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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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  #11  
Old 12-04-2012
markusfmeyer markusfmeyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
There should be an equation to help you and others decide what coach fits your needs.

Budget,how much do you want to spend.
Pusher or FC.
Ceiling height.
AC systems.
Engine choice....
Great advice Randy. Just like what a good realtor would do - first list your budget, then your "must have's", then your "like to have's", then what you can do without. That will help reduce the list down to a manageable number quickly and then you go from there. Budget will quickly help you hone in on models and then you take it from there.
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2012
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78bbird 78bbird is offline
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Is there going to be a way to add/ correct data?
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1978 FC 33', SB.
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2006 Jeep TJ Wrangler X
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2012
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Can anyone verify these numbers? I know the fresh water tank size advertised and the one in my 78 were not the same. My 78 had a 62 gallon tank originally.

YEAR - LENGTH - Bedroom - FRESH - GRAY - WASTE - LP - FUEL - GENSET - MODEL
1974 - 31 -
1974 - 33 -
1975 - 35 -
1976 - 31 -
1976 - 33 -
1976 - 35 -
1977 - 31 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 7.5 KW - Kohler
1977 - 33 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 7.5 KW - Kohler
1977 - 35 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 12.5 KW - Kohler
1978 - 31 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 7.5 KW - Kohler
1978 - 33 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 7.5 KW - Kohler
1978 - 35 - Twins/Double - 62 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 12.5 KW - Kohler
1979 - 31 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 7.5 KW - Kohler
1979 - 33 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 7.5 KW - Kohler
1979 - 35 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 12.5 KW - Kohler
1979 - 35 XV - Twins/Double
1980 - 31 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 7.5 - KWKohler
1980 - 33 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 7.5 KW - Kohler
1980 - 35 - Twins/Double - 98 - 60 - 42 - 45 - 150 - 12.5 KW - Kohler
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Michael & Tami Putz
78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

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  #14  
Old 12-04-2012
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78bbird View Post
Is there going to be a way to add/ correct data?
Once I've gathered all the data we'll have to figure out a way to sent to everyone. Seems I cannot post excel sheets here? I'm seeding the data with the Vintage Birds site so anything you see there that is not accurate please let me know. Thanx..
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Michael & Tami Putz
78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

FMCA #236459, Good Sam #17270530, Vintage Birds #1509
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2012
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Should this be moved to another thread?

Didn't mean to hijack this one.
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Michael & Tami Putz
78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

FMCA #236459, Good Sam #17270530, Vintage Birds #1509
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  #16  
Old 12-04-2012
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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The decision tree needs to be a little more basic, first.

When I purchased my 'bird our plan was to
1. Full time live in the RV
2. Travel extensively throughout the U.S.
3. Expect to stay 2 to 6 weeks in some locations at some times of the year.

These travel plans suggested that certain types of RVs would be more suitable.

In addition, we had some personal preferences:

4. All metal (or nearly so) construction. (for safety)
5. Good highway handling (preference for a highway bus conversion)
6. Excellent safety record (all (or mostly) metal, highway bus)
7. Good support system (factory, user's groups, service providers)

These last desired requirements strongly moved us toward the Wanderlodge but also included other commercial bus conversion companies (Marathon, Liberty, etc.) mostly using Prevost chassis. Concerns about engineering quality ruled out most private conversions -- though there were some very nice units on the market when we were looking.

Finally, it was a matter of timing -- what was available at that moment in time when a buy decision was to be made. We spent about 5 or 6 months "looking" ... and a 'bird came on the market that members of the predecessor if this list suggested that I ought to buy "George's former coach" (then in the hands of a dealer). Indeed, that coach went up on eBay -- and I bought it.

A few things did not go as planned -- the major one being that the real estate market "melt down" made it impossible to sell our home without a major financial loss (due to the loan balance). So, keeping our house forced other changes to our plans and reduced the funds available to support a full-time lifestyle -- which also reduced our ability to travel as much as we originally wished...

We owned our 'bird for 40 months and traveled 36,000 miles through (parts of) 29 states. We tended to go on two to three month "cruises" -- and overwintered at our home in California (returning home for relatively brief periods during other seasons).

In the depths of the recession, we sold our 'bird, in part due to the expense of its operations in the face of the expenses of home ownership and shrinking assets in our investment accounts.

In 2011 we were able to buy a new RV ... but our criteria changed based on our experiences with the 'bird -- including having seen a lot of the country that we no longer need to see again...

We now plan shorter trips -- one to two weeks at a time -- closer to home (we've moved to another state). For example, we just completed an approximately 10 day trip in our new RV (a class B Sprinter van Roadtrek). The RV has shown itself to be quite reasonable for the type of travel we are focusing on at this time.

It's important to note that the purchase price of both vehicles was NOT a major factor. Indeed, the used Wanderlodge (12 years old at the time of purchase) and the brand new Roadtrek (a 2011 model on a 2010 chassis) cost essentially the same out of pocket -- though the 'bird did require about $7,000 additional expenses in the first few months to repair/replace various deficiencies -- while the Roadtrek has not required any significant outlays.

The operational aspects are quite dramatic, since the cost of operation of the 'bird averaged about $1.25 per mile (excluding RV space rental) while the Roadtrek is running less than 40 cents per mile, so far. So, in round numbers, the Roadtrek is about 1/3 the cost to operate compared to my former 'bird. While I exclude RV space rental, I note that the needs of the Roadtrek also requires cheaper facilities (30 amp, 23 feet) than the 65 feet (with toad) pull through, 50 amp sites required by our 'bird.

The point is that you need to consider your travel "needs" (wants) first ... then examine the solutions that are available. If 7 foot headroom is an absolute requirement ... then the Alfa line of RVs is pretty much "it" -- though I'd suggest that the Alfa might prove deficient in many other ways. (I note that my "serious" interest in getting an RV was inspired by a test drive of an Alfa -- but comments on various RV-centric online discussion groups caused me to more carefully consider my "must have" criteria that eliminated the Alfa models from consideration.)

When building your decision tree criteria, it's also important to clarify "must have" from "desirable" features. e.g. one "must" for me was the safety of an all (mostly) steel body -- but a DD S-60 engine was ranked as a "desirable" feature that swayed my choice to a '95 42 foot model from a 94, 40 foot model that I was also considering (where pricing was similar).

Finally, it's not so much the statistics of each model year that's important. It boils down to the condition of the particular coach(es) that you're considering. While the pros and cons of cruise air AC might favor roof top units -- a particularly good coach with cruise air might actually be a better choice than another example with roof top AC.

The best advice is "condition is everything."
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(former) 95 WBDA 42'
(now) 2011 Roadtrek RS-Adventerous
Ridgefield, WA
aeonix1@me.com
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2012
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtpn60 View Post
Once I've gathered all the data we'll have to figure out a way to sent to everyone. Seems I cannot post excel sheets here? I'm seeding the data with the Vintage Birds site so anything you see there that is not accurate please let me know. Thanx..
Note that repairs/upgrades made by owners can affect some of the statistics (e.g. water/holding tanks replaced with slightly different sizes -- or a generator replacement, etc.)

If you can make a PDF from the spread sheet, you can post the PDF.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2012
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteaeonix View Post
Note that repairs/upgrades made by owners can affect some of the statistics (e.g. water/holding tanks replaced with slightly different sizes -- or a generator replacement, etc.)

If you can make a PDF from the spread sheet, you can post the PDF.
Good idea.. but the advantage of the spreadsheet is to be able to sort by feature thus producing a new sheet with your results. Also, the info I'm looking for is STOCK build. I know lots of modifications have occured over the years. Also, my spreadsheet was more a comparison than a shopping guide.

As Randy & Pete eluded to a good flow chart can be made fairly easily once all the specs are obtained.
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Michael & Tami Putz
78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

FMCA #236459, Good Sam #17270530, Vintage Birds #1509
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2012
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gcyeaw gcyeaw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtpn60 View Post

As Randy & Pete eluded to a good flow chart can be made fairly easily once all the specs are obtained.

And then you can outsource it to an overseas help desk
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  #20  
Old 12-04-2012
kb0zke kb0zke is offline
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Since Randy has offered the assistance of this fine group in spending our money, here's where we are as far as a search.

Budget. $40,000 to include approximately $10,000 for upgrades/repairs necessary. Obviously a coach that needs no additional work would be worth more than one that needs additional work.

Pusher or FC. Pusher.


Ceiling height. 6' 5" would work just fine. As I said, the tallest family member (so far) is our son at 6' 2" (we have two unmarried daughters), so that would give him some clearance. Jo Ann is right at 6' so she shouldn't be bothered at all.

AC systems. Quiet is good. I guess I pretty much prefer the rooftop units since they don't take up basement space.

Engine choice. No real preference. From all I've read, each engine has advantages and disadvantages.

Length. We're looking at 36-40' coaches. We've seen some 36' coaches that would probably work just fine for us as far as layout is concerned, and some 40+' coaches that we couldn't stand.

Width. We prefer WB, but a standard body could work with the right layout.

Entrance. We have a slight preference for a mid-entry, but not a strong one.

Tag axle. No strong preference. From what I gleaned some months ago, a 36' single axle would have approximately the same basement space as a 40' with a tag.

Just got called for supper, so after supper I'll post some links to some of Randy's offerings and comment on them. No, I'm not going to say anything greatly critical of any of them, so owners, don't worry. Also, I pray that your coaches sell quickly, so that they aren't there when we're ready to start looking to buy.
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