Fifty years ago, Winnebago rolled off its first RV. It was pretty
Spartan by today’s standards, but it offered a lot of features for its
time. Throughout its history, the company has broadened its lines with a
number of models on both ends of the price spectrum. In the last few
years, Winnebago has reached deeper into the luxury market and today,
its Vectra gets top billing. The feature-rich Vectra 40TD floorplan is a
holdover from 2007, but the 2008 model offers a number of refinements
that make its 40-foot stature very appealing.
Driving down the California coast near Los Angeles, our shakedown cruise
in this Class A diesel-pusher was uneventful until the gale-force winds
broke the serenity of the trip. Sitting in the driver’s seat, the pilot
has a good command of the road, and the Maxum chassis — a cooperative
effort of Freightliner and Winnebago — proved to be masterful on the
highway. The 425-hp Cummins propels this rig with spirited energy, and
logging almost 10 mpg while cruising the highway at maximum legal speeds
was quite enlightening.
The 40TD features two slideouts. One is 16 feet and stretches
from just behind the driver’s seat to the rear of the main living room.
The refrigerator, dinette and one of the two ultraleather power couches
reside in this streetside slide. The curbside slide houses the forward
galley, the second couch, a structure that houses the entertainment
electronics, an optional 37-inch LCD TV, hallway closet, rear bed and
Corian countertops grace a well-equipped galley, including a
dishwasher that slides out like a drawer. The brushed-steel appliance
fronts are very appealing, and the sink fixtures are top-notch. My only
complaint is the lack of counter space when the three-burner stove and
double stainless-steel sink are in use.
A generous amount of space makes the bathroom nearly perfect.
The shower is huge, the fixtures are luxurious, and there is plenty of
lavatory counter space supported by a large sink and enough cabinets to
handle almost anything most owners want to store.
Surrounding the coach are large exterior compartments, all with
side hinges, which eases access, even when the slides are out. The
lowered-rail chassis design enhances the basement area, providing more
than 23 inches of pass-through storage height. The compartments and
other intrusions into the side walls blend nicely with the full-body
paint scheme. A 10,000-pound-rated hitch receiver is standard.
The Maxum chassis with its independent front suspension
delivers responsive handling and a smooth, almost bus-like ride, and the
60-degree wheel cut provides a shorter turning radius and enhanced
maneuvering capabilities making tighter campground access roads easier
There’s not much missing in Winnebago’s flagship Class A. Off
the top of my head, I’d opt for a washer/dryer and upgrade the
flat-screen TV in the bedroom to be on par with the one in the living
room. Winnebago continues to be a household name in the RV industry; the
Vectra is sure to be a nameplate that will be easily recognized by
those seeking luxury motorhomes.
Winnebago Industries, (641) 585-3535, www.winnebagoind.com