Winnebago has always been the name you can trust when it comes to RVs. Does the Winnebago Fuse live up to the brand name? In this Winnebago Fuse review, I’ll list all of its specs and features so you can decide if it is the right RV for you.
The Winnebago Fuse is a Class C motorhome powered by a Power Stroke I5 3.2L 5-cylinder diesel engine. This engine is capable of providing up to 185 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque. At 24-feet long and 7-1/2-feet wide, it is big enough to house four people comfortably. It is also easier to drive compared to other RVs of similar size.
Read on to learn more about the Winnebago Fuse, including its specs, features, reliability, and some commonly reported issues.
About the Winnebago Fuse
The Winnebago Fuse is the replacement for the previous bestselling Class-C, the Winnebago Trend. To say that it is a different machine from its predecessor is an understatement. Aside from having a different chassis, the Winnebago Fuse also has a more efficient 3.2L I5 5-cylinder diesel engine.
Can Accommodate Four Adults
This is a van-type Class-C motorhome that can comfortably accommodate up to four adults. It also has a complete kitchen and dining area and a modest-sized bathroom.
Three Floorplan Configurations
The Winnebago Fuse comes in three floorplan configurations – the 23A, 23F, and the 23T. The main differences between the three configurations are the locations of the slide-outs and the size of the main bed.
However, after a couple of years of production, Winnebago has discontinued the Fuse, with 2020 being the last year model. The new Winnebago Ekko will replace the Fuse.
Winnebago Fuse Performance on the Road
The Winnebago Fuse is based on the Ford Transit. It is a very reliable base vehicle. Owners have only good things to say about this RV. Most of them report that the Fuse gets around 15-17 miles per gallon based on mixed driving conditions.
2. Easy to Drive
The Fuse is relatively easy to drive. Because of the short wheelbase, the Winnebago Fuse drives more like a large SUV rather than a large pickup. This promotes backing it up into a parking space, which is extremely difficult to do with other Class-C RVs.
If you need to make a U-turn, doing it in a Fuse is relatively easy. This is easier to do than other RVs, where you need to make a 12-point turn to make them go the other way.
Speaking of parking, you can easily park the Winnebago Fuse wherever you can park a long bed truck. Fuse is so compact for an RV that can accommodate a small family. Also, it is a convenient benefit as most of the unoccupied spaces in campsites require backing up to park.
4. Joy to Drive
It is also a joy to drive. You can just set the cruise control and take it easy. Many people enjoy driving the Fuse more than their cars, especially for long-distance trips. The main reason is that their high seating position puts them above the rest of the traffic. This gives them a great vantage point of the road ahead.
5. It Doesn’t Have a Rear Window
You need to know about the Fuse because it does not have a rear window. This means you do not have a rearview mirror as well. Although you can opt to have a rearview camera installed, which is highly recommended, you will need to learn how to drive using just the side mirrors.
Ground Clearance Issue
You may also have issues with the Fuse’s ground clearance. It is easy to misjudge the height of a speed bump and grind the stair supports against it. Another clearance issue that many people have with this RV is the low rear bumper. You can easily scrape the bottom on some high curbsides. It will have helped a lot if the Fuse sits at least 2-inches higher.
Winnebago Fuse Engine and Performance
Because the Winnebago Fuse is based on the Ford Transit chassis, you can expect that it will be a workhorse. The massive 3.2L I5 diesel engine can produce up to 185 horsepower. When coupled with the Select Shift 6-speed automatic transmission, it can reach its optimal cruising speed of 65 miles per hour with relative ease.
The Fuse can also pump out up to 350 ft/lbs of torque. This means that you will not have any trouble hauling an additional trailer up to 5,000 pounds. Also, when you need to drive up a rather steep road, the engine will not have any trouble propelling you on your way.
Winnebago Fuse Camping Amenities
1. Onboard Generator and Solar Panels
One of the best things about the Winnebago Fuse is that it is self-sustaining. Aside from the onboard generator, it also has solar panels. You can go anywhere aside from the usual campgrounds, like a secluded cove, out in the middle of the desert, and anywhere else. This is possible without needing to compromise your creature’s comforts.
2. Queen-sized Bed
If you want to sleep outside under the stars but the weather does not permit it, you will be pleased with the Winnebago Fuse’s spacious queen-sized bed. You will be getting such a good night’s sleep. It will feel like you did not leave your home at all.
3. Spacious Galley
The galley of the Winnebago Fuse is not large, but it is adequate for preparing meals for a small family. Depending on which floor plan you opt for, you can get a two- or three-burner gas stove, a microwave oven, or a combination microwave/convection oven. If you choose the Winnebago Fuse 23T floorplan, you will even get a modest-sized pantry.
Again, what does Winnebago Fuse offer? The Winnebago Fuse is a Class C motorhome that’s easy to drive compared to other RVs. It is 24-feet long and 7-1/2-feet wide and capable of accommodating up to four people. Lastly, it has a Power Stroke I5 3.2L 5-cylinder diesel engine. This engine can deliver up to 185 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque.
The Winnebago Fuse’s Basic Amenities
1. Flex Bed System
As mentioned earlier, the Winnebago Fuse comes with a queen-sized bed, but this is only for the Winnebago Fuse 23T and 23F. If you want more sleeping spaces, the Winnebago Fuse 23A option offers two twin beds, both of which utilize the Flex Bed system.
This option allows you to convert the two twin beds into roughly as spacious as a king-size. The bed can span the entire width of the Fuse.
2. Spacious Bathroom
Another nice thing about the Winnebago Fuse is its spacious bathroom. This RV comes with a wide enough shower to prevent your elbows from bumping against the wall when you are washing your hair.
The toilet is also big enough, even for people with rather large frames. However, this can be an issue for those who are below average height. For instance, if you are around 5’3” and have somewhat short legs, your feet might not even touch the floor.
3. 32” HD LED Television, CD/DVD Player, and More
Regarding entertainment, you will be getting a 32” HD LED television with an amplified digital TV antenna and is also satellite system ready. You will also be getting a CD/DVD player. It may seem a bit outdated, considering Blu-ray is now the standard. On the other hand, you can shell out a bit of money to change the DVD player with a Blu-ray.
4. Dark-tinted Windows
All the windows, besides the windscreen, also have dark tints for privacy and keep the interior cool. For additional privacy and comfort, the Fuse comes with blackout roller shades. The floor and ceiling are all covered in sturdy vinyl, which you can replace if they get worn out too much.
5. Standard Plumbing
The Winnebago Fuse also comes with all the standard plumbing that you would expect from a modern RV. There is a city water service hookup for when you are at a campsite that offers it.
It also has a 10-feet sewer hose when you will be emptying the black water tank. The RV has a 6-gallon water heater, an on-demand water pump, and a winterization system that makes the task hassle-free.
Is the Winnebago Fuse Reliable?
Mechanically speaking, because the Fuse is based on a Ford Transit diesel chassis, which is a highly reliable work van, you can be sure that it can haul the entire weight of the RV. If you need to, you can haul a trailer behind the Fuse up to 5,000 pounds.
Another nice thing about the design of the Fuse is that even though it is quite high, it has a low position for its center of gravity. Even a semi-truck passing by it on the highway will not even make the body sway a bit.
In terms of reliability, you can expect that this RV will be a big-miler. It is rare to find a Winnebago Fuse review that says they did not clock 10,000 to 15,000 miles before having any major repairs done. Will this RV reach 200k? Easily, especially if you properly maintain and take care of it.
Winnebago Fuse Common Issues
1. Low Ground Clearance
The most common problem that Winnebago Fuse owners have to deal with is the low ground clearance. The Fuse sits low on the ground for its size, making the undercarriage snagging on even small imperfections on the road.
What makes the small clearance is that the rear of the RV hangs a bit too low. There are many reports of Fuse owners snagging the rear of their RV on curbs. This sometimes causes considerable body damage.
2. Minor Electrical Issues
There are also a couple of electrical issues that many Fuse owners complain about. Most of them are minor but quite annoying. One of the most common electrical complaints is the dreaded “check engine” light turning on for no apparent reason.
3. Poorly Constructed Cabinetry
Another common complaint of Fuse owners is the poorly constructed cabinetry – more specifically, the cabinet doors suddenly flying open while on the road. It is easy to fix this by adding sturdier hardware. However, this should not have been an issue in the first place if the cabinets were made better.
4. Too Loud Built-in Generator
Although it did not bother me personally, many people said that the built-in generator was a bit too loud. It is even possible to hear it inside and out of the RV. However, aside from the noise, there hasn’t been much to complain about.
Winnebago Fuse Pros
1. Has a Highly Reliable Diesel Engine
Although the I5 diesel engine does not have as much horsepower as a V8, it has plenty of torque. This means that the Fuse will not have any trouble even when you load it to its limits.
2. Has a Lot of Storage Spaces
There are plenty of storage areas inside and outside of the Winnebago Fuse. Outside, there are lots of cargo spaces. The main one outside is big enough to fit a person or a couple of sleeping bags.
3. Compact yet Roomy
Winnebago Fuse Cons
Low Ground Clearance
If you hit a speedbump too fast, expect certain parts of the undercarriage to hit the pavement. The rear part of the Fuse is also weirdly lower than the rest of the body. This makes three-point turns in urban areas a bit tricky.
The biggest problem with the Fuse’s cabinets is that they tend to open while the vehicle is on the road. This is particularly true when you hit a bump. You will need to strap all your things down if you do not want them to fly out of the cabinets.
Is the Winnebago Fuse a Good Investment
The Winnebago Fuse’s biggest strength is its smart use of available space. Looking at it from the outside, you would not think this would provide enough living space for a small family. The different bed configurations, and the extra sleeping space provided by the Flex Bed system, makes this the ideal camping vehicle for up to 4 people.
The Fuse is built on the Ford Transit with an I5 3.2L diesel engine in terms of reliability. It has adequate power and relatively good fuel mileage.
Conclusion – Winnebago Fuse Specs and Reviews
The Winnebago Fuse is a Class-C motorhome based on a Ford Transit chassis. It is powered by a Power Stroke I5 3.2L diesel engine. This is capable of producing up to 185 horsepower and 350 ft/lbs of torque.
The Fuse is 24-feet long and 7-1/2-feet wide. It might not seem like much, but it has enough room for a family of four. Because of its compact design and short wheelbase, the Fuse is surprisingly easy to drive.
The Winnebago Fuse, although it is not quite as popular as the other RVs in the company’s stable, is still a very respectable vehicle. It may not be perfect, but its benefits certainly outweigh its disadvantages.