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Old 04-28-2007, 11:45 AM   #1
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DH and I are looking at a new '07 36L Itasca Ellipse with the Evolution™ Chassis and the Caterpillar, ISL, 8.9L turbo-charged diesel, 400-hp engine. However, we are scheduled to leave mid May for our first trip to Alaska. We are scheduling three and a half months so we can take our time while traveling through Canada. Has anyone ever purchased a new RV and then left on an extensive trip?

Also, does anyone have any pros or cons regarding Ellipse motorhomes?

Thanks, Betty
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:45 AM   #2
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DH and I are looking at a new '07 36L Itasca Ellipse with the Evolution™ Chassis and the Caterpillar, ISL, 8.9L turbo-charged diesel, 400-hp engine. However, we are scheduled to leave mid May for our first trip to Alaska. We are scheduling three and a half months so we can take our time while traveling through Canada. Has anyone ever purchased a new RV and then left on an extensive trip?

Also, does anyone have any pros or cons regarding Ellipse motorhomes?

Thanks, Betty
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:59 AM   #3
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Seems like a pretty brave move. After all that is written in these forums I would think some shake down time should be in the schedule. I would want a few shorter trips under my belt before leaving for the great north. I would think there would be problems finding authorized facilities if the need arose. Good luck how ever you chose to do it.
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Old 04-28-2007, 12:00 PM   #4
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The 8.9 should be a Cummins engine, I would suggest you live in the unit for a few days at the dealer to make sure all is in order. When we bought our new Horizon we went for a 3 week trip and found out our AC did not work properly. We had to cancell our trip and return to the dealer.
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Old 04-28-2007, 12:27 PM   #5
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You are right about the Cummins engine garybtt. My mistake in the description.

We were planning on doing a 3 day trip to "test out" the coach, but I still am unsure about such a long trip in something so new.

Thanks for the input.

Betty
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Old 04-28-2007, 12:33 PM   #6
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We purchased a 2000 Suncruiser and left for Alaska three weeks later. We did travel about 1000 miles before we left. All went well for us. Took the unit back to the dealer before we left and had a few minor things fixed. At that time there were Winnebago dealers in both Fairbanks and Anchorage. Several older coaches on the caravan we were in used their services and were satisfied.

Have a good trip.

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Old 04-28-2007, 12:37 PM   #7
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We took our 05 Journey from a dealer near San Jose, Ca to Alaska and back into N Dakota as a shake down criuse. We did have a fair amount of time traveling with the coach before we entered Canada. We only had one maintenance issue and that was a fuel pump failure in Yukon. The tow bill was 1900 dollars, fortunately Cummins paid for the repair and tow.

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Old 04-28-2007, 12:38 PM   #8
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Since the AC problem we have put 9000 miles on our coach and have not had any problems. Winnebago does build it well, it is the small detail items that could be problems. The chassis and drivetrain have been perfect. Goodluck and I am envious as I wish That we were also going.
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Old 04-28-2007, 02:04 PM   #9
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As others have said some shakedown time would be adviseable..The Ellipse in the 40 ft model is a great coach. I know of a couple of people who have them do a search and you will find some info I am sure.. Good Luck
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Old 04-28-2007, 02:27 PM   #10
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The motorhome is a pretty complicated bunch of mechanical and electrical components. Personally,I'd plan at least 1 week of local shake down before attempting an extended trip either in time or distance. It would be a bummer to get 1000 miles from home and blow an engine, dump a tranny, or blow a wad of electrical gear.

You just never know on RV's. odds are you wil only have a few minor issues, but remember what Mr. Murphy said...if it can go wrong it will go wrong!

Ken
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Old 04-28-2007, 04:28 PM   #11
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Based on the lack of quality in the coaches and subsystems, I would not take a coach on an extended trip until I have lived with it for at least six months. You need to go on several small trips and try everything to make sure all the systems will work. For the first year, my coach spent more time in the shop being repaired than in a campground.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:31 AM   #12
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If your rig doesn't have any serious issues that need to be fixed before a long trip, why not?!

There is a real good Winnebago dealer in Anchorage that could fix your accumulated problem list when you get to Alaska. Be sure and call about two or three weeks before you arrive for an appointment.

The biggest concern would be getting parts - you might have to go through a cycle of diagnose-order part-install part which might take a couple of weeks.

There are also Freightliner dealers in Canada that could take care of chassis problems - I specifically remember passing by one in the Yukon. We needed to get our Jeep serviced and found a good dealer in Whitehorse. Thought we had an engine overheating problem and found a good Freightliner dealer in Rapid City (if I remember correctly) to check it out.

Getting stuff fixed on the road is not that difficult if you have a good attitude and try not to keep to a schedule.

About the Ellipse... it is basically the same as the Vectra/Horizon but you get a straight-axle front suspension and not independent front suspension (IFS.) The IFS would be a better suspension on the Alaska Highway due to some pretty bad roads you run into occasionally (IFS minimizes "bump-steer" or the steering reacting to one wheel hitting a pot hole.) On good roads either suspension is pretty much a toss-up.

Be sure and check the CCC of the coach under consideration - make sure it is adequate for your intended use (full-timing vs. occasional travel.)
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:54 AM   #13
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John has some good points. Keep in mind that Cat, Kenworth, Peterbuilt service facilities are often qualified to do routine service and warranty work on Cummins engines. When our fuelpump failed we were serviced and warrantied by a Kenworth Dealer in Whitehorse Yukon.

The new Ellipse will come with a free year of Coach Net which can help with any maintenance issues. Coach Net arranged for our towing in a timely, efficient manor.

Life is to short to worry about things you have no control over, GO FOR IT!

PS: Depending on how many miles your new coach has on it when you purchase it, the transmission will require a 5000 mile at somepoint during your trip.

Jim
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:16 AM   #14
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Jim,

Allison has gone to new higher capacity filters in the 3000 series transmission which eliminate the need for the 5K filter change. I believe they started using them with units built 1/07.

You can verify this at the Allison website by the serial number of the transmission -- which requires the 5K service and which don't.

Impressive picture of your Journey on the flatbed!
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:28 AM   #15
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Thanks Don, We are the the Winny factory right now. I have already asked them to do the filter change. I am not sure if they have done it yet. I will check my s/n and see if it is required. I can't get to the info till monday morning. My guess is that the transmission was mfg'd before 1/07.

Jim
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:19 AM   #16
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Although a shake down or for that matter several may give you a certain peace of mind I wouldn't think it necessary to rearrange travel plans to accommidate it. The bottom line is if something breaks get it fixed. Inconvience and time are both states of mind and with a good attitude can be overcome. Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 04-29-2007, 02:16 PM   #17
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If anyone is interested I have a extra High capacity filter for a 3000mh as they come two to a kit and I only need one.
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