Originally Posted by SV64
I'm considering a purchase of an Itasca 24G. There are other brands (Thor etc). I believe Itasca is the way to go. Am I wrong?
Where should I buy? Local (California) or go to Iowa?
Any/All advice would be appreciated
I am writing this sitting in my new Navion IQ 24G with both slides out, and my wife asleep in the queen bed. I don't think you could go wrong with a purchase of this model.
We flew into Forest City from Maryland, and picked up our Navion Thursday. As of Today, we have about 350 miles on it. It had 14.5 miles when we took delivery. We are currently in Amana Colonies RV park after visiting the Maifest yesterday.
Our decision to buy the Itasca Navion IQ 24G instead of the View Profile was based on color/decor choice as both are identical otherwise. All of the models near where we live in Maryland had the dark Marbella Hi-gloss wood finish. We wanted Aosta Cherry.
After talking to Nicole at Lichtsinn (800-343-8255) we purchased our unit there. At delivery Ben went over every item in the coach and chassis. In the process he answered four questions that I could not get an answer to previously. This took quite a lot of time, about 3 hours. I had a 30 Amp Surge Suppressor hard wired in which was the only change that I had Lichtsinn make.
My wife and I spent the rest of the day moving our stuff into the RV, stored indoors at Lichtsinn. So we avoided the rain and high winds outside while we loaded the RV with items we had brought from home and at Mall of America.
That evening we camped for the first time in Lichtsinn's guest area. The next day we went to Mason City to pickup more stuff, and then went on the factory tour. That night we drove to where we are now at Amana Iowa RV Park.
On the Winnebago factory tour we saw the raw chassis cabs as they arrive from MB prior to having the body assembled. We saw high precision machinery cutting panels of various materials to a high level of precision and the press which bonds the walls into structural panels with 50,000 psi pressure. We saw how Winnebago makes their cabinetry and how they create the excellent seats and cushions.
It surprises us that people have come up to us on seeing the RV. We have had three visitors who wanted to know all about the Navion and it's features.
All were experienced RVers while we are novices. There is a lot of surprise at the unit having two slides and at how much room there is inside. Winnebago is constantly adding new features to the unit as standard. A person could be satisfied with the basic features alone, but some of the add-ons are very valuable to me.
This year the Rand McNally RV GPS is part of the "Infotainment Package." If it had not been, I would have purchased it as an add-on. The RV GPS allows you to input the specifications of your RV. It will then make sure you are not routed under bridges that are too low, too weak, or around turns you cannot easily make. It also has speed warnings, and turn warnings. It understands (I believe) which tunnels allow you to use them with LP Gas on board.
It is specialized with features of use to RVers, such as extensive listing of RV parks and sites of interest to the RV traveler.
The dashboard mounted infotainment unit links to our Iphones and so does the radio/dvd player. The Infotainment system was one option we insisted on. We also wanted the large skylight vent, the upgrade package, water filtration, the 22" bedroom TV, the heat pump, 3600 watt LP generator, and heated drainage system.
The 2014 model year unit has several items that are upgraded over the previous year. The 16' awning now has a row of led lights that can be pointed at different angles to illuminate the patio area. All the lights in the house except for the light in the shower are LED. (The shower light is halogen and is more tolerant of high moisture levels.)
The backsplash in the kitchen (part of the upgrade package) now has ambient lighting. MCD shades are standard now. A 1000 watt inverter is standard. The battery charger for the house batteries is now three stage.
We had used an Excel spreadsheet with all the option choices and factory build codes to select the items that we wanted. After sending this to 6 RV dealers there were none in our area who had what we wanted. For some reason most had the Marbella Cherry Hi-Gloss finish. This looks quite dark to me and we did not like it. We prefer Aosta Cherry which is very similar to our Danish Teak furniture at home.
Nicole at Lichtsinn had what we wanted in stock (two actually). They sold the View version prior to our decision so we went with the Navion instead. This was actually a better choice as I liked the exterior color more.
Last year we visited the RV shows at Timonium (State Fairgrounds), Maryland, and in Hershey PA. At Hershey we were able to see a lot of models that had not been at Timonium.
In particular the Leisure Travel Unity was interesting. And of course there are perhaps a dozen other RV makers who made Mercedes-Benz based RVs as well. So we were able to check features, fit and finish, and quality first hand. We judged Winnebago products to be the best that fit our needs.
My wife and I did not like the cab-over bunks from the first. So the View Profile/Navion IQ were our preference in Winnebago.
A major factor in buying from Lichtsinn was that they had both the bodies we liked and the Aosta Cherry interior wood with an acceptable interior decor. (I didn't like Rain).
I imagine you have seen Ron Lichtsinn's videos on the various Winnebago RVs. His 18~20 minute videos leave no doubt as to the features available in a unit. This means a great deal to me as I want to know "everything" before I consider a purchase.
Another factor was that units delivered to our area arrive with 1200+ miles on them. In your area that will be closer to 2500 miles. A delivery driver might be towing a car behind. Daimler-Benz recommends that no towing be done prior to reaching the end of the break in period.
Since we both wanted to see the Mall of America, we flew into Minneapolis, spent time at MOA and purchased items there for the RV prior to going to Forest City for delivery.
If you do go to Mall of America, bring you walking shoes. And if you buy from Lichtsinn, tell Ron that I said Hi!