Last summer we toured the east coast in a Winnebago Sightseer Class-A motor home, switching to a smaller Minni Winnie Class-C RV for Fall’s leaf peeping season. But that was just the prelude for our 2014 RV adventure, this time on the west side of the Continental Divide.

For those longer, often flatter distances, we stepped up to Winnebago’s newest rear-engined pusher, the Forza. This Class-A 38R, built on a Freightliner bus chassis, is powered by a Cummins 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline-6. The same engine family used in the Ram Heavy Duty pickup. So far fuel economy is a good 9.3 miles per gallon.

The 38R is nearly 40 feet long, and sleeps seven in impressive comfort. So, it’s made for “big” vacations.

And, we’ve got “big” miles to cover in the Forza. We’ll report on every one as MotorWeek’s RV Adventure ’14 continues on our next Long Term Roadtest Update.


  • Engine: 6.7-liter

Long Term Updates

Mileage: 4,500

Our spring fling in the 2014 Winnebago Forza 38R class-a motorhome took place over three and a half weeks and covered nearly 4,500 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah to San Diego, California with extensive crisscrossing of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona in between.

We found the Forza to be a first-class traveling companion, as it gobbled up both mountain and prairie terrain with ease. The 340-horse Cummins turbo diesel allowed us to keep up with car traffic on the flats, though we did have to share the slow lane with other big rigs on long hills. Unusually strong winds led to some buffeting and extra noise at times.

Exterior storage is plentiful, with 228 cubic feet in weather-tight, lockable bins. Inside accommodations are generous too, with a sofa, bunk beds, dinette and rear queen bedroom, not to mention a rear master bathroom and separate mid-coach powder room. The residential refrigerator is generous in size, but only runs on ac power, which meant using battery inverter power while traveling. Luxury touches like the 50” big-screen TV, optional electric fireplace and washer and dryer make the Forza truly a family-pleasing home away from home.

We’d love to say our 2014 RV adventure was trouble-free, but mechanical issues did sideline the Forza briefly at the start: an air suspension failure was quickly remedied, and a faulty O-ring caused refrigerant to escape the coach’s air conditioning system.

But with all systems go, moving this mobile mansion down the road is surprisingly affordable. We think our 9.3 mile-per-gallon economy is a great value. There’s a separate tank for diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF, that we needed to top off just once during our journey.