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Old 09-15-2021, 09:11 AM   #1
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2005 Winnie Adventurer with 8.1 possible buy

Hi everyone, I've been looking at this rig for sale with about 19,000 miles on it. I've read up on issues with this model. The owner did the brake recall, but the status of that windshield support and rusting is unknown. The owner claims he has never needed to do any other work on it. My mechanic skills are good, but how much work do these rigs typically need? It's a 35U with basement heat pump and AC. If I needed to buy a new one are they even still made? Can you still get parts in general for it? He's asking $48 K for it. What would you guys pay? It's in very nice condition except for some fading of the paint in the front. Any advice appreciated. Tx
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Col. Klink View Post
Hi everyone, I've been looking at this rig for sale with about 19,000 miles on it. I've read up on issues with this model. The owner did the brake recall, but the status of that windshield support and rusting is unknown. The owner claims he has never needed to do any other work on it. My mechanic skills are good, but how much work do these rigs typically need? It's a 35U with basement heat pump and AC. If I needed to buy a new one are they even still made? Can you still get parts in general for it? He's asking $48 K for it. What would you guys pay? It's in very nice condition except for some fading of the paint in the front. Any advice appreciated. Tx
FWIW, I think the price is way too high, even for a chassis with relatively low mileage. THAT alone isn't always a good thing, especially if it has sat parked for an extended time. Regular use, even for short trips, is better. Regarding the basement AC, You MAY be able to get somebody to work on it, but it is a discontinued model. I think there is a complete replacement unit, but I believe it requires a 50 AMP coach. Personally, I will NEVER again own a coach with a basement AC system. WBGO stopped using them beginning with the 2011 model year, and mine was a 2010, UNFORTUNATELY. It was a problem from brand new, and the maker would not honor their 2 year "warranty", because a WBGO dealer worked on it while it was still new.
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Old 09-15-2021, 01:10 PM   #3
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I have a basement air unit in a 2008 Winnie. My home air con guy reckons he can service no problem (he has not done so yet)
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Old 09-15-2021, 01:48 PM   #4
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Thank you Ed and Unicorn. The owner is a 78 year old very nice guy and he bought it new, but he still owes $52,000 on it. He must have taken a balloon payment or something to still owe that much after 16 years. I think he considered consignment cause the dealer told him it's only worth $35,000. A bit sad cause it doesn't look like he and the wife have a wad to spare to get out of it. I thought I read that the 8.1 GM might have wires and ignition issues as well. Thank you guys I appreciate it.
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Old 09-15-2021, 03:49 PM   #5
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I have a basement air unit in a 2008 Winnie. My home air con guy reckons he can service no problem (he has not done so yet)


Easy to service AFTER you get it out of the coach. If it needs freon he will have to add fittings. Then you still need to put it back and re- connect the duct work, but that may be easy since you have a UFO. IRDK about that.
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:00 PM   #6
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Col.Klink: The sp wire problem is caused by the front grill design and a known problem on WBGO coaches of that era. It can be minimized by addition of a kit that consists of 2 funnel-like scoops and duct hoses that directs fresh air to the rear most SP. Also there are upgrade wires that offer much greater resistance to heat damage.
Too bad the owner is up side down on his mortgage, but that really isnít your problem unless you can afford to be generous and want to bail him out of a sad situation. Unfortunately there are a lot of folks that took out 20 year loans on a purchase that deprecated more rapidly than the payoff.
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:30 PM   #7
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Easy to service AFTER you get it out of the coach. If it needs freon he will have to add fittings. Then you still need to put it back and re- connect the duct work, but that may be easy since you have a UFO. IRDK about that.
I thought he said it could slide out. Good to know though Ed.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:23 PM   #8
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Agree that price seems high. I sold a 2003 31Y in excellent shape and everything working on 2017 for $26,500. I know today's prices are high but that seems unreasonable.
You might need to make an offer and move on if owners are between a rock and a hard place that will likely just continue payments and end up stuck.

We really liked our 31.

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Old 09-15-2021, 06:49 PM   #9
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Just for comparison I bought a 2004 National Dolphin on the W-22 chassis in 2019 for just under $24k. It only had 13k miles on it at the time. Had some sun fading of the graphics on one side of the coach, but everything worked. Of course, that was pre-covid, and likely not representative of current prices.

In any case, the W-Series is a solid chassis and we couldn't be happier with our purchase. You might want to budget another $3k or so for trac bars and sway bars in case the previous owner hasn't already done that. Some don't find this to be necessary, but it certainly made my Dolphin a lot more relaxing to drive.

When I was shopping for mine I narrowed my search down to the Dolphin and a Winnebago Adventurer as well. The floor plans are similar but the construction of the cabinetry and materials installed in the Dolphin just seemed a little better, and my previous Winnebago lost its fiberglass roof cap on I-70 one day so I knew that to be a known Winnie problem on some models. That said, there's probably something to be said about buying a product from a manufacturer who is still in business. National went belly up in 2008. I haven't ever had a problem finding anything I need for mine, but I suppose that day could come.

As for the basement air, mine works well up to 100 degree temps or so. I just hope they keep making them in case mine ever dies.
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:53 PM   #10
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With only 19K miles on the coach it may still have the original Michelin tires on it and would need replacement. Do you know how to read the DOT tire date codes? Anything over 6-8 years old should be replaced. You should budget $3-4K to replace the 6 tires.

BTW, how are you planning on paying for the RV? It could be very difficult getting a loan for a 17 year old motorhome.
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Old 09-15-2021, 09:38 PM   #11
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my brother in law is an hvac tech.i took mine out and he took it to their shop and replaced one of the compressors added taps charged it and brought it back.and i put it back in.if it's set up like mine you should be able to get it out in under an hour or so.there is 3 harnesses,1 each for each compressor and one for the harness from the thermostat. i also put in an access cover so if it needed charging in the future i wouldn't have to remove it.i actually would rather have the basement a/c. 2 less holes in the roof to leak.as for the roof cap,it's a known issue SO you keep it from being an issue,check the seal 2 or 3 times a season.i have a platform ladder that i use to check the seal about once a month.
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Old 09-15-2021, 11:24 PM   #12
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With only 19K miles on the coach it may still have the original Michelin tires on it and would need replacement. Do you know how to read the DOT tire date codes? Anything over 6-8 years old should be replaced. You should budget $3-4K to replace the 6 tires.

BTW, how are you planning on paying for the RV? It could be very difficult getting a loan for a 17 year old motorhome.
He told me the tires are 3.5 years old. I didn't check it but I did see they are Firestones. If I bought I could purchase outright. I can fix just about anything that it needs, but I'm getting up in age and and taking care of so many things it would just be another task that would suck up a lot of time. In particular, if it has the rusty windshield support that would be something serious that I would rather not deal with. I don't like body work and I'm too old to try and learn
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Old 09-15-2021, 11:51 PM   #13
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I forgot to mention that the Coleman-Mach heat pump basement units are still made, though I understand that maybe the location of the inlet (or maybe outlet?) duct changed so modification could be required on some mohos. Someone who did the mod posted a thread about it not too long ago as I recall.

EDIT: Here's the thread I was referring to, and the mod apparently was to adapt a side return to a top return.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/sag...-496195-2.html
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:39 AM   #14
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that was i believe a freightliner chassis with rear engine so the a/c return came down thru the top,and the new a/c units return thru the side which mine does.
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