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Old 01-04-2019, 09:40 AM   #1
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Brand New Class A Driver - next week

Hey All,
Brand new to the RV life. Taking delivery of an Intent 26M next Friday. Got just a smokin deal on it because it's a 2018. Mrs BDub has been wanting an RV for a couple of years so we can haul our doggies around with us on vacations.

I'm doing something no one here advocates I'm sure. I'm buying sight unseen. I'll do a full inspection and orientation on Friday and I guess sign everything then. I expect that as I find things, then the warranty will ensure I'm covered. I've put a couple thousand down and secured financing.

McClains RV has been super easy to do business with. Ive loved the experience so far.

Modifications are underway before I drive it off the lot:
I've ordered a Roadmaster RSSA and Sumosprings based on the research I've done, and am shipping those direct to the dealer to have them installed for me when I go to pick it up.
Also, since this is a 2018 I'm buying, I had them add in side view cameras (the Thor Freedom Traveller I test drove that had them sold me on 'needing' them. It's really more about confidence in visually verifying the side views I'm seeing in the mirrors.

Im flying from Lafayette to Dallas to pick it up, and I'll drive it home Friday afternoon/evening. It's about a 6 hour drive normally, so I'll take my time. By the time I pull into my driveway Friday night, I hope to have developed a solid feel for how to navigate this thing.

Building an Amazon shopping list for all the little things (like a black and grey water hose and a fresh water hose) that we'll need before embarking on our maiden voyage. Being a big Star Wars fan, I think there is no other choice but to dub this 'The Falcon'. Coloring is similar, and I hope she's got it where it counts!
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:20 AM   #2
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Since you're buying from an out-of-area dealer, you might be in a more precarious position than usual regarding warranty items since your local dealer might not be as responsive as they otherwise would be. Therefore, the more you can get taken care of up front the better. I'm sure that you'll get some input from those who've experienced this.

I'd also question the advisability of the suspension mods at this time. I've read on either Winnieowners or IRV2 that they can invalidate suspension-related warranty provisions.
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Old 01-04-2019, 01:35 PM   #3
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Since you're buying from an out-of-area dealer, you might be in a more precarious position than usual regarding warranty items since your local dealer might not be as responsive as they otherwise would be. Therefore, the more you can get taken care of up front the better. I'm sure that you'll get some input from those who've experienced this.

I'd also question the advisability of the suspension mods at this time. I've read on either Winnieowners or IRV2 that they can invalidate suspension-related warranty provisions.
Thanks for the note. I may be in a somewhat unique situation, in that the town I live in, at least according to the Winnebago site, the affiliated service center is not an RV dealer. So hopefully the responsiveness issue doesn't materialize.

I think you are right about the possibility of the warranty for suspension issues getting voided. It's a definite risk, but I feel somewhat safe in the dealer team doing the install. I'm banking on how long the the chassis model has been in production for sure.
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Old 01-04-2019, 01:57 PM   #4
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I think you're right on the warranty situation and the RSSA and Sumosprings are pretty low impact in terms of mods but I'd save the original parts in case you need to re-install them for warranty purposes.
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Old 01-04-2019, 03:06 PM   #5
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Since you're buying from an out-of-area dealer, you might be in a more precarious position than usual regarding warranty items since your local dealer might not be as responsive as they otherwise would be. Therefore, the more you can get taken care of up front the better.
My experience here in the Phoenix area is that (1) the dealer does not care if you bought from them or not, and (2) there is such a long wait for service, especially during the November to May time period when we have a lot of out of state residents with their RVs, that you can't get any service done at the dealer in any reasonable length of time anyway.

My guess is that item (1) is because of item (2) and, perhaps, if you live in an area where the dealer is more prepared for service it may be that buying gives you some advantage. But here I ended up taking my Winnebago Fuse to the Norcold dealer rather than the Winnebago dealer because the RV place had a 5-6 week wait time, and then another week to look at the fridge while the Norcold dealer got to it within a couple of days. The Norcold dealer charged me for a diagnostic even though the repair was under warranty, but it was worth it to me to have the RV taken care of.
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Old 01-04-2019, 03:51 PM   #6
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I think you're right on the warranty situation and the RSSA and Sumosprings are pretty low impact in terms of mods but I'd save the original parts in case you need to re-install them for warranty purposes.
That's a great call out on saving original parts. I think the Sumo are just add ins and don't replace anything OEM, but I am not sure about the steering stabilizer. Definitely will be sure to ask for anything to be saved!
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:24 PM   #7
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Wow,we’re picking up ours on Monday,same thing 26m,we have 2 golden retrievers that just turned 1 year old,this will be our first Motorhome.Ive watched so many videos the last month on everything, excited but nervous!
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:52 PM   #8
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Wow,we’re picking up ours on Monday,same thing 26m,we have 2 golden retrievers that just turned 1 year old,this will be our first Motorhome.Ive watched so many videos the last month on everything, excited but nervous!
That's awesome! Congrats! I know just what you mean.

Already made my first rookie mistake though. Ordered the wrong set of sumosprings for the rear and won't get the reorder in time next week.. So I'm only going to have them add the steering stabilizer. Maybe its fate that I read the specs wrong when I ordered them. I'll evaluate the drive quality between Dallas and Lafayette and add in later if need be.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:42 PM   #9
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That's awesome! Congrats! I know just what you mean.

Already made my first rookie mistake though. Ordered the wrong set of sumosprings for the rear and won't get the reorder in time next week.. So I'm only going to have them add the steering stabilizer. Maybe its fate that I read the specs wrong when I ordered them. I'll evaluate the drive quality between Dallas and Lafayette and add in later if need be.
On your way home you're not going to be at your normal traveling weight, nor are your tires going to be inflated properly for your actual weight. Most likely they will be inflated to or close to the max PSI specified on your door plate which is going to be higher psi than needed for your actual weight, particularly on your trip home. Therefore your ride will be stiffer and harsher than what you'll experience after you've loaded up for real.

There's a ton of information online about weighing your RV and dialing in your tire pressures but here's a good start. The author, a retired tire engineer, goes by Tireman9 on Winnieowners.com and IRV2 and I trust the information he posts.

Here's a link to some info from his blog which is worth bookmarking:

RV Tire Safety: Load Inflation table
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BobC View Post
On your way home you're not going to be at your normal traveling weight, nor are your tires going to be inflated properly for your actual weight. Most likely they will be inflated to or close to the max PSI specified on your door plate which is going to be higher psi than needed for your actual weight, particularly on your trip home. Therefore your ride will be stiffer and harsher than what you'll experience after you've loaded up for real.

There's a ton of information online about weighing your RV and dialing in your tire pressures but here's a good start. The author, a retired tire engineer, goes by Tireman9 on Winnieowners.com and IRV2 and I trust the information he posts.

Here's a link to some info from his blog which is worth bookmarking:

RV Tire Safety: Load Inflation table
Thanks very much for they resource! I'll do something studying for sure. Love to learn this kind of stuff. I'm gonna think I'm a pro trucker after a while!
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdub View Post
Hey All,
Brand new to the RV life. Taking delivery of an Intent 26M next Friday. Got just a smokin deal on it because it's a 2018. Mrs BDub has been wanting an RV for a couple of years so we can haul our doggies around with us on vacations.

I'm doing something no one here advocates I'm sure. I'm buying sight unseen. I'll do a full inspection and orientation on Friday and I guess sign everything then. I expect that as I find things, then the warranty will ensure I'm covered. I've put a couple thousand down and secured financing.

McClains RV has been super easy to do business with. Ive loved the experience so far.

Modifications are underway before I drive it off the lot:
I've ordered a Roadmaster RSSA and Sumosprings based on the research I've done, and am shipping those direct to the dealer to have them installed for me when I go to pick it up.
Also, since this is a 2018 I'm buying, I had them add in side view cameras (the Thor Freedom Traveller I test drove that had them sold me on 'needing' them. It's really more about confidence in visually verifying the side views I'm seeing in the mirrors.

Im flying from Lafayette to Dallas to pick it up, and I'll drive it home Friday afternoon/evening. It's about a 6 hour drive normally, so I'll take my time. By the time I pull into my driveway Friday night, I hope to have developed a solid feel for how to navigate this thing.

Building an Amazon shopping list for all the little things (like a black and grey water hose and a fresh water hose) that we'll need before embarking on our maiden voyage. Being a big Star Wars fan, I think there is no other choice but to dub this 'The Falcon'. Coloring is similar, and I hope she's got it where it counts!
I wish I could give you an enthusiastic CONGRADUTALTION! but I am not a Ford fan, so I can't go that far.


Before you sign any papers take the coach for a test drive up onto the freeway. Get it to at 65mph and see how it handles. Drive for a half hour to really get the road feel. If you notice ANY front end problems at all tell the dealer to fix it BEFORE you sign the papers. The problem must be gone before you buy it. Ford has a bad reputation for front end problems.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:38 PM   #12
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I wish I could give you an enthusiastic CONGRADUTALTION! but I am not a Ford fan, so I can't go that far.


Before you sign any papers take the coach for a test drive up onto the freeway. Get it to at 65mph and see how it handles. Drive for a half hour to really get the road feel. If you notice ANY front end problems at all tell the dealer to fix it BEFORE you sign the papers. The problem must be gone before you buy it. Ford has a bad reputation for front end problems.
Another awesome tip from experience. Thank you! I'm not a Ford guy either, but I'm not so opposed to it that it keeps me from this deal. Just signed everything and am now awaiting a 3 hour (estimated) recall on the a/c system for the cab to get done. Yup, ford already setting me back....
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:29 PM   #13
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Another thing being a 2018 it has been sitting on their lot for some time now in the hot sun and weather. I would pin them down on what kind of checking and maintaining roof seals etc etc.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bdub View Post
Another awesome tip from experience. Thank you! I'm not a Ford guy either, but I'm not so opposed to it that it keeps me from this deal. Just signed everything and am now awaiting a 3 hour (estimated) recall on the a/c system for the cab to get done. Yup, ford already setting me back....
The crazy thing about Ford is that they look and feel nice when parked. It's actual service that the true colors come out.

I have been in that area of Texas, Quinlan, in the summer. 115* is no fun. Can't imagine what it does to the rig sitting on the lot! I hope you don't walk into heat damage when you check out the coach. I met a guy when getting work done at Winnebago in OR. His coach was a great deal from AZ. He had major heat damage issues he was trying to get resolved. Good luck with this deal.
If the suspension is functioning as it should, you should have no problems negotiating the highways and byways. Just hug the center line on a right turn and the curb on a left turn and always be aware of the tail to rear tires overhang.

As much scoff as I have received for posting this, I put vortex generators (AirFlow Deflector) on my coach. They definitely help to stabilize the tail waggle and draft effect of passing semis and help to keep the tow and rear of the coach cleaner from road grim.

Looking forward to the rest of the story.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:55 AM   #15
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UPDATE: Over all a driving experience that was 8-10. I found if I didn't pay attention, I'd be going close to 70 because the handling, noise, comfort, etc was better than expected. I'd go for some clips at 55 and between 55-65 or so. I didn't use the cruise control until about 3 hours into the trip. At that point, it was a matter of some fatigue from the long day (up at 4am to fly to DAL, it was about close to 5pm by the time I hit the road to Lafayette). I hit the cruise around 61mph and holy cow if that wasn't a magic number! Semi-jetstreams were really manageable, apart from one or two truckers that like hugging the yellow line, and the overall engine performance and cabin noise was just awesome at that speed.

Stopped in Alexandria for a bit of a stretch and some caffeine and sugar. Only stop I made on the 7 hour journey home. Seating was that comfy!

Had one close call coming out of Shreveport with a pickup truck that seemed married to my blind spot. I was needing to exit and he was needing to enter the highway. He missed the memo on yielding and merging so I missed the exit. Did a exit and uturn that maybe added a mile onto the journey.

Lesson learned: take my time, know that the world is full of people who apparently have life saving brain surgeries to get to, and there'll be another chance up the road to get back on track.

Things I am marking down, that kept from being an 8 out of 10. Cab issues (dang it ford!):
First, the AC only blew hot at one point, had to shut it down and restart it to get a warm mix instead of blast furnace hot (even when cranked all the way to the left on the temp selector).
Second, ambient lighting is coming from instrumentation only. Maybe these things are driven mostly during the day, but I didn't like how dark it felt. I had a vw cc that had these really dim and pinpoint red leds that made an awesome difference in night driving. Gonna look into a similar add here I think.
Lastly and probably the most dangerous, Bluetooth connectivity. The head unit just would not stay paired with my iPhone. It was great for having my tunes, but I was also navigating with my phone, so getting the turn by turn over the speakers was helpful to keep my eyes on the road. Reconnecting is not a one click process so picking the phone up, getting the right menu selected and then selecting the right Bluetooth device was really stressful. I probably had to do that 10-12 times on the trip.

A final word on night driving up high....I had never been so panick stricken to see all the deer down on the shoulders of the highway at night. Good golly that upped my pucker factor to think of tangling with Bambi on my first voyage in the Willemium Falcon!
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:42 PM   #16
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Hey bdub - Glad to hear the Willemium Falcon performed well on the initial voyage! Regarding the AC, I think you may find that the dash AC is not Ford. The F53 chassis come with what they call "AC Prep" and then Winnebago installs an aftermarket AC. At least that's how it is on my 2018 Vista LX 27N F53 18K chassis... I have had the exact problem you described - only once - and corrected it the same way you did. Your manuals will tell you what AC is in there (dash, not roof).
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:06 PM   #17
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Hey bdub - Glad to hear the Willemium Falcon performed well on the initial voyage! Regarding the AC, I think you may find that the dash AC is not Ford. The F53 chassis come with what they call "AC Prep" and then Winnebago installs an aftermarket AC. At least that's how it is on my 2018 Vista LX 27N F53 18K chassis... I have had the exact problem you described - only once - and corrected it the same way you did. Your manuals will tell you what AC is in there (dash, not roof).
Thanks very much, IOS 3! Great insight...hopefully my gremlin got worked out as well.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:55 PM   #18
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A/C freeze up?

I seem to remember when stationed in South Florida quite a few years ago my E150 Club Wagon's A/C would occasionally freeze up when the outside air was very humid and ice would form on the inside heat exchanger. Like your issue, it would blow hot air and after shutting the A/C off for a few minutes (15 - 20) it then operated normally.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:43 AM   #19
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I seem to remember when stationed in South Florida quite a few years ago my E150 Club Wagon's A/C would occasionally freeze up when the outside air was very humid and ice would form on the inside heat exchanger. Like your issue, it would blow hot air and after shutting the A/C off for a few minutes (15 - 20) it then operated normally.
That sounds logical to me. I had the temp dial about 1/4 from full cool. It's Louisiana so humidity was definitely present. If it happens again, I'll take it in for sure.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:48 AM   #20
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Yesterday I added small things. Screens to keep the mud daubers from nesting in the water heater and furnace vents, picked up a big bottle of 409 from Costco. Also picked up a bottle of coyote urine from the Field and Stream store. The finance guy at McClains said he bought a bottle of that and sprays around the tires to keep the mice away when he has it parked. Who knew they sold coyote pee? At ten bucks for four ounces, those coyotes are living the high life! Anyway, sprayed that around and got some wind spray on my legs...when I went back inside the pups were certain I'd been cheating on them. I felt damn lucky one didn't cock his leg to remark my leg!
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