Winnebago Itasca Phasar

front threequarter view of Itasca fom UK nearside

In the late 1970s, the United States was still recovering from the 1973 and 1979 fuel crisis.

In 1979-80, as RV sales went into decline, the Winnebago company decided to create a Compact RV based on a small European drivetrain unit, preferably front wheel drive. This led to an agreement with Renault in 1982 to build a small RV based on the Trafic

 front threequarter view of Itasca from UK offside

The model in these photos is a 1987 Winnebago Itasca Phasar, the Le Sharo's Posh sister

Originally, all models were powered by the overhead camshaft 4 cylinder normally-aspirated 2068cc (57 hp) diesel engine through a four speed transaxle. In 1984 they were equipped with a 2068cc Turbo Diesel with Intercooler, bringing up the power up to 75hp, using the same 4 speed gearbox.

Rear threequarter view of Itasca from UK nearside

This was continued into 1985 but problems encountered with the Turbo Diesel engine and 4 speed transaxle led to the introduction of the 2165cc fuel injected petrol engine mated to a new 3 speed computer-controlled automatic transaxle.

From 1986, they were available with the 2165cc engine /automatic gearbox only, as a result of problems with the Diesel powered units

 front head-on view of Itasca

Although "small" in comparison wth other American RVs there are no shortage of luxuries - the van featured has two aircon units, one for the driving area and another for the "living quarters" for when it's hot - and blown air heating for when it isn't.

Internal view of Itasca looking towards front

The RV seats 8, with 4 forward facing seats two rear side benches.

For sleeping, there is a choice of either two double beds, one behind the driver and front passenger, with the other one at the rear of the van behind the kitchen area, or one double at the rear and two singles at the front.

Internal view of Itasca looking towards the rear

The Toilet and Shower area is novel, as the "bathroom" slides out by removing a floor panel in front of the bathroom door, unfastening a couple of catches and pulling it forwards across the van.

The "Kitchen" is amidships and comprises of the usual sink, two ring hob and fridge

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Modified Le Sharoes

The links below are to some other sites showing the modifications owners have done to their Le Sharoes - some of which are truly amazing!