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looking at a 1989 winnebago elanden, Do you have any thoughts..rv…

I am looking at a...
I am looking at a 1989 Winnebago Elanden, Do you have any thoughts on the pluses and minuses of this unit and anything that should be particularly looked at when buying this unit used? i.e issues that it may have but may go unnoticed by a first time RV buyer.
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Answered in 40 minutes by:
3/9/2012
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 10 years ago
Robert
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 23,916
Experience: 23 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
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Hi There!!

Thanks for Choosing Just Answer...

The minus is this is an older unit. The plus is Winnebago is still in business and that is good in case hard to find parts are needed.
Starting with the engine, I would ask for maintenance records.Owners that have routine maintenance done, such as oil, fuel filter, coolant, transmission fluid, lubing the chassis have far less problems then owners that ignore it. Make sure you drive the unit and it has enough power and everything is operating correctly. Listen for a ticking noise when the unit is put in drive, that would indicate leaking exhaust manifold gaskets or a cracked manifold. Most of these have a dog house in the front you can access the engine and may not be a bad idea to inspect...

The Interior, Start on the roof, make sure all the vents, fixtures, hardware is sealed, no cracks or voids. IF it has a rubber membrane, make sure it has no rips or bubbles. Water leaks can happen if the roof has been ignored, it should be clean and sealed properly. the average roof repair is about 5K. Make sure the roof is uniform from front to back, meaning no soft spots, it should flex a bit.
Next I would go inside and request the water tank be filled, run all the fixtures and look for leaks, units that sit in cold climates can have problems with lines cracking if the system is not winterized. That also is a very expensive repair.
Next I would run all the LP appliances, make sure they are working and have the owner show you how to operate them.
IF this has a generator make sure it starts and allows AC power into the RV with it unplugged from the land line.
Make sure you operate all the 12 volt and AC appliances.
What you can also do is bring along a polarity checker, this will plug into the outlets. It will tell you if there is a wiring issue inside the RV such as a short or ground, the RV will have to be plugged into a land line or shore power to check. Home depot sells them for a few dollars.
Winnebago makes a good product and around this time RV'S were built more solid in my opinion. The big items would be the roof and plumbing system. Also if you walk in the unit and smell mildew it is a good indication that it has been leaking.

Hope this helps, IF you have more questions or concerns please feel free to contact me!

Thank you!!! Please hit ACCEPT for my efforts, Positive feedback and BONUS welcomed!!!
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Customer reply replied 10 years ago
Thank you, that's a great start, Is this particular year/model prone to any defects I heard the 454 chevy had overeheating and vapor lock issues?
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 10 years ago

OK

 

Not that I am aware of, I would be concerned if it was a Ford 460 as they run hotter then the 454 and can cause all kinds of issues due to the heat..... If there was an issue with the coolant system or the fan not working correctly then it could overheat. I would drive this unit a good distance and keep an eye on all your temps. I would also inspect any rubber hoses in the engine compartment make sure they are not brittle or cracked as that can be a sign of high heat, and look for any heat shields that may have been added. Sometimes you will see a heat shield near the starter to protect it from excess heat, what happens when that starter gets overheated you can get a no start condition after the engine is hot but then will start when it cools of, would just be something to look for.

 

Robert

 

Thank you!!! Please hit ACCEPT for my efforts, Positive feedback and BONUS welcomed!!!

 

 

Robert
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 23,916
Experience: 23 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
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Customer reply replied 10 years ago
I accepted the last answer and thank you but as I am looking for more indepth information from this site ,, it would be great if you could do get some specific information related to this motorhome.. any contacts with other mechanics who have worked on them , recall items etc. Thanks !
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 10 years ago

Let me see what I can find out for you..... It is really difficult, from my experince working on these it really depends how well it has been maintained. But let me see if I can find out of any known recalls for this year...

 

Robert

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Customer reply replied 10 years ago
Thanks
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 10 years ago

OK

 

So I did look up any recalls for this year and model. 1 is showing for the fuel tank. The fuel tank could leak at the seams or baffle connection. I would suspect this would have been taken care off, but it is just another item for you to check out.

Also make sure you check the tires out, most newer tires will have a DOT stamp on them with the date and year, even if the tires look good they should be replaced no later then 7 years...

 

Robert

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