New to the forum - interested in Winnebago/Itasca 37F

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RogerE

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Joined
Nov 20, 2012
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139
Hello.  My wife and I are in the research stage of purchasing a Class A motorhome.  We live full time in Florida and intend to do extended travel, three or four months each year.  We are in love with the Winnebago Adventurer/Itasca Suncruiser 37F and are comparing everything else that we see to it.  Any comments or insights from anybody who owns one would be appreciated.  We are learning more each day and saving money:))
 
That's a good choice for a large gas coach. Just watch for the carrying capacity, as gas RV chassis  tend to be at their max limits when carrying that size coach. Look at the OCCC (federally mandated weight data) and then consider how much, if anything, is left after accounting for propane, water, gear and passengers. It is difficult for newcomers to RVing to assess how much gear they will carry, but it is always much more than expected. Especially for extended traveling, where you need multi-season clothing, hobby and sports gear,  full kitchen gear, etc. I would figure at least 1000 lbs for gear alone, but individuals vary.

Are you shopping new or used? Used motorhomes are usually an excellent choice, giving you a lot for your money. Don't think of it as a used car - it is a previously owned house that happens to have wheels.
 
RogerE
We absolutely love our 2005 37B Itasca Suncruiser, putting 48K+ miles on it in 6 years. I think the floorplan your want has the kitchen on the street side with a mid door, correct? Ours has the two overstuffed chairs and workspace in the bedroom. In any case spending months on end is no problem at all. We've done 2 months out at least each of the past 4 years in the winter and I could stay out much longer, and maybe will some day.

Gary may have a point about the CCC on some chassis. If you're buying used (more than 2 years back) it'll be on a Workhorse Chassis, and if you can find one go for the W24 (24,000 lb. chassis) as mine has a CCC of 2,779 lbs. and a combined GCWR of 30,000 lbs. The W22, 22,000 chassis has less I believe.  If you go new, the Ford F53 also can be had on a 24,000 chassis that would be worth the extra up-charge.

Ours gets 7.5 -8.0 mpg on average...which is about average for a gasser this size. Pulls a CRV like it isn't back there.

In any case we love the cabinetry, drivability and livability of this size and brand of gas coach.

Good luck with you search!

Gene


 
Gary RV Roamer said:
That's a good choice for a large gas coach. Just watch for the carrying capacity, as gas RV chassis  tend to be at their max limits when carrying that size coach. Look at the OCCC (federally mandated weight data) and then consider how much, if anything, is left after accounting for propane, water, gear and passengers. It is difficult for newcomers to RVing to assess how much gear they will carry, but it is always much more than expected. Especially for extended traveling, where you need multi-season clothing, hobby and sports gear,  full kitchen gear, etc. I would figure at least 1000 lbs for gear alone, but individuals vary.

Are you shopping new or used? Used motorhomes are usually an excellent choice, giving you a lot for your money. Don't think of it as a used car - it is a previously owned house that happens to have wheels.

We are thinking new (one year past model) or gently used at this point.  The 37F model has only been on the market a couple of years.  I understand what you are saying about carrying capacity.  We have a motorcycle with a sidecar and are planning to tow a small trailer as well.
 
mygreyhound said:
RogerE
We absolutely love our 2005 37B Itasca Suncruiser, putting 48K+ miles on it in 6 years. I think the floorplan your want has the kitchen on the street side with a mid door, correct? Ours has the two overstuffed chairs and workspace in the bedroom. In any case spending months on end is no problem at all. We've done 2 months out at least each of the past 4 years in the winter and I could stay out much longer, and maybe will some day.

Gary may have a point about the CCC on some chassis. If you're buying used (more than 2 years back) it'll be on a Workhorse Chassis, and if you can find one go for the W24 (24,000 lb. chassis) as mine has a CCC of 2,779 lbs. and a combined GCWR of 30,000 lbs. The W22, 22,000 chassis has less I believe.  If you go new, the Ford F53 also can be had on a 24,000 chassis that would be worth the extra up-charge.

Ours gets 7.5 -8.0 mpg on average...which is about average for a gasser this size. Pulls a CRV like it isn't back there.

In any case we love the cabinetry, drivability and livability of this size and brand of gas coach.

Good luck with you search!

Gene

The 37F is mid entry, kitchen on the driver's side.  It is one and one-half baths, stackable w/d option.
 
This is a fantastic floorplan (and it was one of our finalists).  Also available in its twin, the Winnebago Adventurer. It's at the tippy-top of the price scale for new gassers, along with the Newmar Canyon Star.

2011 model year or newer had lot of nice perks over the 2010 and older ones (day/night roller shades throughout, outside TV, etc.) available as features.

2012 had minimal changes  and were mostly cosmetic in nature (like new exterior paint schemes, interior fabrics, solid surface/Corian counter top in the rear bath, different lounge chair up front, etc.). But the overall look of the upgrades in my opinion is worth it.

Make sure you take a look at this rig closed up for travel. Some thought it was a little tight to get around in (I'm not one of them), but if you have any special needs there be sure to check that out to see if it works for you.

Other not-as-positives are: the bed taking a long time to raise/lower; have to have the bed in the "up" position to close the slide; can't access closets/drawers with rear bedroom slide in which can be a pain when you're packing up for a trip; only fridge option is a Norcold (no residential option); some have reported peeling cabinet fronts (reportedly to a bad batch of glue and supposedly a known Winnebago issue); rusting of the windshield frame/minor leaks around the windshield area).

I think the longer wheelbase of this floorplan definitely helps with the ride quality.

It's a very solid choice of rig! If you buy used, just choose carefully to ensure you're not getting a lemon that someone else is dumping. It happens in all brands, so take your time and do the homework there!

Hope this helps! Good luck in your search!
 
go6car said:
This is a fantastic floorplan (and it was one of our finalists).  Also available in its twin, the Winnebago Adventurer. It's at the tippy-top of the price scale for new gassers, along with the Newmar Canyon Star.

2011 model year or newer had lot of nice perks over the 2010 and older ones (day/night roller shades throughout, outside TV, etc.) available as features.

2012 had minimal changes  and were mostly cosmetic in nature (like new exterior paint schemes, interior fabrics, solid surface/Corian counter top in the rear bath, different lounge chair up front, etc.). But the overall look of the upgrades in my opinion is worth it.

Make sure you take a look at this rig closed up for travel. Some thought it was a little tight to get around in (I'm not one of them), but if you have any special needs there be sure to check that out to see if it works for you.

Other not-as-positives are: the bed taking a long time to raise/lower; have to have the bed in the "up" position to close the slide; can't access closets/drawers with rear bedroom slide in which can be a pain when you're packing up for a trip; only fridge option is a Norcold (no residential option); some have reported peeling cabinet fronts (reportedly to a bad batch of glue and supposedly a known Winnebago issue); rusting of the windshield frame/minor leaks around the windshield area).

I think the longer wheelbase of this floorplan definitely helps with the ride quality.

It's a very solid choice of rig! If you buy used, just choose carefully to ensure you're not getting a lemon that someone else is dumping. It happens in all brands, so take your time and do the homework there!

Hope this helps! Good luck in your search!

Thanks so much for your reply.  I agree that it is at the top of the price range, but it is the floor plan and has the options that my wife really wants, plus she wants new - you know the rest:))  I was not aware of the issue with the bed and closing the bedroom slide, nor about access to the bedroom storage.  I already have two pages of questions for the next time we go out to look at the unit again, and I added these.
 
Glad to help!

The bedroom closet design is different in the 2013s from the 2012s and older. (As if you're lying down on the bed looking right in front of you, the 2012s (and older) have a window and closets on either side of the window. The 2013s have a solid wall there with one sliding closet and a stack of drawers next to it.

Depending on which one you are looking at, you might have partial access to some of the drawers and/or closet space when closed for travel (albeit, climbing on top of the closed bed to get to it, but at least it's something).

Let us know what you end up with! (Your wife has good taste! :) )

 
Talked to the owner of a similar Sun Cruiser last week and he pointed out one thing I never would have thought about.  Getting fuel can be a challenge.  Because of their length, many gas stations can not accommodate them.  It just means you need to be vigilant about your fuel supply.  This owner filled his 75 gallon tank one time and it took 73 gallons.  Other than that, they loved the Sun Cruiser.  I've seen the models with the sitting area in the back and think that's an excellent design.  Good luck with your purchase. 
 
garyb1st said:
Talked to the owner of a similar Sun Cruiser last week and he pointed out one thing I never would have thought about.  Getting fuel can be a challenge.  Because of their length, many gas stations can not accommodate them.  It just means you need to be vigilant about your fuel supply.  This owner filled his 75 gallon tank one time and it took 73 gallons.  Other than that, they loved the Sun Cruiser.  I've seen the models with the sitting area in the back and think that's an excellent design.  Good luck with your purchase.

The length is a concern for me as I have never driven a motorhome before.  I have owned tent trailers and travel trailers, and have towed a full sized car with a 24 foot moving van, but this will still be a big step up. 

I just became aware of a motorhome driving class that is offered by the Lazy Days RV dealer not far from where I live.  They have a great series of instructional videos on their website, but they just deal with the basics of mirror adjustment, turning corners, backing into a campsite, etc.  They did not discuss subjects such as maneuvering in and out of parking lots or gas stations, especially when towing a trailer. 

My strategy when towing the car with the moving truck was to always look for travel plazas/truck stops when fueling up that allowed plenty of room to pull through.  That works fine on the interstate but not so good on the byways.  Any tips on maneuvering with a motorhome this size would be appreciated!
 
The owner I talked to said his toad tracks inside the motorhome wheels so if the motorhome can make it in and out of the station, the toad is not a concern.  Hopefully others will chime in here and relate their experience. 
 
The main thing in maneuvering any big rig is to look ahead and plan where you will turn and exit. There isn't any significant difference when moving up from 30-32 feet to 35-37, so once you decide on "large", you have bought the advantages and disadvantages as a package.

The trend in gas stations is to orient the pumps so that you face the convenience store. That is almost always bad - or even impossible - for large rigs, with or without a trailer or toad, so you will probably avoid those if possible. Look for stations that have the pumps parallel to the store front or widely separated from it. Often there will be a pump on the end of the row that offers better access and departure.  Stations in rural areas or small towns often have plenty of space, whereas stations in cities are nearly always crowded space-wise and congested as well.
 
Gas stations always get my attention as I never want to get boxed in. With a flat towed car along, you cannot back up more than a couple feet if you get penned in so it has to have a way out in front or I won't go in. Also, to avoid having a series of cars block me at the first pump I come to, I always drive thru to the last pump on that island so I can get out when I'm done. I've experienced more than one inconsiderate driver at busy gas stations.

There was only once (in 50K miles of travels) on a narrow, dirt back road that I had to disconnect the towed to complete a turn around. But you too will be around 58-60 feet in length so that is not a good idea when it looks tight. (BTW I had no choice as a campground worker sent us down the wrong road when trying to locate the place in FL -over the phone. The road ended in another mile at the waters edge!)

One thing you must do carefully is watch the rear end "swingout" as gas pumps, sign posts & etc. will be waiting to attack your rear corners. Big gas motorhomes have a fairly long overhang and it will kick or swing about 4 feet outward beyond the rear tire path. My advice would be to measure that on your particular coach and then practice sharp turns in a large empty parking lot (maybe an empty truck terminal, or plant when closed) before going anywhere that's going to have tight turns-like many intersections in towns.

Once you get used to it (and you will quickly) large RV's are great fun to drive. Enjoy! GR
 
mygreyhound said:
RogerE

Gary may have a point about the CCC on some chassis. If you're buying used (more than 2 years back) it'll be on a Workhorse Chassis, and if you can find one go for the W24 (24,000 lb. chassis) as mine has a CCC of 2,779 lbs. and a combined GCWR of 30,000 lbs. The W22, 22,000 chassis has less I believe.  If you go new, the Ford F53 also can be had on a 24,000 chassis that would be worth the extra up-charge.

Gene

We visited the dealer again today with a long list of questions.  The CCC on the new 2013 37F that we are looking at (cargo and passengers) is 3201 pounds.  It is the 24,000 Lb. chassis with a GCWR of 30,000 lb.
 
We had a 2000 Adventurer 37G for 10 years and loved it, now we have a 2007 38 with two slides and love it even more.  I think the Adventurer is the best choice for a gasser.
Good luck and happy camping
Herb n Mar
 
I bought a 2005 Winnebago Adventurer with Ford V10 Triton engine and 5-speed transmission with "TOW/HAUL". It's 34 ft. long and we flat-tow an early production 2012 Ford Fusion (later production models are not flat towable).  The whole rig is 66 feet long and I've had very little trouble maneuvering it.  Ford's suspension is soft and to counteract what we felt was excessive sway, I had my RV mechanic install an extra-heavy duty rear sway bar; it really helped.  We've had this a little over a year and love it.  It drives well with new sway bar and because of the towing limits of the Fusion and also to economise on gas, our maximum speed is 62 MPH.  Towing the toad, we get about 7 mpg; without about 8 mpg.  The amenities of the unit and its ease of service are great!  We just wish we could spend more time in it.  Suggestion: you may want to look around for a low-mileage used unit as a starter.  You can't go wrong with the Winnebagos.
 
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