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Old 11-26-2007, 05:48 AM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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This is just for reference purposes in case someone is in the market later and does a search. I posted it on the other forum in response to a question, but it might be useful to someone later:

Traded a 2001 Itasca 35U in on a 2008 35J Sightseer 2 weeks ago. The 35U had dual windows and basement air. In 2 weeks we have put about 800 miles on the 35J including 1 trip with 5 humans, 5 big dogs and 2 cats. This weekend we were in the Shenandoah's and it got down to 17 one night. All this offered to substantiate that I can compare the options.

Dual Pane: Yes there is a difference but the fogging problem that is so prevalent mitigates that, IMHO. The few times that we do a lot of cold weather camping vs paying hundreds/thousands of dollars to replace fogged dual pane windows isn't worth it. And, the 35U had 2 fogged windows. Of course dual are better...maybe arm twist an extended window warranty?

Basement Air: not a deal breaker, either way. I love the extra storage that roof top air frees up. I also like being able to turn one of the AC's on or off for zone cooling (closing vents doesn't help IMHO). Since you do not have under bed storage in the new 35J, the basement room is nice. We liked our basement air and used the heat pump a fair amount. A $40 oil filled radiator has replaced that and gives us basement storage.

Some observations:

We love the floorplan and coach. We deliberately put her through the paces since we don't live near the dealer. I have not a single thing for the punch list. We did have a jack retraction issue: it would blow the fuse. Tech called Winnie and they said they made a mistake and called for a 5 amp fuse when it should have been 15 amp. Since then, no issues. Extremely well put together. The stuff that follows is minor and could be found on any brand. I offer it only for a heads up when you talk to your dealer. We have no regrets.

Propane: the tank is half the size of the 35U! 14 gal vs 28. If you do winter camping, this can be an issue.

Front TV: Useless. Too small and the viewing angle is very limited....almost have to watch it head on. We'll replace ours. Our 2008 has the TV up front; others report their TV is over the barrel chair. There is no inverter and no video distribution center on mine. The DVD player is the radio and it feeds the TV. Works fine. I haven't mastered yet getting all this to work with the rear TV.

Sat TV: they did a good thing, half way. They ran 1 RG6 to the utility compartment for a portable dish and one to the roof for a roof dish. For 50 cents more they could have run dual coax so a dual LNB could be used with a DVR so you could watch one/record another, etc. Fairly easy fix that I have done.

Barrel Chair: Useless. Not comfortable. We'll replace ours with a Lazy Boy type chair.

Water pump: the engineer that decided to put it under the bed needs to be condemned to sleep there for eternity. I'll be swapping it out for a quiet pump/accumulator.

CB Wiring: the manuals et al says it is there. Winnie says only the 12v wires are there since they stopped putting the antennas on the roof. I have yet to find the 12V wiring!!! I need 12v there for my TOAD brake warning receiver. I wish they ran more 12v jacks up front for GPS's Laptops etc. There is one under the radio and 1 under the passenger overhead compartment...to use it, you must have a wire hanging down.

Bunks: Grandson LOVES them! His dad even uses the top one. On ours, the audio is via an IR headphone, not wired as they were in '07. There is no speaker but G'Son turns his up loud and lays it near his head and is happy. These DVD players are just that...DVD players, no TV.

35J rides better and the engine is very quiet, even on steep grades (both of ours had the Ford V10).

Manuals are excellent. Winnie very supportive when you call them (as I had to do on the TV wiring). Control and explanation of the TV system is the only thing weak in the manuals.

There seems to be a lot more storage than on the 35U. I can't prove it but it feels that way. CCC is a lot better (probably because of things like a smaller propane tank!).

As always, these are just my opinions based on what we think is important. Yours will probably vary. It is just a data point.

steve
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:48 AM   #2
Winnie-Wise
 
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This is just for reference purposes in case someone is in the market later and does a search. I posted it on the other forum in response to a question, but it might be useful to someone later:

Traded a 2001 Itasca 35U in on a 2008 35J Sightseer 2 weeks ago. The 35U had dual windows and basement air. In 2 weeks we have put about 800 miles on the 35J including 1 trip with 5 humans, 5 big dogs and 2 cats. This weekend we were in the Shenandoah's and it got down to 17 one night. All this offered to substantiate that I can compare the options.

Dual Pane: Yes there is a difference but the fogging problem that is so prevalent mitigates that, IMHO. The few times that we do a lot of cold weather camping vs paying hundreds/thousands of dollars to replace fogged dual pane windows isn't worth it. And, the 35U had 2 fogged windows. Of course dual are better...maybe arm twist an extended window warranty?

Basement Air: not a deal breaker, either way. I love the extra storage that roof top air frees up. I also like being able to turn one of the AC's on or off for zone cooling (closing vents doesn't help IMHO). Since you do not have under bed storage in the new 35J, the basement room is nice. We liked our basement air and used the heat pump a fair amount. A $40 oil filled radiator has replaced that and gives us basement storage.

Some observations:

We love the floorplan and coach. We deliberately put her through the paces since we don't live near the dealer. I have not a single thing for the punch list. We did have a jack retraction issue: it would blow the fuse. Tech called Winnie and they said they made a mistake and called for a 5 amp fuse when it should have been 15 amp. Since then, no issues. Extremely well put together. The stuff that follows is minor and could be found on any brand. I offer it only for a heads up when you talk to your dealer. We have no regrets.

Propane: the tank is half the size of the 35U! 14 gal vs 28. If you do winter camping, this can be an issue.

Front TV: Useless. Too small and the viewing angle is very limited....almost have to watch it head on. We'll replace ours. Our 2008 has the TV up front; others report their TV is over the barrel chair. There is no inverter and no video distribution center on mine. The DVD player is the radio and it feeds the TV. Works fine. I haven't mastered yet getting all this to work with the rear TV.

Sat TV: they did a good thing, half way. They ran 1 RG6 to the utility compartment for a portable dish and one to the roof for a roof dish. For 50 cents more they could have run dual coax so a dual LNB could be used with a DVR so you could watch one/record another, etc. Fairly easy fix that I have done.

Barrel Chair: Useless. Not comfortable. We'll replace ours with a Lazy Boy type chair.

Water pump: the engineer that decided to put it under the bed needs to be condemned to sleep there for eternity. I'll be swapping it out for a quiet pump/accumulator.

CB Wiring: the manuals et al says it is there. Winnie says only the 12v wires are there since they stopped putting the antennas on the roof. I have yet to find the 12V wiring!!! I need 12v there for my TOAD brake warning receiver. I wish they ran more 12v jacks up front for GPS's Laptops etc. There is one under the radio and 1 under the passenger overhead compartment...to use it, you must have a wire hanging down.

Bunks: Grandson LOVES them! His dad even uses the top one. On ours, the audio is via an IR headphone, not wired as they were in '07. There is no speaker but G'Son turns his up loud and lays it near his head and is happy. These DVD players are just that...DVD players, no TV.

35J rides better and the engine is very quiet, even on steep grades (both of ours had the Ford V10).

Manuals are excellent. Winnie very supportive when you call them (as I had to do on the TV wiring). Control and explanation of the TV system is the only thing weak in the manuals.

There seems to be a lot more storage than on the 35U. I can't prove it but it feels that way. CCC is a lot better (probably because of things like a smaller propane tank!).

As always, these are just my opinions based on what we think is important. Yours will probably vary. It is just a data point.

steve
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:47 AM   #3
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<span class="ev_code_PURPLE">It was interesting to read your posts and compare models.

In my 2007 the bunks have dvd/tvs. The kids can watch satelitte tv with no problem. One can even be watching tv while the other watches a dvd. Thank goodness because my 6 year old son and 11 yr old daughter have very different tastes, lol.

I agree about the water pump...it is really loud. Not a huge deal for us because we rarely use it. I would also replace if frequently used.

We are among the few that don't have dual pane windows. I like to be able to see out of my windows without the fogging. Again, I would reconsider if I winter camped often.

Agree about the barrel chair...it was the first thing to go on ours.

We have a roof a/c and I can't compare it to anything else as it's our first motorhome. I do wish it were quieter though !!</span>
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:04 AM   #4
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I'm wondering if I haven't figured out all the possibilities re the TV/DVD. I cannot see how our bunk videos could be anything but just DVD, but maybe I missed something. I'll have to check out the schematics and see if cable is routed there. Thanks! Steve
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:44 AM   #5
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As with Shannone, our 35J is a 2007, and our bunk tv's do allow the kids to watch tv shows from the cable hookup. Hopefully they did not eliminate this feature for 2008. They also have the capability to plug in their video games with the RCA jacks. And we too got rid of the barrel chair and utilize the space for shoes and dog supplies.

Being our first MH, I didn't realize how small our propane tank is until I saw my father's Tiffin last week. We camped next to each other at Fort Wilderness, and his tank (also on a 35' gas chassis) is huge. Oh well, you can't have everything and we don't do much cold weather camping, so it doesn't concern me.
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:40 PM   #6
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No, mine are "Directed Video OHD 800B "8.5" TFT-LCD DVD/SD/USB Combo Monitors". I see no cabling on the Winnie schematics. The 2 monitors are independent so each plays its own DVD. They do have game ports with a 12v plug in each bunk. Steve
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:25 AM   #7
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Ok, those are different from ours. I don't offhand know the models, but ours share a single dvd player which is mounted in the top bunk, and have corded headphones. Too bad they did not wire them for cable/sat.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:19 PM   #8
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Larger propane tank would be nice, but as I don't full time it hasn't been a problem. Add an Extend-a-Stay for a larger tank. I added one for my BBQ.

Front TV - I have a 25" tube TV, works great. What are they putting in the new ones?

We didn't get the VCR or Bunk Bed units, I had a good spare DVD/VCR unit and I don't want the kids watching TV in bed in the first place so it hasn't been an issue.

Barrel Chair - agree, finally pulled ours and put the dog bed in its place - should have done that a year ago. Dog loved it and saved the weight.

12V - I am looking at putting in another couple 12v outlets as well. One drives my laptop now and doesn't give me more outlets for other items.

More storage would be nice, wish we had a full pass through compartment for some of my longer items.
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