Today’s RV review is of the 2023 Leisure Travel Vans models with a new Murphy bed lounge system. I have to say, as I’m seeing things roll out for 2023, this might be the most exciting time I’ve seen in the RV industry. That’s not only because it really seems that there’s some actual innovation, but also that RV manufacturers are listening.
And innovating. But for real this time.
2023 cool feature
Leisure Travel Vans has been long regarded as a manufacturer of high-quality RVs. Very specifically, they make two lines of Class C RVs: the Wonder, based on the Ford Transit cutaway chassis, and the Unity, based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cutaway chassis.
Oftentimes you can choose the same floor plan available on either chassis and base your decision on the chassis itself. If you want a diesel, go Mercedes. If you want something your local Ford dealer can maintain, then it’s going to be the Transit.
This model represents a shift in some of the thinking over at Leisure Travel Vans. One of the things this unit incorporates is a central air conditioning system, rather than the traditional “direct dump” air conditioner.
But, more than that, this incorporates the Truma Aventa air conditioner. This is a game-changing unit that is potentially the most energy efficient unit on the market. The Aventa offers three motor speeds, including a night mode.
The power draw on this system is also considerably less than other RV air conditioners. This is used to enable rigs like the Winnebago Micro Minnie FLX to run that system completely from battery power for hours at a time, for example. But it also doesn’t hurt that it’s quiet and efficient.
Another Truma system was also shown in the preproduction prototypes of this model—the Truma VarioHeat system. This system is also quiet and efficient and delivers heat to the coach uniformly and consistently.
Murphy’s bed in Leisure Travel Vans
What prompted Leisure Travel Vans to shout from the hilltops about this model, however, is their new Murphy bed implementation.
Located in a slide room on the road side, this system is exceptionally well designed, to my eyes.
When the bed is up, there are two reclining lounge chairs on the road side of the coach. Each one features a power recline mechanism which, of course, includes a kick-up footrest that moves with the recliner.
We’ve all seen someone use one of these, right? This isn’t miraculous.
But transitioning it from seating surfaces to Murphy bed is where this really shines. The two recliners do not need to be powered down at all, which is typically how this works.
Instead, you just move a couple of cushions and the backrests fold down with the base of the bed. Simple. You don’t even have to do much with the headrests of the recliners. They’re on cloth strips so they just hang when the seats are folded flat.
The bed does have a lip on it to extend the mattress, and there is a seam and folding place on the base of the mattress. But I suspect you won’t feel this as it’s down by your feet. That is, unless you’re sleeping with your head on that end of the bed.
Sit in bed or recline and watch TV
But you wouldn’t likely want to, as the wall behind the bed also incorporates two platforms that swing out so you can sit in bed and watch the TV, which sits on the camp side of this trailer on a manual televator. You can swing these platforms out and they stop at different spots so that they let you sit in bed or recline a bit.
There is a window and shelf up behind the bed, which would be a good place to put your noisy toys or CPAP machines. But Leisure has also put USB ports as well as an induction charger on either side of the bed, so you could just put those digital gadgets there.
Interestingly, you can put the Murphy bed down even if the slide room is in, which surprised the heck out of me. Essentially, all the slide room does is expand the floor space, but you could fully utilize the rig with the slide in. The bed measures 65” X 74” inches—not bad.
When the slide is out, this is a fully walk-around bed. But that’s not the case with the slide in. However, I would imagine the only time you’d be using the bed with the slide in is mid-journey moochdocking spots, so this is totally no big deal to my eyes.
Also, super kudos to Leisure Travel Vans for designing this space in such a way that it’s usable mid-journey and also for showing this in their demonstration, indicating that they intentionally did this.
The rest of the story of the Leisure Travel Vans
While the floor plan for the rest of this model is technically similar to what Leisure Travel Vans has been doing with the side Murphy bed, it’s also totally different.
The kitchen has been reconfigured and utilizes a two-burner induction cooktop. It also seems that the counter space has been increased by a decent amount.
The bathroom has flipped sides from previous models but still occupies much of the rear of this coach. There is a corner radius shower. This is a dry bath if you were wondering.
Based on your responses in the past, there are a number of you who aren’t fond of Murphy beds, and I can appreciate that. But this is certainly one of the best implementations of the Murphy bed that I’ve seen in a lot of ways.
Other than that, there are a number of other platform variations that Leisure Travel Vans offers that would appeal to various prospects, depending on priorities. On the subject of priorities, however, it appears that Leisure Travel Vans absolutely has theirs in order.
I do not have a chart for this model; however, you can see previous RV reviews of similar models by checking out my story about Leisure Travel Vans.
There is also more information about this model available from Leisure Travel Vans.
More from Tony
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Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.
You can also check out his RV podcast with Peggy.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. 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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The fully integrated en suite bathroom is a great improvement. The old shower across the hall set up really inconvenient compared to this. All the standard and optional kit on Leisures make them attractive. The slide helps a lot. I was so happy to see EEE add the Ford chasis to the Wonder line. The Ford diesel was nice. But, I think the gas engine will be more economical to maintain than the diesel. The gas model certainly is much faster, and it can be serviced at any Ford facility. Even though they’re pricey, they have too much going for them to ignore.
Tony, As previously mentioned the Wonder is on the Ford Transit chassis and the Unity is on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis. I would have thought a journalist would have been more attentive to getting this correct. Also, the induction cooktop is on the prototype only; it is not available on the production model. you should have seen this in the Q and A in the announcement video. You can do better.
We talk about switching to something smaller when we stop feeling comfortable driving our Class A…probably sooner than we think. Usually one paragraph into a review or a look at configuration and I’m out. Wet bath a non starter. As is making a bed out of a couch or dinette area. Can only nitpick a few things with the MB model (of course the most expensive!), like no side table, even a small one on MY side of the bed. Could news…price was in Canadian dollars. Made the US value look like a bargain😂. Already built one and saved it. In a couple of years hopefully they would iron out most of the bugs…wishful thinking :-). And if economy crashes maybe can get a deal!
LTV models have been a favorite for quite a while. High quality, good storage, comfortable, and decent size tanks. Some concern that the tanks and plumbing are not protected from cold weather, which I think is strange for a Canadian company.
Actually, the fresh tank is inside the cabin but you must keep the heat on. Additionally, the grey and black tank can be ordered with heating blankets to keep them from freezing, but temps under ~30F the coach should be winterized.
Unity is on the MB Sprinter. Wonder is on the Ford Transit. You’ve got it backwards.
I am loving this floorplan! The innovative details are really nice. Are they the only ones with that awesome manual televator?! I need one!
This model is going on my list – If I can ever get my husband to give up the 5th wheel for more flexibility, this is #1.
And I bet it can at least tow our 2 door Wrangler!
I actually like this camper. I really do. Of course, the video helped, but that’s why they made the video. Lots of impressive stuff. As an added bonus, we couldn’t bring all the stuff we currently haul with us (that if pressed, we would admit we don’t really need anyway). I’d rather have slider windows, but that’s just me. The placement of the shower and the head is impressive. I’d like to see one in person.
No mention of how much onboard fresh water storage or grey and black tank amounts though. Hmmm. Buckets and trees?
Wifey has already said “No way!”
I would love to see the spin that Tony put on keystones ill-fated two-story RV
Funny thing, I was at an RV park and one of these was there and talk about going down the rabbit hole – it fascinated me. I liked the idea from what I saw but, of course, all the information I could find was dated. I wonder what the sales numbers were on it – Outback is a more upscale brand with some innovative features and that would certainly qualify.
At least they’re using something other than a MB. I don’t consider Ford a quality product since owning a Ford F150 hybrid for six months. Had more recalls and head aches than any vehicle I owned. Son had a Ford Explorer he had to fight with Ford to take back because of issues which made it unsafe. When Ford took it they couldn’t resell it in Pa. Seems like nice camper.
I, on the other hand, like Ford products and have not had any major issues with any of ours. To each his own I guess. We don’t buy hybrids. Plus, as Tony mentioned, you can get a Ford dealer to (hopefully) work on the engine if need be. Try to find a Mercedes dealer when outside of big cities.
As an aside, my wife kept her Explorer for 17 years (bought new) with no real problems. I had my last F-350 diesel for 20 years (bought used), with the same experience. Some friends bought a Mercedes-based motorhome some years ago and it spent much of the time they owned it at the Mercedes dealer.
We have Chevy trucks and never had a major issue. We have had 2 different Ford trucks and both had really expensive problems right from new. Not typically a MB fan but would rather a diesel for the van.
Of course, we also have a Jeep Wrangler and it has its share of problems but it’s a 2010 and used for trails and fun so, it’s my husband’s weekend tinker toy.
We were parked next to a MB class C in Rockport, TX, the couple were from CO. They got a recall notice on there unit, since we were 30 miles north of Corpus Christi they took it to the MB dealer there. No they couldn’t do the recall, they had to get an appointment in Houston 130 miles away, drive up there and spend the night as there appointment was at 8 the next morning. Arriving at the dealer it was taken in and 20 minutes later it returned ready to leave. Upon inquiring the recall was to look if a certain fuse was installed correctly. They were tight jawed to say the least that the dealer in Corpus Christi couldn’t look at the fuse panel to see if the fuse was installed correctly. Not being a fan of German engineered/manufactured vehicles I’m not sure what kind of fuse it was that could be installed backwards. All the American and Japan and Korea fuses only fit one way unless you install it with the numbers upside down, but it still works. Over engineered junk if you ask me, as a retired GM industrial mechanic I worked on many German machines, they all were over engineered and a pain area about 8” below the small of my back. Lol
“Over-engineered” is the term I always see when reading about BMW’s or Mercedes. And that is what causes most of the problems.
The over engineering is what makes them so expensive to work on plus the name automatically raise the repair bill by several hundred dollars. I have a friend who has a 6 year old MB, every time it goes in for routine service it costs $1200 for oil, filter, tire rotation, etc. and it’s there for the entire day. I’ll take my American made Toyota and keep several hundred dollars in the bank. Lol