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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 08-03-2009
markusfmeyer markusfmeyer is offline
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Default FC and SP info needed

As I search for my first BB, I'm trying to figure a few things out that I'm getting conflicting or varying information on. So, thought I'd post here and see what responses I'll get.

1) For those of you with an 87 or newer FC-35, what is:
a) interior height
b) gas mileage

2) For those of you with an SP-36, what is:
a) interior height
b) gas mileage

I'm assuming the FC all have the same cat turbo engine, if not, please tell me what you have, same on the SP-36. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is online now
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Fcs came with a wide range of HP,210,230,250 and 300HP was available from the 3208 Cat engine.
It all depends on the year of the coach.
The SPs all had 300HP.
The SP is taller too.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markusfmeyer View Post
2) For those of you with an SP-36, what is:
a) interior height
b) gas mileage
The generator has a tendancy to get run a bit on mine. Without the genny I usually get in the high 6 to mid 7 mpg range. I cruised real steady and got it up to just over 8mpg once. I usually run about 65 to 68 on the interstate.
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2009
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Keep in mind our thinking & opinion is very biased toward the late model FC 35 footer, depending on your needs and how you will use a motorhome.
We do a lot of dry camping, we access many National, State, County, & remote forest camp grounds. If some one asks we say 30 or 32 foot, ( what ever they want to hear )with this Bus' turning radius we always get into a space. The late model FC is the best kept bargin secret.
Our FC is about 6'1" at the air conditioners and about 6'3 ceiling. I am about 6'0". The 87,88,89 FC's and all Sp's have the 300 Hp turbo with the air to air cooler. 5 speed tranny with internal ZF retarder. This is a great combination, at about 32,000 #, The Sp is about a foot longer & weights a little more,because the 3208 is in the rear, a little more room upfront (No Doghouse) We have no trouble in the mountains, , A real full Queen bed, and the same amenities, systems, & options as a PT of the same year. THe Silver Aniversary years have a little more detail and are special.
Do not get hung up on mileage , but we average about 7.5 mpg, flat land,
mountains, towing or not towing , That is the best it wil get.....
THe Sp is also a rare and very impressive package at a few more bucks.
They were built for a few more years.
Check out http://www.vintagebirds.com/
for specs for each model and year, & there is an 87FC just listed for $25K
This is a great price and worth investigating, there is also an 89 FC in Michigan for about $45K,, Randy has a few on his site http://www.buybyebluebird.com/
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2009
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Stick Miller Stick Miller is offline
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Ceiling height is an issue for me too. I'm looking, and it doesn't look like any FC would fit the bill for me. I'm 6'5" and most of the older Birds, Newells, Barths, etc. are too short for me. The beds in most of the same are too short.

I think I'll file an anti-discrimination suit - good luck with Bluebird and Barth - for all the tall, poor people in this world that want an affordable coach with adequate ceiling height.

I don't mind ducknig for an a/c or the occasional door frame, but I'm not going to spend my waking moments when I'm not driving in a crouched position. I'd be interested in actually walking around in a SP.

Good luck on the hunt.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2009
markusfmeyer markusfmeyer is offline
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Stick - same problem for me. I'm 6'3"-6'4" (depending how straight I stand!), so it looks like the FCs are out of the equation unfortunately. As you said, most things aren't built for tall people. Quite a shame, as I was starting to think about checking out the later FCs.
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2009
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my sp i think has plenty of room for you

with my repower its 7-8 mpg so far over 20,000 mile with gen set on most of the time......and a 14,000 lb load of trailer tractor and tools.....

i run 70+
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2009
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Default SP might be tall enough for you

SP36 standing room height clearance measures 78.5" with 76.5" under the ducted A/C intake.

Reasons we bought an SP: Wanted a BB Wanderlodge, because they are clearly the best engineered and built coaches, with serviceable, redundant systems of quality components. Wanted to spend less than $60k (in 2007). Wanted to have a rear engine for quiet ride. Wanted a modern exterior look. Wanted a light-colored interior with an open floorplan that allowed inter-action between dinette and livingroom. Wanted plenty of efficient, fluorescent lighting, both direct and indirect, smoothly integrated into the interior design. Wanted a single rear axle, and low enough weight to not be restricted on hardly any roads. Wanted length to not restrict staying in hardly any campgrounds (especially since I was planning to add a motorcycle bumper mount!). Wanted 300 horsepower to get up a mountain (in the same day I started!) Wanted a roomy bath that could be easily accessed from front or rear when we had guests staying on the comfortable pull-out couch. Wanted a mid-entry door, - with a screen door! Wanted the kitchen sink to face the “patio” side. Wanted a quiet, smooth, generator, far from the bedroom for boondocking in the summer in the desert. I looked at all the Wanderlodges, and discovered that I wanted an SP!

It seems like the SP’s are just a little less troublesome, and don’t have hardly any repair posts on the forums. I think they were just lucky in a few aspects, on little things like they don’t have the headlight-dimming issues of the earlier coaches, or the Volvo tail-light issues of the ’91 and newer coaches.

I don’t know. I think maybe I’m just a little bit prejudiced!
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2009
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Great post Fred & Wendy,

Do not give up on the older Wanderlodges FC or SP, These are real bargains, BB used several different roof A/C's low profile on the roof and some were thiner units on the interior, Also there were Cruise Airs in the basement, and no A/C's on the roof giving more interior ceiling heights.
Some have also gone to wood floors removing the thick carpet and padding. There is also a crown in the ceiling over the center isle. These Birds are atleast 12'6" , there is room someplace.
Also as we age, we shrink an inch or two .
It may be a good idea to attend a Rally and walk through a few Birds.
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2009
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Bill - I agree with you that there are variables in the FC's. Believe me, ceiling height is the first thing I ask about.

Almost equally important is the layout of the bedroom. Twin beds on most FC's I've looked at dead head at either end. About my best hope would to cut a hole in a closet or rivet a bombadeer sight to the back of the coach. In the alternative, I could sleep standing up. But wait, that won't work either. Maybe a compromise would be sleeping diagonally.


Either my head or my feet have to go somewhere and at 61 I don't seem to be shrinking. At least you'd think that the larger my waist gets, the shorter I'd get. I think an SP might be a better alternative, but I may run into the same situation. What do you think?
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