This review looks at the changes and upgrades to the 2022 Winnebago Travato 59G, the best-selling Class B RV. What’s new and changed for the 2022 model year.
By Tony Barthel
There is a huge market for Class B RVs, and Winnebago has the tiger by the tail with their popular Travato model. So what do you do when you’re number one in a field – keep going the same or make changes?
Winnebago has made some upgrades based on their passionate and enthusiastic following of Travato owners. The 2022 Travatos will have a number of things that can make a big difference to owners.
But first, the Travato is a line of Class B RVs based on the Ram Promaster chassis. Those of you who have been to Europe might recognize this van’s origins as the Fiat Ducato. Since Fiat owns Chrysler, you get Chrysler’s Ram branding on their Fiat vans – hence, Ram Promaster.
Advantages of a Class B RV
One of the advantages with these is that they can serve both as a recreational vehicle and a regular daily driver. There are both the front individual seats in the cab of the Promaster as well as two second-row seats which incorporate three-point seat belts.
The back of the Travato also leaves enough of the original van’s functionality in place that you can also use it for those runs to the hardware store and that sort of thing. The bed in the Travato flips up to the side of the coach. That leaves a long hallway down the middle of the vehicle. A bunch of 2 X 4s? No problem. ¡Nessen problema!
What’s new and improved in the 2022 Winnebago Travato 59G
One of the most common complaints about Class B’s is the bathroom, which is invariably a wet bath. The confined spaces of a cargo van turned RV means some things just have to go. Unfortunately, bathroom space is often the first thing. But the Travato has a rear bath that actually works well.
Yes, it’s a wet bath, but there is actually a decent amount of room around the toilet such that you can actually have full function in there. And that’s as far as I’ll go.
For the new version, Winnebago angled the bathroom wall back towards the rear of the coach. That provides less space in the bathroom but gives up to four additional inches in the sleeping area – which is a welcome upgrade.
How else has the bathroom changed?
There are going to be people who cheer when they hear that that bathroom has been changed in other ways, too. The floor has been raised slightly and uses a gravity-fed drain. Previous models have a drain system that require you to turn on a sump pump. The faucet handle for the small stainless steel sink is much improved. Winnebago has included an Oxygenics showerhead – the same one we all use to replace the horrible factory-sourced model. This should earn them some sort of award.
On the bathroom wall is a new pocket system that looks like a shoe pocket because, well, it is. But it also has another deep pocket as well.
What’s new in the sleeping area in the 2022 Winnebago Travato 59G
The sleeping area has been looked at and the Froli™ system is gone. Instead there is a slatted base mounted on an aluminum frame. This is much lighter and easier to switch between day use and night use. Furthermore, Winnebago included a step in the frame making it easier to get into the bed.
This is the first place we’ll see RAM® Tough-Track™ mounting hardware and, in this case, it’s above the bed. The RAM Tough-Track is a rail-based standardized mounting system. Users can mount all sorts of shelves, racks and other things on it. In the case of the mount over the bed, you could mount a device to hold tablets and phones. Or use it to help secure cargo with the bed up.
The big bench that was a block in the sliding door is now gone, replaced by a pedestal at the door. On the pedestal is a grab handle that incorporates more of the RAM Tough-Track and a mount for a Lagun table. Those Lagun tables are nifty in that they can be moved about and also taken on and off.
As before, the two front seats in the cab of the Travato swivel around so they face the second-row seats. This creates a nice lounge/gathering spot. The pedestal comes into play one more time as it has a pop-up power system on its top.
System controls easier to access
Winnebago moved all the controls for the various systems in the Travato to a single row above the sliding door. This is much easier to access while also not requiring you to tell someone seated in the second row to move their heads so you can see the level of your tanks.
I was surprised to see that Winnebago put a square stainless steel sink in this but with a residential drain plug. Usually you get those cheap RV-specific drain plugs in RV sinks. But this was a little thing that just seemed to make a lot of sense – like using that Oxygenics showerhead.
The door handles on the upper cabinet require just a single pull to open the positive latches, sort of like a car door. Again, it’s a small thing, but the attention to detail doesn’t go unnoticed.
More attention to details in the 2022 Winnebago Travato 59G
That attention to detail extends to the rear doors, where Winnebago attached a strap to the inner door handle. This makes it easier to open the back doors of the van from the inside since the bathroom wall extends so close to the inner door handle. Apparently, a lot of Travato owners had done this and Winnebago listened.
Winnebago also put the Nautilus water system to work inside the driver side rear door. All fill and flush water functions are in a single spot inside the coach’s heated interior.
Handy outdoor shower/changing room
The dual rear doors can still be opened to 90° with a rod that goes across them. Winnebago includes a curtain that can easily hang from this rod. There’s a shower built into that Nautilus system. This big open space can also double as a shower or changing room or whatever you choose.
The new screens for the sliding door and rear doors are made in-house by Winnebago and essentially roll up when not in use. Then you just untie the screen and they drop down. There’s a zipper to complete the seal so you can keep the bugs out but the breeze flowing.
The Travato also has optional swing-out windows in the back that have a screen for day use when the window’s open or a privacy shade for night use.
The last notable change is the floor – which is now a honeycomb floor that incorporates insulation. There’s also an optional runner for on top of the flooring.
What’s not to like
Class B RVs have absolute advantages and absolute disadvantages, and both owe to the configuration of the vehicle itself.
The clear advantages include the fact that this could easily be a daily driver and even serve as the family’s stuff-getter, including hardware store runs. That means no separate vehicle needed for daily use. But that same convenient size for driving also means limitations and, to me, one of the biggest is in water tank size with only 21 gallons of fresh water aboard.
Considering that you can get the Travato 59GL model (as opposed to the non-“L” model) with 9,600 watt-hours of lithium batteries aboard and 215 watts of solar on the roof, you could really stay off the grid for a significant amount of time, with the only limitations being small holding tanks.
One thing to note that I’ve heard from more than one Travato owner is complaints about the AC unit being right over the bed. Yep, this is good for cooling but this non-ducted AC unit isn’t going to win any “quiet” awards – so you’re better off finding camping where you don’t have to sleep under this thing. Lastly, a few owners have also reported that the effective privacy screens for the front windshield reduce how closely you can see the nose of the van.
Still, overall it’s easy to see why Winnebago sells so many of these and will likely continue to do so by listening so carefully to their fan base and making some small but very significant changes to the usability of this model.
The video focuses on the 59GL which has the same floor plan as the “L” model but also features a lithium battery system.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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