This double-slideout diesel pusher from Alfa Leisure Inc. is distinguished by its many standard amenities and its roomy interior.
By Lazelle D. Jones
When Alfa Leisure Inc. introduced its Alfa See Ya motorhome a couple of years ago, I took an initial look at the new model for Family Motor Coaching ("The Alfa See Ya Diesel Pusher," October 2001, page 78). Although I did not have the opportunity to perform a road test of the motorhome at the time, I was impressed with what I saw. When the 2003 Alfa See Ya models began rolling out of the factory, I was eager to press one into service. Now that I've had an opportunity to do so, my initial impression still stands. This may be the only home you'll ever need.
For 2003, the See Ya is available in two lengths — 37 feet 9 inches (the 36-foot model) and 39 feet 11 inches (the 40-foot model). Both are built on the Freightliner XC chassis. Every coach is equipped with two slideouts.
Both lengths are available in a choice of two floor plans: the 36-foot model I reviewed has a computer table and an enclosed bath; the other floor plan features a walk-through bath.
This coach is powered by a 330-horsepower Caterpillar engine that develops 860 pound-feet of torque at 1,440 rpm.
The See Ya diesel pusher is tailored to accommodate full-timers, or any RVer who enjoys long stays in a luxury environment. It offers so much that every sort of coach aficionado — from the weekender to the vacationer to those in the market for the coach of their dreams — should take a long look at it.
The Alfa See Ya's ample size helps to identify it as a coach targeted toward those who demand luxury and livability. For example, its interior height is a spacious 7 feet 6 inches (no, that's not a typo), which permits the addition of a variable-speed, five-paddle ceiling fan in the galley/dining area. The high ceiling also lets Alfa Leisure add a tier of storage cabinets above the overhead cabinets in the curbside living and galley areas. This top tier comes with plastic storage bins that allow items to be organized, stowed, and then sealed against dust.
The larger scale on this coach continues in the living-dining slideout. The slideout in my test coach measured 40 inches deep (again, this is no typo), with an interior height of 6 feet 2 inches. The slideout itself is 13.5 feet long, and when extended, it adds 47 square feet of living space.
The depth of this front slideout allows a sofa-length oak cabinet to be located behind the 83-inch-long leather sleeper sofa. The cabinet is a perfect place to stow blankets, pillows, and other items. Next to the sofa is a dining space that can include either a freestanding table and four chairs or a booth-style dinette.
Massive sliding windows in either end of the slideout perform several important functions when the slideout is extended: improve natural ventilation; provide better outdoor visibility; and allow the driver a full view of the interior. Additional driver visibility is achieved by an adjustable mirror that's designed into the forward overhead cabinet, adjacent to the 27-inch television.
Alfa Se Ya interiorThe living-dining slideout and the rear bedroom slideout are both electrically operated. Each slideout has its own separate control, but a master switch above the front door must be turned on to actuate them. When the front slideout is fully extended, its floor is level with the rest of the coach floor. Above each slideout is an awning that prevents debris from collecting on the top of the slideout and directs water runoff away from the slideout roof.
Unlike many motorhome manufacturers, Alfa Leisure does not offer many options on its vehicles. Each coach comes fully equipped with appointments that often must be added on as options on other vehicles. For example, the See Ya includes a rear vision system; leather furnishings; a 2,000-watt inverter; an electric awning; and a satellite TV system — and that's only the beginning. The list is very long. This further underscores Alfa Leisure's intentions to cater to people who spend a good bit of time in their motorhomes.
When Alfa Leisure first offered the See Ya, it also made the decision to sell every coach with a comprehensive five-year protection plan that has no mileage limitations. The plan, called the Solid Gold Five-Year Protection Plan, includes Alfa Leisure's own one-year limited warranty; component manufacturers' warranties; and a five-year service agreement that covers the entire coach through the fifth year of ownership. The service contract has a $100-per-visit deductible after the first year. This protection plan is included in the suggested retail price and is transferable to future owners.
Let's begin a virtual tour of the coach at the bus-style main entry. Note that the stairwell is made of a finished fiberglass material called Granicoat. It can be cleaned easily — even washed out with a garden hose, should the need arise. Two acrylic grab rails in the stairwell offer assistance to those entering or exiting the coach.
In my opinion, Alfa Leisure has created a cockpit that is visually pleasing. The dash is a massive, leather-covered flat surface with a sculptured facing. Wherever possible, Alfa Leisure has accented the cockpit components — the television and the cabinets on either side of it — with faux burlwood that looks amazingly genuine. The burlwood beautifies the horizontal control panel to the left of the driver; the surface behind the instrument cluster; the area around the backup monitor; and the center console (with its stack of three drawers).
Alfa Se Ya interiorInstead of using track-mounted privacy curtains inside the windshield, company designers have incorporated three push-button, electrically operated blinds that can be extended, retracted, and positioned as needed. Manually operated pull-down shades are situated to the left of the driver and the right of the passenger. All of these shades fend off the sun during the day and provide privacy at night.
Two individually operated windshield fans circulate the air around the windshield's interior. I found visibility to be very good. The side exterior mirrors work well. The mirrors feature a power-adjustable section on top and a manually adjustable section at the bottom and also are heated.
The driver's seat is power adjustable, and the passenger's seat is manually adjustable. I would have preferred that both seats be power adjustable, especially in a luxury coach such as this. I did learn that Alfa Leisure prewires the See Ya so that a power passenger seat can be added if desired.
I had similar thoughts about the manual stairwell cover — that it should be powered electrically or pneumatically. I must say, however, that for a manual stairwell cover that is hinged in the middle (it can be folded down or up), it is the most substantial one I have seen. It displayed no give or flexing at the center hinge, as is often the case with such covers.
The curb side of the living area is appointed with tall, double windows that afford a great view of the outdoors. Adjacent to these is a leather swivel-based rocker. This chair has ballast in its base to keep it in place, yet it can be positioned as needed. The same is true of the computer table (which features a roll-out shelf) that rests next to the chair — it can be moved about and repositioned as desired.
Although the living area slideout is exceptionally deep, it affords a clear passageway when it's retracted, enabling occupants to fully use the living and galley areas. This means that stopping for lunch or a midday snooze can be enjoyed without extending the front or rear slideouts. Nor will anyone in your family complain about not being able to watch television with the slideout retracted, because a second 13-inch TV set is located above the galley, facing the sofa and dinette. In all, this motorhome contains four televisions: a third is mounted above the bed in the bedroom, and a fourth (a 19-inch unit) is in the outside entertainment bay.
The entertainment bay also houses a roll-out tray that holds a refrigerator-freezer and four folding wooden patio chairs. The power patio awning is electrically actuated using a key fob. Rain or shine, you can enjoy your party.
The full-service galley is a chef's fantasy, with features that make it visually pleasing and efficient. The solid-surface countertop contains a double sink and a Moen brand faucet. A water filtration system is included. Rounding out the galley is a three-burner cook top; a 21-inch oven; a microwave-convection oven; and a 12-cubic-foot, four-door refrigerator-freezer with ice maker that is dressed with solid oak panels. In my test coach, these panels matched the oak cabinetry found throughout.
Galley storage is plentiful, with a stack of four roll-out drawers; a pots-and-pans drawer; and triple-door cabinets with roll-out drawers inside. Another bonus is a floor-to-ceiling, double-door pantry with fixed shelves. Items inside are accessible from the aisle, but when the slideout is extended, doors with beautiful mirrored panels provide access from a second direction.
Where the galley begins and the living area ends, the floor also takes on two different themes, with plush carpet in the dining and living areas, and 12-inch ceramic tile in the galley and bath. The carpet resumes in the bedroom.
Throughout the coach, windows are surrounded by lambrequins and valances with a sculptured fabric treatment that incorporates several different types of fabric, patterns, and textures. These are good-looking creations. All windows in my test coach included day-night pull-down accordion blinds. These day-night shades are one of the only Alfa options available; mini-blinds are standard. The window above the galley countertop deserves a special mention. It measures 80-1/2 inches long and 35-3/4 inches high, and provides massive amounts of natural light.
An oak panel pocket door separates the forward part of the See Ya from the bath. On the unit I reviewed, the hallway enters straight into the bath, then takes a jog to the left as it leads to the rear bedroom. Another pocket door is situated between the bedroom and the bath.
Alfa Se Ya interiorThe bathroom's private water closet is located on the street side, as is a five-sided, glassed-in shower. A solid-surface, one-piece molded unit forms the bathroom sink and counter. A combination washer-dryer is across the aisle, on the curb side.
The bedroom is gorgeous — a space laced with finished oak cabinets, mirrors, and sculpted fabric creations. The television is built into the center of the ceiling and tilted downward so it can be seen by someone lying in bed. The area that surrounds the ceiling-mounted television is blended with smooth, sculptured vinyl surfaces.
Creative window designs are again found in the bedroom, which has one large slider window and one small window on the street side, and one small window on the curb side. Both sides of the bed have a reading light and a three-drawer nightstand. Three large cabinets top the head of the bed.
A good portion of the curbside wall is occupied by a wardrobe. It is ample in size — 7 feet 8 inches wide — and rests atop a bank of large roll-out drawers. It occupies a slideout that, when extended, adds 13.3 square feet of living space. The wardrobe features a cedar floor and double sliding doors with etched mirrors.
The bedroom has one of the three Fan-Tastic Vent ceiling fans situated in the See Ya. Others are located in the water closet and the galley.
Keep in mind that the See Ya is created to fit in at the most upscale RV resort and yet accommodate luxury stand-alone camping for extended periods. To this end, its fresh water tank capacity is 101 gallons and its gray water and black water tank capacities are 75 and 40 gallons, respectively. The LP-gas tank holds 38 gallons. With a 100-gallon fuel tank (fill on the driver's side), this coach is capable of traveling great distances between fuel stops.
A 7.5-kilowatt Generac diesel generator, a 2,000-watt inverter, and 50-amp shore power provide electrical power under any sort of camping circumstances.
The coach is heated by a 40,000-Btu forced-air furnace, and cooled by a 27,000-Btu basement air-conditioning unit with heat pump. The cooled air is distributed through a system of floor registers and recirculated through intake vents mounted in the ceiling.
The roof features a 5-1/2-inch crown and contains R-20 insulation. From exterior to interior, the roof consists of rubber placed over a lauan plywood cap; an extruded aluminum welded superstructure; composite Fome-Cor insulation; and lauan plywood backing. The walls feature R-11 insulation and are composed of a welded aluminum frame with 2-inch block foam insulation; exterior fiberglass; and interior décor panel.
The basement floor is a 3-inch, steel-framed, vacuum-bonded structure. In all, the basement offers 163 cubic feet of storage space. Since it is heated, the basement indirectly keeps the holding tanks from freezing, thus making the See Ya a four-season coach.
My navigational experience aboard the See Ya involved driving in the city, on highways, and on country roads. The coach performed very well across the board. Fuel economy averaged 6 miles per gallon. Company officials do note, however, that See Ya customers have reported fuel economy figures as high as 10 and 11 mpg. The coach was quiet, with a minimum amount of noise emanating from the road surface or around the windshield and windows. Visibility along both sides of the coach was good. I did decide, on one occasion when trees were overhanging the road inside a park, that clearance was not sufficient. The coach is 12 feet 5 inches high.
With full tanks of fuel, fresh water, and LP gas, and one person on board, the coach I reviewed weighed 27,320 pounds. Since this particular vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of 32,000 pounds, this left 4,680 pounds available for cargo and additional passengers.
The base suggested retail price of the 36-foot Alfa See Ya is $187,002; my test coach included day-night shades, the only option, which brought the as-tested price to $187,695.
Because of its many living features, the 36-foot Alfa See Ya merits further review by those who plan to take life on the road seriously.
Manufacturer ... Alfa Leisure Inc., 1612 S. Cucamonga, Ontario, CA 91761; (909) 628-5574; www.alfaleisure.com
Model ... 1001 36-foot
Floor plan ... Living Room 2 (computer desk for laptop)
Chassis ... Freightliner XC
Engine ... Caterpillar 3126E 7.2L; 330 horsepower; 860 pound-feet torque @ 1,440 rpm
Transmission ... Allison 3000 MH; 6 speed
Axle ratio ... 4.63 to 1
Tires ... Michelin XZE 275/80R oversized
Wheelbase ... 228 inches
Brakes ... full air brakes with slack adjusters and ABS (drum-style s-cam)
Suspension ... NeWay air suspension
Alternator ... Delco, 130 amps
Batteries ... chassis — (2) 760-cca EO F(18c) maintenance-free; (6) 6-volt Interstate batteries for house and inverter
Inverter ... Trace RV 2012, 2,000 watts
Electrical service ... 50 amps
Auxiliary generator ... Generac Quiet Pac 75D, 7.5 kilowatts
Exterior length ... 37 feet 9 inches
Exterior width ... 102 inches
Interior height ... 7 feet 6 inches
Exterior height ... 12 feet 5 inches
Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) ... 37,000 pounds
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ... 32,000 pounds
Gross axle weight rating (GAWR) ... front — 12,000 pounds; rear — 20,000 pounds
Wet weight as tested ... (weighed with full water and fuel tanks, and one passenger) front axle — 9,520 pounds; rear axle — 17,720 pounds; total — 27,320 pounds
Payload ... 4,680 pounds
Frame construction ... 5 steel bulkheads, 3-inch steel frame basement floor, 6-3/8-inch steel perimeter frame
Insulation ... walls R-11, roof R-20
Fresh water capacity ... 101 gallons
Holding tank capacities ... gray water — 75 gallons; black water — 40 gallons
Fuel capacity ... 100 gallons
Fuel requirements ... diesel
Propane capacity ... 38 gallons
Water heater ... Atwood, 10-gallon
Water system ... demand
Furnace ... Atwood, 40,000-Btu LP-gas
Air conditioner ... 27,000-Btu Coleman basement unit with heat pump
Refrigerator ... Norcold 12-cubic-foot Ultraline 1200LR with ice maker
Toilet ... Thetford Aurora, porcelain
Warranty ... Freightliner chassis — 3 years; coach — 1 year from Alfa Leisure and 5-year service contract from MBA
Base suggested retail price ... $187,002
Price as tested ... $187,695