81 Winnebago values/potential issues

So I drop by this yard sale in my neighborhood and notice this Winnebago there for sale.  I see its pretty clean looking, they're trying to get rid of it. '81 Winnebago "Brave" with 64k on it and its Chrysler 360 Engine. All mechanical records in a big fat book, with a note saying, "Sat for 5 years then bought, Mechanic says all it needs is to Run it for awhile and she'll be good".  I'd need to see the smoke on this one.  Black smoke good...Blue, no bueno.  I havent owned a Chrysler Engined product and would like insight, but I'm not a fan at the moment.  Hmm, interesting. It looks clean, albeit faded.  I see its carbuerator and remember having to rebuild one myself because of that.  I can do this maybe, but it sometimes is no fun, because a tune up may follow, then points, coil, etc.  I know that interiors are built pretty cheap on these things and would need work. But what about all the other components/ Generator/AC unit/Fridge/stove? Most importantly the Generator, plumbing, water tank, various pumps, wiring, Etc? Can I hear some good/bad scenarios?  Positive I see here is that its got its records, which I'd like to go through.  I also have a good mechanic that works on RVs and can check it out.  I"ve heard already roofs can be nightmares, and I've noticed some of the putty/caulking jobs one sees on the seams.  Owner originally wanted 3500 and then dropped it down to 2400.  I'm thinking I might try and throw 1500 cash if it seems worthy.  Can I hear some wisdom and best worst case scenario one might find with a 81 Winnebago Brave? He said it was unique being it had a freezer too.  Any Brave owners out there give me a shout!  I would love to hear from you. Matt

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Comment by Matthew Tritt on September 16, 2012 at 3:54pm

Probably cooked. It could have messed up the entire engine electrics. :(

Comment by Matt Ellis on September 16, 2012 at 1:33pm

Update:  The Seller of this 81' winnebago wants to get rid of it being he can't move it to get emissions.  I asked what happened, and he said that they reversed the polarity of the battery cables and now the starter won't even turn over after getting the cables on right. Could this mean his electrical system is fried Or Just a fuse needs replaced?

Comment by Matt Ellis on September 2, 2012 at 5:20pm

@ Matt Nice!  40k on a KY. Boat....See The the picture of this 81 Winnie Below...

A or C Winnie 360?  Got my alphabet mixed up?  I dunno fellas...it said 360 ci, I saw a 360CI in that thar engine bay.  I believe.. Come to Englewood c

Comment by Matthew Tritt on September 2, 2012 at 1:41pm

And a fabulous one in Lexington, Ky, with < 40,000 original miles. Gads!

Comment by Matthew Tritt on September 2, 2012 at 1:36pm

If you're in the midWest, there's a really nice 21 foot Travco for sale on South Dakota CL for $3,500. What a deal!


Comment by Matthew Tritt on September 2, 2012 at 1:26pm

I should have mentioned Travco. So, I just did! My brother has a 22 footer I found for him in Oregon that's a great vehicle - even though the engines were either a 440 or 318-3 that can use fuel - all fiberglass bodies with nicely rounded body sections soften the blow well. They were all Dodge chassis, but the best ones are probably from 73 on because of having discs in front.

Comment by Doug O'leary on September 2, 2012 at 11:39am

Good luck in your search, In my opinion you would best with a class C, form the 70's with the standard van front, I think a Dodge class C would be the best way to go but thats up to you. As Matthew Tritt said the Balboas or a chinooks are good also the travel craft's from the late 70's were good too. But really any Dodge class C from the 70's with no water dammage would be alright.

Comment by Tim Dailey on September 2, 2012 at 11:39am

I think thats a good economical choice.   I'm very surprised to find out its a Class A, their brochures indicate the only way to get a 360 in 81 was in the Class C models.   All of their Brave Class As are being advertised with a Chevy 350.

Comment by Matthew Tritt on September 2, 2012 at 11:17am

Smart man! Even though your mileage would be more in the 6-7 MPG range with a head wind, finding something a little easier to push down the road is a better plan. Have you looked at Chinooks and Balboas from the early 70's? Maybe even a front wheel drive Cortez? Anyway, good luck with the search.

Comment by Matt Ellis on September 1, 2012 at 11:47pm

Guys, thanks for your comments. Based on what I've read and what my mechanic saw when he looked at it.  That Class A  Winne is an old Kite that I won't be going with.  At a minimum I'd be at least changing the tires for a grand most likely.  It is the square front end. I imagine taking this thing to Wyoming or somewhere windy and getting blown off the road, or making 40 mph @ 2mpg or something.  I'm now thinking more minnie winnie with better aerodynamics or some type of Van conversion at the least.  My Girlfriend and I may end up going with a truck/trailer combo anyway for the versatility of having a truck.  I got a long way to go. Thanks again for the feedback. Matt



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