Winnebago Journey smart motorhome has indoor and outdoor theaters
Winnebago has been wooing dirtier, grittier outdoor adventurers with new launches like the Revel and Hike, but it's still best-known for its luxurious stretched Class A motorhomes. And there are few better examples than the all-new 2022 Journey, a 35-foot-plus diesel pusher that flirts with $400,000. The new travel bus furnishes passengers with a condo-like interior with multiple slide-outs, smart home control, a home theater, a fireplace, and a variety of other comforts and conveniences that many a traveler or camper wouldn't know what to do with.
The new Journey comes built atop a Freightliner Maxum II XCM chassis powered by a 380-hp 8.9-L Cummins turbo-diesel engine. From the outside, it's your typical Class A RV bus with swooping graphics available in a variety of colors. The most interesting part of the exterior is the outdoor entertainment system that slides out from one of the storage compartments lined up between the axles. It packs a 40-in TV, home theater sound bar and portable Bluetooth subwoofer for game days, starry movie nights and general TV-viewing needs. Buyers can also add an outdoor fridge/freezer to save themselves having to hit "pause" and traipse inside.
Big motorhomes like the Journey aren't about putting on exterior appearances, though, and the real story always unfolds inside the door, in this case a passenger-side door with drop-down steps and dedicated awning. Winnebago highlights the most modest 35.5-foot (10.8-m) "34N" floor plan in its photos, so that's what we'll stick with, but the Journey will also come in larger 37.8- and 41.3-foot (9.7- and 12.6-m) versions with markedly different layouts.
The 35-footer relies on three slide-outs to open up the interior, with two of them located across from each other just behind the driver's cab. This vis-a-vis slide-out configuration opens the living room dramatically, and Winnebago makes clear the space is designed for hosting cocktail parties and other types of entertaining.
The near-full length slide on the passenger side houses a three-seat passenger bench up front, an expandable dining set in the middle, and a residential-style 510-L refrigerator at the rear, before it pushes its way into the bedroom to accommodate a wardrobe. The shorter driver-side slide-out is occupied by a full-cabinet unit topped by a long counter that houses a retractable 50-in smart TV up front and portable dual-burner induction cooktop in the rear corner.
The sofa sits directly across from the entertainment system, which also includes a sound bar setup. Those who don't need the convertible 48 x 74-in (122 x 188-in) bed that comes part and parcel with the three-seat sofa bench can opt instead for a pair of home theater recliners with built-in cupholders and roomy footrests, making the space a full-on mobile home theater. And should occupants not feel like watching TV, they can lower it away and focus on the view out the window and glow of the electric fireplace below the counter. A standard pair of "chottomans" work as footrests and include lifting seat backs to double as chairs.
The kitchen sink and pull-out counter extension are located on the wall next to the cooktop, creating an L-shaped kitchen that charts the path for the overhead cabinets and microwave/convection oven. An available dishwasher slides in below the sink for buyers who so choose. One nitpick about the kitchen layout is that the fridge gets pushed farther back behind the dining area instead of being directly across from the sink and cooktop. But we suppose you don't want to be dining directly across from the bathroom, either, which is where you'd be if you switched the fridge and dining area. Even huge motorhomes come with some compromises.
The bathroom between the kitchen and rear bedroom is a dry design that looks almost like it was plucked out of a home. It includes a glass door shower with seat and both wand and rainfall sprayer heads, a central porcelain toilet and a vanity sink surrounded by cabinets.
Owners will find the third slide-out at the rear of the Journey's driver side. It creates a spacious bedroom around the walk-around 72 x 80-in (183 x 203-cm) king bed with power-incline headrest. The full array of storage includes a dresser, two night stands and a clothes closet. A sliding door closes the bedroom off, and a smart TV is there for pre-bedtime entertainment.
Making the Journey's voluminous interior a little smaller and more connected, the Winnebago Connect system provides monitoring and control of key onboard systems from a centralized touchscreen and smartphones. Using the system, occupants can adjust the temperature all around the motorhome, turn lights on and off and operate the side awning. They can also quickly access information about battery power, tank levels, generator status and more.
The Journey living module comes powered by six deep-cycle leisure batteries, a 3,000-W inverter/charger and an 8,000-W Cummins Onan generator with auto-start. It includes dual 15,000-W air conditioners with heat pumps and an Aqua Hot tankless water heater fed by a 397-L fresh water tank. Other coach-wide amenities include a Winegard Air 360+ RV antenna with Wi-Fi router and AT&T SIM card, an available central vacuum system, and available hydronic floor heating.
The Freightliner driver's cab has swivel armchairs with six-way power adjustability and a 12.3-in infotainment system with navigation, rear color camera and Sirius-XM radio. The 33,400-lb (15,150-kg) chassis rides on an air suspension.
Winnebago debuted the 2022 Journey at this week's Road Ahead event, which also brought the introduction of the new Ekko off-grid motorhome. Pricing will start at a cool $377,181.