Saturday, August 27, 2016

Winnebago Fuse 23a vs Trend 23d comparison

People continue to ask about the Fuse and other motorhomes that are similar.  The market for Large Class B/Small Class C motorhomes seems to be very popular.  People ask about the Fuse and which other ones should they look at.  What are the plusses and minuses between the different motorhomes.

Two of the most similar motorhomes on the market are the Winnebago Fuse 23a and the Winnebago Trend 23d.   For fairness,  all images in this comparison are from Winnebago sales literature unless otherwise noted.  That should make all the images the same quality.

Winnebago Fuse Floorplan
Fuse 23a Floorplan (Winnebago Ind)
Winnebago Trend Floorplan
Trend 23d Floorplan (Winnebago Ind)
The layouts of these two motorhomes are almost identical.  A large open area with the bathroom in the back and twin beds that make into a king sized bed.  A slide out up front with a love seat and kitchen.

  • The bathrooms are almost identical
  • The Fuse has a window in the bath and the Trend does not. 
  • The Fuse has a pocket door and the Trend has a traditional swinging door
  • The closet and drawers in the bathroom seem to be the same

Winnebago Fuse Winnebago Trend

Bedroom area
  • The bedroom areas are slightly different
  • There are drawers under both beds in the Fuse.  Only under 1 bed in the Trend
  • There is a designated compartment for storing the tabletops on the Fuse.  Not so on the Trend.
  • The cabinets slide open on the Fuse.  The cabinets lift up on the Trend.  
  • The amount of overhead storage is about the same with the edge being given to the Fuse.  The entertainment center is located in the bedroom overhead cabinets  on the Trend and is up front on the Fuse.
  • The beds are slightly longer on the Trend.  The Fuse has a pop up shelf to extend the drivers side bed to lengthen it.  It blocks the refrigerator when in use and requires the slide to be out.
  • There is an accordion divider between the bedroom and the living space in the Trend.  There is a removable curtain that can be used to divide the space in the Fuse.

Winnebago FuseWinnebago Trend

Living/kitchen areas
  • The living and kitchen areas are about the same 
  • The love seat is the same in both units.  They both can only fold out into a bed only when the slide out
  • The microwave, refrigerator, sink and cooktop are the same.
  • The storage in the kitchen is very similar.  The drawer layout is a little different with 2 deep drawers in the Trend and 1 shallow drawer and 1 deeper drawer in the Fuse.
  • The front table can be used in the Trend with the slide in.  It can not be  used without an additional product in the Fuse when the slide is in.  The socket is blocked by the love seat.
  • There is only 1 TV in the Trend. It is on an arm that can be positioned to be seen from the front or back.  The Fuse has 2 TVs, one in the in the front and one in the bedroom.

Winnebago FuseWinnebago Trend

Cab area
  • Both front seats in the Trend rotate.  Only the passenger seat in the Fuse does
  • There is a TV over the Cab in the Fuse.  There is a window over the cab in the Trend
  • There is more storage over the cab in the Fuse.  There is only storage along the sides over the cab in the Trend
Winnebago Trend

  • The Fuse is built on a Ford Transit Chassis.  The Trend on a Dodge (Fiat) Promaster chassis
  • The Fuse is Diesel.  The Trend is Gasoline
    • Side note - I had a friend who had a gasoline powered Class A that had fuel leak and then caught fire.  He swore to never buy another gasoline powered motorhome fearing for the safety of his family.  All of the motorhomes my Dad had were gasoline powered and he never worried about that though he never had a fire.
  • The miles per gallon are about the same between the two units. Both are between 15-20mpg mostly impacted by speed.
  • The Fuse has Dual Rear Wheels.  The Trend has single rear wheels
  • The Fuse has an LP generator.  The Trend has a gasoline generator
  • The Fuse has a traditional water heater.  The Trend has a on demand water heater
  • Water and sewer capacities are about the same
  • Both are low to the ground.  There is a concern about low ground clearance on both units
  • The Fuse has three similar sized external storage compartments (23.1 cu ft).  The Trend has one external storage compartment (9.5cu ft).
  • The Fuse can carry more weight.  3140 lbs vs 2150 lbs. using the GCWR - GWVR method 
    • OCCC on the Fuse is 1500 lbs  on the Trend 1100 lbs
  • The 2017 1/2 Fuse has a 5000 lbs hitch.  The Trend has a 2000 lbs hitch (which is the same as the 2017 Fuse)
  • Both are the same length and width and height +- an inch or two.

Why did I buy a Fuse over a Trend?   

To be honest very few of these details came into account.  It came down to feel.   We liked the more open feel the Fuse has.  This is due to the pocket door and window in the bath.   This made it feel more open to us.   We also liked the sliding cabinet doors.  We worried that if the upward opening cabinet doors on the Trend popped open things would fall to the floor.   

The price on both units was about the same.  The Trend was about 5% less expensive than the Fuse. We thought either would have worked for us.

If you are interested in either of these motorhomes I recommend watching the sales videos that Lichtsinn RV produces.  They are very good walkthroughs of the units.  Winnebago has also put a virtual tour of each unit on their web site as well.

Feel free to add comments especially if you think it would be beneficial to someone making a decision between the two motorhomes.


  1. As I understand it, GCWR-GVWR = max tow capacity, not carrying capacity.

  2. Updated with OCCC data From Fitrv 23d review and from my 23a door sticker

  3. We own a 2016 Travato on the Promaster chassis. The Promaster cab feels roomier to us than the Transit and we really like that both front seats swivel in the PM. The PMs also have more storage in the dash area with upper, lower glove boxes and a handy little shelf on the passenger side and lots of room in the door panels for "stuff". Having said that, if we were to choose between a Fuse and the Trend twin bed models it would be the Fuse.

    1. Thanks for the input. This is exactly what I was wanting. Input that can help others who are trying to decide.

      I will be doing a similar comparison between the View 24v and the Fuse 23a in the next couple of weeks. We were about to buy a View before the 23a and 23d were announced.

  4. I will be choosing one of these in spring. I like the front wheel drive on the PM and the lower floor height of the cab and openness between cab & coach.
    Not sure about dual vs single rear wheels.
    Like the awning better on fuse, does that bear out with people's experience?
    Don't need 2nd TV on fuse but like exterior storage a lot. It looks like battery and generator access are much better on fuse, is that correct. Gas generator on PM seems like much better setup.
    They both have the rear ground clearance issue, is 1 any worse than other? Longer wheelbase version would make fuse clear winner so of course it isn't offered.

    1. Generator access is the same - Poor on both
      You are where we were when we picked. As I suggest to everyone, try and find somewhere where they have them both on the lot and then go sit in them and back and forth and see which one you like best. I will say that the exterior storage should not be discounted in the Fuse.

  5. Thank Don your posts have been extremely helpful.
    I have joined both Facebook groups as well and everyone's posts have been great as well.
    Until these twin beds with slide outs came out I wasn't thrilled with any of the small designs/prices.
    These 2 are very close but there are a couple of things I would like different and a few things I would like to mix and match between the 2.
    I understand it is all about analysis and making best choices but I am old school enough to think that for something approaching $100k w/taxes I should get every feature I want.
    I'm gonna keep reading everything asking sometimes stupid Newby questions and jump one way or another in 6 months.

    Thanks to everyone for the help and patience.

  6. Keep asking, Keep looking and if you see something interesting let us all know. I put the RV show data up on the Facebook page so people can go and see what all is out there. Like you, I could take a Fuse as a base and customize it and make it better for me, but that is something for when I win the lottery

  7. I go to shows whenever possible and poke around. Asking questions is pretty hopeless - had salesman who didn't know gas from diesel or fwd from rwd kind of scary. I agree I would really like to take fuse or trend and customise it to fit me but it doesn't make $$ sense.
    Might end up w/fuse skip generator add additional 2 solar panels and upgrade to lithium batteries and call it good.

    1. If I could I would delete the slide. Replace the love seat with a reclining love seat (Flexsteel makes one that could fit). Like you said, more solar and upgraded batteries. Maybe replace the Generator with something like the Roadtek engine generator. Replace the toilet bowel with a porcelain one. Get 3-6 more inches of clearance.

      Then it would be perfect. Until I come up with some more changes. So far I am pretty happy.

  8. I appreciate all the information here. Can you comment on the gas vs. diesel choice? Reliability, etc. Is the Fuse diesel expected to be higher cost to maintain than gas? I am shying away from the Sprinter based on what I have read. Thank you.

  9. I am biased. I have a Ford Diesel Pickup truck with 200,000 trouble free miles. I picked the motorhome first and worried about gas vs diesel last. I think picking out the best layout to meet your needs. The right carrying capacity and towing capacities to do what you want are way more important. And most importantly, which one drives best to you.

    As far as costs. Initial cost for a diesel is more, You get better mileage with a diesel, cost for diesel fuel sometimes is higher sometimes is lower. Cost for DEF is negligible. If you are going to keep it several years then gas is the way to go. If you are going to do a lot of traveling and keep it for a long time than diesel is better.

    I prefer Ford over Mercedes since they have a better dealer network. Mercedes is way more expensive on the parts and labor should anything go wrong. But Mercedes makes nice stuff.

    A friend of mine got a gas leak in the engine compartment of his motorhome and it was totaled. What bothered him was he watched it explode due to to the gasoline. He would never buy a gas motorhome again. I think he is paranoid and the chances of that happening are about like winning the lotto. But that is the most important consideration for him.

  10. I read that the two got about the same milage. I have questions about refrigerators. I thought I read the Trend? had some major issues with the refrig.

  11. Not sure about the Trend. The refrigerator in ours works fine and I have had no issues. This weekend we were making a tray of ice in in several hours and nothing in the Freezer section would melt.

  12. Couple other things. Winnebago actually designed the Trend 23D first and then put it on the Transit Chassis to make the 23A. The major change being the pocket door in the rear so getting into the bathroom is easier when the beds are joined. We purchased it not particularly for that but that the pocket door made the space appear larger and th window in the bath made the space appear brighter.

  13. Wow! This was a VERY useful blog, even the comments! Even in 2020, when I am considering buying a used 2017 model. Thank you Don

  14. I am a total RV newby, so this blog is exactly the information I was looking for to help me make the decision between the Fuse and the Trend. I just started my research, and I see that both of these RVs have been discontinued by Winnebago! For those of you who have experience owning these RVs, do you know why they were discontinued? Also, given that they are no longer in production, is it difficult to find parts and perform repairs and general maintenance?
    Thank you in advance for your replies. : )