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Old 09-19-2010, 03:49 PM   #1
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Post 1985 Winnebago 20 ft. (Renault)

We are looking at a 1985 model of the LaSharo MH. Has anyone had experience with this unit. We have concerns about the renault engine dependability. How difficult is it to get parts to maintain/repair the unit. Also, has anyone repowered this unit?
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:16 PM   #2
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My brother had one of those and found a person in Montana to replace the engine with a Chrysler 6 cylinder. That made all the difference in the world as the original engine is way under powered. He has moved on in the rv world having gone through a 5th wheel and now a travel trailer but he wishes he had never sold the LeSharo. It is a great little motorhome that worked perfectly for quick get away weekends, festivals or football games. The biggest problem is replacement parts. I think there is someone, probably on the internet, that has the parts that are specific to the LeSharo chassis.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:38 PM   #3
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You are talking about a hobby here and not really a motor home. Meaning, you had better be good at repairing things and like to do it. There was one of those I used to see at Sal's RV repair in La Mesa Ca frequently. I think they were trying to put a small diesel into it as the Renault motor had given up.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:09 PM   #4
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Just fyi, Winnebago Parts seems to be the source of parts for those models.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:38 AM   #5
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I had a Renault 18i station wagon a few years ago, which has the same engine as the LeSharo (aka the Itasca Phasar). It was OK as a wagon, but I'd be very leery of having even a small motorhome with that engine.

My major problems were electrical and trasnmission. In 3 years and about 50,000 miles, I put in three alternators and four starter motors. The transmission (a 5-speed stick) jammed in reverse for no apparent reason.

My 18i was built in France. Its follow-on (the Medallion) was built in the US for a very brief time when Renault were planning to buy Jeep/Eagle.

Parts for the engine and transmission would be a nightmare. Renault has been out of the US market since the early 90s, and parts availbility wasn't that good when they had dealerships here.

There used to be a user forum, but I don't know if it's still around. There were quite a few V6 conversions developed. Some used the Renault 30 motor, but that still had parts availability problems. Others used Ford Taurus and GM (mainly B-O-P) 3.8L V6 engine and transmission packages.

I doubt there are enough surviving Renault-powered rigs for anyone still to be offering the conversions. If you really want a thrill, try driving one of the LeSharos with the 82 horsepower Renault diesel and an automatic transmission. City buses can outrun you!
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:30 PM   #6
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1985 Winnebago LaSharo

Quote:
Originally Posted by phays View Post
My brother had one of those and found a person in Montana to replace the engine with a Chrysler 6 cylinder. That made all the difference in the world as the original engine is way under powered. He has moved on in the rv world having gone through a 5th wheel and now a travel trailer but he wishes he had never sold the LeSharo. It is a great little motorhome that worked perfectly for quick get away weekends, festivals or football games. The biggest problem is replacement parts. I think there is someone, probably on the internet, that has the parts that are specific to the LeSharo chassis.
Thank you for this info. Do you have any idea as to what the cost would be to replace it with the chrysler kit?
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:38 AM   #7
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Just fyi, Winnebago Parts seems to be the source of parts for those models.
Thanks! I spoke with someone there and it was helpful.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:08 PM   #8
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Urban legend has it that the Renault version was under powered, and had lots of reliability and mechanical problems. If you are observant when traveling, you will sometimes see these things abandoned behind a gas station, garage or RV dealer. If the concept is attractive to you, look for a later version built upon the cab and V6 gas engine from a Volkswagen van.

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We are looking at a 1985 model of the LaSharo MH. Has anyone had experience with this unit. We have concerns about the renault engine dependability. How difficult is it to get parts to maintain/repair the unit. Also, has anyone repowered this unit?
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:53 PM   #9
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I'm not sure who my brother used to install the chrysler engine. I believe was someone in Montana. I googled and came up with this site Lesharo Land
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:11 AM   #10
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Thanks Pete and George. We looked at the "85" and decided it's not for us but liked the size and arrangement. If we had the $$$ and knew we would use it enough, the Rialta would be our choice. A dependable raised-roof van might work for us too if it had a decent sleeping couch with it. Decisions, decisions! If it is supposed to be, we'll stumble onto something. Thanks for all the info and advice.
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