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Winnebago Esperance Premium road test

by Ken Walker

9th November, 2012

Home > Road Tests > Winnebago

Our mission for this review was to travel by motor home and attend the Millmerran Camp Oven Festival. This event is held on the first weekend in October every 2 years. The next occasion is October 2014 at Millmerran Showgrounds. For the geographical embarrassed (me being one) Millmerran is 78 kilometres SW of Toowoomba (Queensland) on the A5 to Goondiwindi.

The Event

The Camp Oven Festival attracts a lot of people and this year there were about 1,800 RVs ranging from huge 5th wheelers, motor homes, caravans, camper trailers and tents occupying the camping area of the Millmerran Showgrounds for the festivities. Live entertainment was a feature from the Friday night through the weekend with bush poets, singers and comedians all going through their acts. We had almost forgotten that we were in the sunshine state until the walk on entertainers started singing their Country and Western music! But they have now caught up to the 1960s era.

Camp oven cooking was the predominate feature. But there were tractor pulling exercises using vintage tractors and whip cracking events too. The cooked food was judged in different categories for best in category and an overall winner was chosen too.

Camping on-site is available with or without power. Your chosen RV must be self-contained for water, although water is available. Fixed hoses to an RV is not permitted.

The Vehicle

A Winnebago Esperance Premium (model B2634SL) was the vehicle chosen for this adventure, which proved to be an excellent choice. We had booked a powered site in advance and were located in a fairly central location for all the festivities.

The Esperance Premium has a flat deck throughout, a 12v electric slide-out containing the lounge/dinette area and the refrigerator. This feature increases the living area to almost double adding to the ease of movement for the occupants.

The kitchen area is well equipped with 3 gas burners on the cooktop, gas oven and a micro wave oven. A stainless steel sink with inbuilt drainer has a separate tap for filtered water. There is also a handy bench extension which folds down when not in use. Three large drawers under the sink hold all the necessary cooking utensils and crockery. A cutlery drawer is also located here. But wait; there are more overhead storage areas above the kitchen bench and above the dinette, definitely plenty of storage room. However, be careful not to overload the vehicle.

A rear ensuite with separate bath/shower and toilet area, including a vanity unit which is situated across the rear of the vehicle. We were quite satisfied with the space available in this area.

This lay out has an 'east/west' double bed which lifts up for access to the cavernous storage area underneath. There is also a 2-compartment drawer for stowing smaller clothing items that can be reached without lifting the gas strut assisted bed base. Two overhead storage compartments above the bed provide ample space for all the rest of the travellers clothing, supported by a generous wardrobe with the ability to hang, without creasing, my lady’s evening gowns and my trousers.

Air conditioning and a ducted space heater are fitted to the living areas and are separate from the drive cab area of the vehicle.

Externally, the Esperance Premium has more storage bins with slide-out dual-house batteries (a separate engine cranking battery is fitted), a slide-out for a 2Kva generator, a bin for the stowage of the necessary electric leads, water hose for filling the fresh water tank (100 litre capacity) a hose for emptying the grey water (100 litre) tank. Black water capacity is 14 litres in a cassette type toilet with access via a hatch at the rear of the vehicle. For cooking purposes and heating of water the vehicle carries 2 x 4 kg gas cylinders in their own separate storage bin. On the offside, at the rear of the unit there is a large hatch to access the under bed storage area and to enable large objects; ie a folding bicycle or two to be carried. An external LPG gas fitting is available on the nearside to plug in a portable BBQ unit, very handy. A waterproof roll-out awning is located on the nearside for shade to sit under while relaxing and socialising.

Ventilation is by way of a roof hatch and louvre windows which provide a cross flow effect through the vehicle and may be left open during inclement weather (if desired).

The only flaw we found was the entry and flyscreen door set-up. The fly-screen door does not have any type of locking mechanism so when security is required such as sleeping or the unit is unattended the entire door must be closed. Winnebago have informed us that a caravan door may be fitted as a $1,000 option.

SPECIFICATIONS for the Esperance Premium
(as tested):

Exterior length: 7.936 m ... almost 8 metres!
Exterior width: 2.495 m
Exterior height: 3.150 m
Wheelbase: 4.35 m

Interior height: 2.015 m

GVM: 4,495 kg
GCM: 8,000 kg

Fuel capacity: 100 litres

Tyres: 195/75R16 (front and dual rear)

Suspension: Independent at front and leaf springs at the rear

Brakes: Discs, front and rear

NOTE: The specs mentioned here relate to the Winnebago Esperance Premium motor home built on the Iveco Daily chassis as mentioned in our story. The specifications may change with the choice of another chassis or other variations.

Other models

There are 6 variants of the Lowline or B Class and a further 6 in the Highline or C-Class vehicles. The Highline have a double bed over the driving cab enabling sleeping accommodation for 2 couples or a family of four.

A choice of chassis/engine combinations is available for this prestigious motor home.

Driving the Winnebago Esperance Premium

The motor home body, in this instance, is mounted on a Iveco 50C18 chassis fitted with a 3.0 litre Turbo-Diesel engine developing 130 kW of power @ 3,200 – 3,500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque @ 1,250 – 3,000 rpm. The power is transferred to the rear dual wheels via a 6 speed automated manual gearbox. Not to my liking as this style of transmission, when in auto mode, changes down when required, as the engine revs drop sometimes resulting in an unexpected downshift through two gears.

Overall, the unit was able to maintain highway speed limits. However, we found it was more fuel efficient to drive at around the 90 km/h mark. Of course, being a commercial vehicle, this large motor home is as nimble as any 8 metre long vehicle. Potential owners should take into account that a motor home of this size is not an oversized SUV, it is a truck (with the comforts of home when you're safely parked).

Driver and front seat passenger are well catered for in the reclining/swivelling captain’s chairs (with arm rests) covered in soft leather trim. Nice!! There are two other seating positions at the dinette fitted with lap/sash retracting belts.

The Esperance Premium has a cabin air conditioning unit which struggles to provide cool air on summer days due to vastness of the motor home interior. To overcome this problem we would fit custom made wall-to-ceiling curtains.

Driver's Licence Requirement

In NSW this rig can be driven with a standard car driver's licence, but the onus is on the driver to check with their state or territory traffic authority to ensure that they are compliant with their state/territory laws. (copyright image)


The Winnebago Esperance Premium, described in this review, has an MLP* of $177,190* plus the usual on-road costs*.

Amongst a wide variety of models, Winnebago have the entry level model known as Escape which is priced $105,990* and the range topping Winnebago Classic priced from $615,990* plus options and on-road costs.


We found the Winnebago experience most enjoyable and highly satisfying. The unit was easy to drive with minimal set-up time on arrival at overnight sites. The lifestyle afforded by this type of vehicle is in a world of its own. Those looking for a 'seachange' should consider this as a viable option and we would welcome the opportunity to do it again.

For additional support there is a Winnebago Owners Club which has a 24 hour toll free number for assistance.

Definitely worthwhile checking out the Winnebago range of desirable motor homes in my opinion.

* Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs).


More Winnebago News ..... here.
Recreational Vehicle News ..... here.

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