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Old 08-15-2018, 11:46 AM   #1
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 17
Have I lost my Mind?

I am planning on jumping on an airplane and flying 1,000 miles to purchase a used Winnebago. Have I lost my mind? The only thing I have seen is pictures and I have the word of the person who is selling it. By the way, added to the insanity, is the fact that he seller is the bother-in-law who lives two states away. Sadly the unit is being sold due to the former owners death and they really just want to get rid of it. They did tell me it was his baby and he took very good care of it.

However, it really is a good deal and I can't see passing it up. The other concern is that I have to drive it back home so added to everything else I have never driven a MH before.

Am I loco?
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:52 PM   #2
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Location: New Hudson, Michigan
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it is worth a look have someone with experience with motorhomes check it out on the way home swing wide and leave lots of room in front and know your height check it don't take someones word
Cathy and Gordie Connelly
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29 R
GMC Terrain on a dolly FMCA # F461058
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:16 PM   #3
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Location: Manhattan, Kansas USA
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Some thoughts:

It may have been his baby and he might have taken good care of it at one time. But often as folks age the RV gets parked and just sits unused. This is very hard on them if it goes on for several years. Assume it's an older RV.

Possible issues:
- Battery deterioration
- Fuel deterioration
- Rodent damage, both outside and inside
- Water leak damage
- Tire age over 8 years requires replacement no matter how much tread is left
- Tire flat spots if RV not moved for years
- Sun damage to exterior and interior if left parked in sun
Randy - Manhattan, Kansas
2015 Vista 27N
2016 Honda HR-V
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:19 PM   #4
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If you've ever driven a good-sized rental truck, you'll have some idea of driving a motorhome. In addition to being careful to make wide turns, and not following too close, give yourself twice as much braking room, make sure your mirrors are adjusted, and keep your speed down to about 55 to be safe.

When changing lanes, try to do so after you've watched a car pass that you're sure doesn't have another car behind them.

Be extra careful in gas stations so you don't take out a post, barrier or pump while turning in or out of a lane.
Bob C
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
W20 Chassis
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:48 AM   #5
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Gordie's advice is short and sweet, but should help get you home. The only thing I'd add is to take it easy so you can get used to driving it. Nothing cosmic about driving a motorhome. Just stay aware of its size, weight, and maneuvering characteristics.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:32 AM   #6
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 17
Thanks to everyone for the advice. It's seems the deal is going to happen so I will report in once I am back home. I have looked at lots of videos on driving MH's and have also driven a large box truck for work so I think I will be fine but will remain very cautious and careful.

I have been informed that the MH has been started at least once a week and has had new batteries and an oil change in the last week.

Stopping on the way to have it looked at is something I had not considered so am thankful for that advice. I will also plan to have new tires put on if older than 8 years.

I hope to report in next week with a new to me Adventurer.

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Old 08-16-2018, 09:29 AM   #7
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Where is it located? Maybe someone close by could give you a hand. Someone with a Winnebago ought to be able to walk you though some of the important systems.

What year and floorplan Adventurer is it?

(Sounds like a fun trip. My sister and I drove 900 miles to a broke down motorhome she bought. We fixed it and drove it 900 miles home. Not a road trip record, but not crazy either.)

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Old 08-16-2018, 09:41 AM   #8
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Well that's a good thought Tim, it's in Orlando, FL. I would also be interested in any comments on either Camping World in Summerfield, FL and La Mesa RV in Sanford, FL. The MH is a 2007 Adventurer 38T for tires and for a check up.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:54 AM   #9
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Location: 5 miles south of Lakeville, Mn
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Just me but I no longer use Camping World for much of anything. Too many bad reports about them.

For tires I try to use a tire supplier that does fleets of trucks. Up here it's an outfit called Pomps. Don't know if they have them in Fla. Pomps has always been straight with me.

What engine does it have? Have it checked by a dealer.

Run everything. Frig, stove, AC, radio, furnace, genset, ect.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, Legion, VVA, NRA
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:03 PM   #10
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Good luck, CamperDC. One other thing you might consider is buying a roadside assistance plan from Coach-Net or Good Sam. "Just in case" you get stuck and need a tow or a tire change. It's relatively cheap for peace of mind.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:28 PM   #11
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Location: Jacksonville, Fl
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When are you planning on picking it up?

For tires *I* would skip right over any of the RV dealers, and go to a tire dealer, you'll need a shop that is large enough to handle trucks, not just the basic Goodyear place or anything like that. They will probably be able to get you in and out faster than an RV dealer. Also, if you have to buy new tires, be sure and specify that you want tires where the date code is something recent (it's up to YOU to decide how 'old' you're comfortable with, I'd go with 6 months or less).

And a BIG 'plus 1' for getting a roadside service plan. IF something happens, the cost of a tow will be more than you pay for a year of coverage. I have CoachNet, used it once for a blow out, made getting the tire replaced quick and painless.
2013 Winnebago Sightseer 36V
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:48 PM   #12
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If you can, before you buy it, take it to a truck (not RV) repair shop that handles the type of chassis you have and, at a minimum, have them:

1. Do a safety check, brakes, steering, tires, etc.
2. Road test to make sure drive-ability is up to snuff.

If you can't negotiate the deal based on 1 & 2 as pre-purchase conditions, do all three before you set out on your trip home. Verify the oil/lube job.

As far as the house systems are concerned, potential big-ticket problems to look for are:

1. Hydraulics (slides and jacks). Make sure all are in working order with no strange noises and triple check for any signs of hydraulic leaks.

2. Air conditioning/heating. Make sure all units work including, if it's a "basement air" that both compressor #1 and #2 work. You may need to run the generator to test this since the power control system won't let #2 kick in unless there's enough power (20A home service isn't enough).

3. Refrigerator - Ask the seller to turn it on for at least 24 hours before your arrival, with full ice trays. Make sure it works on 120V AC and propane.

4. Leaks - Look for signs of any leaks, around roof vents, skylight, etc. plus the windshield. Read up on Winnebago windshield leaks on this forum to educate yourself.

5. Generator - Make sure it works and, before your trip home change the oil and filter.

6. Water Pump and Water Heater - Should both function. Test water heater on 120V AC plus propane.
Bob C
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
W20 Chassis
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:10 AM   #13
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Also inspect the body for any bubbles or wrinkles in the skin. This indicates water intrusion and separation of the luan and Filon siding. If found I would walk away.
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:58 PM   #14
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So, I thought I would check in and report that I picked up a 2007 Winnebago Adventurer 38T on Thursday and proceeded to drive it 1,000 miles home to Indiana without incident. Turns out the MH was as advertised and she is a beaut. All systems are in order and working properly and the only issues are the headliner issues that others are having with the foam deteriorating and the nasty invisible bra on the front looks real bad and has to go. Thanks to everyone for the tips.
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