J. Dawg Journeys

My Winnebago View – A 50,000 Mile Repair Record

I’ve written a couple of posts about my Winnebago View.  When I first acquired it in 2014, I wrote about the motorhome in this post – Living Large in a Small Motorhome.  Then I wrote a Two Year Summary about my experience over the first two years.

I’ve now owned my View for three years.  In that time, I’ve put over 50,000 miles on the unit.  I just brought it to the RV dealer for the annual routine service.  While having this work done, I thought that it may be helpful to some if I shared my Winnebago View repair record.

Routine Maintenance

I bought my unit new in 2014.  I paid a lot of money for this RV and spend about half my time living in it as a second home.  As such, I’m attentive to the having all the necessary scheduled maintenance done on the unit.

On the chassis part of the RV, I’ve done all the recommended maintenance per the Mercedes-Benz schedule.  The DEF tank is refilled every 500-1000 miles.  I don’t wait for the low-level alarm to come on.  I also check the tire pressure is each month.

The routine maintenance for the unit is pretty simple – oil changes, fuel filter replacement, and air filter replacement on a regular schedule.  I do most of the routine stuff myself.  The MB dealer replaced the brake fluid at 45,000 miles per the schedule and I’m due to have the transmission fluid changed at 60,000.

On the Winnebago coach parts, I check the battery fluid levels each month.  I flush the water heater and sanitize the water system twice each year.  Each year when I go to Florida, I have all the appliances checked and serviced at the RV dealer where I purchased the unit.  They check and clean all the propane burn chambers.

I also have them check the AC unit and replace the filter in the unit.  The propane system is tested each year for leaks.  I service the generator each year by changing the oil, spark plug, and air filter.  I also clean out the spark arrestor.

One of the universal truths with owning an RV is accepting the fact that things are going to break. I feel that my RV has been relatively reliable, but I’ve had stuff break that needed service.  In the next two sections, I summarize the things I’ve experienced on the Mercedes-Benz chassis and on the Winnebago coach.

Chassis Repairs

  1. Between 11,600 and 12,300 miles I had several intermittent CEL alarms that were due to a tank of bad fuel.
  2. At 12,500 miles, I had to have the DEF tank recalibrated with the on board computer.  I got a false reading about the tank being empty when it was actually full.  It caused a CEL light and low DEF alarm to come on.  I brought it to a MB dealer in Albuquerque and they did the work under warranty.
  3. At 17,900 miles, I had the downstream NOX sensor generate false readings to the SCR system. This failure caused a CEL, low DEF alarm, and a ten restart alarm.  I had my local MB dealer replace the part under warranty.
  4. At 35,500 miles, I replaced the original OEM tires with Michelin LTX M/S 2 tires at a cost of $1,340.
  5. At 47,800 miles, I had the crankshaft position sensor replaced.  The problem showed itself when the RV would unexpectedly jump out of gear and lose power.  I was able to drive it to a MB dealer in Maine and they found a faulty crankshaft position sensor.  The part was replaced under warranty.
  6. At 49,200 miles, I had the restraint system malfunction alarm come on.  This didn’t cause any problem with the operation of the RV.  My local MB dealer found a fault driver side seat belt clasp and replaced it.  This was not covered under warranty and cost $388 to replace.

 

Coach Repairs

  1. At delivery of the unit, the Norcold 3-way refrigerator would not cool.  The unit was replaced under warranty before we left the RV dealers lot.
  2. At one year, the Coleman Mach 8 Rooftop AC unit would not cool.  I brought it to the dealer and the problem was a faulty pressure sensor.  The dealer replaced the complete AC unit under warranty.
  3. After two years, I replaced the original 2 NAPA dual purpose 12V coach batteries with two new 12V deep cycle batteries at a cost of $160.
  4. At two years, the roof top AC unit would not cool again.  This problem turned out to be a defective cooling fan that broke inside the unit and tripped the overload switch.  I had a mobile RV repair tech replace the fan at a cost of $230.
  5. At two years, WInnebago issued a recall for the high pressure propane hose off the propane tank.  I had this recall work done at the RV dealer.  There was no charge.
  6. At two years, while having the annual propane system tested, the dealer found a faulty propane regulator on the propane tank,  This was replaced at a cost of $228.

 

Summary

Overall, I’m satisfied with the repair experience of my unit.  On the chassis problems, most have been warning lights.  None have been severe enough to impair the operation of the unit.

I’ve learned that it’s important to use name brand diesel fuel and to stay away from biodiesel. The exhaust after treatment system is complex and can be the source of failures that doesn’t exist on a gas engines.  However, the diesel engine repair interval is long (15,000 between oil changes) so routine maintenance is easy to do once per year.

On the coach, having the two major appliance failures was somewhat concerning but luckily they both happened under warranty.

I’ve been pleased with the unit and have no regrets with my purchase.  I consider most of my repairs to be consistent with what I’ve heard from other owners.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

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13 thoughts on “My Winnebago View – A 50,000 Mile Repair Record

  1. Don

    Thanks for your blog. Its very helpful. My wife and I are researching for an RV to do some exploring throughout the US. The View looks like what we,re looking for.
    My question (one of many) is: In your travels have you found that other brands of RVs have more or less maintenance/reliabilty issues? Im looking to be able to enjoy the trip with as few problems as possible. I realize things do break. Im just willing to pay for a better RV upfront if thats possible.

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Don,
      Thanks for reading my blog. I only have experience with two RV’s – my Winnebago View and a Roadtrek 190 class B.
      The Roadtrek was a good vehicle and I only had two minor issues with the coach over two years of ownership – a broken exhaust hanger and a broken cabinet latch.
      Most of the Class C RV’s are built on either the Sprinter 3500 chassis or the Ford E-450. The Ford is a gas engine and the Sprinter is diesel. The Sprinter can be a little “finicky” with fuel quality and the exhaust after treatment (DEF). You won’t have those issues to worry about on the Ford E-450. But you will spend more on fuel with Ford – 8-9 mpg vs 15-17 mpg with the Sprinter.
      On coach quality, my only council is to not let the unit price be your primary factor in selecting a vendor. Select a company that has a good quality record and who had been around for the long haul. Is there a large network of dealers for service? Will the company be around and offering parts for your unit in the next 10 years? Is there a resale market for the unit you’re considering? Hope that helps.
      J. Dawg

      1. Roger

        And, if Don is wary of the diesel issues, Winnebago now offers some nice options on the gas powered RAM Promaster/Ducato chassis now.

  2. Bill Johnson

    Have you noticed any difference in handling with the Michelin LTX M/S 2 tires? Specifically, any noticeable difference when dealing with crosswinds? Did your mileage change?
    I continue to look forward to your articles. We are planning to go to Colorado next summer and I am sure we will follow up on some of your suggestions. Just no seat-of-your-pants, white knuckle mountainside drives!

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Bill,
      I did notice an improvement on the ride with the Michelins. It’s now a much softer ride and a little more stable. The OEM Continentals gave a harsh ride. I felt every bump in the road with them. No change on fuel economy. I run them at 64 psi. I ran my Continentals at the recommended 61 psi and noticed a little bit of outer wear on all the tires. So far, with 14,000 miles on the Michelins, they look like new.
      J. Dawg

  3. Michael

    I enjoy reading your blog and like the “this works for me” vibe. We have a View 24G on order, so your long term reports have been of interest. It was good to see what your 3year/50k expenses and issues were. Nothing too catastrophic, and small change compared to maintaining a house or the sailboat i used to have. After reading your experience, it supported my inclination to not purchase any extended warranty/service contract.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and trial and error based wisdom.

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Mike,
      Thanks for your comment. I never go with extended warranties. Your betting on failure and they’re a big money maker for the issuers.
      J. Dawg

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Jack,
      Thanks for the question. I view the coach batteries as consumables and not an investment. Also, based on my usage of my RV, the 12V batteries provided sufficient amp hrs. I have a portable solar setup for boondocking, which does a good job of keeping the batteries charged. So I chose the easiest and least expensive option when it came time to replace. I may go with the GC2 6V batteries next time I need to replace, but so far the 12V ones are doing the job for me.
      J. Dawg

      1. Gina S

        We just picked up a Forester 2401S, on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis. We plan to be part-time RVers. The unit is set up for Zamp portable solar (suit case type) system. I am interested what size solar unit you have and any other words of wisdom on this topic.
        I just discovered your blog and look forward to learning more. We are new to RVing.
        Gina S

      2. J. Dawg Post author

        Gina;
        Thanks for reading my blog. I have two 100 watt solar panels that I use in a portable setup. One is a rigid panel and the other is a light weight flexible panel I use them when boondocking at the beach and at music festivals. The two panels work very good at keeping my two batteries charged. I carry the light weight panel with me when I travel just in case I need it. A good rule of thumb is to have 100 watts of solar for each 12V battery. I’ve used just one panel and it takes longer (like all day) to recharge the batteries. Hope this helps.
        J. Dawg

  4. Tom the Awning Fixer

    J. Dawg,
    Instead of crankcase, was the engine repair actually for a “crankshaft position sensor?”
    Inquiring minds, etc….
    Best regards

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Tom;
      Thanks for pointing out the correct name for the part. It was the crankshaft position sensor. I never knew that this little part controls so much. Things like shifting and engine performance.
      J. Dawg