Eleven months ago, we embarked on our journey as full-time RVers. It was a challenging leap, but we quickly realized that the lifestyle was exactly what we were looking for. However, after towing a 12-year-old fifth wheel over 11,000 miles in only seven months, it became time to find a new RV. Our “starter RV” had reached its limit.
Deciding on a Class C
We spent the next four months visiting RV dealerships, test driving, talking to current RV owners, and spending more time than we’d like to admit on RVTrader. And on most days, this process left us feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and tired.
Then, just like that, the entire search came to an end. We walked into a Navion “just to see what it looked like inside” and a week later we were the proud owners of Wanda, our 2018 Navion 24D. (Watch our pick-up day video).
The funny thing was, we never thought we would buy a class C. We loved our fifth-wheel and when we first made the decision to get a new RV, we immediately wanted to purchase the Grand Design Reflection. But after further thought, we decided we wanted a motorhome instead.
We wanted easier travel days because we travel often, and we were tired of the extra steps involved with setting up our home base when we arrived in new places. So, for those reasons and several others, we then set our hearts on a Class A gas. The Vista LX 27N and Vista LX 30T were our top choices.
Another twist was that we absolutely did not want to buy brand new. Nearly every RVer we spoke with advised against it. The depreciation, the issues that new models can have in the first two years, etc. etc…we heard it all.
I think you get the point…the 2018 Winnebago Navion 24D was everything we thought we didn’t want. We had been in several other similar models and would immediately walk out while saying “there’s no way we could live in that!” But our reaction when stepping in the 24D was completely different.
Here are the features that stole our hearts:
The 24D has an unbelievable kitchen. There is so much counter space for a small coach that you have to see it to believe it. In fact, we have more counter space than we had in our 30-ft , and more than we would have had in the LX 30T. Also, the kitchen comes with an actual pantry with sliding drawers! This is a wonderful, and often overlooked feature. Our last RV had a decent-sized pantry, but we’d use a flashlight and a step stool to look for things that were in the far back. We never thought we could love a pantry so much!
The Murphy Bed
The 24D features an automatic murphy bed, allowing you to have both a queen size bed and a couch. When the bed is up, the coach feels very spacious and provides plenty of places for people to sit down! Then at night, the space transforms into a cozy bedroom with the touch of a button. There is space to walk around all sides of the bed, and even night stands and overhead storage!
Another benefit of the murphy bed is that there is enough space behind the mattress for your pillows and blankets. Therefore, you don’t have to strip your bed each day. You simply pull the covers up, retract it. and everything will be ready for you when you want to bring the bed back down. The mattress is fairly comfortable too, so we don’t feel like we are making a sacrifice to have a bed like this.
When we had our fifth wheel, we were so envious of other RVers who could pull off the road at any point to look at views and park nearly anywhere they wanted to go. Now, we’re those people! We are continually blown away by the Navion’s maneuverability.
Since we purchased the RV a couple weeks ago, we have “moochdocked” in a family members driveway, parked on the street while visiting someone in the hospital, navigated rush hour traffic (without our knuckles turning white), made a U-turn in a busy intersection, and have yet to find a grocery store or parking lot where we can’t fit easily. The Navion is so easy to drive and gives us much more flexibility than we had with our fifth wheel!
The Sprinter Chassis
We loved that the Navion is powered by the Mercedes Sprinter Chassis. The 3.00 L turbo-diesel engine provides plenty of power and should run for many, many years to come. So, while we didn’t want to buy brand new, we felt it was a much better investment than most other RVs.
When we towed our fifth wheel with our ¾ ton pickup truck, we’d be lucky if we averaged 8 MPGs. We’ve already put over 600 miles on the Navion and we have averaged 14.9 MPG! We haven’t towed anything yet, so we’re not sure if that will make a big difference or not. But so far, the Navion gets as good (if not better) gas mileage than our truck did when we weren’t towing. It’s amazing to be able to drive your home down the road and get that type of fuel economy!
Quality of Furniture
We both work full time from our RV and were really nervous about the dinette being our office space. We could tell that the dinette cushions were well made and comfortable, but we weren’t sure how we would feel after sitting there and working for eight hours. You really can’t determine that until you’ve given it a try, so that was a risk we took.
We are so happy to report that the cushions remain comfortable, even after a long work day! It’s actually a really nice space to work as you can look out the window and there is plenty of space on the table for all of our computer and work equipment. Not only that, there are multiple workstations with the 24D. With the detachable table that can fit in front of the couch or between the driver and passenger seat, we’ve enjoyed working from those areas as well.
As we mentioned, the main reason we switched to a motorhome from a fifth wheel was to simplify our travel days. With the Navion, travel days are SO much better. We simply pull in the slide, put away the hoses, start the engine and we’re off! The best part is that one of us can work while we travel, get a snack, or use the restroom. The dogs can even sleep or move around comfortably instead of being cramped in the back of the truck.
The Navion is also really easy to drive. It feels no different than driving a large SUV or truck. Compared to towing the 30-ft fifth wheel, driving the Navion is a walk in the park!
Although we downsized to 26 feet, our Navion can sleep more people than our fifth wheel could. With the loft, dinette that makes into a bed, and the murphy bed, the Navion easily sleeps six people, whereas our fifth wheel only slept three! Having the ability to sleep more people will allow us to take our nieces and nephews on camping trips or have family members visit us on the road!
We couldn’t be happier with our decision to buy the Navion. A motorhome is a much better fit for our lifestyle. Even though it’s a much smaller living space for us, the benefits outweigh the sacrifices. The maneuverability, convenience in travel days, and comfortability is unbeatable.
It’s clear that the Navion 24D was designed with RVers like us in mind. We chose the lifestyle for the freedom, flexibility, and travel and the Navion supports that in every way. We don’t miss the space we had in our fifth wheel because the floorplan of the Navion was designed in a way that provides maximum livability.
Well, there you have it. That’s the love story between us and “Wanda the Winnebago”. We are so excited to continue to “Wanda” around the country with her and feed our “Wanda-lust”. We’ve all heard the phrase, “not all who wander are lost”, but now, we say, “not all who Wanda are lost” because we’re so glad Wanda found us!
You can read more from Lindsay & Dan on their blog, FollowYourDetour.com.