Our Review of the 2017 Leisure Travel Vans Wonder!


We’ve reviewed several Ford Transit based RVs before, both Class C and Class B models.  But there was one Transit based Class C that we’ve been meaning to review for a while, and at the 2016 RVIA show in Louisville, we got our chance.  Finally, we got our review of the Leisure Travel Vans Wonder.

 

 

We’ve been fans of Leisure Travel Vans and their products for a while now.  We’ve even taken a tour of their factory in years past.  We’re impressed by the quality of their builds, and their contemporary sense of style.  And that style was very much on display in the Wonder.  The clean, uncluttered lines in the Wonder really contribute to the spacious and open feeling inside.  It’s one of those rare RVs where you walk into it, and then you immediately walk back outside to look for the slide-out that isn’t there.  I imagine it would be very difficult to feel “cramped” inside the Wonder.

Besides just “feeling” spacious, the RV actually was spacious.  There is an insane amount of storage in this rig.  In the video, you’ll hear us time after time after time saying “and some more storage here…”  It really was impressive the amount of storage space – inside and out – that they’ve created in the Wonder.

But the one feature that stood out the most on this rig, in my opinion, was the Murphy bed/dinette/lounge setup.  Stef described it as a “pop-up greeting card”, and that’s really the best way to convey it.  The bed folds down over the dinette without having to move or remove a single cushion.  Everything just hinges and folds away.  It’s fantastic, and I want to meet the person who designed it because that kind of spatial reasoning impresses the heck out of me.  (Also, I want them to pack the truck for us if we ever move again.)

You know, I bet that’s where they came up with the name Wonder…  As in, “I wonder how they got the dinette to disappear like that.”

Anyway, the rig is cool, and we hope you like the review.  Thanks for watching!



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.


    42 thoughts on “Our Review of the 2017 Leisure Travel Vans Wonder!

    1. Barbara Fitzgerald

      Does the FTB Wonder have seat belts for the twin/couches,so that a couple of people can ride along short distances or so that the passenger that sits in the passenger seat can sit back in the unit for part of the drive?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We were in it briefly, but there were always people sitting on the front twin beds. So we never went fishing behind the cushions for seat belts!

        Reply
    2. joe

      anyone know were the rear tire inflation valves are on the ltv wonder for the double tires 2 tires on each side or were to look cant find in owners manual or anywhere else.

      Reply
    3. Jon Mingle

      You didn’t answer the one question I had. When the Murphy bed is down, it look like in other videos that there’s no aisle to get up and walk (even sideways) to get to the bathroom. Do you have to crawl out of the top of the bed over the pillows? I guess everybody wakes up if you make a trip!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We could get around the Murphy bed no problem.
        There’s not a ton of room, but Stef and I had no issues.

        Reply
    4. Donald Pfaffl

      Love all your videos. I especially like the one on the Wonder. Beautiful RV. If I would buy a RV this is the one, but too old and too broke. Keep up the good work. I look forward to all your videos. I can live my RV dreams through your videos.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We’re glad you like our videos… but we’re not giving up on you!
        We hope you’ll find a way to get out there and that we see you out on the road someday.

        But in the mean time… thanks for watching! 😉

        Reply
    5. Edgar Wu

      I saw there was 900+ lbs of cargo carrying capacity. Sounds like a lot but what exactly is considered cargo? Passengers, fresh water, black and gray water, LP, all your stuff. Anything I missed? I don’t think fuel is considered cargo. I was amazed how quickly that can all add up. It is important to get weighed when full to make sure you aren’t exceeding the safety weight limit rating.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        From the RV Safety Education Foundation: OCCC (Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity) (for Motorized RVs only): This figure states the maximum allowable weight of all occupants (including the driver), plus the weight of all food, tools, full fresh water tanks, full LP-Gas tanks and personal belongings. The maximum allowable weight of passengers is based on the number of seat belted positions in the motorized RV. The regulation also states that the “tongue weight of towed trailer counts as cargo.

        So yes, it can add up. The advice here to get a proper weigh-in is spot-on.
        If you want to read more, I also do some weight calculations in our post on How Much Can I Tow with a Small Motorhome

        Reply
    6. DC

      Happy New Year to both of you.
      I was wondering where you come out on Bs vs B+s? If I read the dimensions right, size wise, the B+ are only marginally wider and higher than Bs. Length varies but the LTVs come in around 25′, a lot longer than Lance, but not so much more than say, a 170wb extended length sprinter that comes in at a shade over 24′. Given the substantially greater exterior storage in a B+, and some knock on spatial benefits inside, what would be the factors that one should bear in mind when comparing the two? BTW, in your mind, would the construction of the ‘shell’ of the living space-metal van body for B vs a metal/fiberglass sandwich for B+ be a material factor?
      Thanks for any thoughts.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We only review RVs that we like, and as you can see, we occasionally review B+ (really a small class C) RVs like the Wonder.
        We appreciate the extra space in them for living – but the real class B wins hands down for traveling.
        We’ve been to places where we could barely fit our Travato. There is no way something like the Wonder would fit into Henry W. Coe State Park, for example. Or even park in Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
        So, if you intend to stay more “on the beaten path”, a B+ could be a good choice. But if you want to really get out there, the true Class B is a better option.

        Reply
    7. Paul Black

      I have a RV/Cycling question for you. I’m looking at buying a class B this spring. I will use it as my vehicle, though I have an SUV I can drive if needed. I’ll use it as an RV most often for attending bike races/events, travelling to ride different trail systems and put in some climbing miles on the road, vacations, etc. I’m retiring in spring of 2020 and am planning to go full time RV then. But my lifestyle will, of course, include cycling. I envision having a minimum 2, and max of 4 bikes with me (road race, XC mtb, Trail or All MTN mtb, and a commuter. This presents a problem storage/security issue with $15,000 worth of bikes. I have some concerns about racking them on the back of the van; theft, weather, vandalism, etc. There’s definitely no room in a class B to store them. I’ve considered a cargo trailer, but that kills some of the advantage of a class B’s small size. I’ve seen your rack video. How do you handle storing your high end bikes securely when you are not present at the rig?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Easy one (but I don’t think our answer will help you).
        Our Travato is customized. The Murphy bed in the back was raised higher than normal. This allows storage of two bikes underneath the bed at all times, even when the bed is down. Normal Travato are not like this – Winnebago did this special for us (though they have no plans to make it a regular option, so please don’t ask your dealer…)
        Our mountain bikes were made to get dirty. They live out back with some significant chains keeping them secured. So, fancy bikes inside, mountain bikes out.
        You can read about the modifications to our RV here: Meet Lance
        You can read about our bike lock strategy here: Winnebagolife.com
        Hope this helps!

        Reply
    8. Steve

      Great review as usual.
      Were you able to sit in the rotated passenger seat with the bed down?
      With the dinette under the bed we would need some form of table space usable from the passenger seat.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Yes, the passenger seat, rotated, is available with the bed down. (As long as you haven’t put a cushion in it.)

        Reply
    9. DC

      Hi,

      As you’ve noticed the Leisure travel folks are doing a great job with clean, modern interiors (and reasonably clean exteriors as well), which is a welcome change from the stomach churning beige pudding with chocolate swirls everyone in the US still doles out. However, in looking at this model, as well as on there LT s B+ lineup like the Sprinter based Unity, etc, it seems that LT are mired in the mid 20th century with regard to tech. Why the reliance still on propane, with 3 way fridges that rely level parking spaces, etc. Have you discussed with Dean/others whether they have plans to modernize in this regard? That combination-the clean looks, truly excellent storage, with good lithium/electric/solar would be harder to resist.

      One request, please do stick your cameras into more storage spaces. Would have been good to see the one James climbed into, and the one he tried to put his bike into recently in another video. Likewis, under carriage shots that show tank placement, insulation, layouts etc, are essential, Steph’s embarrassment notwithstanding. We can get glossy pix from the manufacturer websites, but the inside scoop’ and (dirty) underbelly adds a lot of value from your reviews.

      A final point, on Murphy beds. While they create a lot of space (and importantly the more usable space with the easy set up/down that LTW designed into the Wonder’s bed mechanism), they would seem to force people to go to bed and wake at the same time. A rear bed set up at least allows one person to sleep in while the other hangs out up front. Wonder-ing if you asked LTW if there is any chance of a ‘conventional’ floor plan for the Wonder?

      Thanks

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I did talk with them about modernizing their tech. It’s certainly on their radar. But you have to admit – the incentive for them to update is low: They’ve already sold everything they could possibly produce for the next 8 months! Like I said though, they know, and it’s on their minds.
        Getting shots underneath is more difficult than you might think. It’s easier at a trade show, where they’re all parked on clean carpet. But even then, there’s often not enough room under there to swing a camera. Heck, I got stuck under a class b recently. I do my best.
        I don’t know if there is another floor plan of the Wonder under consideration. Didn’t ask, honestly. But you’re right, with the Murphy bed replacing the dinette, it is an “everyone goes to bed at once” kind of floor plan. You’d need to consider that if that didn’t match your sleeping habits.

        Reply
        1. MARYANN

          Perhaps attaching a small camera to a selfie stick wiuld allow you to access the undercarriage.

    10. Robin Clark

      Great review, thanks! The Wonder is our top pick! Some nice improvements to the interior (improved bed deployment and new toilet cabinet) since we first saw it in Phoenix earlier this year. We like the Ford Transit chassis and we believe LTV has the best quality and design out of all the Transit-based RVs we’ve seen.

      Reply
    11. Rod Benbrook

      Thank you for a nice overview of this new model from Leisure Travel. It was nice meeting you both at the Louisville show.

      Reply
    12. Aaron

      Another great video James & Stef. The new bed design is really impressive.

      I’m really looking forward to Lance’s rocket mods. With Stef driving your “support” vehicle, you’ll never lose another race again!

      Reply
    13. Patrick (Pat) Shubird

      This RV is so mid-century modern. I know Herman Miller and Joseph Eichler would love it. I know I do. I cannot show this video to my wife or we will be selling our 2017 Travato, which I love dearly. Let’s pretend you never did this review…

      Awesome job, guys!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Looks like it, but as I saw them, they were grommets, or reinforcements around holes.
        LTV was not using them to mount.

        Reply
    14. Cindy Ivers

      Looks great. But the OCCC is only 900 lbish? That doesn’t leave much room for occupants, water, and cargo, right? Thanks!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        That’s actually not too bad. I’ve weighed our own Class B, Lance, and we have about 1300 lbs capacity with a lot less space. Water is 335 lbs, so that leaves 663 lbs. Stef and I weigh 300 together, so 333 remaining. That’s a lot of food and stuff.

        Worth pointing out that the water in the water heater also counts as weight. So the Truma Aqua Go will save you about 50 lbs.

        Reply
    15. Dottie Jones

      Great review! Thanks for showing the underside and the roof. Very cool application of solar panels. I fell in love with this RV when I saw the first video by LTV in April and the final product is even better.

      Reply
        1. Dottie Jones

          Those magnets to hold the bed support were not in the model I saw in Pomona. I’m sure other things will change as they tweak, just as they have done with the Unity models. I’ve already ordered my Wonder, so I won’t get the benefit of any minor enhancements they implement after the first 100+ models.

    16. Jim Eshleman

      Very nice RV and excellent tour. Question: at about 12:22 in the video that looks like a computer workstation area in that closet – does that second shelf down from the top slide out to hold a QWERTY keyboard or am I imagining things?

      Reply
        1. James - Post author

          You got it.
          I had thought, if I were in the rig, I would try to convert the entertainment center to a mobile office of some sort. That TV could make a great monitor!

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