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Old 01-17-2016, 09:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Papa44 View Post
Howdy. My wife and I are new at RV life and will have many questions as we proceed. So, thank you in advance for any help and your understanding when I pose a really stupid question. First, some background. We are getting a late start in this lifestyle. I am a healthy (at present) 70 years young, she is a beautiful 56. We decided that we have many relatives and friends that we need to annoy, so we decided to travel in this Winnebago 38 J. We are just getting started, made an offer and it looks like it will be accepted. We intend to outfit it to suit my bride. I am not very mechanically inclined as Uncle Sam saw fit to give me skills that don't have much to do with motors, electricity, plumbing, etc. My first question would be your opinion of this coach, are there any recalls that I should be aware of. Also, who provides a good quality insurance at reasonable prices. Thank you in advance for your help. I will be writing the check in a week, so if this a fool's mission and I should strategically withdraw, now would be the time for a heads up.
We had a 2005 Winnebago Adventurer 35A w/W-22 chassis. I added KONI shocks and a Blue Ox rear sway bar to this MH, which greatly improved the handling. Strongly recommend you look into these mods to help handling in the wind and 18 wheelers passing you. Your new coach could already have these improvements.

We use AAA for our MH and all other rolling stock and real estate insurance. I do shop all my insurance every 3 to 5 years to be sure I'm getting competitive prices.
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:56 PM   #16
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Getting started

Since we last spoke, we have purchased the Winnebago Adventurer 38J that we had questions about. So far so good, but there is a huge learning curve for us. We just attended a class given by a local motorhome dealer, and it served to scare me. My wife, not so much. She has the mistaken belief that I can do anything. I know better. Anyway, now that we own this monster, we are needing to buy a proper towable vehicle. Also, this coach came already euipped with a Stowmaster Roadmaster tow bar attached. My question is, will I be able to buy a car mount for this system or do I need to purchase another entire unit. We are leaning towards a Jeep or some GMC/Chevy vehicle to flat tow. Thank you for all your help thus far, and we hope we ask sensible/intelligent questions, but we are very green at this lifestyle. So, expect the worst.
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:44 PM   #17
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CONGRATS! I'm worried about that short queen bed but your bride like the galley and we think it was well done. Our couch was long enough for you. LOL

Here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Watch the rear axle loading! It is rated at 15,500# and we maxed it out with full water, propane and fuel along with 1/4 black and grey tanks. Included with that was food, clothes and stuff reasonable for part time use. Our coach had a bit over 1880 CCC as built but when we maxed out the rear axle we only had added about 1000# of stuff and people to it. Concentrate on loading heavy stuff up front.

2. You can NOT combine the total axle weight ratings and get GVWR. If you max out the rear axle your useable front axle wait must be reduced by 500#.

3. Look closely into installing a couple air scoops in the front grill to force some cooler air to the back spark plugs and wires. There is a history of them getting charred because the grill was small. That assumes your grill is the same as our 2006 was.

4. The engine compartment noise can be quite significant when both the radiator cooling fans kick in at 206* and shut down at 200*. On a hot summer day they will cycle in and out regularly, especially during stop and go traffic. However, I truly believe that if we found it was going to be a keeper that we would have taken action to add sound proofing packages that others found worked very well. Many of the soundproofing techniques can also combine ways to also keep some of the dog house heat to a minimum.

5. The coach heating switch (not the dash AC/heat controls) uses engine exhaust heat to provide heat into the coach. It is very effective during the summer so make sure that switch is OFF. LOL We found out that we totally overlooked that switch and on a 100* day it was miserable driving.

Some other random thoughts...

Depending on your toad, you may need at least a 6" drop hitch to properly align your tow bar to be level within +/- 4".

Find out if you have a device like an Amp-L-Start. When you are plugged into shore power the standard configuration for your coach is that the converter only charges the HOUSE batteries. Starter batteries have been known to suffer from significant discharge during storage which reduces the life span. This device takes a part of the converter's charge current and apples it to the starter batteries to keep them in better shape. It is an easy install that can be mounted in the battery access area under the entry steps. Again, I am assuming the 2005 model has 1 12V starter and 2 6V house batteries mounted in the same area like ours was.

Keep us posted!
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:15 PM   #18
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Thank you Sky Boss for the good information. Our coach was/is winterized when we took possession, so I will get some of these changes made when we take it in for de-winterizing. Also, I located a small hydraulic leak in the bedroom slide. That will need attention also. We are planning our first trip for the second week of March. Wanted to wait for the weather and after my birthday Feb. 24. We are reading everything that we can find to help us, but we know we can only get comfortable by just getting started and doing it. Attended a short class at a local motorhome dealer. Very helpful, however. they used new motorhomes as training tools, so we did not get much info about our Winnebago. Thank you for your help.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:18 PM   #19
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UPDATE:
Well, we are deep into this project, so I should be broke very soon now.
We removed all carpeting, 20,000 staples/nails in the living area, all the tile from the galley/head area, and painted the entire coach. Just finished installing Allure flooring front to rear. Reconditioned all leather seating, changed all lights to LED, and replaced or repaired anything that needed replacing or repairing. Installed cedar in the closet and all drawers in the bedroom. Had a 50 amp outlet installed at our home, so we can keep this beast hooked up and warm during the rest of the winter. We have postponed our big adventure until the middle of April so we can learn more and get our confidence levels up. I bought a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited to tow. A Roadmaster base plate and braking system will be installed on Wednesday, March 09. This is a new Jeep, so I hope this install doesn't void the warranty. Anyhow we will now be street legal in all states. Now, I'm considering changing the shocks to Koni or Billsteins. Have Monroes and I don't know the age of them. Probably should wait until I put some miles on the coach, see how it handles before spending anymore money on new shocks. Also, we have three side windows that have moisture between the panes and may need replacing. Opinions/suggestions will be welcomed. Also, I took the advice of some of the folks on this site and made a reservation for an overnight/shakedown stay at a KOA rv park about four miles from our home. Figured if I am going to screw up, I'd rather be within walking distance of my home. Again, thank you all for the help.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:30 PM   #20
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You will do fine! We have all at one point wondered if we would get the hang of these beasts! We are on our third year of ownership and absolutely love our coach. We have been out to Scottsdale, Arizona and currently in Florida. I think a short and close KOA trip is a great idea. We did the same thing with ours.

Enjoy yourselves and ask as many questions as you want. There are lots of real experts on this forum and have helped me many times.

Travel safe no have a great time.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:55 PM   #21
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Thank you. It helps to know that my bride and I are not alone in this adventure. I'm 70 yoa, so learning new stuff was not on my to-do list. Thought I already knew everything I needed to know. My wife is younger, so she believes I can do anything. Anyway, we wanted to visit her family in Tucson, Arizona and my son in Arkansas near Memphis, Tn. Because we have fuzzy children, Shyloh, Delilah, our Shih Tzu's and Sonny, our yellow Lab, airplanes are out of the question, hence "the Beast". maybe our paths will cross somewhere. We plan to hit every Cracker Barrel from our home on the Atlantic coast to the wild west.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:49 PM   #22
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I had the Konis installed last year on my coach and can't sing the praise enough on how well it rides now. The factory Bilsteins were harsh and on our trips out west we began to wonder if we made a mistake on a gasser. Now, we are happy with the ride.

I had the Ultra Power upgrade done to my coach also. I had them change the plugs out to Iridium Plugs and Magnum plug wires. It has made a big difference in performance.


Jon Brazel (IRV2 sponsor) and expert on the workhorse chassis will help you with any questions or concerns you have. I have emailed and called him and he was always very helpful. I highly recommend them.

BTW, I had these done around 35,000 miles. I thought it was a worthwhile expense and Jon Brazel helped me understand why it was an upgrade that would pay off. We have now 42,000 and I am glad I did the upgrades. If I can answer any questions drop me a pm.

Tom
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:46 AM   #23
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Thank you for the information and Jon Brazel's name for additional help. The coach has almost 30,000 miles on it, so it may be time to do the engine upgrades. Taking it in to be de-winterized next week, might be a good time to get it all done. Be safe on the road and may God bless you.
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:25 AM   #24
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We replaced the original shocks with Konis and were very happy with the results. I think you will find that Konis seem to be the fan favorite but Billsteins have a share of fans. Any new shocks will be an improvement over 10 year old, originals. We did install 6 new tires at the same time that might have helped.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:19 PM   #25
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Smile

Couple of quick points.
Winterizing and unwinterizing are fairly simple DIY projects.
Make sure your 50 amp at your house is RV type. If you're not sure, others on this forum can help.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:46 PM   #26
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Congrats. Winnebago makes a solid motorhome.

Cheers!
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:40 PM   #27
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voyage

We bought our 2005 Voyage new and still love it today. We have an outside radio compartment that also holds a slip on table. Our table got left out in the rain upside down and ruined. Does anyone know where I can get the same in a replacement?
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