Our Next Home – Winnebago Sightseer 30A and New Modifications

We found the new rig and within a few months of selling the old and purchased a 2014 Winnebago Sightseer 30A. I fell in love with the floor plan and we did a nationwide search to find one that we liked. We located a few in Florida and Texas – but after the hurricanes, we decided that we didn’t want to chance a storm-damaged rig. We settled on one in Arizona and flew down to look it over.

Our new Winnebago Sightseer 30A

 

The layout is amazing with a ‘C’ shaped couch and a big table that expands from seating 4 to seating 6. Front seats that swivel around and a recliner (plenty of comfortable seating). The kitchen is a similar layout to the last rig with more storage and counter space – both a little bit longer and deeper. Unfortunately no oven, but we can change out a few drawers for an oven later on. There is no washer/dryer that I was lusting after – but the 80-gallon water tank makes up for that shortcoming. Dave quadrupled his storage with all the huge bins and is a happy camper.

Moving day is a big mess – we drove our jeep over towing a U-Haul with all our items from the last RV. Not a single bin, drawer or cabinet is the same size as the old RV.

When you buy your 2nd RV (or 4th in our case) you tend to want all the upgrades that you had on the last rig installed right away.  Luxuries that we had gotten used to over the past 3 years of ownership. And so starts the hard work post-acquisition…

Installation of our Roadmaster tow braking system was the first item we took care of. So the jeep is safely following behind us as we make our way down the highways.

We quickly realized we had more than a few maintenance items that needed immediate attention. Our new RV had been sitting in the Arizona sun for 3 years and not maintained to our standard.

We found a small water leak in the bathroom sink – the basin was leaking around the drain outlet which led to an occasional wet spot under the sink. A quick change out of the drain and all was corrected. We also found another small leak behind the toilet which was just a popped off supply line.

While under the sink Dave realized he could see outside. The water heater panel was not caulked properly (age and sun can break down the caulk) and it needed to be resealed. This led to looking at all the caulk everywhere and identify some areas that we needed to pry out the old caulk and replace.  Again something that is relatively easy and should be maintained on an annual basis.

We were vexed with a water pump that would just randomly go off.  This is typically an indication of a water leak and we looked high and low for a leak. We finally found one in an outside bay and the source was behind a riveted panel. After removing the panel, Dave found the source. A poor design to have so many connections behind a panel that is riveted in.  A quick trip to Home Depot for parts and the leak was fixed. The panel was also replaced, but with screws for easy future access. 

Unfortunately, the water pump continued to occasionally run. We looked everywhere from under the bed to inside any panel we could find for another leak. Finally, Dave started adjusting the pressure on the pump to see if we could eliminate the problem. This did little to alleviate the issue and we ended up putting in a replacement kit on the existing water pump. At this point, we ordered both a replacement kit and a new water pump. While the replacement kit worked, the pump continued to randomly start up. We decided to replace the pump and keep the old pump as an emergency part if we have issues down the road.

Dave working on the water pump with an audience. Riveted panel removed to get to the heart of the water system.

Replacing the water pump is a relatively easy task and it came close to eliminating the problem entirely. We also learned about the Shurflow accumulator tank and plan to do that for more consistent pressure on the cold water tap.

We added a whole house surge protector built in. We placed it in the back of the utility bay and hard wired it to the coach. Thankfully we have a great friend who is an awesome electrician and he did a first class job on the wiring. 

The roof had been neglected over the last 3 years and was badly in need of cleaning and waxing. Once that tedious task was completed it was time to start thinking about solar.

We had solar on our last rig and knew we wanted to get that taken care of right away. Dave and Kurt did some planning and parts ordering to get 540 watts of solar added. We found the pantry cabinet can be popped out of the coach and wires were easily run down behind there (between the shower and the cupboard inserts). This allowed access through the coach, an additional control panel mounted for monitoring alongside all the other control panels and easy access to the batteries. Dave installed our Blue Sky Solar Boost 3024IL solar controller with the IPN Pro remote which gives an accurate real-time ‘gas ‘gauge’ of amps used/replenished.

Dave and Kurt up on the roof working on the solar installation.

The pantry inserts pulled out to provide access through the coach for installing solar wiring.

One of my headaches on all of our RV’s has been bike storage. They are always in the way and rarely fully secure. It felt like we were always moving them around. They couldn’t be covered while we drove – because they blocked the brake lights. So with this RV, we decided to solve the issue and get them off the tow vehicle. Kurt and Dave designed a custom bike rack that would ride up above the tow vehicle and out of the way of the brake lights. Kurt welded and built the entire custom rack and it is SOLID. He even built a place to attach our ridiculously strong New York lock. So now the bikes are safely out of the way and covered during travel and while stored. No need to move anything around unless we are ready to go riding.

Kurt built a custom bike rack for our mountain bikes.

We changed out our batteries right away to some sealed AGM. Unfortunately at least one of the batteries had a bad cell and we couldn’t hold a charge for more than a few hours. We had to detour to a shop to get them tested and confirm the failure and finally have some replacements sent out under warranty. Getting the replacement batteries was way more work than I would have anticipated. We are in the golf course capital of the country and still had to get batteries sent from California. Thankfully we had a place where we are parked with power and are using that to get through the nights.  Daytime with the new solar is no problem – but about an hour after dark and we have low battery alerts going off. So two new 6 volt AGM’s will be installed when we are reunited with the RV.

Our 2 new 6 volts wired into the coach.

Our biggest issue was the large slide that didn’t seem to go in all the way and slipped out a few inches when we drove on one of the sides.  We took pictures, measurements and made an appointment for some warranty work. Our research revealed this is a common problem on the big heavy slides with our model of rig. We had 2 new bigger motors installed and it appears to be working well.  The new motors are actually slower and more deliberate than the old motors. But no slipping out while driving so far. We also purchase a couple of slide braces and plan to use those when traveling. I think preventing future problems is always a good idea and the braces will be easy prevention. We plan to attach our master slide key to the brace so we don’t accidentally move the slides without removing the braces first.

We are almost caught up with all our upgrades and maintenance issues.  We have a few more in store over the next few months as we prioritize some ‘nice to have items.’ But for now, we are just planning to enjoy our new home.

2 thoughts on “Our Next Home – Winnebago Sightseer 30A and New Modifications

  1. Kurt Kuhl

    Bet you guys are excited to actually get in and hit the road!! It was a fun few weeks of projects, but now it is time to enjoy the rig and relax!! See you guys soon…..

    1. wanderer Post author

      Can’t wait! Looking forward to some more time hanging out with friends. Thanks again for all the amazing help.

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