Looking at a 2012 Fourwinds 28z
Hi all just joined the forum and I am looking for some feedback from Thor owners. I will also post in the motorhome forum. Wife and I went and looked at a low mile 2012 Fourwinds 28z and really liked it and are close to making a deal. Before we do I was hoping to get some honest opinions from other owners before we pull the trigger. We are not new to rv just to Thor and motorhomes. Trading in our fifth wheel. Thanks in advance. Mike
Welcome aboard! You won't believe this but I went and looked at one today as well at Reines RV in Manassas, VA. The salesman showed me a new 2014 31' Minnie Winnie for 69K, a new Four Winds 28Z for 69K and a used 2014 30' Coachman Leprechaun for 59K. These were sticker so I'm sure that I can do better. I liked the 28Z. It has some nice features like an easy converting dining table to bed, a plastic sink that won't chip or dent, a walk around queen bed, ladder, huge storage. The thing that we are looking for is either a king or queen bed that you can walk around. The 28F has a king walk around bed. But they are hard to find. My Majestic 23A has a corner queen bed minus 4" width. Nice for snuggling up but not nice for spreading out and sleeping.
We have a 2011 Four Winds 28Z, and for the most part we really like it. The only real issue is it could use a bit more storage space. This is really only a problem if we are going for a long trip or staying somewhere for a month, but otherwise, we can manage. The wife thinks if it had a slide out pantry and more storage cabinets in the bedroom, it would be perfect... but then it would be a 31L.
One thing we like about the slide out is the coach is useable with the slideout in or out. Sometimes, when we are staying just for the night, or if we are not on level enough ground, we keep the slideout in. And usually the night before we leave a RV park we put the slideout in so that if it rains in the morning of departure, it the inside won't get wet if we have to retract a wet slideout.
We have never had any issues with our Schwintek slide mechanism, but then again, I make sure the coach is level before deploying it.
We bought ours used last fall from a Doctor who only put 5,800 miles on it. So far since May we have put over 2,000 miles on it. We have stayed about 50 nights in it so far this year, and we have not uncovered any real issues with it.
I did some minor maintenance fixes this year - things that the factory didn't do correctly, and the good doctor didn't catch. But again, all minor stuff.
The only real problem - if you can call it one, is the genny would not take a full load without bogging down. This was easily fixed with some carb cleaner, and the real reason is the genny was not ever used (less than one hour on the meter). You got to run those things once a month under full load to keep them in good working order.
Fit and finish - well it isn't the best, but then again, Four Winds is not a premium label. On the other hand, it is a lot better than a tent...
Thanks for the info, I realize its not a top of the line coach but I work a lot and we are only able to camp a few weeks a summer, so I just need something reliable that will last until I retire and we can get a coach that we can full time in. Anything (other than normal things) that you have found with yours that I should check before I take delivery?
Just the normal stuff in a used RV. Make sure all of the appliances work, as well as the slide-out, genny, A/C, etc.
There are no serious issues for this rig that I have found.
I live about an hour from the Thor plant, and last fall took a tour of the factory. I was able to sit down for 2 hours with one of the senior builders (not the design staff but the construction staff). Learned a lot of information as to how everything is assembled.
One thing though - if you are not used to driving a motorhome, they are all pretty finicky. You will typically not drive it faster than 60mph as being a high profile vehicle, there is a lot of wind-buffeting and wander in the steering. Part of this is the geometery of the vehicle, part because of the weight loading, and part due to other factors.
On a windy day, especially with a cross-wind, you might be "white-knuckled" after driving on the interstate.
Typically a front-end alignment and upgraded sway bars will help a lot in making the vehicle drive better. I am sure it will feel a lot different than your 5th wheel, and if you have not yet test drove it at highway speeds, do so before signing on the dotted line.
Two of my future projects is to put upgraded sway bars on the vehicle as well as hydraulic lifts. As the vehicle sits, there are no jacks to level it, so you have to be discriminating which RV campsite you get. Currently I carry along some home-made ramps made of 2x10s, but after one season - that has gotten very old, and we will be having Bigfoot levelers installed over the winter.
I like to keep the rig level as the slide-out works better and is less prone to jamb, the fridge needs to be more-or-less level, and my Egg's Benedict just don't come out right if they are lopsided.
The other issue we are fighting right now is more ergonomic than anything else. As you are driving down the road, all of the pots, pans, and anything else not tied down makes a huge racket as they bounce around. This of course is not noticeable in a 5th wheel as you don't hear it, but due to the nature of a motorhome - that racket can drive you nuts.
So you will learn where and how to store stuff to make the minimum amount of noise.
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