Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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RV Review: Winnebago Voyage V3739RK fifth wheel prototype

As part of reviewing the forthcoming Winnebago Voyage V3739RK prototype, I looked at several sources and this RV is almost invisible thus far. So when my friend Robert Morales, known as Traveling Robert, pointed out that he was able to catch some time with Adam Christoffersen from Winnebago at the recent Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, I had to see what the flying W was up to. 

Winnebago

While you might not necessarily think of Winnebago first when you consider a fifth wheel, they have had some really interesting offerings in the past and continue to do so. The company nowadays is probably best known for their “B” vans, and I really like these offerings. But they have some nifty towables in the catalog, too, including their Voyage fifth wheels. 

For 2022, Adam Christoffersen described some rather significant changes they’ve made to the chassis of their fifth wheels. Those include changing the support and structure of the upper deck to improve the strength in that section. This is a good decision—that’s always a high stress point in any fifth wheel. 

The new upper deck features 8” steel beams in a more horizontal structural layout. 

In making these changes they also reconfigured the forward storage, and it’s something really unique. Essentially there is the full-width storage bay you’d expect in a fifth wheel. But then they put a shorter extension of this bay above the pin box storage bay. You can almost think of the shape of this storage as sort of a pickup camper-shaped storage box. 

I can see this being the perfect spot for things like camp chairs and totes for stuff like the stinky slinky and that sort of thing. There’s access to this upper level storage from either side of the fifth wheel through the main compartment doors. But then there’s also access via the front of the trailer through a door there. 

Makes a lot of sense to me. Plus the new framing means better space in the upper deck area, which is the bedroom on this unit. 

Road access

I almost fell over when Adam described the road access on this model. The fact that a manufacturer would seriously consider being able to use their rigs on the road says a lot about Winnebago. 

One of the things that I believe sets Winnebago apart from a lot of RV companies is how they listen to and interact with their customer base. The company also uses content creators to help tell the story of their vehicles by placing the RVs in the hands of creators and, essentially, letting them loose. This way Winnebago gets even more real-world feedback and the creators get to show how these RVs work in day-to-day life. 

Robert Morales is one of these creators who is a brand ambassador for Winnebago, and he has one of my favorites of their towables, the Micro Minnie FLX. Oh, baby. 

So on this particular model there are two entry doors, one at the rear and one midship. The rear door provides full access to the kitchen when the slides are in. The front door provides access to the upper deck including the bedroom and bathroom when the slides are in. Many, many larger fifth wheels offer very limited access when the slides are in. While a lot of larger 5ers may not even be moved a lot, it’s still good to accommodate as many use cases as possible. 

The one exception to this is the fact that the slide box with the stove does block access to the refrigerator. Oh, well. 

Rear kitchen

The Voyage V3739RK has a floor plan that really works for me. Of course, the RK designation means rear kitchen, and there’s certainly that here. Having the kitchen in the back puts the main living space at the middle of the rig. This living space reminds me of the living spaces you’ll find in front living fifth wheels. 

There are opposing couches as well as theater seats that face a 50” TV. Those opposing couches each have a mount on them for a table. The table is a Lagun-style table that allows for quite a range of motion plus variable height. 

Breakfast bar in the Voyage—to eat at or to get work done

But there’s also a breakfast bar at the front of the kitchen that was described as both a place to eat but also to get work done. I was happy to hear Adam describe being able to cast an image to the large TV from a laptop or tablet—which is exactly what I’m doing. Essentially, I can use my new MacBook Pro and Apple TV such that I can use the TV as a second large monitor. It’s slick. 

And, again, it’s something I wouldn’t expect an RV company to be thinking about. 

But this kitchen and living space are really something I like, plus the lighter cabinetry. Winnebago also does a really good job with their cabinet builds. Also, there are a tremendous number of cabinets and drawers in this layout so there’s little shortage of places for stuff. 

Speaking of plentiful—windows, too, can be described as plentiful. But there are also blackout shades over all of them. So the fact that both couches can fold out to be beds would work well. 

More features

With the two air conditioners in this fifth wheel, you have the option of shutting down either the main cabin unit or the bedroom unit and then only cooling certain sections of the rig. This would be nice for people who like to sleep in cooler spaces, for example. 

As with many fifth wheels, there is a choice of queen- or king-sized bed. But there are still side tables even if you choose the king-sized bed, although they are admittedly smaller.

There’s also a closet upstairs in the nose cap that’s prepped for a washer and dryer.

There’s a Lippert Rota-Flex™ pin box that features dampening for the “bucking” that can occur in some fifth wheels. Additionally, there’s an articulated front, of course.

There’s also Road Armor™ suspension on this. Winnebago has painted that and the brake drums red just as a nod to their brand identity. Hey, if Porsche can do it, so can Winnebago.

Lastly, they are using 16” G-rated tires on 7,000-pound axles which, together with the pin weight, combines to a 16,000-pound GVWR.

Another slick thing is that the front marker lights blink with the blinkers to notify others of your road-going intentions.

In summary

While the model I saw and shared here was a pre-production model, it can be surmised that much of this will end up in production models. 

Two things I didn’t like in the Voyage

The two things I saw that I didn’t like in this rig were the smaller 17” oven and the Dometic thermostat, which I had to replace so very frequently when I was handling warranties. I wish they would just quit making this thing. It’s not a good design because the foam “springs” for the buttons wear out in short order and the buttons start misbehaving. 

Overall, I really like this floor plan quite a bit. But, even more so, the fact that Winnebago has this great video created by one of their brand ambassadors is a big plus to me. Further, the way that company is listening to their customers and influencers says a lot about the products and what someone can expect from them. 

Update: At the present time, due to a variety of reasons, Winnebago has put all fifth wheel production on hold. That means that this model is one-of-one. 

Winnebago Micro Minnie FLX review

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

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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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Cabinets
Floor plan
Front storage
Dometic thermostat

SUMMARY

Winnebago's Voyage 3739RK is a really spacious-feeling and usable fifth wheel floor plan that has a lot of new features to help the company be a more popular choice for buyers.

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Steve
7 months ago

We found with our fifth wheel that modern, single-axle, heavy/super-duty pickups have much deeper cargo boxes and much larger wheel diameters than older models. Some single-axle trucks might be able to safely tow the 16,000# GVWR and carry the 2500-3000# pin weight (at GVWR) of this trailer. But this trailer’s 16″ wheels will cause a “nose up” ride on trucks with the 18-20″ wheels that are now standard on single-axle trucks. So, the combination of weight and ride height basically demand a dual-wheel rear axle with 16-17″ wheels. And those axles are only available on one-ton (or heavier) trucks. So, although Winnebago’s price seems competitive for a trailer this size, potential buyers need to be aware that they may also need a very expensive new truck.

Kit Vargas
7 months ago

We have the Winnebago Voyage 3134RL and I LOVE the floor plan. Pretty conventional, island in the mid kitchen area, BIG rear window. I don’t think I would want to give up my rear window and table and chairs. To each his own.

Bob p
7 months ago

I’ve had 2 rear kitchen RVs and the normal oscillation of the rear of a RV going down the road tended to upset everything in the cabinets. Has Winnebago addressed this in anyway?

Tommy Molnar
7 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

I don’t think it’s as bad in a 5’er as it is in a TT. Am I wrong?

RV Review: Winnebago Voyage V3739RK fifth wheel prototypeWinnebago's Voyage 3739RK is a really spacious-feeling and usable fifth wheel floor plan that has a lot of new features to help the company be a more popular choice for buyers.