Winnebago Chalet - anyone got any experience?

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by Travelbug1, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. Travelbug1

    Travelbug1 Read Only Funster

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    Am looking at changing from a coachbuilt to a C class Winnebago and wondered if anyone has any experience of them please?
     
  2. trekkin

    trekkin Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    Some experience of winnebago, c class RVs and RVs in general, similar to all Motorhomes, ensure you get the layout right, and make sure you have regular service/repair history

    anything in particular part of RVs?
     
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  3. Travelbug1

    Travelbug1 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks trekkin, we are swapping from a European LHD Coachbuilt to hopefully an American RV as soon as I can sell or PX ours. We have been looking at various models but I can only drive up to 7.5 tonnes although my Husband has a class 2 licence and we need to keep under 8 meters to enable us to store at home so that limits our options!
    We also have 2 children so would need a 4 berth minimum and lots of the coaches don't have the right layout for us. We do know what works hence the Winnebago Chalet 24 ft.
    We have had American cars before so are familiar with the engines & if LPG converted and all of that but just was curious as to the different issues an RV may have that we need to check out before buying.
    I have been told to ensure the onboard generator works as well as all the appliances but really just wanted someone who is used to RV's to offer any advice. I assume on a C class I can use silver internal & external screens as I do now? Is the build quality better, as we wildcamp & use it all year round any specifics we need to know please?
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  4. trekkin

    trekkin Read Only Funster

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    Winnebago is to RV as Hoover is to vacuum cleaner, a brand name became a generic name for a product, and with good reason they are usually a good build

    Take a tape measure and measure it front to back, RVs model length is rarely the actual bumper to bumper length, sometime it is internal liveable space from the back of the dash, if length is important do not accept it measure it.

    The chalet is a nice RV, the internals are all the same for most RVs, fridges freezers, generators, heating etc as they all use the same parts so reliability is similar. It will be down to build quality and ensuring you do not get a "Friday" one

    Petrol or diesel, you know the engines, if gas converted make sure it's a good one and works well, these are difficult and expensive to fix if badly installed. Other than they check the fridge freezer , at £1500+ it probably the most expensive part to be replaced as very few can be easily repaired! ensure this works! check the generator leaving it to run for an hour of so to ensure it does not cut out,
    Seems you have the right layout, but make sure everything works, do not settle for, not tested or no gas so I cannot demonstrate walk away from this. Ensure history and repairs, the engines are neglected by many owners who think that as they only do a few thousand miles a year they only need servicing every 5 years? They will benefit from an oil change every 500o miles or annually. Check the date of the tyres not the tread wear as this will be about £300 each and you may need 7( spare). Check for leaks/repairs in the roof, especially the over cab as this is where it is most likely to have been hit dented or punctured. Check for de lamination usually under windows where water has leaked in between the fibreglass, expanded and burst the structure, leaving an air pocket, this damage is controllable but un repairable and may mean walking away to save a big bill

    The build will be substantial as it will be on a truck chassis and so everything will be domestic quality as there is no real restriction on weight, build should be good but can be checked. They are generally easy to work on as there is plenty of room, but for the mechanics you need bigger tools or a friendly mechanic. (Changing a wheel can be a maul) spares/parts etc are common easy to get even next day. I can get parts for the RV quicker and cheaper than I can for the car, and fitted cheaper!

    Silver screens can be used but should have original thermal curtains fitted which work well

    Living with the RV, well maybe take some additional driving tuition, it won't do any harm, really easy to drive, elevated position gives great visibility. As for getting about this will come really easy the chassis will have a good steering lock and shorter wheelbase giving great manoeuvrability and easy access to pitches. At 24'+ you will prob have about 6' overhang meaning you can fit onto a small hard standing provided you can hover the overhang over grass behind the pitch and being higher keeps you out of the damp wet cold grass

    Fit a grass skirt or rock guard to keep the back clean,

    Anything else I will gladly help with and only just down the A38

    Adrian
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
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  5. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Measure the width and ensure that it complies with UK law to be allowed on UK roads! Some people have come a cropper with this in the past ...
     
  6. trekkin

    trekkin Read Only Funster

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    Good point.

    Length is more of an issue, over 12m is illegal, but for widths UK law is 102" for a motorhome, all RV are built less than 102" wide (mostly 101") as this is the legal max in most states, C class (this is the name for type and not a reflection of the quality ) will probably be closer to 94"
     
  7. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Not wanting an RV but for the benefit of others ... I assume the measurement is the widest part of the coachwork and NOT including the mirrors?
     
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  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I owned an A class 36ft Georgieboy for several years, but can't add to what has already been said..

    You may find a C class Winnebago owner on RVOC .. a sister site dedicated to USRVs , also owned and run by Jim
     
  9. trekkin

    trekkin Read Only Funster

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    Correct, not including, mirrors, awning, grab handles etc
     
  10. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Beware of weight when buying, many are sold as being "under 7.5 tons" when in fact either are not or have been downplated and have little or no payload allowance.
    This could obviously effect your legality to drive it.
    Also worth checking weight plate for gcvwr (gtw) if not on plate then you cannot legally tow a trailer.

    As it's your first RV it would be worth a second opinion on what you intend to buy from someone with RV experience.

    Build quality varies depending on age and model but in my experience RVs are more substantially built .

    Good luck in your search.

    BTW my 4 year old 29ft B class may shortly be available.
     
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  11. Travelbug1

    Travelbug1 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all your answers & help, I just need to sell my European now so I can buy one!
     

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