winnebago scale of 1-10

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brennaman

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kansas city MO
I just read a post, and they said Newmar is one of the better motorhomes, where does Winnabago fall in line?  I am verrrrry new to RV's, (6 day's), and just wanted to know how the Winnabago stacks up to the rest.  I know this is a very broad question and there will be varying responses, but just generaly speaking, is it a chevy Vega, or a Cadillac?  thanks Phil
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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This is strictly personal perference and stickly opinions and facts must be thrown out in MY OPINION.  I'd had Wnnebego back in the 60' and early 70's but in todays market would prefer Amercian, Monaco, Allegro and Newell.  I like the American Dream as the best of the group for the buck spent.  But again, this is my opinion and only mine.  Everyone has to make up their own mind.  Even with that preference of mine I drive a Pace Arrow. So what do I know?
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
I have never owned a Winnebago but from what I have seen and what owners have told me I wouldn't rate them too high on the list.  Well above Gulfstream but nowhere near as high as American Coach, Newmar, Country Coach or Monaco, or any of the Fleetwood products such as Southwind, Bounder, Pace Arrow or any of the FW diesel pushers.  Another way to put it on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the best or highest maybe a 3 or 4 IMHO.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
This is one of those ask 10 people, get 12 answers issues.

Kind of interesting that both Bounder and Winnies are mentioned here, I know one dealer salesman whom I have dealt with when we were tlaking about financing I said something like "You never know, I might get run over by a Bounder coming in for routine service as I walk out the door"  The salesman said "No you wouldn't, cause the Bounder would be comming in on a tow truck. (So the next time I changed it to "Run over by the tow truck bringing in the Bounder and thought the poor sales guy was going to bust a gut laughing)

In another setting I had a salesman try to sell me a Winnie... Now mind you my Damon is still under warranty.
 

John Canfield

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Texas Hill Country
Yes - tricky question.  You need to cluster the RVs into price ranges, i.e., Newell/Foretravel/Featherlight, and then upper end of Class As, i.e., American Eagle/Essex/Dynasty, then Dutch Star/Revolution/Horizon-Vectra/Allegro Bus/Mandalay and so on.  These are only examples and not comlplete groupings (or necessarily accurate.)  I believe the cluster of where my coach belongs (Dutch star, etc.), the competition is tough and the choice was very difficult.  Of my cluster I believe all except the Dutch Star are based on the Freightliner Custom Chassis and in some cases is basically the same chassis.

When we were coach shopping, my research indicated Newmar, Winnebago, Tiffen and probably Fleetwood would all be solid choices.  We never seriously considered a Mandalay because I didn't have a warm fuzzy feeling about its manufacturer, Thor.

We chose our Horizon (Winnebago) based on floorplan, fit & finish, quality of the woodwork, visibility from the driver's seat, value for the money, and the fact that Winnebago is a true manufacturer as they design/engineer/produce many of the house components and are not just an assembler of vendor-sourced parts.

We have had our problems here and there, but I am still very contented with our choice and do not regret our choice after 16,000 miles ;D.
 

Jackliz

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Hondo, TX
Howdy, John Canfield.

You need to cluster the RVs into price ranges, i.e., Newell/Foretravel/Featherlight, 

Featherlight? That is a new brand to me. Is it a motorhome?  Where is it manufactured?

Thanks,
Liz
 

Wendy

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Colorado
We have a Winnebago Sightseer. Yes, it's one of the lower, or 'entry' Class As but it's what we could afford, it's the size we wanted, and it has a floorplan we like (not perfect but I have yet to see a floorplan I consider perfect). We love it. We've had a couple of problems but they weren't Winnebago related and were all covered by warranty (had the speedometer computer display replaced in the dash, power steering unit had to be replaced).

As for scoring any brand on a scale of 1 to 10, it depends on what you're scoring them on...value for the money, reliability, comfort, etc. I wouldn't try to rate any of them on a strict 1 to 10. RVs are not one size fits all and my 10 could be your 1.
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
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Wendy,

I agree with you 100%. I wouldn't attempt to rate RV brands because there are way too many variables. Yes, we might all have our personal biases, but at the end of the day it's whatever feels right for the individual(s).
 

Ron from Big D

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Liz:

    Featherlite has been around for some time.  It was created after the demise of the Vogue.  I believe Featherlite was originally a converter.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At my Silver Springs FL home
Featherlite Luxury coaches has indeed been around quite awhile - you may recognise some of their past model names, e.g. the Vogue and Vantare.  The y do Prevots conversions as well as their own line.  They also make what is reputed to be the most expensive coach on the market, the Vantare Platinum Plus, which starts at about $2.5 million.
 

gdauth

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Oct 27, 2005
Posts
12
Location
TGO Titusville, FL
I agree with Gary on Winnebagos, regarding low to mid range units. I had an 1999 Itasca Sunrise SE as my first coach and it was basically trouble free during the first year which I owned it. Then we decided that we like RVing and upgraded to a 2000 Ultimate Dis-advantage; what a disaster. The Freightliner chassis gave us no problems, but the the Winnebago box was a disaster. The first year that i owned it, it was in the shop more than it was on the road, including a trip to Alaska. I never had it out without something going wrong. Some times I had to fix the same item 3 - 4 times. Parts literally fell off of the coach. The most aggravating was the leaking drain line from the kitchen sink; had to fix it at least 4 times. The Winnebago response to my written complaints was to send me unsigned from letters. After taking it in for for the fourth time for a furnace problem, I gave up and traded it for a Monaco. I am now a pleased owner and I should have done it sooner.

George
 

NWRVer

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Jul 12, 2006
Posts
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We recently purchased (upgraded) to a Fleetwood Fiesta.  We looked at the Winnie Sightseer too.  There were differences, but I felt that they were pretty close in quality and design.  Still low - mid range units.  We took the Fleetwood over the Winnie partly due to the dealer.  The Fleetwood dealer was very reputable and long standing.  The Winnie dealer had a little shop and the sales person really didn't know all that much.  Just didn't feel right with them.  So far we've been real happy with our choice.  But, and I'm expecting it, there will be problems on occasion.  You get what you pay for and need to take that into account.  A rig priced <80K will undoughtably have more issues than a rig 250k+.  I'm constantly checking on things (picky person that I am) and if something looks in question, I make sure it's working properly and is safe.  A little preventive maintenance goes along way.  My previous was a Gulfstream class C.  Many people say Gulfstream's near the bottom.  It was a 1994 and I traded it with 160k miles.  Always took care of it and only bad thing was a rear tire blowout and a broken water line (my fault).  It was showing its age and needed some brake and suspension work when we traded it in. Out side of that, and the fact that my wife was tired of climbing over the cab to sleep, it was a good rig.
 

Mike in Texas

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May 15, 2006
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56
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New Braunfels, TX
We bought a brand new 2000 VW Eurovan-based Winnebago Rialta and after three short distance shakedown trips took it on a 7000 mile 5 week tour of the northwestern US and western Canada in May and June 2000. We experienced several major breakdowns/failures including dropping all the sewer piping in Wall (South Dakota), failed vehicle A/C in snowy mountains of Wyoming rendering defrost non-funcational, broken difficult to access engine coolant hose in Alberta, burst A/C low pressure hose (with big bang and cloud of black smoke) on a mountain pass in BC, lost engine fan blade approaching north rim of Grand Canyon (required 250 mile tow to Flagstaff), and then limped home through Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas deserts with 125 degrees in the cab.

One of our big problems in getting the A/C fixed was finger pointing between Winnebago and VW. Winnebago dealers would tell us the A/C was VW's responsibility and VW dealers said it was Winnebago's responsibility since Winnebago had tapped into the VW A/C to cool the coach area while on the road. I failed to mention that whenever the gas filler cap was opened or I finished filling the tank gas belched out due to a clogged carbon canister in the filler. After our return from the trip, the unit was in the shop for four months for repairs to the A/C, the refrigerator, the CD player, the carbon canister and other things. VW could not provide a new carbon canister, could not tell us when one would be available, and would not give the unit back until it was replaced.

Half way through the 4 months (with the end point unknown), we asked Winnebago for a refund of the purchase price of $62,000 or so, providing them with a detailed chronicle of the trip, the failures, the places we had tried to get the A/C repaired, etc. They did not even do us the courtesy of responding in writing and just left a message on our answering device saying they do not give refunds. So for the first and only time in my life, I decided to sue. The lawyer we contacted recommended suing Winnebago, VW, and the dealer in Buda, TX, for deceptive trade practice rather than under the Texas lemon law. No damages were sought, just a refund and my legal expense.

The suit dragged on for three years, but we finally won in mediation. The Winnebago lawyer was extremely arrogant, asking during depositions "Just what makes you think we owe you anything?" My response was to show him the recently received Winnebago ad that stressed the Winnebago reputation for quality, to which he made no comment. Months later during mediation we were warned by the mediator that if we went before a judge and jury, we just might have a jury that would not sympathize with the "rich folks" who could afford an RV and might decide against us. The mediation took four hours rather than what we were later told normally took 2 hours. Winnebago offered us a new 2003 24 foot Winnebago Minnie which we accepted. After it was over, the mediator told us that he had told Winnebago et al that "the Kramers are extremely credible" and that Winnebago et al would lose if we went to trial.

During the three years of the lawsuit, wife's health deteriorated significantly due to an ailment she has called Sjogren's Syndrome. When we bought the Rialta she could get around pretty well. By the end of the lawsuit, she had great difficulty walking due to peripheral neuropathy and resulting collapse of her feet. She still enjoys getting out in the RV but nature walks are no longer something she can do.

The Ford E-350 based Minnie turned out to be much more reliable, but in March we decided to trade it in on something larger. Did we consider Winnebago? Not on your life. We bought a new 2006 Monaco Diplomat 40 PDQ. Monaco and Evergreen RV have so far been much more customer oriented than Winnebago and their dealer in Buda and so far we are quite pleased.
 

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