J. Dawg Journeys

My Winnebago View – A Two Year Summary

Winnebago View ProfileIts 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.

Problems

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.

Maintenance

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

         otal                                         $3,609

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.

Summary

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.

You can follow my current adventures in my View by signing up to Follow J. Dawg by Email below.

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29 thoughts on “My Winnebago View – A Two Year Summary

  1. Rob W

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been considering a 24J but it just has the one closet. Are you happy with the storage space for clothes in your model?

    Thanks
    Rob W
    Dallas, Tx

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Bob, Thanks for reading. In my 24V, there’ss a small wardrobe closet that is not adequate for clothes storage. We use the shower stall as a closet. We rarely use the shower in the RV so it makes a good closet for hanging clothes.
      J. Dawg

  2. Roger Bohnke

    Thanks J.Dawg. This is a very interesting and helpful post. I’ve been following your updates since you got the View and I’m happy to see it’s working out well. We’re seriously considering the new Winnebago Fuse on the Ford Transit chassis. It will offer a nice twin bed option as well as a walk-around queen bed on a slide option. Still a diesel engine, but with significantly less towing capacity. We really don’t plan to tow though. Nice to see Winnebago continuing to innovate. It would be nice to see them offer the Fuse with one of the Ford Transit’s gas engine options.
    Your maintenance costs seem very reasonable considering the number of miles you drove. That’s especially helpful info.
    Roger

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Thanks for reading, Roger. I’m going to take a look at the Fuse this winter, if I get a chance. Curious to see that queen bed. The specs look interesting.
      J. Dawg

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Thanks for commenting. I’ve had MB dealers reset the ASSYST system when I’m in for some type of service (fuel filter, NOX sensor). I recently found procedures online (MB procedures) that use the dash M and O buttons. I tried them on my last oil change and they worked fine.
      J. Dawg

  3. Rick

    Hi J Dawg, Enjoy your blog very much. We will probably pull the trigger and buy a View this winter or spring. My question to you is since there are not as many Mercedes dealers like Ford and Dodge, do you have to wait long for service or warranty appointments? What about parts? Also, can you get the minor stuff like oil changes and filter changes done at a “Fast lube and Oil” place?
    Have fun in the sun, we are stuck in Wisconsin for another year, then we are out of here. Thanks!! Rick

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Rick;
      Thanks for following my blog. I live within 30 miles of a Sprinter/MB dealer. The longest I’ve I had to wait for a schedule appt was three weeks. But recently, I made an appt within a week. When on the road, I’ve had a few unscheduled stops. I’ve been to Sprinter/MB dealers in Wichita, Albuquerque, Daytona, and Danbury, CT for check engine light issues while on a trip. All took me right in without an appt.
      For oil changes, the key is that you need to use MB Approved Spec 229.51 oil. Mobil 1 makes it and Valvoline makes it. You may not find it at many auto stores or at Quick Lube places. Also, you need to use a MB or Mann oil filter for your engine. Again, not an off the shelf type items. I’ve bough my filters and drain plug washers on Amazon as well as the oil. For my recent oil change, I used a Mann filter and got Valvoline MST SynPower 5W40 (229.51 approved) at Advanced Auto parts. The OM642 6 cyl engine takes 13 qts of oil. Its an easy oil change if you’re used to doing them yourself.
      Good luck with your plans and hope you have a mild winter.
      J. Dawg

  4. Gary Thatcher

    So glad I found your post about the View 24V. I am shopping for one (heading to the RV show here in Columbus this weekend). Is the heat pump optional, or is that a part of the AC unit? Are solar panels included or available? Does the entry step come out automatically?

    Thanks again for your blog

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Gary,
      Thanks for reading my blog. I believe the AC with a heat pump is an option. I have the heat pump version and it does work down to about 38 degrees. Solar is now an option. Its not that expensive to add it yourself. The entry step comes out when you open the door. Good luck with your purchase.
      J. Dawg

  5. Jack Morrison

    J. Dawg,

    What are you using to suction the oil from the crankcase from? It’s looking like I’m going to have to get back into the oil change business since we don’t have a Sprinter dealer in the state.

    Really enjoy your blog…keep it up!

    Jack

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Jack,
      Thanks for reading my blog. My 6 cyl 3.0 L engine has a drain plug on the crankcase. You need a big drain basin, cause that oil comes flying out. You also need a special wrench to get the oil filter out. I got mine on Amazon. The oil change is simple if you’re used to doing them on a car. Just there’s a lot more oil (13 qts). Hope this helps.
      J. Dawg

      1. Jack

        Thanks, J. Dawg.

        While searchin’ & learnin’, I came across the Topsider oil changer. It’ll have to be emptied before I’m done, but that’s not a problem and I’ve got some old 6 gallon gas cans to hold the old oil before I make a trip to the oil depository. Either way…suck or drain…sure beats trying to find a Sprinter dealer. I’m loving your blog….hope to be you in the near future! Keep showing me what I can do if I can just get out of my little rat-race.

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      I bought my View at LazyDays in Tampa, FL. I’ve had good experience with them. They have a very large service facility, but service can take long and scheduling must be done in advance. I would buy from them again. They sell hundreds on RV’s each day. The purchase process was very easy. No overselling add one and negotiating was easy.
      J. Dawg

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Russ,
      Thanks for reading. The Michelins give a much softer ride that the Continental tires. I’m hoping to get more miles from them.
      J. Dawg

  6. Robert Gregg

    J. Dawg

    Thank you for your very well written review on your Winnebago View experiences. I own a 2013 Sprinter/2014 Winnebago View 24 V that I bought new and we have has clocked 16,800 miles on it. Since purchase I have had the vehicle in Sprinter and Freightliner shops 7 times (six times in the last year) for the following:

    1.At 4,000 miles a DEF warning light on the dash. Called MB and they had me drive it to a Freightliner shop in Tulsa because the warning was “unusual” at that mileage.The technician filled it with DEF and reset the computer.
    2.At 9,000 miles the check engine light, ESP, ABS and ASR/BAS indicator lights came on. Called MB and they instructed me to take it to Sprinter Shreveport and they diagnosed a fault in the right RPM sensor. Part was unavailable so I took it home to Freightliner in Little Rock and they replaced the right RPM sensor.
    3.At 15,000 miles the check engine light, ESP, ABS and ASR/BAS indicator lights came on again on a return trip from Florida. Called MB and they instructed me take it to MB/Sprinter in Dothan Alabama. They diagnosed a fault in the left RPM sensor. Part was unavailable so I had it replaced at Freightliner in Little Rock once I returned home. When the RPM wheel sensors warning lights were on the cruise control was disabled. Otherwise the vehicle drove normally.
    4.On the drive back from having the second wheel sensor replaced the yellow check engine light illuminated. MB instructed me to take it back to Freightliner of Little Rock. They diagnosed a NOX sensor failure and replaced both NOX sensors. While the vehicle was at Freightliner I had the front end aligned at a collaborative tire center next door because the Freightliner dealer wouldn’t/couldn’t do the alignment.
    5.On the drive back home from the having the NOX sensors replaced and the alignment done the ESP and ASR/BAS sensors illuminated so I turned around and took it back to Freightliner requested that they inspect it on the spot. The technician diagnosed a faulty steering angle sensor and it has been ordered.

    The technology and mechanics of this vehicle are overwhelming to me. The one and only Sprinter technician within a 200-mile radius of Little Rock seems overwhelmed as well. When I asked him to explain the problems he chalked it up to German engineering. Unfortunately, this so-called German engineering has cost me multiple remote stops in Sprinter repair facilities and weeks of down time at the Freightliner dealer in Little Rock. Fortunately, the cost of all these repairs has been covered under a three-year warranty but the warranty expires in July and an extended warranty is extremely high. We love the coach for all the same reasons you do but we are fearful that our Sprinter sensor problems may continue beyond the warranty period and cost us lots of money and more time. Do you have any words of wisdom and further encouragement? Do you think these problems will subside?

    Bob

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Bob;
      Sorry to hear about all your problems. The technology in the Sprinter, especially, the exhaust after treatment system, is sophisticated and unfortunately a point of failure. Getting to learn and understand what the various lights mean was helpful to me. The first DEF warning light you had at 4,000 miles sounds like a normal condition that happened when the DEF is low. The DEF tank in the View is only 3.2 gal (not the 7 gal one that is in a standard Sprinter) and you’ll usually get 3,000-4,000 on a full tank. If you fill the tank after getting a warning light, the light will go out after 30-40 miles. I top mine off every 500-1000 miles so I don’t get the warning light. I can’t comment too much on your ESP and ABR light situation. I’ve had mine go off (with no CEL) during high cross winds where the RV was getting pushed around. Restarting the engine resets them, if it was high wind or a valid skid. I’ve had one NOX sensor (the downstream one) go after having a few CEL light episodes. Here’s what I’ve learned about the CEL from talks with a few Sprinter techs. It will illuminate due to bad fuel (biodiesel or just dirty fuel). The bad fuel or biodiesel can cause a hotter burn. When the computer senses certain parameters out of range (e.g, oxygen, fuel rail pressure), it will illuminate the CEL. A tech in Orlando told me 80% of the CEL’s he sees are due to bad fuel. These yellow CEL conditions will usually clear them selves. The computer needs to see three consecutive retarts with all parameters in the normal range. Sometimes it may take several restarts to get three normal readings in a row. A yellow CEL is not a fault; it’s a warning that something is out of range. A yellow CEL will usually clear itself. This tech told me 1) never use biodiesel and 2) fill up at name brand high volume diesel fuel places (near highways if possible). I’ve followed his advice for over 20,000 miles and have had no problems. I also always refuel when the tank is 1/2 empty. If I get a bad batch of fuel, hopefully it will only be a half tank. Also, while my Sprinter can go 30,000 miles between fuel filter changes, I have it done at 20,000. A dirty fuel filter will give you a yellow CEL.
      I hope your problems are behind you. Its maddening when they happen, but luckily they were all warnings and didn’t leave you stranded.
      J. Dawg

      1. Robert Gregg

        J. Dawg,

        Thanks so much for the reply. I will use your suggestions on fuel and DEF in the future and see if this helps.

        Bob

  7. Karl

    Hi J Dawg

    I have been reading your blogs for a few years now and find you have given some great info. My Wife and I got our View 24G this past Feb ( we picked it up at the factory with only 30 miles on the odometer ) and drove it home to Long Island,NY. We have only done one trip so far and that was about a week ago. I now have a little over 2000 miles on her. I have not checked my Miles per gallon, but i see you are getting around 16. so what i am asking is what is your average speed, do you stay at or below the speed limit.
    Thanks Karl

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Karl,
      Thanks for reading my blog and congrats on getting your new View. When on the highway, I typically drive 62-63 mph. That seems to be a sweet spot for me in terms of fuel economy. I drive with the waste tanks empty and only about 1/3 of a tank of fresh water. Wind resistance seems to be a big factor in my fuel mileage. A head wind will knock me down to 14 mpg. With a tail wind, I’ll get 18 mpg. Good luck and happy travels.
      J. Dawg

  8. Will

    Still enjoying your Winnebago? If you could wave a magic wand, would you change to a different class C going forward? If so, what and why?

  9. George

    Hi J. Dawg,

    After much research and visit to an RV show, I narrow down my choices of RV, but your blog was a great help in my decision making in picking Coachmen Prism 2200LE.

    Also, thank you for the Q and A. It is a real benefit to RV community.

  10. Ray

    Hi,
    We bought a 2017 View 24J and really like it so far. There is one item that we cannot find any information about. When we are driving,especially on rough roads, the microwave/convection makes a great deal of noise. We took everything out of it and the dealer said they couldn’t find anything. Is this just how it is??
    Thanks,

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Ray;
      Thanks for reading my blog. The noise in the microwave could be the glass plate bouncing on the rotary ring. When I travel I always wrap the glass plate with a dishtowel and place it back on the ring. The plate may bounce but it doesn’t make any sound. It’s easy to try to see if it silences the noise.
      J. Dawg

    2. Robert Gregg

      What kind of noise are you hearing? Is a rattle or does it sound like a wind or whistle nose? There is a vent flap on the outside of the coach that makes a wind like noise in that area if left unattended while driving. We put a sponge in ours while driving so it won’t flap.