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