This article was originally published in the March/April 2021 issue of Escapees magazine.
Over the past several years, Winnebago® has been compiling feedback, researching, and testing out ways to make a diesel pusher that will delight RV lovers with its design and thoughtful features. This led to an Escapees-inspired motorhome that would appeal to many avid RVers. Through discussions with Escapees members, it became obvious that RVers want the flexibility to take their class-A diesel motorhomes to state and national parks on occasion to boondock.
The motorhome also needed to be powerful enough to handle mountain terrain while remaining safe and stable. As one respondent noted: “My first extra dollar would go toward having the factory put in stabilizers and springs to improve the ride so I don’t have to.” One of the top requests Winnebago has received from current owners and the Escapees community is for a shorter diesel class-A option in order to fit in national and state parks easier.
As part of their research process, Winnebago has identified different RV owner profiles to help guide them in the design of a new motorhome. One research participant shared: “I live in a nice home, so I want a nice finish and quality materials in my RV.”
Throughout its history, Winnebago has always valued feedback from owners. However, the company’s recent research initiative with Escapees RV Club has allowed special access to the vast knowledge base of this extremely passionate community of RVers. Through events, surveys, interviews and online discussion boards, the Winnebago team has been diligently taking notes on what you want most in an RV and then finding ways to make it happen. “I enjoy hearing what RVers have to say about how they use their RV. I hear the emotion behind their words. The emotions are what motivate me,” shares Winnebago Product Planner Jack Decker. “Talking with RVers, I hear side comments and teasing with their traveling partners about things in RV life that no survey would ever expose.”
Now the all-new Journey® is here to prove Winnebago’s commitment to not only listening to the voice of the customer but using those insights to drive innovation. Fans of Winnebago have been asking for a new, high-end diesel pusher for years and, at long last, the all-new Journey is here. Proudly built in Forest City, Iowa, this class-A motorhome is packed with the features RVers requested.
Large, Functional Storage
One of the constant requests of RVers of every kind is more storage. And not just any storage, but compartments that are usable and can function as a place to store those large or awkward items.
With its industry leading SureStore™ exterior compartments, the Journey allows the RVer to bring along those nice-to-have or just-in-case items they would usually be sad to part with for their trip. Do you want to bring along a folding outdoor patio set, workout equipment and ice cream maker? There’s room. And no one has to part with their golf clubs or inflatable kayaks to make those extra items fit.
The large SureStore™ exterior compartments also have secure-close doors with an easy push button that softly opens and closes. No more slamming each door shut to make sure it latches correctly. Each compartment is lined and lighted to make it even easier to organize and find items.
Of course, Winnebago didn’t skimp on the indoor storage either. You’ll find plenty of storage in every room, including a large, customizable wardrobe in the bedroom. After years of gathering Voice of Customer research, this diesel pusher is packed with the most-requested features.
Industry-leading Quiet Ride
As many RVers know, a highway can be a very noisy place, especially when the contents of an RV are rattling around along the way. Not with this diesel pusher. Did you know it is possible to test RVs for the amount of white noise they let in? Winnebago tested the Journey extensively to make sure it was as quiet as possible.
This more enjoyable driving experience is thanks to the Freightliner® XCM Chassis, with an integrated Maxum II™ foundation which has 4x torsional stiffness, 30 percent stronger than before, providing a smoother ride backed by diesel power.
With an automotive cockpit, convenient placement of instrumentation and optimized driver visibility, the Journey also offers an overall better and safer drive. Experience driver safety and comfort while enjoying the views, company and, if passengers will allow, the quiet peace of the open road. This motorhome is available in three lengths: 34, 36 and 40 feet, all powered by an 8.9L, 380hp Cummins L9 turbodiesel engine. Choose from six different full-body paint colors, with high-gloss sidewalls.
Modern Interiors With a Residential Feel
The design of this RV was inspired by the comforts of home – starting with its best-in- class entry door opening and generous entry area. The floor is also flat throughout, giving a more residential feel and making it safer to access all parts of the RV without having to cross over big steps.
The more neutral palette allows the quality craftmanship of the furnishings to shine from high-end leather and frameless cabinets to top-of-the-line appliances – including an 18-cubic-foot double-door residential refrigerator/freezer.
Because we’ve heard how much everyone loves to socialize inside their RV, the lounge in the Journey was designed especially with entertaining in mind. It features opposing slide-outs ideal for chatting with guests, and the seating also has sightlines to the 50-inch HDTV, which includes a home theater soundbar system, perfect for family movie nights or game day get-togethers. When it’s time to take the party outside, there is also an exterior entertainment center, with a 40-inch TV and home theater soundbar system. To top it all off, the Winnebago ConnectTM upgraded control panel offers convenient access to all major coach systems from one easy-to-use panel or even through an app on your phone.
Largest Shower In Class
Winnebago has designed the dream bathroom for those who worry about having no space to move around. The all-new Journey has the largest shower in its class, designed to not only make it easier for RVers to stand in, but to also comfortably wash up. For those RVers who have to crouch down to fit under the showerhead or struggle to move around without bumping an elbow on the wall, feel free to celebrate!
The shower in the Journey is 30-inch by 42-inch. These wider and taller dimensions paired with larger tanks, on-demand hot water, plus a rainfall showerhead, may make taking a shower in your motorhome even nicer than some top hotels nearby.
Large Walk-Around King Bed With Medical Device Nightstand
Traveling in an RV doesn’t have to mean squeezing into tighter spaces. With the Journey, RVers can enjoy a bedroom with a large king bed that actually has space to walk on either side of it! The Easy Make™ bed system removes the struggle of wrestling with sheets when it is time to make the bed. When ready to relax, there’s a power incline headrest, perfect for catching a show on the 40-inch HDTV.
In addition to the customizable wardrobe and under-bed storage, the bedroom also features nightstands with medical device storage, 110-V outlets and USB ports. Having a place to store medical devices and other essentials while keeping them charged has been a recurring request Winnebago is excited to oblige in the Journey.
With so many requested features packed into one room, Decker describes the bedroom as “one of the most obvious Voice of Customer results.”
Strong and Safe
Not only is the Journey built on a stronger foundation to offer a smoother, safer ride, the Freightliner® XCM Chassis, with an integrated Maxum II foundation, is custom made for Winnebago to provide as much storage space as possible. It also has larger tanks (50% more gray, 15% more black) and a 3000-watt inverter to make boondocking easier. Plus, it has a side radiator for easy access when getting service or maintenance done on your motorhome.
With premium amenities, an outdoor home theater setup, best-in-class storage and opposing seating in the lounge for enjoying time with guests, it is probably no surprise that the Journey was built with the “stylish entertainer” in mind!
Let’s Keep Talking
The insights Winnebago has received from the Escapees community have been key in creating innovative designs that offer both style and functionality. The Journey is only the latest example of that. The company is excited to continue working together to drive innovation in the RV industry. Thank you for inspiring new ideas, and please keep sharing your feedback. The Winnebago team is listening and ready to check off more boxes on your RV wish-list.
Learn more at www.winnebago.com.
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Brooke Baum is a freelance writer and the editor of Winnebago’s lifestyle blog, GoLife. She is a previous full-time RVer who has been working with Winnebago and their passionate team of GoLife contributors since 2017 while enjoying life with her husband as a traveling digital nomad.