Its been about two years, since I traded my 2012 Roadtrek 190 for a new 2014 Winnebago View Profile. In those two years, I’ve logged about 40,000 miles and spent over 300 days traveling in the View.
It’s worked out to be a great motorhome for my travel lifestyle. It’s small enough to be a nimble traveling vehicle. And it’s just large enough to do extended stays at an RV park for the winter.
I’ve had good luck with my View and figured I’d write about my experience with it over the past two years. I don’t have any affiliation with Winnebago or any dealer. I’m just writing this in the spirit of sharing my experience.
What I Like Best
Two things. First, I like that it’s efficient. My fuel mileage averages right around 16.5 mpg. I travel about 20,000 miles per year. At my fuel mileage, that translates into about 1,212 gallons of diesel fuel. Using an average price of $2.40 per gallon, I spend about $2,900 on fuel per year. If I had a comparable sized gas motorhome, my fuel mileage would be about 8.5 mpg and I’d be spending almost double what I currently spend on fuel.
Second, I like that it’s nimble. The motorhome is small enough so I can pretty much go everywhere and stay everywhere. Because of this, I don’t tow a car. When I stay put in Florida for 3 months, I travel around by bike, trolley, or rent a car for a day at a time, when needed. It’s also easy to unhook the RV and drive to a store.
What I Like Least
I really don’t have much to complain about. There are two things I can think of that would be nice to have.
I have a model 24V with two twins beds that turn into a king size sleeping area. The bed is comfortable and I sleep fine on it. But, It would be nice to have a walk around bed with a regular queen size mattress.
The second would be having a little more counter space for cooking preparation. It’s tough to cook a big meal in the kitchen.
The diesel engine does require some extra steps to resupply the DEF fluid every few hundred miles, but it’s an easy DIY task.
My motorhome has been very reliable and I’ve had very few problems. When I took delivery, the refrigerator did not get cold enough and was replaced before I drove off the dealers lot. Some drawers also had to be adjusted.
In the past two years, I’ve only had two failures within the motorhome. One was the spring on the refrigerator catch latch broke. I was able to replace this myself and the cost was a couple of bucks. The second was a pressure relay switch in the AC unit failed necessitating the whole AC unit being replaced. This was replaced under warranty.
On the chassis side, I had some issues with the Check Engine Light (CEL) and the exhaust treatment system. I had several check engine light incidents which we believe were caused by bad fuel. I wrote about these problems here – The RV Breakdown Blues. One incident was caused by the DEF tank sensor being out of calibration. One other was caused by a bad NOX sensor, which was replaced under warranty. None of these problems caused any performance issues or caused the engine to stop working.
I also had an issue where the Mercedes Benz key fob stopped working for the coach and passenger side doors. Winnebago replaced a wiring harness to fix a short in the wiring. This was covered under warranty. I need to have a Mercedes Benz dealer reset or replace the door SAM unit to resolve the problem.
I’m a firm believer in having all the scheduled maintenance performed. Every year, I take it back to the dealer to have all the appliances checked, burners cleaned, the AC unit checked, and have the propane system tested for leaks. This service usually costs me $250 each year.
I replace the under the sick water filter every year, sanitize the water system twice a year, and flush out the hot water heater each year. I also do the winterization my self.
I replaced the original two 12V dual propose batteries with two 12V true deep cycle batteries after two years. I got the replacements at Sam’s Club for $80 each and installed them myself. The original batteries where working fine, but they were starting to discharge sooner. I could have tried to get one more year from them, but decided to replace them before I went to Florida.
On the chassis side, the Mercedes Benz 3.0L turbo diesel engine has a very long service interval – 15,000 miles for oil changes, 30,000 miles for a fuel filter, 40,000 for air filters, and 60,000 for transmission fluid.
Some of these seem excessively long and being an old shade tree mechanic, I do the oil changes myself about every 10,000 miles. I can do an oil change for about $130. The Mercedes dealer charges about $290 for this service. The fuel filter can go for 30,000 miles, but I have it done at 20,000 miles. It’s easy to access but can be tricky to disconnect and reconnect cable and hoses. It’s a $60 part, but I have the dealer to this for $300 parts and labor. The cabin and engine air filters are easy to change. They cost $20-30 each. I do these myself and save the extra $130 labor that the dealer would charge.
I also replaced the original tires at 36,000 miles. The original Continental tires had some tread life left and I probably could have driven on them for a few more thousand miles, but I wanted to replace them before going to Florida. I replaced the Continentals with Michelin LTX M/S2 tires.
Here’s a summary of my maintenance cost for the past two years;
- RV Appliance and AC Tests $396
- RV Propane Tests $120
- Water filters $120
- Coach Batteries $160
- DEF Fluid $150
- Oil Changes (4) $631
- Fuel Filters (2) $632
- Air Filters $45
- Tires (6) $1355
So, for the first two years, all my repairs were covered under warranty at no cost to me. Routine maintenance was typical for the annual mileage that I drive (20,000 per year). I could have saved some (maybe $430) if I had stuck to the recommended service schedule. And, I could have saved some money by going with less expensive tires.
Looking at these expenses caused me the question what my maintenance costs might have been for a gas engine model RV. If I had a similar size gas engine motorhome, I would have done maybe twice the number of oil changes, but they would have required half the amount of oil that my diesel engine requires. So, my guess is that the oil change expense would have been about the same. I would have avoided the Fuel Filter expense and the DEF Fluid expense, but all the other expenses would have been incurred had I bought a gas engine motorhome.
Overall, I’ve had good luck with my Winnebago View Profile. I didn’t have any breakdowns but I did have a few unscheduled trips to Mercedes Benz dealers to diagnose some CEL incidents. The coach part has been pretty good other than the AC unit failing. I think my experience has been typical of other View owners.
Also, the dealers I’ve dealt with (both Winnebago and Mercedes Benz) have all been been very helpful.
I like that I’m saving a lot on fuel expenses having a small motorhome with a diesel engine. Over two years, that savings is almost $6,000 compared to a similar sized gas engine model. That savings is substantial. Given the efficiency, nimbleness, quality, and reliability of my View, it’s been a good choice for my travel lifestyle.
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