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Old 03-25-2014, 06:40 PM   #1
Ron
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Default Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

Winnebago Industries Inc. has completed production of the first Travato Class B motorhome at its new facility in Lake Mills, Iowa, according to a press release.

As announced in November 2013, Winnebago expanded manufacturing for its Winnebago Touring Coach division after entering into a five-year lease of a 100,000-square-foot plant in Lake Mills formerly owned and operated by Cummins Filtration.

“Our employees have done a great job; they’ve worked hard to install new equipment, set up the production floor and train new staff,” said Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “It’s a real celebration to see the first Travato motorhome roll off the line and the timing for ramping up this production couldn’t be better as we prepare for the busy spring and summer selling season.”

The Travato is the newest Class B motorhome to join the Winnebago Touring Coach lineup. At 20 feet long, the Travato is agile, while still offering a full-featured RV experience. The Travato features a floorplan with a rear double bed that is designed to flip up, allowing for large items like bicycles to be stored inside, while making them easily accessible through the large double doors at the rear of the coach.

Built on the Ram ProMaster chassis, the Travato also offers swivel cab seats, LED ceiling lights, standard touch-screen navigation and a split dinette.

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Old 03-26-2014, 12:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

Hope it does well, we need more lower priced competition in the class B niche.
I must say, I have my doubts about it short and long term.
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

I want to like this thing, but the floor plan and appliance choices make it difficult. Maybe they'll come out with other choices soon.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

Tack on a very likely underpowered chassis for anywhere but flatlands, and it seems like it might struggle to find mass popularity. The price may be it's saving grace, but we've recently seen some better equipped smaller class A units that could probably challenge it in value for money. It might be better for something like a soccer mom 2nd everyday vehicle, or a weekender getaway unit. It would park easier, and probably get better fuel economy (projected).
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

There is a new Travato owner on RVnet, listing their findings with it. Very interesting. In particular, they say that one of the reasons they chose the Travato over the ERA was that is was quieter while driving, which was a real surprise to me.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fusea ... m#27678190
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

At $65,999 I could hear a lot of quiet.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

I saw one headed westbound (from the opposite side of the freeway, while in motion) on I-80 last week. I first thought it might be a new and odd looking Sprinter conversion, from that distance and until I saw the name on the side, I wasn't sure it was a Travato. It is the only one I've seen so far, "in the wild".
In Lake Powell, we met (another) German couple that imported their Euro-van RV to North America for an extended tour. The reason I was interested enough to speak with them about it was that it was built on the full sized Ford Transit chassis. They said the Ford Transit is a very popular vehicle in Europe. They mentioned that at some point in their travels they managed to blow their engine, which was a small diesel 4 banger, and had to wait almost 8 weeks for a replacement to be shipped over from Europe. They said it was harder to ship an engine from there to here, than to ship the entire RV. A blown engine is not particularly good advertising for the Transit, but it looks like it's under a heavier vehicle, like a Trend, and I have no idea how or where they've been with it, or what kind of care they've taken with it. Lake Powell is around 3600 feet above sea level, so it's seen some hill climbs. I'm again thinking of my concerns about the Travato with a gas V6 or another small diesel not being suited for a larger or heavier RV type of vehicle, being driven anywhere but the flatlands.
They said the cost to ship an RV is E3,000, but I can't recall if that was one way, or round trip. Still, with diesel here half the price it is in Europe, they said they were financially ahead by bringing their own unit, than if they rented one here, or traveled by rental vehicle and stayed at motels/hotels.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

The mileage the new owner on rv.net is reporting, 17-18 mpg, is a little disappointing. Motorhome magazine says they got 16.5 when they tested the Trend a little while ago. Maybe it will improve as it breaks in.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

It is a gas engine. Why would 17-18 mpg be disappointing when Motorhome magazine said 16.5? I don't think gas engines show marked improvement in gas mileage with break in like the diesels do.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Winnebago Rolls First Travato Off Lake Mills Line

Motorhome mag said 16.5 for the Trend which is larger in every direction. .5 to 1.5 gain seems disappointing for a smaller, lighter coach. I was hoping for 19-20.
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