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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Buying Advice: '04 Fleetwood Southwind

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EndlessRide

Albuquerque

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Posted: 03/03/12 08:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all,

I'm lucky enough to be in the position to take a 6mo leave of absence to do what I've long said I'd do if I won the lottery: Buy an RV and drive around the Mountain West, mountain and road cycling along the way. My plan is to spend 4-6mo traveling around the West, with 4-10 days spent in any given place. I'll be working from NM to AZ, UT, CO, ID, and- if the gas money holds out- up to southern OR. It's an intentionally loose plan...

So, never haven driven anything larger than a Sprinter, I'm suddenly in the RV market.

I've looked at a number of Class A and C units in my price range and the nicest I've found so far is a 2004 Fleetwood Southwind 32' Class A with 22,500mi. It seems well kept and the floorplan seems nice. It'll just be me and 3 bicycles (likely hung in place of the recliner), so there should be plenty of room.

My question is: is there anything that I should be aware/afraid of with the Southwind? Interior & tires look good, and it sits on a Workhorse (GM) chassis. I will probably spring for an extended warranty to cover any large unexpected expenses. Is there anything else that I should look for?

Thanks for all of your help!

Ka Ron

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Posted: 03/03/12 08:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 98 Southwind 36' with Ford 460 with over 80,000 miles and it is still going strong.

If the units are regularly maintained you should have no issues.
Have them mechanically checked and get an RV tech to check out all the coach.


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Weathertodd221

FL

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Posted: 03/03/12 08:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

not sure what coverage you'd get on a 2004 but you might keep that money in your wallet if you plan on driving. Make sure teh brakes/speedometer has been replaced under warranty and it should be trouble free.
Its also at an age where the tires may/may not need to be replaced. Thats about $3k easy.

hottubkid

SCHAUMBURG,IL

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Posted: 03/03/12 09:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check to see if the recalls are done. Brakes, Hitch, insterment panel. Also believe you have a refer recall to have done. Two flat metal panels running under the coach on the sides of the drive shaft. mine were loose and had to be rewelded. Good luck and be happy


hottubkid60193@yahoo.com
2004 SOUTHWIND 36E Tow 2003 CRV


othertonka

Stockton, CA

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Posted: 03/03/12 09:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the same unit. You say the tires look OK but if they are original, they are going on 8 years old and should be replaced now. If everything else is OK, try and negotiate a deal for new tires, preferably Michelins, as that is what came on it original and will give you the best ride in my opinion. The 8.1 engine is strong and the 5 speed Alison is great. Only expect to get 7.5 Miles per gallon with the 2004 Southwind. You can check the DOT code on the sidewall of the tires to check what year they were made. If original the tires were likely made in 2003 for a 2004 MH. There was a recall/repair needed on the refridgerator,and a recall on the brakes, might want to see if both of those recalls have been done, otherwise I have had no problems


Othertonka
2004 Southwind 32VS 8.1 Workhorse chassis
2002 CRV Toad
U. S. Gear Unified brake system
Retired Fire Captain, SFD


EndlessRide

Albuquerque

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Posted: 03/04/12 07:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great- thank all of your for the points. I'll check on the recalls (would Fleetwood have a database?) and the tire age.

Othertonka: as far as the mileage goes, with your driving style is 7.5mpg much better or worse than other As or Cs of a similar size? I've been told to expect 6-10 and 8-10 depending on driving style... Thanks again!

Valkyriebush

Yuma, Az/Chimacum, Wa

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Posted: 03/04/12 07:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Southwind is a fine RV, get any needed fix items in writing, have chassis serviced and enjoy the adventure. Learn all the systems before leaving. Get an Emergency road service provider. Have fun and live your dream!


Command Master Chief (AW) USN, (ret)
2003 Fleetwood Excursion 330 Turbo Cat 39D
2000 Jeep GC
2005 Big Ruckus (Rides Behind Jeep)
2003 VTX 1800

bsinmich

Holland, MI

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Posted: 03/04/12 09:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you can get the VIN # you can go the Workhorse website and see what has been done for recalls. Workhorse w ould not be responsible for the refrigerator. Any local service on the ref. would be able to tell you if it has been done. I drive fairly easy and get 8+mpg all the time with the Vue in tow.


2003 Newmar Mountain Aire, Workhorse W22, 2008 Saturn Vue, Falcon 5250, & US Gear Unified Tow Brake

Neumann

Las Vegas,NV

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Posted: 03/04/12 11:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just so you sleep better I would make sure you get the extended warranty. We really like or 36' Southwind. It has 52,000 miles and the engine went out 3 weeks ago. Needs a new one and the cost it unbelievable. Don't know what I'd have done without the warranty.
Hal

rvrepairnut

bc

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Posted: 03/04/12 12:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

othertonka wrote:

I have the same unit. You say the tires look OK but if they are original, they are going on 8 years old and should be replaced now. If everything else is OK, try and negotiate a deal for new tires, preferably Michelins, as that is what came on it original and will give you the best ride in my opinion. The 8.1 engine is strong and the 5 speed Alison is great. Only expect to get 7.5 Miles per gallon with the 2004 Southwind. You can check the DOT code on the sidewall of the tires to check what year they were made. If original the tires were likely made in 2003 for a 2004 MH. There was a recall/repair needed on the refridgerator,and a recall on the brakes, might want to see if both of those recalls have been done, otherwise I have had no problems


go to Toyo tires.Less money and RIDE MUCH better, been there and done that

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