/tranny is ~ 1650 - 1700 RPM (speed ~ 63 max).

5. DEF - How many miles to the gallon will I get with this? Im not a fan of this but I get it.
-- I don't track our use. In the flats we use less - in the hills we use more. We use Wal-Mart's def.

6. Boondocking - Its all electric so I get a little concerned about that. Am I overly concerned or will I be fine for a week off the grid?
-- You can stay off the grid as long as you like if you're willing to run your generator. We boondocks with a large solar array and in good conditions only use the generator for use of the A/C.

7. Insurance - I know this is subjective but I figure I'll be traveling about 18 - 20k miles over the year. Im almost 50 with a clean driving record. Ball park figures and good insurance company recommendations would be appreciated.
-- Mileage has not been a major consideration to insurance companies we've dealt with. In turn, being full-time does have a major impact as well as your chosen deductibles. We're using Progressive - recommend you shop around.

Best wishes for safe and enjoyable travels. Do share your experiences and questions.
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lv2Roam2 View Post
See below for my thoughts and experience ... and welcome to a new set of friends!

1. Is this a good deal? I ask because normally I know but from what Im seeing there are a LOT more QD versions on the road. Ideally I'd like the QD because it appears to have more living space up front and Im assuming thats also why they are chosen.
-- Most of us pick a layout based on a personal preference - its only important that you buy what fits your lifestyle the best. We liked, and bought, the QD over the GD. Whichever model you choose take a look at the front axle ratings and weights - was the coach designed and built to carry the weight?

2. If they are not as desirable, will it be harder to sell at the end of my journey?
-- As full-time travelers we've seen a lot more QDs in campgrounds. That probably indicates they're more popular. Unable to comment on selling experience.

3. What issues should I prepare myself for? Ive put a budget of around $3000 in repairs over the year. Is this low or high?
-- Take a close look at the maintenance records including the generator and aqua-hot system.

4. What MPG should I assume (keep in mind I'll be pulling a Jeep Wrangler as well - 4600lbs). I estimate 9-10mpg but am I dreaming?
-- We've averaged 9K/year the last 4 years with an MPG of ~ 8. The 'sweet spot' on the engine/tranny is ~ 1650 - 1700 RPM (speed ~ 63 max).

5. DEF - How many miles to the gallon will I get with this? Im not a fan of this but I get it.
-- I don't track our use. In the flats we use less - in the hills we use more. We use Wal-Mart's def.

6. Boondocking - Its all electric so I get a little concerned about that. Am I overly concerned or will I be fine for a week off the grid?
-- You can stay off the grid as long as you like if you're willing to run your generator. We boondocks with a large solar array and in good conditions only use the generator for use of the A/C.

7. Insurance - I know this is subjective but I figure I'll be traveling about 18 - 20k miles over the year. Im almost 50 with a clean driving record. Ball park figures and good insurance company recommendations would be appreciated.
-- Mileage has not been a major consideration to insurance companies we've dealt with. In turn, being full-time does have a major impact as well as your chosen deductibles. We're using Progressive - recommend you shop around.

Best wishes for safe and enjoyable travels. Do share your experiences and questions.
Thank you for your input. This is good to know! The seller is a bit off my asking price so Im going to hold out for a QD unless they offer me a number I cant refuse.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:12 AM   #4
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The Tour/Ellipse QD is my favorite Winnebago!

We have a 2013 Meridian 42e which is similar, but stripped down. DEF is fine, I think they actually do a little better on mileage.

For being off the grid - as stated, you can run that gen 24/7 if you want. If you're in an area you can't run the gen like that, the 6 AGM batteries will hold you for a day before you need gen. You won't have air conditioning, but you will have convection. Try cooking outside on LP when you can. The generator autostart is a nice feature and will honor quiet time and low battery demand.

The only thing that was a nuisance on the 2013 was the Schwintek slides (in wall system with the swirly track mounted high and low on each side). The originals may have been replaced with a higher torque like mine, or they may have been replaced with the new Power Gear Slim Track (straight up and down teeth on a detached rail high and low on each side of the slide), or they may be working fine as they are. Both the GD and QD had them.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Meridian42e View Post
The Tour/Ellipse QD is my favorite Winnebago!

We have a 2013 Meridian 42e which is similar, but stripped down. DEF is fine, I think they actually do a little better on mileage.

For being off the grid - as stated, you can run that gen 24/7 if you want. If you're in an area you can't run the gen like that, the 6 AGM batteries will hold you for a day before you need gen. You won't have air conditioning, but you will have convection. Try cooking outside on LP when you can. The generator autostart is a nice feature and will honor quiet time and low battery demand.

The only thing that was a nuisance on the 2013 was the Schwintek slides (in wall system with the swirly track mounted high and low on each side). The originals may have been replaced with a higher torque like mine, or they may have been replaced with the new Power Gear Slim Track (straight up and down teeth on a detached rail high and low on each side of the slide), or they may be working fine as they are. Both the GD and QD had them.

Thanks much for the reply! Yes, the slides use Schwintek (minus one that's hydraulic). I noticed when I looked at it yesterday that (at least one of) the slides when extended didn't sit entirely flush with the wall. It was on the drivers side wall. The top was flush but the bottom had about 3/4" gap causing the wall to appear like its drooping. Am I being overly concerned about this or is it typical to see this with slides?

BTW, your 42E looks VERY nice and a MUCH more desirable floor plan than the 42GD. I'm now seeing why there are more 42QD's on the market than GD's. When the kitchen is located as you walk into the RV, the captains chairs are essentially worthless for entertaining. Because of this Im not sold on the GD (at least at the price its listed).
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:29 PM   #6
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Be prepared to shop nationally and get the exact floor plan you want at the price you want, with the options you want.

DO NOT SETTLE when making a $175,000+ purchase.

For boondocking set aside $3,000+ for solar purchases. Pretty mandatory.
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest22 View Post
Hello! First post and Im excited about a change of life events thats giving me an opportunity to pursuit my dreams of living on the road for at least a year.

Heres my question(s):

Im considering purchasing a 2013 Winnebago Itasca Ellipse 42GD for around $185k OTD with 44,000 miles. Im wondering if any of you that have them (or don't) could chime in as to the following:

1. Is this a good deal? I ask because normally I know but from what Im seeing there are a LOT more QD versions on the road. Ideally I'd like the QD because it appears to have more living space up front and Im assuming thats also why they are chosen.

2. If they are not as desirable, will it be harder to sell at the end of my journey?

3. What issues should I prepare myself for? Ive put a budget of around $3000 in repairs over the year. Is this low or high?

4. What MPG should I assume (keep in mind I'll be pulling a Jeep Wrangler as well - 4600lbs). I estimate 9-10mpg but am I dreaming?

5. DEF - How many miles to the gallon will I get with this? Im not a fan of this but I get it.

6. Boondocking - Its all electric so I get a little concerned about that. Am I overly concerned or will I be fine for a week off the grid?

7. Insurance - I know this is subjective but I figure I'll be traveling about 18 - 20k miles over the year. Im almost 50 with a clean driving record. Ball park figures and good insurance company recommendations would be appreciated.

Sorry for all the questions on my first post but I look forward to buying some type of Winnebago since Im sold on the brand. I just want to avoid ruining my dream with something that isnt right for me.

Thanks in advance for all your help! Im heading to the dealer for visit #2 to spend a little more time in it.
Welcome to the forum. We are RVers helping RVers be happy RVers.

The folks with the QD and 42E seem to be very happy campers. The slide issue you mentioned IS a problem and need to be FIXED. Many of the slide mechanisms have been totally replaced.

DEF: Get more HP for the same engine without it. Mine was a 360hp before the law required the manufacture to add the DEF equipment in late 2010. Mine is a late 2010 chassis. 380hp on same engine.
Dry docking: My coach is the little sister to the QD. No problem with short term dry camping. The inverter is powering the residential fridge and outlets on the galley side of the coach. When A/C, heat pump or air, is needed the generator is set to Auto Start. It will even start if the batteries are low. There are a few more start ques to. Once the load call is satisfied it shuts down after a 10 min cool down period.
What are your intentions for usage? If you are planning to visit COE or federal and state parks you should look into the limit for size of RVs. The older parks are often not accessible by RVs over 36', or have limited lots available for the bigger units. This 40' unit has been in some tight places in private campgrounds. Got into a tight spot in Santee with my old 38' rig, barely.
Don't compromise on floor plan. Private sales are also a good way to go. Just check the maintenance records.
A DP is usually a durable unit with a little TLC. When you do need a big repair it will be $$. You can plan for this by establishing a repair fund and paying into it each month. The more handy you are the less maintenance will cost.
Any coach you buy, check the tire date. If the tires are 7 or more years old have them replaced. Many of us are getting away from Michelin and going to other, less expensive, brands. I like the Toyo brand but it is limited for size/load weight choices. This is important when choosing tires.
A maintenance issue with DP's often overlooked is the air dryer. Depending on where the coach was used, in 30K mi it could be in tough shape. If used in clean environment, 50K is not unusual for service requirements. The maintenance charts in the chassis owner manual is very conservative in most cases.

It may sound strange but the air filter has a life span in years also. Racor filters recommend 7 years max.
That's enough info from me. Hope you find a rig you can be happy in and that it treats you well.
Rick
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest22 View Post
Thanks much for the reply! Yes, the slides use Schwintek (minus one that's hydraulic). I noticed when I looked at it yesterday that (at least one of) the slides when extended didn't sit entirely flush with the wall. It was on the drivers side wall. The top was flush but the bottom had about 3/4" gap causing the wall to appear like its drooping. Am I being overly concerned about this or is it typical to see this with slides?

BTW, your 42E looks VERY nice and a MUCH more desirable floor plan than the 42GD. I'm now seeing why there are more 42QD's on the market than GD's. When the kitchen is located as you walk into the RV, the captains chairs are essentially worthless for entertaining. Because of this Im not sold on the GD (at least at the price its listed).
Thanks for the compliments on the 42E - we enjoy not having the kitchen right behind the cockpit.

A side to side difference on Schwintek can usually be corrected by holding the switch down after it closes for a few additional seconds to re-sync. Top to bottom is a solid shaft between the gears on the top and bottom tracks, so either it was installed out of sync, or it jumped a few teeth. I would operate it through full strokes to see if you can figure out what is wrong and make sure it is fully bringing the slide into the seal when closed. Most likely it needs some attention, but I haven't seen it.

On the 42GD, the 3 slides are Schwinteck, and the curb side front is actually a Power Gear Underfloor electric, not hydraulic. It will have a single slide lock in the center. I wish all were the underfloor. Our full wall, and the Ellipse 42QD full wall on the street side are a 3 track under floor Power Gear electric with 2 slide locks and they operate quite well. Here is a cut of the 42GD curb side front slide.
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Old 09-28-2018, 03:21 PM   #9
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You’ll find plenty of videos on YouTube about resyncing Schwintec slides. Just search for those words.
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Old 09-30-2018, 06:38 PM   #10
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I would not touch a 2013. That was the first year for the Shwintek slide mechanisms on them and they are garbage. Many many problems with them. I passed on a 2013 and purchased my 2012 just for that reason. I would not get a 2013 or 2014.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:07 PM   #11
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Iíve got a 2014 QD and tow a Grand Cherokee and carry my Harley on a lift. The Schwintex on the front slide was replaced with a different design. I have talked to owners who havenít had any problems but after I had to drive my rig to a repair shop (in Canada) with the slide out, I didnít give up until it was replaced.
My bedroom slide is Schwintek with no problems but that is a much lighter slide than the living room.
The MPG is probably 6-7 but Iíve been close to 9 out west where everything is flat.
I canít comment on the dry camping as I havenít done it with this rig.
Good luck with your purchase!
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