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Old 05-18-2014, 01:01 PM   #1
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Default New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

Hello,

I'm new to this forum and Class B's, but not RVing in general. I've had big class A's, tag-alongs and 5th wheels.

I've been lurking for awhile to read up on the Travato. Despite the clearly negative comments (some dripping with distain) I still was interested in this model. Well my dealer finally called that he had one come in.

Yesterday I bought a brand new 2015 Winnebago Travato. Got the Sandstone color. They come with very few options - namely a front floor mat, bug screens and cabinetry finish.

I went to just look and hoped to drive one. I was pretty certain it would be underpowered and it would handle poorly on the interstate. Boy was I wrong on both points. It has plenty of power and can climb hills. It was also quiet and smooth riding. It was fairly windy and there was some buffeting in the wash of semi's, but no pushing the coach around. Tracking is true. Rough pavement no problem. The independent suspension all around is a huge plus in my view. I can see the benefits of having front wheel drive and surely is helpful in the rain and any slush you encounter.

The floor plan is great for me as a single traveler. I can even see taking extended tours with this. Having a second bed is also great for on those occasions I take a nephew or a buddy with me. Full-timing for a couple? I think this may not really be suitable for that use. The bed is a bit tight, unless you are the type that spoons all night.

I really like the fact that that bed flips up and you can store gobs of bins, or boxes, kayaks, bikes, whatever in that space. To me that sells the unit and makes it appealing or helps justify it as a second vehicle for a family.

The wet bath is bigger than the competition and clearly more thought out. The fancy vans have wood doors, some have wood vanities and window treatments that all have to be protected with a shower curtain. The Travato is all fiberglass and the door is aluminum. So spray water everywhere and no problem. I had no trouble standing in the shower area or getting to or sitting on the commode (5'10" and 200#).

A nice surprise was that the TV, antenna and sound/dvd system all work on 12v. So only thing you need inverter would be for the microwave. So I'll probably never need an inverter.

Oh, and the price. Easily $25k to $40k cheaper than a Sprinter base B, depending on brand. The cheapest alternative at my dealer was a Pleasureway Plateu discounted to $93k. They had Luxors for around the same money (~$70k) - but those were way too small in my view - lots of head-knockers.

The downsides? Yes there are some quirks.

The generator is smack dab underneath in the middle of the coach behind the rear wheels - I'd say axle, but there isn't one as this is front wheel drive. I'm not certain how easy/difficult servicing the genet will be in this location. On the plus though, the control console inside has an hours meter, so no guessing when you need to attend to things. Clearance between the ground and the bottom plate on the generator support is around 6 inches. You need to bear that in mind if you cross open fields or go down log roads.

The 110v only water heater is definitely a drawback. I think I can manage around it. Too bad they didn't opt for a 12v water heater like I had in my tag-along. It works really well.

The build sheet shows different capacities that the specs on Winnebago website. Not sure if these are errors or not. Shows 15 gallon black, 11 gallon gray, 23 gallon fresh and 16 gallon LP. I couldn't confirm if the LP is right - that would be a huge plus if true. 11 gallons on gray may be tough - I'm still working on managing my water use in the tag-along. At least if you are in a tight spot you could dump gray on the ground without causing an environmental disaster depending on location.

Only one house battery. It's an AGM group 31 and is hung underneath the coach in front of the rear wheels near the sway bar. Looks to me another would fit, but would require a custom bracket, which is not too tough a project. With regular usage a single battery is probably OK for a weekend trip unless you are using the furnace blower all weekend.

This coach is not suitable for winter usage currently equipped. The tanks and drainage piping are all un-insulated and exposed. I suppose you could put 12v heat pads on the tanks and spray foam them and the piping. I don't find cold weather camping all that appealing, so not an issue for me really.

So there it is. Pick it up Friday morning.
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Old 05-18-2014, 04:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

sounds great. i agree the travato is excellent for 1 person-probably not for 2 . good luck
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

Thanks for the report, Wincrasher,

Hopefully you'll continue to update so we can see how you feel about the rig after a few months of camping.

When we were looking, had the Travato been available, it might have been our choice due to price.

If two people were using both beds, that might be doable, no?

We'll have to stop in for a look at a Winnie dealership just for curiosity--we just bought our GW last year, so it will be quite some time before we change.

....Rocky
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

Wincrasher...congrats on your new arrival and here's to many happy & safe adventures. I too will be hoping for followup reports as i'm curious as to the rig's potential as a base unit for a DIY build.

Cheers,
Thom
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

I will be curious to see how active the after-market vendors may become on this rig also.

I know on our AWD chevy we were able to put a 3" lift kit on the rig, but basically all this did was give the existing ~32" tires more wheel-well clearance which was welcome. The only way we can get more actual "ground clearance" over the ~11" we have (measured from the lowest point on dif. housing) would be to get larger tires on there and i'm not willing to do that as our existing tire size works well.

Personally, i like the Promaster, i think it shows promise...but being me i'd have to have a mechanic under there putting a lift kit and taller tires as our ~11" on existing rig is about minimum we want to go with as we are off pavement on nearly every trip.

There's gotta be a way to fit bigger tires in there...just sayin'


Happy Trails,
Thom
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

That's a crazy Sprinter! Not sure I'm up for a lift kit at this point though.

I do like the bumper and the light kit - I can see how those would be nice additions.

I'm very excited to pic up my new van on Friday. Price was a huge consideration, but when it came down to it - floor plan was the primary reason I chose the Travato. I'll probably go out for a shakedown trip next weekend.

Probably the first mods I'll do is an extra battery and solar. Have to figure out where the wiring will be routed before I put anything on order.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

Quote:
Originally Posted by accrete
I will be curious to see how active the after-market vendors may become on this rig also.

I know on our AWD chevy we were able to put a 3" lift kit on the rig, but basically all this did was give the existing ~32" tires more wheel-well clearance which was welcome. The only way we can get more actual "ground clearance" over the ~11" we have (measured from the lowest point on dif. housing) would be to get larger tires on there and i'm not willing to do that as our existing tire size works well.

Personally, i like the Promaster, i think it shows promise...but being me i'd have to have a mechanic under there putting a lift kit and taller tires as our ~11" on existing rig is about minimum we want to go with as we are off pavement on nearly every trip.

There's gotta be a way to fit bigger tires in there...just sayin'


Happy Trails,
Thom
The Express can take a 265-75-16 tire upsize from the stock 245-75-16 stock size, without any real modifications. We have it on ours and really like it, especially since we solved the wheel offset problem at the same time.

Details here

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2084
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

you mentioned the light bar and lights

There might be some simple aftermarket solutions like what OutsideVans in Oregon is doing for the Sprinters. I would imagine they are gearing up their shop to take on the Promaster.

they've got several on their website...


or...


or...look at some of their amazing builds. some fun ideas you should be able to incorporate over time.

Enjoy,
Thom

PS...booster...THX for the info!
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

Congratulations Wincrasher. They are very attractive and quite a good design, I am used to LP useage in my PW Plateau and missed it if you have that facility. Price is a lot better than we have been seeing with escalating B prices.

AL
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: New to Forum - I bought a Travato!

wincrasher,

Congratulations on the purchase. How do you like it by now?

Future solo traveler, retired, 59, avid traveler, former tent camper but never slept one night in an RV. About ready to pull the trigger on a Travato, but still wanting to hear owners' opinions on how it fits their needs.

You picked the right color, for sure. I'm wanting a 2015 in the Sandstone color, but the Winnebago website says it's not available for 2015. Three versions of silver and one red. How were you able to get yours in Sandstone? Was it a special order?

After having it for a few months, would you recommend it? What are the pluses and minuses so far?

Thanks.
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