Winnebago Longreach

By: Bill Savidan


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The Longreach is an impressive package and offers a great deal to those planning to spend long periods of time on the road

Winnebago Longreach
Winnebago Longreach
  • The Longreach is fully self-contained and has an energy package to sustain extended periods of freedom camping
  • Two slide-outs make the Longreach feel like you’re in a small apartment
  • Plenty of storage space and ventilation in the kitchen
  • The cab is comfortable, well-appointed and has many safety features
  • The bedroom is spacious and the bed comfortable
  • When driving, the Longreach handles well

The Winnebago Longreach C3135SL we reviewed is 9.5m long, 2.4m wide and 3.6m high.

Forward of the rear bedroom suite on the driver’s side is the dinette and lounge settee, and on the kerbside are the kitchen and main entry.

The Longreach C3135SL has two slide-outs. One contains the permanent east/west rear bed and slides out 530mm on the kerbside. The other houses the four-person dinette and the three-seater settee that are mounted side by side, and slides out 700mm on the driver’s side.

The pantry, fridge and lockers offer adequate space. The Dometic 184-litre fridge/freezer is the AES model that automatically selects the appropriate power source – 12v, 240v or LPG. The fridge and the adjacent pull-out pantry are ‘high-mounted’ with lockers below.

Plenty of storage is available for kitchen items in the lockers above the sink and dinette, the cupboards and drawers below the bench, and the dinette seats and a glass fronted cabinet revealed when the slide-out is open. The microwave is above the bench. The rangehood, louvre windows, plus a large ceiling hatch, provide ventilation.

The dinette is a welcoming place, but when entertaining guests the seating arrangement splits the party into two groups, one at the dinette, and the other on the settee. The layout option with an armchair in place of the liquor cabinet could be a better one for entertaining.

The comfortable three-seater settee offers easy viewing of the LCD TV mounted opposite the purpose-built liquor cabinet. The settee folds down simply to a double bed (1930 x 1250mm) and there is room underneath to store bedding.

Creature comforts include hot water on tap via the LPG/240v water heater from two 125-litre fresh water tanks, instant floor-level ducted heat supplied by the Webasto diesel furnace, and back-up heating/cooling from the reverse cycle 240-volt aircon unit.

Passenger safety is ensured with eight seatbelts – two settee, four dinette and two in the cab.

There is direct access from the lounge to the cab, but I found it easier to exit and climb in the cab door.

Lumber support has been fitted to the cab seats. Both driver and passenger are protected with airbags and side impact beams in the doors. Driver aids include power windows, power-assisted steering, a rear vision camera and screen, cruise control, electrically heated adjustable side mirrors, cab aircon, and a Navmate stereo radio with DVD player incorporating a ‘satnav’ system.

The bedroom suite in this Longreach is the outstanding feature for me. The queen size permanent bed (2000 x 1550mm) has a comfortable ‘Envirofoam’ mattress over a slat base that lifts, giving access to storage below. With the slide-out open there is plenty of room to get dressed and get into the cupboards and drawers.

The shower unit in the corner of the bedroom means the separate toilet and hand basin are available for others to use. A fan-vent in the shower cubicle plus a large ceiling fan vent over the bed, and three opening windows ensure condensation is not a problem.

The bathroom has an efficient Dometic vacuum-evacuated toilet. I suggest a thorough brief on how to extract a full cassette for emptying. There are two toilet cassettes, one in use, and the other on standby.

In the locker beside the entry door are the three 100a/hr house batteries and two truck batteries, each bank on separate drawer slide. Under the five-metre Dometic roll-out awning is an awning light, the standard Winnebago outdoor entertainment centre, a sound system, TV and 240v connections, and a gas fitting for your BBQ. There are a host of external storage bins and the roof rack has room for a kayak or two. There’s also a standard tow bar. The external shower (hot and cold) is a good feature.

The Longreach has been designed with ‘outback’ travel in mind when there’s a long way between facilities. The base vehicle is Isuzu NQR450 chassis with a Series II 5.2lt diesel engine, an automated manual six-speed gearbox, ABS and ASR traction control, with double action shocks added to the front suspension.

Winnebago’s construction methods of fully insulated and laminated, roof, walls and floor, welded metal frame and galvanised metal protection to the underside of the floor provide reassurance.

The Winnebago 12/240v integrated distribution control panel and energy management system includes an Onan 3.6Kva generator, a 2000-watt inverter, a100-amp battery charger and two 80-watt solar panels. It is feasible to run all the 240-volt equipment whenever you choose. There is even an optional washing machine.

On our 1400km journey the Longreach handled well for a big rig and I felt confident in busy traffic. Occasionally on hills I found the auto gear selection to be indecisive. Switching to manual mode usually ironed out the problem. The suspension could be harsh on corrugated road surfaces.

Read in-depth RV reviews in the latest issue of Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations magazine, on sale now.

Specifications

Model C3135SL Isuzu NH NQR 450
Premium AMT Yes
Exterior length 9500mm
Exterior width 2490mm
Exterior height 3600mm
Wheel base 5425mm
Interior height 1980mm
Fresh water capacity 250ltr
Grey water capacity 125ltr
Black water capacity 25ltr
Hot water capacity 23ltr
LPG 18kg

Engine Four cylinder
Factory fitted turbo Yes
Displacement 5193cc
Output power 139kW@2600
Horsepower 186hp
Torque 510Nm @ 2600rpm
Fuel type Diesel
Fuel capacity 140ltr
Transmission AMT
Weights GVM 8700kg
Weights
GCM 12,200kg
Alternator amps 80-amp
Chassis voltage 24-volt
Wheel size 495mm (19.5 inch)

 

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