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Old 02-16-2012, 07:59 AM   #1
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Winnebago Vectra vs Travel Supreme

I've been a lurker on these forums for a while now and have developed a lot of respect for the way members help each other. Now, I'd like a little help.

I'd want to buy a Motorhome and have reduced my choices to a 2005 Vectra and 2004 Travel Supreme - both 40 footers. Both are in great shape and look to be well maintained. The NADA on the Winnebago is 18k higher, but would cost me about 8k more than the TS. The Vectra has about 16k less mileage on it.

I don't want to start a holy war here, but I would sincerely appreciate a little advice on this. Both have the 400 Cummins engine, both are very well equipped, and to see them will require travel, in different directions. Winnebago owners all love their coaches, but so do TS owners.

Is there a measurable difference between the two? Can the relative difference in the NADA be trusted? Assuming ownership for 5 years, will there be a significant difference when I go to sell it? Is there something else here that I'm missing?

So, what do you experienced owners think?

Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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Let me preface my remarks but stating these are my opinions only. That being said. I have several friends with '05 Vectras. We belong to an owners club. Look carefully for signs of water intrusion. Middle of the livingroom and directly over the middle of the bed. They are beautiful rigs. Lots of floor space. Get all the service records you can. This goes for BOTH coaches. Especially any problems with the hydraulics. Also any would that has been done on the Cummins engine. Has the Freightliner M-3's been done? I would go with the rig with the fewer miles which in your case would be the Winnie, even knowing what I know.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:02 PM   #3
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Are there any significant pluses or minuses in the floor plan for your specific needs or wants, if one is a better than the other in that regard than that should weigh heavy in your decision. That being said if both floor plans are good for you than I would choose the (see my signature), but your gona get just as many votes for the TS! Good Luck!
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:06 PM   #4
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"Winnebago owners all love their coaches, but so do TS owners."

I did camp next to one Winnie DP owner who was a very,very unhappy camper. And, this was his 3rd Winnie. But perhaps just one out of a thousand. He said that after his current experience with the factory he would never buy or recommend a Winnebago again.

I favor the orphan Travel Supreme brand. They seemed to build a very fine motorhome in their day.

But, there were different models of TS rigs, so knowing the model of your target could be useful in gathering feedback to compare with the Winnebago Vectra.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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Update - Apparently I negotiated such a good deal with the TS owner, his brother is going to buy it, eliminating it from the list. It really did look good! So, the Vectra is still in the running but I'll have to travel to see it. Pictures are one thing, in person is another.

Right now I'm composing a list of things I want verified before I get on the plane. The information already provided here is quite valuable. I wasn't aware of the "M3" service or the roof leaking problem. I will put those on my list to investigate.

I know that from a sellers perspective, the market stinks right now. But, from a buyers view, there's a lot of junk out there. I've already traveled over six hours one way to see what was described as "really clean and nice" to find a filthy, grease ridden coach that had never been maintained. The "inside storage" he bragged about turned out to be his shop, complete with welding and grease and all that floating through the air. At this point, I will not be surprised if the Vectra fails to measure up.

But, that said, I truly appreciate the advice here. Your opinions and experience are exactly what I need. If there's anything else I should be aware of, please let me know.

If the reply to my list of questions measures up, I'll get on the plane and check it out and let everyone know.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:15 AM   #6
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You do know how to check DOT date codes on the tires don't you? Anything over 5 years old regardless of condition you should be able to negotiate another couple of grand.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:44 AM   #7
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Can't provide the differences between the two coaches but I can lend a hand in some first hand knowledge on our 04 Vectra, purchased less than a year ago as I too was looking for a higher end used coach.

Ours had 10K miles, 350 Cat motor with 410 hours on the generator, go figure. Bought in California but originally sold in Las Vegas where it basically baked. Tires looked brand new and basically were with 10K miles on them but date codes were 10/2004 so all six were replaced through the FMCA Michelin tire program at a discounted rate.

I would strongly suggest you have an Oasis Freightliner shop check the drive train for any problems lurking. You didn't say this was a low mileage Vectra but that doesn't always guarantee a problem free operation. Check all air bags for leaks, hydraulics, especially for the slides as they can be heavy loads when compartments are filled. The roof should be checked, especially the side curved portions locked in by sealant only, as these are problem areas if not checked regularly, including the front and rear roof caps. The rear bedroom slide on the 40AD model has a known water leak problem for some and the fix was corrected on the newer Tours as a double swipe (?), per Winnebago customer service and not an inexpensive fix.

The Cummins 400 is an excellent motor and I wanted that motor but couldn't find it with all the other things on the list so this one has the CAT 350 and lacked both HP and torque for a coach this size. Upgraded it with the Ultrapower program, modified air cleaner and muffler and now pumps 410 HP with over 1100 ft lbs of torque and very happy with the performance.

Turning radius on the Vectra I believe is 60* wheel cut and is excellent when needed, coupled with the IFS suspension it makes for a very nice handling package (don't know if the 05 has IFS or not). Dual propane heaters, one for bathroom area and one for main living area is another plus. Basement air is another item to test out. We like it very much but in the 40' size, they are said to be challenged for air in the summer. We experienced it in 105* heat and wouldn't cool to an acceptable level. We considered adding an auxillary roof AC unit which many do to solve the problem but had ours tested a few weeks ago and found out a starter capacitor was shot and the 2nd compressor wasn't running. We'll test it this summer in July at Death Valley and see if it's fixed! The basement air system is very quite as well.

The interior wood is excellent for all cabinets and the floors, walls and ceiling areas are very well put together and so far problem free.

Don't remember the specifics but the front passenger areas in the Winnebago's are steel supported for better accident protection. There are many bells and whistles that are very handy to have and useful, like electric locking compartment doors and main entry door, auto lighting in compartment when door is opened, water and power electric cord reels. etc..

No service records came with this coach and Winnebago would not provide specific warranty information, which I was not thrilled about, but they should tell you if there were any serious problems with it or not, supplying them with the VIN number. We had all fluids changed, belts and hoses replaced which can be pricey but cheap insurance unless you breakdown in front of a Freightliner shop

The overall quality of the Winnebago product is very good but when buying used, it's only as good as the last owner provided in many cases. We are extremely pleased with this coach and with proper maintenance, we plan on keeping it a very long time. I hope I've provided some areas for this model coach to review before you purchase and good luck with whatever you buy!
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for the in depth reply Fred C.



This coach has 36K on the clock, and it’s looking better and better the more I investigate, but I will take it to a Freightliner service center to be checked out before I buy it. I’m also developing a check list and the advice given here is quite valuable. The original owner had purchased the extended warrantee, so I’m not expecting any problems, but better safe than sorry.



I found the original brochure on Winnebago’s site and this coach should have the IFS suspension. It should also have Winnebago’s 10 year limited warrantee on the roof, so should I be concerned about roof leaks?



While I don’t have answers to all my questions, I have learned that the date code on the tires is early 2011 and they have practically no miles on them. Batteries appear to be equally as good.



I’ll now a little more tomorrow, as I’m expecting the results of my first questioner. I do appreciate all the good advice and I’ll continue to keep everyone up to date.


Thanks again.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:14 PM   #9
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Update: I looked at the Winnebago and it wasn’t what I had been promised. There were several little things wrong – the paint had been buffed to death, the coach was dirty, and several little things needed work. But, the deal killer was the report from the Freightliner dealer. When he inspected it he found that the exhaust manifold was broken.

Of course the dealer quickly offered to pay for that repair, but there was something else that bothered me. When they did a history search on the coach, it turned out that this broken manifold was detected two years ago when the owner brought the coach in for a battery problem. The dealer had just put all new batteries in and I now wondered if the battery problem of two years ago had been fixed. My guess, and the guess of the Freightliner guy, was that it hadn’t. Next, if the previous owner was willing to drive around with exhaust gas leaking into the bedroom, he clearly wasn’t concerned with maintenance of any kind.

Other things we discovered – The front end had a little shake to it. Our guess is that this coach was a repo unit and it sat on those tires for an extended period. That would also explain why it was so dirty inside. There’s a whole laundry list that I won’t bore you with. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t what I had been promised and I walked away.

Thanks for all the help – my search continues.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:59 AM   #10
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Well, sorry that this coach didn't work out for you but better to know now than to end up with a money pit as some of these can easily turn into. You'll feel much better when you find the right coach and everything checks out to your satisfaction.

My Mom always used to ask "did you do your homework?" if I did, things worked out, if I didn't, well you can guess.

Good luck with your search and let us know what the next coach selection you're looking at.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:16 AM   #11
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Go to rv.org pay what they're asking it'll will be the best money you'll spend on your rv. Then go to oodle.com plug in what you're looking for and after the initial data dump they will email you daily with up dates with you check the box. Good luck by the way I'd go with the ..... remember it has to fit your needs.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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ps I get no kick backs rewards or anything from either one of these sites. This just seems to work best for unbiased information on what's out there.
good luck
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:34 AM   #13
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I just wanted to thank everyone for the advice and help. This has been a "learning experience" for me . I've learned that:

• Some dealers spend more time with Photoshop than in preparing their vehicles.

• Some people really don't know the difference between clean and dirty

• When money gets tight, the first thing people cut back on is maintenance.


• If a coach has been on the market a long time, there's a reason.

• The first time a private party lists their coach, it will be WAY overpriced.


• There are no bargains. Expect to get what you pay for.


• Dealers will say anything to get you on their lot. When confronted with obvious lies, they get a bewildered look and act as though THEY'VE been wronged somehow.


• When they say "I'm not sure" it means they're sure, but don't want to tell.


• Blurry pictures are intentional.


• When they list all the standard equipment in the list of options, they have nothing good to say about the coach.


• There's an honest seller out there. I just haven't found them.


• For a while I thought that this community needs some type of black list for dealers that wouldn't know the truth if it bit them in the ass. On second thought, I realized the hard drive on the server would need to be upgraded to accommodate all of them.

• Forums like this are the absolute best. It's amazing how many people I've never met will invest their time and energy helping you.


A sincere "Thank you" to all.

Gary M
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryM2 View Post
I
• The first time a private party lists their coach, it will be WAY overpriced.

Gary,

You are so right!

I just saw a 2000 Monaco that was priced over $200k!
I emailed them and asked if they checked Bluebook before pricing their coach and he emailed me back and asked what bluebook was!
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