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Author Topic: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes  (Read 626 times)

SissyBoyFloyd

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Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« on: August 08, 2017, 05:23:58 PM »
They seem rare, yet pretty upscale as far as decor goes.  Any opinions?
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Tom

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 06:40:16 PM »
One of their claims to fame was the high interior ceilings. Another was that the interior floorplans were designed by female RVers, supposedly to make them more attractive to, and usable by, our better halves.

They didn't really get a lot of traction in the market, although they clearly sold some.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 06:49:00 PM »
I believe I read they were another like National where they had delamination problems in the early 2000s. Bad glue. I looked at one several years ago and it was pretty wavy. Looked nice otherwise though. I bought a National, but I looked it over real good. My coach don't have that problem, but I've shown it to a couple guys that know they had some problems too.
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Tom

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 07:08:37 PM »
Quote from: Charlie 5320
I believe I read they ... had delamination problems in the early 2000s. Bad glue.

I hadn't heard/read that, but it would kill the market in a hurry.
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Mile High

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 09:53:46 PM »
Famous in my mind from the series Justified :)
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 10:06:05 PM »
I wouldn't lump them all together, they're just like any other manufacture. I personally like the look of the Alpha, but most are out of my price point anyways. There was one here in town several years ago that had quite a bit of delamination, and it sat for a long time before it sold. Lot of other coachs have the same problem. You just have to inspect any coach you intend on buying, and be prepared to walk it it's not up to snuff. I'll bet there are many people that LOVE their Alphas.
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98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
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BRex

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 11:17:20 PM »


I think you should buy a nice Alpha with the CAT engine.
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captsteve

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 11:45:06 PM »
The only thing I didn't care for when I looked at one was the small access doors to the basement storage. But thats just my thing.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2017, 12:18:34 AM »
It's Alfa, not Alpha.  An acronym for "A Loving Family Affair".  The company floundered on the same sidewall issues and the housing slump that KO'd National RV.

http://www.rvweb.com/guides/manufacturers/alfa_leisure/about

kdbgoat

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2017, 06:22:04 AM »
It wasn't delam that they had issues with, it was blistering. Unfortunately, Crane Composites, the manufacturer of the sidewall material didn't help Alfa out much. It's my understanding that Alfa did what they could to make it right, but it overwhelmed them as company. I have looked at Alfa's, particularly the Gold, and really liked them. I've talked to a few Alfa owners, and they really loved their coaches. One older couple had one that was blistered badly, and they said they still wouldn't part with it. One area of concern was their basement A/C units being below par.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2017, 09:07:17 AM »
It wasn't delam that they had issues with, it was blistering. Unfortunately, Crane Composites, the manufacturer of the sidewall material didn't help Alfa out much. It's my understanding that Alfa did what they could to make it right, but it overwhelmed them as company. I have looked at Alfa's, particularly the Gold, and really liked them. I've talked to a few Alfa owners, and they really loved their coaches. One older couple had one that was blistered badly, and they said they still wouldn't part with it. One area of concern was their basement A/C units being below par.
They had delam problems too. Just do a search on them. I did when I was looking at the one here in town several years ago. It wasn't just blistering either they actually had small holes in the fiberglass in several coachs.
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

Alfa38User

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 09:10:40 AM »
They also suffer from delamination  and not only the coaches. If you have to ask how I know this, see my signature...
Stu
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kdbgoat

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 09:22:44 AM »
I stand corrected. I incorrectly assumed the delam issues were from leaks, not factory issues.
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Alfa38User

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2017, 09:29:10 AM »
Some are, the bedroom slide is notorious for that, and that rots the outside wall and floor out on the slide.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 09:31:28 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

TonyDtorch

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2017, 11:23:51 AM »
I still see a lot of them at my park, they are known for high ceilings and rather unusual interiors with angled walls.

I think the 'Alfa Gold' has a fiberglass roof and the others have a membrane roofs.  I don't care for the small doors on the storage bins.

spacenorman

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2017, 08:02:59 PM »
I recall reading that many of the Alfa coach leak and delamination issues were related to the size and number of windows that were a big selling point for many Alfa owners.   
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Trivet

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2017, 05:59:53 PM »
It's never been determined what causes/caused the blistering.  Alfa motorhomes don't have "wavy" delamination--it's blisters, and sometimes the blisters pop and reveal the wood behind the filon or sometimes the styrofoam behind that.

Alfa pointed its finger at Crane Composites, citing bad materials.  Crane pointed its finger at Alfa and Alfa owners, citing inadequate sealing.  Alfa closed its doors and the fight was over. 

There does seem to be a correlation between blister occurrence and being in freezing weather, with the theory that the wood gets wet and expands when it freezes, causing blisters.  Glue was never mentioned in the endless discussions about blisters.

There were I think 4,700 Alfa motorhomes sold.  Not all have blisters, but it would be prudent to expect to get them at some point unless it's been completely resided.  Spot repair and paint won't prevent the recurrence of blisters; you'll have to get it resided if you don't want to look at them ever again, and it's expensive and a PITA.  But plenty of owners have done it.

I, personally, don't think the decor is upscale, but if you like it, you like it.  But be aware of little things, like on the cabinets on some models (and maybe all?) the doors are wood but the cabinets themselves are covered with wood-grain paper.  Alfas were relatively inexpensive for their size and features, and that's an example of the way they cut corners. 

I've been fulltiming in one for 14 years.  The giant windows and 7'6" ceiling make it very livable.  The windows cause issues with cooling in hot sunny weather, but other than in extreme conditions like that, the basement air is nice (and window coverings make a HUGE difference).  Some owners have installed a supplemental roof air and that alleviates the problem, but they almost never mention how noisy roof air is.  But most other RVs have only roof air in the first place, so they never have the option of using quieter basement air.

There is an enormous amount of storage both inside and outside (I'm not sure about the small basement doors--they fill in the openings.)  I've never heard that women designed the interior, but there are a lot of thoughtful touches.  And plenty of thoughtless ones, too, though.

If something happened to mine, I would at this point replace it with another one.  It has some design things that are important to me and that I can't get in any other coach.  It's not built like a Prevost, but it's a whole lot cheaper.

And one other thing, and perhaps the most important thing--there is an email list of Alfa owners that helps with problems.  Oh, like the split house/inverter battery system that the nimrods at Alfa put in, which is easily combinable into one bank but people don't realize they can do it.  That group of Alfa owners is invaluable for the DIYer, and can be a big help when someone has a coach in the shop; most shops aren't familiar with Alfas and the information in the group can help them cut to the chase.

There are people on that list who know these things inside and out and after this many years, there's almost never a situation where they can't figure out how to fix someone's problem.

There are also some places that specialize in Alfa motorhomes and know them well:  one in Salt Lake City, one in the Los Angeles area, and one in Louisiana.  You can take your coach there and know you aren't going to pay for hours and hours of time for the techs to familiarize themselves with the systems.

Tom

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2017, 07:45:34 PM »
Blisters were common in the boating industry, but probably different from the Alpha issue. Osmotic blistering was directly associated with water intrusion. In its worst case, it led to structural issues in fiberglass boats
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moisheh

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2017, 08:50:32 AM »
There are a few dedicated owners that have spent a lot of time and $$ on their units. When done they compare with any other unit. BUT: They have some serious problems. Basement ac sucks. No insulation in the front cap. Bad slides. If you find one that has all the fixes it might be a good buy.

Trivet

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Re: Anyone owned or have a take on the Alfa See Ya Motorhomes
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2017, 10:24:58 AM »
I like the basement air because it's quieter than roof air.  Keeping the sun off the big windows is important when it's really hot.  That can be done by being in the shade, or by using sun screens on the inside or outside and/or awnings.  Fortunately, that's not required all the time, while a roof air is noisy whenever you use it.  I'm happy enough to have big windows that I'll deal with the downside.

I suppose it's also harder to keep cool because of the higher ceiling, but again, that's a trade-off that I'm happy with.

As I said, some Alfa owners have put a roof air in the living room (I have not), and some people in Arizona in the summer said they used window units.  I would expect that if I were in full sun and the high temperature is 110 and the overnight low is in the 90s, my basement air wouldn't keep up, but fortunately, I haven't had to test it.

The slide issue was a bad design--using an end-drive system on one of the first big slides in the industry, and earlier units didn't even use a relay.  Alfa switched to a center-drive system after a few years, probably in about 2005, and end-drive systems could be converted to center drive.  Mine was, and it's worked fine since then.  But I hear of owners who still have the end-drive system, amazingly enough.

I haven't explored the front cap, but I do know people have added insulation up there.  That thing gets really hot when it's facing the sun.  The beef I have with it is the area around the TV in older units doesn't lend itself to a nice-looking change to a flat-screen (I'm still using the original TV).  They changed that front part in 2004, I think, to a design that is much more accommodating to changing to a shorter, wider TV.  And later ones came with a flat-screen, so the hole is already the right size/shape. 


 

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