RVing: Is Winnebago the Brand for You?

11:30:00 AM La Mesa RV 1 Comments

The Winnebago RV brand lands on many RV reviewers Top Ten lists every year. With a long history of both reliability and affordability, Winnebago has become one of the most popular manufacturers in the United States. In fact, many Americans use the term “Winnebago” when referring to any RV!

This article gives you an overall idea of the amazing features found in various Winnebago and sister brand Itasca’s RV models. Of course there’s nothing like watching a slide-out purr into spaciousness right in front of you. See a huge variety of new and used RVs at the La Mesa RV location closest to you.

Winnebago’s Long History of Excellence

Here at La Mesa RV, we respect Winnebago for its quality and seamless customer service. One of the first RV manufacturers in the United States, after fifty years on the job, Winnebago builds some of the strongest, most durable coaches in the industry.

Winnebago began in 1958 when John K. Hanson convinced a California company, Modernistic Industries, to open a travel trailer factory. It took eight years for the first Winnebago to hit the highway and another 5 years for the company to go public with a stock offering.

By 1986, Winnebago Industries made it onto the Fortune 500 list of top American companies, winning one of the top 10 spots in the “Innovation” category. It wasn’t until 2012 that Winnebago created towable travel trailers and fifth wheels.

Winnebago bought the Itasca line from General Motors in the 1970s. Currently, both are manufactured at a plant in Forest City, Iowa. While constructed with the same floor plans and materials, the two lines allows Winnebago to offer additional choices of interior and exterior colors.

Class A Winnebago Diesel RVs

If you haven’t yet heard, a ferocious debate rages in the RV community over the advantages of gas Class As or diesel Class As. The right answer has more to do with each buyer’s goals, timeline and budget than each coach’s features. The bottom line is the diesel RV has become known as the most luxurious, opulent option, conferring a higher status on the owner.

Winnebago offers five models of diesel pusher motorhomes. With the engine in the rear “pushing” the vehicle, the diesel pusher delivers the most quiet, comfortable ride. Plus, diesel pusher longevity puts that of its gas-driven cousins to shame. Believe it or not, many diesel Class A motorhomes have gone 500,000 miles without a major repair! This longevity enables each RV to retain its resale value better than gas models.

The Grand Tour® perches on the very top of Winnebago’s Class A Diesel RV line. Itasca Ellipse Ultra® is the same model with different interior and exterior paint selections. The state-of-the art technology and engineering is outmatched only by the ornate décor, flooring and window treatments. Louis XIV didn’t have this much detail on the moldings and furniture at Versailles!

The Grand Tour typically comes appointed with six-way adjustable driver and passenger seats, polished porcelain kitchen tiles, a skylight with a powered shade, and exterior entertainment center complete with an HDTV and an amazing sound system. The few features mentioned here do not do justice to everything that’s offered on the Grand Tour or Ellipse Ultra.

At the mid-range, Winnebago offers the Journey® Class A diesel pusher. With a quad-slide out design and U-shaped galley, this more practical, less pricey design provides spaciousness and many comforting features.

Beginning Winnebago’s Class A line is the Via®. On a Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter chassis, the Via has the best fuel economy of Winnebago’s Class A line. Three floor plans allow buyers to arrange the sleeping quarters and more according to their lifestyle. Joining Mercedes-Benz® engine with Winnebago quality materials and manufacturing creates an RV unit with one of the best resale values in the Industry.

Class A Winnebago Gas RVs

Gas RV owners pay less up front for the vehicle and enjoy far lower fuel, maintenance and repair costs as well as better gas mileage. As for opulence, the top of the line Class A motorhomes have upscale amenities like Ultraleather® seats and Corian® countertops.

All of Winnebago’s Class A Gas RVs come with rear view monitor systems with LED lighting that keeps electricity use low. The top of the line Adventurer® (Itasca version: Suncruiser) has triple slide-outs, a king or queen-sized bed, a second bathroom, recliners, a double sink and much more.

Winnebago’s entry level Class A is the Winnebago Brave (Itasca version: Tribute), voted the 2015 RV of the Year. The Brave’s amenities are multi-functional: owners can re-position overhead cabinet doors, StudioLoft™ bed and movable dash console for their needs. The price of these motorhomes is not exorbitant and can allow most owners the ability to get on the road quickly.

Class B Winnebago RV

As the smallest of the “Class” motorhomes, the Class B is built on a van chassis. Often called camper vans, conversion vans, or touring vans, the raised roof allows owners to stand up inside, but the kitchen and other living areas involve less square footage than Class A or Class C. On the positive side, the size allows the Class B touring van to get the best mileage of all three classes. Class B motorhomes can also serve as a second car because they fit in any driveway, most parking spaces, and even the garage.

Winnebago offers two Class B motorhomes, the Era® and the Travato®. Itasca does not offer any Class B models. The higher-end Era has a slide-out and hydronic heating system that prioritizes comfort. The Infotainment Center, black out roller shades and Corian countertops create a luxurious space for full or part-time RVers.

Considered the “best value” of Class B motorhomes by several industry reviewers, the lower sticker priced Travato offers standard and optional amenities, such as a deluxe sleep system, bike and kayak racks, solar panels, and space-saving bath area. Compared to the Era, which is built upon a Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter chassis, the Travato is built on the strong and durable Ram ProMaster 3500 chassis.

Class C Winnebago RV

That the Class C RVs are larger than Class B, but smaller than Class A confounds most motorhome shoppers. Class C RVs are built on a truck chassis and typically sleep up to 8. Known commonly as a “cab-over” motorhome, Class C RVs typically have a bed or storage space over the cab. With more room and amenities than the Class B RV, most Class Cs do not fit in garages, parking spaces or even some driveways.

Winnebago offers four Class C RV models with Itasca offering the same four models but with additional paint colors. Winnebago’s top Class C RV is the View® (Itasca version: Navion®), built on the Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter chassis and comes with power patio awning, a flex bed system and an Infotainment center. The Aspect®, Trend® and Minnie Winnie® all have varying degrees of amenities. The Aspect has a private master bedroom with a flat-panel HDTV and a powered patio awning. The Trend and Minnie Winnie have powered loft beds that collapse tight to the ceiling for more room during the day. Itasca versions are the Cambria®, Viva® and Spirit®.

Winnebago Fifth Wheels

Fifth wheel owners enjoy the flexibility of detaching a towing vehicle for more nimble touring around towns after the campsite is set up. The fifth wheel attaches to the bed of the towing vehicle rather than its bumper. Offroaders often purchase four-wheel drive towing vehicles so they can uncouple their fifth wheel "toy haulers" and take in the canyons and back roads that call to them. Fifth wheel trailers can have as much living space as Class A RV.

Winnebago builds three incredible fifth wheels. There are no Itasca models. The top of the line Destination® can come with leather theater seating, a king bed, free-standing kitchen island, wine rack and so much more.

The full-profile Latitude has electric front and rear jacks and a 4 point auto leveling system makes this a great option for full time RVers. Voyage has a convenient entertainment center, solid-surface countertops, bedroom slideout and a full sized shower. This affordable fifth wheel works for the both the seasonal or the full-time traveler.

Winnebago Travel Trailers

Unlike the fifth wheel that attaches to the bed of the truck, a travel trailer attaches to the bumper of the tow vehicle with a ball-and-coupler hitch rather than the fifth wheel’s jaw hitch. While the travel trailer may be slightly less stable to the more compressed fifth wheel/tow vehicle combination, its significantly lower weight gives it better gas mileage and a lower price. It also creates less strain on the tow vehicle. Itasca does not build any travel trailer models.

Winnebago builds three travel trailers that meet the needs of a range of travelers. The top of the line Ultralite® contains just as many amenities as the fifth wheels and even Class C RVs. The Ultralite has options like maple glazed cabinetry, arched raised-panel overhead interior cabinetry, available exterior kitchen, electric stabilizing jacks, entertainment center and a free-standing kitchen island. Next is the Minnie which has nearly all of these amenities at a lower price. Even the economically-priced Micro Minnie has the option for a bedroom slideout, rear stabilizing jacks and a full-sized shower.

La Mesa RV Has All the Resources to Help You Weigh the Winnebago Options

Winnebago has created an RV for every family’s style and budget. Never leave the comforts of home when you choose the ideal RV.

Hopefully this post gave you lots of great ideas, but you can also check out Winnebago’s website to get an overview of all models. As mentioned above, nothing beats going from vehicle to vehicle to see the amazing varieties of motor coaches, their kitchens, their bedrooms and decor.

Have a few models you’re weighing? Feel free to call us at 800-496-8778 or email us here. Our salespeople have helped varieties of families and individuals find the best model for their lifestyle. Retired couples, families of six, solo travelers and more all have different needs. La Mesa RV sales team will share experiences from former clients that is gold to the prospective RV buyer. Let their insights get you into the perfect home away from home!

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