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Old 03-02-2024, 10:05 AM   #1
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2018 Vista 31BE questions

Last August I purchased a 2018 Vista 31BE. While it came with a large cloth case that purportedly contained various owners manuals the case was mostly empty.

Iíve been wearing out the internet trying to find PDF copies of the various missing manuals but havenít found anything providing battery specs.

Can anyone provide me the appropriate battery specifications? Or a link to them?

The original batteries were replaced and the existing house batteries look to be small 12 volt RV/Deep cycle batteries wired in parallel. They donít last long when dry camping. The engine battery has been holding up okay - but whenever I replace these batteries Iíd like to get the appropriate size and capacity. I can easily change the house battery wiring to 6 volt in series if thatís what the spec requires.

Also the exterior door to the coach has a small footmanís loop and there is another on the side of the coach. Was there originally some type of strap or rod to secure the door in the open position? My temporary solution using a bungee is rather inelegant. Any ideas?
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Old 03-02-2024, 10:37 AM   #2
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Much of this is easy.

Everything you're looking for is on Winnebago.com. Here's a link to the Owner's section (though if you go to the home page there's an "Owners" link that takes you there):

https://winnebago.com/owners/owner-resources

The main thing you need is the Operator's Manual. Here's a link to that for your 2018:

https://winnebago.com/Admin/Public/D...17/17VISTA.pdf

No, there is no "official spec" for the House battery type or wiring. Basically, it's
two deep cycle batteries of your choice. If you want to go 6v you can, just wire them in series. It likely came with 12v batteries in parallel. As to size? What ever will fit. Best would be Group 31 if they'll fit. Since it's a smaller coach it's possible that only Group 27 will fit.

Just measure the space and buy the biggest best DEEP CYCLE batteries you can afford.

You can switch to Lithium (LFP) batteries - LFP as in Lithium Iron Phosphate LiFePO4) however, your Converter is not likely able to provide the appropriate best charging profile for LFP batteries. You can go with what you have and not mind the lack of proper full charging - OR - you can change the Converter to one that is LFP compatible.

The most important thing if your going with LFP batteries is to read, read, read the available info online. Because not only is the Converter not LFP ready many will encourage you to change out the charging solenoid from your alternator.

Note that there are some that say just drop in the batteries and don't worry and others will swear you MUST change everything to work with LFP batteries. You get to decide.

If you have both the "footman's loop" on the door and the body and no rod on one of them (the door? or the body?) then something's missing.

If I were you, and I don't know your budget, I'd go to Amazon or similar and lock up Group 31 12v Deep Cycle battery. Note the dimension and see if it will fit. If so, get the one that looks best to you. Not necessarily the cheapest.

Winnebago likely installed NAPA 8231 a "Marine/Deep Cycle" which at $200 is an OK battery not the best but affordable. I'd choose a Renogy AGM Deep Cycle for $189 on Amazon. But again... that's if you can accommodate a Grp 31. Since your Vista is a shorter model, I don't know if it will. I'd guess it will but you must measure it.

https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Batter.../dp/B075RFXHYK

Many will tell you to get Costco 6V Golf Cart batteries and that's not a bad choice. It is Flooded Lead Acid which need maintenance. But they are cheaper and when maintained are good value for money.
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Old 03-02-2024, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thank you for that information.

Looking through the online parts catalog I see I need part #127647-03-CHT which appears to be a simple steel rod with a 90 degree bend at each end.

I have not yet figured out how to order parts online successfully (my nearest dealer is 40 minutes away) but Iím working on that.

Iíll measure and check re the batteries. I definitely prefer sealed batteries (no maintenance, no leaks) but will sort that out. I was disappointed that our house batteries (new in 2022 if the tags on the batteries are accurate) only lasted 2 nights in the desert before going dead (running LED lights and the furnace). Of course the engine fired right up which enabled us to start the generator. But on my previous coach the 6 volt batteries in parallel lasted longerÖ.
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Old 03-02-2024, 10:54 AM   #4
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I was just able to confirm I need group 31 batteries using those online wiring diagrams. Thanks again.
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Old 03-02-2024, 10:56 AM   #5
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Door mystery solved.

There is supposed to be a rod attached to the inside of the entry door held in place with some clips.

Here's a photo from a video showing the rod on the door. And I followed that with a screen shot from the parts list for your model showing not only the rod but the part number to order from a Winnebago dealer. Many just call Lichtsinn RV in Forest City, IA (https://www.lichtsinn.com) to order parts because they are a few miles from the factory, but any Winnebago dealer can order this part for you.
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Old 03-02-2024, 11:02 AM   #6
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Here's the Wiring Diagram for your batteries - but I don't see any specific battery or size listed. Perhaps others will and point that out for you:

https://winnebago.com/Files/Files/Wi.../000129419.pdf
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Old 03-02-2024, 11:10 AM   #7
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I see while I was looking things up you found everything. That's GREAT!

As to ordering parts. Most of us call Lichtsinn RV as I said. You must order from a dealer to get parts. Though many parts for 3rd party items that supply Winnebago many times can be found on Amazon. So, it's worth a search. Winnebago loves to make it's own simple parts, especially metal ones. So, I'd guess that rod is one of theirs.

As to battery life... what fridge do you have? 110v that uses the Inverter, 12v compressor that uses the battery or dual fuel LP/12v gas absorption fridge?
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Old 03-02-2024, 11:26 AM   #8
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Here's a link to a PDF of your model's original brochure. You can see what's optional and what's standard.

https://www.winnebago.com/Files/Imag...-digital.x.pdf

This says it came with Group 24 batteries - YIKES, tiny. But whatever fits is still correct.

It shows a photo of an RV fridge but doesn't mention what kind it is. Also, there is an optional 4-door fridge.

Other options are the 1000w inverter and a "Tailgate Package" with outdoor kitchen.
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Old 03-02-2024, 11:30 AM   #9
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I order from the Winnebago dealer near me (45 minutes) in case I ever need to go get something. they are very nice and ship to me. all done thru e-mail as he now knows me. unfortunately, I can't always use factory parts, but I do my best.
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Old 03-02-2024, 12:53 PM   #10
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There are many ways to shop and none are best for all things at all times, so I do the legwork to get what I feel is best price/shipping/service for any one specific item. Many Winnebago specific parts are available online at much better pricing, so I do a search using the part number first as a check.
There are parts that folks find laying around the store, etc. that they know they never get a request for and mostly just want to move it, so they sell it cheap! If you find one of those at half price, you may have a winner! Or there are times when the part is in a store just off the highway I'm on and I buy it and pick it up on the way by.
Most of the time when we were running, we liked any excuse to take a break and looking through the dusty old RV parts was more fun that looking at the geegaws at the other shops!

One of the problems with parts on RV, is that it IS a set of parts, often made by far different builders and not just Winnebago parts. Those parts often change with changes often made yearly or even semi-yearly. That means one way to help get the correct part is to look at the model and brand of that part.
Looking at the frig, you will likely be far more correct if you find the brand and model of the frig, then look for parts and manuals for that item, not what the written info may show as being used for the year and type RV you have.
No point in looking for parts for a 2018 frig if somebody changed the frig in 2022!
For the coach batteries, much depends on how you think you will use the RV. If extended use is important, go for the longest lasting. But if you are more prone to having hookups most of the time, going with the cheaper semi-good may fit best.
I do favor AGM as they take less time and care in watching them but require no changes to other parts of the system.
Rarely do new RV come with 6 volt batteries as spec and often they come in different sizes that don't really fit the space without changing the metal tray.
But that is a personal choice thing that often takes more study than I have ever found worthwhile for our uses.
If new to the game of RV, it may make sense to go the "standard" battery thought for a few years while finding what you really do.
It is very hard to say what we are going to be doing in five years, so committing tons of time, effort, and money to change things doesn't make sense if we may find we no longer want an RV five years from now!
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Old 03-03-2024, 08:38 AM   #11
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If I click on the house batteries in the 3D diagram a part number is highlighted and the description is Battery 12V Storage Group 31. I’m certain they’ll fit but I’ll double check with a tape measure.

I appreciate the help and I’ll check the brochure link next.

I’ve already fixed the dash A/C (turns out it was a bad A/C expansion valve and the VCS electronic valve which sends hot/cold water to the VCS system wasn’t working properly).

I’ve recalibrated the hydraulic jack leveling system (works much better now), sourced the emergency hand crank for the retractable loft bed, fixed the valve handle for the black water tank (it was poorly screwed into plastic at the factory). I also added a tire pressure monitoring system which is helpful.
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Old 03-03-2024, 11:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
Door mystery solved.

There is supposed to be a rod attached to the inside of the entry door held in place with some clips.

Here's a photo from a video showing the rod on the door. And I followed that with a screen shot from the parts list for your model showing not only the rod but the part number to order from a Winnebago dealer. Many just call Lichtsinn RV in Forest City, IA (https://www.lichtsinn.com) to order parts because they are a few miles from the factory, but any Winnebago dealer can order this part for you.

An alternate to the rod is to open the door all the way and use a short bungee cord.
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Old 03-06-2024, 08:21 AM   #13
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Success! Lichtsinn has the rod, it’s only $16 (plus whatever). We had been using a bungee which was a less than ideal solution on very windy days.

Next - the brochure (thanks for that!) says we have a 1000 watt inverter. I find no evidence of an inverter having been installed.

Looking at the 3D parts catalogs it appears that my unit, if equipped, would have an inverter and transfer switch installed below the sofa bed (under a protective cover). I see nothing when I look under there. My wife and I generally like the idea of an inverter but it’s a bit unclear to me how and where I would install it and how they work in practice.

Does the transfer switch allow the inverter to simply be plugged into an electrical outlet and then automatically it will take care of the power transfer when switched on?

Where is the On/Off switch typically mounted on a 31BE?

Over the entry door there is a drop down panel containing a large TV/DVD control panel with wiring for all 3 TV’s. There is an unused electrical outlet back there, as well as many unused wiring connections? Small gauge wire, perhaps 16 gauge, with spade terminals installed. Do these have anything to do with the inverter?

If anyone has a 31BE with a factory inverter installed I would appreciate seeing photos of how and where it is installed.

Alternatively I’m open to a better idea if someone has one. I’ve done some research on this site re inverters and transfer switches but much of the transfer switch info is for the entire coach. In the meantime I’ll keep searching….
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Old 03-06-2024, 09:37 AM   #14
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Another resource you are just one click away from is the Service Parts List for your exact motorhome. There's a link on the left side of the 3D parts catalog page.

https://dealer.winnebagoind.com/unitsearch/parts.htm

Just enter your year and last five digits of your serial number and you'll get a list of parts that your motorhome has.

And on the batteries...

Mom's '19 Adventurer 29B has Group 24 batteries. Looking through diagrams and parts listings, I think that's what yours has (part # 63739-01-000). (Her inverter setup is different though, can't compare that.)

Only thing you need to worry about with replacement batteries is what fits. I personally like the value of the golfcart batteries, lots of lead/dollar. A pair (or four) of them should fit nicely in your step, and give you a lot more amp hours.
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Old 03-06-2024, 09:52 AM   #15
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There are two sets of wiring diagrams.

The first shows no inverter, the second shows the inverter.
31BE (Serial Number begins with 10E36X1)
31BE (Serial Number begins with 10E36X2)

This is common when there is a mid-year change, usually from the year prior but changed after Spring of the next year. You'll find your Serial Number in a couple of places - note, this is NOT your VIN. There is a yellow placard next to the Driver's seat with the actual details of your model and it will have your serial number.

Looking at the electrical wiring for the 31BE (Serial Number begins with 10E36X1) I see no inverter. And the diagram for 31BE (Serial Number begins with 10E36X2) shows in the inverter, I think, in a basement compartment, the forward-most on the driver's side. If it's there it might be mounted on the ceiling of the compartment.

This "usually" means your build of a 2018 model Vista has more in common with a 2017 model year. This would explain the brochure showing an inverter. They likely produced a new brochure for the 31BE (Serial Number begins with 10E36X2) model.

2017-2018 model years are part of MAJOR changes in the Class A Winnebago motorhome line up. So, those are the years with the most unusual changes.
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Old 03-07-2024, 08:08 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
There are two sets of wiring diagrams.

The first shows no inverter, the second shows the inverter.
31BE (Serial Number begins with 10E36X1)
31BE (Serial Number begins with 10E36X2)
Thank you.

Iím definitely a 10E36X2 model.

If I had an inverter there must be an On/Off switch for it somewhere. The search continuesÖ
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Old 03-07-2024, 08:27 AM   #17
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What's your last 5 digits of your serial number? I can look if you have an inverter at the link I mentioned.
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Old 03-07-2024, 09:02 AM   #18
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Part of the question has to be what options were ordered on the RV when new and what changes other owners may have made.
If you had the OEM materials,( which often get tossed) you might find a single sheet of paper listing options. Much like you find on a new car?
But without that info, you will have to look at what you got!

Did you get option 1DF?
This is the simple line drawing of the right side of your RV that shows the inverter location and switch that goes with it. But this drawing shows options which you may/may not have!
https://www.winnebago.com/Files/File.../000129355.pdf
Sheets 3 and five give location while sheet 7 gives the electrical schematic for the 110AC parts. Check various options in the lower left corner of sheet 7 as there seems to be a number of them which changes the anwer for what you may have?
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Old 03-07-2024, 09:19 AM   #19
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I did not receive a build sheet with the unit (nor most of the manuals).

It does have a TV mounted on the exterior behind a compartment door. I suspect that is option 1DF.
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Old 03-07-2024, 09:19 AM   #20
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At the top of the Service Parts List it shows what options a unit has.

Like the one I attached. A 31BE with no inverter option.

And poking around there a little I see very few 31BE models.

I looked at 18 of them, none had the inverter option:

53083
53084
53085
53086
53087
53515
53516
53517
53518
53830
53892
53893
53948
53949
54334
54525
54664
54963

So if yours is one of those, it didn't come with an inverter.
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