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Old 05-08-2013, 09:52 PM   #1
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1981 Winnebago College Buddies Cross Country Road Trip

Hey guys,

Me and a few buds are interested in traveling to Cali and back from Connecticut in August. We are in the process of looking for a Winnebago, and as you can imagine, budget is a concern. We are looking to spend no more than $5000 on a vehicle that can sleep up to 6 and has a working shower, full kitchen etc.

We found this, spoke to the owner over the phone and he ensures that everything is working well and would have no problem making the trip.

1981 winnebago lower price

We are going out to see it next Saturday, is there anything specific I should look for? I know next to nothing about RVs but I am somewhat mechanically inclined (owner of 2 dirtbikes and an ATV that I am constantly tinkering with). What should I look for/ask the owner about before I take it for a test spin?


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Old 05-09-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
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Country Coach Owners Club
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Hello and We are glad to have you join us here. I am sure you will learn very much from these forums by August and you will be glad that you spent the time here to learn years of RVing experience from some of our members.
My strong suggestion is that you find a qualified RF technician to inspect the coach for you. He may even let you tag along with him during this inspection so you can learn something. There are many areas that are 1 for safety and 2 for functionality that even seasoned RVers can overlook. Good luck and keep us posted.

Mike, RVIA & RVSA Certified Master RV Technician
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2000 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser 450 hp & 1330# torque
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:35 AM   #3
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Those "bunks" are likely short and narrow and won't really be decent for sleeping unless you are 5'5" and 150 pounds. Air mattress on the floor would be MUCH more comfortable.
Jayco Greyhawk 31 FS
But always looking for the next RV
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:56 AM   #4
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Look at tires date code, if more than 6 years old( my opinion), may need replaced even if they look good $$$. Ad states engine heat and air disconnected, so you would have to run generator to be comfortable, could be very noisy If you buy it check the date on co2 detector, and replace if 7-10 yrs old..
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:06 AM   #5
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Doesn't look too bad, but ads aren't always telling the whole truth. Inspect it carefully yourself for obvious issues, and have a professional look it over if you seriously want to buy it.

Ad says the dash heat and A/C are disconnected. In states with inspection requirements, that might be an issue, as an inspector might decide there's no way to defrost the windshield. Get a pro's input on that.

Winnebago makes a solid coach, so if this one's been cared for and not abused, you could be in good shape. Might want to check out the Vintage RV's section for more opinions from folks who like the older coaches, too.
Eric & Holly + 2 kitties from New Hampshire
1992 Winnebago Adventurer 32'
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the helpful replies guys, I will post this in the vintage section.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
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What's it going to take to get the dash AC working and does it have a generator that you can also use the top air to help cool the coach while traveling. With 6 on board in August it's liable to be quite warm. Also sounds like it could be blast. Y'all have a great time.
Travel well, travel safe,
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:25 PM   #8
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Classic Winnebagos & Vintage RVs!

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