Making the Switch from Class C to Class A in the Winnebago Vista NPF
Making the Switch from Class C to Class A in the Winnebago Vista NPF
Learn more about the Vista NPF features and insights into the Class A transition.
By: Howard & Katelyn Newstate
Since hitting the road full-time in 2018, we’ve traveled more than 80,000 miles in our Winnebago Navion 24D. From Alaska (twice!) to mainland Mexico and everywhere in between, our trusty home on wheels has enabled so many adventures for our little family of two adults and three dogs across North America.
Now we’re embarking on an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime route: visiting all 51 National Parks in the lower 48 United States, in one year. For this trip, we’re ALSO getting to try out Class A RVing for the year in a 2023 Winnebago Vista NPF, and we can’t wait to share all the adventures with you!
There will be lots more to share about our route and destinations in the weeks and months to follow, but let’s start by discussing our new home for 2023: the Winnebago Vista NPF. Inspired by our U.S. National Parks, the Vista NPF (and sister RV, Sunstar NPF) bring a number of special features to Class A RVing, including a 270-degree batwing awning, enhanced power systems with a 320ah Lithionics Lithium Ion (LiFePO) battery and 345w of solar panels, factory installed.
Here is a tour of the Winnebago Vista NPF we’re traveling in:
What We Like About the Vista NPF
At exactly 30 feet, this RV is perfect for exploring the U.S. National Parks. The Winnebago team estimates that the Vista NPF will comfortably fit in 80% or more of all U.S. National Park campgrounds, and we intend to prove that with our route!
Particular aspects we like:
- Outdoor Living: We are loving the combination of expanded awnings (over 300 sq ft of covered area with the main awning and batwing awning deployed simultaneously), 39” Smart TV with speakers, and the outdoor kitchen! It’s an ideal setting for relaxing or hosting others.
- 12v Refrigerator: After experiencing the difference a compressor-driven 12v fridge can make to quickly cool and keep groceries cool, it is great to see this as a standard feature in the Vista NPF
- Winnebago Connect: New for this model year, the Vista NPF features consolidated controls and centralized monitoring for all major systems in the RV. On one screen (or in a dedicated app for your phone), you can adjust and even dim individual lights, as well as control the temperature, leveling jacks, main awning, front bed lift, and more. You can also check the status of your fresh, gray, black, and propane tanks. This works in tandem with intelligent switches located throughout the RV.
- Expanded Solar and Lithium Battery: Smart TVs, 12v refrigerators, all our personal electronics, and new technologies require more power; and the Vista NPF is ready for it! Lithium batteries are a game changer and by design also maintenance free. Paired with 345w of solar on the roof (and a more efficient MPPT solar charge controller) keeps us powered up and able to stay “out there” even longer.
Making the Switch: Going from Class C to Class A RVing
While moving into the Vista NPF from our Navion was simple enough, it does bring to light differences between Class C and Class A RVs! After living in the Vista NPF for a month, here are some of the differences we’ve noticed.
- Setting up and packing up the Vista NPF is faster than our Navion. Maybe it’s because of the additional storage onboard, but we have noticed that there is less to “do” each time we move to a new location. Everything has a place, and our routine for setting up now is down to a couple buttons to deploy the levelers and slide!
- Driving a Class A and Class C RV is not the same. With the longer wheelbase and turning radius of the Vista NPF, we find you need to delay starting a turn to avoid cutting a corner (or worse). The enhanced suspension of the Vista NPF makes it a pleasure to drive, too! Compared to prior generations, the newest Ford chassis already comes with larger sway bars in the front and rear, and Winnebago adds Sumo Springs standard from the factory for the Vista NPF model. The result is a pleasant ride that is resilient to rocking and rolling from driveways and stable on the highways.
- We could get used to having a dedicated bedroom, but there are positives and negatives. In the positive column, we wake up and start our day at different times. Having a dedicated, comfortable bedroom (with a door!) allows Katelyn to continue sleeping while Howard can get up and jumpstart working for the day. We are really enjoying that flexibility. However, from the standpoint of living in smaller spaces, we love the powered murphy bed on our Navion because it helps to regain the area occupied by the bed in the daytime.
- We love having a designated workspace in the front cab area. For travel days, the new design of the hinged counter surface on the passenger side of the Vista NPF is fantastic. There are 12V, USB and 110V AC outlets located around the passenger seat, making it easier to plug in everything we need to get work done.
- Winnebago Connect and other technologies are improving the RV experience. Centralized control with enhanced abilities is a dream come true for us. We can now dim individual lights from intelligent switches on the wall, the central control panel, or from the dedicated mobile app. From a pet safety perspective, the Automatic Generator Start (AGS) has the ability to quickly start the generator based on the thermostat settings to keep the RV cool and comfortable. We can remotely operate all the systems of the Vista NPF from our phones, including going outside to watch the leveling jacks deploy or even the main outdoor awning. It’s a game changer for us.
- Outdoor living enhancements with the Vista NPF. While our Navion offered an awning and outdoor speakers, there are several great features with the new RV. First, the unique addition of the 270-degree “batwing” awning extends the main awning all the way around to the back of the Vista NPF, creating an incredible 300-sq-ft outdoor living space protected from the sun and rain. Under the two awnings, there is the outdoor kitchen with a second refrigerator and sink and a 39” Smart TV with outdoor speakers (and a switch if you want the audio from the front dash to play on the outdoor speakers instead of TV audio). This is a fantastic upgrade for us, and we have already enjoyed the options of relaxing inside or entertaining friends in this new outdoor living area.
To learn more, find out where you can meet up with us, and follow along on our adventures traveling to 51 National Parks in 52 weeks, check out our dedicated tour page: newstatenomads.com/nationalparks
Have you tried different types of RVs? What was the experience like for you transitioning from one type to another? Let’s hear about your experiences in the comments below.
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