Thursday, July 29, 2021

Winnebago Travato Observations

After 15 days of ownership and 12 days of travel covering 2,500 horizontal miles and quite a few vertical miles, we’re starting to figure out our 2022 Winnebago Travato systems and our sequence of operations. We've been over the continental divide a few times and climbed to over 10,000 feet a few times as well. We are currently at point #31 on the map below on our 5 week  ~5,200 mile trip.

Trip Plan (# are POI, not days)

The RAM Promaster drives very well. With both of us coming out of a Prius we were a little concerned, but it handles well, has a tight turning radius, and does a great job of downshifting automatically on steep grades. We both feel very comfortable driving it. The front A/C puts out a lot of cool air and can keep the back cool as well on modestly hot days. We’ve averaged about 16 mpg with some very mountainous terrain. Our best tank was over 17 mpg. See all our gas mileage stats at Our Travato Page.

Actual MPG Data

As for the systems, we love the 12.8kW lithium-ion Volta battery bank. It can run the air conditioner for many hours and it runs all the other systems and refrigerator nicely as well. We’ve used the microwave numerous times. The induction cooktop heats water incredibly fast. The Truma water heater quickly provided hot water for showers. We’ve successfully filled the water tank and dumped the black and grey water tanks several times. We haven’t used the TV even once. The refrigerator / freezer holds a good amount of food. We've cooked all of our meals so far.

I’m glad we got the double pane awning style windows. They insulate nicely and really reduce outside noise. The MaxAir vent fan in the ceiling works well to draw cool air in through the windows. 

We usually connect the twin beds together at night into one large bed. The two of us and Bebop have plenty of room - it’s probably a little larger than a queen size bed. We just brought a couple of sleeping bags and a pair of sheets. We can arrange them in a variety of ways depending on the weather. For a couple of mornings we wanted to get out quickly, we didn’t connect the beds. Bebop slept in the drivers seat - she curls up and fits perfectly. Also, I think she secretly wants to take a turn driving.

With our very late RV delivery, we had to hastily pack, but we did a pretty good job organizing our stuff. We’ll add a few small shelves in the upper cabinets for more effective and accessible storage once we get home. 

We have a few things that need work. The in-dash radio has a couple of quirks and will need to be repaired or replaced when we get home. There are a few other minor issues that will need attention, but all the big systems are working well.
We've stayed in state parks, national parks, and boondocked on forest service land. We're self-contained, so a tent site works perfectly well for us (and is cheaper too). 

Our connectivity comes from our cell phones (Consumer Cellular, who uses the AT&T network), and we picked up a Jetpack and put a MIMO antenna on the roof. My jetpack SIM is from Visible ($25/month for unlimited) and they use the Verizon network. We usually have service from one or the other.

We had our first big on the road scare today (7/29). A few times we’ve had to brake quickly for deer, but the big scare came today on a rural road in Montana. The road was two narrow lanes wide with zero shoulder. The speed limit was 70, and we were going about 60 when we topped a hill. I saw a large RV at the bottom of the hill facing the wrong way in a grass ravine. Then I spotted guardrail debris strewn across the roadway. I swerved and clipped one piece, then dodged the next two pieces. We slowed at the bottom of the hill. Two pickups had pulled off the road to assist, and there was no place for us to even pull over. It was a big RV towing a trailer, and it was going to require quite an extraction job to get them out of there. The occupants were out of the vehicle being tended, and it looked like they didn't have serious injuries, which is very lucky, considering the state of their vehicle. It was upright and mostly intact, but way off the road.
As for us, our hearts were both racing and I kept watching for a low tire pressure warning. It looks like we had no damage - I inspected under the vehicle at the next stop and all looked well. Whew!
- Paul

1 comment:

  1. Great updates! I know that heart racing feeling. Just yesterday I encountered a huge steel pipe laying across the road, with no way to dodge it. Managed to survive the hit with no visible damage. Stay safe out there.
    Stephanie M.