A Word of Warning…
This site was written in 2014, when the Travato was still a brand new Winnebago model (and we actually lived in one). Since then we have completed our incredible year on the road, and – I assume – Winnebago have made a whole host of changes to the Travato. Unsurprisingly, our return to real life doesn’t allow much time for keeping up with Winnebago news, so please be aware that some of the content on this site will be out of date. Hopefully it is still of some use though.
Choosing between the Era and the Travato? Check out Mike’s Era blog here.
About this Site
We are first-time full-timers, who threw in the towel on long-hours and high stress jobs in London to live a ten-year dream: spending a year driving a motorhome around the United States. If you’re interested in our travels, stop reading this right now! This website is not about our travels, it’s about our home – our RV.
On arrival in the States we bought ourselves a Travato, Winnebago’s brand new touring coach model. It’s a new design for 2014 and given we bought it in January and immediately set off on a States-wide trip, there’s a pretty good chance we have more experience of this van than anybody else in the world! In six months we’d notched up 20,000 miles across 15 states – and we’re still going strong.
So we thought we’d dump all our experiences onto this website. That way, anyone thinking of purchasing a touring coach can get a good idea of what’s in store for you if you go with a Travato. If the reaction from people we’ve met on our travels is anything to go by, it should be a pretty popular RV. If you already own a Travato there might be some helpful tips here for you too.
If you have questions or comments, if you bought a Travato yourself and have your own feedback to add, please get in touch on the Q&A page (or post a comment at the bottom of any page). All feedback from other owners is invaluable, so please share!
Feedback from Winnebago
We’ve been really impressed by Winnebago’s response to this website. A few days after it went live the CEO came across it on one of the RV forums (in itself a good sign!). He sent it on to the marketing department and the Travato product manager, who have been extremely supportive and helpful. Russ Garfin, product manager, has sent over some comments to add to the wealth of information already included. I’ve integrated them in to the relevant sections – mainly the Design Flaws page and the 2015 page.
Overview of the Travato
For a full review of the Travato, read this, which is packed full of all the gritty detail with lots of links to photos. For “real” photos (from our travels) read this. And for those unfamiliar with the model, here’s a brief overview to get you started…
If you’re looking for a great combination of small and self-sufficient, the Travato is brilliant. But it has its fair share of issues too, many the the result of buying a new design brand new (you don’t have any of the niggles worked out yet). In the first six months we’ve had a few conversations with Winnie, been to a handful of dealers for fixes, and thrown a sizeable array of personal modifications at it. The details of which can all be found in the menus at the top of the page.
The Travato is from Winnie’s touring coach product range. They’ve had the Era – their only other touring coach – knocking about since 2009, I think, and it’s still going strong this year. The Era is based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, and has a nice big diesel engine – we’ve seen a number of these on the road. The Travato is a little less flashy (the 2014 tagline was “Say hello to value”!): it’s taken the Ram ProMaster chassis, with a gas engine.
With the Travato’s floor plan Winnebago have done something wonderful. They’ve taken a floor plan only found in the class C View 24J (aka Navion, if it’s an Itasca) or the small class A Via 25P (Itasca: Reyo), and ingeniously crammed it into a Ram ProMaster chassis (basically a transit van chassis). This floor plan has five vital characteristics that featured on our must-have list:
- Self-sufficient — We wanted to be able to go at least a few days without hooking up, and not by relying on campsite showers either
- Mobile and discreet (relatively!) — We didn’t want to look too much like an RV. Yes, partly this was a strong desire not to feel too middle-aged! But it’s also practical. Big white curvy lines scream “RV”, making discreet overnight parking a little tricky. And the extra width of a class C’s coach makes tight parking impossible .
- Permanent bed — We’re full-timing, so we couldn’t be doing with turning our table or sofa into a bed every time we wanted to sleep.
- Booth-style dinette — We’re not just travelling, we have things we want to do. Things that require laptops, or pen and paper. Tiny little removable tables perched uncomfortably far from leather sofas were not going to cut it. We wanted a permanent table, with the extra seating space afforded by the booth-style.
- Corner shower and corner bed — We’re young. We prioritise mobility and style over queen-size beds with a foot of space around it. Anything other than a corner bed with a corner shower room squeezed in beside it is a colossal waste of space by our reckoning.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or might be interested in buying our van when we have to sell at the end of 2014.