Winnebago’s smallest Adventurer is ready for big fun with four slideouts and plenty of living space
It wasn’t that long ago that a quad-slideout motorhome was considered the pinnacle of luxury, the ultimate expression of the mobile lifestyle. All you had to say was, “It’s a quad-slide …” and whatever came next didn’t really matter. Of course, since then, we’ve seen a lot of interesting developments in motorhome floorplans, including full-wall slideouts that have become commonplace in both gas and diesel platforms. But there’s still a certain mystique about a Class A motorhome with four slideouts, and something very intriguing about one that is only 34 feet in total length.
The Adventurer line represents Winnebago’s best efforts in the Class A gas segment, and though its 32D is the smallest, it by no means gives up anything but overall length to its three larger siblings (35P, 37F, 38Q). In fact, for many, it may be the ideal motorhome – not too big on the outside, but with plenty of room for entertaining inside. Part of the credit naturally goes to the opposing slideouts, but the addition of Winnebago’s InLounge couch, accompanying InTable system and a welcoming kitchen/entertainment area make this motorhome perfect for entertaining a party of up to six. We know – we did it.
Sport bikes are a big part of our family’s lifestyle – we ride them on the street, tour on them and occasionally enjoy getting together at the track to put our riding skills to the test. So when we heard of a track day at one of our favorite venues in Arizona, we loaded up the Adventurer and headed out to Phoenix to meet up with the rest of the clan. Our basic gear was easily accommodated by the voluminous outdoor storage compartments, the middle of which are semi pass-through; that is, the part that actually passes through to the other side is only tall enough for a folding table and chairs, which is exactly what we used it for. Some outdoor carpet, a portable Weber grill and other supplies fit in the larger spaces with plenty of room to spare, but we were mystified by the baggage-door arrangement. All of the doors on the curbside swing up, while the ones on the streetside are a combination of side opening and top opening. Having access to the batteries and hydraulics through one streetside door and the electronics through another, however, is a thoughtful and welcome feature.
As is typical of Ford chassis motorhomes, the drive was definitely not the best part of our trip – the V-10 engine is harsh and noisy, the brakes felt only adequate and the steering was both vague and notchy at times. Keeping the Adventurer in its own lane with the prevailing desert winds was an adventure unto itself, requiring constant attention. If this were our motorhome, some extra sound-deadening material in the doghouse area and a few suspension upgrades for better handling would be the first orders of business.
The cockpit is well-laid-out, and all of the must-haves are within easy reach, including those that you’ll need when you get to camp, like the auto-leveling system and generator controls. The Ultraleather driver and front passenger seats are comfortable and supportive enough, and the passenger seat features a manually activated footrest and a workstation that slides out from the dash. The footrest is really too close to the dash to be effective during travel, but it is nice to have when entertaining – which made us wonder why the driver’s seat wasn’t similarly equipped. Turning either seat to face the living area requires a carefully orchestrated process of moving the seats back and forth, raising/lowering arm rests and reclining/raising the seatbacks. Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quickly – but since most of us don’t use our motorhomes every day, the process must be relearned every time it’s used. It’s a little frustrating, but not nearly as much as the all-in-one “infotainment” system with radio/navigation/DVD player/side-rear camera display (a $1,610 option). Clearly, all of these features were too much for its tiny electronic brain – and as a result, it couldn’t perform all of the functions correctly. Using the turn signals caused the radio to turn off while the unit struggled to display the side view, which usually took five or more seconds. The navigation unit routinely froze, and changing radio stations on the touch screen was absolutely maddening – it took the system two or more seconds to respond to a command for a different channel. We would tell you who makes this electronic annoyance, but the manufacturer’s name isn’t on the faceplate. No surprise – we wouldn’t want to take credit for it either.
Happily, the problem with the infotainment unit was the exception on this motorhome. Once we got to our destination in the wind-blown pit area, we activated the automatic leveling system, deployed the slides and turned on the generator. Soon, we were relaxing in air-conditioned splendor, the envy of every rider at the track. The Adventurer’s attractive Black Walnut full-body paint scheme combined with black tinted windows drew more than its fair share of attention, with several enthusiasts stopping by to inquire about the floorplan, cost and other details. Out in the boonies and without a cable hookup, we couldn’t watch TV, so instead were content to watch the DVD collection of the series “Friends” on the 42-inch LG TV as we prepared a simple (but delicious) dinner of rib-eye steaks and roasted potatoes. A washing-machine drum filled with mesquite embers took care of the steaks, while the potatoes were roasted in foil on the Weber grill we brought along. We might have watched a little TV on the optional exterior entertainment center ($1,253) that slides out of an exterior compartment, but we didn’t want to show off, and ambient noise at the track made hearing dialogue difficult anyway.
When the food was ready, we pressed the InLounge and InTable systems into service. The ends of the couch pull out like large drawers, forming a U-shaped sofa that easily seats four full-size adults. Deploying them wasn’t what we’d call effortless, but the system worked as designed and the couch was comfortable. It also worked magnificently with the InTable, which is pulled into place and expanded courtesy of two large leaves. With two folding chairs placed in the aisle, six diners were seated comfortably and the table wasn’t even crowded. When not in use, the InTable stows cleverly beneath a shelf located in the hall between the living/bedroom areas. It looks like a built-in piece of furniture (save for the straps that keep it secured during travel) and the shelf above it works wonderfully as a catchall for keys, wallets and sunglasses – plus it’s equipped with 120-volt AC outlets and USB ports, making it easy to charge phones and tablets.
Next to the table storage area, as you work your way back, is a huge storage compartment that we used to stash blankets, pillows, towels and a couple of duffel bags. Optionally, it can house a washer/dryer, but we really appreciated the extra space here for our stuff, and the shelves are adjustable. The bisected door folds as it is opened too, so it doesn’t take much room to open it fully.
Across the hall is the bathroom, which has all the room most people are ever going to need. In the right corner is the sink vanity with plenty of counterspace and a good-sized sink, above which is a mirrored medicine cabinet. There’s also storage space below. In the left corner is a radius shower with clamshell glass doors, which was attractive and functional. It accommodated the different body sizes in our group with ease, and the metal, residential-style showerhead and skylight were welcome touches. The space also has a porcelain toilet with foot flush, and a small storage cabinet just inside the door. Overall, the space works well, but the residential-style ceiling fan – which looks nice and is quiet – isn’t quite as effective as a good ol’-fashioned roof vent.
The bedroom features opposing slides for the headboard and wardrobe. The test unit was equipped with the optional king bed, which you may prefer if you have one in your home, but we would have stuck with the standard queen. Equipped as it was, the bed was nearly wedged into place, leaving no room on either side for nightstands. We had to put phones, water bottles, books and the like alongside us on either side of the bed, which isn’t a very elegant solution. However, the wardrobe at the foot of the bed was very well executed with space for hanging clothes, and lots of drawer space. And, the 32-inch TV is located smack dab in the middle, where it should be. Below the TV is a space where you can put a satellite receiver, and there are connections to accommodate it. We also liked the sconces on either side of the bed, the ceiling fan and the rear window, which admitted welcome light in the morning.
After a comfortable night’s rest, we rose early to make breakfast for the crew. There’s more than enough space on the Corian countertops for food-prep duties, and the three-burner stove has a Corian cover if you need extra room, as does the large double-bowl stainless-steel sink. Cabinetry here is well-made and plentiful, and we liked the large slideout spice racks (or small slideout pantries, depending on how you view them). The optional wood-front, four-door refrigerator/freezer ($2,485) drew high marks for its space and functionality, and it kept all of our beverages nice and cold as the temperature outside neared triple digits. MCD solar and blackout shades throughout the motorhome were deployed at various times throughout the day to keep the interior cool and dark, and when light was required, there were no worries about the bright LED fixtures raising the interior temps.
All in all, it was a great trip – and much of the enjoyment came courtesy of this motorhome. Despite its few flaws, it was plain to see that Winnebago is continuing to put its best foot forward with the Adventurer product line – but perhaps more importantly, it’s keeping the reputation of the mighty quad-slide alive in the 32D.
Winnebago Industries Inc.
641-585-3535 | winnebagoind.com