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Old 11-04-2019, 08:45 PM   #1
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Advice on purchase of 2002 32 workhorse adventurer

Just looked at a 2002 workhorse adventurer with 68 k miles. I love the layout including the extra slide for the bedroom. The interior is meticulously maintained with the only sign of aging on the dash from the Florida sun. Tires need replacing but dealer will replace all 6 for $1500 with new tires. Will have my mechanic check engine and transmission. Air blows nice and cold with generator. Dealer let me drive it and it was a really nice ride even though I have never driven any thing over the size of an suv before. Currently have a travel trailer and it seemed 10 times easier even with the fairly short drive I took. They are asking 23k. Does that sound reasonable? Was originally looking at newer rvs but the price makes it really hard to make the commitment and this seems like a really good option to get into a class A for the first time. Cloth ceiling has no stains whatsoever which I think is a good sign of very little leakage.

It seems this model is better built than many newer models of other rvs we looked at. There was another 2001 adventurer model that the dealer had which was in equally good shape so I guess that is a good testament of Winnebago quality.

Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated. I know there are a ton of other things to check for so a quick list would also be helpful.
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Old 11-05-2019, 06:21 AM   #2
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So many things, first I have a 2004 35u and love it. A few years in there Workhorse chassis had a brake recall, there is a person that can look up the status of the recalls by vin number. [email protected]. The winnebago fiberglass roof needs to be checked every year. There are many posts about how to do it, not a big deal. I cant believe a dealer could replace 6 tires for $1500. Check the dates on the tires, a big deal. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:02 AM   #3
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Might be a little on the high side, but condition rules at that age. The asking price is never reasonable. Don't negotiate until you've checked everything out.

1. Find out what tires the dealer is going to install and, if they're not what you'd want, see what the price differential would be.

2. Carefully check all the hydraulics for leakage. You'll have to operate everything several times first. Trouble spots are mainly at the connections (which can be tightened) and the ferrules where the fittings are swaged onto the hoses. Leaking at the ferrules is an issue with this vintage. I had to replace several hoses in my 2002 35U. There's a sticky that will lead you to some schematic drawings:

http://www.winnieowners.com/forums/f...ams-19250.html

3. I'm assuming it has "basement air". Make sure it's fully functional (A/C and heating) and that both compressors run (replacement is $2,000+, just for the unit). You may need to test this with generator power if you only have 15a or 20a power available. While you're at it, make sure the generator is fully functional and the transfer switch is functioning properly. When you're plugged into shore power and start the generator, the transfer switch should switch you from shore power to generator power.

4. Check out all other major systems, refrigerator, propane heater, etc.

5. Plan on replacing the shocks if they're old (try bargaining for this)

6. Use the Google search box at the top of this Forum to search for and read up on windshield leaks. This can be a major issue if rust has set in.

If all looks good, go for it but plan on spending at least a couple thousand dollars on fixing things and don't buy if you're not a DIYer since there will be issues.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:19 PM   #4
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I bought an 2001 Itaska Suncruiser 32V with 50K miles & Ford V10, a couple months back, paid $13K privately, it is in excellent condition and everything works now with a little cleaning and TLC. I am a mechanic also skilled in electrical, plumbing and AC. I did spend a lot of time on top, underneath and inside the motohome as well as testing all the systems. I don't buy or sell using dealers unless buying new. I would say that unit is priced high and the tire estimate is a lie.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:49 PM   #5
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Tires and dealer

Well 2 things I found out about the tires. The replacement tires for 1500 would be Hercules but I think those are cheap tires. Dealer admitted that Michelin or Bridgestones would be twice as much. The other thing is that I was able to talk to previous owner and he said the current tires are great tires and I should expect to get another 50 k miles on them. Currently they are 4 year old continentals. I will have a fleet mechanic look this thing over so I will see if he concurs.

The price is a little high but the previous owner just replaced the whole AC unit, new brakes and a rebuilt transmission. He is also a mechanic and although none of these went on him, he knew enough to see when it was time to replace them. Looking online, I found others nationwide with prices all over the place. The ones that were less than 20 had obvious wear on them and needed work. I would say based on years and miles, this was placed right in the middle. The dealership is a family dealership that has been around for 30-40 years and their customer reviews are all 5*. Even the previous owner swears by them and said he wouldn’t use anyone else. Not saying we won’t negotiate (you don’t know my wife) but at least we have a starting point. BTW, we had also been to other dealers and the trade for our travel trailer (2019) was such a ripoff, his offer was at least somewhat fair (about 50% more than the other dealers).
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:02 PM   #6
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In general, RV tires "age out" before wearing out. At four years, you may only have a couple of good years left regardless of how many miles you put on them (there are numerous threads on this issue).

Others will disagree but I think Michelins are more expensive than you need to spend. When I replaced mine at a truck tire shop (that does RVs), I purchased Uniroyals. According to "my tire guy" Uniroyal is owned by Michelin and, although Michelin's may have a longer tread wear life, the Uniroyal's rubber and construction was close to Michelin's in quality and would age as well at a significant cost savings. Since I'll never wear them out I went with the Uniroyals.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:31 AM   #7
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At 4 years old and no dry rot I would not consider replacing the tires. Good luck with your purchase, I think you will like that Motorhome, they have quite a few nice features and a nice practical floor plan.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:58 AM   #8
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I have a 2004 Adventurer 35U and we really like the floor plan. I have considered trading it to move up a few years but walked at the figures. I have done a number of upgrades since and plan to keep it with 40K on it.

As stated. The Adventurer has a number of nice features. Do check out things that have been mentioned. If it has basement air make sure both compressors are working. All appliances functioning. The roof to sidewall caulking needs looking after. If the roof presses in away from the sidewalls the caulking needs redone. For the age it will need some care. My coach AUX heater needs attention. Doesn't run on low speed and makes noise on high. I know the issues there.
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:29 AM   #9
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Basement vs standard on top air

We still haven’t “made the deal” yet but one thing that I was wondering in my search for alternatives is similar size/layout units with air on top. I ask that because the adventurer and similar itaska have the basement air which seemed to get nice and ice cold and extremely comfortable. Is this a huge upgrade from the standard “on top” ac? Because of our needs and lot size limitations (currently we have a storage space in our hoa and 32’11” will just fit, anything bigger won’t work. This limits us quite a bit for used class As and looking for “basement air” limits us even more. What is strange is that within 50 miles there where 3 different Winnebago/itasca units that have been on the market for 2-3 months. The first one we looked at sold to the couple who looked at it 5 minutes before we got there. The itaska unit we were scheduled to look at today sold yesterday.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomh View Post
We still haven’t “made the deal” yet but one thing that I was wondering in my search for alternatives is similar size/layout units with air on top. I ask that because the adventurer and similar itaska have the basement air which seemed to get nice and ice cold and extremely comfortable. Is this a huge upgrade from the standard “on top” ac? Because of our needs and lot size limitations (currently we have a storage space in our hoa and 32’11” will just fit, anything bigger won’t work. This limits us quite a bit for used class As and looking for “basement air” limits us even more. What is strange is that within 50 miles there where 3 different Winnebago/itasca units that have been on the market for 2-3 months. The first one we looked at sold to the couple who looked at it 5 minutes before we got there. The itaska unit we were scheduled to look at today sold yesterday.
IMHO there are distinct advantages to the basement air and having owned both, I'd opt for it. It's actually a heat pump so it heats as well, reducing your LPG use. It's quieter and functions more like a home A/C. You mentioned that the Adventurer you were looking at had a new basement air unit, which is is a big plus. On the other hand, it's certainly not a deal breaker to not have basement air.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:25 PM   #11
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IF your unit has a Coach Heater.....there will be a toggle switch on the dash that has a Hi and Lo setting (Fan speed).
BE SURE to test this fan.
There have been MANY problems with the birdcage of the blower moving on the shaft and contacting the cage housing.
This causes a resistance and a fuse will blow.
(Fuses are located under the pop-up dash cluster.)
In addition, there is a resistor in the fan unit that may be blown.
SO, check this out before you buy.
The repair is rather tedious and a little expensive....the fan is located behind the water heater.
I bought my unit without knowing that was such a thing as a coach heater and ended up doing the replacement myself.

PLEASE advise what you find, I am interested.
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #12
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I have a 2007 Itasca 35A, W24 chassis with 3 slides, purchased new. My wife and I loved the kitchen slide out plus overall floor plan. We considered an 2007 Adventurer at the time but the new price was $10,000 more. In hind sight, might have been worth it at the time due to the full body paint in comparison to decals. We now have 86000 miles on our unit and have had problems but over all pretty happy with the workhorse engine c/w 6 spd. allison tranny. I also have the basement heat pump/AC and love the system. I had to replace the control board but unit still works fine. However, the compressor is not strong enough to cool rig when temps exceed 100 F.

The Adventurer will likely have the W22 chassis which had a major recall on the brakes. Just some things to consider.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:38 PM   #13
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I sold my 02 Advneturer 32' a little less than a year ago, 65k miles and interior mint, exterior gel coat fading but all decals intact and not all weathered. I sold mine for 20k here in CA, I don't know what things are like in your state. I agree, those years were very solidly built, I think better than todays units. I had it for 6 years, just a slide out prob that I fixed myself and that was the only issue ever. My current 06 has an identical interior, just a couple of minor changes. I miss the built in coffee pot, though. All the wood was good quality, no junk and all the fixtures are really made well.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:55 PM   #14
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Our previous rig was a 2002 Adventurer 35U, very similar to what you are looking at. Those rigs were built during a good era, loved the basement air / heat. Had the Workhorse / Chevy 8.1 / Allison, best combo ever for a gas rig. We had very minimal problems, mainly just maintenance. Pulled grades with no problem, probably not any slower that the Journey DP that we have now. Those rigs are still selling for good prices if you can find one for sale.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:06 AM   #15
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In Florida the blowout and rollover capital of the world indeed do not stretch the envelope on tire life. 5 years is the max of that envelope here especially on roadway truck tires.

Hercules is owned by Cooper Tire and has been in business since the 1950's however since Cooper also bought a 51% share in Shandong Commercial Tires in China they may now be manufactured in China and no longer by Cooper here in the US.

Be wary of Michelin's longer tire wear claims as they have required annual dismounting of those tires for inspection by their techs starting at the end of the fifth year in order to validate whether they may or may not be safe for continued use. Its a provisional claim in reality and the inspections to keep the prorated warranty going are not free.

Workhorse of the era and the brakes were replaced by the previous owner is good however still check to ensure that the Bosch recall was done if that chassis was among those impacted. There is a reason why International Dropped Workhorse and Ford is the only class A gas chassis builder today.

I have a 2001 Adventurer 35U and feel that its the perfect floor plan and that they never should have discontinued it. The basement air works very well on coaches like the 35U and the 32 plus lowers your center of gravity without those heavy AC units up above your head.

Price does seem high though for a 2002 Adventurer 32 which has an NADA average value of less than $19,000 on the Workhorse chassis here in Florida.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:33 AM   #16
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Keep in mind that a MH blowout isn't the same as one on an auto. Often, even if you safely handle getting to the side of the road, the debris will have done thousands of dollars damage to the side of your MH.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:00 PM   #17
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We had a 2003 32V, loved it. I miss the generator on the drivers side, so the hangout area, awning, on the pax side is quieter. I do not miss the lack of storage area. I have so much more storage space, with the A/C's on the roof. Our newer unit has heat pumps in the roof A/C's, so no lose of utility that the basement units provide.

Our current unit is Ford V10. I miss the power WH provided, with the Allison tranny. I drive up HWY 50 from Sacramento to Tahoe regularly. WH never got below 45 MPH on that climb, Ford gets as low as 35 MPH on a few inclines. We weight 700 lbs more in Ford unit, so not a big difference.

We bought the 32V new, and the "Coach Heater" blower started making noise after a couple years. Never really used it, just exercised it once in awhile. It provides engine heat thru-out the entire coach, while driving. I did not fix it, because as stated earlier, hard to get to, behind water heater and again, never really used it. If it doesn't work, use for negotiating, but don't get excited over it not working.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:32 PM   #18
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Not sure if this is what the previous owner is talking about but when you look under the hood, there is a set of 2 fans in front of the radiator. This operates by a toggle switch that is on the dash. He said when you put the ac on to toggle the switch to get more airflow and cool the rest of the coach much quicker when running the vehicle. We tested it and verified that it increases flow substantially.

As for the ac on the “house”, they had the ac on with both compressors running (generator load was showing 28 amps). Unit was cool very quickly. We haven’t tried the heat yet but the owner disabled the gas heat so that it would only run on the heat pump of the ac (just didn’t trust gas and heat together). Apparently, for General Florida weather this should be fine. Reconnecting the gas shouldn’t be an issue but I would be fine using the heat pump instead unless we get up north with freezing temps.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:01 AM   #19
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I would agree that the 35U floor plan was probably the best ever. I also noticed that Winnebago brought it back this year on their Vista models.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:50 AM   #20
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I would agree that the 35U floor plan was probably the best ever. I also noticed that Winnebago brought it back this year on their Vista models.
I agree as well. It's also one of the most accessible for those in wheelchairs or with walkers.
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