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Old 06-04-2012, 12:47 PM   #1
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2013 Winnebago Vista 26HE question

Hello,
This looks like a nice community! Iím helping my folks (age 70) with a motorhome purchase. They are not really internet savvy and want some unbiased advice.
They currently have a 2005 27 foot Minnie Winnie Class C. They tow a Jeep Wrangler. They want to upgrade but do not want anything longer than a 29 foot model because they stay in a lot of state/natíl parks with size limits.
The Minnie Winnie is nice but they want to try something new. They are leaning toward a smaller Class A. They definitely want the automatic jacks because they are tired of driving up on blocks.
What do you think of the 2013 Winnebago Vista 26HE? It looks like a nice deal.
http://www.gowinnebago.com/products/2013/vista_vista_rally/floorplans/
How can they sell this so inexpensively?
Can you give an idea of the gas mileage of this model? Could it get 10 MPG while towing a Jeep Wrangler? Or are we looking at 5 or 6 MPG?
Other thoughts to consider for this model? Do folks who go from a class C to a class A usually like the class A better? It seems like a class A uses space better because you donít ďloseĒ the driver/passenger seat while you are living in it.
Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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Hadn't seen that model before

I can't answer your questions but I do think that looks like a nice deal with the promotional pricing. And I think the floor plan looks great.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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2013 Winnebago Vista 26HE question

The 2013 Vista 26HE is a new offering by Winnebago. I have it's earlier cousin, the 26P, offered at least 2009 thru 2012. The major difference I see is the 26HE has one slide, twice the amount of exterior storage and a longer awning than the 26P. The 26P has two slides that includes one for the bed. The capacitities, lengths and weights are the same or very similar on both models.

I get 7.5 mph when towing and not much better when not towing.

The biggest difference that your parents may notice when driving is the width of the 26HE versus their previous moho. This is not a minor adjustment for some drivers and I suggest your parents test drive a 26HE for as many miles as possible on various roads.

I really, really like my 26P!

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Old 06-06-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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2013 Winnebago Vista 26HE question

One more thing to consider is the standard features and options available for the 26HE. You can review those on the same website you quoted in your original message. This may answer your question about why it is offered at the base price.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the responses! My parents have put in an inquiry to a Winnebago dealer to ask when the first 26P will arrive. Apparently only "participating" dealers will carry this model? I'm guessing it carries a lower profit margin than other models so Winnebago is allowing dealers to opt out.

They can live with 7.5MPG. They now get about 8 while towing and 9 while not towing.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:19 PM   #6
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Turns out it is extremely hard to get these promotional units. Winnebago no longer has the $69,999 price on the website. It's now $87k. My folks found one dealer that had made an order at the promotional price and will sell to them. If all goes well and an acceptable trade-in price...
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #7
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The low price is for promotional units.

The Vista is intended for the very intro Class A owner. They will cost reduce it almost anywhere possible. Some of the things the Vista lacks over the Sightseer (some are available as options):
  • Vista has radius storage doors, which means the openings are smaller
  • Less cargo capacity
  • The 26-30 ft Vista uses 19.5" wheels
  • Power driver seat is optional
  • Cheaper Radio
  • Does not have dash workstation
  • 26HE, not satellite system ready
  • No double glazing
  • Laminated counters, rather than Corian
  • Laminate bathroom counter, rather than formed laminate
  • Plastic toilet
  • Standard mattress, no queen option
  • No TV in bedroom
  • Single AC on 26-30 ft
  • 30 amp power on 26-30 ft
  • 4000 watt generator on 26-30 ft, rather than 5500 watt
  • No inverter
  • Water heater is gas only, no electric assist
Looking at base prices:
Vista 26HE $86,643
Vista 27N $107,717
Vista 30T $109,011
Vista 35F $119,795
Vista 35B $123,147
Sightseer 30A $126,162
Sightseer 33C $130,537

Its just me, but if you look at the build quality, the layout, etc..... I think I would pick the Sightseer 30A over the Vista 30N. Of course if you want smaller than 30 ft, Sightseer doesn't have it.

You need to go visit a dealer and see for yourself.

NOTE: you didn't say whether they want diesel or gas.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvinc View Post
The low price is for promotional units.

The Vista is intended for the very intro Class A owner. They will cost reduce it almost anywhere possible. Some of the things the Vista lacks over the Sightseer (some are available as options):
  • Vista has radius storage doors, which means the openings are smaller
  • Less cargo capacity
  • The 26-30 ft Vista uses 19.5" wheels
  • Power driver seat is optional
  • Cheaper Radio
  • Does not have dash workstation
  • 26HE, not satellite system ready
  • No double glazing
  • Laminated counters, rather than Corian
  • Laminate bathroom counter, rather than formed laminate
  • Plastic toilet
  • Standard mattress, no queen option
  • No TV in bedroom
  • Single AC on 26-30 ft
  • 30 amp power on 26-30 ft
  • 4000 watt generator on 26-30 ft, rather than 5500 watt
  • No inverter
  • Water heater is gas only, no electric assist
Looking at base prices:
Vista 26HE $86,643
Vista 27N $107,717
Vista 30T $109,011
Vista 35F $119,795
Vista 35B $123,147
Sightseer 30A $126,162
Sightseer 33C $130,537

Its just me, but if you look at the build quality, the layout, etc..... I think I would pick the Sightseer 30A over the Vista 30N. Of course if you want smaller than 30 ft, Sightseer doesn't have it.

You need to go visit a dealer and see for yourself.

NOTE: you didn't say whether they want diesel or gas.
Thank you very much for this post, alvinc. Really helpful.

My folks would like a diesel unit, but 29 feet is the longest they could go because they stay in state/federal parks all the time. And they want a new coach. And they want a price under $90k. So that means gas. They are okay with 8MPG, though they would love to get more. Life is always a series of trade-offs I suppose.

The cheaper radio and water heater (gas only) could present a problem. They are enamored with the price of $69,999, though. They are rushing across several states to a dealer that has existing orders at this price. I just don't see how Winnebago can sell the product at this price. My folks are cautious and experienced RVers (albeit with Class C) so they will not likely make a big mistake. If the 26HE is inadequate for their needs, they will keep their existing 2005 Minnie Winnie.

Thanks again! Any more feedback appreciated. They plan to place their deposit before the end of the week.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:39 PM   #9
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Hi, I am picking up a new Itasca Sunstar 26HE at the promo price tomorrow! Yes, there are nicer features on other higher priced motor homes, but the trade offs that Winnebago made on the Sunstar Sport and Vista Rally are very good. You get Winnebago quality and many nice features like automatic hydraulic jacks, a color rear view camera, electric awning, heated remote adjustable mirrors, ultra leather seating, and automatic steps. The things they have left off are for the most part things I can live without in my first RV. We are excited to begin taking a lot of long weekend trips to the beaches here in California, or up to the sierras. I hope your parents love their new RV as much as we hope to!
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:42 PM   #10
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By the way, I ended up purchasing in my hometown in Dublin, Ca. At LaMeasa RV, but I was able to easily find the promo price at Lichtsinn RV in Iowa, and Wakely RV in PA, among others. I found the customer service at Lichtsinn extremely good, and they have a nice 16 minute walk through video of the RV available online.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macnut View Post
Hi, I am picking up a new Itasca Sunstar 26HE at the promo price tomorrow! Yes, there are nicer features on other higher priced motor homes, but the trade offs that Winnebago made on the Sunstar Sport and Vista Rally are very good. You get Winnebago quality and many nice features like automatic hydraulic jacks, a color rear view camera, electric awning, heated remote adjustable mirrors, ultra leather seating, and automatic steps. The things they have left off are for the most part things I can live without in my first RV. We are excited to begin taking a lot of long weekend trips to the beaches here in California, or up to the sierras. I hope your parents love their new RV as much as we hope to!
Thank you Macnut. That is really interesting information. I did not realize that Itasca had a promo price going too. Maybe the Itasca has some differences that my folks will want to look into.

Congrats on your new RV. Please post a picture when you can!
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:41 PM   #12
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One caution. The ratio of the wheelbase to length is, in simple terms - AWFUL. It is less than .5 and that is not good for handling, heavy winds etc.

It is a size that I like as well (having a the 26QP Class C Impulse) but I would never buy it because of the wheelbase being so short. .55 is the minimum I'll accept.

Don
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:59 AM   #13
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Here's my big white box. I'm very happy with the quality, fit and finish. So far, everything is in working order! Thanks!

Click image for larger version

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Old 06-23-2012, 09:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
One caution. The ratio of the wheelbase to length is, in simple terms - AWFUL. It is less than .5 and that is not good for handling, heavy winds etc.

It is a size that I like as well (having a the 26QP Class C Impulse) but I would never buy it because of the wheelbase being so short. .55 is the minimum I'll accept.

Don

What? I don't understand. Would Winnebago make a product with unsafe handling? This is a pretty short unit - that's why it has the shorter wheelbase?
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:19 AM   #15
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What? I don't understand. Would Winnebago make a product with unsafe handling? This is a pretty short unit - that's why it has the shorter wheelbase?
The only answer is money - that is, cost. When we were downsizing in Oct 2010 we considered a couple of units. One was a new 26DS model from Jacyo (2 year warranty). I did not like the wheelbase to length ratio of the unit at all. We'd pretty well decided to stay with our Greyhawk on Kodiak when we read an article on the new 26QP. When I checked the specs we then had to have a look at it. Ratio was over .56 whereas the Jayco was around .52. Fortunately, we bought one that has had fewer problems than any other MH we've owned (5 of them - one Class A gasser, 2 DPs, one Super C and now one on an E450).

Now, this topic is probably one that can draw the most heated debate (other than Chev vs Ford and CAT vs Cummins). What is often missed is that it is a given that a longer wheelbase will perform better than a shorter wheelbase. Add two feet to the 26HE wheelbase and there is no doubt in my mind it will handle and ride much better. If you go up the food chain in the Winnie/Itasca lineup you will find much better ratios. We had a 2004 Journey that had a very good ratio and the handling was correspondingly good. (but our punch list was very long and got longer all the time so we dumped it)

The problem comes when someone drives a .51 ratio MH and says I found it handles better than another I drove that was .55. To make a fair and proper comparison one has make sure all conditions are equal - suspension type and quality, weight, weight distribution on the axles and from side to side, etc. It is only then that one can properly make a judgment.

What also bothers me about a short WB is the tail swing - just nice to knock off gas pumps when pulling out too sharp.

Years ago when we first started looking (and bought about a decade later) I was at one dealer and the salesman (a rather large chap) gave me a demonstration of a short wheelbase. He showed my a used C that had a huge overhang. He said "watch this." He climbed on the back bumper and the front went up considerably and I've always wondered if the wheels would have come off the ground if I'd gotten on the bumper as well (another 225 lbs).

Don
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #16
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I'm new to RVing, but what The Shadow says about longer wheel bases makes sense. However, I had my Sunstar Sport on the highway today in windy weather with no problems, even when passed by large trucks. I wonder if Winnebago has compensated by adjusting the suspension. Also, the turning radius on this is fantastic. I understand what you are saying about the tail swing, but I was able to maneuver in some pretty tight parking lots with no problems (or taking out any other vehicles or signs! :-)
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:23 AM   #17
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2013 Winnebago Vista 26HE question

I've put 18K miles on my 2010 SunStar 26p and don't have the problems The Shadow implies are inherent with all mohos with a length to wheelbase ratio that is less than .55. Keep the tires inflated properly and keep the front end aligned.

Our opinions, likes and dislikes are a product of our experience. If we all have near identical experiences with a product that are poor, then moho mfgs won't produce those products. So far, these mohos are selling and there is not an uproar over their performance from those who do own them.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:51 PM   #18
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I've put 18K miles on my 2010 SunStar 26p and don't have the problems The Shadow implies are inherent with all mohos with a length to wheelbase ratio that is less than .55. Keep the tires inflated properly and keep the front end aligned.

Our opinions, likes and dislikes are a product of our experience. If we all have near identical experiences with a product that are poor, then moho mfgs won't produce those products. So far, these mohos are selling and there is not an uproar over their performance from those who do own them.

Not totally the case. Ask new RV buyers if they even thought about looking at the weight label and I doubt that you will find even a quarter thought about it.

I bought a 41 ft trailer in Florida last fall. Weight label was terrible. It weighed over 11,000 lbs and had CCC of about 400 lbs. Normally I wouldn't touch such a unit. In this case it was delivered to a concrete pad next to our park model (which has had four of our motorhomes on it over the past 8 years) and its only movement is 400 yards to a storage area for the off season - so I didn't have to worry about the weight label. The dealer had four identical units - the other three have been sold. If they are on the road regularly, they are likely running over weight if they put in a couple of TVs, food, beverages, dishes, pots and pans, etc.

First time buyers are the worst in this regard. Fortunately, I joined several forums and studied the postings so even for our first MH purchase (Class A gasser) I was looking for the right things and theoretically alert - and yet I got kind of snookered on that first one in that it had to have the water tank filled to take weight off of the front wheels so we could have three people up front and not exceed the axle weight limit. It also handled OK on rough roads. Handled not to bad in heavy wind. BUT, heavy wind and rough roads together it was a dog. Put on a Davis TruTrac and it was much improved.

Don
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #19
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Update from original poster!

My parents had a deposit on the incoming 2013 26HE. But in the meantime they had some time to look around.

They ended up finding a 2012 26P that they liked better. It wasn't much more expensive than the HE. They preferred the double slide and a couple other things. So they are going with that.

I did pass along the wheelbase concern. My dad contacted Winnebago to get some piece of mind. I know, I know, of course the manufacturer is going to stand by his engineering decisions. But it made him feel better.

I still think the 26HE is an amazing deal at $69,999. Probably a better deal than they negotiated on the 26P. But good for them getting what they want.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:17 PM   #20
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I also looked at the 2012 26P and loved it. Congrats to your parents and I wish them many happy miles in their new RV!
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