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Old 11-09-2018, 12:10 PM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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New, Old Kid

Hi all!
Sure glad to have found this group!
My name is Rick, 62 years old (or young) My wife's name is Caryl. We live in West Central IL.
Caryl is 1-1/2- 2 years from retiring from Insurance pre-certification for our local Medical Group. I drove truck for about 20 years before going through the Sheriff's Training Academy when I was 40. I worked for the Sheriff's Dept. for 17 years before I had a stroke. The same week I had two holes in my heart repaired. Then they discovered I have Stenosis, Scoliosis, 2 herniated, 1 ruptured disc. The Sheriff's Dept. put me out to pasture.
We are looking to buy our 1st Class C Coach and we are trying to learn as much as possible about them before making our decision.

We have been considering the Jayco Greyhawk, Entegra Odyssey. THEN I went to the Winnebago site and saw how the Minnie Winnie is built........I was impressed! What ever one we get we want it to hold up for many years. The way it looks like the way Winnebago is building them I don't think longevity will be a concern.

Sure glad I found this group!
Thanks again,
Rick
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:04 PM   #2
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Welcome to the group and good luck in your search.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:04 PM   #3
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Welcome. Hope to see what you get. If you buy used make double sure to look for water intrusion into the coach. Once it starts it’s very very hard to repair.
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Koja View Post
Welcome. Hope to see what you get. If you buy used make double sure to look for water intrusion into the coach. Once it starts itís very very hard to repair.
Thanks Mike and Koja
Are Minnie's prone to water intrusion? Any particular area to really pay attention to?
Thanks again,
Rick
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:36 PM   #5
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I can’t speak for winneies. But two class c’s Iv had
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ret.LEO View Post
We have been considering the Jayco Greyhawk, Entegra Odyssey. THEN I went to the Winnebago site and saw how the Minnie Winnie is built........I was impressed! What ever one we get we want it to hold up for many years. The way it looks like the way Winnebago is building them I don't think longevity will be a concern.
Welcome to the community.

What size are you looking for? You may not want to restrict yourself to only the Minnie Winnies as Winnebago makes a lot of different models. How many people will you be traveling with? Where do you expect to go? Do you want to spend a lot of time in the RV (and hence want something large) or only make short trips (and hence something smaller may be enough)?

In our case we ended up choosing a smaller RV, a Winnebago Fuse. It is only 24 feet long but we generally only spend short times during our trips in the RV and did not want to get something so large that we would not want to actually go outside and sit in the fresh air. If we were planning to stop anyplace for a month or two we would have gotten something considerably longer.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:39 AM   #7
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Thanks AjMike

We are thinking in the size of a 26-32' Coach. My wife hasn't been more than one State away only 3 or 4 times in her life (going to change that)
We live in West Central IL along the Mississippi River. Missouri has a couple great State Parks nearby for a couple of "shake down" trips. Then it will be off to Mt Rushmore, Custer's Last Stand, Yellowstone. We also want to go to the SW for the Grand Canyon, San Antonio. Trips to the Gulf States, trips to the Great Smoky's, Trips to New England area in the Fall.
We're thinking probably 3 weeks out at a time, home a couple and then back out again.
It will usually be my wife, Golden Retriever, a Grand Child in the summer and myself.
Probably the first trip or two we would be w/o a toad then add a dolly so we can take our Toyota Highlander.
My main "wants" are a good driver's seat. I do like the one that Jayco adds to the Greyhawks. Other "must" items include a bed that is usable w/out moving the slide out, walk around bed, larger shower, satellite, TV, large TV, ability to add a good solar system as boondocking will be are choice compared to crowded C.G's, need enough room for two Lithium battery's and good size inverter, a 2nd AC if we go with a 30 plus ft Coach. Auto leveling, if need be I'll buzz over to Indiana to Bigfoot for their install.

Honestly........due to health there would be occasional days that I would need to be able to get flat and comfortable. Walking much distance is not good for me so I will probably spend a lot of time under the awning or in the Coach.
Sure got long winded didn't I?
Thanks All!
Rick
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:54 AM   #8
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Forgot to add and I know it's silly we would love to have a fireplace
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:28 AM   #9
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Given that accessibility is a factor with respect to what works for you, the floor plan may be the determining factor of what you buy, especially bed access. I found this to be the case when we were in the market for a motorhome after my wife's disability got to the point that our TT was too difficult for her. Aftermarket driver's seats can be added, which may especially be an option if you find a nice used rig that's perfect except for the driver's seat. Even an electric fireplace can be added if you're creative and have some DIY skills.

Given that you're new to RVs and maybe aren't quite sure about your needs, I'd suggest buying a nice used coach so you don't get hit with that huge, initial drop in value only to sell a couple of years down the line.

A class A might be a better choice than a class C in terms of accessibility and comfort. And read up on towing capacities (GVWR, etc.) and don't take a salesperson's word for what a rig can tow. You need to do the math and make sure you leave a conservative safety margin. Some models, especially class C's are available with more than one chassis. I've read forum posts where someone bought a rig with the lighter chassis and was surprised with it's limited tow capacity once they're loaded for travel. A 5,000# hitch doesn't necessarily translate into a 5,000# tow rating. Here's a link with an overview of this issue:

https://www.lichtsinn.com/blog/how-m...motorhome-tow/
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:46 AM   #10
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I agree with pretty much everything @BobC said in his post although I would also add that there are both plusses and minuses in the choice of a Class A over a Class C. As provide a much more comfortable living space with higher head room and typically more slides. They give you a very nice view of the road and in some ways are much easier vehicles to drive and generally have greater towing capacity.

On the other hand they generally get much worse fuel mileage, are far less nimble on the road and require a much higher clearance. Interstate bridges are not a problem but when you are off road you have to consider low overpasses, low tree branches and the fact that the As are wider than the Cs. If I were planning to spend 2 or 3 months in the RV on a trip I would definitely want an A, but if only spending 1 or 2 or 3 weeks a C does just fine for me.

If you are planning to tow you need to consider both the tow weight and the max vertical tongue weight. Our C (a Winnebago Fuse) has a 5000 pound tow capacity but only a 350 pound tongue weight capacity. Other Cs from Winnebago, at about the same 24 foot lengths, have a 5000 pound tow capacity and a 500 pound tongue weight capacity.

In any case you are in for some great times if you stay at some of the Federal, State and City campgrounds. I can not sit at home for long without doing something but I can sit and truly relax in a camp chair next to our RV in one of the campground and just look at the natural beauty around me for hours.

Best of luck in your choice and enjoy your future RV.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:07 AM   #11
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AjMike is correct, there are plusses and minuses with respect to class A vs Class C and perhaps I was leaning too far toward the accessibility issue. In our case, class C cockpit accessibility was a non-starter. In addition, I wouldn't ignore some of the class B+ motorhomes.

Not that you shouldn't consider it, but, if you're planning on towing a toad "four down", tongue weight isn't really much of a factor. If you're going to tow a boat or trailer of some sort it definitely is an issue to consider.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:14 AM   #12
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Not that you shouldn't consider it, but, if you're planning on towing a toad "four down", tongue weight isn't really much of a factor. If you're going to tow a boat or trailer of some sort it definitely is an issue to consider.
Of course that is right.

I can not tow my Jeep Renegade "four down" as I made the "mistake" of buying the "trail ready" 4 wheel drive version and that can not be flat towed. If I had bought the 2 wheel version I could tow it using one of those front-wheel or rear-wheel lifts (I don't know which) but I have to use either a flatbed trailer or a dual track trailer and so the tongue weight has become an issue for me. Fortunately for me we do not really tow much.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:10 PM   #13
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Hopefully we can help others to avoid our mistakes.

The whole toad/dinghy issue is rife with pitfalls. And key to this is that knowing the make and model isn't enough, things change with model year. Sometimes even within a model year, something like a transmission option may be the determining factor. Fortunately Motorhome magazine publishes an annual dinghy guide. The only drawback is that each year is listed separately and I haven't found a cross-reference that cuts across the different years:

Downloadable Dinghy Towing Guides | MotorHome Magazine

The choice of toad braking systems is another unending debate, not unlike the Diesel vs. gas debate.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:40 PM   #14
Winnie-Wise
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koja View Post
I canít speak for winneies. But two class cís Iv had
Hi Koja,
Do you mind saying which ones you had with water intrusion?
Sure don't want or need that problem.
Thanks!
Rick
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Old 11-10-2018, 05:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BobC View Post
Hopefully we can help others to avoid our mistakes.

The whole toad/dinghy issue is rife with pitfalls. And key to this is that knowing the make and model isn't enough, things change with model year. Sometimes even within a model year, something like a transmission option may be the determining factor. Fortunately Motorhome magazine publishes an annual dinghy guide. The only drawback is that each year is listed separately and I haven't found a cross-reference that cuts across the different years:

Downloadable Dinghy Towing Guides | MotorHome Magazine

The choice of toad braking systems is another unending debate, not unlike the Diesel vs. gas debate.
Hi BobC, Thanks for the good advice. We have a 2007 Toy. Highlander base model 4cyl, front wheel drive only. It weighs in at 3550 -3,750 lbs depending which source you look at. It can only be towed on a Dolly. I found this guide for towing options for Toyota's
https://www.toyotaoflancasterav.com/...wing-guide.htm

If Winnebago's tow rating is a true rating at 7,500 ils we would be in great shape. If not and only a true 5,000 lb hitch we should be okay? If to close would adding a weight dist. hitch for the dolly help? Using a dolly would take care of the braking issue as it would be mandatory legally and for safety. I won't do anything that isn't either. Dad always taught me "if you can't do it right, don't do it"

Adding the Dolly, Highlander we should have roughly 3,200 ibs available for us, gas, water, LP, etc if I'm figuring right.

I honestly would wait to add the dolly to bring the Highlander along just to keep life simple. Then decide if we want to go that route or add the dolly, Highlander. We'll decide if it would really be that big of benefit after trying without.
Again, Thanks BobC, your thoughts and suggestions are VERY appreciated
Rick
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:49 PM   #16
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Assuming the Minnie Winnie you're considering has a GCWR of 22,000# and a GVWR of 14,500# (E450 chassis) your theoretical towing capacity is 6,500# (5,000# if you have the 5,000# hitch). It could be greater if your actual loaded weight (including your tongue weight) is less than 14,500#. Allowing for 500# for the dolly, things look good for the Highlander. Some models have a max tongue weight of 350#, others 500#.

I don't think a weight distributing hitch will help. Here's a link with some info on this:

https://www.etrailer.com/question-78445.html

I think you're going to find that having the Highlander with you is going to greatly increase your enjoyment. This is especially the case if walking is an issue.
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Old 11-11-2018, 03:57 AM   #17
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Assuming the Minnie Winnie you're considering has a GCWR of 22,000# and a GVWR of 14,500# (E450 chassis) your theoretical towing capacity is 6,500# (5,000# if you have the 5,000# hitch). It could be greater if your actual loaded weight (including your tongue weight) is less than 14,500#. Allowing for 500# for the dolly, things look good for the Highlander. Some models have a max tongue weight of 350#, others 500#.

I don't think a weight distributing hitch will help. Here's a link with some info on this:

https://www.etrailer.com/question-78445.html

I think you're going to find that having the Highlander with you is going to greatly increase your enjoyment. This is especially the case if walking is an issue.
Thanks again BobC, that was a good read

We are interested in the Minnie 26A or 31K models. We would only buy a Class C on a E-450 Chassis. Nothing wrong with the E-350's we just want the extra GCWR The 26A & 31K has a 7,500-lb. drawbar/500-lb. maximum vertical tongue weight so I think we should be good with either one of those models.
The 31K is really standing out to me The extra room and floor plan looks great. The extra large TV is speaking out to me LOL.

I agree with you about having the Highlander tagging along with us. It would be handy........I have my Handicap plates on it which would be great to save on foot steps. Hooking and unhooking with a dolly is very doable for me. I'm lucky that my wife is a farm girl and is handy as heck when it comes to equipment. I would go w/out the toad for the first 1,000 miles or so though to help the engine get broken in gently.
Man, I'm getting excited!!
Feel like a kid again!
Rick- Ret.Leo
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:07 AM   #18
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I think you're on the right track, asking the right questions, and you'll be well prepared when it comes time to buy. You'll appreciate the extra room of the 31K in the long run.

The dolly is going to be a piece of cake for your wife after all that farm equipment, we should all be so lucky.

Here's a list of more things to research, in no particular order (along with my preferences/comments):

1. Buy new or used - Personal preference, I prefer used.

2. Extended warranties - Personal preference, I prefer to self-insure.

3. Solar - A definite asset if you like rustic campgrounds w/o hookups and a doable DIY project

4. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) and correct tire pressures - Essential IMHO

5. Refrigerator type - If you have an option, I'd suggest opting for one that will run on shore power and LPG. From what I've read, those who have refrigerators that won't run on LPG find themselves pretty much tied to shore power or generator power. The 120v/12V ones consume a lot of electrical power. The 120V/LPG models don't burn much LPG when off the grid and will run anywhere. A "residential" refrigerator will have the same power issues.

6. Service - Find a good truck repair shop experienced in your chassis. I found one where the owners' are also RV'rs. You'll be much better off building a relationship with them than depending on an RV dealer. Similarly, for "house" issues, check out your local, independent RV shops. The big dealers are more interested in sales than service, but you may be lucky and have a good one. If you buy new, you may (but not necessarily) be tied to the dealer during your warranty period.

7. If you do buy new, be scrupulous about any routine maintenance such as periodic roof sealing (a research topic in itself) so you don't have a rude surprise if you have to make a warranty claim.
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