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Old 06-11-2008, 10:47 AM   #1
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Ive posted before about the problems I'm having with my 1999 Itasca Suncruiser. To recap, it had 30k miles on it when I bought it. Banks power system and gear vendor. When I test drove it, it lost power and I took it to a mechanic who replaced two 02 sensors. It worked ok on the drive back. When I went to move, it did it again. Another mechanic looked at it and wanted to charge me for a new MAF. I took it to another mechanic for a second opinion and he said the MAF was just dirty. He cleaned it and I drove it from Northern California to Salt Lake City with no problems. While moving from one campground to another in Salt Lake, it happened again. Took it to one mechanic who said it was a cellanoid shift problem after a diagnostic scan. He sent me to a transmission specialist who did everything he could think of to make it malfunction and it was FINE. Nothing came up in HIS diagnostic. He saw some oil on the gear vendor and said that might have caused it to short out but could find nothing else wrong. I had the fuel filter replaced just to be on the safe side and I drove it almost to Denver when it happened again. It only happens when the gear vendor is on. It doesn't do it when the gear vendor is off. So obviously I have a gear vendor problem. And I'm taking it in to have that looked at.

Here's the question - it's a 1999 with 33k miles on it now. I can't decide whether to keep this thing and try to get it fixed - or whether to sell it for what I can get out of it, invest the money for six months, then buy something newer in November or December and hit the road again. Having an almost ten year RV scares me a bit. I'm going to have to remove decals, buff it up, get new decals replaced and do some remodeling/upgrading inside as well to continue living in it, which won't cost that much. It's not that it's that bad, it's just not my taste. But I'm concerned about the mechanical aspects. I have Good Sam's extended warranty plan. Breaking down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere really concerns me though.

I test drove a 2006 Winnebago Adventurer, 3 slides, full body paint, etc. and I want it so bad I can't stand it! But it's NOT the smart thing to do!!

I'd appreciate any insight, advice, input, WHATEVER from you more experienced RV'ers, especially the ones with mechanical experience.

I just DO NOT want to have any bills out here on the road - that's why I'm thinking of selling this one, investing the money, then taking it and buying something in the dead of winter when prices are down - and with the gas going up things should be REALLY cheap by then.

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond! Feel free to send emails so I'll get the info asap!
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:58 AM   #2
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There are two things I can tell you:
1. You can most likely eventually find the problem and fix it cheaper than "trading" to another rig.

2. You will always have ethe risk of problems on the road regardless of how old the rig is.

The decision is all yours. KIX
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:29 AM   #3
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Peace of mind is truly priceless.....Getting a coach that is 2 or 3 years old, has all the bells and whistles you want is very tempting. Things have changed quite a bit in 10 years in the RV industry. I for one would not put very much into your coach, clean it up and make yourself one heck of a deal in the next 6 months. I've seen some outrageous deals on coaches and as fuel goes up there will be more.

Good Luck.
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:35 PM   #4
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Since I am not the fix it yourself mechanic, it has been my experience that the absolute hardest thing to do is find someone honest enough and good enough to fix a problem when it comes up. Had situation common to yours on my 99 LaPalma - spent a lot of money over 3 years to get it to run to what I thought was pretty darned good. But after driving an 07 Itasca Suncruiser I opted for safety and newer power. Yes it cost me a lot more in the end but I will have a better piece of mind going over the mountains this summer with my family in the coach.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:48 PM   #5
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I agree with KIX. Unless you have really bad luck you should eventually get the problems sorted out. Besides, right now is a really bad time to try to sell an RV with the gas prices escalating so quickly. Even if you could sell it I dare you to find some kind of investment vehicle right now that would give you the kind of return you're looking for. In the end you'd probably be back to buying an older model with the money you have and there you'd be... right where you are now!
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:34 AM   #6
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I'm the kind of guy that does all maint. and repairs myself. Self taught via manuals and tech support. I have a difficult time paying someone, for things I can do myself. My philosphy...if it's broken/does not work, what harm can I do to it? Might get lucky and actually fix it.
Newer rigs with a warranty are nice, but I find newer rigs so much harder to work on DIY. Newer rigs almost mandate well schooled technicians. Give me something a little older, gently used and I'll make it something I can enjoy and depend on.
If I were you or if you're anything like me, I'd fix your unit and not worry about the age of it. JMHO
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:40 AM   #7
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It appears that the problem is linked to the Gear Vendor. At least that's what the Ford mechanic said. I hope it's not a case of "passing the buck". They don't work on Gear Vendors so now I have to find someone that does. I'm sure there's someone in the Denver area with that qualification - I just have to find him. Thank goodness I'm good with networking and research.

Does anyone have a Gear Vendor? I'm not at all familiar with it, but I know when it's on I get 10 miles to the gallon - yes, TEN. So I don't want to lose it or have it removed if it can be repaired. Anyone with any experience with Gear Vendors? Thanks for your time in responding!
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:50 PM   #8
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The problem was a bad Banks Power Chip - not the gear vendor . . . .
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraciesMom View Post
The problem was a bad Banks Power Chip - not the gear vendor . . . .
Good for you! You certainly are persistent. Glad you found and fixed the problem. Maybe a good time to trade up now. Look around.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:36 PM   #10
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Glad you found and fixed the problem
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:37 AM   #11
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Glad you found your mechanical problem. The only worry I would have with a coach that old would be the rubber items, like window seals, headliner backing, engine housing insulation, etc. These items last 10 to 15 yrs before they become brittle and have to be replaced.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:27 AM   #12
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We had a similar decision to make last September. Continue full-timing in a small class C RV that was 8 years old or trade up to something larger. We traded the Class C in on a Class A Winnebago Adventurer. Best decision we ever made.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:32 AM   #13
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We have the same year Winnebago Brave that your coach is. With only 33,000 miles, yours is just barely broken in. That year coach was well made. Your problem was actually with an after market product, not wwith the basic motor home. If you are comfortable with the floor plan and can get the exterior looking like you want, you will have many miles of inexpensive living compared to trading up. We are tempted all the time to trade up, but then we do a cost analysis of what we are getting for many thousands of dollars, not much.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:40 PM   #14
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Trading up . . .

John - the only way I will get a new rig is if I win one, hit the lottery, win big at the slots, or have a rich unknown uncle die and leave me money! LOL! No way I'm going to be making payments on a rig anytime soon, not with the way the market is going. I hopefully have a long time to live and right now, SAVE is the name of the game. I'll just keep tinkering with the one I have until I get it the way I want it . . . . and keep the maintenance up on it.

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