Celebrating the Small RV Lifestyle at Winnebago’s Compact Coach Rally

More than 100 View, Navion, and Fuse owners met up for a fun, educational weekend!

Peter & Kathy Holcombe Peter & Kathy Holcombe  |  10.19.2018

When we meet people for the first time, and they discover that our family of three has been living in a Winnebago for the past five years, the next question almost always goes something like this: “One of those big bus-like RVs, right?!?” When we tell them that, in fact, it is a Winnebago View, only 25’ long, and built on a Mercedes sprinter van chassis, with roughly 178 square feet of living space, I usually have to help them pick their jaw up off the ground.

People simply can’t fathom a family of three (with a teenager no less!) living in such close quarters for an extended period of time. But unless you have actually spent some time in a comparably sized RV, there is just no way to understand the incredible freedom that this compact coach offers in its ability to take us just about anywhere. We don’t have to worry about tight turns, narrow roads, or crowded city streets. The View just goes where we want it to go without stress, frustration or fear.

The Word is Out: Smaller Can Be Better

But all of the amazingness of the smaller Class C RVs isn’t actually just our little secret. Winnebago is the top-selling sprinter manufacturer in North America, and smaller coaches like the View, Navion and Fuse are topping sales charts industry wide. In September, Winnebago held an event in Forest City, IA, to celebrate the compact coach lifestyle – to bring owners together to connect with each other and learn more about their van-based RVs.

When we first heard about the Compact Coach Rally, we were anticipating a small, intimate affair, 30ish coaches, and a few days spent with people who love the View/Navion as much as we do. But once word got out, View, Navion, and Fuse owners started showing up in droves – 132 coaches, in fact! As we pulled through the gate at the rally grounds, I could almost hear the angels singing as we drove by row, after row, after row of people who appreciate the elegant simplicity of exploring the world in a sleek, compact, van-based RV.

winnebago compact coach rally

Rally Overview

The rally kicked off with a catered dinner, giving us the opportunity to get together and meet other owners. I swear, it was just like coming home. We met so many people that first evening and loved learning about all their favorite destinations and swapping tales of adventures from the road. Even though the room was filled with a whopping 250 people, it somehow still had the charm of a small, intimate event.

The next morning, we discovered we were in for a particularly special treat. The entire plant was shut down for routine maintenance which allowed us the opportunity to venture out onto the production floor to see up close and personal the products that we own in various stages of construction. While I knew all along that Winnebago was focused on quality, safety and craftsmanship, the level of detail that is hidden beneath the surface of every single coach is really very impressive. From the aluminum frame construction to the insulation and structural design, we were impressed at every stop in our tour by a thousand little details that make our beloved Winnebago the precision machine that it is.

winnebago compact coach rally

The afternoon was spent in seminars lead by Mercedes, Ford, Zamp Solar, and the team from Winnebago, giving us the opportunity to ask each manufacturer specific questions about our specific RV. Each session was full of information and plenty of time for questions, so that we walked out with a much deeper understanding of the workings of our coaches. The night was topped off with a multimedia presentation, by yours truly, about our extreme adventures whitewater kayaking, climbing, biking and more, all based out of our beloved View.

The last day was a blur of activity starting with a presentation from the executive team at Winnebago, followed by a competition for attendees who had made the best modifications to their personal RV – such as a cutting board that fit across an open lower cabinet door that made for another table-top work space. There were some really innovative designs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few of the top ideas integrated into future Winnebago products.

The evening rounded out with a wonderful presentation about the history of compact coaches followed by a spunky bingo championship. As with all great events, it came to a close far too soon. Hopefully, we’ll see YOU at an RV event soon. Onward…

winnebago compact coach rallyFor now, we are headed west, so if you see us out on the road, give us a honk or a wave and say hello!


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24 Comments

  1. Wil Bilbruck Posted on 10.23.2018

    Wish we had known about this rally for small Winnies. We purchased our Winnebago Travato 59K the last of May. From 31 feet to 21 foot. So easy to drive, park, stop. With our big Airstream was plush, but with Travato, I don’t mind asking let’s stop and I drive it also. I didn’t want to tackle the Airstream. Travato is compact, I say everything has to be in it’s place. In June we went to Michigan for a week, In July to the east coast and Canada; and Oct to the Ft Massac encampment in Illinois.. for the weekend. Get decent mileage, great visibility. So easy to get it out and GO. Looking forward to going to the big rally in July?

  2. Merrilyn Beck Posted on 10.22.2018

    Would have liked to have known about this rally. We attended the National Rally in July but heard nothing about this rally. Please let us know if there is one again next year. We plan on attending the National Rally in July again. We love our 2016 View. Very maneuverable

  3. Karen Nelson Posted on 10.21.2018

    We would have loved to attend this event, having bought our View in
    August at Lichsinn RV. We are WIT members, and this is the first time we heard of this great way to network with other Viewers!

  4. Sonya Pace Posted on 10.20.2018

    The event was great fun. It was set up originally for the View/Navion Yahoo group and the Fuse Owners Facebook Group joined in for it to become a Compact Coach Rally. Hopefully, we can do a joint event again. I’d suggest you join either of these groups as they do other get togethers throughout the year and are full of good information.

  5. rod hamilton Posted on 10.20.2018

    We have a VIA – Class A’s not included? Purchased used so all the info we can garner is appreciated. Anything planned. Love to rally with like rv’s

    1. Brooke Baum Posted on 10.26.2018

      Hi Rod, the majority of attendees for this event were View/Navion and Fuse owners, but it was not required to have those types of RVs. This was advertised through Winnebago Outdoor Adventures which hosts multiple events throughout the year, so you may want to check that out for any future options that look like a good fit for you. WIT Club is another great resource for events and rallies. And, of course, Winnebago’s Grand National Rally is a large annual event with lots of Winnebagos of all sizes! Hope this helps! -Brooke, GoLife Editor

  6. BWOdom Posted on 10.20.2018

    We also would have been interested in such an event had we known. We receive the emails, but somehow missed this. We have an ’09 Winnebago Aspect 30′ Class C and absolutely love it, having downsized from a 40 ft. diesel-pusher. Freedom is absolutely the best description for the compacts! No longer have to use the “special” GPS because at 10’5″ clearance, we no longer have any issues with overpasses. We can actually turn around at a dead end, and park almost anywhere. Love, love, love it!

  7. Beverly Davis Posted on 10.20.2018

    We’ve had our Navion for two years now and love it. I wish we had known about the rally. We were in the area in September. I do have one question. Does the rally site have electric hook up? I am on oxygen and need electricity.

    1. Brooke Baum Posted on 10.26.2018

      Hi Beverly – Yes, there are electric hookups at the Winnebago Rally Grounds, where this event took place (and where Winnebago’s annual Grand National Rally is held each year). Thanks! Brooke, GoLife Editor

  8. Glen Sandberg Posted on 10.20.2018

    I am an owner of a Winnebago 2017 Trend 23D but no mention of Trend here in the article at all. Is there a reason. I am a single guy. My trend is just perfect for me and my dog Riley. Wish to knew more about it from others who also own one of these incredible RVs.

    1. Brooke Baum Posted on 10.26.2018

      Hi Glen – The majority of attendees for this event were View/Navion and Fuse owners, but not exclusively. Of course, we love the Trend too and it definitely counts as a compact coach! Sorry for the confusion. You may enjoy this article from our contributors Jon & Nadia who are also Trend owners: https://winnebagolife.com/2018/03/choosing-the-winnebago-trend. Thanks for your comment and happy travels! -Brooke, GoLife Editor

  9. Csrolyn Swaim Posted on 10.20.2018

    We attended this rally and enjoyed it. Lichtsinn RV there in Forest City also hosted the group for breakfast, lunch and various seminars.
    For other V/N owners who didn’t know about it there are Facebook groups and a Yahoo forum that we got information from as well as being WIT members.

  10. Terry Duffy Posted on 10.20.2018

    Wish I would have known about the rally. I’m sure it was probably posted on the V/N forum but I missed it. Hope thay have it again next year. Looks like a lot of fun and education. Terry

  11. Brad Downs Posted on 10.20.2018

    It’s too bad the Rialta people were not invited.
    That is a true small class C Motorhome. They are loved across the country and globe

    1. Brooke Baum Posted on 10.26.2018

      Hi Brad – The majority of attendees for this event were View/Navion and Fuse owners, but it was not required to have those types of RVs. Sorry for the confusion! Winnebago has not confirmed this will be an annual event, but it was advertised through Winnebago Outdoor Adventures, so please keep an eye out for future small RV events. Thanks for your comment. -Brooke, GoLife Editor

  12. Bobby Posted on 10.20.2018

    Less can be more. Love our Minnie 29 feet. Will be in the warm weather all winter then back to Wyoming in the spring.
    Go Winnebago Go.

  13. garrett and shirley McClung Posted on 10.20.2018

    What a good idea to have a rally for smaller Winnebagos—Navion/View etc! Somehow we missed seeing information about the event. As a happy Oregon Navion owner, we would be pleased to participate in the next rally. Has a date been set?

    1. Brooke Baum Posted on 10.26.2018

      Hi Garrett & Shirley – Winnebago has not officially decided to make this an annual event or set a date for next year. However, it was obviously a huge success, so there is a good chance there will be more rallies like this in the future! It was advertised through Winnebago Outdoor Adventures, so make sure to check there.WIT Club is another great resource for events and rallies. Thanks for your comment! -Brooke, GoLife Editor

  14. Pete Miller Posted on 10.20.2018

    Sounds like a great event. How was it advertised and is it planned as an annual event?
    Thanks

    1. Brooke Baum Posted on 10.26.2018

      Hi Pete – Thanks for your comment! Winnebago has not officially decided to make this an annual event or set a date for next year. However, it was obviously a huge success, so there is a good chance there will be more rallies like this in the future! It was advertised through Winnebago Outdoor Adventures, so make sure to check there.WIT Club is another great resource for events and rallies. -Brooke, GoLife Editor

  15. Lisa Hylan Posted on 10.20.2018

    I am an original owner of a 2016 Navion (and a WIT member) and had no knowledge that this event was happening. I read all my emails from Winnebago – how had this event been advertised? I wish I had known about it, and would be interested in attending next year. Please send an invitation to your View/Navion/Fuse owners. There must be a way to personally invite them from your database? PS – the View/Navion really is the absolute best RV on the road! I just attended Hershey, and couldn’t even find a new RV at the show that I longed for to replace my Navion.

    1. Brooke Baum Posted on 10.26.2018

      Hi Lisa- So sorry you didn’t get notified. It was advertised through Winnebago Outdoor Adventures. Winnebago has not officially decided to make this an annual event or set a date for next year. However, it was obviously a huge success with many interested in attending, so there is a good chance there will be more rallies like this in the future! Thanks for your comment, I’ll make sure to share it with our team that handles these events. So glad you are loving your Navion! -Brooke, GoLife Editor

  16. Keith Lightfoot Posted on 10.20.2018

    How come us Travato owners weren’t included?

    1. Brooke Baum Posted on 10.26.2018

      Hi Keith – The majority of attendees for this event were View/Navion and Fuse owners, but it was not required to have those types of RVs. Sorry for the confusion! In case you haven’t heard of it, there is a WinnieBs group through WIT Club that also holds rallies and many of them are fellow Travato owners. May be worth looking into as well. :) Happy travels! -Brooke, GoLife Editor