2020 Boldt 70KL

Out First Night In The Boldt: Hits & Misses For The Boldt

I am posting this after our first night in the Boldt primarily for those who are thinking about the Boldt vs. other Class B vehicles (such as the Travato).

We know the Boldt will take some adjustment, coming from our 2018 Travato 59K (which we kept and put into rental service locally).

And though it’s too early to say in some regards, here are some things that we already like better – and some things we like less – about the Boldt 70KL.

1) + The bed configuration. The Travato’s beds were comfy and even a couple of inches wider. But we hardly ever made the two beds into one bed, because it was more difficult than we wanted it to be at the end of the day. With the Boldt ,transforming into one bed is easy. And the configuration of the skewed beds in the 70KL works for us. We also managed to fit Twin XL and Standard Twin fitted sheets (flannel from Land’s End 🙂 and while there was a little excess, we were able to tuck it away so that it did not bother us.

2) – The whirring Pure3 Energy Management System. Of course, this will be the case with any Lithium-equipped Class B, I suppose, but the whirring of the system at night – I guess it was the heater fans? – nearly made for a sleepless night. The remedy is ear plugs, and unfortunately, we had not brought any on our first outing. Winnebago should provide those (joke), but if any Winnebago engineer has slept in the 4-season Boldt in freezing temperatures, I am sure the Boldt (and all of Winnebago’s Lithium-equipped vehicles) would be sold with ear plugs.

3) + The 2019 Mercedes Sprinter chassis. OMG. Everything about it is better than the Travato. For me, the MB chassis alone make the Boldt a slam dunk. Regarding its features, I don’t even know where to start, but here’s an attempt. The Ultraleather Seats.Not only are they heated but also super comfy. And they give this 6’5” body plenty of room in the driver’s seat. Hallelujah! A van that fits, finally. Both seats also turn all the way around, another plus, giving the driver’s side passenger, a small table or workbench (with USB and AC plugins). And they are programmable. You still have to turn manually, but I set A to position the seat as I like it for driving; B to prepare the seat for rotating and C to position the seat once rotated. Have a really written this much about only the seats? The entertainment system comes next. It is feature-rich, easy to operate and it sounds great. There is built-in ATT WiFi (for a $20 – $25 a month subscription fee for unlimited data – I used it when I was unable to connect at the campsite using T-Mobile). All of the driver-assist features, not the least of which is a rear-view camera that is clearly visible (like watching a big-screen movie at the theater). That is only one feature, however. There are too many here to mention. The diesel engine. It just feels powerful and only hums. While driving, the interior of the Boldt is quieter than the Travato (thanks also in part to the Boldt’s 4-season insulation). Service, while I understand is costly, seems to come at more spaced out intervals, the first, I believe at 20,000 miles. We have 16,000 miles on the Travato and have serviced it multiple times already. I also like the wireless phone charging, the easy integration with CarPlay and Android Auto, the modern USB C ports (feels somewhat future-proofed). I am sure I am leaving out some things, but for me, the MB chassis alone makes the Boldt a winner.

4) + The electric sliding side door. We all know why. It’s easy to operate and relatively quiet. Added to that I also like the new screens for the sliding door and back bathroom door.

5) + The acrylic windows. These are not specific to the Boldt, nor are the screen doors, but we appreciate the awning style windows and the insulation qualities, as well as the shades and screens that function so easily. One thing we miss is that the Travato’s standard windows were tinted more than the Boldt’s, creating a greater sense of privacy.

6) + The 4-season insulation. We slept in freezing temperatures. The insulation factor is noticeable when compared to the Travato. And as noted, it keeps things quieter than in the Travato.

Tamera cozies up in the Boldt 70KL.

7) + Miscellaneous. We like the galley better than the one on our Travato. There’s more countertop space, with the option to add even more, thanks to the Ram Tracks (and the table behind the driver’s seat). I have a slight preference to the propane burners over the induction, but time will tell. The Ram Tracks are a major plus, but they are available in newer Travatos as well. The storage space, particularly the additional closet on the passenger side, the larger bathroom closet (we measured) in the bathroom, storage under both beds, the wet storage in the bathroom and at the back of the van. The 16-gallon propane tank, the larger black and gray water tanks. Stronger towing capacity than the Travato.

8) – Grumbles. No tire pressure monitor. Seems that Mercedes could have included that so easily. My guess is Winnebago wasn’t willing to pay the cost of inclusion. No bike rack. I can add one but my Travato came with one. And likely, the cost of Sprinter service. Time will tell.

The Travato is a great vehicle, and it served us well. Now it is time for adventures in the Boldt. I’ll post here in the effort to help others with their decisions about buying a Boldt. I will say this. Both vehicles, at least for me, have been life changing. I love our tiny homes – with the world’s biggest front yards, all of North America.