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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.

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  #1  
Old 10-16-2008
dljosephson dljosephson is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Central Coast, CA
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Default Inspection/Advice NW Washington

We are considering the 1976 FC31 that's on the VB list. I had a good talk with the owner and have an idea of what's involved, now looking for someone in the area who can go with me (or alone) to have a look.

The coach was delivered with the stock 3208 NA. The owner was in marine construction all his life, seems to be quite up on engines and systems though he now has health problems that prevent him from driving. He bought it in 1987 and used it for 8 years, putting on about 80K miles to a total of about 225K. In 1995 he did a major overhaul, installed a factory reman turbo 250, factory reman 643 transmission and a new Wrico genset with Kubota diesel engine. The gas tank was plumbed in with the main fuel, because all was now diesel. An extra drinking water tank was added that supplies only the sinks via separate pump and filter. The doghouse and exhaust were modified to accommodate the exhaust system from the turbo. He had no problems but said he was disappointed, expected more power than the 250 gave him versus the NA (but was strict about keeping the pyro below 1100, he says). Put another 95K on it from 1995 to last year. At some point the wheels were replaced with Alcoa, the tires are Michelin XZA 1100x22.5 2-3 years old, batteries last year. Recently replaced brakes and steering gear. The photos show that it's old but well kept (hopefully like most of us). My guess is that it needs normal preventive maintenance like hoses and belts but what else needs special attention at 330k miles?

It is the right size for us because there are lots of backwoods places we go. I'm not really ready to spend $80K for the Baby Bird especially since we still haven't seen any photos! Besides the age, my main reservations are about ride quality. I know from reading here that most spring-suspension owners wouldn't want airbags and vice versa. One of our uses will involve trips where one of us is driving and the other is working on a computer or doing technical drawing -- possible in an airbag bus, how difficult in a spring bus? Are there options for air ride assist in a spring bus? While I am an electrical engineer and deal with complicated electronic systems all the time, I would frankly prefer a simpler coach, less to break.

Does anyone know this coach, or anyone in the Seattle area available for an inspection? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Location: Port St Joe,Fl
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i'm still trying to get the baby bird pics,for some reason they can't get them emailed.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2008
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doszorros doszorros is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alaska and Mexico
Posts: 202
Default Mileage

David:

You stated it had 95k since the reman was installed. I used to have an FC35 and a cat engineer told me the mains should be replaced at 100k and the engine should be good for about 200k with good maintenence. He said the mains would normally be the first to go.

If I was going to replace the mains, I would probably replace the rod bearings also as a precautionary measure.

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