Leisure Travel Vans Wonder FTB: Our Detailed Review


Something we’re starting to see more and more of in small coaches are twin bed floor plans.  Leisure Travel Vans has made their second twin bed floor plan with their newest coach, the Wonder FTB (Front Twin Bed).  Unlike their Unity, which has the twin beds in the back, the wonder brings the beds forward, which creates a very open cabin.  Have a look in our video below:

 

For two travelers, the twin bed setup makes a lot of sense.  It allows for a spacious feel, with windows along both sides.  Nobody has to climb over anybody else to get up.  The beds can serve triple-duty as sleeping, eating, and lounge space.  And rather than a large, monolithic bed to design around, you have two smaller items with an aisle.  Your options are limited for additional sleeping arrangements though, so these floor plans are really best for just two occupants.

We go through every compartment we can access in the video.  So rather than recap what you’ve seen there, I thought I’d just give you the high points of what we really liked, and what we wished was different.

What We Really Liked

  • Contemporary design
  • Open, spacious feeling floor plan with wide aisle
  • Innovative table
  • Cargo capacity for days… 1890 pounds!
  • Storage space (inside and out) to match the cargo capacity
  • Solar options up to 400 Watts
  • Large propane tank that operates with no relay

 

What We Wish Was Different

  • Ford Transit cab is tight, tough for egress, and only one seat rotates
  • Bring fresh water inside the heated space for 4-season readiness
  • Absorption Fridge
  • Generator-free/Lithium option – you knew I had to say it!

 

There are more points than that (mostly on the “like” side of things) that you’ll see in the video.  All in all, we like the Wonder series from Leisure Travel Vans, and we’re excited to see what kind of a floor plan they’ll come up with next.

Bye for now!



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.


    46 thoughts on “Leisure Travel Vans Wonder FTB: Our Detailed Review

    1. Carl Lindgren

      Hi James and Stef,
      Comparing your reviews of the LTV Wonder MB from 2017 and FTB, I was amazed at the difference in OCCC between the two models. The 2017 Wonder MB has an OCCC of just 998lb while the FTP has an OCCC of 1890lb. Subtracting a full tank of fresh water (335lb for each model) leaves just 663lb for both passengers and cargo with a Murphy Bed while the FTB could carry 1,555lb.

      I emailed Leisure Travel Vans requesting OCCC of the Wonder but never heard back so your reviews are the only info I can find.

      So my questions are:
      Do you know if LTV changed OCCC on either version of the Wonder between 2017 and 2018? Can you think if any reason for the huge discrepancy? I understand smaller RVs typically sacrifice capacities but 663 pounds is ridiculously small, especially for two relatively heavy people. I also understand Sprinter-based RVs can have higher capacities but they have so many negatives compared to the Transits including purchase and maintenance costs.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Interesting observation! We didn’t go back and check the Wonder MB to see if its OCCC had changed.
        I don’t really have an explanation for the difference. I can’t blame it on a slide mechanism, so the MB floor plan must just be heavier to build. Maybe it’s the bed mechanism?
        Next time we see one, we’ll dig in.

        Reply
    2. John Tinglin

      I enjoyed your excellent review of the LTV Wonder FTB. I do like the twin bed floorplan even more so than the Murphy bed alternative. Do you know if there is any provision for seatbelts behind either of the beds? If not an option, do you think these could be legally installed and meet safety standards.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        There were not seat belts behind either of the beds. It “might” be possible to install some after the fact, but the safety aspect would be up to you. It would be tough to get right. Usually, those kinds of things are designed into the rig in the first place for appropriate bracing, etc. Personally, I wouldn’t go there.

        Reply
    3. VW_Vista

      Man, what a great layout!
      My quibbles seem to be shared by a lot of commenters here.. absorption fridge: boo! AGM batteries: boo!
      I think there was a true missed opportunity with the bed here.. why not make the bolster/backrest cushions longer and fit into the gap when making the big bed?
      also I think one of the 1st mods I’d make would be for the under-bed kick panels to open so that you aren’t forced to lift the topper up to get inside.
      I’d also like to see the sewer hose storage be in or near the service compartment, ya know?

      And here’s a beef I haven’t seen others bring up.. this style of stove with the offset burners.. I want pancakes! there’s no griddle that will fit these things! lol

      Otherwise, I’m very happy to see manufacturer’s stray from the MB Sprinter, and stick with offering a diesel.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        About the bed… I’ll be a bit contrarian here. I think they did a good job with the bed, and wouldn’t want to see it changed. The big problem with bigger bolsters would be where do you store them when you actually want to use the *twin* beds? Throw them up into the cab? Trip over them on the floor? Maybe it’s just a design philosophy here, but I don’t like to see one rig that tries to be all things to all people (and they already have a Wonder with a large single bed). Different strokes, I guess.

        But we agree with you on the offset burners! We hadn’t thought of it before, but why?? These stove tops were designed in Europe. Perhaps they just like that style?

        Reply
        1. VW_Vista

          I see your point about the bolsters. Perhaps as an option? Maybe a bungee net “gear loft” on the ceiling?

          I think you answered your own question about the burners: Europe! They’re having breakfast in the charming little campground bistro, having croissants and tea. I have yet to meet a European who didn’t look upon an American flapjacks, bacon, eggs, toast, and hasbrowns 4,000 calorie breakfast in horror! lol

          Something else I thought of.. the peculiar outlet & USB port placement over the bed.. where do your stash the gadgets? I think all RV manufacturers need to stop with the blue-LED lit ports as well. Assuming you’d probably sleep with your head to the front, that light would be shining straight down on your face.

          But another big plus I forgot to mention here – NO SLIDE OUTS! Glad to see them offering some well thought-out floorplans that don’t rely on them.

        2. James - Post author

          Oh man – I hear you about the light-up USB outlets. Those lights are annoying. But until we can convince all the manufacturers to change them, a little bit of electrical tape takes care of them. Even red LEDs would be better, but I never see those offered.

          And yes… no slide outs. We don’t like slides either, honestly. The whole Wonder series from LTV has no slide outs. We think that’s mostly responsible for the extra large carrying capacity of the unit.

    4. Doug

      Thank you for the detailed review! The OCCC of 1,890 pounds was amazing, and thank you for showing us the compliance sticker. I wish every dealer was obliged to post a photo of the compliance sticker with every unit they advertise. One can look at hundreds of RV listings with 77 photos in each listing without seeing one photo of a compliance sticker.

      Now, if LTV would start using larger capacity batteries and compressor refrigerators, I’d be hooked. Good quality compressor refrigerators are of comparable cost to replacement Demonics and Nevercolds (sorry, I couldn’t resist). A few folks on the Sprinter forum have made the change. I just hate the idea of wasting a new appliance and new batteries to get what I want.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Demonic and Nevercold! Love it!
        And I’m sure Leisure will one day make the switch. Actually, I’m pretty sure everyone will some day soon.

        Reply
    5. Ronda

      Been eagerly awaiting this review! LTV FTB is one of our top 4 on the short list and we were really interested in the bed size/quality. Hubby not fond of slide outs and Stef’s observation about early risers vs late is a good one. Hubby gets up way earlier than me, and we hadn’t even considered that issue. Our last experience at a very nice, brand new mid-chain hotel sealed the decision to get a small RV: I got hives from something on the sheets (softener or detergent), small kids overhead were up till 12 and back at it by 6 a.m., and the mattress, while clearly new, was dreadful.
      Thanks again for all your great work!!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        EeeK! Sounds like a bad hotel experience, for sure!
        If you like LTV, they have other floor plans without slides and with the ability for one partner to sleep in late.
        You could look at the Serenity, and the Unity Twin Bed or Island Bed.

        Reply
    6. Randee

      I know nothing about solar power – except that we ended up with 300 watts of solar and a 3000 watt inverter;
      Which made me ‘wonder’ if a 1000 watt inverter was enough for the 400 watts of solar?
      I like the idea of a real mattress!- however- why do you think LTV – when converting from two twin beds to one big bed, did not use the total width of space available? Could longer bolster cushions be used to fill in the space left on the sides when you put the two beds together?

      Reply
    7. David

      I agree with all said good and bad about the Wonder. The compressor refridge is a must. 400 watts solar is good. The Ford diesel is not as tested as the Bluetech MB. Ford recently has been indicted as Volkswagon on falsifying their emissions testing results so I don’t know what the future has in its performance. Diesel emissions control sensors are problematic, DEF needed, the particulate filter is expensive when it fills up. The Leisure Unity FX has a Murphy bed that is 68″ X 76″. It also has a separate couch in the rear so if one is still sleeping, the other can go in the back and do work with its computer table/ottoman device. The bed is a walk around bed easy to get up and go to bathroom or galley. Unfortunately Leisure is not planning on offering a gasoline chassis. And their generator is either diesel or propane. Like James, I prefer to do away with propane and get an induction cooktop. And the TrumaCombi can heat with electicity so no propane needed there either. The Travato 59K has the twin beds but all else is current. Go Russ Garfin. Nice review James. And don’t make Stef uncomfortable!

      Reply
    8. Tom

      There are 2 things I wish for from this floor plan (which otherwise is fabulous):

      1) A rear window. It seems like LTV only puts one in their fiberglass-bodied (Serenity and the discontinued Libero) units.

      2) A separate sitting area. We also wake up at different times, and I’m not sure a few inches of aisle-way apart is enough separation so that I can keep on sleeping.

      I’ve heard that LTV is working on a rear twin bed version of the Wonder, so it will be interesting to see what they compromise (kitchen space? a small front living area, like in the Unity TB/IB?) to make that work.

      All the same, if we were ready to buy, this FTB (or a Safari Condo) would top our lists.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, we can probably chalk up the rear window thing to the fact that it would be a window into the bathroom! 🙂
        But we hear you on the second sitting area. That’s one of the things we love about our current Travato G floor plan.
        Some of the LTV models have that separation though. Just depends on the floor plan.

        Reply
    9. Don

      Did you’ll get an a feel for how long the twin beds are? I am wondering if someone who is 6’+ could lay straight without their head and feet touching or having to lay at an angle. I really loved the Unity TB but the bed was short for a 6’+ person.

      I love my Fuse and would buy another, but if you have not seen a Leisure Travel Van in person you should. The construction quality is second to none and you have to love their cabinets (though Winnebago seems to be catching up).

      Reply
    10. Ed

      LTV seems to have a great alternative to the Murphy bed.. I like the storage and the layout. If I was moving away from my Era, I would give it a view. Thank you for a great showing.

      Reply
    11. Gib

      You wish the refrigerator was different? Thy wish is granted! You missed a MAJOR fact in your review. It’s a 3-way Dometic fridge and can be run on propane, 110V, or 12V.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We didn’t miss anything.
        The wish is that it was not an *absorption* fridge, but a compressor driven model instead.
        A typical, old school 3-way RV fridge, like this one, is still an absorption fridge. There’s no compressor. You have exterior vents. You have to keep it level.
        A 3 way fridge simply changes whether you’re heating the ammonia boiler with propane, 12v, or 120v.
        But it’s still an absorption fridge – you’re still boiling ammonia. That’s a technology that just doesn’t work as well as what you have in a house.
        For my complete rant on absorption refrigeration, see this post and video: Replacing our RV Fridge – Part 1: The Old Fridge Sucks

        Reply
        1. Gib

          Thanks for the clarification! I could have sworn that, during your walk-through, you’d said something about it being a “propane-powered fridge.” It’s a good thing my momma taught me not to swear! I always assumed you could leave the fridge running on 12v power while in transit. I guess I’m about to find out — I’ll check out the video that you linked. Thanks again!

        2. James - Post author

          Well, you *can* leave it running on 12v while in transit. But it would drain your batteries pretty quickly if you left it running on 12v once you stopped.
          The heart of my beef with them is that the absorption refrigeration just doesn’t work as well as a compressor driven model.

    12. Noel Fleming

      First time I’ve been educated on spray foaming the inside of the wheel wells for a quieter ride. Would that be a viable option for the Travato?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I suppose it would.
        You’d have to find someone who could a) do it, b) not make a mess, and c) not use the wrong kind of spray foam so that you cause a moisture issue in the wheel well.
        I’ve toyed with the idea of doing it to our rig.

        Reply
        1. John L

          James, if you find an appropriate product for foaming your wheel wells, please let us know! I would like to do my Winnebago View. I’ve done a number of areas with rubberized undercoat spray, but like you I’m always looking for a way to quiet things down further!

        2. Stefany

          Hi John! Hmmm, the only company we know of that’s doing that is Leisure. Not sure if they work on other types of RVs; but it couldn’t hurt to ask!

          I’ve forbidden James from foaming our rig’s wheel wells because I’m the one who’d be taking him to the emergency room when he got a face full of foam.

    13. Rob't

      Thanks for an excellent review of the LTV Wonder Twin Bed. This one has moved to the top of our list in our quest to downsize from a 29-foot class A. However we are a tad concerned about the exposed fresh water tank. I’m wondering if there might be a way to insulate it for colder weather. Do you have any thoughts on this?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The spray foam Leisure Travel Vans puts on there will give you some measure of insulation.
        Also, last time I checked, you could order tank heaters from LTV as an option. Tank heaters – inside the insulation with the tank – might be enough, depending on how cold we’re talking about.

        Reply
    14. David Huff

      Came here to remark just about everything y’all said in the Wish It Were Different category above. So uh…yeah. What you said 😉 Also, James, what did you think of the build quality of the cabinets (since I know that’s one of your “things”) ?

      Overall I *like* LTV’s layout and sense of design. Just wish they’d address those few things above.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I’ve always been impressed with the quality of the LTV units.
        I don’t think he’s done it for a while, but in some older videos, you can see Dean swinging from the cabinets.
        That’s not a trick. I’ve done it myself.

        Reply
      1. Stefany

        LOL!!!!!!!! I ALMOST said something in the voice-over like “Dean! Take note. I LIKE the table, okay?” But it was so long ago he pitched a fit when we didn’t like one of their tables that I didn’t think anyone but us (and Dean) would get it!!! This made my night, thanks for commenting, lol! 🙂 xoxo

        Reply
    15. smiley

      Which model do you guys like best the MB or the Twin Bed. My wife likes the MB best because she wants to work from the road and likes the desk like setting of the MB.
      I agree and have voiced my opinions to LTV about the newer 12 v fridge as well Lithium to ensure a great charge capacity for this appliance.

      I personally HATE anything Bluetec and the issues with this emission system a have followed the Winnie Fuse facebook page to see if ANYBODY has had sensor issues like they seem to have on Bluetec and this Transit engine seems to be a clear winner. Good review guys and gals.

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        Hey Smiley! What a fun question. In fact, I’ve spent about the last 10 minutes pondering it, and looking over both layouts, the MB or this one. I ended up deciding that I believe this twin would work better for us. Mostly because James gets up ridiculously early. This morning for example, he was up before 5am. And then there’s me, up 3 hours later. With the MB, if I stay in bed, he’s really got nowhere to lounge. In the front twin, I can stay in bed and he can have his whole bed for his couch and work station (I’d give him the table side). I just asked James which he’d pick for us, and he said the twin as well, for exactly that reason. But! We all RV differently and have different needs. It sounds like your wife has thought through how you’ll be using yours. If you end up with one, do come back and let us know! Always curious the thought process and if there’s anything we missed in our reviews. Thanks for the question! It’s always fun to dream. 🙂

        Reply
      2. Don

        There have been a couple of issues with the Ford engine but nothing systemic or in any great numbers. I have a little over 15,000 miles on the Fuse with issues other than standard recall stuff. The MB folks seem to have many more issues with their Diesel.

        Reply
    16. Robert Chandler

      I enjoyed the review, But for me, this floorplan sucks, especially when compared to the Fuse 23T. I don’t really understand the refrigerator issues you have with this RV. What’s the difference between absorption and brand B?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Absorption refrigeration is a different technology from the refrigeration you use in your house. It works by boiling an ammonia solution.
        It also doesn’t work as well as the efficient compressor units (what you’re used to at home) available today.
        For a complete rant on RV refrigerator technology, you can watch this video I made.

        Reply
    17. Andy

      It’s a real shame they did not put additional seat belts on the twin bunks. It appears they could have added two to each bunk. I had a Thor Axis and it came with two seat belts on the couch. I also feel with all the storage they could have put the fresh water tank inside and added heaters to the grey and black tank

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        They probably have their reasons for the seatbelts.
        But I do think they could have put the water tank inside! Wouldn’t be that big of a change.

        Reply
    18. Greg

      Great review of a beautiful van. I wonder if the switches for the awning & the awning lights that are in the exterior storage are susceptible to activation when the load shifts while going down the road?

      The twin beds seem very nice but am I right to think that (for most of us) when sitting on the bed with our backs against the cushion then our feet will dangle quite a distance above the floor? It seems that the twin Travato might have this problem too.

      Reply

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