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Old 07-03-2011, 07:29 PM   #1
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Damon versus Winnebago

Hi everyone,
I have been watching the forums for quite some time and am just a beginner. The family (wife and 2 kids) and I have just decided to down size and sell everything and "full time" in a RV motorhome for a year or more. We will be taking the kids around to see the country and home schooling them along the way. My question is... We have found that the most reasonably priced RV that is in our budget, has bunks, and has the length with living space, are the 2008 Damon Challenger 376 & the 2008/09 Winnebago Sightseer 35j. Both look like very nice rigs. However, what do you think about the brands, quality, and functionality between these two RVs? Also, we are looking for a RV up to $70K so don't be afraid to let me know if you have anything else in mind as RVs with bunks are hard to find and are usually higher priced because of this.

Thanks for all of your help!
Brent
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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We have had a 2008 Challenger 378 on the Workhorse chassis for 1 year (2 camping seasons) and outside of the break recall we have had no problems yet. Each coach will have its own things that need fixed. But overall we like the MH very much. Just get the one that fits your needs the best.
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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We had a 2004 Damon Intruder and wish we had it back, never had any trouble with the motorhome. I would have to say go with the Damon your getting a nicer motorhome.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reay21 View Post
Hi everyone,
I have been watching the forums for quite some time and am just a beginner. The family (wife and 2 kids) and I have just decided to down size and sell everything and "full time" in a RV motorhome for a year or more. We will be taking the kids around to see the country and home schooling them along the way. My question is... We have found that the most reasonably priced RV that is in our budget, has bunks, and has the length with living space, are the 2008 Damon Challenger 376 & the 2008/09 Winnebago Sightseer 35j. Both look like very nice rigs. However, what do you think about the brands, quality, and functionality between these two RVs? Also, we are looking for a RV up to $70K so don't be afraid to let me know if you have anything else in mind as RVs with bunks are hard to find and are usually higher priced because of this.

Thanks for all of your help!
Brent
Hi Brent,.... Welcome!! .... We have a 2003 Damon 348 V10 F53 Chassis with 2 slides...We did a lot of research for about a year, and the Damon won out,For a lot of reasons, love the floor plan, side isle,large bathroom,Quality components meaning working components, ie: inverter, generator, 50 amp,ease of service, if you plan on doing your own maintenance and repairs, something to consider. Proven drive train....No problems to date...
Just do your home work, read all you can on this forum! great people with good advise and eager to help. So pick the one that fits YOU!...And Have Fun..thats what its all about!!

Richard
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:39 PM   #5
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I haven't full timed but after my research we settled on the Winnebago. As some would say, it might not be the prettiest RV on the interior but take a look at the maintainability and 'small mechanical' features on the Winnebago and that settled my mind. I love the solid roof and being able to get the engineering drawings on ALL the systems! Awesome support for parts also. ...but I'm bias now that we own one.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:54 AM   #6
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We purchased our damon 376 back in april. We have been looking for this coach foe quite sometime due to its unique floor plan. It is on the ford chassis. We fell in love with this coach the day it came out. The 2 couches can not be beat. We just returned from Florida with no problems. In my opinion this coach is the best bang for the buck. We averaged 8.2 mpg on the round trip with out our toad.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:54 AM   #7
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I am a 3 time Winnebago owner, the first 2 were great problem free rigs. The third one has had more than it's share of problems. We looked at the Damon before we bought the third Winnie. In hind site I now think you get much more for your money with the Damon.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:21 AM   #8
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My BIL had a Winnebago View but switched to the Damon challenger when they wanted to full-time. They are loving it right now. Have been full timing about 9 mo.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:51 AM   #9
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Hi Brent,

As a Homeschool family ourselves I think it is a great way to go. We looked at many used/new Motorhomes. I looked at the Damon/ Winnebago/ Coachmen, Class C's, Class A's etc. We settled on a Coachmen Mirada 34B. The reasons are numerous. We really liked the layout with the smaller chair across from the couch instead of the dining table. It gave us more more to get around while we were traveling. Also, pricing was a big factor. We were able to negotiate to a price pretty close to $70k. Buying new gave us some piece of mind with a warranty. While I know a aftermarket warranty can be purchased we just felt better with the new warranty. The systems all seem to be the same between the coaches (hot water heater, Frig, ect). The Bunks on the Coachman seemed to be wider according to our daughter. I would suggest driving each Motorhome you are considering to see how if feels and looks while going down the road. They look very different when all the slides are in.

Some things we are thrilled about but can live with on our coach. Like, no silverware drawer. The counter space could have a leaf to extended it out (I will be building one).

Enjoy the journey!! Good Luck on the search!!

Rich
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:46 PM   #10
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I'm with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunlapml View Post
I haven't full timed but after my research we settled on the Winnebago. As some would say, it might not be the prettiest RV on the interior but take a look at the maintainability and 'small mechanical' features on the Winnebago and that settled my mind. I love the solid roof and being able to get the engineering drawings on ALL the systems! Awesome support for parts also. ...but I'm bias now that we own one.
Hi Mike , I am on my third Winnebago , and I setteled on the 2002 ,V10 , 33ft. Adventurer with 26000 miles on it . I love the lay out and we're very comfortable with my wife and our two 80 lb Labs .
I met with the CEO of winnebago last month at Lazy Days in Fl. and he is very bullish on Engineering and making the best coach for the money .
I wish you the best of luck with your coach , and happy trails . Tommy Tucer
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:53 PM   #11
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AS stated in a prior post; We have owned 8 motorhomes; They all have problems; The only differance is. How many dealers are out there to work on your coach when it breaks down;; (and it will)) we found most any where there is a RV sign they sell/work on the winnebage;; We have owned coaches were only the factory will work on it;; I say O $%$#@*&; That is not good when you are in Alaska , Or North Dakota. Winnebago is the Cheverolet/GMC of motorhomes and they treat the owners Fair;; Go through there Factory and you will be amased;;
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:21 PM   #12
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My personal preference would be the Winnebago over the Damon. We had a Winnie and it was trouble free.

Ken
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:30 PM   #13
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I cannot speak about Damon never having one. I can say this about Winnebago/Itasca. Tremendous amount of info on their website. Have a question call and they answer it and give you suggestions on it. I have been told how to remove the slides and several other things that I would have thought they would say go to a dealer and pay them to do it. Of the motorhomes we have owned this has been the most problem free, it is also new than the rest. Like any mechanical unit you will have some problems but with the customer service and website they beat any of the others we have had. I will buy another Winnebago product when we upgrade the next time.
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