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It’s been a few months since the first launch of the Winnebago Boldt, a Sprinter-based Class B motorhome which debuted at RVX in Salt Lake City earlier this year. Stef and I helped co-host the launch of the Boldt, so you may have seen that video (if not, you can watch it here). In addition to that, we went in-depth with Chris from Winnebago – the Boldt’s main designer – in another video, that you can have a look at here. But we never actually got to do one of our regular top-to-bottom, front-to-back reviews on it.
Well now that the Boldt is showing up in showrooms and out on the road, we thought we needed to fix that. Behlod!!
There are two floor plans of the Boldt, and in this one, we reviewed the “KL”. Those of you familiar with the Winnebago Travato K will immediately recognize why they went with “K” as the designation here. This is a twin bed floor plan with the bathroom in the back and the galley up front – just like its Travato cousin. There’s another “BL” floor plan we hope to review in the future.
And while much of the walk-through is self-explanatory, there are a few things that bear pointing out or emphasizing separately. Some of these are things we can’t even show in the video:
- The BOLDT was born as a Lithium powered Class B. This is not a case of having a product and then figuring out how to add a Lithium power system to it. There are no apologies here for not having a generator. This is a forward looking coach, and if you really want an old-school rig with a propane-powered-lettuce-freezer, a wake-you-up-furnace, and an annoy-everyone-within-earshot generator then you need to look elsewhere… like the 1990s.
- The Pure3 system on the Boldt is more than powerful enough to run the induction cooktop, the electric-only refrigerator, your waffle iron (watch the video) and whatever else you may plug in to the vast collection of outlets. Stef and I have been rolling in a coach with the same sized lithium system for several months now, and usually we don’t know what to do with all the extra power.
- You can’t see this in the video, but the coach is exceptionally well-insulated for a van. This makes it energy-efficient and quiet. You can see some of the insulation in our video with Chris.
- This coach has a ridiculous amount of cargo capacity. OVER TWO THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS of cargo capacity. That is literally the largest cargo capacity I have ever noticed in one of our reviews. To put this in real terms, that’s one and a quarter tons. Over three hundred gallons of water. So yeah, you could install a hot tub. Insane.
There’s a lot more to like about the Boldt, but you can see most of that in our video. Watch the video, see what you like or don’t about the Boldt, and then sound off in the comments below!
(Except if you’re going to try to convince me that absorption refrigeration, single-point RV furnaces, and batteries-you-have-to-add-water-to are cool technologies… then don’t bother. I’m right on this one.)
Resurrecting an old thread because we were talking about the Boldt. I found it interesting to see what you had said in your review.
You’re not wrong in your key objection to multiplex wiring.
But one thing that has gained more traction since this review was posted is the adoption of “smart home” technology that allows home owners to control lights and other electrical devices via their smart phones.
I would hope RV manufacturers would start to leverage Bluetooth technology to let you control all of the devices connected to the multiplex wiring from a smartphone app.
As soon as Firefly and the other multiplex panel vendors start offering it, I think the RV manufacturers will offer it.
Boldt BL brochure say 9’’8” height. Two wheel drive. 2021. Can you confirm that exact spec ?
Don’t have one here and I didn’t take a tape measure to it when we reviewed.
I find Winnebago to be honest with their specifications, if that helps.
It was exactly as the spec sheet….9’8″……whew.
We are waiting for delivery of our 2021 Boldt 4×4. All the specs I’ve been able to find say the fresh water capacity is only 21 gallons, which is less than our 2010 Roadtrek Sprinter Agile. That does not seem right as the black and grey water tanks are over 50 gallons combined capacity. Is the spec list wrong or is this really true? We haven’t been able to get a straight answer from our dealer.
Good question, and I really don’t know the answer.
I would defer to the spec sheets. I think they’re correct.
You said in your review that the water capacity is over 300 gallon, so where did you get that figure? Or, did you mean the cargo capacity weighs as much as 300 gallon?
The water capacity is 50 gallons. The weight of that much water is over 400 pounds.
Perhaps that was the confusion?
We have ‘20 70BL and have problem lifting beds to access storage. Our rig does not have gas shocks. Is there someone that could engineer a fix for us? Winnebago Customerservice was no help and local dealer got bought out by Camping World. We are in southern Oregon.
Gas struts are easy enough to find and add to any cabinet. You just need to get the right strength. They just install with screws.
Here are some I found on amazon: https://amzn.to/2Q1P6he
So big question, you both really seem to like the Boldt, but you have the Travato. Wondering why you chose your Travato over the Boldt. We also watched the video of your Ekko review. You both seem really interested in that as well. So many choices, lol.
Lastly, I hope Winnebago does something about the aesthetics of the Ekko. That thing is ugly even inside. Hoping for more options. You guys are great to watch. Thank you.
Well, back when we chose our Travato, the Boldt wasn’t available.
We are getting the EKKO, that will be our new RV. You can see our decision process in this video series:
Starting the Search for Our Next RV… (Yikes!)
Picking Our Next RV – The Search Continues!
RV Model Comparisons, and… We’ve Chosen Our Next RV!
Heads up for any owners or future owners, in the video at about 25:55 when James is showing the water tank you’ll see a bit of foam on the back side of the tank. This foam is insulation covering the water feed line! It is inadequate in our experience and the feed line will freeze leaving you without water. As far as I can tell this is a major oversight by Winnebago. We will be installing heat trace to keep it warm. Hopefully they fix this in later models.
Besides the water feed line freezing, this thing is great in winter (we now have many nights in Colorado above 9000′). Running the heater and fresh water tank heater seems to use about 5-10% of the battery overnight depending on outside temperature.
Good tip, and the heat tape (if you only need a couple feet of it) won’t be much of a drain on the battery.
Hi My friend recently purchased the Boldt Her biggest complaint is how loud the air conditioner is. Is that normal? She said she can’t leave it on at night because it keeps her up. She lives in Florida and really needs to be able to run the air!
RV air conditioners aren’t typically the quietest. The problem is far more noticeable in a Class B like the Boldt because of the small size. You’re always pretty close to it!
We’re always on the lookout for quieter RV air conditioners. Follow us, and you’ll know when we do!
Hi James, Thanks for this awesome blog, it’s very informative. I am new to rv’ing, this would be my first purchase. I am looking at the BoldtBL as I have a 3 year old kid so there are three of us. If money were no object, do you prefer the Boldt or the equivelantvTravato?
Well, it’s not all about price. It really does come down to your needs and wants, and there’s a process for figuring out what those really are.
Since you’ve said this is your first purchase, our best advice for you is to read our 8-Step Program for Choosing Your First RV!
Great review! Would you go for the 4WD version or is the 2WD good enough? Also do you think it can safely transport 3 smaller kids (under age of 10)?
Depends on what you want to do with the rig. If you’ll be going skiing with it, then heck yeah, 4wd. But an RV park or typical campground existence doesn’t really require it.
As for seat belts, the BL floor plan should have adequate belted seating positions for 3 children. https://winnebago.com/models/product/boldt
Why do you prefer the dual pane acrylic windows over the glass windows? Just wondering since you must have reason for your preference. Would the dual pane acrylic be as energy efficient as the glass?
The dual-pane windows are actually several times MORE energy efficient than glass.
Much quieter as well.
Future rant video coming on this topic. 😉
James, I recently bought a 2020 Boldt. I have experienced a lot of wind noise around the roof vent. The seals are all good, etc. Winnebago said they know of issues with the roof rack cross bars causing turbulence and suggested different placement of the bars forward of the vent. The only thing I found was removing the forward most cross bar and relocating the second cross bar to behind the vent. The wind noise reduced substantially, but now the roof rack is not useable for anything inclined another solar panel.. Have you experienced this issue?
We did get wind noise on the roof of our Travato from the roof rack and the items mounted there.
I built a fairing to cover the front, and that helped a bit with the noise.
Another question about dual pane acrylic windows… I was told by a salesman that in the past, these windows developed small spider cracks. The cracks didn’t affect performance, but were unsightly. Do you have any experience with this issue? Thanks! Andy
Well, I haven’t done a detailed product survey, but based on our one (1) window… we’ve had it for 5 years. We’ve developed no unsightly cracks or anything like that.
I was curious about your thoughts related to the true functionality between the KL and BL? The tank sizes are very appealing to me in the BL, however the bathroom size in the BL seems pretty tight. I enjoy having a lounge, however the KL living space seems very airy, open and spacious! With two people or potentially two adults and a child, would the BL seem doable based on your long term RV travels; I understand you have a Travato G, but wanted to know your honest opinion between the two since you have used your rig quite often. Just for reference, I am 5-10, 200 lbs. and very organized about gear, etc. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Short answer: Get the BL. We would!
For most people (we hope), the amount of time you spend IN the bathroom is a whole lot less than the time you spend OUT of the bathroom, so don’t obsess about it too much.
The additional functionality of a dedicated table/dinette space can’t be underestimated. Also, the ability for one person to sleep while the other stays up is something we really value.
Just finished watching this video for the second time. Thanks for the great content. As for the cup holders in front of the driver, it’s so they can source one part for both left and right hand drive sprinters.
I cannot find any instructions on when the solar panel charge the battery. Does the inverter have to be on or not.
Why couldn’t Volta have used two 2000 sine wave inverters connected together to make 4000 watts, but be able to be used separately when the a/c is not needed. 2000 watts would run the micro wave, induction stove, and lights. The 2000 only uses about 7 to 9 watts when on vs the 3600 watt inverter which uses 100 watts.
If Winne or Volta decides to use this idea I hope they give me a free replacement for the suggestion.
The inverter does not have to be on for the solar charging to work.
The Pure3 system is a nominal 48 volt battery system. There are only certain inverters made that will work (as opposed to a 12v system, where there are many choices).
A staged inverter setup as you’re suggesting is an interesting idea.
curious how many AH of LiFeP04 you find adequate to run the a/c for 4-6 hours a day or on low over night
Hi Jake –
The battery in this rig is not Lithium Iron Phosphate. It’s NMC.
But in any case, we try not to quote amp-hours anymore. Since there are lithium battery systems with different nominal voltages, amp-hours are not directly comparable from one system to another. And certainly not comparable between lithium (where you can use almost all the power in the battery) and traditional lead acid batteries (where you had best stop at 50%). Instead, we use watt-hours.
The battery in the Boldt has 11,600 watt-hours of capacity that are available to use. I estimate air conditioners at 1800 watts (which may be high, and assumes no cycling). That gets you about 6 and a half hours of non-stop air conditioning with this rig. If it’s cooler out or if your air conditioner begins to cycle, runtime will be longer.
We test this same battery system (in a different rig) in this video: How Long Can We Run the Air Conditioner
Really enjoyed the break down of the Boldt, there is alot of great added features. So glad they listened to my suggestion about adding an access panel to area in back of van, hope to see for Travato too! Thanks guys for all the great videos and information.
The Boldt is nice but big for one person. For me the Airstream Nineteen is a better choice.
I always enjoy your reviews, would it be possible in future videos to say what the MSRP is on the rigs so we have a way to gauge whether the van you’re reviewing is close to what the viewer can afford? Also I have an unanswered question. Now that you have spent a good deal of time in a KL floor plan, which do you prefer , the GL or the KL? Thanks for the great videos I always look forward to a new one. Safe travels.
We really try to stay away from quoting prices in our reviews for a few reasons. First – they date the review. Even if we just mentioned MSRP, it changes from year to year.
Second – the MSRP is usually very different from the price you might wind up paying, so it’s a bit misleading.
As to the “G vs K” question. Absolutely and without hesitation: G.
Thanks for the reply, would love to know what it is that you like about the G over the K. I don’t think there are any other people out there that have your reputations as RV reviewers that have had the experience of spending considerable time in the G and K Travatos. Your observations to details and what works and what doesn’t are appreciated by folks like me who are on the hunt for the best RV that fits. Thanks again.
Our needs are rather specific, and include a dinette.
For the best knowledge we’ve got on how to pick a rig that matches YOUR specific needs – read this: 8 Step Program for Choosing Your First RV
Great review. Thank you. The dual pane windows were a definite miss. Everything else is a dream
LONG time fan first time commenting.
I agree with you, this is getting really close to optimal design, but…
Why do most manufacturers still use propane on diesel rigs? Diesel air and water heaters are so much more efficient, safer and tap off the existing vehicle fuel tank. Huge space saving (no propane tank) as well. It seem so logical, I just cant figure out why they don’t.
Thanks, and you folks are the gold standard for RV reviews!
I believe they’re a little more complicated to install (which drives up costs), and there are altitude limitations on the diesel burners. (As in – they have trouble at altitude. But I’ve never owned one, so that’s just what I’ve heard.)
I love multi plex. My diesel tech hubby that does all the wiring on new fire response vehicles and electrical troubleshooting of rigs, is of a different opinion. I am looking forward to your upcoming post on the issue.
Caleb, I can address your question about why propane, as I owned a Travato with propane Truma Combi heat, and I now own a Revel with diesel Espar heating.
Yes, you’re right that the Espar is tiny and it uses the existing diesel tank, both advantages. But there are downsides as well: the Espar is much noisier, puts out stinky diesel exhaust pollution for you and your neighbors, and has a short maintenance interval (~500 – 700 hours) before its atomizer screen clogs up and prevents it from firing.
At this point, I really miss the propane Truma Combi system as it was bombproof reliable and —most importantly— whisper quiet. The Espar system is so noisy it wakes me up a lot during the night when winter camping. (Full disclosure: it’s not only the Espar responsible for all the noise: it’s also the glycol pump and radiator vent fans. By comparison, though, the Truma Combi is almost silent).
As to the propane hassle: the Boldt has a HUGE propane tank compared to the Travato, and it’s not used for cooking or refrigerator, so you wouldn’t have to fill it up very often.
Hi from Sweden.
The new “Bolt” is really a nice van.
It is apparently built for use
in a little cold. But the water tank that lies outside
under the car how does it cope with tex (- 25 degrees cold)?
And how hot can Truma Combi keep inside the car.
Keep in mind that for about 14 days it is only clouds and snow,
the sun may appear only about 2 hours per day!
Ms Jan May and ‘LOKE’.
Sweden! Hello, we’re glad to have you!
The water tank is a double-walled tank, with insulation between the layers, and a heating pad against the innermost layer.
I can’t say for certain about -25, but it should be good to pretty cold temperatures.
I would love the opportunity to get to Sweden to try it out!
Thank you so much for the answer. [It would be great fun if you came to visit Sweden. And then bring either a [BOLDT or LANCE] with you over here. Preferably a BOLDT.
We will try to write a little on your E-mail about what could happen, if you had the opportunity to come and do one (holiday – trip). We will set up in every way to show a little of Sweden. Sincerely. Jan May and LOKE
I am still for the Travato KL for the wider beds, they are wider. The MB chassis just not as wide as the Dodge Promaster and this translates to narrower beds in the MB.
My main reason to stay with the Travato is the gas engine and how it can be used to recharge the batteries with no real functionality issues that a diesel engine would have.
If I’m correct, doesn’t MB frown on idling the engine for any length of time over concern about the emissions systems? I’m sure MB and Winnebago will Highly recommend to recharge the batteries when running down the road. This could pose issues for boondockers that park for lengths of time and then needing to drive around for a while to recharge…
In practice (at least for us), the need to idle to recharge rarely happens. So idling restrictions really wouldn’t bother us at all.
In over three years of RVing with lithium rigs, we’ve idled to charge twice. And one of those was only because we were making a video.
We generally move around so much that the battery always seems to be charged up.
Great video review. My wife and I keep going back and forth on which we like better, the KL or the BL. (Lichtsinn has one of the few videos of a live BL that I’ve found). I wish the Boldt was around eighteen months ago when we ordered our 70B Era. We love our RV and have over 30K on it, but the Boldt so much more. Winnebago is getting it, big battery that can run for days, four season ability (we live in Minnesota and have camped when the temp was in the teens) and finding places to store things are all great design choices. Only concern would be the size the refrigerator. Our 6.3 c.f. combo is great and loosing a third of the cold storage would be the only compromise that I would see in the Boldt. Great job Winnebago and thanks you two for taking the time and effort to do an in-depth review.
You mention all the cup holders. The ones up front would be great for the cell phone holder cup holder mounts.
Love the concept, just not the floorplan. Those seat belts at the back must be to keep the corpse from rolling on to the ground as I cant see how you could use them without a backrest.
Love that you look over and under the unit makes for a much more complete review. I think when it comes to controls KISS works well. You see those lcd’s in forest river products and I cringe. They struggle to get something as simple a leak-proof roof done right.
I was able to tour the K floorplan with Chris B. at the Phoenix rally but have not had a chance to get a good feel for the B plan so I hope to see that. One thing I just noticed in your review is that, while there is a really nice speaker system inside there’s no stereo or outside speakers. Since I never use the TV or Jensen in my Travato, I wouldn’t care, but it’s still a surprise as there is room for something.
This is just my opinion here, but I think they’re trying to get away from those exterior speakers. I’ve never seen anyone use them, and mostly, they just annoy the neighbors.
Don’t take that as an official announcement from Winnebago though.
Any notion as to why they dropped the Jensen from the build?
Well, I have my own theories about why they might have dropped the seldom-used, complicated, redundant, dated, and poor-sounding Jensen from this new coach… 😉
But I don’t speak for Winnebago officially, so I’d have to say I don’t really know.
Steph 4 feet tall, 6 campgrounds with cable . I’m on the floor
I’m glad there are people who get me. 🙂
Differences between the Boldt KL and the Travato KL? Do the windows open on the Boldt? Are the beds more narrow than the Travato? Does the beds have the same sleep system under the mattress and does the head come up like the Travato?
Well, there are LOTS of differences, but to address your specific questions:
Yes, the windows open on the Boldt – though some of that is determined by whether or not you get the glass windows or the dual pane acrylic windows.
Didn’t measure the bed width, but they seemed perfectly fine to us. We didn’t notice them being narrower.
These beds have a slat system of support underneath them, not the Froli springs. And no, the headrest does not raise.
I’ve been following your videos for a long time and feel I must comment on your description of the 120v outlets. THANK YOU! for the accuracy in you reporting. It’s very frustrating to keep hearing from all the professionals 110, 110 110….. If the presenters cannot get this basic electrical issue correct, I question the acuracy of the rest of their video.
So many things borrowed from the industry leader PleasureWay, so muchl but still use switches. Come on Winnie, get with the MultiPlex and TouchScreens…..great review but would buy a PW hands Down! Just for the Quality Alone!
Our views on multiplex wiring in RVs have evolved, and now are contrary to yours.
Look for an upcoming post about why.
Can you comment on the possibility of installing an ACGB 180 liter fuel tank on this vehicle? I would like the extended range it would provide for off road/back road use. Particularly up in Alaska.
Can’t really comment on that, as I’m not familiar with the tank, and I don’t have a Boldt here to look at.
Generally speaking, with enough money and time, you could probably make any mod you wanted.
i just rented a 2019 Coachmen Galleria with the multiplex system because I am down to two final contenders, the Travato and the Galleria.
The entire section of lighting in the back of the coach didn’t work properly and the only manual light switch for reading available was a useless blue crystal-type light fixture.
It may be anecdotal, but it kind of confirmed my concerns with everything wired together, when one thing goes out, multiple things could go out.
In addition to this, I don’t know why it’s progress to have to go across a “room” to turn on a switch. It’s better to have it right where it is needed in my opinion.
“In addition to this, I don’t know why it’s progress to have to go across a “room” to turn on a switch.”
…And you’ve hit on one of our key objections to multiplex wiring in RVs.