Winnebago Returns To The Seventies
By James Grahame
The Winnebago RVs of the late 1960s were boxy, lumbering beasts. Their metal facades were usually festooned with olive green, orange or yellow striping. They were the road-borne equivalent of vintage Kenmore kitchen appliances -- practical but definitely not likely to turn the heads of Porsche aficionados.
The 2015 Winnebago Brave looks almost as if a vintage motorhome from the seventies was abducted by aliens, spiffed up with all the latest mod-cons and dropped back onto the roads of the American midwest four decades later.
With a nod to the original (above), it's available with a satisfying streak of crimson, yellow, olive green or woodstock brown on the outside, and the tasteful interior will remind you of the cheeriest parts of the 1970s. The iconic flying W is still there, and the front has the eyebrow look of the original. In other words, this is modernization done right (if one can make such a claim about a luxury camper).
The Brave is built on a Ford F53 chassis, with a 362-hp 6.8L 3-valve Triton V10 SEFI engine and 5-speed automatic transmission to haul the 30-ish foot long frame. Inside, you'll find modern LED lighting, sleeping space for up to six (including a rather cool studio loft), flat screen TV, a fully equipped galley with 3-burner stove, 2-door refrigerator/freezer and microwave, a sophisticated climate control system, and a compact but serviceable bathroom.
All in all, the modern Brave pays homage to the $4,000 original while offering luxurious accommodation that would have been unimaginable back in the early 1970s. It's not cheap, with prices starting at $96,424, but if you'd like to try life on the road this is definitely a great way to do it in style.