A Detailed Review of Winnebago’s Lithium-Powered Travato 59KL!

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This is another really long RV review, but we are reviewing the whole coach as new.  And this is not just a review of Winnebago’s lithium Pure3 Energy Management System.  (Just to set your expectations…)

When Winnebago announced their first lithium battery-powered system recently, they announced two new models that would be sporting it.  The first was the Travato 59GL, which we reviewed recently.  The second was it’s sister coach, the Travato 59KL, which we tackle in this video:


The 59 KL is based on the current 59K, with a few key changes.  The biggest, of course, is the lithium battery system.  This system, which Winnebago developed in collaboration with Volta, provides capabilities for a coach to run all of its electrical needs without using a generator.  The changes required to make that happen were pretty extensive, and that’s why they released this as a new model.  Most of the other changes (and I’m thinking mainly of the water tank moving) were follow-on changes that resulted from the lithium add.

There are other changes we show in the video that are particular to the 2019 model year, as opposed to being keyed to the lithium.  These changes will be available (mostly as options) on current production models of the Travato.  Here, we’re talking about things like the dual-paned acrylic windows, the windshield shade, the locking under-floor storage, the leather seats, and so on.

You can see everything we know about this coach (and our annoying cat) in the video.  If we had to sum things up in a few key bullet points, this is how that would look:


What We Really Liked

  • Just like in the Travato GL, it’s hard not to like the 48 volt, Pure3 lithium power system.  It just works.  And having lived with a similar system for nearly two years, I can tell you there really aren’t any negatives to it.
  • All of the other things we liked on the GL:  The windshield blind; the dual paned acrylic windows, locking in-floor storage, etc. etc. etc.  Just assume I repeated all those things here.
  • Seat Belts!  Travato K owners have been asking for additional seat belts, and now they have them.  I wouldn’t recommend them for full-time travel, but they’re there if you need them, and you can hide them away if you don’t.  You can look for these in new Travato K models as well.
  • Storage buckets.  While the actual capacity of the two white buckets you see in the videos isn’t all that huge, what I really like about them is that it shows Winnebago’s commitment to give owners all the storage that’s possible.  I think even the storage on the floor underneath the wardrobe is bigger, but I’d have to look at old footage to verify that.
  • And of course, we love the open feeling that you get in the KL.  That “non-claustrophobic” feeling is one of the main things that draws people to the Travato K (and KL).  Though the window layout has changed this year, it’s still hard to deny that this is an open-feeling coach.


What We Wish Was Different

  • It may seem odd to put the window layout in both the + and – columns, but I’m doing it.  Where the 2019 model has two windows on each side of the living area, the previous versions had single – and larger – windows.  I realize this is driven by needing to source a common size for two sets of optional windows, but it would be fantastic if they could get even larger dual-paned windows, and revert to the previous window configuration.
  • The single analog gauge for the Volta system is certainly easy to understand, and we know that’s what they were going for.  But there are some people (like me), who would appreciate being able to get even more data on how their lithium battery system is performing.  We think it would be great if they could offer a “detail” level control panel for those who want it.  (It doesn’t have to be a physical control panel though… they could broadcast the data to a smartphone app!)
  • Much like in the Travato GL, we’d like to see Sumo Springs (or another suspension enhancement) added right out of the gate.  Although, since our GL review, I did go and measure that battery box.  It’s 6.25 inches off the ground.  For comparison, our all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza sits less than six inches off the ground.  So this issue may be more one of “mental comfort” than actual chassis clearance.


We’re back now from our test-camp in the Travato 59 GL, so I do owe everyone a write-up on that experience.  The Pure3 Energy Management System is the same in each of these coaches, so the findings in that write-up will apply equally to both coaches.

I promise, I’m working on that next.  Stef has told me I can’t start any new RV projects until I get that test report done.  She can be such a buzzkill…

James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    161 thoughts on “A Detailed Review of Winnebago’s Lithium-Powered Travato 59KL!

    1. Ron

      Hi James,
      We have a 2019 Winnebago Travato KL. Is there an air shock you recomend? We have a dip in our driveway and the lithium battery cover drags on this. We have also had a few speed humps that cause the same problem. Thanks, Ron

      1. James - Post author

        We’ve been big fans of VB Air Suspension, which is available for your ProMaster.
        Their suspension is designed to keep your ride height constant, which may fix your problem.
        But it is expensive. If you’re looking for a less expensive solution, you could always try Sumo Springs. Many Travato owners swear by them.

    2. Terrance Vacha

      There is a long bar light in the ceiling just over the back of the driver and passenger seats of the Travato KL that comes on when I power on the Pure3 system. This is annoying when sleeping and driving. If there is a switch for that? I cannot find it in the manuals or on the internet. Is there a switch to turn that ceiling light strip off?(I hope so)

      1. James - Post author

        There is a switch for that light.
        If I remember correctly, it is on the forward-facing side of the lower galley cabinets – behind the driver’s seat.

        1. Terrance Vacha

          Right on! Thank you. I thought I had looked everywhere. Super, now I can actually have a choice about on or off. Thank you!

          I also spent an hour aiming the fan remote at the A.C. , changing the remote batteries, and almost giving up in frustration until I accidentally pointed it at myself while under the fan, and, lo and behold, the fan turned on. So you see who you are dealing with here. 🙂 I had just assumed that the A.C.would be more in need of a remote than a fan.

    3. Fox

      I am planning on buying the Tavato. It is between the 59 K and 59 KL. Is the KL worth the difference in price?

      What is the difference in price?

      This appears it will be a long slow process due to the major differences in prices among dealers. I will drive to save $ and I am in Florida. I will go 2 or 3 states away if I have to do so.

      Thanks. Love the video.

      1. James - Post author

        We don’t really comment on price. As you’ve seen, they vary considerably between dealers and in different areas of the country.

        As to whether or not one model or the other is “worth it” to you, there’s really no way we can answer that. You’re unique! And we don’t know what’s important to you, or what you intend to do with your RV. I suggest you read our guide to help you decide this. It’s helped a lot of people.

        8-Step Program for choosing your first RV

      1. James - Post author

        Yes. Yes. Yes. Absolutely yes.
        No question. No doubt. No hesitation.
        Anyone who tells you different is probably an RV salesman who just wants you to buy whatever they have in stock on their lot.

      2. Tim Oma

        If considering purchasing a Winnebago Travato, I recommend the Winnebago 22R upgrade. But seriously, I recommend you rent or borrow a Travato and use it for a 2 or 3 day trip before purchasing one.

        A few things to consider in my opinion. Not enough space, storage or ceiling height. Folding beds and wet bathrooms get old quick. A generator, propane heater, propane water heater, dual powered refrigerator and larger fresh water, gray and black tanks provide greater flexibility. Multiple AC ceiling vents with thermostat is more comfortable. You want an easy four snap front blind.

        I do like the swivel front seats and the gas mileage is better.

        1. James - Post author

          Well, the Minnie Winnie is a completely different animal. The Minnie Winnie is a Class C.
          Most folks who have decided to go for a Class B (van) RV have already decided that the compromises in space and storage are worth the mobility and maneuverability.
          Class B buyers probably wouldn’t really consider a Minnie Winnie.

    4. Marty Crean

      James, Steph – Regarding the headlights, tail lights, marker lights (ie; all external driving lighting) are all of these LED on the new Travatos?

      1. James - Post author

        Well, the View does not have Pure 3 – just a lithium battery option.
        We love the Boldt, and will have an official full review some time soon.

    5. Rene

      Hello from Vancouver Island Canada, we ordered and received the 2019 Winnebago Travato 59kl with the Pure3 system last summer. So far we have had to make 3 warranty claims, with the latest one being a frozen battery. We stored it for the winter as per the instructions in the manual. We have had a mild winter with only a few weeks in February of overnight temperatures of -3 to -6 C (26 to 21 F). It was plugged in to shore power with a portable heater running inside the coach the entire time. We have been informed by Winnebago and Volta that this will not be covered by warranty. We raise this concern because in reading your blog we noticed many of your followers ask how these batteries will stand up in cold weather, and as of this moment neither Winnebago, nor Volta can tell us what to do to prevent this in the future. We wonder if you or your readers have any suggestions other than indoor storage. PS – We have suggested to Winnebago that they develop a heat blanket for this battery system.

      1. James - Post author

        Well, I won’t be able to give you any information that Winnebago or Volta couldn’t. But I am surprised to hear that the battery is permanently dead from a dip to those temperatures.
        I can’t comment more without knowing the full story.

        1. Rene

          Hi James, here is an update … With intensive involvement with our dealership, Winnebago and Volta they were able to revive the battery. Even though Winnebago refused to cover it under warranty, our dealer has agreed that there will be no charge to us for the work that they have done because we specifically followed the guidelines in the manual. The cause of the problem has not been clearly identified, however it is suspected that the fan that blows warm air into the battery compartment, which runs off the lithium system, is the culprit. Therefore, it is now recommended by Volta and Winnebago that these coaches not be plugged in to shore power for winter storage. Instead, they should be fully charged and then put into sleep mode until needed. There are now discussions around an alternative heating system, such as a peel and stick heating blanket for the battery. We have been assured that we will be notified as soon as one of these is available. There is also a new service manual being made up to reflect these changes. Hope this added information helps …

        2. James - Post author

          I’m sure this will be helpful to owners looking into winter storage.
          Ladies and gentlemen – don’t plug ’em in!

    6. Tamara

      Thank you so much for your video. It is very helpful! Quick question: Can infant car seats or toddler booster seats can be used with the seatbelts?

      1. James - Post author

        Those rear seatbelts in the KL are lap belts only.
        I’m no car seat expert, but I believe most of them require at least a shoulder belt.

    7. mosswings

      Just a thought on the window sizing in the plusses and minuses…it may have to do something with providing at least SOME “safe” cross-ventilation in the back with the acrylic windows. The big passenger side window is “inoperable” – actually, it’s just very, very hard to operate, intentionally, because the slider will smash into it if it’s open. Only in the vent position does it clear the door. The small rear window doesn’t interfere with the door, so its gets the full slider threatment. And then that window pattern is duplicated on the driver’s side for parts commonality.

      This is the biggest downside to the acrylic windows – reduced ventilation on the passenger side from what it could be. On the other hand, since the standard sliders only open halfway, the ventilation issue could be just about a wash.

    8. Graham

      A thought on solar and storing the van. My wife and I are seriously considering the KL (we love electric vehicles- we both own tesla’s). I have seen you mention that the solar panels are a bit feeble for battery recharging, and I get your point. My use case for solar might be for when the van is in storage. We will certainly be adding an Apple TV to the entertainment system (for streaming from our iPad’s not internet streaming). The Apple TV can can act as a remote HomeKit hub which then adds the possibility on adding remote monitoring to the van (temp/humidity sensors, motion detectors etc.). We would need to add a mobile hotspot for internet access (assuming the storage does not have WiFi).

      We would have to leave the inverter on but I am guessing that the solar panels would provide more than enough power for the hotspot, Apple TV and the sensors.


      1. James - Post author

        Don’t forget to consider the inverter load when calculating things out.
        You may also want to check and make sure you can turn *off* the refrigerator in the KL. (We didn’t check that.)
        If there’s not a switch for it, you would either need to keep it running or pull the fuse.
        I can’t say for sure, but I suspect a couple hundred watts of solar would keep all that going.

        1. Graham

          Now that I come to think of it, if I use an old iPad as the Homekit hub I shouldn’t need the inverter at all. The iPad, hotspot and sensor could all run easily off of USB.

          PS – according to the manual the fridge can be turned off.

    9. B Walker

      Does your Travato or the new 2019 Travato’s have a locking gas door/cover??

      Just wondering…………..Pleasure Way ProMaster does not..

    10. Gaius Gracchus

      One of the owners of a new KL is posting on the Travato Facebook Group about a problem they discovered with the inverter. I guess they all suffered this problem, presumably the KGs, but maybe not. Wonder why it did not occur during James’ and Steph’s trial run?
      Part of his post:
      “In going through and checking out things this week, they discovered that the inverter seemed to always be on, the switch didn’t turn it off. They got in touch with WGO and Volta and found that Volta had configured them this way. The panel can be reconfigured and they changed that following instructions from Volta. Other units will be changed.”

      1. James - Post author

        That’s interesting, but it most certainly did NOT occur during our trial. They must have changed the programming between our trial and these first production units.
        When we had the GL, the inverter would turn on with system start up. That much was automatic and was the same.
        But we absolutely *could* turn off the inverter rather easily. I believe it was just one button to push.
        We even commented as much in our write-up on the affair.
        Unless you’re actively using 120v appliances, we recommend keeping the inverter off. It just saves energy that way.

    11. William Walker

      Hi James, I am wondering if a StowAway Max Cargo Box w Swingaway Frame will fit on the new Travato KL? I ordered one 2 months ago & I ordered a ladder. Some sites want to know about a ladder getting in the way of the box. Would I need to get an extender for the hitch? And I think it has a 2 inch hitch, I know you like to add storage with your custom box & Big trailer..

      Thanks in advance

      1. James - Post author

        First off – congratulations on your upcoming new rig!
        With regards to the StowAway… We’ve never been fans. But a lot of other Travato owners are.
        I’d suggest heading to the Travato Owners and Wannabes group on Facebook. There are lots of people there who have mounted the StowAway (with and without the ladder).
        They can tell you in short order what works, what doesn’t, and any other parts you might need.
        Good Luck!

    12. Eric Meyer

      You mention Sumo Springs in your discussion about ground clearance, do these types of systems help the vehicle get over moderately bumpy dirt roads by either raising the chassis or firming up the ride (or both)? If they raise the chassis, by how much? Any downsides to them?

      Thank you!

    13. Logan Cooner

      Thanks so much for the help. Being a former rocket scientist your the perfect guy to help me understand this! ok so basically I can’t just hop in this thing with it frozen and start driving. Let’s say I park in the winter and go into work for a several hours. Then when I leave work I would need to have gone outside switched on the truma or have it timed to switch on… (either off propane or long extension cord run to the office outlet) wait then for the truma to heat the cabin and then start the engine. So basically in the winter if I want to use the van I need to FIRST engage the truma and heat the entire rear of the coach before starting up the coach. But while the truma is running off 110 won’t it be charging the battery also?? I thought that was what we where trying to avoid. what if it’s cold still and charging it cold hurts it? Does this mean I must heat using propane only initially? The goal obviously isn’t to charge or discharge the frozen battery. Seems like that only leaves propane as an initial heating source? I mean why not just put a heating pad on the battery? Along with a battery kill switch. That way you can start the engine and immediately drive off? I’m thinking it would work like this: jump into a frozen van and flip the battery heating pad button AND the battery kill switch which would disengage all charging and discharging to the battery. I would be free to drive off and use the van until the battery reaches warm temps via the pad then I would simply hit the battery kill switch again to begin enabling charging or discharging….(the pad would be powered off the stock van power not the lithium?) I bring this up bc a lot of the time I may not want or need to heat the entire coach to use the van. It looks like I would need to use propane to heat the entire coach every morning before starting the engine or using the lithium battery…???

      1. James - Post author

        That pre-heating you describe won’t be necessary if all you want to do is drive the vehicle. The BMS will not allow you to damage the battery if it’s cold out. It will simply shut off the ability to charge the house battery below freezing. It will also shut off the ability to DIScharge the house battery if it’s WAY below freezing. Neither of those will matter to you if all you want to do is drive the van. If you wanted to charge the house battery, then yes, you’d need to make sure the battery was warm enough to accept a charge. Basically, the battery has a self-kill switch to prevent damage.
        And if that’s not enough for you, there’s always the big button that would just shut down the house battery system.

    14. Logan

      James, can we get more detailed information regarding safe winter use with these lithium battery packs?? Seems like the water tanks have heating pads but the battery dosnt? Why in the world not? Hypothetically let’s say it’s 9 degrees out and I’m wanting to drive the KL? Since there is no heating pad for battery and you don’t want to charge or discharge the battery’s that cold what does a person do?? I understand that there are “freezing points” with water hoses at some low points that could make dumping an issue in winter but what about the battery. It’s still not clear at all about the battery and winter. Water tanks aside how does one drive the travato kL in the winter. What if I just wanted to drive it to work? Thanks!

      1. James - Post author

        If you just wanted to drive it to work, you would use it as a normal vehicle. The two electrical systems are separate.
        There is more information and discussion on cold weather use in this related post on our website.

        1. Logan

          Ok so is there a battery kill switch or something? So I could jump into a “frozen” 59KL and immediately start it up and drive it and use the stock van cabin heat to get to work or what ever? Without the van charging or discharging the frozen lithium battery? Then I’m assuming that if I got to a place where I needed to park and start using the frozen lithium battery in the back of the coach How would I know if it’s internal temp is warm enough yet? Would the stock van heat in the front after about an hour heat the cabin enough or would I need to start the propane truma for X amount of time before turning on the lithium system? Is there lithium temp sensors? Also, you wouldnt want to heat truma with 110 initially in a frozen setting bc that 110 from house outlet would also be charging lithium battery? Does that only leave propane?

        2. James - Post author

          Similar to your last questions, but yes.
          There is a kill switch. It’s the big green button. If you shut that off, nothing can or will happen to your house battery. You could drive the van to the south pole and it would be fine.
          Also, the battery will shut itself down from charging if it gets too cold for that, and it will disable DIScharging if it gets even colder. You don’t have to do anything to manage this. It does it through its BMS.

    15. scott watson

      Fantastic article + video review. I’m very close to pulling the trigger on a Travato 59GL, so this entire blog discussion has been VERY useful.

      Frustrating that there is so little info available about the Pure3 lithium energy option on the Travato.

      But, thanks to James and Steph (and readers) I am getting educated. In fact when I went to my local Winnebago dealer about the GL Pure3 system I knew quite a bit more than my sales guy.

      Thx all 🙂

      1. James - Post author

        We often hear from our readers that they feel like they are more knowledgeable than their sales persons. We like hearing it – it means we’re being helpful! The discussion down in the comments is often times enlightening as well, so thanks for the shout out to our readers.

        I’ll repeat your sentiment: OUR READERS ARE THE BEST!!!!

    16. Rob Kohler

      I had previously only considered the Pleasure Way Lexor, primarily because of it’s lithium battery system, but the new ‘L’ Travato’s seem worth considering. One thing I can’t find is info on the solar panels. Just how many panels and Watts are available on the new ‘L’ models.

      The previous 100W panel is pretty clearly insufficient and on the 2018’s there’s very little room to add additional panels.

      1. James - Post author

        Both of the “L” series Travato models have 200 watts of solar panels on top. I’m pretty sure they are Zamp branded panels.
        Honestly though, with the batteries that large, and the second alternator that powerful, solar power has been pretty much marginalized on these rigs. It’s such a small charging source compared to the others as to be almost insignificant.

    17. Morgan Jaffray

      What is the update on the write up about the Pure 3 system?… Anxiously awaiting 🙂 Also, what are your top 3 RV dealers (military friendly) that you recommended I contact about purchasing a 2019 Travato 59KL?
      I am nervous about the 1 year warranty on Winnebago especially with this new system.

      1. James - Post author

        The write-up was posted on the web site on April First (but it wasn’t a joke).
        You can find that write up behind this link.
        While Winnebago typically offers a one year warranty on their RVs, it’s worth noting that the Volta system will carry an 8 year warranty.
        We don’t recommend specific dealers (we try to get along with all of them), so I don’t have any help for you there. Sorry!

    18. Mark Freeman

      James – I would love to see a heat/cold test between the standard and the new optional acrylic windows on the Travato.

      It appears that the new Dual-Pane Euro Acrylic Windows are also an option on the regular K and G as well.

      1. Gaius Gracchus

        I read recently that the dual pane acrylic windows have an R value of something like 2.5, whereas the glass have 0.9.

    19. David King

      Thank you James and Stef for a terrific review. Glad to see the 2 seatbelts on one of the beds, but we need 6 total. Do you know if Winnebago is willing to install 2 more on the longer bed?

      1. James - Post author

        They won’t do this on the line.
        You’d have to buy the rig first, and then take it to their custom shop if you wanted additional seat belts.

    20. Other Steph

      1. Will the heating pads mean this is good to go for 4-season travels? I’d love to be able to live in a Travato as a snowboarding base camp (once the time comes to ditch work for good!) It seems like there would still be places vulnerable to cold…
      2. When will the Remote Clip Control Box become available for those of us who also need lattes and car vacuuming services?!

      1. James - Post author

        Personally, I think I could use it for 4 season camping. But Winnebago won’t advertise it that way.
        There’s a whole lot of the winter camping thing that depends on you, the end user. So even if the rig is capable, you have to get it right.
        But yes, I think it could work. Dumping might be an issue, as there are *not* heating pads on the valves. They could potentially freeze shut. That would be the weak point.

        And as far as the Remote Clip Control Box… I only made one! You’ll have to fight Stef for it!

        1. Other Steph

          But could another RCCB be made for, I don’t know, significant others? Just a thought on a much needed product I didn’t know that I needed. But totally do.

        2. James - Post author

          We haven’t done a video specifically on winter camping, but we have written a number of posts about it.
          You can search this site for “winter” in the search box on the upper right.
          We’ve also written a piece over on the Winnebagolife blog on winter RVing. You can find that one here.

    21. Debra

      Thanks James/Stef for this new Travato 59KL review.
      My Question is: Do these new optional front windshield blinds block the dashboard vents for defrosting the windshield? Hard to tell from video. Thx.:)

      1. James - Post author

        We didn’t check this specifically, so I don’t have any photos.
        But I can tell you that in our time driving the GL, we *did* run the defroster and *did not* notice any weirdness from it.
        So I’m going to assume the vents are clear, but I just don’t have a picture.
        (Plus, I can’t imagine they spent three years designing the thing – taking great care to work around the airbags – and forgot that there were vents up there. But stranger things have happened…)

    22. VW_Vista

      Wow, what a great change! I’m loving the low volt autostart system, this seems like a boon for RV’ers with pets! so much less obtrusive than a loud generator droning on and on drawing attention to itself if you have to leave a dog inside..

      Wondering how the costs break down over the batteries + inverters + solar panels, weight and space;
      cost of generator, maintenance on generator / reliability, weight & space.. etc?

      But man, it always seems like 2 steps forward and 1 step back..
      WHY keep the propane cook top?
      Why not a gasoline fired heater?
      US manufacturers sure seem determined to keep us from having “1 fuel” coaches for some reason.

      1. James - Post author

        The system actually starts on State of Charge (which makes a LOT more sense with lithium, due to its flat discharge curve).
        And on the “one fuel” front… baby steps… we’ll get there.

    23. Tim


      Is there any meter to monitor how many hours someone idles their van’s engine when using the 58v alternator?

      This would be extremely important for care of your engine, as well as resale, since any future owner would want to know how many hours the gasoline engine was idled, i.e., 100 hrs vs 1,000 hours is a big wear and tear difference on a gasoline engine.

      1. James - Post author

        As far as I know, there is no such meter. Something like that might be available on the CAN Bus somehow, but that’s beyond what I know.

      2. VW_Vista

        I’m pretty sure aftermarket hour meters are common. But that would just tell you overall time, not idle time.. if it matters.

    24. Loretta

      Thank you for the detailed review of the new Travatos! Excellent review! had a few questions about the 59G.

      Can the table in front of the bench seat be removed from the wall to allow for an open space in front of the bench seat? I do not need to have the current bench seat function as a second sleeping area, but want more leg room in the bench seat area, to seat two adults comfortably without out using the current table.

      Is there a way to remove the table and store it either vertically or horizontally on the wall next to the bench seat?

      Would it be possible to remove the table and replace it with a narrower table which has a opposing cantilever pieces that open when needed and then close when more bench seat space is desired? I am thinking about an aftermarket table.

      Thank you!

      1. James - Post author

        Yes, you can remove the table. It’s not a “remove and put it back” kind of table though. You would need to remove a number of screws to get it out of its place.
        I’d suggest checking in the Travato Owners and Wannabes group on Facebook. Owners there have done a number of things to the table – including cutting it down, removing it, and replacing with a cantilever table as you describe.
        Stef and I… we like the big table right where it is.

      1. James - Post author

        Lots of differences, but some high points:
        The Travato have a larger lithium battery, and have more thought put into them for extended season camping. They do require a DC/DC converter to get the 48 volt battery down to 14 volts. It’s based on a gasoline platform.
        The Coachmen Galleria does not require a DC/DC converter, has that super cool water temperature feature, and has some really impressive cabinetry. But it is not suitable for winter camping. It’s based on a diesel platform.

        1. James - Post author

          I should also point out that if you really have to have an induction cooktop, you can buy a portable, and throw it in a drawer. Then you have induction when you want it, and propane if you’re running low on battery.
          Portable induction cooktops are like 50 bucks. I bet your dealer would throw one in if that were the only thing keeping you on the fence.

    25. Amy

      Love and appreciate your outstanding reviews, including this one. Question re: self-leveling…can the leveling equipment you and Stef installed on your Travato be installed on the new KL? Assuming so, do you have any sense of how much that might cost (rough ballpark) and whether anyone in CA is familiar with how to do it? We really want that!

      1. James - Post author

        I really don’t know if the levelers can be installed in the KL. There are very specific areas underneath that need to be clear for the levelers to install. I did not check that on this coach.
        You could contact E&P directly and ask them about their dealer network in the USA.

      2. Beth Beglin

        I just recently received a quote from Advanced RV to install their leveling system in a 2019 GL for $7638 if there are NO interferences and it is a straight install. Work must be done in Ohio and will take 2 days.

    26. Kimberly

      Impulsive me wants to make a deposit on one today. 60 year old me say’s, “go find one to drive, sit in and find out cost…”. This is the first time 60 year old me has wanted to take this next step. Hurray! I have been doing my homework via YouTube and blogs now for a few years.

      I’m getting closer to what I want in a RV. Travato 59KL is at the top.

      Thank You for all the time and effort you put into your engaging and informative videos.

      1. James - Post author

        The part of you that wants to go have a look at one in person knows the way to go about this.
        We’ll see you on the road soon!! 😉

    27. David

      Again, a fantastic review. You both do the industry a favor by your reviews. Thank you greatly for your unbiased reviews and keep your friendship with Russ, the Godfather of the Travato. That coach is the greatest B out there. Bar none! Having a 2017 59K with 260 watts solar, I am not sure the L is the ultimate solution yet, but will get there in time. I thought I read that possibly the price for the Lithium may be a $29,000 option. No induction cooktop, acrylic windows that look nice day one but don’t age well over time, diminished tank capacities (a real killer in a B), and windows that are locked shut are tough realities to reconcile. You mentioned “value” of the Travato being your tipping point in going with that coach, and I couldn’t agree more with you. The standard versions of the K and G are superb offerings and no one out there can compete. And it is on the greatest gasoline chassis out there with front wheel drive. There is tremendous value offered. Kudos to Winnebago and Russ and your pressing the envelope with Lance. Not a fan of the generator but will keep our unit as is and not make compromises for a herculean $29,000 (if that is correct) bump.

    28. Renan Rieur

      James and Stef,
      As with all your posts, I always learn something valuable. And I thank you for that. I’ve been looking at a RT Zion because I loved their volt start system and the Promaster chassis. Thrilled that there is now a Winnebago option (Travato 59KL) that has comparable features and also made in the US. (Canadians, I love products from Canada, but please don’t be offended; Road Trek is no longer Canadian)

      My question to you, what about a spare tire? Call me old school, but I’ve had flats over the years that involved the sidewalls and they can’t be fixed with sealant and a pump on the road. Did you see anywhere on the roof or underneath, large enough to mount a spare tire? I know their are all kinds of options for the hitch available, but I’d like to save that for other future options.

      Thank you

      1. James - Post author

        Suggest you have a look at the Travato Owners and Wannabes group on Facebook.
        I don’t personally care to carry a spare, so this is not on our radar. But there are a number of owners on that group who have figured out ways to carry one.

      2. Steve Cline

        I am in my mid 60’s and have owned several vans over the years. I too am old school and don’t want to get stuck in a rural area with no spare. I too considered the Zion but really like the lay out of the 59 KL.

        Check out https://www.aluminess.com/ they have one for the promaster that mounts to the hitch bar and leaves the receiver free.You will have to select right or left side. I plan to use an extension and a bike rack for a e-bike.

        1. Renan Rieur

          Thank you Steve for your post about my question. I appreciate you taking the time to give me that link. I’m also planning on E-Bikes.

    29. Randy Ochsenbein

      Awesome review James and Stefany! Love all the passion, work and detail you put into making these videos. I absolutely LOVE my 2018 Travato 59K…and having said that, I find myself really wanting to upgrade in a year to the KL model. My question would simply be, how well do you think the Volta system would hold up for someone using this full time in the winter months when it is below freezing most of the time. Will the autostart system be able to manage keeping the batteries charged enough for the Truma to keep things warm enough so the batteries could be charged safely? I’d appreciate any thoughts on this James. Keep up the great work my friends! Hope to see you soon!

      1. James - Post author

        I wouldn’t have any concerns about winter operation if you were going to be in the rig full time.
        I would NOT try to heat full time on electric though. You’d wind up running the engine a lot. You can do it some of the time, but resistance heating isn’t terribly efficient.
        Just keep it filled up with Propane and you’d be fine.

    30. Chris

      Thanks for the great review James and Stephanie! If you can, would you please share the cargo capacity of this unit from the factory sticker? Thanks again, Chris.

    31. Doug

      What an awesome van and your usual comprehensive review. Thanks. Wish they didn’t have the van exhaust right under the Truma vent and the opening awning window especially with the auto start system. And do they use the same attachment system as the Revel for the solar panels? Users have had panels coming loose due to the screws loosening and cracking of those plastic red connectors.

      1. James - Post author

        The rack is similar, yes. I don’t know what the root cause of the solar panel issue is, but I know they are aware of it and are looking into it.
        We had no issues with our solar panels in the time we had the GL test coach.

    32. Tim

      Excellent review guys! Two questions:

      1.). The first one relates to the new acrylic windows. Are you concerned that acrylic windows overtime can scratch and fade as opposed to regular auto tempered glass? I’ve seen vans in the past use acrylic windows which look horrible after a few years of use.

      2.) You mentioned that the 3600W inverter can handle 40amps. I have two 4,0000W Trace Inverters in my class A and each can only handle 33Amps. Which Inverter does Winnebago use? If it does get 40amps, that means you could turn everything on in the van without blowing a fuse which would be great. But I assume if everything is turned on, the amount of hours your ion battery would operate would be reduced significantly from your 6 hour estimate, right?

      1. James - Post author

        1. The acrylic windows do require some care. For example, DON’T wash them with one of those car wash brushes… Sometimes if you see an acrylic window at an RV show, and it has swirl marks all over it, you know the dealer personnel had no idea how to care for them. But as long as you follow those few simple rules, you’re fine. Ours is over two years old now, and it looks just fine.
        2. I think we might be getting some things confused here. The *DC/DC converter* can handle 40 amps at 14 volts DC. The *inverter* can put out 3600 watts – which is 30 amps at 120 volts AC. But yes, the amount of run time on any one appliance in the van will depend on what else in the van is running along with it. Think of the battery like a fuel tank. Everything electrical uses some.

        1. Tim

          Thanks for your prompt reply. A couple more if you please 🙂

          1. Do you think the extra money for the Lithium Ion battery/technology, is worth the money if you don’t boon-dock that much and the cost for replacement vs. AGM technology?

          2. Regarding the Acrylic Windows, if they do have to be replaced for whatever reason, I’m assuming you would have to go to Winnebago vs. any Dodge dealer for their stock windows. So, assuming that you only gain 1.4 R factor for insulation, is the additional cost for these windows worth the added price vs. Dodge dealer stock. Not saying their not, just asking 🙂

          3. If you’re in sub-zero weather and are winterized, is there any effect on the Lithium Ion battery since I’m assuming you would be using it to run some of the systems, even if winterized. Just not sure what temperatures Winnebago tested the battery pack at.

        2. James - Post author

          1. If you’re going to be plugged in most of the time, it would be hard to justify the extra expense of lithium.
          2. Even the “standard” windows in the Travato (besides the cab and rear windows) are added by Winnebago. They’re not Dodge parts. Since I sleep right next to one, I can tell you that yes, it’s worth it.
          3. Not sure of your question. Wait for our test report.

      1. James - Post author

        That’s one you’d have to talk to your dealer about.
        Totally off the record, but I’m hearing that some people who have ordered are being told June.

    33. Joe

      Great job. You guys made a detailed rv video interesting and fun. Do you guys have an idea if 1 Can a composting toilet be added? If yes 2 can the black water tank be retrofitted to be used for additional clean water?

      Love your videos, thanks.

      1. James - Post author

        1. Yes, absolutely. Several Travato owners (including us) have added composting toilets. Hopefully you’ve seen our video on that.
        2. Uhhh. You could use the black tank for extra grey water, if you got a secondary blade valve. That’s fairly common. I would NOT use it for fresh water. I don’t know if all the fittings and connections (and the black tank flush system) that are used in the black tank setup would be fresh water safe.

        1. Joe

          Thank you Sir! That’s great information and I have watched your composting videos but I know Lance is a G model and didn’t know if the conversion would be the same on the K.

          I wish you and your wife the best, we need more examples in the public of great working marriages.

    34. Boondock Scott

      Great video as usual. I have a 2016 59K. I am currently customizing the solar/battery system to fit my needs. How many amp hours are the batteries rated at?

      1. James - Post author

        In the standard Travato K? I think those are 2 group 31 AGM batteries, rated at 105 Amp-hours each.
        In the lithium coaches, the batteries are rated in watt-hours. 8700 watt-hours.

        1. Boondock Scott

          I was interested in the amp hour rating of the lithium batteries so I can compare them to the Standard 59K.

        2. James - Post author

          The lithium batteries are not rated in amp hours. It’s not a good comparison, as amp-hours doesn’t take the greater electrical potential of the lithium batteries into account. (14.4 volts vs 12.6 volts)
          If you wanted to compare, it’s more apples-to-apples to compare them in watt hours.
          Lithium: 8700 Watt Hours useable
          AGM: 105 Amp hours * 12.6 volts = 1323 Watt Hours useable.

    35. Marcus Aurelius

      Auto Start seems like a great option 4 boondocking, can you get AutoStart and the L Batteries in the G series. Also, when u put in ur AC in Lance (Stef did all the heavy lifting) noticed ur RV(carport) did u build it?…from what I could see it looked pretty neat and sturdy. Take Care

    36. jMon

      i love your videos – have watched all of them – some more than once – this new travato with the volta system looks like a game changer to me

      1. Stefany

        …and bring your mtn bike and ride it up!!! Van life at its best; when the van becomes a catalyst for those activities we love. Hope you’re healthy and happy, my friend! xoxo

      1. James - Post author

        Fresh water tank in the KL is same as the GL – 18 gallons. So 5 less.
        Grey tank in the KL is the same as the K at 13.
        Black tank in the KL is 1 gallon less than the K at 12.

        1. Courtney

          Losing 5 gallons is disappointing. I hope the find a way to expand the tanks. Maybe they could add that as an option (expanding the fresh and gray tanks) for people who put in composting toilets. Maybe that’s unlikely, but I can dream.

    37. Tim from Eat Sleep Van

      Very nice, I wonder what capacity the 48-12V converter has? i.e. how many amps of 12V can you run on it?

      1. James - Post author

        That’s actually a great question. I have a picture of the sticker on it.
        40 amps at 14 volts!

    38. Terry H.

      Great and entertaining as always. Many thanks. Now with these expensive batteries, has there been any thought about making sure they are not stolen? I know catalytic converters in regular cars are sometimes stolen for the metal so it’s something to consider with these batteries.
      Glad to see the seat belts. While the seat configuration is not great, it can still be useful. And child seats can now be fastened down to bring those grand kids.

      1. James - Post author

        Honestly, I don’t think there’s much danger of that.
        You’d have to either raise the vehicle (not a light beast, for sure), or squirm under 6.25 inches of space, and undo a lot of bolts and screws. Then, a 200 pound battery would fall on you. There’s a fair danger of shock there as well. I’d choose not to worry.
        Glad you like the seat belts. Many had asked for them.

        1. Terry H.

          Well here’s to hoping so. I saw those bolts which made me think it would be pretty easy. Stealing a catalytic converter under a vehicle you’d think would be difficult too, seeing it’s welded on but it happens and is worth a lot less.

        2. James - Post author

          The generator could be taken similarly (I’ve done it), and it won’t electrocute you when you do it.
          But I haven’t heard of anyone having their generator stolen.

        3. Bob B

          On the Volta site, they list all their energy packs as 11″ tall, so even if one could fit under in that 6.25 inches of space and you un-bolted the pack, and you could drop it without injuring yourself, it would not slide out just too tall. Only way to get it out is jack up the T (probably 2 jacks) or put it on a lift.

    39. Ronald

      Just finished watching the show. At the beginning I thought I heard something being said about the charging system automatically turning on when the battery needed charging. Does this mean that the RV engine actually is started remotely so that the converter can power the charging system? How does this affect security and safety? If the vehicle is on can it then be driven by anyone in the vicinity?

      1. James - Post author

        There is an auto-start feature, which will start on low state of charge. (Not volts) And yes, it will charge the battery.
        The auto-start must be specifically armed, so there’s not much of a chance of it surprising you. You would still not be able to drive the vehicle without the key – they’ve got that worked out.

    40. Dan

      On your Travato 59GL review you point out that the window on the passenger side behind the sliding door is screwed shut. What about this model, the Travato 59KL? Is the large window over the passenger side bed and behind the sliding door able to be opened? Thanks.

        1. Ed

          That’s a deal breaker from me – love the K for the ability to have enough all the cross flow ventilation. Will the “standard” windows open as they always have? Thanks for the entertaining review!

        2. Thomas

          James, do any of the windows on the passenger side of the KL open? The little one by the bed & the large one in the door??

        3. James - Post author

          Yes. I am certain the one in the sliding door opens, because we opened it.
          I *believe* the smaller window on the passenger’s side opens as well. It is out of harm’s way. But I did not open it personally. 99% sure it opens though.

    41. Linda

      In one of the Bienert moments 🙂 Chris talked about the front windshield blind “option”. Is this option or standard feature? In the KL pricing sheet that was not listed as an option to check off?

      1. James - Post author

        The #bienertmoments!!!
        It is an option. I don’t know what option sheet you saw, but it may not have had this latest option on it.

    42. Heath

      Watching the review now, and appreciate the detailed approach you take. I have a question that I have yet seen answered… does the driver’s seat recline? Not looking for a bed, but a few inches would be the difference of me being able to drive it comfortably or not.

      1. James - Post author

        Yes, it reclines.
        How much it would recline may depend on how far back you have it. The further back the seat is, the closer it is to the galley counter.
        I haven’t heard of too many people who couldn’t get comfortable in one.
        Really tall folks would probably want to visit a dealer to sit in one first hand before buying though, as with any RV.

        1. Heath

          Thank you for the quick response… I’ve sat in the K and couldn’t figure out how to make the seat recline. I’ll go back and look again. Again, thank you for the great reviews, and quick response.

      2. Roger

        I’m 6’4″ and own a ’17K. I slide the seat all the way back and am still able to recline it enough to be fairly comfortable. Would I like another inch of recline? You bet! But we have over 22K on ours now and I comfortably drive 6 – 8 hours a day. As James said, visit the dealer to see for sure. Give yourself time to play with the adjustments though. It takes a little while to find that sweet spot with the manual adjustments.

    43. Carol

      Gosh, those are some impressive improvements! WTG Winnebago! This is such a sweet set-up–though it’s still a tough choice between the two floorplans.

      And as always, just love the humor you two include in your videos. LOL.

    44. David Huff

      Been wanting to ask James these questions for a while, so I thought now would be the time:

      1) With you being a woodworker and knowing how you like nicely constructed cabinetry, what do you think of Winnebago’s build quality in that regard ? I’m not expecting “fine, solid hardwoods” or dovetail joints or anything, but is it reasonably solid & well-constructed for what it is ?

      2) How about the build quality otherwise ? Like the plumbing system, electrical work, insulation, etc…? (I’m liking those dual-pane acrylic windows in that last regard)

      3) What’s been your experience owning a Ram Promaster-based RV ? Is the chassis reasonably reliable ? I follow several Youtube RVers who have Promasters and no one has complained too bitterly so far…


      1. James - Post author

        1. The cabinets in an RV are constructed using different techniques than what you would see in a home. (Except in the RVs I build in my head. Those things ROCK!) So given that, I’d say Winnebago’s cabinetry is a good value for what you pay for it. I’ve not had any come apart that I wasn’t deliberately trying to take apart.
        2. Again, build quality is, in my opinion, pretty good for what you pay. That was a key point in our decision to buy a Travato. We felt that they really nailed it on “value”. Yes, you can get nicer. You might even get better quality. But there’s a point of diminishing returns, and we thought WGO was in the sweet spot. We’ve not had any issues that I didn’t kinda cause myself…
        3. No concerns with the ProMaster. We love the way it drives. The width, and front wheel drive make handling a breeze.

    45. Herranton

      Its sad they didn’t come up with a way to “fix” the shower curtain. It looks like it would take longer to set up and take down than it would to actually take a shower (not to mention the fact you would have to let it dry before you could store it, and that it would really encroach on the small space, making it feel a lot smaller). That just seems like a huge pain.

      1. James - Post author

        Actually, the people who own it say it’s really not as big of a deal as they thought it would be.
        Have you gotten on to the Travato Owners and Wannabes group on Facebook? The owners there could probably give you tips. I do know they say the shower curtain dries pretty quick.

    46. Bruce

      If you swapped the sink position with the stove and eliminated the stove for a portable induction stove, you could significantly increase the refrigerator size.

      1. James - Post author

        I guess it would depend on whether or not there is a refrigerator available in that size or not…

    47. Roger

      As always, well done! And Verrrrry interesting! Might have missed this, but does that big window beside the passenger side bed open? Or is it locked in place because of the slider? Not sure if that was mentioned. Good to see how they’ve adapted to keep the tanks insulated and heated.

    48. Dan

      Great review! Thanks!

      I actually like the small window by the person’s head. It appears to be a chance to look out without having the entire large window blind down.

      I would like for Winnebago to explain their thinking on a propane cook top when the selling feature is the battery system. Induction seems like a better choice.

      It still is at the top of my list. Thanks again for your great reviews!!

      1. James - Post author

        I can’t speak for Winnebago, but I too would like to see the Pure3 Travato models have an induction cooktop.

        1. James - Post author

          Not at all. At least, not the one we have.
          On full blast, yes, it uses almost as much as an air conditioner. But you only leave it on full blast for a short period of time (it’s really fast).
          Then, you put it on simmer or some such, and it sips electricity.
          Winnebago has also put an induction cooktop in the Revel, which doesn’t have lithium batteries as I write this.

        2. Linda

          I wish you COULD speak for Winnebago– as a potential buyer (I am hoping for the 59KL soon) I am interested in ALL of your reviews and comments. Personally, I would prefer NO gas — all solar & Lithium. I hope you can encourage them to switch for us!

    49. Tracey

      Thanks for the review. Great to hear WGO listens to the suggestions/comments made by T owners. How does the 6.25 inche clearance compare to that of the regular K?

      1. James - Post author

        AC runs off inverter – which converts 48 volt DC to 120 volt AC.
        The answer to the “how long” question depends on too many variables to get into here.
        The short answer is 8700/1410 = roughly six. So approximately 6 hours – potentially more or less depending.

    50. Bill

      Nice review…. 5 minutes AFTER I paid my deposit for one…. Now the clock is ticking…
      .i was hoping to see how the sliding door and Windows interacted . 🙁

      1. James - Post author

        They don’t. The window on the passenger’s side coach body is locked shut to prevent accidents from the sliding door.

    51. Bob B

      Question: On the GL(or G, too I guess if you order the new awning window option) they have “locked” that galley window, because someone may leave it open, then open the sliding door and SMASH.

      Is that big awning window on the passenger side of the KL/K, right behind the sliding door also “locked”?

      1. Rick O.

        That’s pretty nice. The Euro models make me jealous. So many smart ideas, especially the higher platform bed with garage storage below. Unfortunately, that 2014 rig did not seem to be continued. But I found this smaller, yet equally-smart, rig by the same company.

        For now, the 2019 Winnebago Travato 59kl is the best contender for me. Thanks to James and Stef for their great review!


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