The Finest Class C on the Road

A 5,000 mile, one-month road test

Don Cohen Don Cohen  |  03.08.2015

When we bought our first Navion two and a half years ago our small collection of RV friends welcomed us into this new circle of adventure with the admonition, “you’re next one will be even bigger.”  Their prediction was true, sort of.

Here we are in our brand new 2015 Navion which is exactly the same size as our previous one, but as our friends predicted, larger both in living space and storage. I’ll deal with that contradiction shortly, but first, before the reviewing begins, here’s a little context.


My wife Terry and I bought our first Navion in late 2012. It was a 2013 model V which was a brand new floorplan featuring a mid-coach bath and twin beds in the back. We never owned a motorhome before, but happily dived into the experience. In two years we traveled over 40,000 miles in the Navion spending about eight of those months living in it. Along the way we developed some great friendships with Winnebago and ultimately I have found myself happily working with the company as the editor of this blog.

Now unlike traditional reviews where a writer gets a coach to drive for a few days or a week and then returns it to the dealer, we wrote a check for OUR Navion. The only difference the second time around is that, given my relationship with Winnebago, we’ve gotten to try out a few ideas that aren’t currently offered.  With a little extra cost for us, and some help from the design team and customer service, we added some features that we think would be nice upgrades in the future. If these, or similar upgrades are of interest, have your dealer talk with Winnebago.  The company has a special customer service department that can, within certain limitations, provide special order upgrades at additional cost.

Navion enters factoryA Navion is born.  With the chassis frame in place, our Navion starts it’s journey through “Big Bertha” to be assembled.

Navion chassis railsBefore it goes into the factory, the plumbing and wiring harnesses are installed.

Navion on assembly lineThe slide is on!  Look closely and you’ll see the furnace and hot water heater being installed.

Navion ready for paintingAll assembled and ready for paint.  In the span of about seven days, 18 people will be involved in the painting process.

Navion kiss goodbyeDon says goodbye to our well-traveled 2013 Navion V.

Navion at TranswestDay one.  We take delivery at our dealer, Transwest, just north of Denver.

Navion Container StoreNext stop.  Parking the Navion in front of the Container Store for two hours of trying out various storage solutions.

Navion Transwest giftStarting off right.  A very thoughtful gift from Transwest including a surprisingly good Merlot labeled “Happy Camper.”

Navion Texas PanhandleAnd here we go as we enter the Texas Panhandle.  For our first road test, we drove from Denver to Key West and spent 5,200 miles and a month traveling in the Navion. We had it in below freezing weather and in warmer temps that allowed us to test every system.

Changes big and small

In my tech life I’m often asked by friends about when should they consider upgrading their hardware and software. Like tech, with every new year, the changes in motorhomes is usually incremental. The differences in the 2015 models will be very evident to owners of 2011 and older models. Yet even in two years since we bought our 2013 V, Winnebago has made some significant and much appreciated changes to the line.

The Mercedes Chassis

Mercedes updated the Sprinter chassis in 2014 and outside of front grill changes, there’s seems to be very little difference from our 2012 chassis. However, Winnebago is now ordering the chassis configurations with steering wheel controls. As part of the steering wheel package there’s a change in the dashboard with a much nicer LED-like display showing engine messages. You access the message center with a button cluster on the left slide of the wheel. And, for me, there was a lot to like with this new arrangement.

First of all, you don’t need to reset the outside temperature display. Once it’s set. It remains there. Stepping through the dashboard menus you can check oil level (when stopped) and monitor engine temperature. One really nice feature is the estimate of how many miles until empty. This is only a rough gauge, but helpful. And one area where Mercedes went in reverse — in a good way — was to swap the electronic gauge bars with a low tech, but accurate, needle gauge. Old school, but much nicer.

Navion DashboardA better digital display on the Mercedes dash, plus an analog (but accurate) fuel gauge.

The right side steering wheel buttons let you control volume and switch modes with the new Xite GPS Infotainment system, but unlike the icons on the steering wheel, those buttons do not allow you to answer or hang up the phone.


There is also one more significant change to the Sprinter and that’s the service interval. This is not a typo:  the first service (and subsequent ones) happens at 20,000 miles!  Yes, that’s the first time you change oil, too. I re-read the manual twice to make sure on that one.

The Coach

From the outside in let’s take a comprehensive look at our new Navion. Of course, all of these comments apply to the View with the only difference between the Winnebago and Itasca models being slightly different choices of fabrics and exterior colors.

Aluminum wheels. Somewhere near Holbrook, Arizona we left behind a wheel simulator (aka hubcap) a few years ago and, as any View/Navion owner learns, these things have a way of coming off, so wire ties are in order for securing them. And, for those who have lost a simulator or two, you know they’re a couple of hundred dollars to replace. When we bought our first Navion the extra cost for aluminum wheels seemed like a total fluff. But this time around, not having to mess with or worry about the simulators, seemed like a small, albeit luxurious expenditure.

Full body paint. The other “who needs it?” option was full body paint. Winnebago does a very nice job with their graphics appliqués over the gel coat walls and it’s definitely a big gulp to consider spending over $6,000 for paint. Outside of the more upscale aesthetic of full body paint, there are two other considerations. The first is that paint can be better matched for touchup, buffed up, and doesn’t oxidize over time like gelcoat. The other, is the equivalent of “curb appeal” in selling a home. While you won’t recover your full investment cost in this upgrade, it can make a difference in a better and faster resale or trade-in.

Exterior Storage. If you want to get a good sense of how a View/Navion stacks up against a competitor’s product, one of the best places to look is at the underneath storage compartments and doors. The feel and precision of the gas-strut assisted, box folded aluminum doors says it all.

Entry Door. And while we’re on the subject of gas struts, let’s talk about the new front door. The gas strut holds it open at a 90 degree angle which now eliminates the tendency to swing in the way of the awning when it’s being extended. This also eliminates the metal anchor rod we used to have to use to hold the door fully open. Adding the strut required more structural reinforcement of the door and it feels very substantial. Best yet, many View/Navion owners (including us) fought the issue of a going down the road squeak coming from the door latch. This seems to have been fixed with the new door and we never heard a peep.

Navion doorA much stronger coach door with a gas strut to hold it open.

Awning. Before we head inside the coach there are two other new features that we really liked. The first is the outside porch light is now an LED and a very bright one at that. The awning, when extended, is also lit with blue cast LEDs (less likely to attract mosquitos) and throws a beautiful envelope of light. One warm evening in Tampa we ate outside with friends under the awning and the ambiance was pretty magical.

Floorplans. The product line has three different floorplans the G (2 slides, mid-bath, queen walk around bed in back), V (1 slide, mid-bath, twin beds in back),on and the J (1 slide, U-dinette, and corner rear bed).

The J corner bed floorplan is perhaps the most universal floorplan found in most every RV manufacturer’s smaller products. There’s a reason for that. By putting the bed in the corner, you free up very valuable wall space and create a greater sense of openness in the coach and storage under the bed. For 2015 Winnebago stretched the J body style out to the 25.5’ length to achieve parity with the other floorplans and, in so doing, created more space.

Storage. Compared to our V, the new J gave us a lot more storage space than we’d anticipated. Our V was pretty well packed, and when we loaded everything into the J we found a lot more – and I mean a lot more room.

To start with, we picked up another equally large outside storage bay in the driver’s side of the rig. Our V only had one. There is storage underneath all three of the U-dinette’s three seats which allowed us to bring some outside storage items, like paper towels, toilet paper, and vacuum cleaner inside.

We opted for the overhead bunk instead of the skylight profile model (which we had in our V). There are some really nice molded storage crannies under the mattress which was ideal for infrequently used items like our portable CB radio, walkie talkies, and some extra flashlights. When parked, we liked the shelf-like space on the mattress to temporarily set clothes, maps, cameras, etc. We also stored the optional booster cushions for the two cab seats up above.

With the TV cleverly mounted on a swing out bracket in front of an above the galley cabinet, I now had easy access to the TV electronics (we have a Dish satellite receiver and I also added an HDMI switcher and AppleTV). But beyond the electronics gear there was plenty of room for bags of chips, bread, and a toaster.

The cabinet doors on both the galley and vanity run from the floor to the counter and, when opened, reveal a lot more accessible space. It made it much easier to see and access items. This was a huge improvement. The full pull-out drawers in the galley were great, but there was one suggestion I made to Winnebago and that’s to deepen the thin top drawer by just about a half inch so standard silverware trays will clear. As it was, we found a great organizer which I had to slice about a quarter of an inch off with a Dremel tool to get it to fit.

The base of the corner bed lifted up effortlessly with the help of a gas strut. We came to appreciate this feature more and more as it made access to vertically stored wine bottles, electric space heater, and extra towels super easy to get to. The outside access to this same large compartment also allowed me to move the lawn chairs in and out easily and get to all our bike and hiking gear too.

All the overhead cabinets now have positive latching hardware and, being stylish in their Italian design, good hand feel. Both of us really liked the classy look of the high gloss cabinetry which is an optional cost. Yes, yes — we knew that there would be a little extra wiping down for fingerprints and smudges, but that proved to be actually very minimal and we remain happy with our decision.

Moving from one floorplan to another took some figuring out. Right after we picked our Navion up from our dealer (Transwest, north of Denver), we immediately drove to a local mall and parked it right in front of the Container Store. For the next two and a half hours we walked in and out of the store trying various organizers. Everybody packs differently, but no matter what your storage theories are, a trip to a Container Store is highly recommended.

Furniture. The centerpiece, and big deciding factor to switching to the J floorplan, is the beyond spectacular U-shaped dinette. I talked about the great storage under the seats, but the seats themselves are worth mentioning. They are built like residential furniture with springs underneath the padding and Ultraleather’s Primera covering. What this means is, unlike foam blocks, the long term sitting comfort is much better. The Winnebago design engineers also came up with a fantastic fold-out footrest/ottoman solution that is so sturdy you can sit on it without worry when it’s fully extended. Like the best loungers, the footrest tilts slightly forward for maximum comfort.

Navion OttomanSuper comfortable footrests are so strong you can comfortably sit on them too.

Watching the new Insignia 28” TV with our feet up proved to be an extraordinarily comfortable position. Our enjoyment was enhanced by the placement of the TV speakers right above our heads which created a surprisingly good home theater effect.

A rectangular table swivels and locks on a center post. And boy, did we swivel it throughout the evening as, for dinner we’d lock it down where Terry and I would sit across from each other while dining. Later, when watching TV, reading, or using our laptops with our feet up, we’d turn the table ninety degrees for more sitting width and a great place to set a mug or glass.

A furniture option we chose were the “booster seats” for the driver and passenger seats. For extended stays we rotated the seats in toward the coach and with the boosters, found them to be exceptionally comfortable for reading, watching TV, or conversing.

We never got around to sleep testing either the overhead bunk or the turning the dinette into a bed. However, we did try preparing both beds and found the process easy to do.

Our single biggest concern about the J floorplan was dealing with a corner bed. All the worries were there: hard to make, hard to get into, too narrow, and what if one needs to get up in the middle of the night. Yep, that one made us nervous. Well, the very good news was that, for us, none of these worries came true (big sigh of relief).

Navion rear interiorThe corner bed worked for us, especially with the convenience of a Travasak (no longer manufactured, but similar to the RV Superbag). For more information on bedding click here for a more in-depth story.  The shelf above the bed was a great place to place our iPads and phones for charging while we were sleeping. Under-bed storage access with a gas strut lift made lifting the bed very easy.

First of all we solved the bed making with a combination comforter and sheet system that is essentially a fancy sleeping bag. I’m 5’ 11” and it was great not having my feet touch a bulkhead wall like they did in our V because the J bed is 80” long. As I usually got into bed after Terry was asleep (on the shorter inside position), I barely disturbed her as I crawled onto the outside position. At home, we sleep on a queen sized bed and the J is more like a super full sized mattress, but after a month of experience we both concluded that the bed was both comfortable and easy to deal with. Our home mattress is a TempurPedic and while the standard Winnebago mattress isn’t that fancy, the quality of the foam and additional tufting was a noticeable improvement over pure foam slabs.

Electrical power.  As we did with our first Navion, we ordered the more expensive Onan diesel generator.  With a $4,000 dollar higher cost than the LP version, it’s a point of lively debate among View/Navion owners.  I’m afraid I cannot offer any perfect wisdom on which is better.  For us, we like the convenience of being able to tank up at any filling station with diesel instead of the less convenient process of finding LP.  If you don’t anticipate heavy generator use, the LP version is probably the way to go.  A significant majority of View/Navions are sold with LP generators.  Having tested both, the sound level and vibration is essentially the same.  One surprise to me is that there is a distinct smell from the LP exhaust that can be equally annoying inside the coach if a breeze is blowing in the wrong direction or you’re hemmed in by two semis at a truck stop.

Navion Zamp panelTucked away behind a cabinet door are the coach controls and the Zamp Solar monitoring panel.

Many View/Navion owners have added solar to their rigs and that was another special option we had Winnebago’s customer service install.  They went with a Zamp Solar 150 watt, 30 Amp single panel system.  On our first trip, we did very little dry camping (mostly parking lot overnights in transit), so I wasn’t able to get a sense of the speed and efficiency of the charger.  What I did observe is that, even in open shade or overcast, that the panel was pushing electrons to the batteries.  This is a truly set-it-and-forget-it technology that quietly does it’s job.  In a deeper read of Zamp’s information, the company explains that the auxiliary solar charge extends battery life by reducing the deep discharge cycle of the batteries.

Lighting. Of course all RV manufacturers have switched over to energy efficient LED lighting, but Winnebago’s also taken advantage of using LED lighting strips as part of their interior design with indirect accent lighting. This creates a very warm pleasing residential feel in the evenings and the word “classy” certainly seems to be the best descriptor. One change owners of older View/Navion units will notice is there are no labels on the light switches. At first I thought this was an oversight, then it was pointed out to me that we don’t label our lights at home. Good point. We quickly got used to knowing which switch was for what.

Electronics. I will discuss the new Xite Infotainment GPS in-dash option in a separate review. Of course the first question most folks will have is the $1,500 option really worth it. In a word: yes. This is a specially designed product for Winnebago that has enough compelling features, including the Rand McNally RV GPS software, to make it a better choice than other aftermarket solutions. We used it a lot and, once we took the time to really learn it’s many features, really appreciated having it.

Navion Xite radioThe Xite Infotainment GPS system uses Rand McNally’s GPS software which did a great job of getting us to where we wanted to go.

I would personally prefer a better fidelity solution to cab audio, but that’s really a Mercedes issue. Let’s face it, the Sprinter’s a delivery van so good audio fidelity is a lot less important than. . .20,000 miles between oil changes. The audio’s not bad, mind you, but it certainly doesn’t sound like riding in a Mercedes E-class.

Built into the galley cabinet is the Jensen house sound system that controls speakers inside and outside the coach. Winnebago has clearly upgraded the interior speakers and we really enjoyed the audio for both music and television. When we streamed the final episodes of “Game of Thrones” to get caught up to the new season, the sound was really theatrical and, the placement of the speakers over our heads insured that no British accented dialogue was missed.

The Jensen also now allows you to stream bluetooth music which I did from my iPhone and MacBook. It has a regular DVD player built-in (not Blu-ray) which we didn’t test. Now, I’m not a persnickety audiophile, but I can and do appreciate good clean sound. And in that regard the Jensen is a very middling performer. Great? No. Good enough for 95% of owners. Absolutely.

The other Jensen product is the rear bedroom TV. Winnebago uses this product for a couple reasons: it’s compact and it runs off of 12 volts. It’s a unique product that does it’s job, though not impressively. The screen viewing angle is very, very limited, but the good news is that, while watching in bed you’re looking directly at it, so the screen looks fine. The weak spot, and boy is it a weak spot, is that the speakers are tiny and don’t put out much volume. In our last V I added an amplifier and auxiliary speakers. For our new J I found an elegant solution by tucking a JBL portable speaker above the TV mounting bracket. This proved to be a very good sounding and flexible solution.

The main TV in the front of the coach is a nice looking Insignia flat screen with very decent angular viewing. The only drawback is that it’s a 120 volt screen, but that’s not a big issue as it’s plugged into an inverter driven outlet so you can run it off of house batteries if you’re dry camping and don’t want to run your generator.

One of our special changes was to have customer service to run an HDMI cable from the front cabinet, where my satellite box is located, back to the Jensen bedroom TV. In standard installations the high def signal coming from the satellite got turned into a lower def composite signal (less sharp, cropped picture). Having a cable pulled (next to impossible to run after the coach is built) allowed me to not only have hi-def satellite on both screens, but also hi-def video streaming from our Apple TV box.

Galley. To create more living space, the new J floorplan cleverly places the microwave above the closet on the slideout side. We found this to be a very convenient arrangement that helps eliminate traffic congestion during meal preparation. Though galley counter space is limited, the glass cover over the Dometic 2-burner stove definitely helps. We found that keeping one cover on one side of the dual sink also added a little more work surface. In 2014 Winnebago switched from wood sink covers (decorative yet prone to break) to a hard plastic which is a much better product.

Navion refrigeratorIt’s a lot more convenient having a separate freezer door with the Norcold.

The hands down winning upgrade in the galley is the switch to a Norcold refrigerator instead of the Dometic. We found the Norcold to be far and away a better product. First of all, it did a much better job of switching between power sources. As we disconnected from campground 120V hookups and traveled down the road, it automatically switched to gas. We really appreciated the separate freezer door unlike the Dometic where you had to open the whole refrigerator door to get to the awkward fold-down freezer compartment door. Finally, the Norcold got colder and held temperature much better than the Dometic which always struggled. We were shocked when a can of pop actually froze on the top shelf of the fridge and found that we could maintain cold temperature at the number 3 (out of 5) setting. This also meant that ice cubes would freeze in a few hours, versus overnight.

Ventilation. We had the Dometic power skylight on our V and were happy to have it in the J. Its something we enjoy and use a lot. Winnebago made a pretty bold choice to remove a vent over the two-burner stovetop. For exhausting cooking smells and vapor they added a fairly quiet fan, mid-coach, that did a pretty effective job. It’s not as good an over the stove vent hood, but we were pleased at how well it worked.

The ceiling AC/Heat unit worked as expected with the added bonus of a little more controllability with air vents also on the unit’s ceiling cover plate.

The standard Suburban gas forced air furnace didn’t offer up any surprises and worked as expected. However, clearly attention was paid to installing it in a way that helped decrease the fan noise — not by a lot, but it definitely was quieter than our previous V.

Another special feature we had installed by Winnebago’s customer service was the new Maxxfan Deluxe made by MaxxAir. This was installed in place of the normal bathroom vent. As we expected, it served as both a bathroom vent and a whole-coach high capacity air exhaust fan. It’s quiet and super controllable. We mounted the IR remote control in the bathroom where you could access it from a, uh, sitting position if you didn’t plan ahead. The fan’s speeds are adjustable and can be easily programmed to open up to exhaust air at a pre-determined temperature. When the fan starts the skylight cover automatically raises and is designed to keep leaves, twigs and insects out when open. This is one impressive product and the good news is for existing View/Navion owners, it installs in the standard vent dimensions so it should be fairly straightforward to add as aftermarket upgrade. Fantastic product.

Windows. So let me borrow the words from the last paragraph:  excited, impressive, fantastic and let me add the word awesome to the list. What am I describing?  The Seitz acrylic windows that Winnebago offers as an option on the Via/Reyo and was happy try out in our Navion.

Navion windows see throughWith no middle frame dividers and retractable screens, the Seitz acrylic windows offer a wide, bright, panoramic view.

These windows are double glazed acrylics with an integrated screen and blind system. We were keen to try them as we hoped they would offer better insulation when we stay in colder climates. It’s my hope Winnebago will make this option available to future View/Navion owners.

They’re quiet. They don’t rattle. They insulate against cold (drafts) exceptionally well. They cut down on outside evening noise (Walmart parking lot). They offer excellent light and privacy control. And, in a big thunderstorm downpour in the Florida Keys that woke us up at 2 AM, I checked to see if any rain was coming in with our bedroom window tilted open. Nope. Not a drop.

Navion tilted windowsGood ventilation with the built-in screens in place were perfect to protect against rain and bugs in the Florida Keys.

Time will tell how the windows hold up (don’t use ammonia based cleaning products), but their popularity and high volume adoption in Europe bodes well.

Navion Remis shadesThe Remis shades not only offer privacy, but help keep the coach cool when parked in the sun.

And I can’t leave the window category without a quick mention of the Remis shades in the front of cabin.  We had this option on our V and a must have again on the new J.  They operated flawlessly in two years of use on first Navion.  There have been reports of hearing a rattle on the side blinds and in our first Navion that was easily fixed with a small drop of silicone sealant on the lower slide rail.

Final thoughts

So what went wrong?  Not much. Transwest took care of a couple of pre-delivery items and I was all ready to start in-field adjustments and start keeping a fixit list. Well, the toolbox didn’t have to come out for any coach related items. And the fix list? There was only one — a squeak under the rear floor that’ll require a little extra tightening/anchoring. That’s it. But, from what our dealer tells me, View/Navion products arrive with very few bugs in them.

It really helped having previously owned another Navion. And even though there was only a two year difference in model years, outside of our upgrades and options, there was a strong sense of refinement. This is one highly evolved coach.

With the “all-in” upgrades, including a diesel generator, and post-delivery dealer-installed HWH lifters, our Navion’s price tag places it in much larger Class-A price territory. But this isn’t about buying more square footage. For us it’s about agility, driving performance, comfort and, yes, luxury.

Given our relatively short, but concentrated travel in our first Navion, our switch to the more open J floorplan, with that sensational dinette design, was perfect for us. We felt this gave us more livability and elbow room. However, there are always tradeoffs with compact motorhomes, the good news is that Winnebago offers four floorplans to choose from.

For all the time we’ve spent in friends’ luxurious diesel pusher Class-A’s, we feel that this new rig offers all the benefits and comforts of a large coach, so in that respect our friends were right – we do like the “larger size.”  Now, where are we going to put the washer and dryer stack?

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  1. J. Dean May Posted on 03.11.2015

    Informative and fun story to read. Nice review of the 2015 model along with nice commentary regarding the switch from the V to J floor plan. Thanks for a well-written and colorful review.

  2. Dickie IN NY 07View J Posted on 03.19.2015

    Nice write up and yes they are a wonderful addition to our lives, we love our so much. We have the 07 View J. Have you had any problem with the sheet metal storage containers under your rig? Ours have rusted out to the point we can not even use them anymore. I have ordered new parts to try and save our motor home, I am afraid the Winnebago may have missed the boat on the metal they used. Hoping the best for you.

    IN NY
    07View J

  3. Lisa D Posted on 03.28.2015

    I think I’ve read this article at least 7 times now. Excellent! Love the paint (I admit I’m not fond of the gelcoat offerings this year). Love those windows!

  4. Richard Posted on 03.30.2015

    Based on your easy reading and informative review, it seems you could almost be describing our 2013 Via. I do have a question for anyone with knowledge of these Sprinter-based RVs…. is there anything that can be done to help reduce the awful sway that occurs when making sharp turns, driving in high wind, entering or exiting fuel stations or other sloped driveways, slowly driving over ground with moderate depth ditches (such as drainage ditches without culvert pipes), etc.? I’ve asked Mercedes, Winnebago and aftermarket companies and none seem to have answers. My parked Via even sways a bit while we walk. Sometimes, it’s enough to cause my Dish oriented satellite antenna to have to turn slightly. But the worst part is the horrible rocking back and forth when we make a turn over pavement or ground that has a dip in the turn. Has anyone else experienced this same problem? Has anyone found a good solution?

  5. Bob Posted on 03.30.2015

    We have a couple friends that have Via/Reyos with the Seitz windows. Both wish they would have got just the standard windows because after a couple years, the Seitz windows started clouding up from weatherization. Both have onlly used Windex non-ammonia glass cleaners. One lives in texas, one in Minnesota…..
    Beautiful new unit guys…..

  6. Lisa D Posted on 04.07.2015

    Clouding? I believe the recommendation is to simply use either the cleaner designed for the acrylic or simple soapy water with microfiber and ensuring you’re not rubbing dirt into it.
    They’ve been used forever in Europe with no issues like that if cared for right. USA seems to have a fear of Seitz LOL

  7. Danny Posted on 04.15.2015

    I really enjoyed this very informative article. We just made a deposit on a loaded 2016 Itasca Navion. Dealer expects it in about two weeks. We’ve loved all your articles on

  8. rosemary patterson Posted on 05.19.2015

    if you could tell me how you hooked up apple tv i would be most grateful. it won’t be recognized plugged into the hdmi outlet in the cabinet OR plugged into the tv directly. no problem with roku and i know for the sure the apple tv works. any idea????

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 05.20.2015


      Hmmm. I’m a little stumped too. I’ve plugged our AppleTV directly into the HDMI input on the TVs (I’ve done this with both the Jensen and Insignia models that Winnebago uses). If the Roku worked with a particular cable, try that one with the Apple TV. Substitution is one of the go-to techniques in troubleshooting. Some TVs have multiple HDMI inputs and you have to use their remotes to switch between them. Many sets with HDMI inputs need to sense power from the connected device. After powering your ATV up you might try using your remote to reselect the input to see if it displays.

  9. Larry Posted on 05.28.2015

    Why does Winnebago relentlessly use Jensen as their AV vendor. They produce sub par, failure prone AV equipment. Also agree with the comment about the suspension. We should not need to do upgrades to get the coach to handle properly regarding sway. And yes, the lack of labeling on the light switches is an oversight. Fan-Tastic fans used to be standard and are now optional. Really? And no exhaust fan above range. Really. Nice try Winnebago, but I find these deficits unacceptable!

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 06.20.2015

      Your observations point out some challenges, but also overlook some broader perspectives.

      I agree that the Jensen products, compared to higher end home electronics and premium radios is cars, are mediocre. There are improvements and alternatives coming into the RV world, but electronic manufacturers look at the RV industry as a whole as a fairly small market and it’s more a case of tepid customer demand and limited profitability that I suspect has kept other electronic manufacturers from jumping into the market.

      With 50,000 miles of Navion experience, I’ve certainly encountered some sway issues, but have never found them too bothersome. I think that’s more a personal preference issue. However, I also know that Mercedes is very fussy about what they’re willing to add to their chassis (Winnebago as policy follows Mercedes chassis rules and specs to a T), in the case of larger motorhome shells which tend to be more sway prone (as opposed to their vans), Mercedes probably puts that at a lower priority for motorhome chassis, given the lower volumes.

      I too, at first, missed the labeling of the light switches. But, as I said, they’re not labeled in my home and I did quickly form habits knowing what switch did what.

      The new Max-air fan we have is definitely superior to the Fan-tastic fan. You get what you pay for and I think the upgrade cost was well worth it.

      And finally, your comment about the lack of an exhaust fan over the burners did mirror my own concern. Designing for small form factor motorhomes is a real challenge. And, with the new design of our J floorplan we were thrilled to get more cabinet space and a larger window — none of which would have been possible with a traditional exhaust fan (like we had on our V). While not as effective, running the ceiling fan and cracking open the window behind the stovetop, does a reasonable job of exhausting water vapor and odors. Though we do cook quite a bit in our rig, I’ll take the wider, brighter panoramic window and extra cabinet space any day over a vent hood.

  10. Mark F Posted on 06.19.2015

    Are the HWH lifters mainly just stabilizers or can they be used as levelers as well? Did you have 2 or 4 of them installed & what approx.was the cost?
    Your article was very informative-thanks for all the info.
    Mark & Jeannie F

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 06.20.2015

      The lifters are only levelers. There are four installed and they are computer controlled to auto-level. For the View/Navion you have to buy them for aftermarket installation (not a factory option). They can be installed by HWH at their factory in Iowa or by authorized dealers throughout the US. The approximate cost is $4,500 – $5,000.

  11. Old Forester… Posted on 06.24.2015

    Don…Just a “thank you” for your very readable and honest contributions. After much head-scratching I think that your inputs pushed me to order-up a 2016 Nation from Transwest (I live up in Laramie, WY.) …Really like your writing style; keep it up!

  12. Duane Posted on 07.11.2015

    Great comments! Useful. I’m picking up a 2016 Navion J model and am struggling with the pros/cons of the extended warranty protection plan. The dealer wants $1195 for paint/fabric protection, $645 for “Coach-Net” for 5 years, $495 tire and wheel protection and $3495 for a 60 mo – 50k extended service agreement. Any pearls of wisdom?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 07.12.2015


      Many buyers face similar choices at purchase time. One of the finest places you can get good advice is on the very lively Navion/View Yahoo forum. Post your question and I guarantee you that you’ll get plenty of informed opinions.

  13. Bill Lockyear Posted on 07.13.2015

    Took our 2011 View24G into shop this weekend which forced us to look at a new 2015. Wow, great changes. Your review confirms many of our thoughts, thanks.

    As far as those with sway issues, check out They have a combination of sway bar, springs and shocks that really smooth out the rig. I have only installed the sway bar but it made a significant difference. Good luck.

  14. Kay Bailey Posted on 07.16.2015

    I was glad for this article and comments because I just picked up my Navion 24J. I had a class A before but it was just too large for me. So nice and comfortable. Thanks for the comparison.

  15. Ivan Suggitt Posted on 07.16.2015

    Have they improved the awning on the 2015s. We have a 2012 and if you are sitting on a little incline to the front the water runs right down the door. Thus when it is raining or even lots of dew you must leave the door shut or the door is wet and drips on to the inside step

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 07.17.2015

      Yes, the design and the actual awning has changed and we haven’t experienced any drips on the steps.

  16. Jeannie Posted on 07.16.2015

    Enjoyed your well written, comprehensive review. I’ve had my 2015 J since Aug 2014 and LOVE it! Would you share with me the exact JBL portable speaker you use for the rear TV and how you placed it so it does not move while the coach is in motion?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 07.17.2015

      I bought a JBL Charge 2 USB/Bluetooth speaker. I added a plug-in cigarette lighter that also had a USB port so I could power the TV and the speaker. One good feature of the speaker is that I could plug a mini stereo cable in from the TV. The speaker is a simple cylinder and, with a little foam padding, it cradles perfectly on the mounting bracket behind the TV. While not inexpensive, this solution provides decent audio (the Jensen’s tiny speakers are very weak) and a tool-less installation solution.

  17. Paul Reamy Posted on 07.16.2015

    You didn’t talk much about the comfort of sleeping. I had a 2011 M and the fold out couch was small and uncomfortable. Ditto for the dinette. And the overhead bunk was like a small cave and also uncomfortable. Is the J corner bed large enough for 2 adults – and comfortable ? thanks

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 07.17.2015


      Your actual sleep experience may vary, but we’ve found the new J corner bed to be extremely comfortable. Winnebago has added a little thickness and quilting and the net result is the mattress feels a lot better than just a plain foam slab. We sleep on a queen bed at home and while this bed is narrower, we haven’t found the width to be a problem. Being taller I sleep on the long side.

  18. Doug Thorpe Posted on 07.16.2015

    Re: Sway issues
    I have a 2009 Navion H model and I stayed away from all the sway bar,
    and spring mods. I did, however, change out the rear shocks to the Bilstein
    shocks. That made a huge difference that was more than sufficient for me.
    Right away, the parking lot issues (speedbumps, to and from roadways,
    etc. AND the overall highway sway issues quite noticibly disappeared.
    Total cost?–$100

  19. Bob Beaman Posted on 07.16.2015

    I was intrigued with the 20,000 mile oil change interval that you stated. I checked with my local Mercedes dealer (Beshoff Motors, San Jose, Ca.) The Service manager assured me that the 2015 Sprinter chassis is 10,000 miles oil change interval. He was looking at the service manual. Would you please verify? Thank you for a great article.

  20. Bob Beaman Posted on 07.16.2015

    I pulled up the 2015 Sprinter manual online and, sure enough, it DOES say 20,000 miles for the oil change interval! I called Mercedes dealer back & he checked with Master Mechanic and he confirmed that Mercedes has been inching up the oil change intervals from 7500 to 10,000 to 15,000 to 20,000. The engine holds so much oil and the engine is very clean burning and they find no breakdown in oil. However, 1 year is still max.

  21. Rick B Posted on 07.25.2015

    Thank you for the great article and forum. Recently purchased a 2016 Navion J and have a 1,500 mile road trip under our belts. Love it! We will now be parking/storing it outdoors at a storage facility 1 mile inland from the ocean, and considering whether to purchase a cover, and if so, what type. Would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks again!

  22. Jon L Posted on 08.02.2015

    My wife and I just purchased a 2016 Winnebago View 24J. For 2016 the Views are essentially the same as the Navions, with slightly different color pallets available. We really like unit overall. A couple of questions: 1) Do any of the readers know of a source for good seat covers for the front, swiveling bucket seats? You would think that they would be easy to find but this is not the case, at least in my experience searching the web. Also, how about fitted covers for the dinette cushions of the J model? Anyone know of a handy source? Thank you, I appreciate the help!


  23. Heath Padgett Posted on 08.13.2015

    I really love the interior of this coach Don. Also, fantastic written article detailing the specs of this coach (and also really making me want to seriously check into the Navion to live in full-time).

    Question: When staying in the rig long term (or for a full-timer), do you feel like you miss having a form of couch that is separate from the table? I noticed the seats have a nice extension, like a recliner, but I’m just curious if only having the option to sit at the table would be a little less comfortable than having a table & a couch? What’s your opinion?

    Also, I’m curious about the over head bed section. It seems as though most manufacturers no longer make the overhead bed with a big window. However, we really enjoy having that extra light come in from the overhead window (especially when there is a nice view). Do you know if there is an option to have this window put in?

    Again, great article.


    1. Don Cohen Posted on 08.13.2015


      We find the livability of the J floorplan to be excellent. The fold up footrests are fantastically well engineered not only for weight, but for comfort in watching TV. The dinette table easily rotates 90 degrees so you have a place to set things, like a drink, while watching TV. But, the table can also be removed and set aside if you’re looking for a more couch-like solution. Of course when you start scaling up at 30′ or longer all sorts of options become available.

      I’ve heard a few others ask about a window behind the bed option, but to the best of my knowledge, Winnebago doesn’t offer that as a custom option. While nice, I’m the the camp that storage trumps view in that part of the coach. Furthermore, more window area means less insulation on cold nights.

  24. Ernie Posted on 08.14.2015

    Excellent article. We have rented several RV’s over the past year and a half. We found the 2013/14 View we rented to have almost sports car like handling as compared to the class C and class A. Has the handling changed any with the additional weight and length (14 inches) of the 2015 model?


    1. Don Cohen Posted on 08.16.2015

      The handling’s the same. For a “delivery truck” the Mercedes steering is remarkably steady and vibration free. The longest single day drive I did in our new Navion was 800 miles — something that wouldn’t be as easy and relaxing (though tiring) on other chassis platforms.

  25. Gregg Posted on 08.16.2015

    We have just purchased a 2015 Navion. It has exceeded our expectations. We can not seem to find insect screen to fit the Norcold venting on the outside of the coach. Have you found a solution for this. Thanks

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 08.16.2015


      I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying your Navion. I did a little fast research on-line and it appears that Camping World has a Camco screen product for Norcold vents. Customer reviews looked very positive.

  26. Ernie Posted on 09.01.2015

    Don—Is the mattress on rear bed “Memory Foam”….or other?


    1. Don Cohen Posted on 09.01.2015

      It’s a regular foam mattress, but with a softer quilted top. We sleep on a TempurPedic at home and find our Navion mattress to be pretty comfortable. I’m a big believer of memory foam mattresses, but they’re heavy and would steal pounds from overall carrying capacity.

  27. Ernie Posted on 09.01.2015

    Don–Thanks for the info. We also have a TempurPedic at home. Right on the weight. We added a two inch memory foam topper on our boat. Worked well.


  28. Lee G Posted on 09.07.2015

    Regarding Apple TV and HDMI… be sure your hdmi cable is plugged in the correct direction. Some of those cables are UNI directional… they do not work when plugged in the “wrong” direction. The plug should have an arrow or a label on it, make sure you have it oriented correctly.

    — Lee

  29. Brian Posted on 09.17.2015

    Does the dinette turn into an actual bed/sleeping area?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 09.20.2015

      Yes it does.

  30. john Posted on 09.29.2015

    Hi Don, like most of your readers I loved the write up. I have just purchased a 2013 Via 25Q and love the build quality by Winnebago. Many of the points you mention do mirror those in the Via. The two speakers located under the storage units in the living area do not work and I want to know if you have any fixing tips…such as probable cause and how to get to the wires. Also, should the Jensen ‘centre’ dim? The lighting is quite bright, I have read the instructions to dim the lighting but nothing happens other than it dims for a moment then returns to bring bright again. I loved your Remis shades, can they be fitted as retrospectively?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 10.04.2015

      There may be two things to look at when trying the get your speakers to work. The first may be as simple as looking at your Jensen. The AWM968 that we have has switches for three speaker zones. Two are indoor and one is outdoor. If the switch doesn’t work, I’m afraid that’s a wiring hunt to figure out what is causing the disconnect. Finally, regarding the Jensen, unfortunately there’s no way to dim the display. Wish there was.

      Because the Via/Reyo front end design uses a larger windshield and custom cab interior, the Remis shades won’t work. They’re designed specifically for the Sprinter cab.

      Hope you’real enjoying your Via as much as we do our Navion.


  31. Mike Posted on 10.06.2015

    Hi Don, fine write up and after reading it the next peg has been placed to secure the spot of number 1 on my short list of what to purchase. I have two questions if I may, #1 is the basement area and tanks in a heated area as I live up in the Northeast where “Old Man Winter” is nuts and at times mad. #2 What do you think of travels with a small dog…enough room? Ok, Hans isn’t a small dog just a little 107 lb. Brenese Mountain Dog which is Therapy Dog Certified and trained. He travels well but at his size he needs about as much room to hang out is as a human would need. Ok so we are retired and want to get every second we can having fun doing retirement crazy things and think the unit will be pretty much the right one. Thanks for your write up!

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 10.07.2015

      No, the under storage compartments are not heated. However, some storage, like under the bed in our J floor plan will stay warm.

      Our friends and GoLife contributors, the Holcombes, live full time in a older and smaller View with their 11 year old daughter and 70 pound lab. So, somewhere early in their travels they figured it out. With a larger dog I’d suggest one of the wider floor plans, specifically a J or M. That gives you more passing space and the opportunity for a larger dog bed/pillow.

  32. Jon L Posted on 10.29.2015

    We have purchased an 2016 View and we really like it. We live in northern New Mexico and are expecting the snow to fly soon. I know that this is a loaded question but do you recommend covering the unit during storage? If you do, who makes the best cover for the 24 foot View/Navions?


    1. Don Cohen Posted on 11.02.2015

      I’m glad you’re enjoying your new View. Being north in Colorado I too am looking to the west and waiting for the first snows. Of course I’m going to sound a little partisan, but Winnebago now sells company branded covers made by ADCO. ADCO is the largest and oldest cover manufacturer in the country. Last spring I got to meet with them and really take a close look at their product. It’s very well constructed and now you can still show off your “Winnie Pride” under those great New Mexico blue skies. Though we store our Navion indoors, just make sure to get all your tanks drained and disconnect the chassis battery (near the accelerator). Here’s a link to the order page:

  33. Lee Posted on 10.30.2015

    Hi Don,
    Such a great article–I don’t know how many times we’ve read it. It has been influential in our decision to order a new 24J next week. Just one question: do you have any more feelings about the acrylic windows? Specifically, any scratching or fogging? Thanks!

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 11.02.2015

      So far our experience with the Seitz acrylic windows has been positive. For cleaning we’ve generally hosed them off and used a vinegar and water solution. I’ve seen a light bit of scratching, but honestly, nothing at all bothersome and you really have to look in the right light. I sleep by the window and on cooler nights the lack of draft from the glass windows is noticeable. It’s much warmer and not as drafty. We both love the controllability of the interior shade/screen system and feel it is superior to the MCDs (which are pretty awesome products in their own right) because of their flexibility. Bottom line — with 15,000 miles of travel on them we’d order them again in a heartbeat.

  34. Roger Posted on 11.01.2015

    Hi Don, how much weight can the dinette/bed support.I weigh about 280lbs, will the insert hold me or break. Thanks

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 11.03.2015

      Winnebago says the dinette bed is engineered to hold at least 300 pounds.

  35. Ernie Hutchins Posted on 11.11.2015

    Hi Don——-I had questions back in July/August about the 24J

    Well we just returned from a 30 day, 3,000 mile trip that took us from Toronto Ontario, through 9 states on the east coast and back in a 2015 24J (profile) rental. What a ride. The 24J performed flawlessly.

    The handling was superb. We drove on everything from interstates to winding hilly roads on Skyline Drive. There was never an issue with power or control. My wife thought it handled like an SUV. The only challenges we had was on our last day of rental when we drove from Pittsburgh PA to Whitby ON, a distance of 365 miles. A cold front came through and wind gusts averaged over 40MPH. As we crossed several bridges over the Niagara Falls canal and Saint Lawrence Seaway crosswinds were gusting to 65MPH. Even with that there was very little movement…and easily correctable. We had the opportunity to drive in NYC and WA DC. Never a problem with turning radius or having to back up in tight spots. Side view cameras (with warning sounds when someone is to close) would have been helpful in a few instances, but not really needed. (Dam cabbies)

    We also had the opportunity to travel and stay in some rather extreme temperature changes. Late fall in the NE will do that to you. Several nights in the Appalachians of VA and in Pittsburgh the temps got down to freezing. We ran the furnace (no heat pump) for about 17 days of the 30 days we were gone. That plus the stove and hot water heater used exactly 3 gallons of propane over the 30 day period. We would
    heat the unit to about 70 degrees at night, jump under the comforter and was still in the high 50’s low 60’s in the AM. We did use the A/C a little in GA and seemed to do the job.

    My fears of the corner bed were laid to rest. We both did okay, and the mattress was very comfy as you mentioned. I went to Walmart and purchased a cheap little stool that my wife used to climb in and out bed with.

    All other systems worked well. We averaged around 15MPG with highway speeds around 63 MPH Hard to figure when the speedo is in Kilometers. At the rip old age of 73, I never learned the easy way to translate. The temp gauge was in Celsius….I can do that though. Double the Celsius reading and add 30.

    I might add that the rental agency was one of the better ones that I have done business with. I have found that to be true of other places that rent in CA. They do a lot of business with Europeans…hence they specialize in MB Sprinter Class C. I would highly recommend in Whitby Ontario. Its 30 minutes east of Toronto, if someone wants to try one before they buy….this is a great experience. Not to mention the 25% exchange in the Canadian dollar….for the time being. We Flew from Vancouver BC to Toronto. They picked us up at the hotel.
    Again a great coach and great experience

    Ernie Hutchins

  36. Janet P. Posted on 11.12.2015

    We recently purchased a 2015 View 24G with the slide out queen bed. We found the same problem with the top drawer under the stove that you did. We intended to put spatulas and other utensils in that drawer as we had a stacking silverware tray that fit nicely in another drawer, however it was too shallow. I purchased several different silverware trays before I found one that fit (from TJ Maxx), but I did have to cut off the rubber feet on the bottom so the drawer would close. It should be made deep enough for utensils/standard silverware trays. We did have some problems with the cabinet latches after driving around some bumpy roads in Maine. They were loosening up and falling apart! The one on the TV broke and it was flying open going around corners! I would make a recommendation for sturdier latches on the doors and drawers. We had one of the large drawers fly open around corners too. We have it at the dealer reinforcing those things. I am also wondering if there is any type of netting or barrier to put across the bunk so we can store things up there ( like those seat booster cushions) so they would not slide off. I have searched the Internet and so has my RV dealer, to no avail. We do like the size, ease of driving, and the gas mileage. It also has a lot of storage, especially in the kitchen.

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 11.13.2015


      Sorry about your latches. Ours have remained tight, but I always recommend an occasional trip through the coach to tighten latches, anchors, etc. As far as netting goes, take a look at What’s really interesting is their customer supplied photos. Some good ideas (and bungee type netting) there too.

  37. Janet P. Posted on 11.14.2015

    Thanks for the link I will check it out. Our latches fell apart on our second trip! We will be sure to check them regularly. I see you put solar panels on your unit. Do you mind posting an approximate cost for that?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 11.14.2015

      Prices seem to range between $700 and $3,000 depending on whether you do it yourself or have a professional company install them. Systems are pretty simple requiring a solar panel (s) and charging controller. Of course one of the biggest challenges is where to run the wires and where to connect.

  38. MotoRV Posted on 11.15.2015

    Thank you for you contribution to the site. This has become the go-to site for RV enthusiasts.

    I have test driven the Navion J plan and found the rocking of the coach needed improvement. Those who installed Sumo Springs have reported a great improvement in handling and ride for a modest investment in cost. Have you heard of the product?

    Also, could you share a bit more about the decision to go with a diesel generator over LP? Having a single fuel source for the engine and generator makes sense in many ways. As an RV enthusiast and a mobile IT professional would the diesel generator be better suited for boondocking for multiple days, running the A/C during the day in hot weather better than an LP generator (i.e mobile office)?

    Thanks again for your insights.

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 11.17.2015

      And thank you for the compliment. And our GoLife team continues to grow with new voices and original and lively content.

      I am aware of the Sumo Springs, but do not have had any firsthand knowledge or experience with that modification. If you haven’t done so already, try searching the View/Navion forum on Yahoo and you’ll see quite a few comments and discussion on aftermarket suspension solutions.

      The diesel v. LP generator debate is right up there with Mac v. PC, Ford V. GM, and similar quasi theological arguments. Again, you’ll find lots of posts on the Yahoo forums — many of which I read as I went back and forth on the decision myself. And at a $4,000 upgrade option, that’s a pretty expensive decision. If you think you’re going to do a lot of boondocking and use the generator a lot, then diesel is probably the way to go. The majority of Views and Navions ship with the LP generators. The biggest draw of LP is the furnace, but even during colder months, you can easily get through a week to ten days without refilling the propane tank.

      You need the “oomph” of a generator for recharging house batteries, running the roof a/c when not hooked up, and (for most folks) cooking (microwave, toaster, etc.) When boondocking (assuming temperate climate and not running the a/c), we generally turn the generator on for cooking and watching satellite TV – as the satellite receiver is a huge amp sucker. If we are just watching over the air, or via the AppleTV, a lot less amps are consumed. I have red several reports of View/Navion owners who have upgraded their batteries (deep discharge 6V AGM, or very expensive lithium ion) and added up to three solar panels for charging. That’s something you can do for less than the upgrade cost to the diesel generator and might mean that the LP version is perfectly adequate.

  39. Sharon Posted on 12.03.2015

    Hi Don…I see that you flat-tow a Honda Fit. We just recently purchased a 2016 Navion. Both of our cars cannot be towed according to the owners manual. We thought about trading in my Honda Civic for a 2016 Fit but when reading the owners manual it states: Improper towing such as towing behind a motorhome or other motor vehicle can damage the transmission. We are puzzled about a tow vehicle.
    eserve tank

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 12.04.2015

      I’m not sure about the manual 2016 Fit, but I know the new automatic in the Fit is a CVT which cannot be towed with all four wheels down. Take a look at the Ford Focus hatchback. Ford actually has a document that lists what products can be towed with an automatic and the Focus is one of them. It compares quite favorably to the fit.

  40. Rick Posted on 12.19.2015

    Don, thank you for the informative site. We purchased a 2016 Navion last summer, and have recently been using propane furnace on occasion. When furnace is running, there seems to be as much hot air forced outside through the furnace exhaust vent as is forced to the interior of the home. Is that normal, or is something blocked and diverting the hot air stream? Thank you for any advice you may offer.

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 12.19.2015


      There will some exhaust heat that comes from the exterior furnace vent. However, if you hold your hand close to the exhaust vent you shouldn’t feel too much air blowing out. If you do, and if you’re reasonably handy and able to access the furnace, you can do a physical inspection to see if the ducts are properly attached. It’s also something your dealer can look at.

  41. Gary Uecke Posted on 12.19.2015

    Regarding the Apple TV/HDMI issue; not all HDMI cables are created equal. Make sure it states “High Speed HDMI with Ethernet” on cable or in specs. I own a custom audio/video installation company and you won’t believe how many issues are caused by poor HDMI cables. Just because it works with one device doesn’t mean it works with all.

    I have another question, and that is why doesn’t Winnebago incorporate tankless water heaters into their motorhomes? I would think a motorhome is the perfect application for this type of device. You would have a constant supply of hot water (not limited to 6 gallon size in View/Navion). I know of another RV company that uses them and to me it’s a no-brainer. Any insight?

    One more comment (since I’m an A/V guy); the TVs used in the View/Navion are about the lowest quality you can get. Insignia is Best Buy’s house brand (owned by them) and that Jensen model has as bad a picture as there is out there. I’ve always associated Winnebago with quality and I was stunned when I saw these particular brands included as equipment. I understand the caveats (Jensen powered by 12V, 28″ Insignia perfect size as a cabinet door replacement) but I would demand better quality in purchasing a motorhome. Would Winnebago be able to run an HDMI cable from current equipment cabinet over to the wardrobe closet (in the slideout area next to dinette) if custom ordered? I’m looking to purchase a View in the near future and would welcome the ability to upgrade the TVs and place a much larger TV on the opposite side of the RV.

    Really enjoyed your article and insights.

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 12.20.2015

      Amen to using quality HDMI cables! I don’t mind using cheapies here and there where they are easily accessible and for non-critical use, but going down the road. . . .you absolutely want good ones.

      You asked about tankless water heaters. Get your checkbook out, it’s now an available option on the 2016 models. The Truma AquaGo looks to be a real winner. And yes, Winnebago plumbs this option with recirculation so hot water is nearly instantaneous. I also loved seeing a single handle control in the shower. This will be a BIG deal for boondockers.

      In our 2015 Navion we have both the Insignia (in the main cabin over the galley) and the Jensen in the bedroom. The Insignia is significantly better in just about every way (sound and picture). I believe Winnebago will now be using Insignia’s instead of Jensen’s for the rear bed TV, too. While the Insignia isn’t at the caliber of a Samsung or Sony, I’ve been very satisfied watching it over the past year and judge it to be a good performer for travel use. For owners who are looking to swap out their older TV’s many Insignias will run on 12V which is a big plus.

      Running an auxiliary HDMI cable for a second TV during construction is a “case by case” option with Winnebago and is probably floorplan dependent. The company did run a cable for me in our coach for an extra cost so we get an HD signal to the bedroom screen.

  42. Don weippert Posted on 01.01.2016

    Thanks for all the great information . We purchased a 2016 20J about two months ago and have driven it about 2000 miles we like it. I have some questions about cold-weather operations. We have the cold weather tank heaters and was wondering if we would be safe to drive the motorhome in 10°F temperatures? Secondly, is it safe and advisable to operate the propane furnace underway, concerned about the flame blowing out? Thirdly, we found the main bed matters to be quite firm have added a 2 inch eggshell foam pad to the surface and would like to know more about the comforter/sack bedding mentioned above.
    We had a cabinet maker add shelves beneath the kitchen countertop and overhead cabinet and also the medicine cabinet and space below washbasin they probably increased the usable storage space by 50%.

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 01.01.2016

      Congratulations on your new coach! We’ve been in cold down to 9 degrees. Outside of slick road conditions, the Sprinter handles fine in cold weather. In my experience I haven’t had any problems with the furnace blowing out as we were driving down the highway. We usually turn it off and let the front cab heater do it’s thing, but for extra cold weather you still should be fine running it while driving.

      Check out this View owner’s video of how he added Froli springs to his bed. These are very cool and many people like them. As a matter of fact, Winnebago is now using them in Travato models. It’s a great video and a cool product.

  43. Arun s Posted on 04.07.2016

    Hey everyone!
    First let me just say that after nearly 40 yrs. of being married w/ 4 wonderful grandsons there’s no happier time than ‘all in the RV’. Also, my wife and I seldom see eye to eye on virtually anything….except our Motorhome.
    We have an Itasca Navion (2006 Diesel pusher 5 banger MB turbo) we bought in early 2007 brand new. Almost ten years later we’re still enjoying it and its versatility. The list of virtues is too long to list here, but I love driving this thing with the exception of windy/gusty weather conditions.
    Amazing driving features not to mention the 18/23 mpg or more I can squeeze out of it.
    If diesel were cheaper I’d probably drive it even more even w/o a reason.
    Grandkids love traveling in it more than anyone else. A combination of camping trips, vacations and kids sporting events such as soccer games/matches and now Pickleball games/matches make its versatility so very convenient and enjoyable.
    Toying w/the idea of Phoenix to Naples, FL end of April to May first wk.
    Not sure yet, but if I can get a couple other PB players to ride with and split expenses (both fuel/ room and board) then it may become a reality.
    The first ever US open Pickleball tournament is the event in Naples. Promise to be a great event and fun for all ages. Tons of nice campgrounds in proximity from what I can see, and w/great facilities.
    Wish me luck!

  44. Leo Jette Posted on 04.23.2016

    Very nice job with this post.

    I am looking at buying a class C and I have looked at a 2015 Navion the 24J.

    One of my issues with the dealer is that they didn’t know too much, but this post has sold me on the unit.

    Very very informative and a great tool for someone like myself who is looking for all of the information I can find before investing over $100,000 on a class c.

    I will be contacting Winnebago and finding out if I can order a j with some of the extra things that you have pointed out.

    Thanks again!!!

    Leo Jette

  45. Tamela Brogdon Posted on 05.15.2016

    Super article. I am downsizing from a class A diesel to the 24J – one question- you didn’t mention the tankless versus traditional water heater. I’m trying to decide on that option. Have heard from one dealer that there have been alot of service issues with the tankless.

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 05.15.2016

      We’re planning a field report next month from the Holcombes who have the system in their new 2016 View and have been very happy with it.

  46. bruce clements Posted on 06.29.2016

    On the 2016 Naviion model G, there is no ladder for roof access; how do we cope with not cleaning the roof area. Is there a portable ladder that will work?

  47. Gary Alexander Posted on 07.21.2016

    Excellent article. Especially in view of the fact that my wife and I own a 2014 Navion V which we absolutely love. But, downsizing from a 40′ fifth wheel, we are finding that we would like to have just bit more space, so your comparison of the V to the J was very appropriate for us. Would love to know what a 2017 J with all the extras you mention would cost.

  48. Ron Coupar Posted on 07.22.2016

    Appreciate you article, you helped convince me the 24J would be our best choice. We’ve done 3 trips of 1300 – 2600 miles, with no issues. More and more we’re finding we can dry camp and the Zamp solar keeps our batteries charged. Minor issues have been addressed by the dealer, I added the Camco bug screens to the hot water and furnace, and used aluminum screen inside the 2 refrigerator vents. Full body paint is awesome, easy to clean, and power from the Mercedes is great, we have the bunk and at 65 mph have averaged 16 mpg.

  49. Diane Senney Posted on 07.23.2016

    Very helpful article. I wonder what your opinion is regarding the limited visibility for the side mirrors given the Remis shades. Has it been an issue for you? We test drove the View 24 J today and this is our ONLY concern for this unit. I apologize if you addressed this question elsewhere and I missed it. Thanks!

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 07.26.2016

      I guess the visibility is different depending on driver and seat placement. Both my wife and I see the mirrors unobstructed on both sides.

  50. Diane Senney Posted on 08.04.2016

    Thanks Don. We went back to the dealer to look at the rig with a different salesman. When we explained what happened on the test drive he went to the mirrors and showed us that they were out of alignment – the reason we couldn’t see or push them back in place. He noted for repair. We made an offer today and your article was very helpful to us in our second check of the View. Thanks for writing such an informative article.

  51. S Bradley Posted on 08.17.2016

    Very nice write up, I have seen the video 4 cylinder vs 6 which was also well done.
    We have the 2014 iQ 24V which we really like especially for the floor plan but then that is a personal choice.

    I do have a few comments regarding the 2015 vs 2014.
    I like the new fuel gauge, you have a better idea of just where you are in the fuel run. I start looking for fuel at 300 miles, figuring 15 mpg average. The steering wheel controls are a nice upgrade.
    Wish there was a constant temp gauge.
    I don’t like Winnebago removing the fan from the cooking area.
    I wish they would use a single sink to free up counter space.
    I don’t care for the tv placement on the cabinet door, it raises the tv to high for comfortable viewing.
    Joyce made Travasaks for both of us, with some special features.
    Poly pro on one side, cotton flannel sheet on the other so as to be able to change the comfort level during hot or cold nights.
    Over all not really many changes (mostly refinements) between late model 2014 and early 2015. We are using ours one more season before updating to a new model year, I hope Mercedes does something about the Bio fuel restrictions before we make the change.

  52. Don Barden Posted on 08.17.2016

    We love our 24j. We found a silverware tray that fits in the shallow drawer under the sink. It is called Madesmart and is sold by Bed Bath and Beyond. We also replaced the rear anti-sway bar with a HD Hellwig and shocks with Bilstein shocks. Very easy bolt-on installation for the automotive buff or a shop. It significantly reduced the sway going into driveways at a diagonal (like gas stations) and while camped. The sway had really bothered my wife. We flat tow a 2002 manual transmission VW Golf with no problem.

  53. Dee Tuohy Posted on 08.23.2016

    We just took our new View on its first trip and really enjoyed it. We did notice that the oven rattled quite a bit and the slide made noise on rough roads. We wondered if anyone had any ideas for quieting these areas.

    Thank you for your well done write-up.

  54. Deanna Utne Posted on 08.24.2016

    Hi. We just bought a 2016 View 24J floor plan. I’m looking for a suggestion for bedding for the corner bed. The headrest is split, so you
    Can raise each side separately. The RV Superbed sounds good, but you both have to be lying flat or both elevated.

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 08.25.2016

      A quick internet search found several small companies that make linens for split beds. However, trying to get a fitted sheet tucked into a corner bed is really difficult. Personally, we’ve found that the elevated feature of the bed is best for afternoon reading, TV watching where we’re on top of the sleep bag (my wife will use a throw blanket), but then we lower the bed for evening.

  55. Mark L Zolton Posted on 09.07.2016

    Nicely done article.
    Here’s something some of you may want to consider when it comes to comfort. I have a 2015 view v. I took out the sofa bed in front and installed two recliners. Now viewing the tv is perfect. We didn’t feel we needed the sofa bed feature. For those that might be interested, there’s a company named Monarch (out of Canada actually) that makes sectional pieces. I used two for our slide out, they attached together.

  56. Dale Kinzler Posted on 09.10.2016

    Considering buying a Navion. Much of our use will be off grid and driving on forest service roads. Has anyone had problems with ground clearance at the back? Not talking Jeep roads, just forest service roads. These may have ruts, hills, sharp turns, etc. Also, any difficulty turning around in these situations. Our other option is a 20 to 24 foot trailer. Live in Golden, CO. Thanks, Dale

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 09.11.2016


      There’s clearance. . .and then there’s CLEARANCE. The Navion is definitely higher than many sedans. However, the three low hanging items you need to be careful of are the generator and engine exhaust and dump valve. I’ve carefully (and without incident) driven into National Forest Campgrounds on Grand Mesa and down a ranch two-track near South Park. All without incident. I never worry about width, but you also should be cognizant of low hanging branches, too. You also learn that you have to go very, very ,very slowly over ruts to minimize roll. Turning-wise, the Sprinter chassis is pretty darn impressive. Rarely have I found myself having to make a four point turn. For other input on this I strongly recommend signing up on the View/Navion forum on Yahoo and putting your question to the group. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of answers.

  57. Dave Posted on 09.25.2016

    Thanks for your article and loved reading the comments. We to are considering a purchase of a 2017 View 24J. A nearby dealer has one with all the options we want but disclosed to us it had been rear-ended in transit. If wss subsequently returned to Winnebago to be repaired before finally ending up at the dealership. To what extent the collision caused damages, I don’t know. Should I be concerned about the driveability of the coach going forward, especially the frame? They have been forthright with the disclosure and in turn have offered a discount. I must admit I’m a bit nervous in light of this because of the large investment. I would appreciate any comments, thanks.

  58. Robert and Norma Posted on 09.26.2016

    We just bought a 2017 Winnebago Navion 24J. Can’t wait to pick it up on Saturday.

  59. Robert and Norma Posted on 09.30.2016

    Does all Winnebago Navion 24J have a one piece fiberglass roof?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 10.01.2016

      Yes it does.

  60. Robert and Norma Posted on 10.17.2016

    We now have our 2017 Navion 24J. We are happy with the performance of the MB chassis and the modern interior. On our first trip, we drove it to Traverse City, Michigan to visit relatives. So far, the only thing that did not work well are the galley cabinets. Every time we took a turn on the road one or two of the cabinets will slide open. We are thinking maybe to install those child proof cabinet locks to stop them from opening while on the road. Also, the dinette table turns and makes a creaking noise while driving. Any suggestion?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 10.21.2016

      Congratulations on your new Navion. For ideas about your galley cabinets try searching the View/Navion forum on Yahoo.

      We’ve had good success in silencing our 24J’s table by (a) making sure the pedestal is firmly pushed and slightly twisted into the floor mount and that (b) you tighten the top ring knob underneath the tabletop.

  61. Robert and Norma Posted on 10.25.2016

    Thank you so much Don. As always, your blogs are so informative and fun to read. By the way, is there a Navion/View small group in the Denver area that get-together for camping, events, rally’s, etc ? My husband and I sure would love to meet other Navion/View owners.

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 10.26.2016

      While there are plenty of Navion/View owners in the Denver area, I’m not aware of any semi-formal activities. We belong to a local WIT Chapter (Colorado Columbines), but most of the members are in Class A rigs.

  62. Cindy Wrinn Posted on 11.12.2016

    How do I obtain a catalog?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 11.12.2016

      Getting information is just a click away. This link will take you to the product page where you can download a brochure, but better yet take a state-of-the-art virtual tour.

  63. sharon Posted on 11.16.2016

    I will again be sleeping in the over the cab bunk…just wonder if you have any ideas how to get out safely. In the summer I opened the window at the end of the bed and could hang on while I descended. However, I wonder about putting a grab bar beside the window at the end of the bed.. any thoughts? thx.

  64. Sue Lindner Posted on 11.19.2016

    Hi, I see I’m a late viewer of your post, but really enjoyed reading it. We recently bought a 2017 View, and were dismayed to discover the sweet little “reading” lights above each side of the bed are just blue lights, for what purpose I’m not sure. You certainly can’t read with them.Why put a light there if not to read by! Do you have those in your rig, or are they new to the View?

  65. mike bucalo Posted on 12.31.2016

    Hey Don, Great blog, plenty of good info. I own a ’14JN with 14000 miles, and I wondered why WBGO switched the frig to the patio side of the coach? Was weight a concern for the slide reliability, or maybe the LP & electrictic in’s? I haven’t had any issues and really admire the engineering and design that goes into these RV’S
    Thanks, Mike

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 01.01.2017

      Mike, you called it. More than other manufacturers, Winnebago pays close attention to weight balance.

  66. Dominic Iannelli Posted on 01.01.2017

    Good thing I am retired and can read all the comments which I find so very interesting. But I must say, when I 1st became an RVer in 2013 I re-chose a 30′ Itasca Cambria (3 slideouts.) Oddly enough my 1st choice was a Winnebago Mercedes (Sprint, I think) diesel 24′ and my only request at purchase time was that it have stabilizers attached, since we were both “swaying” even while the vehicle was parked at the RV show. Mercedes would not agree to the warranty if they were added so…I declared that was a deal-breaker. Anyway, I enjoy listening to all the “upgrades” and irritations and am rather smug that my RV is just “perfect.” (Except that my “navigator” says the cab of the Ford V10 is too noisy…but it seems not to bother me…I like the “power” sound.) I was very fortunate to adopt my wife’s adage “you get what you pay for, so get the best you can!” We’ve been across the states 4 times and North & South a few more times, ever since. My advice is to “stretch” and get what you really like! Dom (a happy camper)

  67. John K Posted on 01.05.2017

    Mike the blue LED lights are for reading but if you hold the switch down for a few seconds it turns bright white. We have a 2017 and thought the same thing till we played with them and found the secret switch! John

  68. seo Posted on 01.13.2017

    Mike, you called it. More than other manufacturers, Winnebago pays close attention to weight balance.

  69. Mark Dixon Posted on 02.06.2017

    Don: I have enjoyed reading your comments and reading your articles. I am a new semi-retired single person. I am considering getting a View in the future as I feel this might be the perfect size and have the space for a single person.

    Like I few others, I love the idea of a tankless water heater as well. I also like all the bells and whistles such as satellite systems better quality TV’s and radios and plenty of solar in case of doing some off roading or dry camping in the future.

    Knowing now what you know about these RV’s could you put together a wish list of upgrades you would do or request from Winnebago if money was no object? You can send the list direct to my email if you like.

    I want a RV topped out to the max. I would like to add some offroad bar lights to the front and back as well. Do they make a front grill guard?

    Thanks for the insight.

    Mark Dixon

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 02.09.2017


      I’m happy to answer you and many other like-minded readers who want a luxed out coach. Some of the upgrades now available for order were “tests” on our rig such as the Seitz acrylic windows, CoolMax fan, 9″ infotainment system, and rear TV HDMI. On our second coach I sprung for the full body paint and aluminum wheels. That was an expensive decision we’ve been surprisingly pleased with. Not only does our little Navion look sharp next to my friend’s $1.5M Newell, I also like not having to use cable ties to insure the wheel simulators stay on the standard steel wheels.

      Next time around I’m definitely in for the Truma tankless system. And, as an aftermarket add on, I’ve had HWH lifters on both rigs and we absolutely love ’em. Campsite set-up is a breeze when you don’t have to slide blocks under your tires. At over $4K in cost the HWH isn’t cheap, but for those buyers who are looking for a luxury Class A experience on a petite Sprinter chassis, this is the same thing the big fellas have.

      I’ve seen some owners do some pretty fancy mods with going to lithium-ion house batteries and extended solar. The batteries are lightweight, powerful, sensitive to heat/cold, and still very expensive. But, over time I’m sure we’ll see some new options and solutions in that department.

      You’ll probably have to look at an aftermarket solution for off-road bar lights.

      If you haven’t yet done it, join the free View/Navion forum on Yahoo. Throw out a question and you’ll get a lot of informed opinions from a great group of owners.

  70. R. Douglass Posted on 03.13.2017

    Hello. I very recently purchased a 2016 Navion 24J and wondering where to start. I was given a tour by the RV retailer and would love to find someone locally that can help me learn the ins and outs ov the RV….I live in California and in the San Mateo (Peninsula) area. Thank you

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 03.15.2017

      There’s a huge community of help out there. A good place to start is to read about the very active View/Navion forum on Yahoo.