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Old 01-26-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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2001 Ultimate Advantage Opinions

I am new to this forum and have spent hours reading over all the informative posts. There is so much knowledge here and I am grateful for having found it. With that being said I have an opportunity to purchase a 2001 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage fully loaded for about 1/2 of it's value. I was wondering what some knowledgeable people on here would do in my case. It is in perfect condition inside and out. All leather seating areas and carpet throughout have been replaced. Tires all around have less than 2000 miles and have been replaced in the last 2 years. The only potential problems are the mileage. It has just over 100,000 miles and is just getting that CAT7 broke in. I know the use is actually better for that engine than sitting but I was wondering what else I should expect to have to replace soon with that much use (suspension/drive components)? I am not to concerned about the appliances or anything inside the coach. I am very comfortable working on any of those items. I have had many travel trailers and 2 class C's but I am completely new to the class A world and don't know what to expect with these huge machines. I would assume the heavier duty components should last a lot longer than on a class C or an auto. I am going to have a full inspection including engine oil analysis, drive test and compression test done before I sign the papers. I would like to be able to use this motorhome for at least the next 10+ years. Does it seem possible or is it common for a class A to go 20+ years in service with the proper care? Thanks for any opinions. I am not sure if this is a diamond in the ruff or a nightmare in the waiting?
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:21 PM   #2
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I can't give you any advice regarding the price as I really don't know what the UA's are worth. But, I can tell you a couple of things to look at so you'll be aware of condition. Ball joints on the Reyco-Granning 12,000# IFS are prone to boot failure. Replacement is about $2000. Air dryer replacement at 3 year intervals is sometimes overlooked. Generator major service at 1000 hours is doable with gen in the coach provided the gen is on a pull out slide. If not on slide then the service requires gen be removed from coach for service.
Our UA, like all mohos requires attention and use. Having said that we are still quite pleased with our now 11 year old UA and expect to continue using it for at least another 5 - 10 years. Good luck
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave75002
I am new to this forum and have spent hours reading over all the informative posts. There is so much knowledge here and I am grateful for having found it. With that being said I have an opportunity to purchase a 2001 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage fully loaded for about 1/2 of it's value. I was wondering what some knowledgeable people on here would do in my case. It is in perfect condition inside and out. All leather seating areas and carpet throughout have been replaced. Tires all around have less than 2000 miles and have been replaced in the last 2 years. The only potential problems are the mileage. It has just over 100,000 miles and is just getting that CAT7 broke in. I know the use is actually better for that engine than sitting but I was wondering what else I should expect to have to replace soon with that much use (suspension/drive components)? I am not to concerned about the appliances or anything inside the coach. I am very comfortable working on any of those items. I have had many travel trailers and 2 class C's but I am completely new to the class A world and don't know what to expect with these huge machines. I would assume the heavier duty components should last a lot longer than on a class C or an auto. I have having a full inspection including engine oil analysis, drive test and compression test done before I sign the papers. I would like to be able to use this motorhome for at least the next 10+ years. Does it seem possible or is it common for a class A to go 20+ years in service with the proper care? Thanks for any opinions. I am not sure if this is a diamond in the ruff or a nightmare in the waiting?
Dave,

I would add a transmission fluid analysis to your list. If all the above check out ok I would be inclined to go for it if It meets your requirements. When we were looking for a full timing coach we considered the Winnie Ultimates. They were ahead of their time in some ways but in my opinion, Winnie did not do a good marketing job with the coaches. They were built in a separate, dedicated facility and the chassis was a semi monocoque design that Winnie built using sub assemblies built by Spartan. They were very strong, stiff, well built coaches and if the maintenance has been well done then there is no reason it cannot be on the road for many years.

I would plan to do a complete maintenance cycle ASAP if I purchased. If you do everything all at once it could be $3000 or more.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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Thank you Kix, I was just reading some of your older posts since you have the same unit but a year newer. The one I am looking at is the 40J. I have got the price down to about $48,000 and NADA states about $71,000 average retail and that is without adding any of the options into the NADA calculator. The generator is on a slide out tray in the front but I am unsure what the hours are yet, that is my next question to the seller. I could do the major 1000 hour service on it myself if it to that point. I will for sure change the oil and coolant. I have rebuilt many generators and not afraid of that. I appreciate the warning about the ball joints! That was basically the realm of what I was thinking of when I asked the question.

Steve,
Thank you for your input as well! The trans oil analysis is a great idea that I forgot about. I do also plan on doing the complete maintenance cycle as soon as I get it, most of it myself. Even if I am told some items were done I think I will probably do them again just to know they were done and done correctly.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dave75002 View Post
Thank you Kix, I was just reading some of your older posts since you have the same unit but a year newer. The one I am looking at is the 40J. I have got the price down to about $48,000 and NADA states about $71,000 average retail and that is without adding any of the options into the NADA calculator. The generator is on a slide out tray in the front but I am unsure what the hours are yet, that is my next question to the seller. I could do the major 1000 hour service on it myself if it to that point. I will for sure change the oil and coolant. I have rebuilt many generators and not afraid of that. I appreciate the warning about the ball joints! That was basically the realm of what I was thinking of when I asked the question.

Steve,
Thank you for your input as well! The trans oil analysis is a great idea that I forgot about. I do also plan on doing the complete maintenance cycle as soon as I get it, most of it myself. Even if I am told some items were done I think I will probably do them again just to know they were done and done correctly.
At that price and if it's just decent I think you will have made a good buy.
The original trans fluid was Dexron and now Allison recommends Transynd (their synthetic) or a TES295 spec fluid. The only recommend a few other brands.

check from wet hubs clear windows. Easy and inexpensive to change but you don't want one to crack and lose fluid.
Where you call home?
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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Thanks for that additional info on the trans fluid and wet hub windows. I have been reading all your posts for over 2 hours now. A ton of great info, especially the removal of the Winnie basement A/C's. I saved the PDF of that one! Again that is all stuff I wouldn't be afraid of doing myself so I'm trying to get a library of as much information as I can. I am in Allen TX, about 1/2 hour north of Dallas.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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See a PM to you
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:35 PM   #8
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ONe other thing I thought of. I'm not sure of the year models but some of the Ultimate series had an issue of the front cap separating or flaring out horizontally from the coach side at the roof over drivers window and door. Look for that issue on the one you're looking at. It will be noticeable from the ground on drivers side if any problem. Not too difficult to fix yourself.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:38 PM   #9
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Ok, thanks. So that is not a structural problem and can be fixed based on what you just said? Also I just checked my inbox and didn't get a PM from you. I am new to forums but went to my control panel and looked in my inbox and didn't see anything.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:47 PM   #10
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Dave.........look near the upper right corner of this page.....just below where it says "Welcome Dave"
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:53 PM   #11
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OK I resent the PM check again
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:06 PM   #12
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Ok, just refreshed and looked again. Really weird since you have sent twice now. I have 0 unread and 1 total under my name for PM's. That 1 is the welcome message from when I registered.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:19 PM   #13
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Yep, surely weird. You can email me at kixrock@gmail.com
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:55 AM   #14
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Dave, we had a 2000 Ultimate Advantage before the Monaco Windsor we have now. Ours had the Freightliner Independent front end chassis and I was extremely pleased with it. It did not have the same ball joint boot problems that the Spartan had.
I can think of a few things that either were a problem or had been a problem in the past on that coach.

Look where the fiberglass roof meets the sidewalls, on some coaches Winne didn't leave enough material for this joint to overlap properly so they start separating.

I'm sure you've read about the rusty windshield frames.

With the main slide extended, look behind the storage area, you need to locate the slide mechanisms. There will be some white plastic pieces that act as guide bushings for the slide. Those have a tendency to get brittle and fall apart after several years. I didn't have to replace mine, but I've heard its a pretty big job for a do it your selfer.

My entry door frame had cracked at the latch. That allowed the top of the door to suck out under certain conditions, I had to build a bracket to re-enforce that area.

Last but certainly not least, and the reason we sold our UA is the basement air. I would like to think that our coach was the exception and not the rule, but even after spending hours pulling the unit three times to clean the coils, check the ductwork seals, and individually check each component, many more hours trying to squeeze myself up into the rear cap to tape splits in the ductwork, and even though the system passed all of the manufacturer's recommended trouble shooting procedures with flying colors. The bottom line is that the coach would not stay cool in the 95-100 degree weather that we usually camp in. Our previous 38' gasser with two roof airs would freeze us out in exactly the same conditions that we were trying to use the UA in.

With all of that being said, if I found a bargain on another Winne with basement air I would probably buy it. But I would either want to be able to test the AC under really hot conditions, or I would budget enough money to add a roof air or replace the entire unit.

Have fun with your search, and I hope this helps.
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