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Old 08-08-2020, 03:24 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 5
What concerns should I have about buying 218 Era 170M

A new user here. My family has been looking at different class B van options. Thanks to these also being known now as "Covid campers" in these parts, there is currently very little for sale locally (PNW) but we did recently find a very slightly used 2018 Era 170M. This is the model with a slide-out, murphy bed, and dry bath. It's appealing for a number of reasons:
1. Being slightly used (2300 miles) it's considerably cheaper than new. My calculations are that it had a list of about $156k (it appears to have all options), and given what I know of typical discounts (pre-covid) it probably sold for around $125k new. But I could be wrong. But Seattle is an expensive area and nothing here is discounted much, except rain.
2. Being on the 2018 chassis, it has the older cockpit, and my wife MUCH prefers the driver/passenger seat to all new Sprinters. She has chronic neck/back issues so this is really important to us. I'm fairly confident we will never own a 2019 or newer Sprinter, period.
3. Same issue causes us to want a real bed, not fold down cushions to sleep on.
4. Some in the family are really dubious of the concept of a wet bath. Never had one, but it certainly doesn't look ideal if you are actually going to shower in it every day.
5. The slide-out creates enough floor space for my wife to do stretches/exercises within the van.

My big concerns are:
1. General quality. I gather Winnebago isn't really the best, or even better than mediocre?
2. The slide-out in particular. Other threads in this forum have alluded to potential production quality problems. Does anybody here have any actual experience, good or bad, with this particular slide?
3. Weight. How much does the slide eat into the OCCC of the Era? What is OCCC of Eras without the slide?
4. Other things that I as a motorhome noob aren't aware of but should be?

Thanks for responding!

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Old 08-08-2020, 04:51 PM   #2
Winnebago Master
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Sanialabad, Peoples Republik of Canuckistan
Posts: 935
The 70M has a dry bath, as far as I know. Very few B van conversions do, but it does, at the rear. Look at the floor plan.
Personally, I believe slides are prone to failure, and the bigger the slide in a B van, the more chance of a problem. Just my opinion.
The ERA 70M is probably the heaviest build of the floor plans, due to the Murphy bed and slide, and as such, the OCCC will be the smallest.
There are some good video reviews of them out there, watch a couple before you decide.
Also search for "2018 ERA 70M problems", and see what you find.
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 JKU (sold @ ????)
2016 Sunstar 26HE, V10, 3V, 6 Speed (sold @ 4600 miles)
2002 Roadtrek C190P (sold @ 315,000kms)
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:45 PM   #3
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 5
Sales agent called back and says that the OCCC on the unit is 1525 pounds. I believe that is a few hundred less than the other Eras, but still seems plenty adequate for a full tank of fresh water (365 pounds), 4 people, and luggage.

He said it was discontinued simply because of low sales volumes.
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:29 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 351
I sure wouldn't worry about the OCC number. Class Bs have little or no basement storage for stuff, so you won't fill it up with gear. Also the Winnie Views which are based on the exact same chassis with the same GVWR add lots of weight when they widen it by a foot so that cabinets and everything else gets wider. Those seem to get by with their OCC.

I really don't understand why that model wasn't more popular. Seems like the ability to fold your bed up every morning and enjoy a wide couch and dry bath are real plusses.

Slides are slides and some have problems but the reasonable width of the Winnie slide should minimize them.

And FWIW, I put Winnebago in the 60-70% percentile group for quality (better than average). Thor makes that easy ;-).

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Old 08-10-2020, 08:45 PM   #5
Travato 59K
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: DE.
Posts: 55
We were thinking of the 70M as well, but decided against it. Mostly due to the slide, which we initially liked. You cannot sleep in the unit if the slide is in. Also there were some people writing about noise issues when driving. The dry bath in the back was a huge plus. Winnebago stopped making the 70M too. I don’t know if a slide works well in a class B. There are some nice Class B+s though. Just not Winnebagos.
Ron and Cindy
2020 Travato 59K
2018 Travato 59K
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