Saturday, March 1, 2014

2014 Winnebago 36M Journey Report Card

Well folks, I said I would give my report on our new Baby so here’s my opinion on how it’s been so far.

This is based on 4 months of living in it (full timers)and driving it from FL to AZ and back to TX for about 5,000 miles.  Of that about 2,000 miles were (red line roads (back roads.  The drivability of it was surprising good.  The stocky short wheel base of 226 inches I was ready for a not so smooth ride.  I would say it’s better than the 266 inch wheel base Phaeton.  Both where Freightliners but this is the new lower chassis.  It’s almost as good as our 43’ Newmar Spartan chassis.  If the Newmar didn’t have the tag axle I would have to say they were pretty close.  Again, I was surprised. 

Storage – underneath is better than than the 43’ footer because the frame rails are low and can stack “stuff” high.  Really good.  Better than the two 40 footers.  Inside storage lacked because being only a 36 footer but workable of course.

Living room has plenty of space and compares close to our 3 other bigger motorhomes.  Two slides on the driver side and one long one on the passenger side.  So far so good.  All LED lighting.  All tile flooring front to rear.  Carol really likes being able to clean the floor so easy.  No carpet except under dinette.  Two 40 inch LCD TVs are nice in the living room especially if you can’t put out one slide out while boone docking.  The bathroom is small and tight.  The bedroom is small and tight.  The bed (only queen available)  itself faces the front of the rig like it did in our 1999 Ultimate.  It has a 32” LCD TV that swivels which is nice.  MCD shades throughout – great!

On the Interstates it would get between 8.5 & 9 MPG doing between 60-65 MPH.  It don’t shift into 6th gear until about 63 MPH where most rigs shift about 57/58 MPH.  That’s different.  On back roads it averaged about 7.5 MPG.  Our rigs did good about 60-62 MPH.    If you drive these motorhomes for many miles you get to know where they and you travel the best over all.  This one seems to need to be a little higher at about 63-65 MPH.  It feels like it lugs a little around 60 MPH.  I probably should keep it in 5th gear on back roads.  60 MPH RPM’s are about 1600 which I think is about normal.  This Cummins 360 HP runs better about 1700-1725 RPMs.  I climb hills at about 2,000 RPMs and have no trouble maintaining the speed for the gear that I’m in.

Weight – 12,350 lbs max in front & actual is 11,350 lbs.  I put in 105 PSI in the tires which is 5 PSI over the carrying weight minimum recommendation.  Max in all tires is 110 with load range G.  Rear axle max is 20K lbs and the actual weight is 19,600 lbs.  I carry 105 PSI in the rear tires also which is about 10 PSI over for the rear weight.  I’ve had it weighed twice by Smart Weigh the last (Feb) being loaded for Alaska.  It stand tall at 12’ 4”. 

Batteries – it came with six AGM house batteries (Deka) with the residential frig option plus a 2,800 sine wave inverter.  NO maintenance on the AGM batteries – ahhh so nice.  I installed another two AGM house batteries.  Plus the normal two chassis starting batteries.  I have 490 watts of solar power on the roof.  I had Starlight Solar in Yuma doing the wiring/installing for the solar.  While boone docking I have to turn off the frig at night.  Then turn it on in the late morning.  I lose about 4-5 degrees in the frig.  It really sucks up the juice especially the ice maker.  Overall, yes I would get the residential frig hands down.  No worry of fire or LP to mess with.  The TVs and LED lights use hardly in AMPS while boone docking, very nice.

The water capacity is 85 gallons (+ 10 gal hot water heater) and that is fine.  Fuel 100 gallons.  Grey is 65 and black is 45 I think.  That’s fine.  The DEF tank holds 13.2 gallons which is nice.  Maybe 3-4 gallons per 1,000 miles.  Hard to till so far.

Oh, get this.  Driver side of the coach does not work with the inverter.  No 110 elect on that side when boone docking.  Yes that’s the way Winnebago does it.  How ignorant of Winnebago.

The outside color of grey/very light blue (cool graphite?) is no longer  available.  We choose this color because it was their coolest (temperature) available.  Darker exterior colors don’t do good in the sun because they get so hot and in time it usually shows.

I think it only has 13 options available which is nice.  Winnebago stocks them pretty nice.  I think we got all the options except the outside TV, the airbed and the oven (drawers instead).  It was custom ordered by us and listed about $275K.  Actual cost was about $193K  which was about 30% off list. We got high Kelly Blue Book on our trade in.  Financed it for 20 yrs at 4.25% interest.

So folks that’s it on our last RV (again).  Any other questions just email me at

Happy Happy Happy (she is, so I am!)

See ya……..