Wanderlodge Owners Group  
BuyByeBlueBird.com
Donate

Go Back   Wanderlodge Owners Group > For Sale Or Wanted > Buying a Wanderlodge, a Bluebird or any RV

Buying a Wanderlodge, a Bluebird or any RV Ready to take the plunge or looking to upgrade and you have questions? Folks are standing by ready to help.

Site Search:
Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-10-2008
chaaur's Avatar
chaaur chaaur is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: St. Albans
Posts: 198
Default Upgrade Question

Hey Everyone,

I am thinking of upgrading to a 91 or 92 bird. What do you all think is the best overall year of bird?

Charlie & Aura Shannon
Saint Albans, WV
81 FC 35 SB
Wintering at South Padre Island, TX
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-10-2008
peteaeonix's Avatar
peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
Former Bird Owner
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ridgefield
Posts: 2,010
Default reply to upgrade question

Choosing the "best" year is tough as you need additional criteria to narrow down your choices.

Essentially, you can divide Wanderlodges into several general groups by type and length:

FCs (various lengths) - a 31' and a 35' have significant differences in interior and basement space. Someone who wants better maneuverability might prefer a 31' while one who wants more space in a front-engine 'bird might prefer a 35.

SPs, mostly about 36', are (according to Randy) the Corvette of the pusher 'birds. If ease of handling and a smaller overall size is a serious consideration, this may be a factor to consider.

PTs (and related models) first divide between 96" body and 102" wide body models. That also corresponds to "classic" (school bus appearance) and "modern" style appearance. The wide body models have fiberglas end caps, the 96" body ends are steel.

PTs come in 38, 40, and 42-43' lengths. Again, length comes into play. It has an impact on handling, especially in tight situations.

Engines are DD 8v92 or Series 60. Series 60 is in the 42/43' coaches. The extra length was added to accommodate the longer Series 60 engine. Note: Over 40' may require a different driver's license. In California, 40' and less you can use a normal class C license. Over 40' a "non commercial class B" driver's license is required. That's a consideration. The driver's test can be somewhat of a hurdle...

Later "PTs" may be LX, or LXI models. Then there's the 380 and 450 models that share the PT general layout. These have a variety of Cummins and other engine choices. There's also the BMC to consider. The BMC uses an RV (Roadmaster?) chassis, but with a Blue Bird built body, fittings, and interior.

There's some debate over the presence or absence of rivets in the body. Later 'birds don't have 'em. Engineering-wise this may be a non-issue, but there are certainly some emotional response from some on the list on the topic. If I recall correctly, rivets disappeared with the 97 model.

Myself, I decided to go with a unit that had a Series 60 engine. Nothing wrong with the 8v92 -- except it's been out of production for more than a decade and finding technicians who're familiar with it gets progressively more difficult, especially as old-timers retire. The Series 60 is currently being produced, so DD mechanics are generally familiar with it. (So, score some points for DD Series 60, in my opinion.)

So, if you want rivets and a series 60, that leaves the 95 and 96 42/43 ft. models in contention.

I could argue that the models with AquaHot furnace/domestic hot water are a real plus, at least from a convenience standpoint. But A-H didn't come in until '94 or '95. There's nothing wrong with the previous furnace and water heating system, so that difference doesn't really rule anything out. Although some earlier systems are sometimes more difficult to get parts for.

If you want slide-outs, those didn't appear until about 2000 or 2001 (I'm not sure which year).

Finally, budget must be considered. 95 and 96, 42/43 ft. 'birds are going to be priced from about $120,000 to $175,000, or so. That's a fair piece of change for most of us. If you have a budget above about $300,000 then the 'birds with slide-outs become affordable.

So, in large part, the "best" year for a Blue Bird Wanderlodge might depend on how much money you want to spend on your next 'bird. If a '91 or '92 is about where your budget takes you, then it doesn't do much good to suggest that a 2003 bird for $395,000 is a "good buy"... (Or even the 2006 brand new 'Birds offered as "close out" deals for (what was it?) about $650,000. The few left-overs that CCW is selling off represent a _great_ deal -- but if it's more than you have, it can't be considered!)

So, my suggestion is to determine your budget for a new (to you) 'bird. Set aside about $10,000 for "unexpected" repairs or upgrades, then go shopping for the most 'bird you can get for the money you have. If you want a wide body (post '89) then go for whatever catches your fancy. Check the Vintage Bird web site to see when certain features came in, if there's something in particular you want to have.

When I first started looking at Wanderlodges, I decided I wanted air suspension rather than metal springs. That ruled out all 'birds before 1982 or so... As I passed through the various stages as a wannabe, I learned more and more about the various pluses and minuses of the different models and years. I ruled out FCs -- the doghouse struck me as being claustrophobic (for me) and I didn't want engine noise to be so close. And so on... Ultimately, the features and budget were in close alignment, and I made a choice from the selection of qualifying coaches available at that time.

Pete Masterson
'95 Blue Bird Wanderlodge WBDA 42
El Sobrante CA
aeonix1@mac.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-16-2008
chaaur's Avatar
chaaur chaaur is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: St. Albans
Posts: 198
Default

Pete
Thanks for the reply, I would like to have series 60, looks it will have to be 95 or 96

Thanks
Charlie & Aura Shannon
Saint Albans, West Virginia
81 FC 35 SB
Wintering at South Padre Island, Texas
__________________

Charlie & Aura Shannon
Saint Albans, West Virginia
1993 40' WLWB
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Web Search:

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.