Winnebago Industries’ new model created using the popular Sprinter chassis features clever storage and safety-belt-equipped seating for six.
By Jim Brightly, F358406
The first thing we noticed about the Winnebago View Profile 24DL when picking up a unit for a recent test outing was the amount of interior storage it contained. After we took delivery of our test coach from Findlay RV in Las Vegas, my wife, Saraine, exclaimed that it had “oodles” of storage; I said it had “gobs.” We finally agreed that the View Profile is equipped with lots of interior storage, especially for a motorhome less than 25 feet long. We found that Winnebago Industries’ designers have filled every available space with some kind of storage area. Wherever a cabinet, a drawer, or a cupboard wouldn’t fit, a nook, a tray, or a cranny was used.
This utilization of space is what Winnebago Industries calls the SmartSpace design philosophy: incorporating innovative, user-friendly features to make the most of the available space. It seemed to work well in our test coach.
The View Profile’s silhouette does not allow space for an overhead bunk, but it does have a skylight, plus a cubbyhole on each side for stowing miscellaneous items such as hats, gloves, and binoculars. Above the sun visors are trays for notepads, maps, etc. In addition, I kept my sunglasses (at night) and reading glasses (while driving) on a fairly wide “tray” situated just below the gauge cluster and above the steering column.
Opposite the side-entry door are three cupboard doors positioned above the Jensen TV; the right and middle doors open into one cupboard, while the far left door hides the in-house Jensen AM-FM radio, alarm clock, and CD-DVD player entertainment unit. More storage is found in the forward-facing bench seat below this cabinet, which is directly behind the driver’s seat, along with the 300-watt inverter.
Across the aisle on the curb side, above a small inward-facing couch, are three more cabinet doors, all opening into one large cupboard. The couch also provides storage, and that is where we kept our bedding.
Stepping aft along the street side, we find the bathroom. In this case, it truly is a bathroom and not just a water closet. Although the sink against the forward bulkhead is quite small, it’s the only thing in the bathroom that is. A cabinet sits below the sink, and three additional cabinets are mounted to the wall above it, with a mirror in the door directly above the sink. The residential-size Thetford porcelain toilet employs a hand sprayer, and the full-size shower with wall surround features a flexible showerhead and a skylight. The shower is equipped with an unusual “disappearing” door that automatically rolls back into its vertically mounted roller box. Each time the door is rolled up, a full-length wiper blade removes all the moisture from it for storage. The shower door is made of mildew- and mold-resistant material and has a five-year warranty.
Aft of the bathroom door, a full-length mirror is installed for those last-minute touch-ups just before stepping out of the motorhome. You’ll probably fall into a habit of checking yourself in the mirror each time you go to the Norcold 5.5-cubic-foot refrigerator, because the fridge is next in line toward the rear of the motorhome. Then you reach the bedroom.
With the bedroom slideout extended out the rear of the coach, the foldable queen bed (60 inches by 75 inches) can also be fully deployed. The mattress is a one-third/two-thirds pair. The smaller portion is stacked on the larger portion for travel when the rear slideout is pulled in. If the one-third portion were cut again into two equal parts and stacked on one another, we believe the bed could be used as a lounger during the day with the slideout in. I could find no access to the underbed storage from inside the motorhome. (That storage area is accessible from the exterior door in the rear.) The bed proved very comfortable and quite large for a smaller unit, although room for walking around each side of it is minimal.
A privacy curtain sequesters the bedroom from the rest of the motorhome and hooks to three shallow hoops in the ceiling. Two cabinets hang above the bed, and book trays with reading lights are on each side. The bedroom includes a rear window as well.
Additional storage is available in the shirt-length wardrobe and two fairly deep drawers on the curb side of the motorhome across the aisle from the refrigerator. On the rear-facing wall of the wardrobe, another Jensen LCD TV is mounted for viewing from the bed.
The View Profile’s galley sports a round sink with a glass cover. For galley work or travel, the hinged cover provides a safe, flat working space and no rattling when the motorhome is in motion. For washing, the cover is tilted upward, along with the pivoting faucet. The sink is deep enough to clean small pots and pans. The two-burner stovetop is protected with the same type of glass cover when not in use, creating additional flat counter space. Overhead is a microwave oven, a stove hood with exhaust fan and light, and another cabinet. Above and to the right of the sink is the monitoring station, where the coach owner can check the status of the holding tanks, water tank, etc., plus the water heater and water pump switches. Above that is the keyed slideout control panel.
With the exception of the window over the galley sink, which is equipped with a venetian blind, all the “house” windows have pull-down day-night shades.
Returning to the front eating/lounging area, it’s noteworthy to mention that the table folds down into a small (42-inch-by-44-inch) bed. Since the bed does not block the aisle from the cab and is equipped with two seat belts, it could be ideal for those who enjoy traveling with their dogs. When in position, the bed is large enough to accommodate at least two traveling kennels, which could be secured using the seat belts. If your pet doesn’t use a crate, the padded bed surface remains out of the way and should prove comfortable for a dog or two, depending on their sizes.
The small side couch on the curb side also folds down and connects across the aisle with the dinette bed, making an 82-inch-by-38-inch bed for nighttime sleeping (nighttime because it blocks easy access to the cab). Two pairs of snaps secure a privacy curtain to the rear cab bulkhead.
All of the View Profile’s cabinet doors have latches that can be secured, a feature I really like. While in camp, spring hinges keep the doors closed, but they are easily opened. When prepping for the road, a simple push on the latch knobs secures them for travel. A simple push again when the next stop is made, and the doors are ready to open.
With the street-side table set up, two adults can squeeze into the front-facing bench while traveling, but two children would be more comfortable. A combination electrical outlet (120-volt-AC and 12-volt-DC) is situated on the sidewall, just below the window. This is handy if someone wants to run a computer or connect a game set to the TV. The bench is equipped with two seat belts; two more are on the couch. The motorhome sleeps three and seats six.
Keeping in mind the difference between the number of seat belts and sleeping accommodations, if your traveling group totals more than three people, and you’re thinking of upgrading from a small SUV and toy hauler package into a View Profile 24DL, consider keeping the toy hauler. You can safely belt in six people while traveling in the View Profile 24DL; three can sleep in the coach while three can bunk in the toy hauler for the night, and you’ll still have your toys with you.
In 2009 the Sprinter’s towing capacity was upped to 5,000 pounds (the upgraded seven-pin hitch receiver is rated at a maximum of 5,000 pounds pull weight and 500 pounds tongue weight). This capacity was carried over for 2010, but you still must adhere to both its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 11,030 pounds and its gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 15,250 pounds. Please be aware to not exceed either of these limits.
On The Road
Winnebago Industries’ newly designed floor plan, with a swoopy silhouette over the cab area, proved to be both fuel- and family-friendly. Having just seen a History Channel program on all the “secret” goings on in and around Area 51 in Nevada, a few miles west of Las Vegas, I pointed the nose of the View Profile 24DL west when I pulled out of Findlay RV. Lying west-by-northwest of Glitter Gulch, Area 51 has long been suspected of hiding highly secret projects — both military and intelligence-gathering — being developed by the U.S. government. As it turned out, it was too dark to go exploring by the time we arrived, but the deserted desert highways proved to be an excellent test bench for the View Profile 24DL.
The coach is fairly quick for a V-6 diesel-powered motorhome (154 horsepower at 3,400 rpm; 280 pound-feet torque at 1,200 rpm), with zero to 50 mph averaging 15.2 seconds. According to company literature, the View Profile’s gas mileage is said to be the “best in the industry” and factory estimated to be 16 mpg to 19 mpg with this Mercedes-Benz diesel. During our test outing, the vehicle averaged 14.4 mpg over the entire test loop with a high of 16.5 mpg (on the final leg) and a low of 12.9 mpg on the first leg. Not sure why the differences, except that on the first leg of the journey I had to deal with an abundance of afternoon end-of-business traffic, then climbing to our first campsite at Beatty, and the stretch included the zero-to-50-mph runs. Most of the final leg was clear of traffic, and much of it was gradual downhill driving.
Speaking of fuel, the View Profile has a rather unusual location for its fuel filler tube. It’s beneath a fuel door that is secured by the driver’s door when it’s closed.
While driving (and when setting up camp each night), I noticed a lot of glass in the cab area, especially with the overhead skylight. I really enjoyed the additional lightness and brightness. If you’re winter camping, covering all the glass in this area with Winnebago’s window blinds will go a long way toward cutting down your LP-gas bill. Speaking of winter camping, because temperatures hovered in the teens during our outing in the View Profile, we never had an opportunity to deploy the optional powered awning. That’s too bad, as much of the enjoyment of RVing is experienced under a warm sun and the shade of an awning.
Once seated behind the wheel, the only warning lights I noticed were for monitoring the engine’s operation, so I checked further. Only a few items initially can be viewed on the display in the instrument panel: service due date, engine oil level, clock set, and outside temperature (or the digital speedometer can be accessed). One pushes the menu button to scroll through other options.
The View Profile is nimble and easy to handle. It’s at home in any mall’s parking lot, and I had no problem behind the wheel while motoring around Nevada. I just set the cruise control at the speed I wanted and it was maintained, with the five-speed automatic transmission keeping pace with aplomb. Holdback on downhills was easily accomplished — even though the coach was not equipped with an exhaust brake. Drivers will want to indoctrinate themselves with the Sprinter’s shift selector panel, which displays no lower gears. “P” is at the top, then “R”, “N” and “D,” respectively. Plus and minus signs on either side of the shifter indicate the presence of additional gears. The driver taps the shifter to the left to drop the transmission to a lower gear and taps it to the right to raise the transmission a gear.
When I was dumping the View Profile’s holding tanks during the post-test cleanup, I discovered that the process is a bit more involved than that of other motorhomes. This unit uses a pump to transfer the gray water to the main drain hose. The gray tank drain valve handle is located under the rear cap in the left rear corner. After dumping the black tank and closing that valve, you pull the gray tank valve and then operate the pump switch in the water center compartment until the tank is drained. According to company officials, the advantage of this system is that it allows for a single drain hose connection.
The cab of our test coach was simple and functional. It is equipped with removable carpet mats on the floorboards and swiveling captains’ chairs. The manual seats were actually quite sophisticated and comfortable. They move fore and aft as well as up and down, and they recline and also have an adjustable lumbar support pillow.
Although this motorhome offers an abundance of interior storage, you will want to keep in mind that its GVWR is 11,030 pounds. Our test unit weighed in at 9,700 pounds with full fuel and fresh water tanks; when this is deducted from the GVWR, it leaves the coach with 1,330 pounds to spare. Obviously, the more passengers aboard, the less rated weight is left for food, toiletries, clothing, bedding, etc.
While driving, I enjoyed the View Profile’s cruise control, tilt and telescoping power steering, antilock brakes, and electronic skid control. The 180-amp alternator keeps all three batteries (one chassis and two house) charged and ready for use. The two house batteries are also wired through a dash-mounted auxiliary starting switch in case a bit more boost is needed to turn over the Mercedes-Benz V-6 engine on a cold morning.
Although the 24-foot-9-inch View Profile might not be described as spacious, it certainly is not cramped. Because of the cold weather we experienced during our road test, Saraine and I spent much of our time inside the motorhome. We never felt confined. I’m not sure whether four people would experience “cabin fever” after three or four days, but the two of us never did.
The View Profile 24DL comes with a base suggested retail price of $105,791; its as-tested price was $112,175 with several options: electric patio awning, exterior speaker system, water purifier, Alcoa stylized aluminum wheels, 3.2-kilowatt Cummins Onan diesel generator.
Winnebago Industries Inc., 605 W. Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436; (641) 585-3535; www.winnebagoind.com
2010 Winnebago View Profile
Mercedes-Benz 3-liter CDI 6-cylinder; 154 horsepower @ 3,400 rpm, 280 pound-feet torque @ 1,200 rpm
5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive
3.92 to 1
LT215/85R 16 LRE
Alcoa 16-inch aluminum
hydraulic four-wheel antilock disc
front, strut with transverse leaf springs; rear, leaf springs; stabilizer bars front and rear
heavy-duty two-piece gas struts
power-assisted rack and pinion
chassis (1) — 100-amp;
coach (2) — deep-cycle Group 24 RV batteries
Cummins Onan 3.2-kilowatt diesel (optional)
24 feet 9 inches
10 feet 7 inches
6 feet 5 inches
two bins; one on right side and one in rear (19.8 cubic feet)
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front — 4,410 pounds;
rear — 7,720 pounds
(weighed with full water and fuel tanks)
front axle — 3,280 pounds;
rear axle — 6,420 pounds;
total — 9,700 pounds
OCCUPANTS AND CARGO
maximum — 1,585 pounds
aluminum and steel
FRESH WATER TANK CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 32 gallons;
black water — 32 gallons
Suburban, 20,000 Btu
(1) Coleman 13,500 Btu; heat pump optional
Norcold 5.5-cubic-foot two-way (AC and LP gas)
Thetford porcelain with hand sprayer
coach — one-year/15,000-mile basic; structure — 3 year/36,000-mile limited; roof — 10-year limited parts and labor; chassis — 36 months/36,000 miles
BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
PRICE AS TESTED