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Old 03-14-2013, 06:08 PM   #1
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HI Winnebagoers !? Looking for full-time class A Mid-2000's

HI,

What do you you call yourselves? Winnebagoers, winnebagoans, winnies?

I made a post in the full-timing section and was pointed towards Winnebago as an option. MY wife and I really like the contemporary styling of the interiors.

Our budget is MAX $100k but we would love to spend less for lower payments.

Our plan is to full-time with out 2 dogs and cat. We will stay monthly at cg's to take advantage of the monthly rate and move location once a month. We want to tour all over the US. We are in our mid-30's so we will be working from the coach. We will need a good location for computer work. We will most likely remove the dinette from any coach we choose and build in a computer desk. We don't even use a dining room table now so it won't really affect us.

We are looking used. Looking for Diesel Pushers. Thinking we should stay around the 2005-2008 range. What models should we look at in that range? I noticed that some of the older models chassis' don't go all the way through underneath for storage. Is that an issue? Since we will be full timing wihtout a house we will probably need storage. I'll also need a place to keep my scuba equipment.

Thanks - we hope to join you soon.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:20 AM   #2
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00Wabbit,
Well Sir, not sure of your parameters on just what you and the DW would like but, here's one on ebay for you observation and evaluation. I just typed in "Itasca" and it brought up at least four Itasca Horizons. Not sure if any of them are near you or not but, it's something to think about.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:19 AM   #3
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Don't overlook checking out the classifies on IRV2. There appear to be some there that meet your criteria including one my wife and I have for sale.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:07 AM   #4
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Thanks - we have been checking the classifieds. We won't be ready to purchase until the end of the year (towards the end of our lease on our house)

What is the difference between Winnebago and Itasca?
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:39 AM   #5
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I think the same manufacturer and they look pretty much the same to me. We are selling because we use it so little but will continue to camp in it until sold. Check back with us if you are interested when you are ready to purchase.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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Do some study up on what makes a good full time machine. Now, there are a lot of opinions all worth considering. Pay lots of attention to load capability. We had a 2006 Adventurer 38J that we liked a lot but it lacked in FT capabilities for our life style. Keep an eye on window size. Generally, the more windows, the more it takes to heat and cool. Storage is key. Again, our Adventurer didn't have any pass through basement.

Put together a list of MUSTS, REALLY LIKE and NICE. For us the MUSTS were; King bed, split bathroom, diesel pusher, side radiator. Whether or not you go big and have a tag axle or not is only critical in the area of GVWR. If you do not have a tag, keep an eye on the number of slides. There are some 4 slide models but they have very limited cargo capacity. Even some 3 slide models can be challenging for cargo. We chose to go big (43') but it was a tough one to make. There are the obvious issues of what places can take a big one and then the higher fuel burn for the extra weight but, again, it fits our life style and plans.

In that same vein, keep in mind how you think you will chose to live. Lots of time in CG/resorts or will you choose wide open spaces and boondock a fair amount. That will factor into what equipment you need. Solar power, generators and such will be important. OTOH, will you be racking up miles going from place to place? Then drivability will play more of a part in your decision process. Generally the longer the wheel base, the better for ease of driving. DPs will generally be a more comfortable ride and less fatiguing than a gasser because of wheel base, lower center of gravity, and more weight.

I can't tell from your post if you have ever owned a class A before. If not then in the end, it will take you a LOT of thorough research to get it right the first time. We didn't but at that time, we didn't know what we didn't know. LOL To be honest, even with all the research you can cram in a few months, you won't know if you got it right until you live in it. Be prepared for learning things books and opinions can't help you because experience is the best teacher.

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Old 03-15-2013, 10:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss
Do some study up on what makes a good full time machine. Now, there are a lot of opinions all worth considering. Pay lots of attention to load capability. We had a 2006 Adventurer 38J that we liked a lot but it lacked in FT capabilities for our life style. Keep an eye on window size. Generally, the more windows, the more it takes to heat and cool. Storage is key. Again, our Adventurer didn't have any pass through basement.

Put together a list of MUSTS, REALLY LIKE and NICE. For us the MUSTS were; King bed, split bathroom, diesel pusher, side radiator. Whether or not you go big and have a tag axle or not is only critical in the area of GVWR. If you do not have a tag, keep an eye on the number of slides. There are some 4 slide models but they have very limited cargo capacity. Even some 3 slide models can be challenging for cargo. We chose to go big (43') but it was a tough one to make. There are the obvious issues of what places can take a big one and then the higher fuel burn for the extra weight but, again, it fits our life style and plans.

In that same vein, keep in mind how you think you will chose to live. Lots of time in CG/resorts or will you choose wide open spaces and boondock a fair amount. That will factor into what equipment you need. Solar power, generators and such will be important. OTOH, will you be racking up miles going from place to place? Then drivability will play more of a part in your decision process. Generally the longer the wheel base, the better for ease of driving. DPs will generally be a more comfortable ride and less fatiguing than a gasser because of wheel base, lower center of gravity, and more weight.

I can't tell from your post if you have ever owned a class A before. If not then in the end, it will take you a LOT of thorough research to get it right the first time. We didn't but at that time, we didn't know what we didn't know. LOL To be honest, even with all the research you can cram in a few months, you won't know if you got it right until you live in it. Be prepared for learning things books and opinions can't help you because experience is the best teacher.

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This is a excellent post, containing some well thought out advise. We did much the same but our period of research and self education was spread over 2-3 years. There was still an element of luck involved in picking exactly the right coach for us. If you are buying used, once you have refined your "MUSTS, REALLY LIKE and NICE" list, then select a short list of coaches by brand/model/year and start "kicking tires" and test driving.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:47 PM   #8
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00Wabbit,

I just looked at an '06 38-J Suncruiser by Itasca yesterday. It sure looked like a nice coach to me (sister rv to Sky Boss'). Lots of room and I think it had a small work station as well. By '06 I think Workhorse had fixed the brake and other chassis issues, so it's a solid foundation. The design of the front and back caps was really nice too- just in my opinion.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:41 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the info so far.

We are actively researching everywhere we can. Fortunately being in central Indiana gives us access to a lot of dealerships so we can see models in person

To answer some previous questions : no we haven't owned a class a before. We would like to get this purchase as right as we can the first time so we can have a few good years on the road. The we can decide to move to a different coach on our own terms.

We have been researching for a couple of years but have just recently changed our mind from a fifth wheel to a MH. The main problem we have with the 5r is having to drive a large pick up everywhere.

We will travel 12-15 times a year as we move from place to place. While we travel the comfort of a mh would be better for us and our pets.

Size wise the 39-40ft range looks good for us.

I'm researching roads too. Looking at a 2008 escape hybrid at the moment.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:14 AM   #10
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The Destination was very contemporary.

A mid (2003-2008) Journey, Destination, Vectra will be a little bit more then 100K, more likely in the mid 100's. Are you thinking diesel? With only moving once a month a gas coach could be a option. Maybe a 06 or 07 Adventurer?
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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We've seen quite a few of the models on RV trader listed right at 100k for approx 40ft diesel.

I'm not completely opposed to gas but I think we will move more than we think.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:51 AM   #12
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You might consider an enclosed trailer for the toad. You would need a diesel pusher to pull it as most gassers are not capable of towing that much wieght. It could double as a garage- storage area for your stuff while you are parked for extended periods.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:59 PM   #13
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As FireUp stated above, Ebay is a great place to look for used motorhomes. I have purchased three of them there and made money on all of them. You just have to read everything very carefully and talk to the sellers to make sure of condition, wear, etc. Ebay even offers a $50,000.00 insurance policy against fraud, etc.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ramzfan View Post
As FireUp stated above, Ebay is a great place to look for used motorhomes. I have purchased three of them there and made money on all of them. You just have to read everything very carefully and talk to the sellers to make sure of condition, wear, etc. Ebay even offers a $50,000.00 insurance policy against fraud, etc.
Steve
Do you go and inspect the rv before purchase? I wouldn't e able to buy anything without a mechanic checkin it out first.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00wabbit View Post
Do you go and inspect the rv before purchase? I wouldn't e able to buy anything without a mechanic checkin it out first.
Well sir, I did not check out the first one. Just looked at pictures and talked to the owner. Found lots of problems when I got there. Luckily, I was able to fix most of them myself. The second one, I hired a local RV inspector to check it out for me and then I bought it after looking at photos. Still found problems that had not surfaced before. When it came to buying my present motorhome, I looked at lots of photos, talked to the owners and then flew to Tucson and inspected it myself. That is how I would recommend you make your purchase. If you are really interested in a coach, and the photos/conversations all seem above board, invest in a plane trip and inspect it yourself. There are probably members of iRV2 that live nearby that would be happy to offer their inspections just to help out a fellow iRV2er. I know I would...
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:54 PM   #16
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:48 AM   #17
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I have owned 7 class "A" coaches. They are different in their good and bad points. Watch for too much overhang in the rear. I would suggest maybe renting a couple that you think you like and try them out for a week. Absolutely if you are not mechanically inclined, have the mechanics of any coach checked out, pay attention to the brakes. You can get almost any coach to move forward, but getting one to stop is far more important.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:42 PM   #18
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So, DW and I went to an Rv dealer and looked at motor homes to start the process in January 2013. We went to the Boston RV show later that month and fell in love with fifth wheels, they are so spacious. We returned the Rv dealer in February and looked at everything, they had an open house. All along I was browsing RVT private and dealer sales. I found that on RVT the private sale ads I looked at we're old and that RV had been sold, one as much as 18 months. Seller said RVT had been notified but left the ad up. I still searched RVT but focused on dealers. I went to their websites and searched inventory. Our must must haves were bunks, king bed, slides, class A, 2010 or newer $75,000 or less & still in business. I found Winnebago Sightseer 35 J at rte 125 RV & Marine in Rochester NH. We went to look at it, 200 miles round trip. The Sightseer was a 2008. The 35J is a class A with two slides, bunks and a king bed. Not as new as we wanted but Winnebago Quality with many upscale features. I drove it about ten miles on a local road and loved it. The price was right, below our limit, and we liked the folks at Rte 125 RV... The paperwork is all done, the Winnebago is registered, insured & sitting in our yard. There were issues that were addressed,To our satisfaction, like a new shower surround and awning fabric. yes I was a little hasty but I didn't want to drag out the process looking for perfect. I learn best hands on and I want to learn. That is how I ended up in a Winnebago, now if spring would just get here...
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:42 AM   #19
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35J Model Year?

Flanigan,

What year is your 35J and how much did you have to pay for it? I have been looking at 2008 models on Workhorse chassis.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:47 AM   #20
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My 35J is a 2008, paid $62,000 plus warranty.
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