Our Top RV Picks Under 30 feet
Update: We decided to keep Windy for the remainder of our RV travel’s. We begged her to take us back and she did!
As most of you know our Windy is for sale and we are looking for a new home on wheels! This will be our 4th RV purchase and needless to say, we know the drill!
If you don’t know why we are selling Windy you may want to read, Why we are Downsizing.
Here is our general “RV wish list”:
Length: under 30ft
Sleeps: 4 (we are having some guests this year)
Generator (for our boondocking days)
Good inside storage (because we are full time)
Somewhat contemporary styling
We have stopped off at several RV Dealerships along our route in Wisconsin and Missouri. So far and these are our favorites.
Winnebago View 24M – MSRP $110,000
Winnebago Vista 26HE – MSRP $70,000
Leisure Travel Unity 24MB – MSRP $120,000
Thor Ace 27.1 – MSRP $91,000 (not in the video: this floor plan isn’t out yet but we like the 29.1)
Thor Siesta 24SR – MSRP $108,000 (not in the video: each dealer we went to was sold of out, but that’s a good sign)
I loved the Itasca Viva or Winnebago Trend 24L – Absolutely loved the electronic drop down bed so and the rear lounging bed that can be made up and left. Love the storage under the rear lounge bed that opens from inside the coach AND from outside. (litter box!!) perhaps. Love that the seats and dinette are directly behind the driver, so that passengers are facing forward with the same view as the driver. Love that someone can work in the kitchen behind the driver and passengers without interfering in anyone’s view. Good sized refrigerator. hey have those cute locks on the cabinets and they are very pretty. In a pinch, the coach can sleep 6 but the greatest thing of all is that you never (HAVE) to undo your beds. Just push a button and down it comes already made up!! I would love to hear your feedback comparing the View to the Vivia 23L.
I follow your channel and am a big fan. Was wondering what your thoughts are on Nexus 28P class C RV.
Questions more than comments:
1. when buying should you pay the “pre delivery inspection”?
2. is the 30 feet myth true or false? (where some parks don’t allow longer than 30 feet)
3. is there a big driving difference between 34 and 39 feet?
4. what is the depreciation on a class-a diesel the first year?
My husband and I are planning for retirement . We are looking at the leisure van lines unity for full time rv’ ing I fell in love with the murphy bed and everything else in it I saw. Can it be that great? Am i blinded by love? I need to find out if it as fabulous as it seems. I cant find much searching for owner reviews. After your video did you get feedback from owners? What do you think after your research and inspection? Thanks for any help.
The LTVs are AMAZING! Well built machines for sure. You might also want to look at GTRV in California and Advanced RV in Ohio.
The biggest downside of such a small RV is: If you plan to full-time you have limited space for your stuff.
Hi guys, have you had the chance to play around with the new Winnebago Braves yet? They seem to have so rather innovative features.
We haven’t test driven one yet (so we have no idea how they handle) but we have toured most of the layouts. We do like the interiors a lot and are just ok with the exterior (but that is all personal preference). Have you seen the brand new Trek? It’s fantastic!
I know that this blog has some age on it but have you considered a towable? I always have people ask me the opposite question, “have you thought about a motorhome?” but every time I do the math- both storage measure and cost of ownership I come out ahead on the towable. BTW, I shopped the Vista 26E and compared it to my current Airstream 25’11” twin trailer (twins have the most storage) and came out with more inside storage (by measure) and more outside storage if I counted the truck bed as well as the three trunks.
The nice thing about towables is that you have your vehicle and it only requires standard maintenance rather than specialized work. While the no slide Airstream may not meet your need, there are many other options, including 5th wheels that would trump motorhomes.
We do feel a towable is perfect for the weekend warrior, or the person that doesn’t want to go full-time in their RV. For us we do not want to drive around North America in a truck so we prefer the comfort of our motorhome.
Have you done a review on the VEGAS Thor RUV Motorhome?
We have not reviewed the Vegas or any of the RUV’s. These types of motorhomes are too small to consider for full-time however I’m sure they’d be great for the occasional camping trip.
We purchased a 5-month old used Unity 24TB with just 3150 miles on it at Creaton RV in Kalispell, MT.
There were initial teething problems (kitchen faucet handle fell off, shower curtain rod fell off, bathroom door wouldn’t pull closed, rear view mirror fell off, CO2 and LPG detector false alarms) which Creston had no time to sort out before our purchase, but took care of before we left.
They also paid for a couple nights at a local RV park for us to be close when we had questions or problems.
The Unity has been great for us driving back to Albuquerque with my wife and I, our Bernese Mountain Dog and our big Sheltie sharing the space. The two rooms and dry bath have been key features, along with the large amount of external storage,
16-18 MPG across several mountain passes in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado is pretty good too.
I really enjoy your blog and videos. I want to travel to some of the less popular places where there are not too many people.
I am thinking about full-timing in a class B or small class A (32foot)
I know the class B is small but I am looking for something that will make it easy to travel a lot.
I do not want to stay in one location for long periods of time.
I have owned a fifth wheel and 2 class A’s.
If I buy the class A I would want to add the solar panels you did to make it easier to boondock.
I wanted to know if you had any problems finding spots to boondock in your class A?
Did you have any problems finding State Parks to stay in?
How long were you able to boondock for at one time?
I really like the RoadTrek ETrek but my wife wants a class A.
Any information will be helpful.
RoadTrek ETrek, wow looks to me a like total shoe box! I think for one person only.
And for the price NO WAY! If it works for you
go for it. just an overpriced van conversion.
James C. Blake
Have any of you had problems with Winnebago? When we purchased our 36CD Horizon we had continued squeaking noise with the door. We spent months trying to get it corrected to no avail so I wrote to Winnebago. I stated everything about our on going problem and mentioned that the State of Florida had a lemon law.
I received a call from a Mr. Swingleman (spelling) telling me that they could fix my RV with no problem, for free, however since I mentioned the Lemon Law they would not. I said you wont fix it for what reason. This top man with Winnebago in their Customer Relations department said I told you I could fi your Door noise for free, but since you mentioned the lemon law I will not.
I spent two years writing to Winnebago about all of this and never got anything done to correct the problem, in fact no one would even acknowledge anything nor do anything.
For this reason as to customer service I have refused to purchase another Winnebago. Any company that handles a customers problem this way does not deserve my business.
James, we have not owned a Winnebago so we don’t have any experience with their product. I am sorry to hear you are having troubles but your comments are off subject from what this post is about. You may want to seek out a Winnebago forum where you can chat with other Winnebago owners.
Paul & Kris
Jason & Nikki,
Have you looked at the new Winnebago Trend yet? I’m curious if you know anything about it or have heard from anyone who owns one? It’s 24 feet and comes in a little less expensive than some of the others close to this size. We just started working 3 days a week, winding down towards retirement, so a small RV is at the top of our list for roaming around the lower 48 and Canada. Let us know if you can help with any ideas.
Thanks a lot,
Paul & Kris
We loved it! We made notes about it on our post for the industry show in Louisville, KY https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/behind-scenes-louisville-rv-show
If you end up looking at them and test driving one, let us know what you think.
Paul & Kris
Jason, we liked the Trend when we saw it, but here is what we’re thinking and We’d like both of your opinions, after we give you some of our ideas. The Trend clearly seems to be targeting those who want a very small, efficient RV without wanting to tow another vehicle. In fact, if you consider the weight of the passengers and your gear, there’s not enough weight capacity left over to tow any vehicle with the Trend. Tell us what you think, but we don’t think we’d be that happy if we didn’t have a separate vehicle to use for exploring, side trips, pubs, etc. We’ve looked at small RVs, then small travel trailers, then larger trailers, then fifth wheels, and now we’ve come 360 degrees back to small RVs. We like all of the small diesels built on the MB/Sprinter chassis like the Winnebago View, Coachman Prism, etc, but they don’t come real cheap. We saw the Thor Vegas, but never looked close until you mentioned it in your link. It looks very nice and the floorplan is almost the same as one of the other diesel class C floor plans. Obviously, the Vegas will likely get closer to 10-11 mpg with the gas V10, versus the small diesels in the range of 14-16 mpg I’m guessing. So here’s where I’d like some of your opinions, and anything else you’d like to add from all of your RV experiences. Did the features of the Vegas give you the impression they really cut corners to keep their price lower, such as shelves rather than a slideout pantry, etc, etc. Knowing what you know about these small RVs, would you recommend or lean towards a small diesel on the MB/Sprinter chassis, or would you recommend the gas V10 Thor Vegas/Axis? Do you think we would be happier going one way or the other, for hopefully our first and only motorhome that we would purchase? Thanks for your insights/wisdom and we owe you drinks when we buy one!! 🙂
Truth be told, if money were no object, the “Unity” Leisure Travel Van with the reclining theater seats and slideout murphy bed would be our first choice! We love that little RV!!
Thanks Jason & Nikki,
P & K
Cheaper RV’s like the Thor Vegas are going to be built like the price point they are offering so yes, corners are cut and some of the finishes wont be as nice. It’s all about what you need, what makes you happy and what you can afford. I would suggest finding a dealership that has both RV’s on their lot and go look at them side by side so you can compare space, finishes, layouts…and so on. And tell the salesman to take a hike so you have time to really look and think on both coaches.
Great vid. Lots to ponder. I am seriously considering the mobile lifestyle full-time when I retire from the military in 18 mos. I am considering the full-range of options to include 5th wheels, travel trailer or motorhome. While I dream of a massive coach (mansion) my wife and I are rather simple. I really like the idea of a small foot-print, modest costs for maintenance and fuel efficiency. The lesson I learned by watching you guys is that bigger is not always “better”. It depends on what your goals are and for me the amount of resources I’m both willing to “spend” and consume. Thank you for the vid, website and sharing your insights.
Minx and Menace
Hi Jason, loved your website, very informative, thank you.
I live in Queensland, Australia and have a friend in the UK. We are hoping to plan an RV trip in USA, starting off in Houston as she used to live there and has friends living there still.
We expect the trip will be for around three months, so we are thinking about the pros and cons of hire vs. buy second hand then re sell.
There would only be the two of us and for Patricia to feel comfortable driving, and our budget, the RV should be compact. The other main requirement would be the ability to have a shower and separate sleeping.
I realize that this may be a little short on detail at this time, but we have not done this before so any advice and guidance based on your experience would be most appreciated.
From what we’ve heard renting can be extremely expensive, I’m sure if you search online there are others who have posted the pros and cons (we don’t have any experience with a temporary RV purchase so I cannot help here).
A 3 month trip will be very fast, and beginning in TX may be difficult because you are basically in the furthest south-central location in the US. Most travelers flying in from Europe start on the East (like New York) and fly home from the west (like Los Angeles) or vise versa. You may be better off visiting your friends in Houston towards the middle of your trip.
For the RV I would recommend calling GTRV in California. Last time we met with the owner he had a couple of used RV’s that were a great price. He builds small RV’s that can go anywhere, sounds like it’s right up your alley. You can also try Outside Vans and Sportsmobile as they are small custom builders similar to GTRV.
Another option would be to rent a truck and purchase a small used trailer like a Tab or Casita. Sometimes you can get Rental Trucks pretty cheap, and for the trailer there is no engine so if you purchase a small one for a good price you will likely be able to sell it for little to no loss.
Hope this helps. One thing is for sure if you’re not good at planning you should definitely get a small RV because finding a campground in busy areas or National Parks can be extremely difficult at the last minute.
I’m a happy owner of a brand new 2014 Leisure Travel 24 MB like I just saw on your video. It’s the best RV made! Just thought I’d share that with you.
It would make a great Christmas gift! Merry Christmas!!!
RVIA Western RV Show Director
Merry Christmas Tom and congratulations! We met with the entire LT team in Louisville last month and those guys are doing some great things! Glad you found your new travel companion! We are working with Fleetwood this year and we’re excited to hit the road in our new Christmas Present: the Fleetwood Excursion 33D
Hope we cross paths again out there on the road!
I could send a couple of photos if you want. I just finished a round trip from LA to Tucson over New Year’s. I have 2,000 miles on my Unity. I got 15 mpg while I was driving the 75 mph speed limit on Hwy 10. I was impressed with that. I’ve driven Pace Arrows, Tiogas, and many other RVs and this one drives like a sporty SUV.
The murphy bed is so handy. It goes up and down in a snap. It’s my first RV with a tankless water heater and it worked great. We are so impressed with the build quality. Best I’ve ever seen.
Hi Nikki and Jason!
My husband and I (and our dog and cat!) are seriously considering going on the road for an extended period – 6 months to 1 year. We have been looking at RVs (just online so far) and stumbled across your site which has been full of interesting and helpful tips and advice – so thank you very much!!!
Have you decided on your new RV yet? We have been looking at the 2014 Leisure RVs, and the model you featured in your video has 3 more floor plans. Have you considered any one of those other floor plans? Also, there is the Itasca Navaro, which may be very close or even the same thing as the Winnebago View. The Leisure RV site has full tour videos for each of the RVs for 2014 (and some earlier models I believe) so you can see all the floor plans there. If you haven’t checked out the site, it’s pretty nice.
Good luck finding the perfect RV, and I look forward to discovering which one you chose and why. It was very helpful to step inside those 3 with you and look around. We have also considered a trailer to tow, but it just seems easier (and safer) to go with an RV. There are some nice class B vans, too, but then there is the space issue, although Leisure has a class B van with a separate shower!
Oh, and we have a close relative with a Lazy Daze RV. They are not as attractive and sleek-looking on the outside as the above mentioned, but it is very functional with many good features. High quality and reliable, too. I think they are build on a Ford chassis (not entirely sure).
Happy hunting and happy traveling to you both, oh and your cats, too!
Karin & Bob
There’s many great small RV’s, we just selected a few that we really liked. After living full-time for nearly 3 years in a 32′ one slide RV we have a good idea of what we need/want in an RV. Unfortunately as much as we would like to downsize we have come to the conclusion that it is not feasible considering we work and live in our motorhome.
We like the construction of the Lazy Daze, but the styling is not to our taste. I don’t think we can own a class C motorhome after having a class A for the past several years. We absolutely love everything about the Winnebago Via…except the floorplans. The Fleetwood Bounder series are great, but they don’t come in a small enough size. The 27′ Thor Ace is a wicked layout but the quality isn’t up to par for full time living. There are so many great options for smaller RV’s, but after loads of searching we haven’t found an RV that better suits us than our Windy.
We wish you luck in your search, it’s a long and sometimes complicated process…but once you hit the road life is good!
Have you and Nikki ever looked at truck campers?
We have and they are great, especially for off road camping…just not one of our personal top choices for full timing. There are some pretty great options out there.
We are looking at these model but a different layout on the View. (The “G” I think…if I have my model numbers right.) Our experience is with boats, and a 19′ Pleasureway. Need more space if we want to take longer (month long) trips or to take a grandchild along.
Do you have an article about towing a car? Haven’t seen that yet if you do. Thanks for all of the information.
Hi Nikki and Jason
We are a young 40yo married couple (still newlyweds after 3 years together) and have just been watching your YouTube videos (instead of our usual shows on Netflix) and love them! Great work – we can truly appreciate the many hundreds or probably thousands of hours you have invested in creating them. Thank you!
We are just embarking on our RV discovery journey – that is – deciding which one to start with and when to head off and everything in between. Planning to start RVing (for the first time) in the next 3-12 months, full time. We both work from home already and can work remotely / off the grid with an Internet connection. We won’t be selling out townhome but renting it instead / want to make sure we like the full time RV life first and will start here in the USA.
In one of your earlier videos, we saw you getting out of an Avanti A class – that is the same one we have been looking at (31ft) a 2009 model selling around mid $70k. We are looking to buy a used RV no more than say 5yo.
We would love your feedback on your experience with the Avanti – was this one of your early RVs? What advice would you have for us regarding the Pros/cons of the Avanti? Fuel economy, styling and aesthetics are high value for us, as well as practical things like storage and ease of use, reliability etc. Probably quite similar to the features you two value (based on your recent smaller rv review).
Being our first RV, is the Avanti a good place to start?
Also, when do you plan to ‘really’ sell Windy this time and for how much? We might be interested depending on the timing and $.
We appreciate your time and all you are doing to share your experiences with the world – your blog, videos and style are entertaining, inspiring and also super helpful as we navigate this enormous minefield of information in the RV world.
Looking forward to your thoughts on the Avanti when you have a chance.
Thanks a million! And we Look forward to staying in touch. Will be nice to connect with similar souls like yourselves who create their own lives on this journey of life – we hope to meet in person some day. Let us know if you plan to visit Colorado before you wrap up your US adventure – we would love to connect.
Have a great week!
First off thank you for watching our videos instead of Netflix…I know we’re not as exciting as House of Cards or Orange is the new Black!
So our Avanti was a 2009 and it was a lemon. Over the past few years we’ve had the opportunity to meet a few people with the Avanti, and we’ve talked with the manufacture multiple times about this particular coach. All we can say is the Avanti is an awesome ground breaking RV. Not sure why more mfrs don’t make RV’s like this. If you are going to look at an Avanti you should only consider the 2011 or one of the few 2012 models floating around. The last year Thor made the Avanti they figured out everything that was wrong with the previous models. I personally think the 2011+ Avanti is a great first RV if you can find one.
You might want to also consider the Thor ACE and the Fleetwood Storm. These are gas RV’s however if you purchase one of the units around 30′ it’ll handle pretty well.
For selling Windy it’s totally up in the air. There is a small chance we’ll make a switch as early as the beginning of 2014. We love Windy, so it’d have to be one sweet deal for us to let her go. Not sure of the price tag…we’ll likely have 2 prices based on if we remove the solar and composting toilet, etc.
As for CO, we’re heading your way soon. Maybe you can take Windy off our hands as we’re passing through? Our plan is to hit Breckenridge around Thanksgiving. Let me know where you are in CO around then and we should connect. You can spend the day with us getting to know her 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with your 2009 Avanti and your recommendation of the 2011+ models. We have that and a few others on our shortlist, after spending today at RV America and loving the Tiffins, and even the Bounder! Your blog, videos and emails have been so helpful and inspiring to us.
Catching up when you are in Colorado would be great! We live halfway between Denver and Boulder. We are about 1.5 hour drive from Breckenridge so not far. We would love to pop down there and visit with you both and check out Windy too. That would be cool – let us know what dates you plan to be there and we can make a plan for a day trip.
Oh, and we don’t watch “House of Cards” or “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix either! LOL. So consider your videos much more entertainment value for us right now! 😉
We just aren’t big TV watchers at all, so seeing 3 and 4 TVs in most of the RVs we have been exploring is quite bizarre. We could easily do without one at all, as long as we have a laptop and Internet!
Well, thanks again for your generous sharing of your knowledge and experience. It has been a godsend for us!
Look forward to catching up in Colorado next month! Drop us a line as your plans and dates firm up.
Have an awesome weekend!
Julie & Marc
thanks nikki….i went to the evergreen website….yikes! i’m in trouble! love them…love how they are made ..very informative site! i hope to see you kids on the road! you’re such an inspiration!
what would be your pick for a travel trailer if you were to ever go from motor home to trailer
Carolyn that is a really hard question as I haven’t done enough research. I will tell you I really like the Element trailer by Evergreen and the r-pod trailer by forest river.
Paul from PS
I just drove from Palm Springs to Maine in a 19′ R-Vision with three dogs- it was easy to drive, but honestly, a little cramped for long term travel. Have you guys checked out the 2014 Thor RVs? http://acemotorhome.com/floorplans.php Curious why you wish you had the slide out in the Bedroom?
Hey Paul, we have looked at the Thor Ace and think its a great coach for the price point. When you add a slide to the bedroom you get a lot more wardrobe space which is something we are super slim on in our coach. That is why we wish we had the slide in the bedroom and that Ace is crazy spacious for such a small coach!
If your full timers stay away from the small one and get the View. Great mpg, tall ceilings, easy to drive. More refined than the clumsy big one.
I will be officially retired in a few months and looking into buying a motor home. It will be me and my dog. I love your site and have learned so much about what to look for. Your explanations make so clear realistic considerations. Thanks for your website and I look forward to your newsletter.
You’re wish is our command…a new newsletter should be going out today. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section of any post, we do our best to read and respond to every one! Good luck and Congrats!
Note that on the Vista 26HE the sewer connector is in the same compartment as the fresh water hookups and shower. Furthermore, the hoses run through the exact same hole to the compartment.
We were disturbed by this — felt it was unsanitary. Would not buy the vehicle as a result of this alone.
We are still frustrated in our search for contemporary, European-styled coaches. Market is driven by older, rural people who prefer traditional designs that we just can’t stand.
Alas. The Vesta is no longer being made. The rvs you selected are very nice, but if you want something a bit larger it is impossible to find anything.
Those push button locking cabinets are great! I spend about 6-9 months a year living on tour busses and most of our coaches have those. The older ones that have the plastic snaps have caused a mess or two over the years going thru the mountains or crazy NYC traffic! 🙂
Right on! I totally hear you! It’s amazing how crappy most clips, hinges, and handles are inside RV’s.
I would also vote for the Tiffin They also have a 28 foot.. I believe it has the same engine you have now. Is there anything wrong with the vehicle you have now? The vehicle you have is a cut above any of the choices you selected.
Well Andy, after a few months of searching we did not find anything we liked better than the Vesta. Kinda sad as we were looking forward to a new challenge in downsizing. The tiffin makes a great product, and we considered the Breeze 28 originally when we purchased the Vesta, check out our post on it: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/breeze-vs-vesta
We just traded in our 2000 34 foot Commander for a 2013 25 foot LTV Libero. It’ll be delivered in January – can’t wait!
Bev, you must let us know how you like it after taking your first trip. So exciting!
Seriously consider one of the Platinum products produced by Coach House in Nokoma, Florida. Sold direct, these compact Class C units are hand-built by a family-owned company and are amazing products. I visited the plant a few weeks ago and posted about it at my travel blog, BarryOnTheRoad.com
So many small RV companies out there producing a quality product. We haven’t heard of Coach House, we’ll have to swing by the factory ourselves when we come to FL. Thanks.
I’m seriously looking at either the Leisure Travel Vans twin bed, which can sleep at least 3 and has pretty good storage or, for about $20,000 less, you can get the Winnebago/Itasca 24V twin bed, which can sleep 4. Both are on the Mercedes Diesel chassis. I think the quality of the LTV is better but $20k better than Winnebago? Also, I like that the 24V has a slide out (more room) and the slide out can sleep 2 people, making it so the 24V can easily sleep 4 people. Decisions, decisions… curious to see what you guys go with. Keep on truckin’.
Agreed $20k is a lot of money and I’m not sure there’s that large of a quality difference. One thing the Winnebago has that no other has: the integrated window shades! Brilliant.
Which one had the cabinet latches you liked? Was it the Vista? Those latches have been in sailboats for years. You should check out some boats for ideas to maximize space utilization and ways to keep things in place as you travel along. Check out Beneteau for some of the more interesting innovations, they are the largest builder of sailboats in the world. But also check out some of the higher-end yachts. I’m sure there is a Beneteau dealer not far from you wherever you are. But if you can find a boat show you can get a look at a lot of boats all at once just like an RV show. You can check out powerboats too, but I think the sailboat builders are more creative in space utilization.
We owned at 26′ Beneteau for a while and learned a lot about living in a small space. We’re thinking of getting a “land yacht” one of these days, but that is a way off. We are still trying to figure out the plusses and minuses of A, C, 5th wheel and TT. One thing I like about 5th wheels and TTs is that if one piece breaks you can still use the other piece, or if you picked the right TT but the wrong tow vehicle you can keep the TT and upgrade the vehicle. Plus with a TT or a 5th wheel you’ve already got the vehicle to tour around locally. But the convenience of access to the interior of the A on the road sure is nice.
Indecision may or may not be my problem…
Mike, we liked the latches on the leisure travel. I have seen them in boats, we wish RV’s were made more like boats! Did you live in your 26′ Beneteau? We are thinking of hitting the water in 2014!
Just weekends and a week or two in the summer. 26 feet is very cozy. We had a rule that only one of us was allowed to be moving around at a time. I
IMHO 37′ is an ideal live aboard, but 34 might work too. Smaller than that is really tight and bigger gets a little tougher for a couple to handle easily and every foot adds to dockage fees and other expenses wherever you go.
Thanks for the info Mike! We have looked at 35 and 37ft Beneteau’s. Nice to hear we were being realistic. Some people look at us like we are crazy when we talk about living aboard such a small boat. Not that we aren’t accustomed to strange looks! I don’t aim to argue that we aren’t crazy, we are but, crazy doesn’t = impossible!
Having owned an Airstream Westfalia Class B (18.5 feet of wonderful, BTW) and two 5th wheels since (3 kids) here is my 2 cents worth:
A 25′ Airstream (new or late model) with a Hensley Hitch and a Ford Ecoboost F150.
Here is my reasoning; The Airstream is not only very well made and trendy, but its re-sale value is like no other RV.
You will need to tow or rent something for everyday transportation regardless and the F150 Ecoboost gets really good non-towing MPG and is very comfortable to drive.
The truck also allows for easy storage of bikes and outdoor accessories especially with a cover.
Even buying new, the purchase price will be lower than a small Class A or a Class B. The combination is also much easier to sell whether as a unit or separate.
I’ve never owned a motorhome, but I’ve been thinking seriously about it the past year and have looked at quite a few. I like the Tiffin Breeze 32 for its size, quality and anticipated good resale. However, my wife and I recently agreed that we would be using our coach mostly on shorter jaunts, and often just be myself as a base for extended motorcycle trips. So I recently began looking at Class B and C units.
Leisure Travel Vans’ products are stand-out in my view because of the their contemporary designs, European-styling, and general high quality, particularly the cabinets. I looked at a Unity24MB this week and was impressed. My reservations were about limited external storage and I’m not so sure the Murphy bed will function without fault for a longtime. I look forward to looking at their corner bed model and island bed models.
Please let me know what you end up with, or since you may have already made a purchase, please let me know what you got and what do you think about it.
Oh yeah, forgot to ask if you considered Coach House RVs? I’ve never seen one in person, but they may out-compete LTV.
The Tiffin Breeze is a great RV, and Bob stands behind his RV’s personally. 32 is a great size for us living full time, but for short trips a B+ would be a great choice!
You may want to view our Breeze vs. Vesta post: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/breeze-vs-vesta
Stay tuned, we’ll be downsizing soon….
I looked at all your motorbike’s choices and I like the Winnebago Vista 26HE the best. It looked like it had lots of storage, roomy, and places for guests. I know whichever one you both pick will be a good one. Good luck on choosing a new motorhome.
tiffany of camp1899
so excited to see what you two choose!! we full timed in a 20 ft (as you know..) (22ft hitch to tail) and although our full timing did not last as long as yours has/will we found the layout to be so good that we could have stayed in that small space indefinitely had life not popped up other plans (; just an idea.. you never know, even smaller might work (;
We DID watched your video all the way to the end, hee hee!
Fun to see you guys in your shopping routine. First, that Leisure Travel Unity had us drooling. We like their design and quality overall and LOVE the small size too. Lazy Daze is a quality Class C, as well as Born Free. Both these makers also have full time living qualities to their coaches.
I must say though, that since getting inside our 1978 bus, I feel like she is the strongest built house on wheels I’ve been inside of to date. No paper, staples, or plastic! Things are made with real wood, metal, copper, steal… it’s solid and feels like a well built house.
If we could pass on any real wisdom it would be, to be open to the unexpected and allow it (your next house on wheels) to sweep you off your feet. Just like falling in love!
Where do you domicile? If you are a South Dakota resident, your sales tax on a new vehicle is 3%. If you domicile elsewhere, it’s more. So, that’s a consideration. Have you done a cash flow analysis on purchasing something new? The commenter talking about your depreciation curve is correct, it’ll be awhile before you can amortize that. Good luck with all it.
Great site and love the photography! You might want to consider the Tiffin Allegro Breeze. It has a 28ft floorplan and it is a diesel pusher. They are hideously expensive (retail 170g) but very well made and the resale is high. Not a great deal of a downsize but it just might be what your looking for. Keep up the great work (the videos especially feel very professional) on what is now my new favorite RV/photo art blog!
I will send you the $100 bribe we discussed for the kind comments….ha. Thanks for the comment, we love the Tiffin products, and originallly thought we’d not consider 28 feet, but the more we think about full timing in 25 feet the more we want a little bit larger! I’m excited to figure out this whole thing myself.
A Sprinter chassis really can’t be beat in the under-30 ft category– best MPG, excellent reliable Mercedes quality, and can easily go 250K miles without an issue. The only drawback is Cargo Carrying Capacity. Most (like my Winnebago View) can’t hold more than 1000 lbs and can’t tow more than 5000, so you’ll be limited for full-timing unless you seriously minimize.
I agree with another commenter that buying new again will seriously dent your bank account unless money is no object.
Another idea might be to design your own Sprinter conversion van. Sportsmobile is probably the best-known, but there are many others. You’d have total control over the quality and design and likely end up much cheaper than a Leasure Van.
But if that’s not of interest, I’d highly recommend Winnebago or Tiffen over Thor. The quality and resale value will pay off for you. I bought my View in 2009 and its depreciated less than $10k in 4 years!
Needless to say I’m most interested in the part where it sleeps 4! Can’t wait to see what you all decide on!
You could consider going all hard core with a Sportsmobile!
BTW: Your new blog is PRETTY!
Hey Brent! Thanks and we think the sportsmobile is all kinds of awesome! Makes you want to explore africa or something!
We agree with you about finding something under 30ft, either a Class A or C. Our other basic “must haves” include that it must be a DIESEL, a pop-out or two, and a queen bed that is NOT one of those “coffin in the corner” beds, and NOT a bed that must be put away every day. Here is our short list: Class A: Itasca Reyo 25Q, Winnebago Via 25Q or Allegro Breeze 28ft. Class C: Winnebago View 24G, Itasca Navion 24G, Fleetwood Tioga 24R DSL, or the Thor Siesta 24SR-FW. The prices are all over the place. We would like to find something used, but so many of the nice small units are only a couple of years old, so there isn’t much out there. We are anxiously awaiting what your decision will be!!
Wholly Mollie! There are so many RV’s out there my head is flooding. Thanks to everyone for the advice, we’re weeding through all the facebook messages, and comments, and we’ll likely update this post soon with additional details.
As for Windy, until she’s found a new home we’ll be taking her towards Lake Havasu City next week, and enjoying our last few moments with her.
Oh, other older RVs under 30 feet with good MPG: Gulf Stream Montaj, Damon Avanti, I am forgetting one.
Thor? Their Sprinters are NOT the same build quality as LTV, or even Winnebago. You should look at the Winnebago Via/Reyo as it is different that the other units you mention. Great milage, great outside storage on the 25T, has the over cab bed for guest/sick bed. I love the LTV, like my Serenity, but that corner bed like the Thor has means this is NOT a full time vehicle, too squished when sleeping next to my spouse. The LTV MB is nice but as you show, it takes time to make up the dinette. Similar to the Winnebago View Profile 24G, bed must be folded up, slid in before travel. The advantage of the class C being you can park at the grocery store and get out the cab doors next to cars that can also get out their doors while a real class A, like the Via, needs to take up 4 spaces so the side door can be opened.
Class A will typically be better for full timing it. You already got the recommendation of the Safari Trek, too bad they are not new, but they are well built and stand the test of time. Great use of space, “36 feet of space in a 28 foot RV” due to the use of their MajikBed. Awkwardly sleeps 4, very comfortable, tons of storage, über build quality. Made until 2007, but I want to get the 2001-2002 for aerodynamic capability when I do the full time thing.
So the Thor ACE fits, the Via, the Trek. Lots of places you can stay that won’t fit a 32 or more foot RV.
Val From TN
Enjoy you videos & blogs. If you are serious about the Winnebago sprinter you should check out the yahoo view navion owners group. It has a wealth of info. We had a 2010 Winnebago Via R but only kept it 3 months & traded for a 2011 Thor Daybreak 3211. Loved the look of the sprinter and the gas mileage (16 mpg), it drove great & easy in & out of tight campgrounds. What did not work for us…. We would park it for 4 days & it wouldn’t start, battery would die. There is an issue with parasitic drain on the battery from the radio. Most all the owners have installed trikle start, or disconnect the battery when rv is not in use. The single sink is a deal breaker love having a double sink. The shower door on the winnie was flimsy & had issues with it. The beds on the winnies are hard & most add a foam mattress topper. Our Via had the overhead bunk & I liked sleeping on it better than the daybed. It was a little tricky getting in & out there was no ladder, a foot stool worked fine. Last ours had a propane leak & trying to get warranty service done from a dealer we didn’t purchase from was a problem. It took us 3 weeks to get an appointment. Winnebago customer service was no help with getting an earlier appointment. Our Thor has been great, reliable, always starts, we have had it a year, only service work has been an oil change. We are on a year long trip, it has worked well for us. Next will be a 36 or 37 ft class A. We won’t go back to thesmaller while on the road full time.
Phil, Steve and Dakota
Hi Nikki and Jason,
Phil, Steve and Dakota here. Nice video…I like the style of the video with the voice over the footage. Funnily enough we looked at the same Winnebego View at our local dealer in August and thought it would make a great motorhome for us too.What we would like to point out as your friends is that you have already incurred the most dramatic depreciation on Windy in the first two years of ownership. The depreciation curve is just now starting to flatten out for you. To sell her for a new unit, pay more sales tax and then slide down that slippery slope of depreciation on another new unit will be way more costly in the long run than just keeping what you have. Of course, if you can snag some sponsorship from a manufacturer or if you are planning on shipping the rv overseas (which is what we are guessing you are planning, hehe) then a different, smaller unit may be better.
Whoops, typo, ours is the View 24J
I wrote back in the summer, but my hubby wants me to tell you again how GREAT our View 24M is. We have had a trailer, a 5th wheel, a class C, and a class A, which is what we traded in on the Winnebago View 24M in the spring. My husband was tired of fighting the wind in the Class A and we wanted something we could just get in and go on short notice.
Our floorplan has the smaller corner bathroom, but the big advantage is the sink is outside the toilet/shower room, a nice convenience which suited us well. We traveled for 6 weeks with our 11 and 8 year old. We got the sofa that jacknifes into a bed and the bunk over cab. The corner bed in the back is comfortable, has its own tv hookup and LOTS of storage under the bed.
We got great mileage , 15+, and no problems with the wind, turning , parking , getting in spaces, etc. We also got the diesel generator, not the propane.
It was very comfortable for the 4 of us all summer. The one thing we did add was a pressure rod shower curtain between the rear bed and the front sofa/bunk, just for more privacy for changing and sleeping.
We tend to cook outside alot, so I found the kitchen adequate.
Hope this helps some.
My husband LOVES the MB diesels power and performance. We also tow a 4dr Jeep Wrangler, so there is plenty of towing power.
The Leisure Travel Van really stands out. When I was going to school in NY, I had a Murphy bed in a studio apt. It works out just great. Imagine, all the space that is going to waste when you are not sleeping … With the Murphy bed you really push your limited space to work harder.
well, sounds like you are on your way for finding a new home, but in your movie you did not address engine horsepower, since you are downsizing, that means you engine power will be less. Which is fine unless you need to tow something like a car up in the mountains. Just something to consider. Also the benz powered unit, its engine how been around for ages and is dependable. Also with these new diesels there are two types one takes an additive called DEF to lower the emissions and the other is using high temp regen process, its hot enough to start grass fires if you park in a field. So there are my two cents worth, also stay away from a ford diesel power, they have a very big problem with the EGR system, it clogs up sometimes and leaks fluid into your cylinders, which causes all kinds of bent and broken parts.
Well good luck on your search, they are many low mileage used motorhomes, more with less than 500 miles might save you thousands
If you haven’t checked out the Thor Four Winds Siesta Sprinter 24SA, You should. It Has approx 56 cubic sq ft outside storage. It does have a bed space that can be hard to get in and out of but it is as nice as the View in the video with lots more storage. However, it is small. We traded our in for the A.C.E. 29.1 and are very happy with the added space inside and it has approx. 113 cubic sq ft storage outside. Big Plus. It is also very pet friendly. Can’t wait to see your thoughts on these two…Haven’t seen the 27.1 yet, Good luck…
I forgot the most important step in a used Safari Trek; you would have plenty of cashola left over to do a proper retro fit! How cool would that be?! http://www.classiccoachworks.com
Of all people, you two stand the best chance of going to the Leisure Travel Van factory. Document the whole process of designing and building your own Unity, just the way you want it.
Would also make a great promotional video for Leisure Travel Vans.
Honestly, a few tweaks to one of their Unity floor plans would do it. The quality, fit and finish of LTV is far superior than any of the other coaches you’ve considered.
Another consideration would be a Safari Trek. No longer produced, but they ended up being a Monaco product (we have a Safari Cheetah made by Monaco). The Trek may very well suit all your needs.
I checked out the Thor models and I love the Ace 29.1. They say it has MEGA storage too!
We have the Itasca 2009 model Sunstar 26P. Travel for months at a time. Our model has 2 slides: bedroom and “dining”
We can understand the negatives you spotted, and have a couple of our own items which bug us re design. But we really like the rig and just returned to Texas from 6000+ miles in it. Still are really pleased with how livable it is.
Glad to share our yeas and nays and work-arounds with you if you get close to choosing the Vista.
We’re currently looking for a similar RV and just saw a Unity on the road last weekend. We are really leaning towards a Winnebago View Profile 24G. Have you looked at the 24G?
Like a lot of the features in the Unity but don’t think we could live with the MB.
Thanks for sharing your choices so far. My (free!) opinion is . . . I could not sleep in #1, I could not make / unmake the bed in #3 every day – even those cool button locks wouldn’t make up for that hassle. We just sold our Vista and it was great. The storage space was super. The bathroom door provided privacy when opened without being confined to a small bathroom space. Propane cooked well – front blinds were bad (upgradable?) You didn’t share you opinion of driving your choices?
Well to tell you the truth I would keep the winnie…I had a 24 foot GulfStream which is like the Winnabago View. I just think this size is too small for full time living. I do like the fact that you can take them most places without a problem, we took ours on small dirt roads and never had a problem. We are not full time but do go out for 5-6 months at a time and we now have a 40′ Fleetwood. I DID NOT like the single round sink in the kitchen go for a double..
Like you I dropped down from a much larger 2009 Monaco …42.5′.
My switch was to a Itasca Navion iQ 24G ….. same as the Winnebago View. Advantages: better kitchen w/pantry, the rear slide is quick and easy for bedding and travel, the sofa is a fold out full, the fuel mileage is outstanding, the drive and torque are better than expected. Reconsider the 24G … you’ll be glad you did.
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I just heard about you guys this evening… Watching your episode of House Hunters: RV right now. What an awesome adventure to be able to have!
Hi You 2.Good luck on your travels.Seen you on the tube shopping for a new home,just make sure you go diesel not gas unless you have bottomless pockets and Im sure you wont have problems.Remember the larger your RV the easier it will sell once your done with it.Have fun.
Of the three we like #2, the Winnabego Vista. The outside storage compartments seem more practical for full time camping, with easy access. With the money you save, you could upgrade to the pull out drawers and stainless sink. The other two don’t look large enough for full time camping
The one that stands out as a definite no is the first one. No way would I sleep in that bed!!! The bed in the second one was my fave but wasn’t that the one w/the cheap plastic shower door? I think the third is closer to something you could live with. The only drawback was having to make/UN make the bed all the time. Post the other videos when available!!!
The Leisure Travel one looked awesome. I think its great that the bed folded up in there and provided you with a dining area. It seemed really open, more you guys style… but I wasn’t a fan of the 1st or the second one. The bed loft seemed weird for every day living, and then the table / dining area in the second one seemed awful. I dunno, tough choice, I can see why you are asking your viewers. I say second or third.
I think you should ck out the 30;Classic Airstream trailer. Drop it off and tour around all day in a pick up truck-the new F150 Eco Boost that gets good gas mileage.
Airstreams are awesome, walk around Q bed, full bath down the hall. 5′ cedar lined closet, 10cf frig, 17″ oven and micro. Awning windows, good storage, residential plumb fixtures. People have loved them for 80 years. And you have the truck for extra storage and equip. We love ours!
You both are so cute! Great relationship you have it shows!
I like the last one best, that is the one I would buy if it was me 🙂 I wish you both best on your buy and adventures, and as always thanks for sharing!
I think the class A’s are the best bet. Thor makes a good product and we are considering this size too. Can’t wait until you give a tour of each. The Leisure Travel is great for what it is but as a full-time lifestyle w/kitty (box) can’t see it working. Think is for the weekender Rv’r. Good luck, love your site, keep sharing , especially Quartsite and Lake Havasu, two places I’ve been wanting to check out as well.
Really liked your video! My wife and I are about to buy our first RV and will be starting off in the under 30′ range so your search and your video is so timely for us. We went to the huge PA RV show this year and looked at all the Sprinter based RVs and a few A’s. The Tiffin Breeze ’28 might be worth a look. Very luxurious and a rear diesel too. Fell in love with the Leisure Travel line, especially the Unity 24IB with the Island Bed in back. My wife is a night-owl and I go to bed early so I like the idea of being able to close the door to the bedroom. Only LT van with a big pass through storage area too. Small living area up front though. What about your boondocking? Can you get an equivalent solar panel system on these small ones to what you have now?
Again, love your videos! Keep up the good work and Good Luck in your search.
Have you checked out the Allegro Breeze 28? We have the 33 foot and love it but we did consider the 28 foot too.
Personally I really like (love) the one you have that is for sale. I just do not understand why you are selling it and looking for a smaller one. I would understand if you did not spend so much time on the road but you are always on the road!!!
I really like how both of you describe the pros/cons of each vehicle. You cover just about everything that people should be aware of before purchasing an RV. Your videos almost make me feel like I’m inside those RVs with you. Sharing the knowledge that you both have gained from purchasing and travelling in RVs with novices like me is invaluable. With that in mind, I would select the 3rd RV in this group of 3. It would definitely fit more into my way of travelling than the other 2. I also like that many others with RV experience add comments to many of your posts. That information will be so important to us when/if we purchase an RV in the future. Thank you both so much for sharing your videos with us all. I really do appreciate it. I hope you get back on the road very soon. Take care of yourselves and happy RV shopping.
I vote for Liesure Travel Unity.
Alan & Kathy Wheeler
We have owned a Van, 2 class C’s, 1 class A, and 1 5th Wheel. We like space so our 5th Wheel is 38′ long, but has everything we want. The items you did not discuss and I wonder if they are important are:
1. towing capacity (your smart car)
3. Size of holding tanks
4. I assume you want a generator?
5. Roof area for solar
6. Storage area for more than one battery
7. Space for battery monitor system to ensure you have
power off the grid.
8. Size of engine (I have heard that the diesel in the W/Mercedes may be underpowered to pull a vehicle and climb hills)
9. Is the inside space big enough without a slide out when you have to stay inside due to weather or other reason.
11. Total carrying capacity (compared to your old coach)
Wow tough choices hehe…Well good luck finding the new RV 🙂
Okay, so, my two cents. 🙂 I love love love the 3rd one, the Leisure Travel Unity 24MB. That is, of the three. What sold me was both the larger shower and large-ish bathroom and, la piece de resitance was the Murphy bed! OMG! That would be a bit of a pain to keep putting away but you have your whole RV as your bedroom and then you just easily tuck it away, unnoticeable. I don’t like the coffin-like bed in most of these smaller RVs. I mean, who gets the side closest to the bathroom and who has to sleep on the wallside? LOL I really love that last one, though. We really miss you guys. Have fun!! xoxo
I don’t know, but I just read John and Kathy Huggins blog, living the rv dream (ltrvd.blogspot.com) and they mentioned they did a tour of the Thor manufacturing plant in Elkhart, IN. They were not impressed at all. After touring another company, they had this to say:
I wish I felt so strongly positive about the Thor plant. It was the dirtiest and most cluttered of the six plants we have toured. I saw cabinet frames installed in a rig with cracked wood frames where the screws were driven without drilling holes. I saw holding tanks with the old style thru wall sensors. That’s all they use. Much of their work is sourced out to other shops including painting. That’s a recipe for poor quality. I like their floor plans, but I will never have a Thor product.
John and Kathy are full time rv’ers and have been touring different manufacturing plants. I wish you luck in your decision! We are going full time in two years and going through the choosing process, too. Anyway, I just thought you’ld like to know. I know I would.
You guys are adorable. We will be celebrating thanksgiving at Lake Havasu and will have our boat along so if you happen to be at Havasu at Thanksgiving we would love to show you the lake. Good luck with finding your next motorhome. The perfect one is out there.
What a great adventure. We just spent 80 days driving from CT to The west coast and back. Two adults an 9 year old and a 2 year old in our Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion. About $80K plus some mods. Solar and hot water from the engine etc. very economical if small. No generator at all. Met a couple who live in there Sportsmobile for five years. It can be done. Good luck.
I’m laying in our 25-foot Itasca Reyo and thinking it should be on your list. I say this only because you are full-time. If we were not living in our RV for 4-5 months per year, I’d go with the View. But with so much time in it, we need the bed to be easily accessible and very comfortable. The curtain and two TVs also creates a sense of two rooms. In such tight living, that can be really nice.
Is sleeping 4 a real priority? Will your guests be with you long-term? If only short term, perhaps rent a second unit or a travel trailer, and give yourself more options – if there are more, I’m not sure.
Down-sizing is hard. Storage is important, but you’ll obviously need to spend some time evaluating how much you need your ‘stuff’.
I like the looks of the Thor 24SR – some good pics here: http://www.generalrv.com/inventory/200301/New-2012-Thor-Motor-Coach-Four-Winds-Siesta-Sprinter-24SR.aspx
And the sale price is pretty attractive too.
You could add some nice, secure tow-hitch extending storage-box to this unit, something like these: http://www.prolineracks.com/hitch-cargo-carrier.html There has to be one that allows you to tow your car too or maybe put it on the back of your car.
Anyway, very interesting to follow your story! Keep up the good work!
Really loving that last one! My wife and I own a VW Camper so we know what its like having to “transform” from sleeping to not sleeping while traveling on long monthly road trips. Granted were not living in it, but the whole experience is quite life changing. Being able to live simply… really simply allows for more effort and energy in doing other things. the ability to pickup and go quicker in a smaller vehicle has become our new freedom! Less Storage also means less stuff to weigh you down. Looks like the basics are covered in this van and covered really well. Everything else becomes an adjustment 🙂 If you consider used, the best RV we’ve seen for two young adults is the Mercedes Benz Westfalia/Airstream. Last one made in 2006. The contemporary design, the ingenuous floor plan, bathroom and kitchen is awesome In a small package. No wonder why they’re hard to find and hold their value!
– Maurice and Stacey
Hey Ya’ll why not consider the Winnebago Via Class A? or have you?
Well, my wife and I are in the same process but at a slower pace. The current RV is a 30 foot Coachmen Concorde, Class C. The problem, it really isn’t small enough for daily cruising any parks or cities we travel too. So, we need to tow and we are not really excited about pulling a tow vehicle. Thinking about a B but no real bed in those things.
What we like from the three we saw was number 3. For us, that would be the one. It is well appointed, nice floorplan, small but well placed microwave (our current micro is on the floor, ugh). And the overall fit and finish seems to be the best, in terms of good materials that should last. Yes, the Winnies are less expensive but so are the materials they are built with. And that is what you can see. What you can’t see? Analogy,you go to a restaurant, the bathrooms are filthy, can you imagine what is going on in the kitchen.
We travel a great deal fro our Phoenix HQ. Especially to the Grand Canyon, I have an app up on Apple and Android that needs constant updating. We need an RV that is reliable more than anything else. You can adapt to almost any storage situation. But the engine, the chasis, the plumbing, the electrical better be damn good and reliable when you are out in the boonies.
All in all, number 3, for all the reasons above. Now that you have placed that video, we are going to look at the very same…so, thank you.
If you have the opportunity, check out my websites, tell me what you think. Tnx. http://www.geographicwest.com and http://www.frederickfichman.com. Also on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, search under my name Frederick Fichman. bfn.