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Old 07-05-2013, 07:33 PM   #1
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2005 Winnebago Vectra 40 FD pros and cons

We are considering trading or selling outright our 2006 Journey 36g for a 2005 Vectra 40 FD and after a little research have read complaints regarding the Freightliner wiring harness not working well with the Winnebago harness causing the exhaust brake to be unreliable. Also at 65mph and certain crosswind conditions the RV not holding the road. It is difficult to know if this is an anomaly or a common occurrence. I am looking for advice from those with experience with the Vectra on overall satisfaction or problems. Other than a few issues I could see the RV is in good condition and has the 400hp Cummins ISL. The generator has hardly been used which is not necessarily a good thing for the year as it was parked in Florida for 5 months every year. Low mileage on the Cummins as well. Thank you in advance for your input.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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Catch14me,
I previously owned an 05 Vectra TD and loved it. The Freightliner exhaust brake is actually an engine brake and is not connected in any way with the Winnebago wire harness. There were a number of ISL's delivered without any wire harness for the engine brake installed and most people didn't even know it. If it is not there, I am sure Cummins or Freightliner would put it in for a small fee. It lays right on top of the engine.
The independent suspension is more sensitive to road or wind conditions because the front end is more "flexible" because each wheel in the front has its own suspension system. If it is "too loose" the shocks are probably bad or have never been changed. That will solve the problem. With any 05 motor home I would take a hard look at the HWH slide mechanisms. Especially the nylon plastic guides. I replaced mine. It would be worth a trip to HWH to have them inspected but that is normal maintenance.
I am sure you would enjoy the Vectra. Let us know what you decide.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response and encouraging information. Having a Winnebago already and I looked at all of the nylon plastic guides and they do not show much wear probably because the couple stayed at the same places for extended periods. The generator only has 56 hours which is not ideal but seems to run OK and power the coach appliances. The exterior and interior look good with a couple of exceptions. Probably due the Florida sun exposure the dash cover has some wrinkles. In two places there is a small separation of the ceiling cover in corners but I think an upholstery shop could fix - probably the dash cover as well. One small soft spot in a corner on the inside ceiling but no sign of water stains or leaks there. Roof looks good with minor clear coat pealing in a few spots which is not uncommon where the fiberglass roof attaches to the side. The caulking looks tight on the sides of the roof where the roof attaches. There appears to have been a small amount of water at some point on the drivers side dash which is a little concern but if no rust a new gasket and sealant might fix. Only 23k miles and everything else looks very good. Do you know when the Vectra was discontinued. I appears to have been replaced with the Tour. Thanks again.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:08 PM   #4
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The Ultimate was dropped in 2005 so the Vectra and the Horizon became the "top shelf" motorhomes. In 2010 the Vectra and Horizon were dropped and the Tour and Ellipse became the "top shelf." I wonder when the next change will happen??
The generator uses the Kobota engine which you cannot hurt, unless it was underwater for months. They will run forever. Of course, you will want to change all the fluid and filters, and that other silly part that I can't remember. But, at least you will have a slide to get at it. (I think.) You will be changing fluid and hoses and stuff on the ISL as well.... take it to the Gaffney Service Center. Tell Pat I said "Hi."
I had water coming in the top marker lights. You need to pull each one out and put new sealant on them.
Feel free to PM me or email me at [email protected] if you have other questions.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:53 AM   #5
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I think you would be very happy with the bigger Vectra. We just went from a 34' Damon to a 40' Ultimate Freedom and just love it. I did all fluid changes and chassis maintenance and fixed a bunch of minor problems and now ready to roll.
I even pulled up the carpet the other day and installed a engineered hardwood floor and it came out awesome.

Buy it and don't look back.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:13 AM   #6
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I have the Itasca Horizon 40 AD which is just a floor plan difference than the model at which you are looking. If the floor plan works go for it. I have had various problems with mine but none that you could call routine or ordinary. Just the nature of an RV.

Might consider joining the Freightliner Club as you get a 10% discount which is significant if you are fortunate enough to get to Gaffney.

I feel that trying to anticipate problems is defeating.

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Old 07-06-2013, 03:24 PM   #7
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We looked at the RV for several hours again today and went for a test drive on I95. The chassis (Freightliner Evolution) is a little different from the Journey but the ride is very good and on the inside the lower shelves are nice for my wife who is not very tall. We do like the extra space and inside layout. It runs a little hotter than the Journey but when it's 93 outside 200 degrees is not too bad. The Journey rarely goes over 190. Having owned several RVs I hope by now I know what to look for but there are a couple of things that I have not had experience with that perhaps someone could provide some suggestions. There is a small soft spot on the ceiling of the RV toward the back corner of main passenger side slide that is visible only when the slide is extended. This usually comes from a leak somewhere so I checked the fiberglass roof and caulking and all I could see is a place where weathering has occurred and possibly some water could enter and flow downward to that point. I didn't notice any soft spots while on the roof and the caulking looks good. The weathered area has lost the clear or gel coat and may have small hairline cracks but difficult to see. This is the only thing I think of as the cause. Dicore makes a fiberglass roof coating so if we get the RV I would want to recoat the entire top but perhaps someone has experience with a better product they can recommend. Also in a couple of other small places the inside roof liner is sagging just enough to notice but is solid underneath. Perhaps someone has had this problem and has a fix. Another thing I noticed is the Trip Tech that displays stats on the rear view monitor works but no response from the small information center in the dash. Looks like the same type of information as the Trip Tech but if it is there it should work and may display useful information such as any error codes. Started to leave a deposit but decided to sleep on it before making an offer and the advice from y'all is helpful and appreciated. Overall nice looking coach or as many have referred to these as house on wheels.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:29 PM   #8
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We love our 2004. Great fulltiming coach. Only a few things to fix in 2 years. Pilot dump valve and the large slide needed a new rail but I think the previous owner opened the slide into something and bent it so... We haven't had any problems that we considered bad design or "lemon" type problems. We plan to keep it for a long time. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:06 AM   #9
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Are you referring to the Freightliner Club in FMCA? We are currently Good Sam members but I have considered joining FMCA and especially if they have the Michelin Tire discount with participating dealers. The tires are 8 years old and although they look OK it will be time to replace. Thanks.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:20 AM   #10
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Recently purchased 2007 VECTRA with 11,000 miles. absolutely love it. Took it to Gaffney and had them go over it stem to stern. Pricey but worth every penny. Now we are starting from ground zero and we can maintain the coach to our standards. We also went to Camp Freightliner while there. Very worthwhile and the people are great. Good luck. Jack
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catch14me View Post
Are you referring to the Freightliner Club in FMCA? We are currently Good Sam members but I have considered joining FMCA and especially if they have the Michelin Tire discount with participating dealers. The tires are 8 years old and although they look OK it will be time to replace. Thanks.
Love our '04 Vectra. Have had a few problems but with it approaching 10 years old minor stuff is to be expected. This past winter we had an electrical disaster due to a loose or burnt wire in the auto transfer switch but our insurance company covered the losses. We also replaced the controller on the generator, replaced the rear camera, repaired the Kwikee electric steps and 6 new Michelins. Ours were a mixture of age but the rears were 10. Plenty old enough for replacement. All of these had nothing to do with Winnebago of course. All of the problems were on parts manufactured by someone else and from what I can see Winnebago bought top notch stuff.

About FMCA. If you join the savings on 2 Michelin tires will more than cover the price of membership. Just remember to have the credit card you are using to pay for them registered with FMCA's Michelin advantage before purchase and if you are buying more after 30 days (I think) to call and do it again. You will need your membership card but can print one from their web site right after joining.

The first year we had our Vectra we spent the money to have an extended service contract just so we would be protected in case anything went wrong. We figured the first year would get most of the bugs out.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:19 AM   #12
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We have a 2007 Ellipse 40FD on the Freightliner Evolution w/ 400ISL and we love it. None of the issues you mentioned.

Good luck.

Rick
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:14 PM   #13
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Everyone seems to have good things to say about the Vectra. I just googled for problems and the two things I first mentioned came up as complaints but I am now not concerned about them. I just need to check on the areas where there is a sag in the headliner and the roof needing a new coat of some kind. I hope it works out because we like the coach. I plan to get in touch with Winnebago and hopefully get some guidance on the headliner and roof. If it does not get any worse it would be OK. Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:54 AM   #14
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I just purchased 1 2005 Vectra 40FD, love the coach. Drove it 1200 mile home and still can't talking about how great it rode and drove. No issues with crosswinds on the interstates, and of course it climbs the Colorado Mtn passes like there were flat.
Once I got the water pressure issue resolved, see another post from me everything else has been great. Like you, all of the reviews I could find were positive, for both the engine and generator. Being nosy would be interested in a private email to compare what we paid to your price. My had 38,000 miles when I picked it up. Going into my favorite diesel shop next week for complete run through, for both Cummins and the generator.
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