Stupid RV design: Another example

By Chuck Woodbury
I’d laugh if this wasn’t so indicative of what happens so often in the RV industry. Stupid design!

Look at this photo of the toilet in a quarter million dollar 2017 Winnebago Journey motorhome spotted at giant RV dealer Lazydays in Tampa, Florida. The toilet’s lid is sawed off. Why? Because if not, it would not stay up when the sliding door to the bedroom is open. In other words, if that were my coach, and I wanted to get up at night to pee, I’d need to close the door behind me, or else hold the lid up with one hand so it didn’t fall down.

A reader sent these photos and wrote: “Upon entering the bathroom, we were totally shocked! On this quarter million dollar mansion on wheels was probably one of the biggest blunders in motorhome history. The toilet was located in a corner, and as you can see by the photos, the seat cover was sawed off on one side to allow the lid to be raised fully without hitting the side wall!”

I forwarded the reader’s email and photos to the public relations director at Winnebago and requested an explanation. He responded:

“This is a 2017 ‘38P’ model Journey. The design intent is for the sliding door to be closed to the bedroom if you wish to have the lid and/or seat in the up position [where you would have] clearance to the wall. The photos show the lid adjacent to the sliding door, not the wall. Winnebago would not have cut the toilet lid, and would not have shipped in this condition. The quality department guesses the dealer wanted to display with the door open and did not want to run the risk of someone causing damage. They likely plan to install a new cover at time of sale.”

In other words, the dealer felt it better to saw off the lid than risk a potential buyer trying to raise it with the door open and learning he or she couldn’t do it, and/or cause damage. Wouldn’t you think a toilet seat lid should stay up regardless of the position of a nearby door? And keep in mind, this coach sells for about a quarter million dollars!

It’s the sort of thing that makes you wonder what brilliant minds are designing some RVs.

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14 Thoughts to “Stupid RV design: Another example”

  1. Chas

    I told my boss about a removable tank on a toilet that did not have clearance to slide out. He said “good catch” but did nothing. The same thing happened with a leak I texted him about. Two months later he started repairs and blamed me for not following up.

  2. Mike

    This has to do with the design and manufacturing teams are NOT the people that use these vehicles. The companies are out for one thing and it’s not your satisfaction…

  3. mary lou moritz

    We have 2000 Adventurer and like the layout, design, etc. That is the main reason we have not bought a newer model.

  4. Jim Krauciunas

    Just more proof that winnebago is on a steep downhill slide. I have purchased new Winnebagos in 1990, 2006, and 2015. After this last purchase, I will never buy another. Too bad, the company was the leader in RVs. Now they are what I consider an embarrassment to the industry

    1. David & Liz

      Reply to Jim Krauciunas:

      I completely agree! We have also had Winnebago/Itasca motorhome and loved them. Our 2014 was a complete failure and embarrassment to what used to be a top notch manufacturer. We had to sell our 2014 at a loss just to wake up from the nightmare! It will be very hard to trust them again. New Winnie/Itasca units I’ve checked out at dealers and shows have multiple obvious flaws which should have never made it past the initial factory installers – let alone the quality checks…

  5. Drew

    A simple fix would appear to be rotating the toilet slightly to the left when referencing the picture. All you’d have to do is re position/remount the flange underneath….not a big deal. If I really liked the coach otherwise I’d do it (or have the dealer do it).

  6. Jim Stein

    Patti L. nailed it. If you continue to buy into poor design and low quality, there will be no incentive for the industry to improve.
    You will get what you tolerate.

  7. Alex

    How about TP holders? They go from “none” to ridiculous like on the wall behind and above the toilet – that was on a $100k fifth wheel. You don’t have to be an RV’er, just a regular TP user to rethink that design! Or perhaps the designers don’t use TP?

  8. Robbie

    The designing engineers should be RVers, not people making a quick buck getting the job done.

    These designers should also be required to live in their designs.

  9. M. Lacasse

    I have a feeling that there are no women involved with the designing of most of the RV’s I have seen. It’s a shame that the quality control officers let these RV’s out of the factory and unto the dealers in these conditions! Also, dealers need to go over the RV’s with a “fine tooth comb” before accepting them onto their lots

    1. P. Lanning

      I agree!!

  10. Tommy Molnar

    Gee, that’s the same toilet we have in our travel trailer. Only difference is, we don’t have to cut half the lid off to open it. And, we didn’t have to pay a half million to get it.

  11. TP

    OK they cut the “lid” to open it, but in my house my wife constantly drums it into me to raise the seat when I gotta tinkle.
    So in order to raise the seat to tinkle the seat would also have to be cut. I don’t think that would be very comfortable to sit on when you have to do your doody.

  12. Patti Lounsbury

    Okay, now that is just so sad. Of course, I have to wonder about the idiot consumer who would purchase this thinking it was okay. If someone pays any amount of money for something so obviously poorly designed they deserve what they get. Take a hint kiddies, if it has to be displayed this way do you really want it? What about the design flaws that aren’t so readily visible. There is still such a thing as let the buyer beware. If we will buy into this kind of poor design why should the industry want to change it?

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