Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Winnebago View Profile - Living Large in a Small RV

*** Update - May 2015 ***
Thanks so much for finding my blog and reading.  You are welcome to keep reading here.  I've moved all the content, including this entry, to my new site at: jdawgjourneys.com.  All new articles about my RV and travels are being posted there.  Thanks for reading and following J. Dawg.
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I'm guilty of some RV adulation here, but I wanted to write an entry about my 2014 Winnebago View motor home.  I bought it new in January, when I traded up from my Class B Roadtrek.  I wanted something a little bigger than a camper van that would be more comfortable for stay put camping, but still had the nimbleness of a small vehicle.  And, after 17,000 miles and 140 days of traveling, its met all my expectations.

I have the Winnebago View Profile model 24V.  Its 25 1/2 ft long and 7 1/2 ft wide and technically a Class C motor home.  Its built on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter 3500 chassis which has a a GVWR of 11,030 lbs.  Its considered a small motor home.

All the specs and features for the Winnebago View are listed on the Winnebago web site and here's a link to the specifications Winnebago View Specs.  Below are some opinions on how things work and how it's worked for me.  I also highlight some of the features and aspects that I find appealing or are noteworthy.

Driveability
  • It drives like a van not like a bus.  I've been able to go everywhere I wanted.  I've driven down side streets, parked in small retail store lots, parked on the street, driven thru cities, and gotten into gas stations.  It fits width wise in one parking space but because of its length it take up two unless you can over hang on the edge of a lot.
  • Because of what I said above, I don't tow a car and doubt that I ever will.  It takes less than 5 minutes to unhook and you're on your way to run errands or go sight seeing.
  • Its a high profile vehicle and is affected by wind.  It can get pushed around in cross winds.  Also, at 11 ft 3 in in height, I have to keep awareness of low tree limbs and low telephone lines.  So, far I've had no problems. 
Chassis
  • This is my first diesel.  It has its own nuances like waiting a couple seconds on a cold start for the glow plugs to heat up and adding DEF (diesel exhaust fluid).  Adding DEF every few 100 miles is an added procedure with all new diesels, but its simple and straight forward.  
  • Most maintenance and service can only be done at a MB dealer.  The diagnostics are unique to MB and the dealers are the only ones with the diagnostic systems to work on them.  And, unfortunately, the MB dealers are not a prevalent as Ford of Chevy.
  • The 3.0l V6 turbo diesel engine is surprisingly quiet but has plenty of power.  I've gone up 12,000 ft mountain passes without a problem.  It has slowed down to around 45 mph on 12% grades.  It also has a long maintenance schedule (oil & filter every 15,000 miles).
  • After 17,000 my fuel mileage is averaging right around 16 mpg.  On some trips its close to 17 mpg and on windy days it can go down to 14 mpg
  • The cruise control will hold the speed you set even on most downgrades.  This is a real handy feature to help minimize braking and downshifting on descents
Features
  • All windows have sunshade and light blocking MCD shades.  The windows slide open (vs crank) and let in plenty of air.  All the lights are LED and there's plenty of them.
  • The One Place monitoring panel accurately shows all tanks levels (propane, water, grey, black) and battery levels
  • The AC unit is ducted in the ceiling and very quiet.  It evenly cools the motor home and also functions as a Heat Pump even when the outside temps get down to the high 30's.
  • The holding tanks are huge at 36 gals each and they are heated.  I can go 4-5 days or longer before I dump and camp in cool weather without a worry.
  • The frig is a 5.3 cu/ft that can run off DC, AC, and propane.  It is a 2 two door with a separate freezer.  It can easily hold a weeks worth of food.
  • There's a replaceable fresh water filter plumbed into the main sink faucet.
  • The 3,600 kw on board generator is autostart (press the button and it starts itself). 
  • It has a fully enclosed bath with a porcelain toilet, sink, and a shower.
  • There's an outside water station with a handheld shower nozzle for rinsing off.
  • My model has twin beds that can be made into a king.
  • My unit has one slide with the sofa.  When its out the front space becomes a nice living room. Both front seat swivel to face backwards.
  • The 16 ft power awning is huge, very sturdy, and comes with built in LED accent lighting.  When its open, I've got a nice large outside living area.
I really like my motorhome and feel I made the right choice for my needs.  It's nice and nimble for road tripping and sight seeing.  Its also very comfortable for staying by a lake for a couple weeks or for spending a few months in Florida in the winter.  For me, its the perfect second home.

If you have a question about my RV, please leave me a comment and I'll do my best to respond.  Thanks.







12 comments:

  1. Thank you for the wonderful blog. It is indeed informative and useful We are into the same business. For know more about us, please visit Coromal Elemnt B626 today.

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  2. Have you found the DEF system to be a concern, and are Mercedes service centers expensive?
    Enjoy your blog post

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    1. I wouldn't say its a concern, but it is a point of failure all new diesel engines. The DEF is simple enough to refill. I always carry a jug of it with me and top it off about every 500 miles. The tank in my View is only 3.2 gal. I can go about 3,400 miles before the low DEF alarm goes off but I like to avoid that. The DEF system is complex and it can impede a trip if detects a failure somewhere. I've had a couple of issues with it. The latest I wrote about in this blog post http://jdawgjourneys.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-rv-breakdown-blues-paralyzed-by.html. MB service is pricey but the service intervals is long (15K) for routine maint. I do my own oil changes to avoid paying labor for a simple oil change. Also, the Sprinter has a 100k warranty so any failure during that time should be covered. I've had my unit in for MB service 4 times and have yet to pay anything. Hope this helps. Thanks for reading.
      J. Dawg

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  3. Hi J. Dawg! How do the 24V twin beds sleep, now that you've had several weeks on them? Are you and your wife finding them comfortable? Reason I ask is One competitor at the Hershey show made a big deal about their use of real mattress construction on their twin bed model. The pics I've seen of the View seem to be foam blocks, but it's hard to tell from a picture.

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    1. You've asked a great question. The mattresses in our 24V are foam blocks. They are very very firm, which we like. When traveling with my wife, we set the beds up as the king and use an RV Superbag for sleeping. She sleeps on the right side and I sleep in the middle. In the middle, there is a seam where the two cushion meet. For me, the seam is right where my hips are and the cushions can separate. We use a foam pad in the middle, which does a good job eliminating the seam and keeps the cushions together. We do find the bed comfortable to sleep and the RV Superbag makes it very easy to make up and put away.

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    2. Hi J Dawg,

      I'm just learning and never heard of a RV Superbag. Are there sheets in the middle that can be changed? Not sure how it works. Thanks!

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    3. The RV Superbag (also once called a Traversack) is two comforters that are zipped together. On side is a light comforter for warm temps and the other is heavier. In cold weather, you can flip it over to have the heavy side on top. It has a big folded sheet that felco's into the inside of the bag. The sheet is easily taken out to be cleaned. I bought two sets if sheets for mine. Hope that helps.
      J. Dawg

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  4. Thanks J Dawg. That's very helpful. Really like the idea of the Superbag. Not cheap, but good things seldom are. Looking forward to reading more about your experiences and impressions of the 24V. It's our top contender right now.

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  5. I know how long the awning is but could you tell me how wide it is ... how far out from the coach it goes

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    1. The awning goes out about 8 ft when fully extended. I have the electric awning so I can control how far it goes out. Hope that helps.

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