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Old 03-19-2014, 04:50 PM   #1
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Thoughts on a 2002 Adventurer 35U?

First and foremost,

This is my first post on this forum but have learned a ton by reading the wealth of information on this forum, for that I thank all of you!

We are in the market for our first motor home. We are looking for a nicely used unit and currently I have my eye on a 2002 Adventurer 35U at a local RV center. It is a consignment unit with a little over 29,000 miles on it. The current asking price is $45,900. It is on a workhorse chassis with an Allison transmission and has basement air. I have been told that the owner now lives several states away and is very motivated to sell.

The motor home was not purchased new at this dealer but it has been serviced at the dealer and they have the service records. The tires were replaced last year and have approximately 2000 miles on them. I have viewed the motor home twice but have not yet done a full inspection. So, far the unit appears to have been well taken care of.

I am aware that there are many things to consider before making a decision, but I am seeking some input on "reasonable" offers. There is value in the fact that the service department is familiar with the unit's history and they are familiar with the owner. I don't want to offend the seller by offering too low of a price, but on the other hand we would like to get the best deal we can if the inspection confirms what appears to be a solid unit.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhasse View Post
First and foremost,

This is my first post on this forum but have learned a ton by reading the wealth of information on this forum, for that I thank all of you!

We are in the market for our first motor home. We are looking for a nicely used unit and currently I have my eye on a 2002 Adventurer 35U at a local RV center. It is a consignment unit with a little over 29,000 miles on it. The current asking price is $45,900. It is on a workhorse chassis with an Allison transmission and has basement air. I have been told that the owner now lives several states away and is very motivated to sell.

The motor home was not purchased new at this dealer but it has been serviced at the dealer and they have the service records. The tires were replaced last year and have approximately 2000 miles on them. I have viewed the motor home twice but have not yet done a full inspection. So, far the unit appears to have been well taken care of.

I am aware that there are many things to consider before making a decision, but I am seeking some input on "reasonable" offers. There is value in the fact that the service department is familiar with the unit's history and they are familiar with the owner. I don't want to offend the seller by offering too low of a price, but on the other hand we would like to get the best deal we can if the inspection confirms what appears to be a solid unit.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Hi bhasse
I Loved our Adventurer 35U. I am not saying that it Isn't worth what they are asking but I would make an offer much lower. You never know what the buyer will except. If he won't take what you offer he will tell you what he will take. I look at it as a business transaction. If he gets offended that's his problem. If it doesn't happen it was not mention to be. Good luck.

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Old 03-19-2014, 07:17 PM   #3
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Those are nice units. I almost bought a 2002 Adventurer but the dealer sold it to an older couple who had come to purchase a different motorhome before my wife had a chance to see it and give her approval. When the wife of the older couple saw the Adventurer, she convinced her husband that they needed to purchase the Adventurer instead of the one they had come for because the Adventurer had wall to wall hardwood floors. I found my Chieftain a week later without the hardwood floors but I am happy because the floorplan of the two units are similar.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:35 PM   #4
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Hi bhasse
This too is my first post. Just for information, I purchased an Adventured 35u a year ago this past January. It has the 8.1 engine with the allison trans. Haven't done a lot of traveling yet, but am gradually venturing farther from home. So far I am very pleased with our first MH. It had 27000 miles on it when purchased. Paid 38K. Because it was my first MH, I also purchased an extended warranty. So far I have replaced two leveling jacks under the warranty---not a big problem---they were begining ot seep fluid. Probably would not have replaced them, but the extended warranty covered them 100%, as I have a $0 deductable. Like you, I have been reading and learning tooonnnns of infor on this forum, and I want to thank all for all the wonderful and informative posts.
Again, I am very happy with my new to us MH, and not sorry in any way with my purchase.
Good luck in your search, and as many on this forum has stated---buy whats rights fou you and enjoy.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:56 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum to both of you. I had an 01 35u Chieftain and put 62,000 miles through all 49 States ( I could drive to ) and all 10 Canadian Provinces and it was a great coach. I had the Ford f53 engine. Good luck to you and hope you enjoy it.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:05 PM   #6
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We purchased the exact same unit three years ago with 32000 miles. Bought it from a car dealer in Wisconsin that bought it at the auction. We have put plenty of miles on it with no problems, it is a preety gtood unit. It has the Workhorse 8.1 with the Allison transmission. The price sounds high, you might want to check the NADA value of it, the last time I looked it ws about $35,000.00.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:05 PM   #7
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We purchased a 2003 Adventurer 38G 3 years ago for $42,500. It had 26,000 miles on it.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:32 AM   #8
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Thank you for the replies. I am glad to hear that you are all happy with your purchase. Your responses are helpful. I did check the NADA price and saw the low retail price was around $35,000 and have had that price in mind for an initial offer if the inspection went well. I was curious to find out what others have paid for similar units and your responses answered that question. I was also considering the extended warranty that the dealer and I discussed which would add another few thousand to the final price. My thought is that the extended warranty would be a worth while expense with a 14 yr old motor home.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:52 AM   #9
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Let me preface this with a disclosure that I have strong opinions on the subject based on a ton of years of RV'ing and having owned a string of them. I am also a diehard DIY'r, not employing anyone to do any work on my vehicles unless it's warranty or major reconstruction. Some will disagree...too bad...they're wrong.

Here's my take...

Warranty? No. Absolute joke.
Price? High. The 35K is probably more realistic. Maybe even less. You don't need to make friends here, from the dealer nor the seller. Negotiate from an educated position and a tough stance - IT'S YOUR MONEY! They really don't care about you personally - AT ALL. The dealer wants his cut, and the owner wants as much money as he can get. YOU DON'T OWE THEM ANYTHING. I'm not saying you don't have to be polite, but puleeeze.."dont' want to offend them"? Really? It's a business transaction - too bad if they get offended. Move on, find another one - the market is ripe with RV's for sale - people can't afford to run them anymore with $4 to $5 gasoline.

I can't tell you for sure, but somewhere in that vintage is when the chassis went 'wide track', or a wider wheel stance. Make sure you get the updated version - it drives and handles much better, has a sharper turning cut, better shocks and swaybars. The updated chassis also doesn't look like the wheels are sucked in under the body - those are funky looking units!

I would venture to say the Adventurer model is the most widely sold motorhome ever made. You can go into virtually any RV park across the country and you'll see one.

Winnebago makes a decent product, they manufacturer a lot of their own components that other manufacturers buy, like windows and doors, furniture, etc.

Probably the biggest maintenance expense items you've covered, like chassis maint- trans fluid change(s), tires, etc. I'm also not sure about that vintage for the bosche caliper recall but check on that too. Lots of really experienced owners on the workhorse chassis owners section of the forum.

If the exterior finish is faded or peeling it can be fairly expensive to restore. I have seen dealers do a cheap clear-coat spray over everything to make it look nice but that goes south in a very short time and you are left with a mess. Look for glossy gelcoat and graphics that are not peeling - by now unless it was stored indoors it will need them replaced.

Have the fridge turned on and make sure it works on both shorepower as well as LPG. The cooling units in the rv fridges are a known failure item and are expensive to replace - like probably five or six hundred dollars. Mine went out under warranty at about 3 years, been good since. But they are a known failure point.

In fact, you'll want to test ALL systems, furnace - make sure it runs quietly and actually produces heat. How many hours on the generator? Service records for that? Run it and test it. Water system - water flow and proper heater unit operation - again both shore and lpg. Same for roof air - test out for quiet and cold operation.

Operate all the windows and doors, and slides.

Get up on the roof and make sure the fiberglass cap is all there, still shiny and in good condition.

Unless you're on a really tight budget I would encourage you to look at 3-5 years newer. There were a lot of improvements and updates made over the years. Unit pricing might run about ten thousand more but you'll get a lot more up to date unit.

The workhorse chassis is better than the F53 - it's more heavy duty, better designed, the V8 is a better motor - more power and quieter (I've had both) and the allison trans is also way better than the ford. So you're on the right track there.

Oh, and comparable models are the Sunrise (itasca. Yeah, I have that) or Voyage (winnebago) as well as the Suncruiser (itasca). They are virtually the same units, the Adventurer/Suncruiser the next model up the line from Voyage/Sunrise. The differences are very slight, just a few more luxo details on the former. So that will open up your search potential for other comparable units.

Winnebago also builds a better coach than Fleetwood, although those owners would argue otherwise. But seriously, construction and features, the Winnie is a better unit. Forget all the rest of them in this vintage - if you go new or newer there are other choices. And really, Holiday Rambler/Monaco built a pretty nice coach on the same chassis and they are pretty decent as well.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.


EDIT: I just did a quick search and it looks like the wide track chassis was introduced in year models 2000. Track went from 69" to 82", among other improvements - it's a great chassis. Good write up here: http://giantrv.addr.com/chassis/workhorse3.htm
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:53 AM   #10
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I have had my 2001 for several years now and have been saved a lot of grief due to it being on the Ford F53 chassis. No cracking Bosch brakes, stuck plastic brake pistons on the calipers, defective GM ABS software or ABS pumps and cost me thousands less. The Triton V10 is just fine as is the Ford transmission.

Motorhome tires are only rated for 70/75 mph so hot rodding really isn't a valid option anyway.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:55 PM   #11
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I have had my 2001 for several years now and have been saved a lot of grief due to it being on the Ford F53 chassis. No cracking Bosch brakes, stuck plastic brake pistons on the calipers, defective GM ABS software or ABS pumps and cost me thousands less. The Triton V10 is just fine as is the Ford transmission.

Motorhome tires are only rated for 70/75 mph so hot rodding really isn't a valid option anyway.
Hmm...a little bit of exaggeration there Neil. Not sure what the hot-rodding thing is about.

For OP - the brake caliper issue is a known quantity and that's why I mentioned it. There was a formal recall and all calipers replaced. Early on some owners had some burned up brakes and had to pay for them before the recall got setup. If you buy a workhorse chassis just verify the recall was done if applicable. I'm not even sure what all years were involved. End of story.

BTW, we never had any brake problems - zero, nada, nuttin'. Calipers were replaced under the recall. Was just never an issue for us.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:08 PM   #12
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CJBROWN,

You are absolutely right about it being a business transaction! Honestly, I am not worried about offending anyone. I was just looking for input on a reasonable price for that unit. Your post, as well as the other posts have helped me in that respect. Thank you for the wealth of information in your post regarding things to consider and look for.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond and can see why this forum is a valuable tool for those of us new to RVing and the veteran RVers as well.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:49 PM   #13
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Well, you're welcome. Nothing worse that coming into this thing blind. It can be an expensive pastime. LOL.

Oh, and we all forgot to say...


:welcome:


EDIT: We also forgot to mention that the full color brochures are available for download from Winnebago on all these years and models, full specs and options - the original factory brochure. Let us know if you need/want them and can't find them. They're under support at the main winnie-factory website.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:01 PM   #14
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Yeah, I agree that price is too high. We have a adventurer 37g that we are going to put up for sale. My price will be $20k less than your price in the first post.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:42 AM   #15
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srt20,

I am located in WI and about an hour away from Watertown. If you are selling your Adventurer I would be interested in more details. You can PM me if you would like.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:58 PM   #16
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srt20,

I am located in WI and about an hour away from Watertown. If you are selling your Adventurer I would be interested in more details. You can PM me if you would like.
Pm sent
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:01 PM   #17
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I would agree the price is a bit high. We bought a 2003 Adventurer 35U last January for $39K with 25,000 miles and was in like new condition -- no joke. Before you buy, make sure everything works! This is important--the last thing you want to have happen is to drive off the lot and find problems.

Some problems we encountered in our first year of RV'ing:

Refridgerator was slow to cool on electricity--reseated connector to the heating unit, cools down fine, now.

Cracked driver side windshield -- replaced by insurance.

Replaced all seven tires (yes, spare, too).. had weather checking on the tires.

Toilet bowl cracked.. replaced for under $200.00. I did the work myself.

Shower head, low pressure... bought an Oxygenics shower head.

Optional stuff... replaced all TV's with LED, HD TV's. Installed Winegard Trav'ler for DISH Network. I use a Dish Network Hopper and Joey from the house when we're camping. Having an auto aiming system will save you a lot of time aiming a dish if TV is important while you're camping.

Put a Blue Ox TruCenter on it because I wanted some level of blow out protection and better steering feel.

That's it.

Scott
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:20 AM   #18
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May be too late to help this post but my vintage 2000 37G will go to a new owner for $19,000. 31k on Ford F53. Great entrance unit. All systems go. Any takers.
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