Looking for information on Alfa motorhomes

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Rsbenton

New member
Joined
Jul 12, 2018
Posts
1
This is off subject, you mention a list of Alfa owners in a post awhile back. I am buying an Alfa see ya 38 tomorrow and would love to have any resources that might be available. The owner is not knowledgeable at all, and this will be my first coach, used to old tag alongs.
Thank you for any help.
Rick
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,216
Location
Davison Michigan
While I can not help you with Alfa Specific I can give some general info.

Inspect everything. Look for any issues with wall paper or siding, Check the roof for soft spots or bubbles (Likewise the floor) have the current owner demonstrate Furnace, A/C, and other appliances (Should know how they work)

Ask where the converter or Inverter (likely an inverter on an Alfa) fuses and circuit breakers are. Also the batteries.. Owner should know these things.

There are a couple of "Generic" books.. The  RV Owner's Handbook and The RV Book.  most decent RV dealers will have one.. Explains most systems.

I think for Alfa Specific info you will need peer to peer (other users) support.

Oh and you might have a mobile RV service technician accompany you for the 2nd Inspection.. Make sure you have the make and model before you call the Tech and they can show you things. and inspect things.  You'd not think to check.
 

Salufa

New member
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Posts
2
Good Day Rick,

We own a 2005 Alfa See-Ya 36FD.  We are fortunate in that our Alfa (Roadie) doesn't have the pocking issues associated with the siding that apparently plagued the 2003 through 2005 years.  I am not aware of that issue having affected the 2006 through 2008.  We live in our coach full time.  Most of our travels to date have been in the western states from Montana westward.  We have followed the "slipper belt" but have summered in Hemet, California (good AC!) and we will be wintering over on the Olympic Peninsula this year.  I am currently considering skirting alternatives to mitigate the free flow of air under the coach while parked. 

In November of 2017 our transfer switch burned up.  This switch is located below the Norcold refrigerator, behind the main and auxiliary switch panels.  The purpose of this switch is to automatically detect if shore power is available or if the generator is running.  The switch is generator dominant, selecting the generator to power loads, if it is running.  We were on shore power. It was a hot Saturday in November and we were running both ACs on a 50 amp hookup.  Unfortunately the park we were staying in had hundreds of other RVs there at the same time and I am sure the voltage dip in the park was considerable.  The park has about 1200 sites and was easily 80% occupied if not more so.  That particular switch is discontinued.  Our switch was 12 years in service when it failed.  This would be a worthwhile item to inspect and electrically test.  If it is the original switch in models you are looking at, I would put it high on the list of items to replace before it fails.  I didn't know of this issue, but after the failure I found several examples of this failure on the internet.

The Norcold refrigerator is an absorption type cooling unit.  We were never satisfied with the performance of the refrigerator.  It also made the decision for us by failing.  I looked into replacement absorption cooling assemblies and people who had applied that fix.  Both OEM and aftermarket equipment left many before me dissatisfied with the end result.  A friend with a Wanderlodge advised me of the potential of installing a conventional refrigerator in place of the Norcold.  We even considered just getting a brand-new Norcold, but couldn't swallow that cost based on performance.  So we decided to forego the ability to cool our refrigerator by burning propane and install a counter-depth refrigerator in place of the Norcold.  We installed a Samsung RF-18.  We power it through its own inverter and the current draw is less that that of the Norcold.  It was necessary to remove the cupboard immediately above the Norcold, a lot of screws and glue that are a bit of pain to remove.  We also sealed and insulated the refrigerator vent in the roof as it was not required by the Samsung.  The width, height and depth of the resultant modified cabinetry was perfect for the RF18.  It is a french door unit with a pullout drawer for the freezer and french doors for the refrigerator section.  The handles come out a little farther than the face of the Norcold but still leave ample room for door swing, drawer pull and going through the hallway when all are closed.  We are very pleased with this modification.  We find our food stays fresher and we experience less waste and loss.  We also have oodles more space in both the refrigerator and freezer sections, along with a much better ice maker.  We bought our unit from  a appliance center 'dent' sale.  In the end we were back in better service for less than half the half the cost of a new Norcold still in its box.  Our configuration is powered by shore power, our generator, or our house battery bank.

Check the roof and roof fixtures well.  Pay particular attention to the bathroom skylight and the vent fan hoods as well as the type and condition of the roofing material and seals.  We have coated our EPDM roof with the same type of silicone coating used to seal the roof of industrial buildings.  We also replaced all the vent fan hoods.  We have no leakage witness marks on the ceiling in the coach's interior and the silicone coat is well adhered and performing very well.  Old seal material (oxidized, cracked) should be reworked before they start leaking.  Cracking or crazing in the bathroom skylife should also put it on the list of items to be replaced.

The charger/inverter is also a key piece of hardware.  It is located below the entry steps and should also be thoroughly checked by a competent tech.  This device provides power to your AC loads and charges your house, chassis and inverter batteries when the generator is running and/or you are hooked up to shore power.

The Alfa Owners Manual and Equipment Manuals are not a thrilling read, but they are informative.  So make sure you get the full set from the owner or search the internet for replacement alternatives.

In short we have been very satisfied with our coach and have enjoyed several thousand miles of travel since our purchase of Roadie in May of 2016.  We moved into Roadie in June of 2016 and left the stick and brick life behind. I hope you have you have the same great experience, we are still loving our coach and the lifestyle that comes with it.  It gives us the freedom to travel, be with family and keeps us comfortable and cozy. 

Salufa

"Thanks for all the fish"
 

johnaye

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Posts
273
Hello fellow Alfa owner.  This is a great place to learn.  I do not know if you are aware, but there are several Alfa specific forums out there.  Hopefully, the moderators will forgive me for promoting other forums.  My favorite is https://groups.io/g/alfaseeya/topics.  This site is monitored by a number of very experienced Alfa owners.  There are also several Facebook groups dedicated to Alfas or Alfa clubs.  If all of this is old news to you, I apologize.  Safe travels and I hope to meet you one day.
 

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