Is the Winnebago View an RV or is it a van? That is the question! While it provides all the comforts of what we’re used to in an RV, it offers much more compact RV design when it comes to maneuverability. We downsized from our big fifth wheel to this amazing little compact Class C motorhome to enable us to experience and explore on a much grander scale.
This blog article contains affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no extra cost to you so we can continue to create more helpful free content. Thank you, we appreciate your support!
There’s seems to be a sudden shift in within the RV community lately; especially amongst the full-timers. RVers who once traveled with big rig motorhomes, fifth wheels and travel trailers are downsizing down to much smaller RVs and Vans. We decided to join in on the dance downsizing from our fifth wheel to the Winnebago View Class C motorhome for several reasons.
Why We Downsized to Our Class C Winnebago View
Our “Pre” View
It’s kind of a misnomer that RVers will own at least three RVs before finding their perfect RV. One that fits more into their lifestyle, their purpose of adventures or a quest of more freedom. Well, those are why we downsized to a much smaller more mobile motorhome.
We actually started planning our own downsizing in October 2019 after meeting a van-life couple, Wendy and Larry, at the RV Nomadfest in Wellington, Texas. They were that little spark that encouraged us into thinking, ‘we too, can live in a van down by the river’.
Still living in our 42′ fifth wheel full-time, they showed us everything encompassing van life. After just a few days of pondering, the thought of downsizing actually grew on us quickly.
So, after almost six years of full-time RVing in big rig fifth wheels, we decided it was time to shake it up a bit. We were ready to spread our wings and fly faster.
While our fifth wheels served us well; having most every fifth wheel modification and upgrade possible, we had one growing problem.
As we sailors often say, “we were constrained by draft” meaning, our RV size was holding us back from places we wanted to traverse. We found our fifth wheel and truck was just too big for a lot of older campgrounds; especially in National Parks and State Parks.
While we preferred boondocking (dispersed camping off the grid) and traveling off the beaten path, a lot of the places we wanted to go was constrained by our RV’s size.
So, we started our quest to finding our perfect little motorhome. We wanted to drive our home instead of pulling our home. It needed to serve the purposes as our home, having greater mobility and small enough to take on adventures.
In other words, we wanted a smaller RV to explore and move a little faster.
RVing with our fifth wheel required us to stay put in one location; upwards to a month sometimes. Moving days were long, tedious and time consuming because our RV was so big. We were required to stay on major highways because of our fifth wheel’s height and weight.
Fast forward, now, we’re underway making way to a new destination in less than 10 minutes in our small Class C Winnebago View motorhome!
It’s not about downsizing but right-sizing
While we were downsizing, we realized quickly we were actually right-sizing. We were already living the minimalist lifestyle in our big fifth wheel and truck. However, we felt the size of our RV was holding us back from what we really wanted to do.
And though we lessened our RV’s footprint, it was more about finding solace and a different kind of adventure. It’s about getting off the interstates and taking the back roads to explore the heart of America; her small towns and roads less traveled.
But with that, it took a lot more downsizing. Our previous downsizing transition from our 3600 square foot Kentucky home to our 350 square foot fifth wheel.
Now, we’re downsizing even more to less than 200 square foot of living space. That includes our bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, workspace and living area.
Yeah! You read that right! 200 square foot of space to live in for however long we decide to do this.
So, as I blog this, it’s been a year and a half since trading our 42′ luxury fifth wheel to our compact Class C Winnebago View motorhome. Now, the backroads are luring us to peek around new corners, choose new routes and more exciting hidden destinations.
Why Winnebago and the View?
Amongst all of the compact Class C manufacturers, we chose Winnebago because of their long-standing reputation of building quality RVs. Also, our decision was also based on others’ reviews and recommendations.
We searched many hours; looking at other brands but they either didn’t have what we were looking for; full-body paint, modern European interiors, modern appliances and components. We also observed the amazing cohesion amongst not only the Winnebago brand but the View/Navion communities.
While we looked at several other small motorhome manufacturers’ similar models, we kept coming back to the Winnebago View. And rightfully so. We fell in love with the Winnebago View’s fit, fixtures, fashion and finish.
While our previous Landmark 365 fifth wheel had a beautifully updated interior, we wanted something different; something with modern European flair. So, when we looked inside the View the very first time, it instantly felt like home. The View interior’s light-colored wood tones, vinyl and fabric patterns and modern lighting kept telling us ‘Pick me! Pick ME!’.
Why did we choose the View 24D model?
First, let’s look at the floor plan because this truly is the icing on the cake of what brought us to purchase the View 24D.
The Winnebago View 24D model appealed to us because of the open floor space when the Murphy bed is folded up. So, while we don’t use the pedestal table, we didn’t just toss it out the door during our cross-decking evolution.
The second reason we chose the View 24D is its’ more spacious kitchen. Since we prepare and cook about 85% of our meals, we wanted a bigger kitchen with more kitchen prep space. This particular model offers the biggest kitchen counter of all the View and Navion models.
Dinette Eating Area
Another feature we wanted is the dinette eating area. Dan and I raised our family on principles and importance of gathering around the family dinner table.
Since it’s just Dan and I, there’s really no need for massive seating for meals anyway. But we still needed a comfortable table, not only for eating but also work.
And, when it does come time for our Grandson to go with us on some RV adventures, he will sleep on the dinette that transitions to a bed or up in the loft when he’s older.
With a touch of a button, our already-made Murphy bed stows away and the sofa provides seating. While not the most comfortable, the sofa does offer a place to take cat naps if needed instead of having an all-access bed.
The Winnebago View 24D model also enables additional seating. Like most Class A and Class C motorhomes, the cockpit chairs swivel around. Those, with the dinette seating and sofa seating, we could essentially fit 8 or 9.
What are some of the Winnebago View 24D features?
The Winnebago View is manufactured on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Chassis.
From Winnebago RV’s website:
“Outfitted with the new 10” (10.25”) MBUX infotainment system with AI (Artificial Intelligence) voice interface, as well as advanced safety features, like brake assist and active lane keeping assist, the new Mercedes-Benz®Sprinter chassis assures your next adventure will be as safe as it is comfortable”
Our Mini Moho (what we refer to it) will provide us much more traveling freedom! The View 24D came equipped with large Group 31 batteries, two 100 -watt flex solar panels, 2000 watt inverter as well as decent-sized holding tanks and fresh water tanks.
Also, Dan wanted the Cummins diesel generator (option) as opposed to propane generator. Diesel fuel is easier to get, more efficient, and usage is extended. We only need propane to fuel our cooktop stove unit, furnace and our tankless water heater.
Truma Aqua Go Tankless Water Heater
Our Winnebago View comes equipped a Truma AquaGo On Demand hot water system! Now, at the flick of the switch, we have instant hot water for as long as we want.
Check out Mortons on the Move video as Tom explains every part of it’s operation:
We will have to monitor our water usage more carefully because of our water tank size. However, this new-to-us system will enable us to conserve water better because we’re not going to have to wait for the water to warm up coming through the faucet.
So, those are just a few of the neat features that helped us with our decision in investing in our Winnebago View 24D! You can check out the specs and more features of our View as well as the other floor plans.
We now will have more freedom to explore and go places where no RV has gone before!
After a few warranty repairs, upgrading some major components and a bit of frustrations during our transition, we are happy to say that we’re loving our Winnebago View.
Check out our video tour!
RV Upgrades and modifications we’ve completed on our Winnebago View:
Our Winnebago View Suspension Upgrades
Our Winnebago View Solar & Energy Upgrades
Valterra RV Sewer Hose Storage – Product Review
Interesting articles you may be interested in:
Downsizing RVs? What You Need to Know!
How to Downsize for Van Life and Tiny Living
Motorhome Generator: Diesel vs. Propane
21 Replies to “Why We Downsized to a Class C Winnebago View”
Great write up full of information. Well done Lisa
Roger, thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog. We hope for safe and adventurous travels! Hope to see you on the road again. Maybe we can borrow your fire pit sometime LOL -Lisa and Dan
Same here. Anytime for you two.
I Owned a 2007 VJ and a 2012 NM very satisfied with both. But I would prefer now the J floorplan because the bed is always ready and time of day go too fast to make it every night…
Claude, thank you for reading! We have friends who have the J floor plan who love it. Its interesting to see what each perspective and choice ends up to be and reasons for picking a certain floor plan. The galley was super important to us as also the wider open floor space. We can see why you love the J though. Safe travels!! -Dan & Lisa
Nice write up. I enjoyed seeing/hearing what you did after we met you at Maverick Ranch in Lajitos last December. We still love our Roadtrek and it is obvious you are going to enjoy your View.
Nice to see you here, Darrell! Thanks for following and staying in touch. We’re excited to get on the road to really experience this tiny RV life. We’re grateful you showed us it can be done. Thank you! -Dan & Lisa
Great writeup. Are you dragging a vehicle? If so, what kind? If not, why not?
I am new…sorry if I don’t know all the lingo!
JoeyB, thank you for checking us out. The first 6 months, we went without a toad to see what our limitations vs. freedom of mobility would be. Now, 10 months later as we write this, we now have a 2-door Jeep. We chose that vehicle because of the lesser weight than a 4 door. That’s the primary thing you have to consider is your GVWR weight ratio. So the 2-door Jeep ‘for us’ was the best option as we also carry 2 kayaks, bicycles and racks as well as hiking gear.
We upsized from the Winnebago ERA 70X (our 1st ever RV) to the Navion 24D. It is absolutely perfect for us and our 2 dogs. We go out for a month and love the size, maneuverability, ease of driving & parking, great bathroom and comfortable bed, big galley size/area, and the list goes on. After 2 yrs. there isn’t one thing we would change. WE LOVE IT!
Hi Cynthia, sounds like your trade in works well for you. Not sure we want to upsize anytime soon as we’re loving the small size mobility. Plus, we’re digging the minimalism requirement that leaves us to spend more time and money on adventures and memories vs. things. We hope you get good service from Winnebago. We have not ‘really’. They don’t answer their emails nor are concerned about listening to our suggestions or recommendations.
We went from a Coleman pop-up to a used 2015 View V. Length of the RV and ability to access state parks were key considerations. Also having my wife comfortable to share driving duties is another plus. Ditto to all your comments. A couple more to consider: driver and passenger doors, two air bags and 16.5 MPG! When my fellow RVers brag about their 40-45 ft rigs, I just smile. I know they do not have those three features on their rigs. To each their own, I am satisfied with our Winnie!
Hi Peter, sounds like our experience too. We ‘had’ a big 43′ fifth wheel and 44′ toy hauler fifth wheel and while they served us well for our intentions at the time, we wanted exactly the mobility you guys enjoy too. It’s amazingly liberating to be able to pull into ‘any’ campground or site and know we’ll fit no problem.
Do you tuck in the sheet and blanket on the sides of the Murphy bed before you close it up and leave the pillows on it? How does that work?
Hi Pat, please accept our apologies for responding late to your question. We do want to thank you for taking the time to read our blog. As to your question, we splurged on getting a Beddy. It’s a two-piece zippered bedding ensemble that zips up and stows perfectly with our Murphy bed. And yes, when we stow the bed, pillows get stored vertically up at the head of the bed against the headboard. Easy peasy! Hope that helps! -Dan and Lisa
We have a View and love it. Our only regret is we did not wait a year when they put convection burner in. Does anyone ever use an instant pot in the VIEW.? If we could run it while driving (putting in the sink for safety) we’d have food when we stopped for the night.
hi Dennis, we’re so sorry for not getting back to you to answer your question. Thank you so much for following along on our blog. We hope our information is helpful. As to your question about the Instant Pot – we’ve never cooked in the Instant Pot for two reasons. First, the cord is too short on the IP to reach the outlet when the IP is in the sink. And second, not sure we want really hot stuff under pressure cooking while we are transiting. I know several of the big rig motorhome owners do it but not sure it would be a safe idea for a tiny motorhome like ours. Hope that helps. We hope you’re enjoying the freedom of travel with yours. Be well and stay safe on the road! -Dan and Lisa
I like small RV and is looking for a right one. Winnebago Navio/View is on top of my list. My concern is the Mercedes engine compare to US motor , like Ford , Chevelete. Your comments please. Thank you. And repair cost?
Hi Shirley, thanks for taking the time to read our article. So far, we’ve not incurred any costs on behalf of the Mercedes Benz chassis. We chose MB because of their long-time reputation of building quality automobiles. We’ve not heard or read of any serious issues with the MB end of it, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed. We did spend a bit of money on an extended warranty just in case because MB repairs and parts can be a bit more than American automobile manufacturers.
Very informative! Thank you for taking the time to make this. We are considering downsizing from a 35′ super c and we usually tow a Jeep Wrangler. Do you have a tow vehicle?
Hi Ellen, thank for taking the time to read our article! Yes, we flat tow our 2-door Jeep JK. If you are considering downsizing to an RV the same size as ours, you will need to be careful with your GVWR and towing capacity. The recommended is about 4500-5000 pounds total which makes the 4 door Jeep too heavy; especially if you load it with gear, bikes, kayaks, etc. Here’s some other articles to read about our View, tow bar, etc.
Our tiny Class C Upgrades and Mods
Our tiny Class C suspension upgrades
Our tiny Class C solar and battery upgrades
Where we put our sewer hose in our tiny Class C
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! -Dan & Lisa