bbrigham

2001 Winnebago On A Spartan Chassis

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bbrigham   

I am considering purchasing in a 01 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom on a Spartan Chassis with only 10,000 miles on it what should I be looking for and where for known issues?

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wolfe10   

bbrigham,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

By far the biggest issue is to determine that it has had the proper "care and feeding" over the last 16 years. 

If you are not very familiar with both chassis and RV house systems, I strongly suggest you hire someone to do a mechanical inspection for you.

Pay particular attention to the roof seams, signs of water leaks, age of tires, etc.  All stuff anyone familiar with that vintage/brand would be familiar with.

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FIVE   

Very few miles for a 16 year old coach.  Be sure to check the maintenance records (engine, trans, gen, etc, for fluids and filters), tires, all seals, parts rubber/plastic and as noted above....water leaks.  Has it been stored inside or outside, that will make a big difference?  These diesels like to run, not sit.

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lenp   

I have a year newer version of this coach.  Mine had 60,000 when I purchased it five years ago.  It has been a great coach but I have put some money into it.  

First was a thorough third party inspection of the chassis (motor, transmission, suspension, etc.) prior to purchase for about $400.

Second was new drive tires due to them being over 12 years old (dealer $1200, me $1200).

Third was ALL fluids were replaced to include differential, front hubs, hydraulic coolant system fluid, and engine coolant immediately after purchase ($2500).  I have NOT changed the fluid for the jacks and slides.

Fourth was a complete front end suspension refurbishment and new shocks all around last year ($5,000).

Fifth was a new set of steer tires due to them being eight years old and we were leaving on a 10,000 mile trip ($1200).  Should note that it drives like a dream now!

I have had other problems including (1) a hydraulic fluid leak to the bedroom slide system that required a hose replacement, (2) throttle position sensor issue that required replacement of the ECM wiring connector, (3) bedroom slide out issue that required replacement of some of the control wiring, and (4) a bad solenoid on the jack/slide hydraulic pump.  Fortunately I have been able to troubleshoot and do most of my own repairs saving a ton of cash.  

When you buy an older coach you MUST expect to find a few problems.  When I purchased the coach (from a dealer) I also purchased an extended warranty for five years because I was concerned about potential chassis problems (i.e., transmission, engine, etc,) and figured a transmission could easily cost $10,000 to repair or replace so figured the extra was worth it for peace of mind if nothing else.  The warranty did cover part of the cost of the ECM connector and associated wiring issues but I actually came out on the short end of the deal on that.

Would I jump on the coach your looking at?  Probably if the price is right.  Anything under $40,000 is probably not a bad deal.  The low mileage really is a challenge.

Please feel free to PM me if you have more questions.  Can get a phone number to you if you want to talk more.

Lenp

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I would think $40,000 would be on the hi side. PPL has a 2003 for $40,000. Low milage may not be a good thing in this case. I bet the tires are original with great tread.:o 

By the way bbrigham, welcome to the forum. I don't want to rain on your find. It could be great but it could cost you more than if you bought a newer coach (not new) that had been taken care of. 

The BIG question is can you do some of the work yourself, maintenance and repairs/upgrades? If so you might make out. When negotiating keep in mind a new set of shoes is going to be in the $3300 range. I just replaced my tires using the Continental program. 

Keep us updated.

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bbrigham   

Thank you all for your input. I'm going to crawl under it tonight preferably before it start with about four flashlights a blanket and a sheet of cardboard. I am familiar with repairing coach systems but not familiar with the air suspension and air brakes. Will be going over everything looking for dry rot or cracking. Airbags tires hoses belts ball joint boots Etc then hopefully I can get on the roof it is a one-piece fiberglass roof. I will then attempt to go through the interior and check all of the components. I called the chassis Factory and Winnebago and ran the VIN numbers for any recalls or service notices. This guy is the original owner and head the odometer replaced in 03 at that time with 5000 miles on it. I will have to check all the systems and it looks like a lot of them. I can assume it does need tires and maybe some other minor things but not willing to get into a lot of work as my 2000 Damon V10 purrs like a kitten and I keep it that way. I do believe my biggest concern is the lack of mileage. Wish me luck.

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The Spartan chassis to me would be a big plus, I really like the ride and steering on a Spartan, you will be surprised how agile that unit is, I owned two and have driven many.

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manholt   
Quote

 

Spartan here, K2...love it.  My only thought, in 16 years I would like to see 80,000+ miles on it.  Mine as you can see is 7 years old and has 74,000+ on it. :)

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10 hours ago, bbrigham said:

Thank you all for your input. I'm going to crawl under it tonight preferably before it start with about four flashlights a blanket and a sheet of cardboard. I am familiar with repairing coach systems but not familiar with the air suspension and air brakes. Will be going over everything looking for dry rot or cracking. Airbags tires hoses belts ball joint boots Etc then hopefully I can get on the roof it is a one-piece fiberglass roof. I will then attempt to go through the interior and check all of the components. I called the chassis Factory and Winnebago and ran the VIN numbers for any recalls or service notices. This guy is the original owner and head the odometer replaced in 03 at that time with 5000 miles on it. I will have to check all the systems and it looks like a lot of them. I can assume it does need tires and maybe some other minor things but not willing to get into a lot of work as my 2000 Damon V10 purrs like a kitten and I keep it that way. I do believe my biggest concern is the lack of mileage. Wish me luck.

I do wish you luck. One other thing you might do is get sampling kits from Blackstone and sample the engine oil and transmission. This will let you know about some of the big show stoppers like coolant in the oil or excessive wearer metals.

https://www.blackstone-labs.com/

You will need a pump to.

Bill

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RAYIN   

We bought a 2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom 40JD April 2013, with 23,xxx miles. It had been parked in the owners barn for 6 years after he became too ill to drive it (he advertised his business at NASCAR events).  I knew going it there would be maintenance problems pop up, so we bought the Camping World 3yr extended service contract too. No major problem arose during those 3 years, but the 3yr ESC paid for itself+deductibles. I did not renew the ESC and haven't had further problems as they were all addressed in the initial 3 yrs of traveling in our MH. All claims we filed were for the coach part of our MH, none filed for chassis problems.

The Granning IFS has a known problem for deteriorating rubber boots around the ball joints. Total replacement ball joint replacement is required, as the boot is made on the ball joint. I've never replace mine though, I used a needle point on my grease gun to lube them, then wrapped them with shrink-wrap plastic. It's work OK so far.

Parts and accessories are still available, in fact I just bought new plastic defroster vents(plastic embrittles with time) for our MH through Amazon.

If you decide to purchase this UF, pm me and I'll send you my list of references, catalogs, etc.; which reminds me, Winnebago maintains an extensive list of drawings-both electrical and plumbing, and a catalog of parts used in the building of their RV's, which I think goes back into the 1990's, on their website. Newer than 2001 has a parts  lookup by coach serial number=specific to building that unit.

 

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bbrigham   

Well I go Vin and climbed under the RV. All four ball joint boots are cracked. Two of the leveling jacks are leaking. Hydraulic oil tank was empty power steering and fan were working but there seems to be a leak coming from the upper part of the pump drooping down. Refrigerator vent was broken and refrigerator wasn't working. The brakes were kind of grabbing but all of the airbags and hoses look free of dry rot the electric awning wasn't working and needs for rear tires. The price on the unit will have to come down substantially. Anybody have ideas on the hydro leak what it might be? To replace it the pump is 695 in labor 360 through Spartan.

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RAYIN   

The Spartan factory charges around $2,000-$2,500 to replace 4 ball-joints, as reported by other Spartan owners.  Leveling jacks are HWH brand, I remember reading the outside seal is replaceable but never tried myself. The HWH FAQ page answers virtually all common/frequent questions. The frig vent  exterior panel may have to be custom-made if a used one is not available from an RV salvage yard. The hyd pump leak may require replacement, the hardest part will be completely purging the hyd system of air since Spartan does not recommend flushing the system or even changing the AW 32 hyd oil unless the oil is contaminated or discolored. The drum brakes are likely badly rusted, which may clear themselves up with judicious driving for the first 50 or so miles, less if town driving.

 IMO, there are too many other motorhomes on the market to knowingly buy a MH in disrepair. Keep in mind this chassis is made to perform for over a million miles of daily use. I like my Spartan chassis, however, I would not let chassis brand stop me from purchasing a MH in great condition, as each have their own quirks.

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bbrigham   

Well I put a purchase offer on it. The hydraulic pump problem was a low pressure hose on the bottom cracked and leaking. I filled it up with oil and power steering and fan was working fine. The brakes did clear up a bit. The refrigerator had a box in the back that was tripped I bypassed it and frigerator started to work. I've been looking at this thing figure out all the problems so the guy could sell it to someone else right LOL. Let's see if my offer is good enough I won't go much higher.

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RAYIN   

That "box" on the back of the frig is a recall item installed at mfgrs expense to prevent the boiler tube from overheating, it may be reset with a strong magnet held on top of the box. There are several reason it trips,  carry a magnet in  your toolbox.

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bbrigham   

The refrigerator roof vent is missing water got down in the back and think that might have tripped the refrigerator thermal box. The hydraulic pump is okay the low pressure hose has cracks and was leaking.

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manholt   

Look very carefully for any water intrusion in side walls, celling and especially between fridge and wall,  if water got in through roof vent, it can lead to delamination...any "squishy" areas? 

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bbrigham   

Well I did purchase the unit at what I consider a reasonable price for the amount of work I have to do. There is a little bit of minor discoloration in the bathroom ceiling which is next to the refrigerator putting a vent on it immediately is there anything I should do to prevent possible delamination none visible at this point?

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Well congratulations. Now you need to put it and some other info in your signature and profile.

You might run the A/C  for a while to help dry the interior out plus it probably would be good for you to run the generator to. OK talk about how old is the diesel in the coach? If the tires are OK I would run it with a double dose of Diesel Kleen. I would start with a double dose in the next tank to. Plan on doing a complete "annual" maintenance to get a baseline.

Have fun, if you have questions just ask.

Bill

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bbrigham   

It is an old one: Winnebago Ultimate Freedom with 10000 miles.

Two tires and the front are two years old. The four on the rear are 6 years old.

It does need the ball joints replaced and lower hydraulic hose off reservoir tank. No dry rot underneath airbags or hoses.

Refrigerator tripped the thermal unit. I had reset it and seems to be running fine but now having issues with no flame. Will be looking into thermal coupler and igniters etc.

Electric patio awning needs work probably broken spring not sure yet. All window awnings need the poles replaced as they have broke.

Inverter works fine but will not pass AC through it or charge batteries. Probably will find more as time goes on.

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On the front of your inverter look for  a couple of push buttons that are just slightly raised circles upper left. one on left is INVERT and CHARGE on the right.  Try pushing the button and any reset buttons. Look for any circuit breakers that may be tripped. Look at the status lights. You can download a manual from the manufacturer.

Bill 

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11 hours ago, bbrigham said:

It is an old one: Winnebago Ultimate Freedom with 10000 miles.

Two tires and the front are two years old. The four on the rear are 6 years old.

It does need the ball joints replaced and lower hydraulic hose off reservoir tank. No dry rot underneath airbags or hoses.

Refrigerator tripped the thermal unit. I had reset it and seems to be running fine but now having issues with no flame. Will be looking into thermal coupler and igniters etc.

Electric patio awning needs work probably broken spring not sure yet. All window awnings need the poles replaced as they have broke.

Inverter works fine but will not pass AC through it or charge batteries. Probably will find more as time goes on.

Congrats on buying a work in progress.  Your going to learn a lot about it.

If you have no flame it could be that the lines have air in them from sitting so long.  Try to light the stove top - once those are going turn them off and then try the fridge again.

Does the fridge work on shore power or with the generator?

Not sure how the inverter works fine with no AC and no charging of the batteries?

Good luck and post a picture of it when you can.

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bbrigham   

Taking our other rig out for a few days. Won't have time to work on the Freedom till next week.

Refrigerator: not sure if works on 110 or Shore power as of yet. Have not had the chance to plug in. Generator is Onan quiet diesel 7.5 and purrs like a kitten.

Need to have vent put on over refrigerator immediately. As rain and moisture is getting in. Not a good thing. That has been ordered but I will be covering tonight with plastic bag and cardboard because of possible rain and make sure everything is off.

Inverter I'm going to try drawing a large load through it and see if it will kick the relays in place.

IMG950445.jpg

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bbrigham   

Taking our other rig out for a few days won't have time to work on the freedom till next week. Refrigerator not sure if works on 110 or Shore power as of yet. Have not had the chance to plug in. Generator is Onan quiet diesel 7.5 and purrs like a kitten. Need to have vet put on over refrigerator immediately. As rain and moisture is getting in. Not a good thing. That has been ordered but I will be covering tonight with plastic bag and cardboard because of possible rain and make sure everything is off. Inverter I'm going to try drawing a large load through it and see if it will kick the relays in place.

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