This gas-powered motorhome is ready for family adventures.
By Robbin Gould, Editor
Winnebago’s wide-ranging lineup of motorized and towable RVs includes a half-dozen Type A motorhome models. One is the Vista, a moderately priced, gasoline-powered coach that can accommodate several or more occupants for travel and entertaining. Vista floor plans include one or two slideouts, a rear bedroom, and additional sleeping berths.
At 35 feet long, the 35U is the largest of the bunch. It boasts two slideouts: one up front on the street side, the other on the curbside wall in the rear. It sleeps five, according to company specs.
The Ford F-53 chassis forms the foundation. Power comes from the 7.3-liter V-8 engine, which is paired with a TorqShift six-speed transmission that incorporates tow/haul mode. Hydraulic brakes with ABS provide stopping power. Automatic hydraulic leveling jacks come standard, as does a 5,000-pound-rated tow hitch. The 35U features 22.5-inch stylized aluminum wheels and a 22,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
The Vista reflects Winnebago’s SuperStructure construction. For example, interlocking joints connect the floor, sidewalls, and roof to evenly distribute weight throughout the vehicle. Laser cutters create precise joints in structural steel, which are said to be stronger and to require less welding. Thermo-panel sidewalls incorporate welded aluminum structures with fiberglass and high-density block-foam insulation. Metal parts and components undergo electrocoating to minimize corrosion.
The cab structure is made of steel. Winnebago technicians mount the windshield using nonhardening sealants, a process similar to that used in automobile manufacturing. Winnebago technicians employ an advanced alignment system, designed to enhance sturdiness, when joining the cab and the chassis.
Premium high-gloss sidewalls grace the exterior. Four color choices are available; each gives the coach a distinct personality. Depending on the graphics package selected, mirrors are black or chrome.
The 35U’s exterior entertainment center is sheltered beneath a 16-foot awning illuminated by a string of LEDs. Speakers flank the 32-inch exterior HDTV. When everyone else is relaxing outside, Winnebago’s PetPal leash tie-down system enables furry friends to join the party. This area offers a propane quick-connect setup as well for connecting a grill.
A porch light, operated by an interior switch, lights up the coach entry as needed. Two automatic steps ascend to the door. A sizable assist handle helps RVers to negotiate the steps.
Side-hinged doors with paddle latches provide access to the carpeted exterior storage bays, which also are illuminated. One is a large, pass-through compartment for extra-long or sizable items. In total, the 35U floor plan offers 134 cubic feet of exterior storage.
The 35U is supplied with 50-amp electrical service and a 50-amp converter/charger. A solar panel/battery charger prep kit comes standard; it includes a three-way plug-ready port mounted on the roof and a single port installed in an exterior storage bay. With this setup, RVers can add aftermarket solar panels up to a total of 450 watts. (Winnebago offers an optional 115-watt roof-mounted panel.)
A 5,500-watt Cummins Onan MicroQuiet gasoline-powered generator comes standard on this floor plan, as does a 1,000-watt inverter. Its two deep-cycle marine/RV Group 31 batteries work with a battery disconnect system, automatic dual-battery charge control, and an auxiliary start circuit.
The interior is warmed by a 40,000-Btu low-profile furnace and cooled via two 13,500-Btu high-efficiency, low-profile roof air-conditioning units. A programmable thermostat helps to manage heating and cooling. Holding tanks reside in a dedicated, heated compartment below the floor and benefit from Winnebago’s TrueLevel holding tank monitoring system. The black-water tank comes with a flushing system. As its name suggests, Winnebago’s OnePlace systems monitor keeps a watch on these and various other systems all in a single location.
Cab And Cockpit
The pilot and copilot can take in a wide-ranging view through the panoramic windshield, which is outfitted with an MCD blackout roller visor/shade. The cab’s side windows have MCD blackout roller shades.
The automotive-style dash includes a combination radio/rearview monitor system with a 6.2-inch LCD color touch screen for use with the rear camera; controls for iPads and other Apple devices (it’s Android compatible as well); and a Bluetooth CD/DVD player. An optional video camera system provides views down the sides of the RV when the turn signals are activated. In front of the copilot’s chair, a workstation contains USB and 12-volt connections.
Driver and passenger seats are equipped with three-point seatbelts. The seats boast two-position armrests, fixed lumbar support, and multi-adjustable slide/recline. With the seats swiveled rearward to join the living area, a pedestal table can be inserted.
To power the seemingly endless electronic devices used today, Winnebago designers have positioned USB ports near the driver and passenger seats, as well as in the dinette area, living area, and rear bedroom.
The optional 48-inch-by-80-inch powered StudioLoft bed comes in handy when needed. This mattress rests against the ceiling of the cab and lowers into position at the touch of a switch. The StudioLoft bed comes with a ladder.
The 35U provides ample room for dining and relaxing, especially with the street-side slideout extended. Seating throughout the coach is covered in Primera, a soft, polyurethane fabric with a leather feel. Aft of the cab, windows are tinted and paired with MCD blackout shades. Wood-plank-look vinyl flooring runs throughout the motorhome, and soft-touch vinyl covers the ceiling. LED lights extend along the length of the ceiling and are positioned elsewhere as needed. Thermoform molded-plastic countertops with decorative backsplashes grace the galley and the bath area. The 2021 Vista features three new interior color schemes.
A 40-inch-by-66-inch sofa bed forms a seating area with the pilot and copilot seats when they are swiveled rearward. The sofa sits in the front half of the slideout, across from the 35U’s 49-inch LCD HDTV, which hangs above a credenza-type storage piece. RVers can opt for theater seating in place of the sofa.
Adjacent to this seating area in the slideout is a high-low adjustable dinette table that measures 42 inches by 68 inches. The dinette’s forward-facing bench incorporates a tether anchor for a child’s seat.
The 35U’s galley comes with a three-burner glass-top range and oven, a microwave oven, and a two-door residential refrigerator. Galley options include a microwave-convection oven, a larger residential four-door refrigerator/freezer with ice maker, and a range with a bigger oven. The angled stainless-steel sink is equipped with a high-rise faucet. Pantry space is available next to the fridge.
The bath includes a 26-inch-by-38-inch molded shower with a flexible showerhead and a skylight. Generous counter space surrounds the vanity.
A sliding door sequesters the rear bedroom from the rest of the motorhome. The head of the 72-inch-by-75-inch king-size bed rests in the slideout, along with a wardrobe. The bed is topped with a foam mattress, with storage available below. A “pet palace” offers access for one’s furry companions or can be used for storage. Across from the foot of the bed, a vanity and a smaller wardrobe run across the length of the street-side wall. Above the vanity, space is reserved for an optional 24-inch HDTV.
The Vista supplies RVing families with all the creature comforts they need. The 35U in particular offers a practical layout and many residential features that should enhance traveling, entertaining, and relaxing during downtime.
SPECS | WINNEBAGO VISTA 35U
Winnebago Inc., P.O. Box 152, Forest City, IA 50436; (641) 585-3535; www.winnebago.com
TorqShift 6-speed automatic
house — (2) deep-cycle marine/RV Group 31 batteries;
chassis — Group 24
12 feet 1 inch
6 feet 8 inches
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front — 8,000 pounds;
rear — 15,000 pounds
OCCUPANT & CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (OCCC)
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 57 gallons;
black water — 41 gallons
40,000-Btu low-profile furnace
(2) 13,500-Btu high-efficiency low-profile units
5,500-watt Cummins Onan MicroQuiet, gas
2-door residential refrigerator/freezer, standard;
4-door residential refrigerator/freezer with icemaker and cold-water purification system, optional
marine with foot pedal
1 year/15,000 miles basic limited;
3 years/36,000 miles limited on structure;
10 years limited parts and labor on fiberglass roof skin
BASE MANUFACTURER’S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE