a 37 foot Suncruiser

by Itasca

Purchased November, 2004

After traveling all over North America for the past  6 years we decided that the poor 'ole fifth wheel just couldn't make it much longer. Also, I found that my knees were starting to give me trouble due to my Osteoarthritis. So, while we were in Tucson, Arizona, we decided to start looking for a new home. Before we started to look for anything we each made up a list of what we wanted in a motorhome. After that we consolidated our lists. We found several on the internet that looked promising but started thinking about all the problems in buying a rig from a private owner. First of all there was the problem of checking the rig out. Then there was the situation about getting a title transferred and new tags. However, the biggest problem that loomed seemed to be what to do with the old fifth wheel and the truck. We did look at one coach from a private owner and we really liked it but decided we would check out a couple of the local dealers. The first one we went to was Beaudry RV. As is the case with any used car lot (be it auto or RV) as we pulled onto the lot the sharks started circling. The first one to approach us was a very nice guy by the name of Jon. We mentioned that we had looked at a used Dolphin that we liked so he showed us several in our price  range. While the rigs we saw were very nice it just wasn't "the one". Now you men out there probably don't understand this, but I am sure the women will. You can look and look and one day you walk into a rig and know it is "the one". Well, Jon and my husband, Bob, kept saying what is it that you don't like? I just couldn't pin it down. A couple of days later we decided to take a run over to La Mesa RV. Just across the street from Beaudry. As we pulled up, again the sharks started circling. One of the salesmen came over and asked what we were interested in. Well, Bob's answer was a $$ figure. We looked at several and finally found a 2001 Itasca Suncruiser that we liked. It was a little longer than we had intended but was within our price range. It has one slideout and is gasoline operated. However, as we were looking at it and Bob was negotiating with the salesman about the mileage (it had about 37,000 miles on it) the salesman went to talk to his boss. Well, it turned out that they had gotten another 2001 Itasca Suncruiser that only had 18,000 miles, plus it was a 50 amp (where the first one was only 30 amp) and it had a King Dome Satellite on it. In addition, it had a washing machine. The second Itasca had not been detailed yet and had a hole where the microwave convection oven should have been. The salesman assured us that we  could get it at the same price as the first model we looked at. (When our salesman went to get his boss I was jumping up and down and told Bob "THIS IS IT") The boss seemed to think it was a little unreasonable, but after some negotiation we finally agreed on a price which included our truck and trailer as a trade-in. The salesman agreed that when the coach was ready we could take it out to the RV park we were staying in so that we could move our things over. Bob kept saying that it should only take a couple of hours. (HA! he obviously wasn't looking while I was stuffing). Our salesman wanted Bob to sign the contract right then and there. Bob said he would only sign the contract when the coach was brought up to factory standards. We went back home and waited for them to call us when everything was done. After several days we got a call that the coach was all ready and we should come in. Well, that day happened to be our salesman's day off, but there he was bright and ready to have Bob sign the contract. However, Bob said that he wanted to check everything on the coach to make sure it worked. Our salesman kept saying it wasn't done that way. However, Bob chugged right along testing tanks, and appliances. These tests included filling all the tanks (to check for leaks) and Bob sliding under the coach on a borrowed dolly. Finally Bob said he was satisfied with everything and he would sign the contract when we came to pick it up 2 days later (they had a few things that still needed to be done). Two days later we showed up and our salesman was at a Winnebago class. The gentleman that was assigned to fill out our paperwork asked where the fifth wheel was that we were trading in. We told him it was out at the RV park awaiting us returning with the motorhome to move in. He was shocked and told us it didn't work that way. We told him to check with the office manager who said that they had agreed we would do it that way. However, we did have to turn our title to the truck over to them, and then because we had to use the truck to get around (didn't have our Jeep yet) and we needed the truck to bring in the fifth wheel they worked out a loan agreement for us to use "their" truck.  On the way back to the RV park I drove the truck and Bob followed in the motorhome. We had made arrangements with the park that we could park door to door right next to the fifth wheel so we could move in. Well, we picked the motorhome up on Wednesday and finally finished the "moving in process" on the following Tuesday. (Bob's "couple of hours" ended up being about 5 days.) Although we were moving from a 30ft fifth wheel to a 37ft motorhome we found that we had lost a lot of storage room. Plus, we had accumulated a whole bunch of junk. We had several sort piles: 1-things to move into the motorhome, 2-things to go on the "yard sale" pile, 3-things to throw out. What a job! The moving wasn't the hardest part, the decision making was. I would go into the fifth wheel and load 2 or 3 boxes and Bob would move them into the motorhome. then I would go over to the motorhome and decide where these things were to be stored. Bob said that although we lost some storage space, what we did have was much more accessible. During this moving in period we found time to get a 2003 Jeep Liberty that we would tow behind our motorhome. Finally on Tuesday we were finished and took the truck and fifth wheel into La Mesa and turned them in. I followed in the Jeep. It was an emotional time for me because I tend to get attached to "things". Although I did not mind turning the fifth wheel in as much as I did the truck. My truck had become a real "friend" that got us through some pretty hard times and rough journeys. Our salesman had promised us two steaks and twice backed potatoes and gave us a card to pick them up. After we got home and got settled in to our motorhome I was very glad that we had taken the steps we did. Our new motorhome is really nice and really comfortable. Plus after we got back to the RV park we had to move the coach from the space it was in to the one next to it. I don't think I could get Bob to go back to a fifth wheel after that. He said it was so simple backing the coach in, plus hooking it up and because we have a satellite dome we just push a couple of buttons. Since there was a complete warranty for 30 days, we made sure to try everything and listen to any "strange" sounds. We did find a couple of things that needed fixing. When you take a rig in you are given a service advisor. Ours was Jennifer and she was just great. She made sure that everything we wanted done was completed to our satisfaction. One thing we had a problem with was the black tank (53 gallons) seemed to fill up much quicker than our fifth wheel which was much smaller. We finally found out from Itasca (Winnebago) that our bathroom sink also emptied into the black tank. Seems they figured it would keep the black tank from drying out and causing troubles. Even after all our precautions it wasn't until after the 30 days were over (while putting up Christmas Lights) we found a chip in the windshield. We had a glass man come out and fix it, which our insurance would cover. Wow! talk about luxury. All in all we were very pleased with our purchase and look forward to our new life.

Good Luck! Have Fun! and Stay Safe!