Why the Winnebago Solis Was Right for Me
Why the Winnebago Solis Was Right for Me
From ease of use to community support, this van makes RVing simple.
By: Lindsey Quick
When I bought my first RV, the small Class C Winnebago Fuse, I was looking for a motorhome that would allow me to travel on my terms: when I wanted, where I wanted, at a moment's notice. The Fuse had all the creature comforts and space to spread out, but I learned after a few trips that I didn't use most of those amenities or the extra space.
#1: It's SO EASY
Bells and whistles are great to have, but there are systems one needs to monitor and maintain in order to keep them functioning. While the Fuse really wasn't that complicated, it was more than I could comfortably handle. The Solis was a perfect fit for me: no generator, no slide outs, no awning, no diesel.
For some, not having those amenities would be a deal-breaker. For me, the lack of having them was what sealed the deal. The few items that do require maintenance in the Solis are manageable, even for a novice like me.
#2: It's SO TINY
I've always been mildly obsessed with the tiny house movement, especially those on wheels. But an actual tiny house takes a lot to get it moved, including a heavy-duty truck to tow it and a fixed place to park it. The Solis is my tiny house on wheels that requires next to no planning: I can toss in what I need and head out, to either an established campground or a safe spot for boondocking.
I can easily maneuver through parking lots or wide-open spaces. I can comfortably make my way down a busy metropolitan street or the freeway. I'm so much calmer while driving because I know I've got space to work with, which wasn't always the case with my Class C.
While the Solis does have a small footprint, it has plenty of storage to ensure I'm able to bring everything I need, which usually includes a lot of clothes (because you never know what might happen), my bike or paddleboard for exploring the area, prepared food to cover meals and snacks, and my favorite travel companions, my boyfriend and my dog (and all their stuff).
#3: The Winnebago Community
When I was shopping for my first RV, I joined nearly every RV-related Facebook group, including groups dedicated to different manufacturers and models, to hear what owners were saying. The groups with the most comradery and activity were always the Winnebago groups. It seemed like members were regularly talking about upcoming in-person meet-ups, both national and regional, and it was clear many in the groups had met in person and developed real friendships.
Each group felt like a true community of owners. When I decided to move from a Class C to a B, I researched other manufacturers' models. They had Facebook groups, but none felt like a community.
#4: Resources & Support
I'm not handy. At all. My boyfriend is very handy, but because this was my dream and I planned to do quite a bit of solo travel, it was important that I could handle the Solis myself. The simplified systems and small footprint make the Solis manageable, but the available resources and support made it even easier.
Winnebago created "How to Solis", a website dedicated to walking owners through all the processes involved in owning and operating a Solis, with videos demonstrating how to do everything, step-by-step. I added the site as a favorite on my phone for quick, easy access at any time. When I have other questions, I turn to the multiple Winnebago communities on Facebook.
The Travato group (also part of the Winnebago van family) has been around for years and has thousands of incredibly smart, helpful people who have helped so many prospective and current owners. There are tips for troubleshooting errors, recommendations for campgrounds and tips for organizing in small spaces.
The Solis group is growing quickly, and it's been fun to watch as new owners begin to modify their spaces to make them their own. The wealth of knowledge in these groups is astounding. RVs can feel overwhelming to a newbie – it was so reassuring to see throngs of owners at the ready to answer questions.
I can almost always find my answer with a simple search or post my question and get responses with solutions in no time. When I've had something that stumps the groups, I turn to either Winnebago customer service or my dealership and have always gotten my questions answered or my issues resolved.
For anyone interested in, or on the fence about Solis, I’d highly recommend you go ahead and join the owner/wannabe group to start learning more about this van and the Winnebago community!
#5: THAT Feeling
I mentioned earlier that the Solis spoke to me. I'm sure that sounds dramatic, but it's true. The Solis offered everything my previous RV couldn't, and even though that meant losing the creature comforts and space I thought I needed, it actually freed me up to accomplish the dreams I had with my tiny home on wheels.
Because it was so easy and small, I could go nearly anywhere I wanted on my terms, which has been so incredibly important during this time with COVID.
We have been able to visit my parents who live a few hours away because we have our own bed, bathroom and kitchen in the vehicle. We've been able to go on daytrips around our state, allowing us to get out of our house without upsetting the communities we're visiting. While the Fuse and other Class Cs are perfect for so many, it limited me because I was overwhelmed by it. The Solis was freeing, which was the whole purpose of getting an RV in the first place.
The Solis doesn't have all the amenities many other RVs have. That's what makes it so perfect, especially if you're new to RVing. The Solis provides the freedom to do whatever you want, whether it's a weeks-long journey or a daytrip, without the need to learn RV systems you might not need.
You can just get in and go. What's more freeing than that?