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Old 02-16-2014, 06:29 PM   #1
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Difference between Itasca and Winnebago

can someone direct me to an old post that described the diff in Winnebago Industries products

I need it to correct a friend who thinks Itasca is the top product not just different interiors and paint
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:39 PM   #2
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We did the factory tour last spring. Itasca and Winnebago are exactly the same in every respect except different names, exterior paint schemes and interior colors and decor.

You can also see that by looking on the Winnebago web sight. Just have your doubting Thomas compare the Itasca and Winnebago floor plans and everything about each model and line.

Having two lines allows them to offer additional choices of interior and exterior colors and that's about all.

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Old 02-16-2014, 06:41 PM   #3
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Good luck to both of you on that argument.

I don't know of any old post detailing this, but as I understand it (and I own an Itasca Ellipse 40FD) in order to get the best dealer coverage, they maintain the two separate brands so they can have an Itasca dealer nearby to a Winnie dealer.

I haven't looked recently, but there was a time when Itasca seemed to come standard with features that were options in the Winnie line. Naturally, this came with a higher price tag too.

I've heard Itasca described as the "Buick" compared to Winnie's "Chevy"... but I won't stand by that comparison.

I do know that there should be no difference in quality or materials since I've been to the factory and watched them come down the same line together.

On Edit: I just checked the Winnie website and they show the Ellipse and the Tour MSRP as virtually identical so that should probably settle it with your friend.

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Old 02-16-2014, 07:35 PM   #4
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RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: Winnebago/Itasca

what is the difference between Itasca and Winnebago
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:35 PM   #5
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My Meridian has standard features that the Journey does not have or offer for this same model year. One obvious one, so I have been lead to believe, is that we have storage under the bed. The Journey? Not. This is not mentioned in the literature.

I checked the brochures for my model year and there is nothing obvious. I did notice that some of the lamps were different. At one time Itasca was considered the "upper" line. The way my coach is put together I would hate to see what a lesser build looks like.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:44 PM   #6
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I have a 2013 Itasca Sunstar, and it is exactly the same as the Winnebago Vista, except for different paint and fabric schemes. I believe that in the past the Itasca line was a little higher than the Winnebago, but that changed several years ago. Today they are exactly the same.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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When we were shopping for ours, we compared both and found them to be identical in construction and basic features, including the under bed storage. The differences we noted were some features listed as standard on the Meridian were upgrades on the Journey, primarily cosmetic and/or furniture/finish related.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FleetMan View Post
When we were shopping for ours, we compared both and found them to be identical in construction and basic features, including the under bed storage. The differences we noted were some features listed as standard on the Meridian were upgrades on the Journey, primarily cosmetic and/or furniture/finish related.
I think your answer is the closest to the reality of Winnebago Industries products as of today and a few years past. Thanks.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:42 AM   #9
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I was always told that the Itasca was a step up from Winnebago. Something like Lincoln vs Mercury in the car world. Personally in looking at both of them I really didn't see any difference. JMHO of course.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rream View Post
can someone direct me to an old post that described the diff in Winnebago Industries products

I need it to correct a friend who thinks Itasca is the top product not just different interiors and paint
When we were looking to purchase a new motorhome last year we asked the people at Winnebago the same question. They gave us a list of the differences between the Winnebago Adventurer and the Itasca Suncruiser. In all there were about 15 items on the list. All were very minor like The Adventurer having different badging, a couple different trim pieces on the dash, and different interior and exterior color schemes.

The difference in the list price for an identically equipped Adventurer and Suncruiser was less than $2,000.00. Since there were no significant differences between the units we based our decision on the color scheme we liked best. We ended up with an Adventurer.

Just a note to anyone considering purchasing a Winnebago product. If you are looking for a particular option that isn't listed on the options price list it may still be possible to order it.

Before making an order we took a factory tour with one of their product training managers. During a conversation with him I asked why some options were no longer available. He responded by saying some had been eliminated from the list due to lack of sales. He went on to say if an option we were looking for was available on any Winnebago product we could request it. If it could physically be installed on the unit we were considering the factory would give us a price quote. We ended up ordering a couple options that weren't officially available on the Adventurer.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:17 AM   #11
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Last Fall, I contacted Winnebago customer service and asked for a MSRP price list for both a Winnebago Journey and an Itasca Meridian. They arrived a couple of days later and they were identical. Base price of both units was the same (I had asked for info on the 36M floorplan). Price of every option was the same. List of available options was exactly the same. Looking online, the list of standard equipment and specifications are identical. I have heard what someone else said above that at one time the Itasca was considered upscale and cost a little more than the Winnebago. Apparently they have gradually brought them into line with each other. This year (2014) Itasca even dropped the tufted back on the sofa's and went with the nail head trim on the front of the sofas just like the Winnebago has had for several years.

I believe one poster also stated that Winnebago maintains two different lines so that they can have more dealers in the same geographical areas. Here in Northern Colorado, we have an Itasca dealer and a Winnebago dealer that are only one exit apart on I-25. I would guess a distance of about 6 or 7 miles.

Not sure if the same applies to all of the Winnebago/Itasca RVs. Have only been following the Journey/Meridian lines. Still waiting for my ship to come in so I can order one. Hmmm ....
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:58 AM   #12
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After I purchased my Itasca the salesman told me that they were the same but the Itasca would be worth less on resale then the Winnebago. Of course I was real happy to hear that. (NOT) I some times think that if you can't make it as a Politician then you be come a Salesman.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwitt View Post
I believe one poster also stated that Winnebago maintains two different lines so that they can have more dealers in the same geographical areas. Here in Northern Colorado, we have an Itasca dealer and a Winnebago dealer that are only one exit apart on I-25. I would guess a distance of about 6 or 7 miles.
From what I can tell Itascas and Winnebagos are nearly identical.

If I'm not mistaken, prior to 1975 most, (all?), "Winnebago Dealers" had an exclusive geographical territory contractually promised to them by Winnebago Industries.

IMO because the RV market was very strong in the mid 70s, Winnebago Industries (greedily?) introduced the Itasca brand so they could legally sell other dealers, in already promised "exclusive" areas, exactly the same RVs with a different name plate.

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Old 02-18-2014, 05:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwitt View Post
Last Fall, I contacted Winnebago customer service and asked for a MSRP price list for both a Winnebago Journey and an Itasca Meridian. They arrived a couple of days later and they were identical. Base price of both units was the same (I had asked for info on the 36M floorplan). Price of every option was the same. List of available options was exactly the same. Looking online, the list of standard equipment and specifications are identical. I have heard what someone else said above that at one time the Itasca was considered upscale and cost a little more than the Winnebago. Apparently they have gradually brought them into line with each other. This year (2014) Itasca even dropped the tufted back on the sofa's and went with the nail head trim on the front of the sofas just like the Winnebago has had for several years.

I believe one poster also stated that Winnebago maintains two different lines so that they can have more dealers in the same geographical areas. Here in Northern Colorado, we have an Itasca dealer and a Winnebago dealer that are only one exit apart on I-25. I would guess a distance of about 6 or 7 miles.

Not sure if the same applies to all of the Winnebago/Itasca RVs. Have only been following the Journey/Meridian lines. Still waiting for my ship to come in so I can order one. Hmmm ....
If you buy new plan on many headaches. I hope you are one of the few that gets a 'clean' unit when it arrives. I suggest you buy it in Forest City and camp at Pamella Park until all of your 'issues' are resolved.

We love our 40U but the quality is not what it used to be. When you get your new coach start a thread and ask what to look for in the areas of problems. As you already know, not all of us see 'problems' the same way.

Rick
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:03 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post
From what I can tell Itascas and Winnebagos are nearly identical.

If I'm not mistaken, prior to 1975 most, (all?), "Winnebago Dealers" had an exclusive geographical territory contractually promised to them by Winnebago Industries.

IMO because the RV market was very strong in the mid 70s, Winnebago Industries (greedily?) introduced the Itasca brand so they could legally sell other dealers, in already promised "exclusive" areas, exactly the same RVs with a different name plate.

Mel
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Obviously when Winnebago purchased the Itasca line they wanted a larger share of the RV market. However there's more to the decision than greed. Winnebago originally had an exclusive contract with Dodge to supply their motorhome chassis. They wanted to use other platforms and purchasing another brand was 1 way to do it.

Also at the time most Winnebago dealers were mom and pop stores. For most it would have been extremely difficult to take on a second brand and support enough inventory to make it profitable. Today most dealers both the Winnebago and Itasca brands. There are still some that handle only class A or class C models, but those are usually multi brand dealerships that don't want to stock several brands with competing models.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:46 AM   #16
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winnebago did not purchase the itasca line, they originated it. i believe the original intent was to have competing dealers in the same area. it doubles the factory sales. a dealer is required to stock any winnebago or itasca line that he signs up for. dealers are not required to carry all the lines, but if he doesnt, some other dealer can carry that line. winnebago considers the vista, journey, meridian, tour etc, to be separate lines. confusing. i was a co owner of a small dealership in illinois for over 25 years for winnebago. we were one of the few dual dealers. we had both winnebago and itasca. when we didnt want to sign up for the lesharo, years ago, they threatened to let some one else have it.
the coaches are almost the same in cost. order either one with the same equipment, and the price will be very close. it does give the buyer a lot more choices in color, paint schemes, and interior features. overall, it a good thing
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:34 PM   #17
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Years ago Itasca was started for (as some of you have stated) greater coverage to get more market share. I have also been told, when Itasca started it was dedicated to the Chevy Chassis which of course became Workhorse. So, the same coach as Winnebago with a choice of a different chassis, and few different options.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:02 PM   #18
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In 2005 there was Itasca Sunrise and Winnebago Voyage. The Sunrise had arched cabinet door faces and Voyage were square. I thought the former looked nicer and more high end, but have since learned if you spec either from a cabinet maker they are virtually the same price. The interior colors in the Sunrise were a little nicer.

Otherwise they were the same. We traded a Southwind (fleetwood) with a V10 for a workhorse 8.1 V8 and the latter is a much nicer driving chassis with more power. It was a couple of thousand more for the WH chassis. Most people wanted it. Winnie has a little nicer build quality than fleetwood for a comparable gas coach. I really liked the fiberglass roof vs rubber.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jerichoric
If you buy new plan on many headaches. I hope you are one of the few that gets a 'clean' unit when it arrives. I suggest you buy it in Forest City and camp at Pamella Park until all of your 'issues' are resolved.

We love our 40U but the quality is not what it used to be. When you get your new coach start a thread and ask what to look for in the areas of problems. As you already know, not all of us see 'problems' the same way.
IMO Winnebago uses good components, building and designing many themselves, but then have monkies putting them together. We had a LOT of little niggle problems when new - doors tha wouldn't close right, black tank flush anti-siphon valve installed backwards, some peeling trim, a failed reefer unit, power awnign controller failure, and wiring looms hanging down all over under the chassis. I spend one day with a pack of zip-ties cleaning up their loose wiring.

But we are in year 10 for the coach and it has been virtually troublefree since new, still looks and drives great. Just 30K miles.

My sister and b-law had a new '12 40' Tour and decided to get a year newer 42 for the floor plan, but had so many problems with it they traded it off after a year for a Entegra Cornerstone. So far they are happy with it. The winnies were constantly having issues. They have lost more in depreciation in their three coaches than many people will spend on motorhomes over a lifetime.

I think I'll keep my simple old gas coach.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:14 AM   #19
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It would be nice if a mod would put this discussion up as a sticky. It comes up every several years and there is usually only one or two correct answers in the pages of posts. They come off the same line with the same parts. Obviously the badging is different, but the standard difference is in the case of Meridian, it comes one way: fully optioned out. You can get the Journey to the same level with checkboxes. There was a Meridian SE that was a stripped down version for awhile but don't think it's around any longer. It never even made it to the brochures.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:20 AM   #20
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My understanding is that the original reason for the creation of the Itasca line was because at the time Winnebago had a contract with Dodge to use Dodge chassis exclusively on all Winnebago motorhomes and the new line allowed them to make use of other chassis without breaking their contract with Dodge.
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