Sabrina and I go to Walt Disney World once a year and we usually borrow a niece or nephew to take on the trip with us. This year, we invited our 19-year-old niece Amira and were also meeting up with our GoLifer friends Jon and Nadia. Since we’d be having guests, we thought “Wouldn’t it be great to have a larger RV than our 28-foot Vista LX for the trip?” Luckily, when we told Winnebago about our trip, they happened to be looking for some contributors to test out the brand-new 2019 Adventurer 36Z.
I had already seen the Adventurer 36Z at the RV Open House in Indiana and knew it would be perfect for this trip! And I couldn’t wait for Sabrina to get an in-person look at it as well.
(Special thanks to Jon Bajuelo of Roaming Remodelers for taking many of the photos included in this article).
The Big Switch: From 28 to 37 Feet!
Storage to Spare
When we arrived to drop off our Vista and pick up the Adventurer, we soon realized we could bring everything we owned with plenty of room to spare. The Adventurer 36Z not only has a massive amount of storage space on the exterior, but inside as well. When we finished transferring all of our belongings, it looked like we barely made a dent in the storage capacity of the 36Z.
Driving the Adventurer
Then it was time to get behind the wheel and drive our short-term rolling home to Disney. This was one aspect of the trip that I was concerned about. Our Vista is just slightly over 28-ft long and very easy to drive and I thought the 37-ft long 36Z would be a challenge to drive.
I was so wrong. When I started the engine up and began our departure, we noticed the improved ride right away. I’m not sure if the Adventurer was smoother and steadier to drive because of the longer wheel base or the fact that the 36Z sits on 22.5-in. aluminum wheels compared to our 19.5-in. steel wheel. Or maybe it is the combination of both. Regardless, it is a very nice ride and something that everyone in the coach can experience – not just the driver.
We were also able to pull into a Walmart and pick up some supplies for the trip. Again, with the overall size, I was afraid this would be difficult, but it made the turns in the parking lot easily. I was, again, worried for no reason. The 10-in. monitor screen made it easy to keep an eye on our tow car and also check traffic next to us, when using the turn signal cameras.
We arrived at the campsite at Fort Wilderness Resort, parked in our site and activated our auto leveler with a push of a button on the dash. Now it was time for the big reveal!
I went to the main control area of the coach and pressed the slide control switches to bring each of the three slides out. Sabrina exclaimed “WOW!” I had sent her pictures from the show, but they really did not do it justice. You really cannot fully appreciate the space and comfort of this floorplan until you are right there in it. Sabrina sat on the sofa, took it all in, and quickly decided she loved it!
The 36Z feels like a condo and you soon forget that you are in something that has wheels under it. There is room to walk around and going from the front of the cab area to the bedroom feels far – who knew that was possible in an RV? We had more comforts and features in the 36Z than we did in our apartment before going full time.
One of the first things we noticed is the Adventurer’s wonderful kitchen. The L-shaped counter tops with dual deep, stainless-steel sinks are beautiful. Plus, there was plenty of counter-top space to prep a meal. The cabinets under the sink were perfect for Belle’s dog food and a trash can. There were also plenty of drawers for pots, pans and all of our dinnerware.
The large convection oven/microwave was great, too. Since we were at Disney for the Food and Wine festival, we were coming back with a lot of leftovers and we could reheat everything later in the convection oven quickly.
But I would have to say, our favorite feature in the kitchen was the residential refrigerator. It was the perfect size and really made the RV kitchen feel like a sticks-and-bricks kitchen. It even had an ice maker in it! We laughed at the thought that ice had become such a luxury item to us.
Another new-to-us feature of the 36Z was a washer/dryer combo. We always wondered if we would use one if we had one. Well, we used it every single day. So, I guess the answer is a big yes on that one.
The combo washer/dryer was pretty cool because you don’t have to pull the clothes out of the wash to transfer them to a dryer, it just drains all of the water out after the wash cycle and changes over to a dryer and continues on. It was so convenient and has now made our must-haves list for our second RV.
Easy Transition of Captain’s Chairs
The driver’s chair easily becomes part of the living area now. Thanks to a collaboration Winnebago did with Ford, you no longer need to do what I call the captain-chair tango – where you fold the chair down, lift the steering wheel, spin the chair, fold it back and finally put the steering wheel back down again.
The chair in the Adventurer now just spins and moves away from the steering wheel without needing the extra steps. It makes it so much easier and you get to enjoy your living space faster! There is also a coffee table that can be placed between the two captain’s chairs, which became the spot for me to work on my writing and enjoy my coffee in the morning.
The fireplace across from the sofa was another stand-out feature. We loved coming back to the 36Z after a long day at the parks, pushing a button and having the warm glow light up as we sat down to rest our feet. And it’s not just for show, it has a thermostat and you can easily get it to put out some real heat. It gets very comfy quickly.
Above the fireplace was my favorite window to look out of – very large and perfectly positioned across from the sofa. However, if looking out your window into nature is not your thing, this is also where the 50-in. TV appears with another cool feature, called a televator.
The TV just rises up out of the fireplace mantel. To be honest, I initially thought this was a bit gimmicky. But whenever the TV was not in use, I would retract it back into its home, so I could look out that window.
Comfortable & Smart Bedroom
The bedroom is a very important part of any RV to us, because if you cannot lay down at night and get quality sleep in your own bed, then what good is your home? I am glad to say we slept like babies in the Adventurer.
Plus, there are some really nice features in the bedroom as well. There were his and hers wardrobe closets, plenty of drawers, a 32-in. TV, a second thermostat to get just the right sleeping climate, outlets on both sides of the bed to charge all our devices, and a full-length mirror to make sure you are looking good for the day ahead.
Comfortable Co-Living with Family/Guests
Multiple Sleeping Spaces
Our niece flew in the same day we arrived at Disney and she was impressed by the space in the RV as well. The drop-down bunk was used as her sleeping quarters and this turned out to be perfect, since she like to sleep in late. By having her use the bunk, it kept the sofa and dinette free to use.
The sofa, if needed, can also be turned into a queen-sized bed and had plenty of space to spread out for a good-night’s sleep, as did the dream dinette. This makes the Adventurer 36Z able to easily sleep seven.
Bonus Getting-Ready Room
While at Disney, we attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and went in costume. Normally, having three people trying to dress up and put on makeup would be a big challenge in our RV. But in the Adventurer, it was a breeze because it has one-and-a-half baths. Crazy, I know!
Having two bathrooms was not just convenient for Halloween, but for the entire trip. In our usual RV, if one of us is in the bathroom and the other person needs it as well, we either have to wait or go out in the cold to use the campground’s (if we happen to be at one).
There is something else that really makes this RV stand apart from most others, and that’s privacy. It is something you rarely have in an RV, not only because of a lack of space, but because of layout as well.
But in the Adventurer, we actually felt like we had privacy from our guests. There is a solid sliding door that separates the bedroom from the rest of the RV, then there is another solid sliding door in the rear of the RV where the full bathroom is located. When in the shower, you cannot hear anything going on in the rest of the RV and vice versa.
Clearly, we thought the Adventurer 36Z was amazing to have for this trip and allowed for a more comfortable visit for our guests and us. When we were in it, it truly did not feel like we were living in a motorhome – we just felt like we were living at home. (We describe the entire experience more in this video).