Windy was our full time home on wheels February 2011 – December 2013

We are eco-conscious people and let’s face it, traveling in an RV doesn’t seem like the most eco-friendly way to go. But, Windy isn’t your grandparents’ gas guzzling 1980’s motorhome. Technology is changing and ever so very slowly…so is the RV industry.

windy the rv

Windy The RV
She is a 32ft 2011 Monaco Vesta. It’s a front-engine coach with a low center of gravity, air bag suspension and the first RV ever with wind-tunnel-tested aerodynamics which improved the fuel efficiency. We average around 11-13mpg (more on our fuel economy here), can run a Bio Diesel Blend of B20 (not always easy to find) without any conversions and is the most contemporary small class A we could find. So, it was an excellent start to a more eco-friendly home on the road.

It’s NOT a Contest – It’s Simple

We are experimenting in living more simply and sharing our findings. Mostly, because for us the simpler we make our lives, the more free we feel and the happier we seem to get. And then there is our planet. Oh yeah, we are selfish that way. The more we see of our amazing planet, the more we want to preserve it.

We’re not the most eco-friendly people on the planet, not even close to it, not trying to be. Shrinking our personal footprint isn’t going to save the world. Sure, our personal footprints are important but it’s not the big picture. We’re not pointing fingers at those that live differently, looking for a gold star or anything of the sort. We want to do our part to change the big picture. So that doing the right thing becomes the norm, not the gallant tree hugger exception.

Then there are those lovely unexpected bonuses of going green…like saving money and boondocking longer and more comfortably!

Here are some of the ways we have found to green up Windy and our lifestyle:

Solar

Solar Kit – A total of 600 Watts of Solar + 3000 Watt pure sine inverterGoPower Extreme Solar Kit (with PowerBoost – supercharges the batteries to 14.5 for overnight use)GoPower Portable 120 Watt Panel with 45ft of cable allows us to follow the sun for max solar input.

All American Sun Oven – Cooking with the sun keeps the heat out of the RV and requires no electricity or gas, just a sunny day!

All things USB – Solio makes a rad collection of solar lights and mini solar chargers perfect for hiking, in the car or carrying in your hand/man bag. This keeps our cell phones, cameras, tablets and etc. charged on the go. These are also perfect for over seas travel. You don’t have to worry about power adapters or burning up your gear if you bring your own power with you!

Solar Shower – a five gallon solar heated bladder with a shower nozzle. Perfect for rinsing off after a hike or washing dishes.

 

Composting Toilet

Separates the pee from the poo and turns waste into compost! Uses no water, no chemicals and we use Coco COIR because it’s more sustainable than Peat Moss.

 

LED Lights

We switched out over 40 bulbs! All LED lighting inside reduces electric consumption over 90% and produces zero heat vs. standard Halogen bulbs.

 

Water – Any Source

We have two goals with the investment in our RV water system: Create pure drinking water that tastes good so we never have to purchase bottled water, AND reduce the flow so we can conserve water every day. With our simple water purification system we can create great tasting clean water from any clear water source. This provides us with pure healthy drinking water whether we’re at a campground or living off the cord relying on lake or river water.

One Smart Toad

Convertible Smart Car is eco friendly and great MPG(about 40); 85% recyclable and 95% reclaimable.

It’s about more than just the RV

From growing herbs on board to sustainable clothing to supporting local breweries, restaurants and farmers markets to riding our bikes to explore nearby towns; we seek out the best eco-friendly options each town has to offer.Engine Horsepower Upgrade

Our 300HP upgrade has sparked quite the controversy on our website, on the forums, and so on and so on! So let us try and clear up some of the questions:

If you have any questions at all please leave a comment (we do read every one).

For updated information stay tuned to Gone With the Wynns by subscribing to our blog and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

101 Comments

  • Don Lane

    July 12, 2017 Reply

    We read your thread on Windy and understand what happened. And the move to Roy.😄

  • Don Lane

    July 1, 2017 Reply

    My wife Gale and I really liked Windy. Just wondering why the change to Roy. We are still trying to decide on a RV for extended vacation from the Florida summer. We are in Clearwater and maybe you will be by this coast on your new adventure. Be sure to say Hi.

  • David

    February 14, 2017 Reply

    How is the sailing going vs the rv'ing?

  • Christine

    January 26, 2017 Reply

    You guys ROCK! What else can I say?!?! We are looking to down size. Kids are grown and out of the house. We are just starting to look into RV's. We will be moving back to Colorado to live closer to family. We plan on traveling through out Colorado and possible off the grid at times. I'm so thrilled I came across your website and YouTube channels. I could not take notes fast enough. LOL! Just wanted to say, a huge THANK YOU to you both. Amazing chemistry between you both, how you two play off of each other.

  • LindaWolfe

    September 13, 2016 Reply

    Your RV is beautiful... I am so impressed with you two young people... Way to Go! We are considering selling out and buying another motor home or travel trailer... we have owned both... We are considering a travel trailer because we would have our van with us to go and do in towns. We love to travel ... we are a bit adventurous people always have been... love camping and love our home away from home with wheels. Life is to short not to travel on our terms. We are both retired and love life especially out on road travel.. Enjoying your web/ sight blog. Here is mine Creations by Ninnie.

  • Geo. Gay

    July 14, 2016 Reply

    I noticed on one of your videos that you were considering moving to a smaller RV. We currently have a Winnebago view with a Mercedes sprinter diesel engine. I have an interest in the Monaco Vesta, 35 foot, 2012 model. Can you give me any advice as to why I should keep the model we have or the advantages of moving to the Monaco, or vice versa. Thank you so much

  • Jenna Webb

    June 19, 2016 Reply

    So where are you guys now, and how is the new adventure, I must be off your list...cos no news ...

    • Nikki Wynn

      June 27, 2016 Reply

      You can see the latest posts by clicking the blog option at the top of the page. Perhaps try hitting that mail button at the bottom of the page and re-signing up for our email notifications. Maybe there was a glitch or we're getting kicked into your spam folder?

  • Michael Chaitin

    May 19, 2016 Reply

    Help Help......we are about to sign on a 2016 Fleetwood Excursion 33d today. I notice both of you are not extremely tall ( no offense)'neither are we. So how fid you reach the control panel that is directly over the stairwell ? After calling Fleetwood their response was "they realize this is a problem so prospective buyers should take this into consideration ".
    An attorney recommended 1) a test drive (naturally) 2) an I depiction to make dire everything is rocking and no undercarriage rust ; before any money exchanges hands except for a $1,000 deposit even thought it's a new will not pre-owned coach. Your thoughts please.
    Lastly, your recommendation for a on road wifi booster and a cellular booster for ATT wireless.
    I really appreciate your thoughts on this as we are retired I want to try and minalize and potential problems.
    Thank you ......and happy sailing ! I've been sailing the Great Lakes since 1967.

  • jason larsen

    April 16, 2016 Reply

    Wow! you guys have come a long way. Thank you for the inspiration as we are picking up our Excursion 33a on 4/22 and will be hitting the road in august with a toddler a newborn a wife and a pit bull!

  • Troy McDonald

    April 3, 2016 Reply

    On your gas rv you had something done so after you make a turn the rv steering wheel goes back to center. I can't find it on your site. And you had something done so the rv doesn't shake as much. Thank You

    • Nikki Wynn

      April 3, 2016 Reply

      Yes! Here is that info: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/gas-rv-squeaks-rattles-engine-noise

  • Ed Hamilton

    January 21, 2016 Reply

    I love that RV. That's an RV for those who aren't RVer's. But judging from the price, I guess I can understand.

  • Maryellen Ollatta

    December 21, 2015 Reply

    We like your videos, but why are in a Bounder in your recent Alaska segments? What happened to Roy?

  • Alexandra

    December 11, 2015 Reply

    Hey guys,
    Love your website! I wanted to know if y'all have heard about the tiny house movement.. or house on wheels? It's pretty cool but wanted to get your opinion if y'all have seen or been inside one.

    • Jason Wynn

      December 12, 2015 Reply

      We've been inside plenty of tiny homes and they are totally cute. Most are not roadworthy enough to pull down the road for full-timers, but if you plan to move only a few times each year it could be a viable option.

  • Ward Simmons

    September 3, 2015 Reply

    We saw one of your videos from when you owned Windy - not sure which one. You had bikes on a hitch-mounted carrier, and a cover over the bikes. We'd like to know more.

    We're picking up our first motor home later this month - a Winnebago Via 25P. We don't want to tow a car, so have bought electric bikes (very cool). We want to cover them while they are stored on the hitch-mounted carrier, and are shopping for a cover.

    Can you share any experiences?

    • Jason Wynn

      September 26, 2015 Reply

      We had a Swagman bike cover and it worked, but it didn't keep out all the water or dust and it needs to be replaced every 2 years or so. I don't think any option is perfect as these bikes take a beating on the back of an RV. Here's one 2-bicycle cover that has received good reviews: http://amzn.to/1LUEuS1

  • Meridian

    July 30, 2015 Reply

    I see your cat is in the picture on this page. Do you take the cat when you travel? If so, any tips?

  • Rachel Conway

    July 29, 2015 Reply

    Hello! I'm very inspired by what you guys do. I've got a question that is anticipating an answer :P , i see how much you guys have and im really wondering how you guys afford every wonderful thing you have? it would help me out a lot because i just bought a small travel trailer and thinking of ways to get all the necessities of travel (for a cheap, simple, and environmentally lifestyle). Thank you guys for caring about our planet! :))

  • Heidi Snyder

    July 15, 2015 Reply

    Just watched your episode on Going RV. My question is probably already been answered, but where will you be next?! It would be so fun to see your rig in person!!! We're located in Riverside County in CA. :)
    Best of luck!! You two are the cutest! Enjoy!

    • Nikki Wynn

      July 16, 2015 Reply

      We'll thanks for popping over to say hello! We don't have a super planned out schedule beyond our Alaska summer adventures so we're not sure where we will head next. If you take a peek around our website you will see we are not still in the Vesta RV anymore. Sadly that episode was filmed several years ago and is being re-aired so its a little confusing for people. I do hope we see you on the road and until then poke around our site to see what all we've been up to!

  • Joel McKown

    May 23, 2015 Reply

    Jason, got our 2011 Vesta last Nov and we love it. We've upgraded many things per your experiences, solar, sleep by the numbers, etc but please explain to me how or what you did for closet space in the bed room? We are living out of duffel bags that we store on each side of the bed, the closet next to the refrigerator is our pantry. Did you do anything special to store your clothing in the bed room closets?

  • pat

    May 15, 2015 Reply

    I lost my husband a couple of yrs ago, our plan was when I retire 3/16 we were going to hit the road & travel all over, & maybe do some hosting at campgrounds. Here's where I'm stuck we had a class a r v, to big for me. There's me & my 3 puppy dogs. I'm looking at class b 19'-21' (any bigger won't fit in driveway). I was wanting to know the top 5 manufactures for these little guys. I've been doing so much reading & the answers aren't there. I've always loved Roadtrek, friend said look fro 2008-2013 about 65,000. So do you have an option? Pat

    • Nikki Wynn

      May 17, 2015 Reply

      we don't spend a lot of time looking at class b's so I couldn't say. No matter what its always about finding the right features and layout for you in whatever brand that may be.

  • edgar

    April 20, 2015 Reply

    Happy trails and keep on trucking.

  • nancy shorter

    April 13, 2015 Reply

    Hi Jason & Nikki
    My husband is soon retiring & we hope to hit the road soon. We've purchased a new Grand Design 5th wheel. I really enjoy reading about your experiences. Wish we could have started earlier. We will be traveling with our dog & cat. I'm amazed how well trained your cats are. They seem to roam & enjoy your camp spots without getting lost. Our dog is well behaved but afraid our inquisitive cat would be different. Always afraid he'll get out & not stay close by. Kudos on being good pet parents. ☺

  • Vicki Cosier

    March 27, 2015 Reply

    Just getting back into RVing, preparing things now. Changing over to composting toilet, trying to anticipate what I might need on the road. Short trips now to "get the hang" of RVing again.
    Would you consider doing something on what are the very basics to load into your RV for the first time? And reveiw products used to carry valuables?

  • Kevin

    August 18, 2014 Reply

    Hi Wynns, I'm wondering if you could help me. I'm considering the purchase of 2011 VESTA 32 . My Question is: Do you think I could tow up to 5000 pounds comfortably behind it? (race car in enclosed trailer) Would I be crawling up hills or could the Vesta maintain 55+ without straining? Keep up the good work and thanks for the help you two.

    • Nikki Wynn

      August 18, 2014 Reply

      You'll have to do the math on how much your stuff weighs then compare it to the GVWR and the GVM of the Vesta. As for climbing "hills" you should be fine but just know with a heavy load our Windy only managed in the 40mph area while climbing mountains.

  • "A nice Man from Germany"

    June 21, 2014 Reply

    Jason and Nikki,

    I've made a list of questions after I drove "Windy" from Decatur, IN to Las Vegas, NM. It was very enjoyable by the way, even with considerable crosswinds while passing through Kansas. Roughly 1,200 miles in three and a half days. Unfortunately the windshield got hit with a rock along the way and cracks appeared quickly. It will be replaced shortly. Since the TX sticker is still on the windshield I assume that never happened to you.... Insurance will take care of it.

    Ok, item number one is the entertainment system above the closet... I can't figure it out :-( 2 unconnected HDMIs coming out of the back wall plus the one that is plugged into the DVD. 1 iPod plug, multiple component(?) plugs and 1 big fat white squarish plug/connector with a bunch of wires coming out of the DVD player disappearing into the back wall. Bottom line, I can't get the TVs working and I don't want to try stuff and possibly blow it up in the process.

    Second, when were the last services done? Oil change etc. Sullivan didn't know.

    Next, what did Monaco, Navistar do to the coach (if anything) after you turned it in as far as you know?

    Also, there is a round hole in the right side wall in the wet bay. What is or was it for?

    And lastly - pheww... ;-) I checked the water level of the house batteries today. After firmly connecting the hose to the connector, water spilled out of the connection. Is that normal? A sign that the battery levels are good?

    Thanks!
    Bernard

    • Jason Wynn

      June 22, 2014 Reply

      Hey Bernard,
      Glad the drive was a success, can't believe you have to replace the windshield...in over 4 years of travel we've been lucky with the rock to the windshield disasters.
      Entertainment Center - The TV's are connected to the inverter so make sure the inverter is on, then check the fuses and circuit breakers. For the 2 extra HDMI cables 1. Is for the bedroom TV and 2. Is used to connect my computer to the TV.
      Services - Both the Generator and the Engine had oil changes in September 2013. There is a computer built in that will warn you when it's time to make your next oil change, but I would plan on changing the oil in both at the 1 year mark.
      Factory Service - Replace door seals, adjust 1 bay door latch, repair wallpaper near desk, seal under cabinet, replace screen door handle, check for leaks, adjust awning, remove GWTW logos, add Monaco Vesta logos, order and install toilet.
      Wet Bay - The hole is from the exhaust tube of the Composting Toilet, it was supposed to be filled in at the factory. They said a little mesh with a lot of black silicone would fill it in just fine.
      Batteries - Make sure the hose connects very tightly, once the batteries are full the water will stop going into the batteries (it should not spill out).

      Hope this helps.

  • Russell

    March 26, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jason my husband has some questions regarding towing the toad. We have recently acquired a prevost bus and he is interested in the logistics of towing a smart car behind it thanks Donna the other gypsy .

    • Nikki Wynn

      March 27, 2014 Reply

      Good timing on towing. We are finishing up a video on our set up this week! We show our tow bar, how it connects to the car and some of the things we did wrong. Look for the post in the next couple of weeks!

  • Skylar

    December 29, 2013 Reply

    I was reading something just recently that said you two bought a Fleetwood Excursion, did you? If so, how do you like it and do you notice a difference in the ride?

    Skylar

  • Mike Sapp

    November 17, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jason and Nikki,

    Where do you get the 100 gallons of fresh water to fill your tank when boon docking and living in the middle of nowhere?

    Ok, I am sure you have to fill up in civilization, but where do you do that when living on the road full time?

    Curious and thanks.

    Mike

    • Jason Wynn

      November 17, 2013 Reply

      Typically we'll find somewhere to fill up, sometimes we'll find a fuel station (like Love's or Flying J) that has an onsite dump station along with fresh water. Many rest areas on state borders have a welcome center with fresh water and an RV dump. Other than that it's at a campground, State Park, National Park, etc. Often times there's somewhere to fill up the freshwater tank nearby.
      We have several BLM and National Forest campgrounds posts coming up and we try to touch on where to get water and dump in the articles. Stay tuned...hope this helps.
      BTW - we only have a 50 gallon fresh water tank in the Vesta.

  • Bill

    November 2, 2013 Reply

    I saw you on TV and wish I could quit work and hit the road. We have kids, horses and too much stuff. I have a american eagle motorhome that we use a lot. We use it for horse shows and visit family all over Georgia, Chicago and Florida. We live in Evans, Ga and have a nice big lake here with lots of lake front camping sites. If you ever come to the southeast, we have full hooks up at our house you could use for a while. We're headed to the Florida keys over xmas at Bahia Honda state park. We tow the boat down there and catch lots of fish. Thanks for sharing you travel experienses. i am envious.
    Bill

    • Jason Wynn

      November 17, 2013 Reply

      Bill,
      Thank you so much for the kind offer. We're hoping to head to the SouthEast early 2014 so we just might take you up on a nice place to crash.
      Safe travels, and have fun in the Keys...we just love it there!

  • Pete McMartin

    September 26, 2013 Reply

    I'm having difficulty grasping your rationalization of your style of life. How is driving tens of thousands of miles, or in your case, possibly hundreds of thousands of miles, in a large RV that gets 11-14 mpg, considered environmentally friendly?

    • Jason Wynn

      September 27, 2013 Reply

      Pete,
      You'll be happy to know we've been on the road for 3 years and Windy has just turned 28 (28,000 miles that is). Our little Smart car has around 26,000 miles, so combined our average MPG is pretty darn good. Read our Fuel Economy Posts: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/vesta-fuel-economy
      We shop small, support local farmers, eat real food that hasn't been shipped from all over the world, we live in 200 sq ft, we rarely use and A/C or Propane, we recycle, we purchase direct trade coffee, we live off the cord a lot, the list goes on and on.
      You should read our post about "green" RV - https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/green-rv
      Hope this helps shed some light on your questions.

      • Pete McMartin

        September 28, 2013 Reply

        Sorry, but I don't buy your argument. 1. If millions of Americans copied your experience and head out onto the road full-time in RVs such as yours, it would constitute an environmental disaster. As much as you promote yourselves as environmentally friendly, your mode of living is - on an expanded scale - dangerously unsustainable. 2. Many do tour as you do but without the luxury of a huge RV, and on a much cheaper and more environmentally friendly scale. They camp. They use local and mass transit. They bike or walk. And they make a point of doing so to lessen their ecological footprint.

        • Nikki Wynn

          September 28, 2013 Reply

          Pete, we realize that everyone can't quit their jobs and head out to travel full time. We are here to encourage people to travel and find adventure however they can, whether its a day, a weekend or a year long adventure. We’re not the most eco-friendly people on the planet, not even close to it, not trying to be and don't think that being environmentally friendly is a competition. We try and do our part and believe that being eco-minded should be just about doing the right thing and hopefully just becomes the norm, not the gallant tree hugger exception.

        • Rick

          November 1, 2013 Reply

          Sorry Pete but I don't agree. After having watched all of Jason and Nikkis videos and read all their writings I would say that they do a great job in having a full time RV lifestyle with minimal ecological impact - especially in comparison to a traditional married couple lifestyle. Most young couples are living in a house, driving two cars everyday to their jobs, using water to water the lawn and a great deal of electricity to maintain a house based lifestyle. In my camping experience full time tent camping is not a viable lifestyle in any sense nor could it be done biking, walking or by use of mass transit. In order to see and experience this country the way the Wynns do I think they have chosen the most practical way to do so. Their RV gets better fuel economy then many SUVs and the way they travel by parking for extended periods and using solar energy while doing so seems practical and efficient to me. If they were not living in this way their environmental impact would still be there but from a different lifestyle. All of us have an environmental impact just because we all have to breathe and eat, not to mention have some kind of shelter to live in and transportation to get around. I don't see the net impact of the Wynns lifestyle as being any greater than my own - just different.

  • Skylar

    August 30, 2013 Reply

    sorry, also, is your stove in the rv gas or electric, which would you prefere?

    Thanks!

    • Jason Wynn

      September 7, 2013 Reply

      Our stove is propane but we rarely use it because we have Solar and an induction plate that cooks way faster and more evenly than the propane. I do think having propane as a backup is good, but not necessary cause you can always carry a small portable camp stove in a bin should you not have power for some reason.

  • Skylar

    August 28, 2013 Reply

    It is Skylar again,

    What is the average miles per gallon you get with your motorhome being that it is a diesel? Many rv dealers say it is at least 6 to 8 mpg better, but yet my grandfather who has had motorhomes for much of his life says it doesn't really amount to much. Thanks!

    • Jason Wynn

      September 7, 2013 Reply

      Don't be sold by a salesman, they more often than not have 1 thing on their minds: commission. You can see our fuel economy numbers here, keep in mind our RV was designed to be fuel efficient https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/vesta-fuel-economy
      Most people who are honest tell us they get around 4-6 mpg in their big rigs. I know with small cars there is a big difference between gas and diesel MPG, but I think your grandfather is correct "it doesn't really matter much".

  • Rick Hubert

    July 18, 2013 Reply

    Been following your site for months now as I am seriously researching what to get as a 1st RV for long trips for my wife and I, and I greatly appreciate all your comments on RV lifestyle and what RV equipment works for you. On one hand I find the Forest River Solera 24R (Sprinter chassis) to be an ideal floor plan, with great fuel economy while being one of the more affordable units (<$78k purchased from RV Direct fully optioned), yet also capable of Dinghy towing. On the other hand I see the appeal of a slightly larger RV such as your Monaco Vesta, where the extra durability and more space come at a higher cost with less fuel economy. But for almost full time use I am sure it's worth it. Trouble is - the Vesta is not currently available, so the next closest unit I have found is the Dynamax DynaQuest 300ST (small Freightliner chassis). Don't know if you are familiar with this model or not, but it's size and engine are almost identical to the Vesta but with the added benefit of a 2nd slide for the rear bedroom. Any observations you have about these 2 choices would be appreciated. Also interested to know what you consider an optimal maximum length as you have mentioned that some parks / roads restrict to units < 30' or so. So I would not want to go too big and lose access in some areas. FInally - about a Dinghy to tow. I think the Honda FIT would work great as it's small and light weight, but has a huge amount of room for it's size - large enough that I can easily fit our 2 mountain bikes in the back (with minor disassembly) w/o needing a bike rack. But - Jason - you have indicated that you believe a towed vehicle should be 4 wheel or all wheel drive. Any reason for that? The FIT only comes as a 2 wheel drive. Thanks!

    • Tom Boles

      July 22, 2013 Reply

      Rick, From what I see, the Honda Fit Automatic is towable as is (flat 4 towed) for the 2007 to 20.11 model years. Not sure about later versions.

      I *think* what was intended by ...4 wheel...towed as you mention is if a given vehicle can be towed with all 4 wheel flat on the ground or not. Some vehicles, due to the design of the engine & transmission cannot be towed that way. There are modifications that can be done to add an extra oil pump in some cases or a mechanical disconnection device added to the drivetrain.

      Bottom line some cars tow simply, (4 flat) others require a 2 wheel tow dolly or a modifications to allow them to be towed.

      • Jason Wynn

        July 23, 2013 Reply

        Tom is correct, we sold our Mini Cooper S 6-speed when we purchased the RV because it was not able to be flat towed for more than 300 miles. The #1 ADVICE we can give for tow cars is: do some research online then ask the manufacturer NOT THE SALESPERSON before you purchase a car specifically to tow.

      • Rick

        July 24, 2013 Reply

        Thanks Tom -

        I work in the Automotive industry (OEM Luxury Manufacturer) so reading terms such as All Wheel drive or 4x4 mean very specifically to me that the vehicle have an all wheel drive system. I can see the advantages of having a 4x4 towed vehicle to help access remote and off-road locations where you would never want your RV to go, and there are actually far more miles of dirt roads than paved throughout most of our wildnerness areas (which are mostly Federal lands). And many of these will actually accomodate a smaller, lighter vehicle even if only 2 wheel drive.
        As for towing - I agree that flat towing is the way to go with a manufacturer approved vehicle - seems kind of pointless to have to also drag around more weight in a tow dolly if you don't have to.

    • Jason Wynn

      July 23, 2013 Reply

      Rick,
      You have some loaded questions and the best advice I can give you is to go out and rent a 32foot RV for a week (it will be expensive), or try to borrow one from a friend. Nothing will help you understand what you like and dislike about a particular size and floorplan than living in it for a week. That said I'll give you my 2 cents:
      24 feet is great for long weekends, or week long trips. If you plan to go full time I'd say bigger is better. Really this comes down to your needs: Are you a backpack traveler or a Suitcase traveler? If you can live without most 'normal' creature comforts one becomes accustomed to in a home then go small, if you need 4 pairs of shoes and 10 outfits per person for a week long vacation then you'd be best off with a larger RV.
      The Vesta is built from the ground up custom designed to work seamlessly together. The Dynamax is multiple manufacturers pieced together (i.e. chassis, engine, living space, etc) and though this may be the norm I found it extremely frustrating having to go to multiple locations to get our first RV worked on. You may want to look at the Tiffin RV's as in my mind they are more closely related to the Vesta. I do wish we had a slide in the bedroom to give us more closet space.
      I love the FIT, sometimes I wish we would have purchased this as a tow car instead of the Smart. For the 4-Wheel drive it's only recommended if you're wanting to reach locations not easily accessible. I typically recommend 4wd for those wanting to climb mountains, drive in snow, etc. For 90% of RVers 2wd is just fine.
      Hope this helps.

      • Rick

        July 24, 2013 Reply

        Thanks Jason - good adbice!

        I guess my question comes down to how to best balance RV personal space needs against RV access in some areas (in case of larger RVs that may be turned away). That is the main reason I am not really considering most Type As - many just seem too large to be able to drive on some narrow winding roads, or to stay at some parks with size limits. From some of your other posts you mention that even Windy was too large (>30') and has been turned away in a few spots, so that is part of the appeal to me in a 24.5' Sprinter.

        You are correct in saying that we really need to try one out to see how it works for us - and that is good advice. We are definitely backpack travelers so maybe smaller will work. WIth it's 2 slides the Solera 24R seems to offer a lot of space on a Sprinter chassis - though it seems most other companies using this chassis offer a similar floor plan.

        As for the DynaQuest 300ST - I like your point about manufacturing and service integration, which is not something I had considered. But apparently Dynamax is now owned by Forest River, which as a larger RV manufacturer should be able to integrate materials better as well as offering 1 stop warranty and service support. And I do really like the floorplan on this model as it also includes the bedroom slide you so desire.
        I will check out theTIffin line-up further since you are so impressed with them, and I appreciate that advice too.

        Finally - a stick shift 2wd FIT just seems to be the most practical dinghly for just the 2 of us. If we wanted to go 4x4 I cannot really think of any small flat-towable 4x4 vehicles that are made which are as lightweight and space efficient. Lots of heavy weights out there but all seem like too much to tow, especially with a Sprinter chassis RV. But like you said 2wd should work well for most purposes.

        Thanks again to you and Nikki for sharing your valuable RV experience with all of us. It's not only entertaining but very informative for newbies such as us.

        • Tonyy

          January 15, 2014 Reply

          We tow a RAV 4 after adding some 'stuff' to it. Lightweight, lots of room, and AWD. We travel with our 3 kids so we needed the third row seating too.

  • Skylar

    July 14, 2013 Reply

    Did you ever decide if you are going with a Class B motorhome once Windy is sold? Also, do you think you will still live in an rv once your two year trip is over? Thanks!

    • Nikki Wynn

      July 14, 2013 Reply

      Hey Skylar, thanks for commenting! Whew, we need to catch you up! We are well past our 2 years and don't plan to stop traveling(you must have seen our HGTV episode).
      We decided not to sell windy and here is the story on that: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/sorry-windy
      I know blogs and especially ours can be tricky to find all the info you are looking for. If you come up with more questions, just let us know! Thanks for being a part of our adventure!

      • Skylar

        July 16, 2013 Reply

        Ya! I watched the show when it first came out, but wow does time go fast. You two are an ispiration about how to really enjoy life!

  • Harold R.

    July 6, 2013 Reply

    Have enjoyed reading of your travels and have several quick questions that I hope you don't mind answering - yes or no is is fine as I don't want to impinge on your time.

    I am a professional photographer and for multiple reasons, am seriously considering hitting the road full-time - it will probably be alone. High quality image making is the principal goal - getting away is secondary but important.

    In my early 60's, the knees are going a bit and I have to confess that I can't get to the same places that I could when I was 30 by foot. That said, I also don't want to be confined to the tourist only areas and consider my intended journey to be more that of a traveler than a camper and it is that perspective that raises the questions.

    1. If you were doing what you are doing in something like a 24' sprinter based RV such as an LTV Unity or other slide based unit, would you still want to have your toad?

    2. If you were in a souped up Class B+ such as the LTV Free Style SS could you get to enough places that a serious shooter would want to get to or would you still be so access limited that you would be wishing for another vehicle?

    3. With your toad, doing what you have been doing, have you missed having something more rugged with 4 wheel drive?

    In essence, the part of the journey that I am having trouble conceptualizing is whether it is better to define a destination as a larger area, stay for a more extended period of time, and see the sites in the region by car or move from area to area in smaller increments in the RV only. Your thoughts are appreciated.

    Thank you and travel safely
    Harold

    • Jason Wynn

      July 6, 2013 Reply

      Henry,
      This is the age old question that you can only answer by renting or purchasing an RV and living with it for a while.
      My personal preference (if I was solo) would be to customize an RV like the Winnebago View or the Via with bed up front over the cab and an office or bathroom in the back. Plenty of room inside to setup a great digital darkroom, and enough roof space to put on a few solar panels. Now here's where it gets tricky: You need a tow car if you're full time, so you'd have to purchase the perfect car that's all wheel drive or 4x4 yet not over the tow limit of the RV.
      For the Hardcore minimalist RVer I'd say screw the tow car and purchase a custom 4x4 Sprinter conversion from a company like GTRV, Sportsmobile or Outside Van. These vans can go anywhere and can be custom made to hold your computers, cameras, and all the toys you'll need for your adventure. Crazy part is: the price is typically less for a custom conversion than buying from a dealership (although you'll have to get on a waiting list if you go custom).
      As for the timing of your stay, we have this battle every week. When you arrive in a beautiful place (and there are millions across North America) you could stay for a month no problem. So the big question here is do you want to spend the entire year and only discover 20 places, or would you like to move a little more quickly and visit 100 different places in a year? We've found 1 week is a nice amount of time in each destination, this lets us explore and get to know a little bit about an area, yet still allows us to see more places in a year.
      I hope this helps, these questions are extremely personal and the only way you'll know if you make the right decision is once you're on the road. Best of luck on your adventure, please let us know what you come up with.

      • Harold R.

        July 6, 2013 Reply

        Thanks Jason, I appreciate the thoughtful response. The more I look at different units the more I appreciate the complexity of the decision. Each has it merits and its downsides, sometimes substantial. My leaning is toward the Leisure Travel Unity MB if I go the Class C (B+) route. Replace the TV with a good monitor, drop one of the new Mac Pros in the cabinet, add a pull up shelf for keyboard and tablet and one has a great workstation area without too much fuss. Still ambivalent about a toad though. I’ve talked to Sportsmobile and they seem willing to build a custom platform bed design which will give a lot more space when I’m alone yet adapt to this times when I’m not. That will let me add some batteries and have some room for an inflatable watercraft of some sort. Still waiting for a price though its not a tough conversion to do on my own if it comes to that. Again, thanks for your help and I’ll continue to follow your adventures. Be safe and happy, Harold

        • Jason Wynn

          July 6, 2013 Reply

          Harold,
          One downside with installing a tower computer is you must have power, and quite a bit of power to run a powerful desktop. That means running the generator, or plugging into shore power. I'd suggest buying the most powerful laptop you can afford and adding a second screen. Laptops use way less energy therefore allowing you to live off the cord with much less solar (did you read the most recent post on the New School Nomads, he learned the hard way: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/newschool-nomads ).
          On another note I recently met the owner of GTRV and he is doing some cool stuff with solar and small custom RV's.
          If you decide to go with Leisure Travel you should contact the factory direct. They might be able to build one to suit your needs (i.e. if you want them to 86 the TV, and create a desk). Good luck, keep us posted.

        • Rick

          July 24, 2013 Reply

          Harold - I have done a ton of research on Class C's and B+s, and have to say I am very impressed with LTV products. Have poured over the Unity and Serenity models, though never traveled in them. Of the 2 the Unity is actually a bit less expensive as well as slightly larger on the slideout models. Would seem that for solo travel that either would be a fine choice. Also learned that compared to many RV's that LTVs hold their values very well - it's very rare to even find a used one for sale.

          As for a tow vehicle - obviously this size RV would be more mobile on it's own than a Class A, and while the Sprinter chassis is plenty capable for towing a smaller vehicle it is a tough call either way. As Jason says, probably the best thing to do is start traveling in your RV and see how it works out for you. You can always add a dinghy later on if needed. Good luck to you!

  • Gerald B

    May 29, 2013 Reply

    We'll after this "tease" I'm sure we're all interested in more detail on Windy's new "plumbing". Which compost toilet system did you land on, and what water filtration gizmo's did Jason implant? Was the operation successful?

    Now that the Monaco Vesta is no longer and with all these tweaks you truly have a one-of-a-kind custom Eco RV "hot rod". Maybe Monaco will want it for their museum.

    BTW We met you in Pacifica CA awhile back at a local blues concert dance. You were working & filming. We were dancing! If you ever you make it to Pinot Noir country, Sebastopol CA, heart of the organic food, wine and permaculture lifestyles you''ve got a free place to Park Windy. We're just a few miles from the Bodega Coast where Hitchcock filmed "The Birds" and Luther Burbank created edible hybrids. Www.bpinot.com

    • Jason Wynn

      June 10, 2013 Reply

      Hate to be a tease Gerald...unfortunately our video skills don't keep up with our facebook schedule, ha. We ended up with the Nature's Head and are happy with it so far. For the water we've go a new softener from RVontheGo, and a water distiller from H20 labs.
      Thanks again for the invite and so glad we stopped in.

  • Aaron Moua

    May 27, 2013 Reply

    Watching the HGTV show of you guys rite now. It must be nice, lol. Have fun and don't drink and drive!

    • Jason Wynn

      May 28, 2013 Reply

      Hey Aaron,
      how'd you know we're drinkers :) Ha.
      One of the beautiful things of owning an RV: if you visit a brewery or winery you can sleep it off in the parking lot.

  • amy

    March 12, 2013 Reply

    Love the name of the coach company - Vesta - Vesta is the Goddess of the Home and the Hearth - fitting.

    • Jason Wynn

      May 28, 2013 Reply

      Yea, we thought it was happenstance when we stumbled across the Vesta...a perfect name for our adventure.

  • RV AJ

    February 17, 2013 Reply

    The front of that RV looks like something out of sci-fi movie. Pretty slick on the inside too. Little different that my Itasca....

    • Nikki Wynn

      February 18, 2013 Reply

      hey RV AJ! Thanks for taking the tour. What Itasca do you have? I like the Itasca class B coaches!

  • Ron

    December 25, 2012 Reply

    Hi,
    My wife and I also purchased a diesel RV and spent a year on the road about 10 years ago. We loved it!

    We just watched your episode of House Hunters and were saddened by the final price you paid. Please negotiate harder on your next major purchase. You should have been able to negotiate a 40-50 thousand dollar discount on a motorhome in that price range. Please be sure to work the dealer harder on your boat. Perhaps you could take an emotionally unattached third party with you to help you there.

    Enjoy the lifestyle!
    Ron.

    • Jason Wynn

      December 26, 2012 Reply

      Ron,
      You'll be happy to know the price shown on HGTV was a little off of what we actually paid for our Vesta. Sad to say House Hunters isn't 100% true, they fudge a few of the details. You can read a little more (especially check out the comments) and watch the episode on our HGTV post: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/hgtv-hunters-rv
      Hope you stick around for our next adventure!

  • Dave

    December 25, 2012 Reply

    Watching you on the home and garden show Rv hunters. come visit us when you make it t South Dakota

    • Jason Wynn

      December 26, 2012 Reply

      So looking forward to visiting South Dakota! We definitely need a place to park, and a good host to show us around. :)

  • Dave

    November 18, 2012 Reply

    I Windy still for sale?

  • David

    November 12, 2012 Reply

    saw you guys last night on the Travel Channel looks like fun....

  • nigel mahood

    November 11, 2012 Reply

    Watching you right now on the travel channel, thanks you guys, I love RVing!

  • Shawn

    November 11, 2012 Reply

    I just saw you on the Travel Channel!! Makes me want an RV too!

  • M Hall

    October 21, 2012 Reply

    Think of a trailer for your smart car a little more work but wont be as tuff on the car and basically is no different in the towing.

    • Jason Wynn

      December 18, 2012 Reply

      We did consider a trailer however we decided using a trailer or tow dolly would be too much of a hassle for our lifestyle. We will deliver a post soon on towing options. Stay Tuned!

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