In today’s economy it may be somewhat premature to describe the Class A motorhome market as “alive and well,” but “alive and slowly recovering” is certainly more accurate. Coach manufacturers are actively developing new products, despite the economic slump, and Winnebago’s new Adventurer 37F is a good example of such a new model.
Manufacturers by the handful are developing and selling smaller motorhomes as befits the way the economic wind is blowing. Some manufacturers who haven’t adjusted the set of their jibs have fallen by the wayside, and others have taken a new tack to better live with the changing market. Winnebago is entrenched in both ends of the motorhome size scale. While sales of big Class A rigs may never return to their glory days, there are still customers who are looking for luxury accommodations in a full-size Recreational Vehicle.
The new Adventurer 37F coach delivers just that type of luxury. Our tester is stickered at $166,079, nicely equipped, and offers desirable components at that price point.
Several interesting features make the 37F worth a look. First, it has a full-wall streetside slideout that encompasses the forward living area, kitchen, mid-coach bath and master bedroom components. The coach also has 1.5 baths in its two-zone living floorplan. A smaller curbside slideout up front houses the dual control Rest Easy sofa/recliner/bed, stitched in UltraLeather, plus a swivel lounge chair with ottoman.
Located between the master bedroom and living area, the half-bath includes a toilet, large vanity counter and sink with more than adequate maneuvering room. The master bath occupies a wall-to-wall room at the coach aft end and includes a curved-enclosure shower stall, ceramic toilet, a wide vanity with sink and plentiful storage cabinets. A three-section sliding door isolates the bedroom and aft bath from the forward coach living area. This means the main occupants enjoy a private suite out back, and guests also have use of their own bathroom facility without disturbing the hosts. It’s a fun and functional floorplan.
In general, it’s getting harder to tell a gas-powered coach from a higher-end diesel pusher.
The Adventurer’s smooth fiberglass skin and full-body graphics, plus trim exterior detailing, give it high-end visual appeal.
Inside, Winnebago selected a variety of practical but classy materials and appointments. The “coffee glazed” Sierra Maple woodwork is a very different look that’s rich in texture, and optional UltraLeather fabric to accent the cloth fabrics brings in that luxury car appeal.
The usual variety of consumer electronics, such as Sirius satellite radio, exterior-compartment entertainment center, a 26-inch LCD TV and AM/FM/CD entertainment system in the bedroom are available as standard or optional equipment.
Many motorhome shoppers are so taken with a rig’s cosmetics and luxury features they tend to overlook the rig’s payload capacity. With the Adventurer 37F, it’s a good idea to pay attention.
Buyers can choose between three chassis models with three Gross Vehicle Weight Rating totals. The standard chassis is the Workhorse W22 with a 22,000-pound GVWR and powered by a GM 8.1-L Vortec V-8 with an Allison 6-speed automatic.
The Adventurer we drove had this chassis and it did a good job with ride, handling, braking and general performance.
Its fuel economy was about par for a gasoline-powered Class A. However, after deducting the rig’s 21,140-pound weight from the 22,000-pound GVWR, we only had 860 pounds left for Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity.
There are three optional chassis available, a Workhorse W24 rated at 24,000 pounds GVWR, a 6.8-L V-10 gas powered Ford F53 rated at 24,000 pounds GVWR, and a 27,000-pound GVWR Freightliner Fred (Front Engine Diesel) chassis powered by a Cummins 6.7-L ISB diesel engine. These other chassis will have different weights compared with the base W22, and will result in higher OCCC figures.
RV fans who plan to haul a lot of equipment along, per the large-capacity cargo compartments in the Adventurer, should consider one of these chassis alternatives to avoid overloading the coach.
All of these chassis feature solid axles and leaf spring suspension, which is a solid, reliable setup. Another standard feature, transmission grade braking, helps downshift and hold a lower transmission gear while descending a steep grade. This is a big help as it uses engine compression to help the operator down the hill without overtaxing the chassis service brakes.
The Winnebago name is iconic both in and outside the RV industry, and the new Adventurer seems well poised to carry on that image. — Jeff Johnston, Motor Matters
Photos courtesy Jeff Johnston: The Winnebago Adventurer 37F motorhome has a full-wall streetside slideout room plus a smaller curbside slideout. There’s no lack of stretch-out room in the master bedroom and the adjacent private master bath turns the area into a fully featured bedroom suite.
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2010