2006 Alfa See Ya! Review
A different kind of Class A
The See Ya! incorporates a clean, tall design (13’1”) putting the A/C unit in the basement and lifting the inside height to a stretched 7’6”. This extra height has spawned extra cupboards, taller slideouts, ceiling fans and larger windows throughout the coach.
Built on a Freightliner chassis my 40’ tester came with a standard 350 horsepower, 7.2L turbocharged diesel CAT engine and an Allison 3000 six-speed automatic transmission. It’s this raised rail chassis that houses all the HVAC components as well as the distribution ductwork. Unlike many motorhomes that split their ducts between ceiling and floor for hot and cold the Alfa uses a 27,000 BTU residential style A/C unit with a heat pump. It draws air off the ceiling at the rear of the coach, filters it, chills it and redistributes it through the floor vents. Because it recirculates air rather than continually drawing in outside air (like most roof units) the coach’s interior is cooler, plus the 3x17” duct run is shorter and the HVAC runs more efficiently – not to mention the lowered noise factor. Frankly, all that aside, I like the clean look of an uninterrupted roof line.
The other difference I see, when it comes to climate control, is the standard insulation in this coach. All windows are dual pane, the 2- 3/8” thick walls are rated at R-11 while the roof and floors are all R-20. A pair of ceiling fans is standard (one above the bed, the other in the salon) and engine HVAC is well vented from the front of the coach. In addition there is a standard automatic Fan-Tastic fan, bathroom fan and three six-inch swiveling circulation fans (two on the windshield and one for the likely rear passenger seating area) Add to all this electric sun visors and black-out mini-blinds for maximum environmental control.
As you might have already guessed, one aspect of the Alfa’s “different” construction is an extensive standard list of features. This is a marketing blade though that cuts both ways. For some folks having everything provided is a blessing – they can buy a “package” and skip the worry of ordering options. But, there are buyers who want to do those things themselves – either as a customization exercise or as way of controlling their costs. The See Ya! definitely caters to the first group. The reasoning (I was told by the dealer) is that by building on a so called cookie cuter basis the price, on average, comes down. That then appears to be the trade-off and judging from current sales of all three models of the Alfa it seems to be working.
To put it in context the See Ya! is the first of the Alfa motorhomes to be introduced more than five years ago now while the upscale Gold model was added as demand grew. Most recently a basic entry-level coach called the Founder has brought the number of models to three. Among these trim levels there are two lengths (36 and 40-feet) and five floorplans. In keeping with their pricing strategy options on all versions are kept to a minimum.
This brings me back to my tester which pretty much sits in the middle of these offerings – feature-wise and price-wise. The number to keep in mind as I list off the standard features is about $225,000 - MSRP for the 40-foot diesel pusher I was testing.
Different, once again, in the See Ya! means that the designer opted for three slideouts rather than the currently more popular four. Reason being two-fold. The standard motorized awning that gives full coverage would be compromised and block access to the basement pull-out entertainment center that has a 19” TV, refrigerator, stereo and space and hookups for all the necessary bar-b-que stuff. Still, inside, the salon space doesn’t suffer as the single slide is 42-inches deep with headroom of six-feet.
This deep single slide offers up almost as much total width as two smaller opposing slides.
The bathroom in my tester was all together and featured a corner shower with glass door and a huge domed skylight (with a shade). The toilet is china and the counter has a large medicine cabinet with mirror. Move into the bedroom and see that the one wall (enclosed in one slideout) is dominated by a cedar-lined bedroom wardrobe with mirrored doors. The opposing slide contains a dressing and makeup table with a large tip-out laundry hamper underneath.
The queen-size bed has convenient (flexible) reading lights and a picture on the right side opens to reveal hidden outlets, switches and various controls for the rest of the coach.
I know I love a fan’s breeze at night and I was happy to see the second built-in ceiling fan above the bed. A flat screen TV on a wall mounted pedestal finishes up the room nicely.
Speaking of TVs and entertainment in general, the See Ya! comes loaded. Four TVs in all – including the outside basement one – and these are powered by a satellite receiver as well as portable satellite dish (in case the fixed dish is obstructed) or course there is also a regular TV antenna with booster. As for music – start with an in-dash stereo, CD and Sirius satellite radio. Add to that a six disc CD changer, amplifier, four salon speakers, plus two each in the bedroom and basement with three-volume controls.
One problem with describing the See Ya! Is that it gets to sounding like one long features list, yet the key items that make the unit different are actually part of the design. These include a host of things like: dimmer switches; sealable storage containers; a step-ladder and a spot to store it; a grab handle by the dump station; the large windows; a washer/dryer combo that has its overflow line run outside; a flip up dashboard for easy service; pass-through kitchen waste basket; - and the list goes on. If you are in the market, the Alfa line deserves a look.