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Old 06-03-2023, 11:46 AM   #1
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Winnebago Vista vs. HR Admiral

Looking at same year, chasis,Floorplan, and mileage used units. Vista vs. Admiral with the bunkhouse layout. Wiltin 5k of eachother.

I have no experience with Winnebago vs. HR quality in the 2017 year. I have heard good things about the Winnebago line overall, and nothing bad about the HR quality. Just need some opinions on how they compare in quality and any major issues to look for.

I am coming from a 1994 safari trek Isuzu 24 foot. We outgrew it but wanted to stay under 35.

Thanks
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Old 06-03-2023, 12:20 PM   #2
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In the 2017 model year I'd choose the Winnebago. I have not been impressed with HR quality or customer service since Rev Group took over the brand. Maybe I'm biased, but that's my opinion.
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Old 06-03-2023, 01:02 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

Not to get into the Ford vs Chevy debate but I too would prefer products from the Winnebago/Newmar group than those from the REV group. I'm sure there are those who are perfectly happy with their REV mothorhomes but products from WGO seem to be highly rated and well-respected nowadays in the industry ...i.e. Winnebago, Newmar, Grand Design.
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Old 06-03-2023, 02:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for the insight, I was under the impression that both units were on the f53 chasis paired with v10.

I have not seen the hr in person yet, and maybe won't as the Winnie is cheaper and has fewer miles that the hr. The hr does look nicer, less sun beaten but it sounds like the Winnie would be the better pick all other things being equal.
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Old 06-03-2023, 03:15 PM   #5
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Winnebago Vista vs. HR Admiral

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnarjax
Thanks for the insight, I was under the impression that both units were on the f53 chasis paired with v10.

Haha, yeah, that caught my attention as well since the Chevy Workhorse gas chassis has not been available on motorhomes since 2010. I think he/she was just trying to do a brand comparison like Cadillac versus Lexus and how they can turn into Holy Wars for some people.

Ray
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Old 06-04-2023, 01:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lawnarjax View Post
Thanks for the insight, I was under the impression that both units were on the f53 chasis paired with v10.

I have not seen the hr in person yet, and maybe won't as the Winnie is cheaper and has fewer miles that the hr. The hr does look nicer, less sun beaten but it sounds like the Winnie would be the better pick all other things being equal.
No, that's true. The chassis comparisons specifically will more-or-less be equal. What I was referring to when mentioning the "ford vs chevy debates" is comparing brands in general. In my day (I'm an old fart), it was often a contentious argument or debate depending on if one was a Ford or a Chevrolet devotee ...or Ford, Chevy, Chrysler.

I did not mean to imply that one of the units you're referring to has a Workhorse Chassis and one has a F53. I'm just saying that some may have a preference for Winnebago products and others may prefer REV. There could be arguments that one is better than another even though both could have similar and comparable models and particularly comparing "coach" quality and not referring to the chassis.
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Old 06-04-2023, 07:36 AM   #7
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I’ve got a 2015 Vista 35B, assuming I’m reading your post correctly you are looking at the 2017 lx 35B (Bunkhouse). I can’t speak to the HR piece, but can give you some feedback on the Vista. Overall the 2017 and 2015 are the same aside from some minor differences.

We’ve had ours for 4 years, believed to be second owners. We upgraded from a 2008 Sunova 35J, which is the predecessor to the Vista line in a lot of ways. Overall very happy, the coach has been solid and reliable. Ride is comfortable, my first trip with it was a 1000 mile drive to bring home from Ohio where I purchased it. Coach is “solid” on the road, minimal sway from passing vehicles. Keep in mind it’s on the Ford platform and not a diesel so set expectations accordingly. (My biggest gripe, the engine can get loud if really getting into it like on a long steep hill) Previous owner did add a steering stabilizer, can’t speak to a “before and after” on that aside to say the coach drives decently. Mpg is in line with the F-53 platform. (Mine is the 5 speed F-53, a 2017 would be on the newer 6 speed I believe)

Vista line is what I consider the “middle of the pack” from Winnie. Plenty of options, but not all the bells and whistles of their higher end coaches. Not a comment on built quality, but missing some things like lights in the storage bays, things like that.

Internally the layout works very well for our family of 4. While I have a couple real minor nitpicks on switch placements, overall the coach is well laid out and just about everything is where it should be. We have the larger fridge and can easily go 10 days feeding 4.

The bunks work well for the kids, although the lack of ladder and rails is frustrating. I fixed this with a PVC rail I made and a bunk bed ladder I found on Craigslist. The drawer under the bunk easily holds clothes for the boys with room to spare. We have the bunk bed DVD players which get a lot less use than I anticipated. I do recommend getting some fans for the bunks, with the curtains closed it can get stuffy in there. We went with a 12v USB adaptor, and a couple of USB powered fans from staples. Just enough power to move the air in there, but we do keep the curtains open on hot nights to let some A/C in there.

Master bedroom is well laid out. I wish the bedside tables were a little larger, but again, nitpick. I do recommend a mattress topper as the OEM one is typical RV, thin and hard. The wardrobe can hold a sold amount of clothes and the under bed storage is very large.

The rear bath is very well done and a HUGE win on this floorplan. On our previous coach the bath was only in the middle and it seemed like we were constantly waking the kids if nature called at 3am. Not an issue anymore. We did have an issue with the rear shower glass enclosure dripping when showering, but was able to figure it out. (It’s not the shower base, it’s the screws in the metal frame letting water in, easily fixed with some cheap rubber gaskets). Easy fix, but as typical took a bit to figure out.

Basement storage is exceptional, lots of room. The 4 waste tanks (2 black and 2 gray) give you some decent time inbetween dumps unless you just go crazy and let the water run. (admittedly with 2 preteen boys we do hit the point of dumping the rear grey pretty frequently but that’s a small price to pay for them being good about showering after their daily adventures!)

Aside from new tires and new batteries (which had just aged out) we haven’t had to make too many needed repairs. I think the list is:

Ceiling lights. Winnie used LED “puck” from ITC throughout the coach. ITC had a bad manufacturing run in late 2014 that made its way into a bunch of RVs and boats. The innards would fail causing a “strobe” effect and needed to be replaced. There is no changing the bulb, you need to swap the whole unit. I would think a 2017 should be past that issue but test the lights. If you need to replace, you can buy direct from ITC at about $25 a light.

Dash A/C. We had some issues with the Dash A/C not working due to a slow leak. A couple of gaskets had dried out, fixed and recharged.

Undercarriage rust. Our other Winnie also suffered from this, not the “car” parts, but the storage bays and other items. While this one was in a lot better shape, it still was showing some prelim signs and I spent a weekend wire brushing it all, and then sealing/coating with POR-15. Most of the spots I found seemed to be caused by rocks etc bouncing up and hitting up and hitting things while underway.

Tail lights. Winnie (and a bunch of other RV manufacturers) used a taillight assembly from Command. The unit is a poor design and prone to leaks, both inside the unit and possibly into the RV. When it leaks you will start going through bulbs from them constantly blowing out. I highly recommend pulling the units and upgrading to the Command all LED replacement. The unit is sealed 1 piece, so no internal leaks and as such you can install, seal around it and be done. Check here for some pics: https://www.winnieowners.com/forums/...ge-356693.html

Water heater check valves. Winnie uses 2 check valves, one going into the water heater and one going out. Cheap parts, but will eventually get “crud” in them and need to be replaced. (They “sing” when you run the water). Part cheap and reasonably easy to get to.

Roof radius clear coat. I have some spots on the roof radius on one side where the clear coat is starting to fail. Very common on painted roofs across the brands, do some quick searching here and you will get a ton of hits. Still minor on mine but starting to ponder how I will fix.

Support from Winnie is excellent, the amount of documentation online is one of the best in the industry. Online parts list for every item in your specific RV, 3D drawings, wire guides, plumbing guides etc are all online for free. Winnie is also building out an App (pretty new) that is looking to incorporate RV specific info over time. (I say once you can access all the data they have online via the app it will be second to none, but it’s not quite there yet)

That’s pretty much it in 4 years. We’ve been really happy with the “Vista Bus” and would defiantly buy it again. Hope that helps, happy to answer any questions if you are looking for something specific.

Now actually off to wax mine……
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Old 06-04-2023, 07:42 AM   #8
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Oh! There are window curtains in the bunks that slide to open. They ďsnapĒ in place at the ends. The snap is a small plastic clip that the curtain slides into. Your kids will break the ends off, itís just a matter of when as the plastic gets brittle over time. Cheap part and easily swapped out, just plan on it.
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Old 06-04-2023, 08:14 AM   #9
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I've owned 2 Winnebago's before my current Southwind (HR twin sister). All were good coaches but what steered me away from Winnebago when shopping for my 3rd coach were issues with the windshield mounting\rust\leaks and roof delamination. Do a search and you will find both issues are well documented and for the most part can be avoided\minimized with diligent maintenance but they are real issues that you need to keep an eye on. Bought the Southwind new and put 56,000 miles on it. Overall it's been a good coach with very few issues. REV group support has also been responsive. TPO roof has held up very well and after having both fiberglass and TPO equipped coaches I'm finding the TPO has been easier to maintain. That said i think Winnebago is a little better on interior cabinet and finish quality. Bottom line they're both good coaches.
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Old 06-04-2023, 08:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastvalve View Post
I. (My biggest gripe, the engine can get loud if really getting into it like on a long steep hill) (Mine is the 5 speed F-53, a 2017 would be on the newer 6 speed I believe)
Yes, the 5-speed transmission in pre-2017 Ford F53 chassis motorhomes was a real screamer on even smaller hills. But the 6-speed really fixed much of that - but it can still get loud.

Ford introduced the 6-speed in 2016 on the F53. But it didnít show up in Winnebago motorhomes until the 2017 model year because Winnebago stockpiles chassis. So, most 2017 models have a 2016 chassis.
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Old 06-04-2023, 08:51 AM   #11
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I looked up the 2017 Holiday Rambler specs and it’s a diesel motorhome built on the M-340hp Freightliner chassis.

That is certainly an entry level chassis but is a diesel pusher rather than a Ford F53 gas engine up front.

So many would give the advantage to the HR. Of course, diesel has plenty of pluses and minuses to consider. Like higher fuel costs and higher maintenance costs. So you should actually drive both before deciding. Many prefer the diesel pusher.
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Old 06-04-2023, 11:00 AM   #12
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Thanks for the insights, I belive that I need to verify the engine tranny combo on this rig. The price seems to be out standing compared to others but it does have original tires on it and the Florida sun's already worked its magic and will need some tlc .

Any issues with the sink/plumbing being in the slide?
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Old 06-04-2023, 11:14 AM   #13
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We replaced the tires on our motorhome at the end of last year. 2017 model year with a 2016 chassis and March 2016 DOT dates on the tires (6 1/2 yrs old) convinced us it was time. Total cost was about $3,400.

We have the kitchen sink in our full wall slide and have had zero issues in 7 years and 45k miles.
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Old 06-04-2023, 11:18 AM   #14
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Thanks for the insights, I belive that I need to verify the engine tranny combo on this rig.
It's easy to tell which transmission the gas Ford F53 has looking at the shift lever indicator:

PRND4L = 6-speed
PRND3L = 5-speed

(It may not have an "L" - it may be 2 or 1 I can't remember)
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