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Old 05-20-2014, 04:26 AM   #1
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Default 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

I was looking for this model. Anybody see this or post it? I kind of think it is pretty good compared to the LTC FreeSpirit SS for a cheaper price but the cabinetry might be an issue. Comments?



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Old 06-17-2014, 11:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

Yes, a better value than the LTV SS and I like the outside storage in the rear much better.

The 2015 70C has a sliding screen door which was not mentioned in the video...a must have! Also pleated cab shades which opens up the cab area. I don't understand why more B manufactures don't include them instead of those ugly out of date curtains.

Don't need the three-burner stove since we do most cooking on an outdoor grill. Oh, BTW the 70C also has an exterior LP connection!

What concerns do you have about the cabinets?
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

Sad they aren't making it in white, LOVE the white. Love the colors of the inside cabinets, beautiful. Am excited about this unit. Glad to know has a screen door. Also the SS has an electric sofabed. But if this is cheaper than SS would really be great. Really like it. What size tanks?
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

I also prefer the white, but I'm glad that you asked about the tank sizes. Here are the Winnebago Era 70C specs and the LTV Free Spirit SS specs for comparison. There's a big difference in the tank sizes. I never noticed that before.

Winnebago 70C
(http://winnebagotouring.com/products/20 ... fications/)
Freshwater tank: 45 gallons
Black tank: 22 gallons
Gray tank: 25 gallons
Propane: 16 gallons
On-demand water heater


LTV Free Spirit SS
(http://www.leisurevans.com/freespiritss ... tml#anchor)
Freshwater tank: 36.5 gallons
Black tank: 19.5 gallons
Gray tank: 42 gallons
Propane: 8.3 gallons
On-demand water heater
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

One difference with the LTV FS-SS is that the sofa can be converted to a (short) bed without having to extend the slide, which could be handy for a nap. The 70C needs the slide extended to be able to convert the sofa at all. A small difference and probably not worth the price gap for the LTV.
What I don't see in the 70C, is what they did with the extra 13" on the extended chassis - I know the spec's indicate a 16" difference in the cargo area, but overall vehicle lengths (22'10" vs. 24'1") tell a different story. Cupboard space and bathroom measure out to be the same, storage at rear is basically the same and the bed width is predetermined by the sliding door cutout. Where'd the 13" go?

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Old 10-28-2014, 01:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

I have been working with Mercedes Benz CAD drawings on this recently. The actual length difference is actually 16" inside between the RB and EXT, both on 170" wheelbases. Most of the difference is in the back bathrooms. Because the wheelbases are the same, the design is pretty close to equal from the back wheels forward simply because, I think, the physical restrictions of the van and how you layout and put things in. But then when you get past the rear wheels you have the extra space and Winnebago it seems simply chose to make a deeper bathroom with perhaps a little bit more storage behind the shower where you open the rear doors. In effect, Winnebago did not optimize the 16" advantage over the LTV as both bathrooms are excessively big in floor percentage over most wet bath Class Bs. In effect, a wet bath Class B takes up about 6-10% of the overall square feet of the van behind the cab. The LTV takes up a little over 20% and the Winnebago is around 30%. The LTV is much more efficient as you gain very little with the Winnebago extra length to justify the extra length. The LTV quality is vastly superior, IMO. If it is true you can use and sleep in an LTV without deploying the slide, I would consider a super plus for boondocking, stealth parking, parallel parking and in the general touring spirit of a Class B.
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Old 10-29-2014, 03:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

Thank you Davydd!! I've followed your posts and value (and trust) your opinion.
I believe you are correct on where the extra 16" has gone - into the bathroom and a deeper space in the rear behind the shower. I've double-checked their respective (online) floor plans, and assuming they are to scale, the space is in the bathroom.
I too am not convinced on the slide out design. To truly sleep in either van, the slide needs to be extended and wham, zero stealth, which is something I'm really after.
Regarding the EXT floor plan, I would have much preferred if the extra 16" (or at least a chunk of it) had gone into extra rear storage space like the Airstream EXT (I need to carry and store road racing bicycles, much too valuable to leave on a bike rack).

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Old 10-29-2014, 01:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

Most of Advanced RVs extended Sprinters are designed so one can carry two full size bicycles inside with secure mountings behind the bed. I say most because I am breaking that possibility with my custom bed design. I still may be able to get one in but I am not planning on it. The space will still be good for large things like screen tents, zero gravity lounge chairs, etc. There looks to be enough room in those Airstream EXT Class Bs as well.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

I am really impressed with Advanced RV. Innovative designs and inclusions, and very stylish. Love their philosophy and mission, and they are definitely on my short list.
I am however attracted to the dry bath of the LTV and 70C. I haven't spoken to Advanced (yet) about whether they may be able to do a dry bath, but it would probably be at the expense of zoning.
I torn I guess, between the small class C Serenity and Unity and the size and stealth-factor of the Advanced. Decisions, decisions......

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Old 10-30-2014, 01:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

I was really torn about the wet/dry bath issue as well. I rented a RT Adventurous to see how a wet bath really "lives". When we toured ARV, I found the ARV wet bath implementation very superior to the RT implementation. Mike N. indicated he "could" do a dry bath - but IMHO, it might be quite expensive since all the "stuff" under the chassis might need to be rearranged.

USAussie, If you haven't rented a "B", it really is worth the investment. ARV has a rental program, but there are a number of places to rent other manufacturer's "B's" as well. That simple weekend rental really helped my wife and I decide on the ARV for our "B".
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Old 10-30-2014, 02:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

Personally I think dry baths in Class Bs cause an inordinate amount of trade offs in many areas. I've already touched on the square foot requirements that take away from other things. There is no magic there. If you want to carry racing bikes you make it nearly impossible with a dry bath in a B. I am not sure what you accomplish with a Small C like a Serenity or Unity since most small Cs don't have rear inside storage or practical locations for bikes unless you want to hang them on the back end. Same problem with the LTV Free Spirit SS and the Winnebago ERA 70A.

Check out The Fit RV Blog. Stef and James have this same exact quest for dry bath and inside storage of bikes.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

Thank you mikes47, we are planning to rent a B for an upcoming vacation and I think we'll be able to make our minds up then (but I am biased to ARV already).

Davydd, you are right, none of the LTV's have anything like a "garage", but my wife likes the extra space and zoning (especially in the Unity), and perhaps we'll go that way eventually, but not for now.

I foresee that I'll be in discussions with ARV very soon.

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Old 02-05-2015, 03:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2015 Winnebago ERA 170C

I'll chime in on the bath (heheheheeee, a dry bath being one in which ye get plenty wet, but commode stays dry, right?). Since I have fibromyalgia, bavk, neck, arm, etc. pain, the bath area becomes very important to me. Especially height, I'm 6'2". So I'd say at least consider your getting a bit older and maybe develop something that magnifies the war between ye brain and ye body. Ye Olde "I can do this" vs ye body yelling at ye to STOP! Bath takes on importance.

Thanks for telling us to rent! Why didn't I think of that?!?
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:59 AM   #14
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Any new input from folks on the 70C as far as issues?

I am seriously thinking of getting one, but I am very new to RV's and do not want to end up working on a problem vehicle. I DO appreciate Davydd's input and believe what he has to say on quality. Can I live with a Winnebago 70C is the question......
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:19 PM   #15
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Eric, Since you asked, quality wise Winnebago has upped their game since 2014. They seem to be getting back on par with the other dealer sold Class Bs. There is generally nothing top of the line installed in them. You're getting a Chevy so to speak instead of a Cadillac, or even a Buick. You definitely save money if that is a primary objective.

My understanding is Winnebago gets its Sprinters direct from Germany as a duty free complete unit and avoids what seemingly is added cost of assembling to avoid the chicken tax in South Carolina. At the same time, though, if you read comments consistently, it seems the Sprinter side of the equation has more problems than other converters. When I read those comments I wonder if it is because of that and a quality step is missed or if it is just the facts of life of a large inventory purchaser. This is anecdotal observation on my part. Roadtrek seems similar, so it could just be large fleet inventory.

As you know I am not a fan of the ERA 70C design or the LTV Free Spirit SS equivalent. The dry bath concept doesn't work well in a Sprinter in that it consumes nearly 30% of the space and the slide out negates almost all the advantages of having a Class B for stealth, parallel parking overnight, taking a short nap break while underway, and get up and go by just plopping into the driver's seat. If those kind of things are important (slide and dry bath), the small Class Cs like the LTV Unity are a much better deal. Even the Winnebago Trend or the Pleasure-Way Plateau XL without slide outs would be better, IMO.

The ERA 70C looks appealing when you create the spaciousness with the slide out, but then you have to realize you are in an either or situation. You either have to live and eat in it and then you have to convert to sleep or vice versa. With two people you have no zoning if one wants to sleep and the other stay up.

If you never had a Class B you really don't know what is important to you. You have to make an educated guess. I've gone through three Class Bs so far, each one I liked very much, but I kept refining my needs and desires based on experience and maybe some peeves I could not physically change with retrofitting. Everyone has different opinions, needs and desires. You have to decide for yourself.

I went into Class Bs after 40 years of tent camping and two years of Airstream trailer ownership. One thing I learned was the idea of towing anything was totally out, thus no big RVs with toads or trailers. We knew our style was touring because we always got the most out of short vacations by being on the move. We were never ones for staying in place for a week.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:57 PM   #16
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Eric, what DavyDD says....again, you lose the advantage of the class B when the slide is out. No separate zones, a must for us, and having to make the bed up every time just don't make it.
Like he says, a small class C would be better for the dry bath, separate zones, and sleeping, Viva/Trend, good example
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:15 PM   #17
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We started our search last November after seeing an Airstream going down the road. We are travelers not campers and want something that is comfortable to drive with some overnights.

The ERA 70C caught my eye and I was all excited until I had the same reservations Davydd expressed, looks like you read my mind. I am an early riser and don't nap, my wife gets up at the crack of noon and always naps. Although I like the room of the slide out it doesn't give her a bed to take her naps in and I would have to climb over her to get to the bath which is a health issue for me, I bruise easily and she hits hard

I thought a dry bath would be great but it occupies too much space and long showers are not going to happen due to shower water available. Question, why do they have a smaller grey tank than fresh water tank?

A "C" like the Navion is just to big and would require a tow to get around.

It appears Winn has the best value and I do like the Sprinter diesel. Now deciding on a 70X or 70A. I realize anything mechanical will break and needs service but how difficult is it to get the Sprinter serviced, oil changes and such?
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgn View Post
We started our search last November after seeing an Airstream going down the road. We are travelers not campers and want something that is comfortable to drive with some overnights.

The ERA 70C caught my eye and I was all excited until I had the same reservations Davydd expressed, looks like you read my mind. I am an early riser and don't nap, my wife gets up at the crack of noon and always naps. Although I like the room of the slide out it doesn't give her a bed to take her naps in and I would have to climb over her to get to the bath which is a health issue for me, I bruise easily and she hits hard

I thought a dry bath would be great but it occupies too much space and long showers are not going to happen due to shower water available. Question, why do they have a smaller grey tank than fresh water tank?

A "C" like the Navion is just to big and would require a tow to get around.

It appears Winn has the best value and I do like the Sprinter diesel. Now deciding on a 70X or 70A. I realize anything mechanical will break and needs service but how difficult is it to get the Sprinter serviced, oil changes and such?
although anything can happen-i would make service question based on how close to you at home. if service can be obtained with an hour of you i would say the sprinter would not be an issue. if your talking 3 hours that's a different issue
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:10 PM   #19
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There is nothing magical about getting service done. You can go to anyplace that services desiel trucks - just make sure they use the correct products, which are indicated in the manual. It's not a bad idea to have on-hand some service items like belts, hoses and filters in case you get out in the sticks and need something. I'm sure there are some on here that can advise on what items to order.

The problem may come if you need a problem diagnosed or need a warranty repair. Then you'll need an authorized dealer. Again, people can suggest someone near to where you live. It may be a drive though, depending.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:56 PM   #20
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Service intervals are now 20,000 miles for 2015 Sprinter chassis and newer. I would not worry all that much. Though we can get service locally we will drive 100 miles to a better Sprinter dealer since it is on one of our frequent trip routes.

Whether an ERA 70X or 70A depends on your living style. To be honest, I have never liked the 70X clone of the Roadtrek Adventurous floor plan and I have expressed detailed reasons why before. I am sure you could find them. Plus, I've had two electric bed/sofas and got weary of the crawl in and crawl out they imposed. If I were to buy an ERA it would definitely be the 70A. The bed is fixed but has a fill in cushion you could leave out to make access and egress easier. Also the bed maximizes storage especially if you carry a lot of outdoor "toys". Two people can lay down pillow propped and watch TV in the bed. Or one could nap or read. With the convertible system you have to make that either/or decision again. Most of our trips are long touring trips. We look for flexible comfort and dinette twin beds with those low bolster infills or the electric sofa/beds with relatively low backs below your neck never really provide total comfort.

The 70X advantage is you can probably entertain another couple inside easier or take them on a trip, but you can't sleep them. The 70A has an effective front end entertainment area for a second couple. Our experience is we never entertain inside our B anyway and in some ways want to discourage it. We travel to be outside as much as possible. That's us. With our B we are never going to be tailgaters at football games or take anyone for rides. It is maximized for two people and two people only for very long hauls. Others have different ideas and needs.
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