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Old 06-24-2007, 05:18 PM   #1
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Well, as you can see by my post count I am a new member here. I just bought my first motorhome and it is a 1990 Itasca Suncruiser 31' motorhome. Only two previous owners, with the last one being a retired couple who owned it for the last 10 years. It seems to have been loved and kept very well (mostly in a storage area) It is in good shape with 51k miles and an upgraded sound system.

I paid $8k which after looking at many MH's seems to be a great deal. I have a few questions and I'll enumerate them for easy answering.

1.) Did I get as good a deal as I think I did?
2.) The generator doesn't seem to run as good as I think it should with only 400 hours, how much does it cost to get it serviced?
3.) No awning, how much does a middle road awning cost to have installed?
4.) Is and Itasca made by Winnebego?
5.) any tips or hints for a new 0wner to be wary of or know about?
6.) the seller seemed real honest and told me that it burns a lot of oil. Doesn't leak oil, just burns a lot while driving. Like 1 quard per 3-4 hundred miles. Should this concern me?

I really appreciate any newbie tips I get and am thankful to find such a wonderful community to become a part of.

~Pyldrvr
Washington State
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:18 PM   #2
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Well, as you can see by my post count I am a new member here. I just bought my first motorhome and it is a 1990 Itasca Suncruiser 31' motorhome. Only two previous owners, with the last one being a retired couple who owned it for the last 10 years. It seems to have been loved and kept very well (mostly in a storage area) It is in good shape with 51k miles and an upgraded sound system.

I paid $8k which after looking at many MH's seems to be a great deal. I have a few questions and I'll enumerate them for easy answering.

1.) Did I get as good a deal as I think I did?
2.) The generator doesn't seem to run as good as I think it should with only 400 hours, how much does it cost to get it serviced?
3.) No awning, how much does a middle road awning cost to have installed?
4.) Is and Itasca made by Winnebego?
5.) any tips or hints for a new 0wner to be wary of or know about?
6.) the seller seemed real honest and told me that it burns a lot of oil. Doesn't leak oil, just burns a lot while driving. Like 1 quard per 3-4 hundred miles. Should this concern me?

I really appreciate any newbie tips I get and am thankful to find such a wonderful community to become a part of.

~Pyldrvr
Washington State
New Adventurer
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:37 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pyldrvr:
Well, as you can see by my post count I am a new member here. I just bought my first motorhome and it is a 1990 Itasca Suncruiser 31' motorhome. Only two previous owners, with the last one being a retired couple who owned it for the last 10 years. It seems to have been loved and kept very well (mostly in a storage area) It is in good shape with 51k miles and an upgraded sound system.

I paid $8k which after looking at many MH's seems to be a great deal. I have a few questions and I'll enumerate them for easy answering.

1.) Did I get as good a deal as I think I did?
2.) The generator doesn't seem to run as good as I think it should with only 400 hours, how much does it cost to get it serviced?
3.) No awning, how much does a middle road awning cost to have installed?
4.) Is and Itasca made by Winnebego?
5.) any tips or hints for a new 0wner to be wary of or know about?
6.) the seller seemed real honest and told me that it burns a lot of oil. Doesn't leak oil, just burns a lot while driving. Like 1 quard per 3-4 hundred miles. Should this concern me?

I really appreciate any newbie tips I get and am thankful to find such a wonderful community to become a part of.

~Pyldrvr
Washington State
New Adventurer </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Welcome aboard!

Replies:
#1 - Doesn't matter, as it's all a state of mind. If you like the floor plan and overall condition, along with the price you paid, then you got a GREAT deal.

#2 - Not sure but it's something that you can pretty much do yourself. Change the oil, spark plug, air filter and fuel filter. How old is the gasoline that's in the tank?

#3 - Check out places like Camping World (www.campingworld.com) They have different models and sizes and you can catch them with a sale price or a reduced installation cost.

#4 - Yes

#5 - If you're not used to driving a MH, watch those right-hand turns, gas pumps and low-hanging trees. Make sure you do a walk-around just before leaving your camp site to make sure everything has been lowered and put away. Keep a spare key hidden or in your pocket so you don't accidentally lock your self out miles from home. There's a lot more, but some you'll just discover by yourself.

#6 - I would be concerned and would want that checked out...
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:48 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">#2 - Not sure but it's something that you can pretty much do yourself. Change the oil, spark plug, air filter and fuel filter. How old is the gasoline that's in the tank? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
He did say the gasoline was over a year old, and maybe that was the problem. He said it hasn't ever had a problem for him in the past.

Thanks for the quick reply. I will take it in and have an inspection done and ask about the oil burning situation. For 8k I can't complain too much. Seems like a pretty nice first rig to me.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:44 AM   #5
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Sounds similar to the way we started out. Older unit, low cost, wanted to see if we liked camping.
That was 20 years ago, we still love it and we are on our 6 RV since.
Once you get the bug, its hard to get it out of your system.
Sounds like you may have gotten a great deal but remember that when things get older, they may need a little more pampering and attention.
Get the old gas out, try some oil treatment and by all means check out the tires, they coukd be dry rotting if they have not been replaced if the last few years.
Happy camping and keep us posted.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:08 AM   #6
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A motor home can run like a fine watch, but if it can't stop in an emergency, all is for naught. Please have the brake fluid purged and changed. It picks up water being stored and just when you need those binders, they may fail. It is not an expensive thing to do and you will be safe. In fact have the brakes checked while your at it. IMHO, more important than oil consumption.
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:58 AM   #7
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~Pyldrvr

As others have suggested, make sure you check the age of the tires. It is easy to read the mfg date on the sidewall ...if the DOT string of numbers ends in 3 digits (1990's date), or in 4 digits that end in 00 or 01, you likely need to replace the tires regardless of how much tread they have. Tires that have sat without being driven have had the worst treatment they can have.

With only 400 hrs, the generator has not been properly "exercised" over it's lifetime. It needs to be run monthly under at least 1/2 load for at least 30-60 minutes. That, in addition to the old gas, is no doubt the reason it doesn't run well. Geting it serviced and getting the old gas out of it, then running it regularly, should make it run better.

The engine oil use is excessive, and needs to be checked out.

I am guessing it has a fiberglass roof (rather than rubber coated, etc). Winnebago/Itasca fiberglass roofs are very durable, but they do need to be checked at least annually for cracked/dried sealant around the roof additions, and along the seam between the roof and the sidewall. Many owners remove the side sealant themselves and replace it as needed. I have a dealer to mine. Some owners have covered the repaired side seam sealant with Eternabond tape, believing that is a more permanent solution that does not require such regular maintenance.

Enjoy it! Use it often!
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the helpful tips. I am picking it up in the morning, and will take it in to a dealer to get a full inspection done on it this weekend. Taking it out on it's maiden voyage in a couple of weeks to the washington coast for an extended family get together, I'll let y'all know how she performs.

Cheers!
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:15 PM   #9
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Being that it is a heavy oil user, be prepared to hear what you don't what to hear.. More than likely you have a Chevy 454, expensive to rebuild... If you have to upgrade go for the vortex and think aboout replacing the tranny if it is a th400 3 speed. I have an 89, 31'er, 6mph with the above set up moving @ 65mph. I am about ready to do the upgrade...Vortex, 4sp. with a gear vendor overdrive...Love the camper but cant aford a new one.....not yet anyway. good luck, this is a great formum for your questions to be answered...
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:57 AM   #10
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Pyldrvr - Congratulations! Here's a link to the brochure for your unit. Enjoy your new rig and let us know how it goes.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:32 AM   #11
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The engines of that year were gas hungry. We had an '89 Pace Arrow, 34' and on a good day we'd get 6.5 mpg at 65 mph. We did see as low as 4.0 mpg.

The P-30 chassis could stand some help on handling on the highway. Steer-Safe to help the steering and air springs on the rear with Bilstein shocks all-round.

it is not abnormal to have the 454 CID engine to burn 1 quart per 1000 miles, but in 300 or 400 that is excessive. It could be worn or cracked valve stem seals/guides or a racked ring. Get a compression check on the engine.

Since it has been setting so long, check the tire dates, brakes, brake lines, front wheel bearings and get the front suspension checked for any looseness. I would also get the engine oil, generator oil and tranny fluid changed.

have fun though...

en
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:13 PM   #12
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been reading past posts and came up with this one - we also have a 97 Itasco MH 34ft that we purchased in 07. In Ontario before we can licence a motor vehicle we have to get it certified. This included changing the oil etc and that is when we started to use Lucas oil additive, the original owner told us he only got 8-10 miles to the gallon we found that on our last trip to Florida we managed approx 12 miles to the gallon has anyone used additives and found a remarkable difference
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