Itasca, long known for being the upscale cousin of iconic Winnebago, offers a brand-new family-friendly floorplan for 2010 in the Meridian V line. Taking many of the design and appointment cues from the Meridian full-timer stable, Itasca offers a dual-purpose bunk feature for enthusiasts who need additional space for family and friends.
The coach is built on the Freightliner XCS straight-rail chassis rather than the Freightliner Maxum dropped-rail chassis found on the standard Meridian line. That hardware change reduces the price point yet the motorhome still offers the expected features in this size, including a 55-degree wheel cut and 10,000-pound hitch receiver. The turbocharged 340-hp Cummins 6.7-l ISB and matched Allison six-speed transmission are supported on NeWay air suspension and stopped by ABS disc/drum air brakes supplemented by an engine brake for precise control.
Outside, full-body paint in a palette of five distinctive colors disguises the multitude of RotoCast compartments totaling more than 140 cubic feet of available storage. There is also an optional ($1,610) exterior entertainment center with a 32-inch TV, AM/FM stereo, speakers, DVD player and radio antenna.The front-mounted 6,000-watt Cummins Onan generator with optional ($273) Auto-Start sits ready to keep things humming when isolated from shorepower and/or it senses excess battery drain.
Inside, the optional Ultraleather six-way power driver seat ($336) and copilot seat with footrest ($175) offer long-distance comfort. Dash controls are clearly labeled with three large gauges that give the status of engine and brake system functions. The optional ($1,225) Garmin GPS with touch screen is easy to read and the nav system also offers turn-by-turn voice directions. Another available option is the ($1,050) color video camera system with rear and side cameras. Hardwood storage cabinetry above the dash holds the distribution controls for the multi-TV connections, antenna and optional ($1,253) satellite receiver plus one of the three DVD players available in this floorplan.
The forward galley design of this 39N plan, borrowed from the Winnebago Adventurer coach line, places the large, four-door refrigerator with icemaker behind the driver in the first of three slides. The facing dinette, available in three fabric choices, and push-button Rest Easy lounge complete the slide. Directly opposite, a three-burner stove/oven combo and optional ($392) microwave/convection oven above is set in Coffee-Glazed Sierra Maple cabinetry, which is found throughout the coach. A curved base cabinet holds the twin-bowl sink, defining the galley space. Additional cabinet and drawer storage is available for galley needs, plus there’s a handy counter-high, pullout pantry unit. A second sofa sleeper completes the curbside wall of the main cabin, all providing generous seating for visitors. Rather than having a smaller TV above the cockpit, Itasca utilizes the cabin wall of the amidships bath for a 40-inch LCD TV with media storage below and the coach’s systems monitor panels nicely hidden in the shallow cabinet above.
Unique to this floorplan is the “bunk room” located in the rear streetside slide. Perfect for the kids, this dual-purpose area will comfortably sleep most anyone in the 26-inch by 75-inch bunks and can entertain as well with the optional ($1,050) DVD/monitors. But access to the bunks is only possible when the slide is extended. Bifold doors with frosted glass offer privacy and when extra sleeping capacity is not needed, the upper bunk hinges out of the way, creating more than 6 feet of hanging closet space with shoe or flat-item storage under the lower bunk frame.
To access the coach’s rear bedroom while in travel mode, you’ll need to walk through the bathroom. The master bedroom offers an optional ($1,484) king-size electric folding bed in the third slide, creating sit-up viewing of the TV and optional ($448) entertainment system. Thanks to Freightliner’s lowered engine placement, no step-up is needed to access the rear wall closet and linen (or washer/dryer-plumbed) cabinet.
The multipurpose floorplan on this Itasca Meridian V model creates a practical layout and is well-suited for a family or empty nest couple looking for a quality-built, well-appointed motor coach at an attractive price point.
Chassis: Freightliner XCS
Engine: Cummins ISB 6.7-L 340-hp turbodiesel
Fuel: 90 gal
GVWR: 27,910 lbs
Length: 39′ 11″
Width: 8′ 5″
Height with A/C: 12′ 4″
Interior height: 7′ 2″
Freshwater cap: 92 gal
Gray-water cap: 79 gal
Black-water cap: 52 gal
LP-Gas cap: 28 gal
Base msrp: $210,837
msrp As shown: $223,521
Winnebago Industries 641-585-3535, www.winnebagoind.com.