At Last! A Bike Garage! Our Detailed Review of the Leisure Travel Vans Wonder RTB!


True story: While the main reason we started The Fit RV was to encourage people to lead a more healthy and fit-focused RV lifestyle, one of the secondary reasons was to get RV manufacturers to build RVs that supported such a lifestyle.  Call me selfish, but basically, one of the main reasons we started publishing our RV reviews was to get someone to build a motorhome that had proper bike storage.  For me.  For my bikes.  Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.

This is what success looks like:

 

We’re not taking all the credit here.  Just 80% of the credit.  The other 20% is evenly split between a) all of Europe, and b) those of you we encouraged to write in to RV manufacturers asking for exactly this kind of rig.  Floor plans with garages are almost mandatory in Europe, and we’re super excited that Leisure Travel Vans has finally brought this very sensible floor plan to North America.  Most everything we know about the rig made it into the video, but for those of you who like a score card, here’s a quick run down of our impressions of the LTV Wonder RTB.

What We Really Liked

  • The Bike Garage, obviously
  • The attention to detail in the little things.  We point this out in several places in the video.  We can always tell when we’re inside a Leisure Travel Vans rig, and it’s the attention they pay to the little things that makes this obvious to us.  Spend any time inside their rigs yourself, and you’ll see what we mean.
  • The insane amount of storage.  Quite literally, we almost think there’s too much storage in this rig.  You won’t have to worry about having a place for all of your stuff.  In fact, if you fill up the storage in this rig, we’d encourage you to look again at your cargo – because you can probably leave something behind.
  • Every outlet we saw in the rig was powered by the 1000 watt inverter.  This is fantastic, because it means (as long as you can find 1000 watt appliances) you could, for example, have toast while dry-camping in a Wal-Mart parking lot… without running the generator (assuming you have enough battery capacity).  There may be non-inverted outlets in this coach, but we didn’t find them.
  • Speaking of the generator, if you have to have one, you might as well go all-in and get one that produces the full 30 amps.  That’s what LTV did here, and we appreciate it!
  • 15,000 BTU Air Conditioning shouldn’t have trouble keeping up even on the hottest days.

 

What We Wish Was Different

  • Leisure Travel Vans is one of our favorite RV manufacturers.  But they’re the only one of our favorites that doesn’t currently have a lithium-powered offering.  We’d like to see that change, including on this rig.  Once you’ve had a lithium-powered rig as we do, it’s tough to see yourself going back.
  • That Absorption Refrigerator.  We make no secret of our disdain for absorption refrigeration in general.  There are several posts on our site about it.  They just don’t work as well as compressor refrigerators.  So do we wish this was different?  Heck yeah we do.
  • We’d really like to see them include ducted air conditioning in that ceiling.  The 15,000 BTU AC will do a fine job, but those air distribution boxes are just loud.  We’ve been in some of their coaches with ducted air conditioning, and it’s much quieter.
  • Though I didn’t see any water lines underneath, this is still a 3 season rig.  We’d like to see some winterization features added to the coach.  Heating pads, insulated doors on that bike garage…  The kind of things I’d add if we had this rig.

 

So there you have it.  Our review of THE FIRST North American RV with a bike garage.  We’re thrilled that this option is available in North America now, and we’re extremely proud of Leisure Travel Vans for bringing this floor plan to life.  What do you think about this rig and this floor plan?  Sound off in the comments below!



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified 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.


    26 thoughts on “At Last! A Bike Garage! Our Detailed Review of the Leisure Travel Vans Wonder RTB!

    1. Doug M

      Just love you guys and your reviews always make me smile. Love the layout but certainly designed for full service campgrounds. Change to a compressor frig and 2000 watt inverter (both on my must have list) and those 6V batteries wouldn’t last a day. Thanks for the review. If you ever get the chance, take a look at the PW Tofino for something at the small end.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We wanted to take a look at the Tofino when we were in Pomona, but we just ran out of time.
        It’s on our list.

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I believe they would. You might have to work at it a little bit. And it would definitely take both sides.
        But I think you could do it.
        Might have to remove the sliding drawer? Or add a second…

        Reply
    2. Patrick

      Well it is certainly progress with the garage, but…

      I think the garages in European motorhomes now are bigger. They are bigger because European manufacturers are using the Fiat Ducato (sold as Dodge Promaster in USA) with AL-KO chassis.

      You can read about this chassis here:

      http://www.alko-tech.com/uk/al-ko-chassis

      There are many advantages with this chassis for a motorhome, one of them is that you can have a bigger garage at the back.

      There is a competitor now for the AL-KO/Fiat Ducato base and that is from Hymer with the SLC chassis used with the Mercedes Sprinter cab. This also enables a huge garage along with much else. You can read about this here:

      https://www.hymer.com/en/models/technology-plus/hymer-slc-chassis/

      It would be great if someone started either making a USA motorhome specific chassis like the AL-KO or SLC or if they started importing these from Europe.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        True – in these smaller rigs, we don’t have a dedicated chassis over here like the AL-KO.
        There are probably tax or regulatory reasons why we don’t, but I don’t know what those are.
        I’m sure the RV manufacturers have thought about it over here.

        Reply
        1. Patrick

          I totally agree with you. Of course things are much more complicated in reality that just me musing about what might happen on the Internet.

          I do think that an increase in vocal customer demand, which you are doing, is very beneficial. It will increase the chances of the hurdles being overcome in some way.

    3. Terri Baffa

      Nice review of LTV RT,, but still I prefer the Wonder MB Unit:) Here is a helpful & considerate tip for you. Please remover your footwear when climbing up & laying on bedding. Keep up the great work you both do. XD

      Reply
    4. Dennis W.

      If only….if only it had 1) Lithium ion batteries, 2) a compressor fridge, 3) an underhood generator and 4) a way to add a temporary bed in front, like the LTV Unity RTB.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        1 and 3 kind of go together, so I didn’t call them out separately.
        There are hundreds of rigs designed for families, so we think it’s OK that there are coaches designed for just two people. When they start tweaking the design to add an additional puzzle bed, they have to make compromises.
        This typically negatively affects the rig for something that gets used about 1.3% of the time – or 0% in our case.

        Reply
    5. cr0ft

      Oops. Forgot to mention that I agree with your points of concern, also. LTV design is amazing, but they need to be fully 4 season, and they seriously need to upgrade their technology. It’s all insufficient, a measly 1000 watt inverter, ancient battery tech, and an over-reliance on propane to cook with, that’s just old now. Time to join the Lithium age. A compressor fridge is also a no-brainer, they’re just better. Flexible solar panels are also highly questionable, they’re inefficient and they’re prone to breakage. They should design in hard panels into the body itself, and possibly even have an electrified raising system to get them up to 45 degrees, using linear actuators since they have the luxury of completely choosing how the roof is contoured and designed as they build a fiberglass body on these Class C’s.

      Reply
    6. cr0ft

      The Wonder model is great, but the real greatness is only apparent in the Murphy bed model. The Murphy bed that converts to a dining area and TV watching area leaving the rear free for a giant bathroom is absolutely stunning. For those of us who aren’t bike nuts, anyway, I don’t know if that one has a garage or not. Either way, it’s an amazing RV. LTV makes awesome Murphy bed solutions in their models overall.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        While we do like the large rear bath, personally, we don’t care for rigs where anything has to be “converted”. It’s just an extra chore that becomes annoying very quickly if you use your rig regularly.
        The RTB is the only Wonder model that has the bike garage (which doesn’t have to be used for bikes, but could house whatever your passion requires).
        Different strokes!…

        Reply
        1. cr0ft

          Check out the video of the Wonder with the Murphy queen bed. The amazing thing about a Murphy bed (in my opinion) is that it can be stowed while fully made. You just pull a strap or two over the bedding to keep it from just falling off the bed and then flip it up. Literally 30 seconds from bed to chairs and back.

          Personally I wouldn’t have the funds to buy one even if they had that design in Europe, but if i did and they did I’d quite possibly be buying myself a Wonder.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZzbccL2gHw is the video of it. The bed is about 8 minutes in. But I see now it doesn’t pass your “bike test” – the storage in the back doesn’t go all the way through. But the Murphy bed is very slick, looks like an incredibly livable van. For those of us not bike obsessed anyway! 🙂

    7. Richard

      While I really like their products I think they’ve taken the absorption refrigerator about as far as they can.

      If they don’t watch it they will soon be the only manufacturer still using them.

      Reply
    8. smiley

      Given how expensive our bike are and the fact that they are custom and not replaceable the Garage suits our needs to a tee. Its got everything we want except the 3 way fridge could go in favor of a 2 way and my deposit is sent in. Very soon we will pull the trigger on this rig. Thanks for your review.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Since the fridge is a 3 way, the power is already there. If you could get the size right, replacing it might not be that difficult.
        (Famous last words, if you saw my own refrigerator replacement project…)

        Reply
    9. Rich Ambrose

      Great review, as always. Love that bike garage! We saw this in person at the Pomona RV show and it is very nice, with lots of nice touches. As you emphasize in the video, it has a LOT of room! With two changes, this might have been the one we bought: (1) a lithium power system like the Travato L’s so we didn’t need a generator, and (2) a smaller size so it would fit in a standard parking space and be more maneuverable. But a very nice effort, and I hope it sells really well so that other manufacturers start offering similar models.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        What you’re describing with the smaller size is EXACTLY what we’re trying to get someone to build. We’re calling it a “C-minus”, but that’s a terrible marketing name.
        We showed a rig like this in our video from Dusseldorf last year.
        This one isn’t exactly it, but we’re getting closer!!

        Reply
    10. Other Steph

      While I LOVE LTVs and have been following them for years in preparation for my own full time RV retirement in 2.5 years, I’ve been considering other future rig options specifically because of the 3-season limitation. Out of curiosity, how difficult is it to add heating pads and the other winterization mods you mention?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The difficulty of adding winterization features depends on how far you want to take it.
        Heating pads, for example, are pretty easy. But that will only get you so far.
        Dual pane windows might have to be designed in from the start, but if the sizes are right, you might be able to add them.
        Extra insulation is only easy on the areas you can get to easily.
        Generally, it would be much better if these kinds of things were designed in from the get-go.

        Reply
    11. Bob J.

      Ltv does make some nice coaches! This would be the one if we were to go that way, but, we’re spoiled by our Travato’s handling and size

      Reply

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