Winnebago’s Travato 59 GL – Lithium Powered!!


O.K.  Make yourself some popcorn before watching this video.  It’s gonna be a long one.

Stef and I were asked by Winnebago to come speak at their dealer educational conference, “Winnebago Redefined”.  They wanted us to provide insight and perspective on non-traditional RVers; a topic we’re pretty well versed in, considering the majority of our FitRV followers are non-traditionals.  And wouldn’t you know it (wink), Winnebago launched their brand new Pure3 lithium systems at Winnebago Redefined!  Since we were there doing presentations, we took the opportunity to get up close and personal with this new rig.

This is a full review of this new model – not just a review of the Pure3 Lithium system (although we do spend a good bit of time discussing the Pure3 components).  There are some changes specific to the Pure3 model, and some running model year changes as well, so even if you’ve seen a Travato 59G review before, it’s worth it to see the whole review.  Check it out!

 

 

You can see most of what we know so far in the video.  The Pure3 Energy Management System, which was developed in partnership with Volta, is obviously the star of the show, but there is a lot more to this coach.  If we had to pick just a few highlights (and a few not-highlights), this is how we would break that down.

 

What We Really Liked

  • Well obviously, the lithium system.  We’ve been living with a similar system for nearly two years now, and we love it.  This one has a bigger battery, more powerful (yet smaller) alternator, and a more efficient solar charge controller.  It’s kind of hard not to like it.
  • The compressor refrigerator!  Not exactly the same model we have, but we’re excited to see Winnebago put another nail in absorption refrigeration’s coffin.  The G model had suffered from sub-optimal refrigeration until this year.  Glad to see that fixed.
  • OMG!  Dual-paned acrylic windows everywhere they could put them!  YES!  These windows are about three times more thermally efficient, they’re quieter, and they have a super cool locking vent function.  Fantastic to see these windows making inroads here in North America.
  • The front windshield shade.  We love love love the idea of having a window shade for the front that doesn’t require you to physically store anything anywhere.  That’s one less thing to bring.
  • Locking in-floor storage.  This is one that they did for us on our concept coach, and we’re glad to see this going mainstream.  Though we’re a bit jealous because ours doesn’t lock and everyone else’s will now.  Hmmmm….

 

What We Wish Was Different

  • It’s fantastic to have the massive lithium battery on board.  We’d like to see it put to better use with an induction cooktop.  We really enjoy ours.  We think that if others got the chance to enjoy the increased safety and faster cooking of induction, they might like it too.
  • There are still automotive glass windows in the back doors.  It would be great if they could replace those with dual-paned acrylic windows as well.  (We know they couldn’t open because of exhaust issues.  That’s OK.  We just like the efficiency… and the cassette blinds.)
  • The cabinet next to the refrigerator and microwave is pretty narrow, and we don’t know too many people who bring suits along in their Class B (though I’m sure there are some).  We think that space would better be used as a pull-out pantry.
  • The battery does sit pretty low to the ground.  In order to get it above the rear axle, we’d like to see Sumo Springs (or another suspension enhancement) added to the GL model to raise the battery an inch or so.  Since most owners seem to add the Sumo Springs anyway, this really isn’t going out on a limb.  And while the install is fairly inexpensive and easy, it would be nice to just have it done for you.

 

Now for the exciting part:  THIS REVIEW IS STILL GOING ON!  We’re sitting in this exact coach right now!!  We’re going to be borrowing this one from Winnebago for a week (or so…) to test-camp it.  I intend to put the Pure3 system through its paces, and I should have more information to report at the end of the week.  We’ve already started the mayhem by just leaving the inverter on all the time.  (That’s something we don’t do in our coach now.)

We’d really like to do a live Q&A video when we wrap up – but we don’t know exactly where we’ll be or if we’ll have enough bandwidth for that, so it may be a regular edited video.  But our first choice would be to take questions and do it live.

Stay tuned here and we’ll see if we can make that happen!

 



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.


    173 thoughts on “Winnebago’s Travato 59 GL – Lithium Powered!!

    1. Perry Myklebost

      Fantastic review – thank you for sharing it with us.

      My wife and I are have never owned an RV but it might fit into our futures.
      Our son is getting married and grandchildren might be in our future.
      They live in St. Louis and we live in Maui
      We want to be close by if grandchildren start showing up
      but don’t want to sell our house in Maui
      and want to be out of their house each night and on the weekends

      We could by another house near our son
      but his work might have him move in a few years
      and renting a house for 5 years would easily cost more than an RV
      so we are considering a small RV to just sleep in each night
      during the day grandpa and grandma would be at our son’s house
      helping with the kids
      but each night we leave

      We like the Travato 59 GL – it can be driven like a normal car each day
      and we would find a nearby RV park to camp each night
      However, the winter in St. Louis can get very cold sometimes
      below zero for probably 5 days a year
      and in the 32 – 0 range probably 20 days a year
      I know there really isn’t such as a thing as a “Four Season RV”

      Our question is can the Travato handle these temps?
      Or do we just head south when the forecast is for periods of freezing weather?

      Thanks for any input

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well yes, a Travato can handle below zero temperatures. At least ours does. But you have to be smart about it and know what you’re doing. It’s not like a house.
        There are several posts I’ve written that you should read – I’ll link them here. The first is “The Winterproof Travato“. It goes over many of the mods I’ve made to our own RV so we can handle negative temps.
        You should also probably read “Winter RVing tips anyone can use“, which I posted over on Winnebagolife.

        Finally – from your described use-case, I would have to wonder if the extra expense of the Lithium option would be worth it for you. It sounds like you’d be plugged in most evenings at an RV park, and perhaps even plugged in during the day at your family’s house. The extra boondocking capability of the GL wouldn’t really be necessary in those instances. You could save some money with a “standard” Travato.

        Reply
    2. Kerry Shrode

      I love this 59GL, but James, I have a bizarre question. As the go-to electrical guy, with all those electronics now in the spot where the fresh water was, what is the possibility of increased EMF in the cabin from those huge electronics. Really curious. I may be may out of line on this but it dawned on me re-watching your video. Is it possible this could pose a problem, or am I being a goof? thanks

      Reply
        1. Tim Huffaker

          From my understanding the batteries are ~ 50v so the energy to move that to 120v AC is less current. Less current typically means less EMI (electromagnetic interference) what I think you mean by EMF (electromotive force). This is why you should carefully look at inverters or anything moving energy. Less is better to keep from interfering with other things. For me it’s my ham radio. This is how I can communicate boondocking. Including sending email and texting.

        2. James - Post author

          In our RV Lance, we have an inverter that takes 12 volts up to 120. We have never noticed any interference with cell phones, radios, or any other devices we have.

    3. Jackson

      So you need to run the macerator pump to empty the grey tank. However, the pump is not heated as you have it on Lance. Do you foresee any issues in below freezing weather and trying to dump the tank?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I do think that macerator pump has freeze potential if it is not heated.
        If heating the pump is not an option, the smart thing to do would be to run antifreeze through it each time you dump in the winter. Run the pump until you see the pink stuff coming out the dump outlet. That way, you know you’ve got antifreeze in the pump, which should make it through a casual freeze. Doing it every time you dump in the winter might get annoying, but should work.

        Reply
    4. weng

      Hi, Jame I’m looking to buy the 2018 59G and i just want to say thanks you for all your videos. yesterday i went to mike thompson rv they have the 2018 59G for $80000 i want to offer a little lower but i don’t know how much should i ask to lower it can you help me?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Hi! We try really hard to stay out of pricing discussions here on the web site.
        If you want purchasing advice, I’d suggest you check out the Travato Owners and Wannabes group on Facebook. There are lots of current owners there who can tell you what to expect and how their experience went.
        But so cool that you’re getting a rig soon. Congratulations!

        Reply
    5. Jon Ault

      Has Winnebago dropped any hints about adding a Lithium option for the Paseo? I’m really on the fence between the Paseo and the 59G right now, a Lithium Paseo would make it even more interesting.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I haven’t heard anything about the Paseo. I’d suspect it could happen, but they are wanting to get it completely nailed down in these coaches first.

        Reply
    6. christopher

      really look forward to your reviews.
      as far as the 59gl, i am sold, just have to find that lottery ticket that i’m sure is the big winner.
      one question, does the back door windows come with the cassette window covering, or how do they get covered.
      thanks, and keep up the great work.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Back windows use the standard RAM automotive glass.
        They are covered with some magnet-backed cloth covers that match the rest of the upholstery in the G.

        Reply
        1. christopher

          thanks for the reply, and will be looking forward to your follow up to the week with the 59gl.

    7. Mark R. Villano

      Love the reviews; especially the 59 KL Travato. Perhaps it was mentioned in a previous post and I missed it, but I have been unable to find any information about pricing for this particular model. I’m guessing that these rigs don’t have many (if any) options, so pricing should be pretty much standard. Was there a Monroney sticker on the model you reviewed?

      Reply
    8. Robert Barbour

      I went out to Volta’s website and I see that they sell conversion kits. How well do you think the 13.5 Class B kit would work with the LTV 2018 Wonder FTB you also reviewed? If it can work well, would you get the solar panels that come with the FTB (400 watts) or something else?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, let’s just say I can’t see any reason why you couldn’t make the Volta kit work. The devil is in the details though!
        As far as solar, you would probably have to rewire the whole system. The current LTV system is 12 volt. But you would need to charge a 48 volt battery. You might be able to salvage the panels, but the controller would have to go.

        But seriously. If you’re contemplating 13,500 watt-hours of battery storage, and a 6 THOUSAND watt second alternator… 400 watts of solar is laughably small. So small, that I wouldn’t even bother with it on my own rig – it’s not worth the money in my mind. Honest truth.

        Reply
        1. Robert Barbour

          Oh my… So how does it work with the 59GL? In your video, I thought I saw only 200 Watts on that installation? By the way, I am recovering from whiplash from the speed of your response!

        2. James - Post author

          Lol. I’m on the back end of things right now working on our KL video.
          The GL does have only 200 watts of solar. But they use an MPPT solar charge controller that is capable of charging the 48 volt battery pack.
          It’s still a small amount of solar compared to the size of the battery and alternator though. If *not* getting the solar on the GL would save some coin, I would look at deleting it – if that were an option.

    9. Steve

      James and Stef
      Thanks for creating this site – very helpful since I never had an RV and there are lots of things to consider. The Revel recently captured my attention for its off season/4 season capability. It seems like Winnebago is moving in the same direction with the Travato and I like the changes you describe(Volta!), along with Travato’s layout/room. So in your winter travels in snowy conditions, did you ever wish for 4 wheel drive? While the Travato is front wheel drive, it is overweighted to the rear. How does Lance drive in the snow?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        There have not been many times when we’ve thought about 4WD, honestly. But when we have, it hasn’t been because of snow, but rather loose dirt/clearance concerns.
        For winter driving in our Travato, we have a second set of wheels with snow tires on them. I usually put them on in November and take them off in April. With those on, we’ve been fine anywhere we’ve wanted to take our Travato. The most treacherous thing we encounter that way is high-speed highway driving. The low speed stuff we can manage.

        Reply
    10. Rick young

      Great job James and Stephanie
      Remember the Regency by LTV, they made it for a few years, a four season RV, it has some great features, like circulating heat to all the tanks. I am sure Dean remembers them.
      I have a Fuse but really want a class B, had a couple of VW Eurovan campers, great size. I like to eat well, so I need a three burner stove, the Fuse has that plus a gas oven, and a microwave. Some ideas for the Travato, how about a loft bed like the revel, spare tire on one of the doors, ( the fuse has three different wheels so no spare, could carry a spare tire I suppose. Here is something I have seen, combine the grey and black water tank and make a bigger water tank. X on the cassette toilet! I have seen a quiet a/c from Australia, might be worth looking into. Also, one of your utube videos showed a diesel Travato, will that be an option ? I found the a/c is way too noisy and diesn’t Work all that well. I crack a window and use the fantastic fan to get a nice breeze going, worked well in 100 degree weather. Add another leaf spring to increase clearance, and a sumo lift. I read your comments on storage, sounds like a heated garage would be better. I live in a Maine and my RV is outside, once a month I plug it in for the coach batteries, and hook up a battery tender to the chassis batteries. Any ideas when the Travato will be available ?
      Option of a Ford 4WD possible, just thinking out loud.
      Look forward to your review.
      Rick

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Diesel Travatos cannot be an option until and unless Fiat starts selling diesel ProMasters in the US again!
        As far as availability – I know they are taking orders on the Lithium Travatos now. You’d have to talk to your dealer to see what the delivery calendar was looking like.
        I’m not aware of anyone who is planning to use the Ford Transit 4WD. (That doesn’t mean nobody is working on it… just that I don’t know if they are!)

        Reply
    11. gerry

      James-i have a question. does the inverter/charger stay on all the time? or can you shut that off but still leave the battery on for the 12 volt devices. Just wondering

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Yes, you can turn the inverter off when you’re not using it.
        That’s what we did during our “test camp” and what I’d recommend anyone do who’s not into wasting electricity.

        Even with the inverter off, the 12 volt devices still run as always.

        Reply
    12. Rick Owen

      Given what you’ve said about the solar panels, can this rig be ordered without them? Thank you for your entertaining and helpful review. I appreciate the good example you and Stef set, too, by being so physically fit!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I don’t know if “solar delete” would be an option. It’s not a *bad* thing, having the solar. But if you wanted to use the roof space for something else, deleting it might make sense.

        Reply
    13. Lewis

      Was great meeting you both at the Tampa show. You two are the best. Feels like the GL will be the one for me. Now I’m jonesin real bad for the extended review. Like a kid waiting for Christmas. Can’t concentrate…can’t sleep…forgetting to eat…please hurry!

      Reply
    14. Phil

      Very nice RV and review as well: as always!

      Since I’m going No-Lead Acid batteries and No-LPG, a couple of the main changes from this model would be a vertical 2-burner induction surface countertop (w/600w MW oven too) and a stationary bike instead of the 1/2 dead-head space in the bathroom beside the wheel well.

      Eventually, I’ll have to use my $50 2-D Turbo Cad, but your 4D (time is the 4th Dimension) visual Winnebago tours have saved me hundreds of hours simulating and verifying anatomical/ergonomic aspects (with Eye-Candy too!,Thanks Stef!)

      Seriously Guys, you do an informative and compelling sales pitch for your clients and their customers too. You are the best!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Glad you like the videos!
        Stationary Bike in an RV? Now THAT’s an idea we could get behind.
        (You should hook up a 12 volt generator to it as well!)

        Reply
    15. Dan Morean

      Excellent review. I’m giving a thumbs up to leaving the propane cooktop. I’ve tried induction and I definitely prefer a good old fashioned flame.

      Reply
    16. Jerrod

      I wonder what pushed them to adopt real leather seats. Those of us that don’t support animal cruelty just lost an option, hopefully replacing Ultra Leather and other synthetics with real leather won’t be a trend for Winnebago or other manufacturers.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        You could always just get cloth seats and add your own after-market seat covers in whatever fabric you’d like. That’s what we did. (Though I’d recommend hiring it out!)

        Reply
        1. Jerrod

          Perhaps if ordering new they’ll do cloth, it will still narrow options when shopping new dealer stock and used. Thanks for these videos, they’ve been a key resource in our class B search, enjoy your GL shakedown!

    17. Chris

      Class B wannabe here. Have been binging on your content recently. Thank you so much for all the infotainment! Can’t wait to watch/read your follow-up on the 59GL, as this just might be the eventual rig for us.

      Off-topic (and a bit off-color): As a middle-aged college sports fan in the southeast, I instantly recognized the Fit RV jingle as something we sang at football games back in the 80’s. Took more critical “research” to locate a recording: https://youtu.be/aRyd-tpHt9M. Surely I’m not the first to notice. In any case, it adds to my enjoyment of your videos!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Glad you like our content.
        It was vaguely familiar-sounding when we recorded it, but I found out later that the melody in our jingle has been around since at least the 1920s!
        Old jazz records; *way* off color performances… We’ve received emails from multiple people who have recognized it in one form or another. I’ll add yours to our list!

        Reply
    18. Rich

      I love the open feeling of the 59K so I am strongly considering it. It would be a no brainer if it came with an induction cooktop. I was assuming that with that much power it would be coming with an induction stove, a little disappointing. Hopefully they change there mind

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Even if the rig has a propane cooktop, you don’t have to use it. It’s only around $50 to buy a portable induction one.
        Here’s a link: http://amzn.to/2GfgaTs
        And a portable induction cooktop would run just fine off the Volta system.
        Besides giving you a “three burner” option, the portable would also allow you to take that burner OUTSIDE!
        Just sayin! 😉

        Reply
    19. Tracey

      James great review as always. I’m a wannabe at this point. I was so excited when I heard the 19G had a compressor frig. Now the power upgrade looks fantastic (and of course makes me wonder “what’s next?”). Anyway, I’ll be traveling with my cat “fur-babies”. The ability to leave my kitties in T with the AC on when I want to do some is alluring (of course ensuring I have remote temperature monitoring). In you test did you run the AC to see roughly how long it will run off the batteries? Also will it run an Instapot

      General G question. How hard is it to move the dinette table out of the way? Seems is size makes it hard(er) to move from the cab to the rest of the van. I would like the flexibility of moving the table out of the way until it is needed;at which point it could be put back in place.

      Thanks

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The “How long will it run X?” question is something we’ll address in our test week write-up.
        But yes. The Pure3 system would run an instapot.
        Completely removing the dinette table would require a screwdriver. Then you’d have to find a place to store it.
        You can go to the “Travato Owners and Wannabes” group on Facebook. Several owners there have modified their tables. That may give you some ideas.

        Reply
    20. John LeGresley

      SO I’m flipping channels last night, and I come across you two buying an RV w the kids. I didn’t get to the ending, but curious, what did your son buy?

      Reply
    21. Sabrina

      We are thinking of getting our first rv in the next few years. We love the changes that have come to be the 59GL, as many of them were modifications we thought of doing anyway! My concerns would be that we have a kiddo, so are the dinette seat belts considered ok for a child still in a backless booster seat if there is no shoulder strap as a previous comment mentioned? His safety and the legality of child safety surely is a consideration. I do realize most with kids have bigger rigs, but we like the idea of more flexible travel and we will not be full time travelers. Plus we would occasionally be wanting to use the rig once or twice a year in winter, so hoping that would be doable in this rig. Convection microwave would be welcome as well. Thanks for all of your feedback on rv life and look forward to your extended review once you’ve tested it out.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I’m not sure of the legality of it, or how it would do in a wreck, but we’ve transported Stef’s grandkids in child seats (that had backs) on the 59G dinette bench.
        We did have to remove the cushion for that to work, but it seemed OK.

        Reply
    22. Stacy Watson

      I really enjoy your videos. Very informative and you two are fun! I plan to hit the road in an RV in the next year (telecommuting from the RV). I am so interested in this lithium option so i can’t wait for more information from you guys! Quick question, i just watched another you tube video from someone else stating that the 59K now has six seat belts? Is that true? I like the 59k layout the best but always thought it only had 2 seat belts. I really want at least 3 seat belts so i gravitate towards the G for that as well as the bigger fridge. Again, thank you for all the content you publish, it is so helpful in my research with this big purchase. You guys are so thorough and i really appreciate all the work you do.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I think six seat belts is overstating it. As far as I know, the Travato 59K does now have two additional seat belts in the back for a total of four.

        Reply
    23. Andy

      Hi James and Steph, Very nice job, as usual. A HUGE help to someone considering a Travato purchase.

      Really happy with most of the new changes. It is getting very close to being my perfect RV. However, a few comments and suggestions for improvements:

      1) The TRUE double burner induction cooktop seems like a no-brainer, if it will fit. Sure would like to see this.Also, the previously mentioned rear door window changes with roller shade would be a big help. Way too much hassle currently.
      2) Disappointed with the fresh water reduction. Already quite limiting for boon-docking. I suppose a couple of slim 5-7 gal containers could be stored under the bed area.
      3) Really dislike the new outside branding – it is starting to look “tacky”. The old looked much classier.
      4) I HATE rattles more than anything. The new cheap-looking sliding doors on the under bed storage look like big-time rattles to look forward to.
      5) Those stapled drawers/cabinets also bother me. Glue dries out and seams deteriorate over time leaving nothing but squeak potential.
      6) The skinny closet should have a pantry slider as an option (preferably one that can be removed on demand). For me, it looks like it will fit my electric guitar case with still some room for shelves above or function as a coat closet, depending on the trip being made.
      7) Happy they kept propane for outside gas grill/Truma.
      8) TV setup doesn’t seem very practical for bedtime watching. Why not shorten the bed a few inches and build a 4″ deep cabinet on the bed wall that has a stainless basket and install an articulating arm to swing toward the cab also?
      9) Why use USB connections instead of 12V /USB combo outlets?
      10) No convection is a BIG disappointment.
      11) One vertical set of slider doors under the bed should be combined with no shelf separation to allow for a storage option for tall items like a gas fire pit, sleeping bag, etc. Also, the double slider door setup doesn’t allow for larger bulky items to enter. People could always add a standing shelf, if needed. This should be a no-brainer also.
      12) The new inverter box really should have EMI shielding.
      13) Why are they not adding the Sumo Springs, especially since the new batteries are riding even lower than before? Another no-brainer, it would seem.
      14) There should be an option for a hitch mounted continental spare that would work with the bike rack installed.

      If these additions/changes were available I would order one tomorrow. However, I am holding out for another year hoping that many of these will be addressed soon to make the Travato GL an almost perfect RV for just about anyone.
      Thanks for all you do. If I buy one of these next year, you should get the commission – primarily to buy extra cowbells to hide everywhere!

      Reply
    24. Bob B

      James,

      My big question is what is the difference (in layman’s terms) between your “typical” Lithium Iron Phosphate(LiFePO4) battery – like your Lithionics one and what Volta uses – a Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC) battery?

      I can find some papers on this (http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/types_of_lithium_ion) and references in some of the Tesla articles, but really nothing that explains it (clearly).

      I figured you – with your technical science background – might be able to help with this question.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Honestly, I’m no chemist, and I don’t think I could do a better job than the Battery University article you linked.
        A couple thoughts though. While reading it, I would pay attention to the temperature for thermal runaway – the temperature at which the battery bursts into flames. Higher is obviously better, and both of the chemistries we’re interested in are over 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
        Also, the watt hours per kilogram is something that is likely of interest to RV manufacturers, who would always like more power for less weight.

        Reply
        1. Bob B

          Thank you for your take on all this. Now need to go back and read that article again.

          Also found an interesting article in Fortune about Tesla. http://fortune.com/2015/05/18/tesla-grid-batteries-chemistry/

          Seems their cars use Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2 or NCA) batteries, BUT their “grid product” batteries are Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC) battery.

          Summed up “An NCA battery typically has a shorter cycle life and a higher energy density (and less stability). An NMC battery generally has a longer cycle life, more stability, and less energy density.”

          It may also have to do with the 12V vs 50+V system. A marine supplier like Victron offers the LiFePO4 battery in their 12V-24V systems, but larger boats (with longer wiring runs and needing more power) are moving to 48V systems. Victron’s 48V systems use NMC.

          Just trying to make sense of all this. On one hand, it doesn’t matter – it just works – on the other, if one is spending $$$$ for this option, it’s nice to understand “why”.

        2. James - Post author

          I know what you mean. At some point, it becomes just a theoretical argument. Do I need 11,000 charge/discharge cycles on my RV battery, or do I need 12,000? Yes, 12,000 sounds better, but it’s not likely I’ll get to either number!

    25. Michael Miller

      Hi guys, as usual, great work! The galley window…and I’m sorry if someone already asked about this. You mentioned it does not open, yet it appears to have the same locking latches as the other windows??? What’s that about? Why have the latches if it doesn’t open and certainly why have the bug screen if it doesn’t open? Are you 100% sure about this? I trust you guys and watch all your videos but this one was a bit odd as I’m sure you know.
      Thanks
      Mike

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        As far as I know, the Euro double paned windows are not made in a non-opening model. At least, I’ve never seen one.
        So what they’ve done is take a window that might open, and alter it so it doesn’t. The handles secure the window, so they left them on.
        Same with the blinds. They come with the screen. Just makes more work to remove it (and more cost), so they left it.

        Reply
    26. Kevin

      Will you be able to review the 59 KL? That’s the one that I’m most interested in and if you are able to review it when should we expect it up online?
      As always thank you very much for all your videos I learned much from them!

      Reply
    27. Chris

      Yay! Let’s hope this finds it’s way as an option for the entire class B lineup starting with the Revel and ERA.

      Reply
    28. William Walker

      Concerning the truma heater, how much energy does it use if you run the heater all nite @ 60 or 65 degrees.You do need lithium to run it.
      How do you rate this rig to the Coachmen Galleria FL,Li3.
      Since your on the road so much, what if anything do you have/recommend for cell phone boosters (WeBoost 4GXRV) or ? & do you use a WIFI extender to go online to do your posts?
      Thanks, love you two & your info

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        60 or 65 degrees will require a different amount of “on” based on the outside temperature. But Truma enegry usage is basically like this:
        It requires just a few amps of DC if you are running it on propane. Call it maybe 40 watts.
        If you run it on EL1, it requires about 7 amps AC. 850 Watts.
        If you run it on EL2, it requires about 13 amps AC. 1700 Watts.
        This rig uses different technologies than the Coachmen Galleria. We don’t typically do “head to head” comparisons, but you can watch our two videos and see what we think.
        We use a WeBoost Drive 4Gx in our own rig, Lance. Campground WiFi is typically a joke, so we just rely on our own gear.

        Reply
    29. Alex

      Thanks for the amazing reviews.

      Do you know who Makes the windows shades for the regular windows all around the coach? Is that made by Winnebago? I mean the dual pane window shades. Thank you!

      Reply
    30. Terry Imar

      How does the alternator location compare with the one on Lance? Less vulnerable? Sounds like higher output, too.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Same location, much smaller alternator.
        I show the cover towards the end of the video.
        This alternator does not stick down nearly as far.

        Reply
    31. Christophe

      Sweet! Glad to see more lithium in coaches.

      Do you know the brand of the lithium batteries?

      Too bad that big HDTV antenna is shading the main solar panel of the system 🙁 During winter, it’s going to be a bummer.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The batteries are NMC chemistry, and are from Volta.
        Shade is relative – depends on which direction the rig is pointing.
        But honestly, with this system and a battery capacity this large, the solar is kind of pointless.
        I get more of a charge restarting the van to run it up onto blocks than I would from all day of solar. The alternator is that large.
        Even if the solar panels were running at 100% of rated capacity (which they never will), it would take 44 hours of full sun (more than three days) for them to charge the battery.
        The alternator can do that in less than 2 hours. So the solar panels are LESS THAN 1/22 AS POWERFUL as the alternator.
        If I had this rig, I would consider removing the solar panels to make better use of the roof space.

        Reply
    32. Lucius Vorenus

      We’re future Class B owners and the Travato 59K, Revel, or Hymer Aktiv lead the list right now. Would love to see your comparison of the Travato to either the Revel or the Aktiv 2.0!

      After some class B rentals, our “wants” are: Cassette Toilet (Revel or Hymer); no propane (Revel); no wasted space on belted seating for more than 2 (59K).

      I wish Winnebago could “Revel-up” the Travato even more with no propane and a cassette, or conversely “59K-up” a Revel “for two” and repurpose the bench seat area or even better use the longer body Sprinter 4wd with the bed turned.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The Revel also has a cassette toilet!
        I think you’ve identified the gap in Winnebago’s class B lineup. But I don’t know what the size of that segment would be – both the Revel and 59k are selling really well as they are.

        Reply
      2. Morgan Jaffray

        You and I have the same top 3. What did you decide on? I need to get to an RV show and get these 3 out.

        Reply
    33. Brian McCarthy

      Awesome stuff. Sorry if I missed it but do you know the weight delta between a traditional “G” and a lithium “G” Travato? Thanks!

      Also interested in your thoughts on the long-term reliability of the Dodge chassis and powertrain.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Sorry, we don’t know.
        Those numbers would have to come from Winnebago.
        Though when I did a similar project, the weight was kind of a wash between the generator and batteries/inverter.

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The Travato Owners and Wannabes group on Facebook has a lot of owners who have added spare tires on the rack, ladder, roof, hitch, etc. That’s very doable.

        Reply
    34. Cadia

      Hi James,….I love the interaction between you two! And, I appreciate allll the work put into sharing these great videos. I have a question. I am EMF sensitive. I can tolerate using a tablet for a good while, but then I am absolutely suddenly at my limit. Phones really bother me quickly. I am concerned about the lithium location because I want to full time in a Travato G, and would spend the majority of my time so close to it. I would love to know what a reading is from the “jump” seat location as well as from the dinette, if you had any opportunity to measure it. Or if there would be any way for me to shield the EMFs. It is too hard to find a Travato in real life, much less have a lithium one where I could measure and this is an important aspect for me. Thank you, either way.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We don’t have any way to measure that in the test rig we’re in now. Sorry.
        If it helps, most of the electronic components (inverter, DC/DC converter, BMS Control Unit) are in the ottoman that used to be the water tank. If you had to add some kind of shielding to that, it seems fairly doable.
        I really don’t have any experience in this area though.

        Reply
    35. Gary Hlavka

      Is there anything on this model that would interfere with the installation of the E&P levelers that you put on your van? Thank you

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        That’s a really good question! I won’t be able to answer that until I get home and can look at the two rigs side-by-side.

        Reply
        1. James - Post author

          No. I haven’t been able to verify that.
          (And I probably shouldn’t! I can’t really speak for E&P.)

    36. Dan

      Great review! I am tempted to ship you a whole box of bells!

      Winnebago allowed you an early preview so they should be listening to our first impression feedback as well. In no particular order:

      If we are paying extra for such an advanced lithium system, then most of us want a non-propane system. Thus, an induction cook top should be standard and propane is optional. Remove the propane tank and give us more fresh water.

      A convection microwave is important for those of us who travel for extended periods. My hat goes off to Airstream’s drawer version. It seems to provide the best of all concerns.

      Yes to the compressor refrigerator – a must have in my next RV.

      A huge thumbs up to the front windshield shade and locking in-floor storage.

      The back doors need to have the new dual-pane acrylic windows. Put a magnetic switch on these windows so that they have to be closed when the engine is running. However, I do not want to be stuck somewhere just because the sensor thinks that window is open.

      Put the max air fan in place of the window behind the bathroom. Air can flow around corners. That gives us more room on the roof for solar. 300 watts sounds like it can better run the refrigerator and lights on non-travel days.

      We do travel with a suit/dress. You never know when a funeral interferes with travel plans and it beats driving home first. Coats and sweaters seem to travel better hanging up.

      I agree on the Sumo Springs. A much better design. Clearance is always a concern.

      Magnetic screen doors are a much better design and I would expect a lower priced solution.

      The real point of having the advanced lithium system is the air conditioner. I’ll ask, how long will it run for whatever weather conditions that you encountered? How noisy is this air conditioner? Winnebago needs to provide better answers on their air conditioner choices.

      Finally, someone is using double pane windows. What have they provided in terms of insulation everywhere else?

      While I like the bike rack, how secure are they from theft? If we prefer to have our bikes inside, then what solution does Winnebago offer to store the bikes up front during the night?

      This unit is at the top of my list. Thanks again for the review.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Wow, Dan. Lots of ideas and info there.
        Here’s a thought on the solar: Having this much battery and this big of an alternator will make you rethink your solar. Honestly, on this rig, it’s kind of superfluous. Think of pouring a gallon of water into a swimming pool. Yes, there’s more water in the pool, but will anyone really notice? You can get as much energy from 30 minutes of high-idle as you could from weeks of solar. Seriously.
        The battery is 8700 watt-hours and the air conditioner is about 1600 watts. My division has that at about five and a half hours before the auto-start would kick in. All of that depends, of course, on the temperature outside, the humidity, and how often the compressor on the AC is on.
        I haven’t taken the rig apart, so I can’t answer on the insulation.
        The bikes on the rack would be as secure as you make them. I wrote a post on the Winnebagolife blog about bike locking strategies. My best thoughts on the subject are over there.
        Cheers!

        Reply
      2. Roxanne Bond

        Hi from Roxanne B.

        I luv both your thoughts re Travato 59GL. My family lives upstate N.Y. and I was hoping 59GL would have Lit. battery inside coach, so RV could be more like a 4 season RV. I agree with you in adding induction burner and have less propane. Thank you for your thoughts. Roxanne B

        Reply
        1. James - Post author

          While this battery is not inside, it’s heated and cooled as though it is.
          If it helps, think of it as they’ve added an extra “room” underneath the floor. They power-vent heated or cooled air from the main coach into the box, so it’s sort of an extension of the living space. There is a fan down there, though we’ve not gotten this rig hot enough or cold enough for it to kick on yet. Maybe when we get back to Utah with it.

    37. David

      Great review as usual! Any idea when the GL will be available for purchase? Can’t find that info anywhere on the net.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I don’t have a specific date, but I know people are already ordering them.
        Probably need to talk with your dealer on that one.

        Reply
    38. Roger Bohnke

      Hi James and Stef, Great review as always! Winter RV Storage questions. Following up on Jon Ault’s question above. Are these batteries able to endure long term (weeks to a month) of hard freezes without damage as long as they are warmed up before charging? If so, please ignore the rest of this since it’s not a problem.
      If not though, how does the system keep the batteries from freezing when the van is enduring sub-freezing temps in storage (no hookups at my storage lot)? Truma electric heat protection? Does it automatically kick the LP on to do it? Or some sort of “suspended animation” state it goes into when you leave it shut down? Just don’t want to have to go running to the storage lot an hour away every day to warm up lithium batteries.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The coach does not (as I understand it), keep itself from freezing even when you turn it off.
        These are automotive style and chemistry batteries. So think Tesla, Prius, Leaf, Volt, etc. Nobody worries about their cars freezing up.
        So here, I would assume the first route you mentioned is what happens. The battery is not damaged if it is frozen, as long as you don’t try to charge it.
        (I’m sure there are limits to the freezing thing though. I mean, if you buried the car in ice for two years, you should probably expect some damage…)

        Reply
        1. Roger Bohnke

          Thanks James. I appreciate the quick response. That’s reassuring, but I’m not sure how much the automotive analogy really applies here. Those cars are typically driven almost every day. The all electric ones usually plugged in at home overnight for recharge. The hybrids keep their batteries charged via the gas engine and regenerative methods during those daily drives. Probably just worrying about it too much, but it is a big investment. Will follow up with Winnebago to be sure before we make the leap.

        2. James - Post author

          True the EVs are typically driven daily. But I wouldn’t hesitate to leave one in the airport parking lot in Minneapolis if I went on a trip for a week.
          Winnebago is offering an 8 (that’s right, eight) year warranty on the battery. There’s no exemption for people in northern climates. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t offer that if they hadn’t figured this bit out.

    39. Greg

      The Crossfit Lithium seems like a competitive offering. Thanks for the reviews James and Stefany. BTW, needs more cowbell.

      Reply
    40. Michael Pierce

      My wife and I and Boo are Maltese are trying to decide which Class B to buy. Money aside as that is not the chief consideration (Quality and reliability) not interested in anything Merc powered, so considering Lexor TS as PW seems to be a quality product. Any thoughts? We love the reviews as you seem like such nice peop[le and sooooo funny.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Pleasure-Way builds a fantastic quality product. I especially like the quality they put into their cabinetry.
        They have had lithium standard for a while now. But the Pleasure-Way lithium system is sort of “lithium lite”. It won’t, for example, run the air conditioner.
        It’s a fantastic option if you’re basically happy with a standard coach, but wish it had twice as much battery.
        But if you want the full “generator replacement” package, then this coach, or a coachmen, or an Advanced RV are the way to go.

        Reply
    41. TED lee PHILLIPS

      GREAT REVIEW AS ALWAYS!! So the GL looks like we have a winner I like Tom’s idea of mod to get no Propane – but i really want to know after all your custom efforts and reworking the electrical do we go with the new or mod an earlier 59G with inverter etc. ??

      i want to raise the bed as well but that seems pretty easy with old or new – again you guys are both such a super research source thanks for all you do.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, if I already had a Travato, I wouldn’t buy a new one just for the lithium. I’d mod it.
        But that’s me, and I have a higher tolerance for that kind of thing than most.

        Raising the bed shouldn’t be too difficult, but you will have a window to contend with…

        Reply
    42. Tobbun

      Love the reviews and learn something every time I watch one of them. Do you guys have anything planned on the Airstream Interstate? Surprised to not see anything in the past on Airstream.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Glad you like our reviews!
        We don’t have anything *planned* on the Interstate, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. We’d just have to come across one when we had the time to do a full review.
        (We do see them at shows, but we’re usually swamped at a show.)

        Reply
    43. Deb

      Hi there! Just wanna say we love your reviews!! You two are awesome!! Thanks so much for all your insight!

      … You mentioned that the solar panels were mounted slightly under the rack? Does that mean that a Thule (or other brand) of basket can still be mounted to the rack?

      Do you happen to know if the roof itself can support the weight of a person walking on it given the ladder access?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Hi Deb.
        Yes, you could mount other things to the rack provided:
        1. You could physically find the space for them
        2. You didn’t mind if you shaded the solar panels somewhat.

        As far as walking on the roof. Yes, it can support people. But we don’t recommend that people walk up there for a couple reasons. First is safety, obviously. And the second is that you can dent the roof pretty easily. It won’t break, but it will dent. When I get on our roof, I’m always on all fours just to spread the weight out more.

        Reply
    44. Steve Toomey

      We live in the state of Maine, so I am very interested in cold weather operation. Right now we lose water use for appx. 6 months. What would you anticipate for safe water use in the GL? Also how long could we safely use the batt. Right now we can use batt power for 12 months.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, as far as the battery, it is heated with cabin air, so I imagine as long as you keep yourselves from freezing, the battery will be OK. I don’t have any data yet to back up the “how cold can you go” answer. Either with the battery or the water tanks.

        For their part, Winnebago isn’t planning to advertise this as a “four season” rig. They will likely claim something like “extended season” or similar.
        Even if the rig could do it, there’s a lot of room for user error, so making claims like those are tough for a manufacturer.

        Reply
        1. Steve Toomey

          My big concern is the batt. We leave our Jayco Melbourne out all winter. Temps frequently go below zero and while I have to winterize all plumbing, I leave chassis and house batts alone. I try (weather permitting) to drive the vehicle (Sprinter) at least once a month. Would I be able to do this with the GL?

        2. James - Post author

          I’ve talked to the lead engineer at Volta.
          These batteries are good for continuous storage at -20 Celsius. With periodic dips (overnight) down to -30 Celsius.
          The batteries will not allow for charging at or below 0 Celsius.
          The batteries will not DIScharge below -10 Celsius. So you would have to warm the rig up to at least -10 Celsius to get things rolling.

        3. James - Post author

          A space heater under the battery bank would do it. The case around it is metal, and would soak up the heat pretty well.

    45. Terry H.

      Questions we want to know: (1) Cost! (MSRP is fine). My understanding is they have not decided yet. (2) Capacity changes? Fresh? Gray? Black? Figured with more room down there now and the relocation of the fresh there might be some changes. (3) They improve the bed cushions? More interested in the K as they were in dire need of support as well. (4) Is the toilet still plastic? (5) Are there any other upgrade options (cabinets, etc)? Thanks. Great review. Industry is in dire need of them. Sales “reviews” just don’t cut it.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, as far as the MSRP, what we’re hearing is an additional $29k. Remember, that’s MSRP, so use that knowledge as you will.
        Tank capacities for the GL are 18 on the fresh (3 gallons less than the G) and 11/15 on the black/grey (same as the G).
        Bed cushions seem the same to us.
        Toilet is china.
        As far as we know, this rig has all the options available.

        Reply
    46. Thomas VerLee

      Very interesting evolution of the Travato. Just as in the auto industry, top-dog stuff starts in the high end models, and eventually trickles down to the lower models. Advanced RV developed a lot of this technology in their models 1-3 years ago; now Winnebago introduces it into their line.
      ARV still has the edge in their integrated control system (Silverleaf), as opposed to the panels, switches, and controls scattered all over the vehicle as in Winnebago. But Winnie is getting there.
      I understand that you have a business relationship (subsidy?) with Winnebago, and that, yes, does influence your reporting. Don’t deny it. Nevertheless, you remain objective enough that I still enjoy seeing your reviews.
      I’ll be interested in hearing your critique of the one week test drive.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Glad you like our reviews!
        As Winnebago was having us speak at their conference, yes, we do have a relationship with them. But to be clear on the reviews: no person or company has ever paid us to produce an RV review, and none ever will.
        Speaking of the trickle-down of technology… Volta (whom Winnebago teamed with) is actually one of the suppliers to Advanced RV as well. So the trickle-down is clearly happening. We hope, as time goes on, that this technology will become more affordable and more mainstream.

        Reply
    47. Beth Beglin

      Great job on the review! In addition to all the other comments, I hope you can give an update at the end of the week on the comfort of the dinette cushion for passengers during extended traveling. Looking to take 3-4 people in this van and know some owners have issues with the “older” bench cushions after several hours of sitting.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I’m sitting on the dinette right now – and have been for a couple hours.
        The cushions are considerably firmer than the older G. That’s actually great for sitting, and I would anticipate increased comfort on longer days.
        But the seating posture is still pretty much upright. There’s no recline at all.

        Reply
    48. Anne K.

      Holy cow! I’ve never seen anyone make the dinette into a bed before. This new and improved Travato 59GL would have been an option for us if it had been available earlier. Although, the regular bed might still be a little too high for either of us to climb onto. And that underbed storage is the best option I’ve seen for a cat litter box. Pretty interesting. Can’t wait to hear how your week with it went.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The dinette bed is pretty involved, but once it’s made, it really is a pretty good sleeping surface.

        And we don’t have Mel with us on this trip, so no “litter box test” is planned, unfortunately.

        Reply
    49. Greg

      I got quite a start at 19:48 in the video. First we see Stefany adjust the window then, abruptly, another set of arms are in the picture adjusting the window & for a second, I gasped and thought “that poor woman”.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Lol! I thought of that when I was editing it, but it had gotten dark and it was too late to reshoot it with Stef’s arms.

        Reply
    50. Mike and Audrey

      James ans Steph,
      Great! Great review as always! Love the bell and let it be…..LOL
      Agree with all the post about the refridge, cooktop, elevated bed for more underneath storage, larger fresh water tank and option for composting toilet.
      Also with all the new goodies crammed into every nook and cranny this would be a nightmare for the average to repair and trouble shoot down the road in a few years. Dealer turn around for repairs would include a lot of down time.
      Love the double pane windows, 48v system with the high output alternator.
      Looking forward to your next working review on this Travato 59GL.
      Thanks again

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, one thing we’ve always liked about Winnebago is that they plan for maintenance when they build them. And I’ve taken our rig apart more times than I can count, so I know what I’m talking about here. There’s *ALWAYS* a way to get to a component that needs servicing.

        As to knowledge for the dealer service personnel. I absolutely agree, this might require some advanced electrical troubleshooting skills – or at the very least, a pretty good troubleshooting flowchart that they could follow. But here again, they have made concessions towards that.

        For example, most of the connectors are automotive-style multi-pin connectors. So all a tech would really need to do is unplug a component, swap it out, and plug it back in. I don’t imagine they will bother much with repairing a 48/12 volt converter – they’ll just swap and send the old one back for diagnostics. The wiring harnesses are all automotive style as well. There are no spaghetti-nests of wiring in the rig, which helps greatly with service.

        Time will tell on the service, of course, but I think they’ve done what they can up front to make that as easy as possible.

        Reply
    51. rob

      James and Step, excellent review as always, love those front window shades, Do you know who made them? can they be purchased aftermarket for my 2016 Tavato?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        They’re from Remis, which is a German company. If you can find a US importer (Heng’s maybe?) they don’t seem that hard of a retrofit.

        Reply
    52. Jim

      Please, please do a torture test of a review on that volta power system. I’ve been wanting to see real world use/data before I even consider doing a retrofit.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I don’t think they plan to retrofit these into any existing Gs. Too much rework.
        I’m not saying it couldn’t be done, but man it would be expensive.

        Reply
    53. OneJourney

      I love the bell. NO, No, No, I need the bell…Yes, A BELL, thank you, James! No not the Mouse. The RV looks hot inside. DING! Ding! Ding! Creative James! Ding! Ding! Ding! Thank Russ!
      ★Kitchen nice window, and OLD KITCHEN… Need Updated 2019 like the Europian RV’s
      ★Waterless Trap important. AC smooth, This RV Sleeps 3 people I like it
      Shades are perfect! Ding! Ding!
      ★Ding! Ding! Ding! New Battery cool. Good to see more instalation for all year RV Living.

      Reply
    54. Jon Ault

      This is a nice set of improvement to the 59G, I’ll be interested to see your report at the end of the week.

      Is the Lithium system smart enough to start itself up in sub-freezing temperatures by warming the battery first before allowing it to charge, or do you have to make sure to keep the system turned off until you know the battery has warmed up? If it’s the latter, is there a way you can monitor the battery temperature?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Cold Weather Operation

        When you’re actually in the rig, and keeping it warm enough for you, everything should be fine.
        But you’re interested in starting up from a deep freeze. Here’s how that would work:
        There’s no way (currently) for you to monitor battery temperature. But the Battery Management System (BMS) does monitor its own temperature and react accordingly.
        So, when you start up a frozen rig, the BMS will allow you to DIScharge the battery (so you can run the heater), but the battery will not allow charging until it has reached a temperature it considers safe.
        So basically, you just get in the rig and go, regardless of the temperature, and the battery will handle itself. That keeps things simple, which was a design goal for them.
        The one thing you would want to be sure to do is NOT to put the rig away with a discharged battery.

        Reply
        1. Morgan Jaffray

          “The one thing you would want to be sure to do is NOT to put the rig away with a discharged battery”

          What is a discharged battery?

        2. James - Post author

          In that instance, what I mean is that you would want to be sure there was enough juice left in the battery to run the fan on the heater so you could warm it up. I don’t have a specific number of watt-hours to tell you.

    55. Fred

      HOW BIG? Unless I missed it, you never said how big this lithium battery is.? -300ahr? 400ahr? 500? – Thanks

      Reply
        1. James - Post author

          Yes. That’s correct.
          They’re going with Watt-hours instead of amp-hours. Here’s why:
          First – quick – how many amps does your hair-dryer take? Nobody knows. But pretty much everything is rated in Watts. So the math is simpler for everyone to gauge things.
          The other reason for going with watt-hours is this – a 100 amp-hour lead acid battery and a 100 amp-hour lithium battery don’t have the same watt-hours capacity (and I’m not talking about the 50% rule here).
          A lead acid battery is a 2.1 volts per cell or 12.6 volts.
          A lithium battery is about 3.6 volts per cell, which makes it a 14.4 volt battery.
          Watts is volts * amps.
          So 100 amps of a 12 volt battery is 1260 watts.
          And 100 amps from a lithium battery is 1440 watts.
          The bigger the numbers get, the further apart the two will grow. So they’ve decided to use watt-hours to compare, which is really more of an apples to apples measure.

          Hopefully, I explained that OK?

        2. Dick

          If it helps, at 48 Volts, 8700 watt hours is equivalent to 181.25 amp hours.

          For 12 volt circuits it is equivalent to 725 amp hours.

          At 120 Volts, it is equivalent to 72.5 amp hours.

          All of these are less the parasitic current draw from the Battery Management System, DC-DC converter, inverter, or charger, depending on which are in use.

    56. Mike Bohun

      James & Steph excellent review….would like to see 4 areas reviewed to include: 1) the performance of the freezer with frig in operation to include placing 1 gallon of ice cream in the freezer to check performance. Would also like to see evaluation of inverter via cooking with Instapot or equivalent to include cooking with small induction cook top to scamble some eggs; using inverter power. 2) Would be nice to see a spread sheet showing power loading of all components operating to include the AC and Lights and the kitchen cooking all at once (what are the operational limits)! 3) comment on the ability of 3 or 4 season capability….if its using some insulation concepts from the REVEL with heat pads and insulation. 4) Finally, comments on the quality of construction of cabinets…noticed that Winnebago using staples! Does this cause a squeaking problem over time with loosened joints?…versus the Pleasure-Way Lexor using solid ply-wood and screws. Thanks Mike B Dayton Ohio

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Uh….
        Well, since we’re The Fit RV, I don’t think Stef will let me put a gallon of ice cream in the freezer. 🙂
        The problem with a refrigerator test is that I would get one result today, and another result tomorrow, and you’d get a different result… all depending on temperature/humidity, etc.
        I can tell you that we put some frozen chicken in the freezer and it was rock solid when we pulled it out a day later.
        This rig does not include a current meter display. I have done a similar test in the past, and you can find it on this site if you search “determining 12 volt loads”.
        The rig is set up for extended season capability. As far as actual testing, we’re limited to what we’ll encounter up until Sunday, which looks to be pretty mild. I can tell you that they’ve put a lot of thought into keeping things warm. The proof is in the pudding though, and I doubt we’ll see much pudding on this trip.
        As far as cabinet construction. Yes, they do use staples. But those staples are meant mainly to hold the frames in place until glue dries. Most of the frames you saw in the video are backed up by panels. And when you glue something to a rigid panel, the overall effect makes things pretty rigid. I obviously can’t speak for every staple in the rig, but we have had our Travato for over two years now, and I can say that we don’t have a problem with squeaks and rattles. I’ve also torn apart many of the cabinets in Lance, and it’s NOT easy work.
        HTH. Thanks for watching!

        Reply
        1. Mike Bohun

          James thanks for the clarification on the staples and soundness of construction.

          OK….Maybe you can hide the bell in 1/2 gallon of ice cream…since she will never look!

      1. James - Post author

        I asked this, and the answer is that they’ll likely be calling it ready for “extended season” camping.
        The problem with calling something “4 season”, is that even if the rig *can* do it, there’s a lot of room there for user error. So a four season claim is pretty rough for manufacturers in general.

        Reply
    57. Doug

      Wow, great review and great job by Winnebago with all the improvements. I probably missed it looking at all the good stuff but what is the amp hours rating on that battery?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        But you also don’t have the same power-hungry appliances that we have here. We love the European rigs!

        Reply
    58. Damian

      Great video !
      I love what they doing with Travato,
      finally no more that loud generator .
      I’m still waiting for Winnebago to put cassette toilet to travato 59GL and expend water capacity also the gray tank , than I will be ready to buy there product . I’m hoping that will happen in next couple years .

      Reply
        1. James - Post author

          18 fresh.
          11/15 Black/Grey

          The fresh tank is 3 gallons smaller than a “regular” G, since it had to be relocated and insulated.

    59. Bob B

      Love it!

      Will be interesting to see how this electrical system does in the summer, people running A/C, etc. Do you get to keep this for a few months?

      Okay, when does it ship? and how much?

      Agree with you on the induction unit. Maybe an option?

      Yes, cabinet is a bit narrow and I usually leave my suits at home ;~) BUT put a drain in the bottom (like they do on boats into the bilge) and it would make a nice “wet locker” for raincoats, etc. Already seeing mods for shelves in here.

      Saw online a new “regular” 2019G. Did not have the doublepane windows, but new fridge, galley window, etc. BUT it had drawers in the rear and no windshield blinds. So is WGO still making tweaks or does the GL have some added features that the regular G does not?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, we’re planning to return it in a week or so. We would love to keep it until the summer, but I don’t think that’s in the cards.
        Shipping and pricing questions I’ll defer to Winnebago or your local dealer. It’s not going to be an inexpensive option, I know that.

        If someone really wants induction, there is always the portable burner option. I actually suggested that to Winnebago as a way to go down to one burner, but still let people know they had the option for two if they wanted.
        There’s an outlet right there, and all the outlets in this coach are inverted now.

        The drawers in the rear is a G vs. GL thing for now.
        The good windows and windshield shades are options, so depending on what the dealer ordered, it may not have them.

        Reply
    60. Bruce

      James and Steph, nice review. Looking forward to the followup. I have a question, why did they not install the induction cooktop? Is the Truma heating system the reason they still have propane on the coach?

      bpn.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        They’re probably reluctant to go down to a single burner (which is mostly what would fit on that counter). Apparently View/Navion owners nearly revolted when they went from three burners to two – and they don’t want to risk it going to just one burner in the Travato.

        Yes, the Truma still runs on propane. As well as the cooktop and the outlet for the BBQ.

        Reply
        1. Tom

          Hmm. After reading your countertop mod post, I found a True double-burner induction cooktop that looks like it would fit in the space of the propane double-burner. (I know I’d make that mod if I bought a 59GL, plus maybe adding a SMEV oven beneath it.)

          My wants are the reappearance of shoulder belts on the dinette seat, and a higher bed in back (not as high as yours, as we’d pull off our mountain bike seat posts, but still higher…)

    61. CamperVanGuy

      Thanks again for the review. Nice improvements, but still no shoulder belts for the rear seats?!?! Come on WGO, it’s 2018 – find a way!!!!

      Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear once we have had the chance to review it.