Here at Winnebago Direct we aim to bring you the latest news and offerings from the world of Winnebago in the UK, be that Winnebago hire, Winnebago sales or general information about the World of Winnebago. Here we answer some of the common questions for those of you that are new to Winnebagos and RV Motorhomes.
WHAT IS A WINNEBAGO?
Winnebago, a name synonymous with the American Motorhome commonly known as Winnebago, RV or ARV is actually a brand name similar to that of 'Ford', the brand in question Winnebago Industries. These vehicles have been in enjoyed in America for many years and have brought many American families years of pleasure. Winnebago Industries was one of the first companies to manufacture a caravan and very quickly found a very lucrative market, this market then developed into putting a caravan body onto a four wheel truck and has so on evolved until today the Winnebago is a fantastic, luxurious motorhome that can be seen on every American highway. From Winnebago many companies joined the market place and from this many other famous names have been introduced such as Damon, Monaco, Fleetwood, Fourwinds, American Coach, Tiffin and the ultimate and the worlds most refined motorhome Country Coach.
For this side of the pond our fascination started around the late 70's and has since grown seriously into the leisure world and the motorsport fraternity. The Winnebago and its other names American Motorhome and Recreational Vehicle or 'RV' for short have also been made famous in the UK via films starring Robert De Niro and 'Meet the Fockers', Jack Nicholsons 'About Smidt', and most recently Robin Williams and 'RV'. Every time a new film is made based around the vehicle UK sales rocket and this is because people realise the amount of internal space that an American Motorhome brings compared to traditional European Motorhome models. This large internal space is all brought about by the inclusion of 'slide-outs' and in the early 90's the American Motorhome started with one slide out and by year 2002 were developing four or 'quad' slides, the very latest Winnebagos come equipped of course with the 'full wall slide'. Which in simple terms extends the entire side of a motorhome outwards by approx 3 feet and up to 30 feet long.
Winnebagos for sale or hire are generally equipped to the highest standards of luxury. All Winnebago's come complete with amazing kitchens, fantastic lounges, exquisite bedrooms, and up to 46 inch TV screens, standard equipment includes on board generators, air conditioning, massive water tanks, in-built LPG tanks and of course outside entertainment areas, awnings and even speaker systems and external televisions!
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR WINNEBAGO DRIVING IN THE UK?
First of all can you on your current driving license drive a winnebago in the UK? If you passed your test before January 1997 you are entitled to drive any American Motorhome up to 7.5 tonnes, also on your license you may have a category 'C1 + E'. This will enable you to drive a front vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes but enable you to tow a trailer or similar up to 4.5 tonnes, therefore giving you a combined weight of 12 tonnes.
Should your desire be the large Winnebago style coaches then you should apply for a category C license which enables you to drive heavy goods vehicles and winnebago RVs over 7.5 tonnes. To simplify matters, on the American Motorhome in general if the entrance door is located up to half way down the side of the RV, and the engine is located to the front of the winnebago, this is commonly called a 'puller' and many of these American Motorhomes do weigh less than 7.5 tonnes and can be driven on a standard car license, but bear in mind that the more slides that are fitted, e.g. more than two slide outs, the vehicle will more than likely be over 7.5 tonnes and you should check the vehicles weight and satisfy yourself.
A winnebago is known as a 'pusher', if the entrance door is to the front side of the vehicle and the engine is in the rear of the RV. You would enter the American Motorhome very similar to entering a national express coach, these Winnebagos definitely weigh over 7.5 tonnes and you should ensure you have category 'C' entitlement of your license to drive these American Motorhomes.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A WINNEBAGO TO BUY?
Winnebago and American Motorhomes come in many shapes and sizes, really it is down to the personal preference, budget, practicalities and your license. Visit showrooms and showgrounds such as the excellent Itchy Feet American Motorhomes where you can see the RVs presented as they are intended on their own private pitches. Take a good look inside and out, understand the differences in size and cost and what more; or less you are getting for your money. Research the internet and join forums for other RV users, personal experience of the lifestyle change is far better knowledge in the long run. Ultimately your Winnebago will become a member of the family and like the purchase of your first house, you will know what feels at home when you step on board the RV of your choice.
WHAT WINNEBAGO SALES DEALER DO I CHOOSE?
When you start your journey to find your perfect Winnebago you will see many adverts and you will possibly visit many shows, it seems everyone wants to take your money and every dealer will probably tell you a different story! The best way is to visit some of the many RV and motorhome shows across the country where there is a large collection of dealers and motorhome examples in one place. Step back from the stands and chat to several people that are there with their own Motorhomes and ask who they would trust. When you find a Winnebago for sale it is a start of a relationship between the UK RV dealer and you and for some, unfortunately, it has become a nightmare. As in all trades there are cowboys who will undercut every other dealer in order to make the sale and will promise you the earth but once they have taken your money it is a totally different story. Amongst the UK Winnebago dealers there is a big difference between the ones that have a passion for what they do and the ones that is purely business.
Talk with the dealers, RV sales specialists such as Itchy Feet American motorhomes have been in the business a long time, understand the industry, and will offer unbiased advice before making an RV Sale. Quiz them and check their knowledge backs what you have discovered yourself. Ultimately don't feel pressured to sign on the dotted line there and then, visit your preferred dealer in their own location explore the full range of vehicles that they have on offer, check the premises, workshops and equipment and discover what Winnebago service back-up and support there is on offer. Companies such as Itchy Feet Winnebagos have a policy that following your purchase you can stay one week free of charge at their superb winnebago resort in cornwall, home of Itchy Feet American Motorhomes where you can get comfortable and explore your new RV in great depths safe in the knowledge that the Winnebago service experts are on hand to help you if you have any queries or questions.