Why the Winnebago View is the Ultimate Road Trip Vehicle
In the chill of the New York morning air, teeth faintly chattering and hands in a full-out shake, my eyes intently ran back-and-forth from iPhone screen to the distant, bright orange horizon. It was just before 7a.m., and not even the near-freezing December temperatures could keep me from capturing the beauty before me. As the sun awoke, I stood just outside our Winnebago View, joyfully zipping my drone up and down the Montauk coastline, seeing the magnificence of crashing waves against a backdrop of iconic lighthouse and rising sun. That is when it hit me -- The Sprint to Streamsong golf road trip was underway.
Capturing the beauty of the Montauk Lighthouse at sunrise, the furthest eastern point on Long Island.
The Sprint to Streamsong is born
Six weeks prior, I received a call from a friend and fellow travel-loving golfer, who proposed an idea: what if we ended the year with a crazy 10-day golf adventure, racing down the East coast while playing our way from New York to Florida? My immediate response: "I'm in!"
As crazy as the idea sounded, I was itching to get back on the road after my wife Brittany and I had paused our full-time travel schedule in September. Weeks full of planning routes, rounds of golf and logistics left my friend Matt and I with The Sprint to Streamsong itinerary - a robust schedule that would take us nearly 2,000 miles, with 13 rounds of golf in six states, all in less than two weeks' time.
I knew the golf would make the trip worthwhile, but could we really pull off a trip that required this much travel during a time of year when daylight was limited and weather unpredictable?
The Sprint to Streamsong route, covering nearly 2,000 miles in 10 days, with 13 rounds of golf.
With the Winnebago View as our chariot, I knew it could be done. And after successfully completing the trip, I'm convinced now more than ever, that the View is the ultimate road trip vehicle.
Navigating the northeast ... with ease
Anyone who's set out to explore the northeastern U.S. by RV can most certainly relate to two of the key challenges: low clearances and urban streets. With New York City and Washington D.C. both on the first few days of our trip itinerary, I also took into consideration the heart-pounding nerves that were sure to accompany the visits.
What I failed to consider was the compact nature of what I was cruising in! At 24-feet, our View handled the narrow, taxi-filled city streets with ease, and that stomach-churning fear of wrong turns, tight corners and stop-and-go hustle and bustle all but left me while navigating in the View.
New York City's Holland Tunnel, Jersey City's scrunched side streets and D.C.'s Potomac Park were all handled with ease. Sure, ample consideration still needed to be given to low underpasses (the View stands 11'1'' tall), but a little preplanning and the trusty AllStays Camp & RV App made that a breeze.
The compactness of the View not only alleviates fears of urban travel, but also leads to more spontaneity than experienced in most other types of larger RVs / travel trailers. Have an urge to wander down a side street or pop-off the highway to check out a quaint little town? Go for it. Within minutes of starting The Sprint to Streamsong trip, I confidently ignored the GPS, veering off Montauk's Main Street toward the luringly named "Ocean Ave." A few minutes later, we were taking in sweeping views of the Atlantic. A quick walk on the beach followed by a 3-point turn at the dead-ended road, and we were on our way. A worthwhile detour, indeed.
Me and Mr. P capturing a selfie on one of the many route detours, made easy by the View.
Similar spontaneous decisions found us at the foot of the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument in D.C., and eventually parallel parking for a quick stroll in the historic, downtown Pinehurst, NC, streets.
A quick detour to the Washington Monument after a round at East Potomac GC in Washington D.C.
Ready, Set, Sprint!
With lots of ground to cover on this trip, we had little time to waste each day. Sunrise to sunset on golf courses meant four to six hours of driving most nights! Luckily for us, the View can really zip. After all, it is powered by a Mercedes Benz Sprinter engine. Speed limits of 70 were welcomed with open arms, as the View maneuvers extremely well at those speeds. And an additional benefit of its size is that no tow car is needed, further enhancing the driving experience.
Couple a smooth ride with the ability to make quick travel breaks (no truck stops, public bathrooms, or fast food drive throughs required), and the View can lead to very efficient travels. This all really came in handy during the longer driving treks of the trip, that stretched over 300 miles on a few separate occasions. And less traveling means more time exploring -- or in our case, more time on courses like this.
Kiawah Island's Ocean Course captured from high above. One of our favorite courses from the trip.
Where to sleep tonight?
Road trips by car require hotels and most RVs need RV parks, but with the View, the world is your so-called oyster. Sure, Wal-Marts and other select big box stores will welcome travel trailers and larger motorhomes, but each draw too much attention (or simply will not fit) in many of the convenient spots a View will.
Front yard parking made easy at a friend's house in West Ashley, just outside Charleston, SC.
On our 10-day trip down the coast, we too enjoyed an RV park in Jersey City and a few Wal-Marts along the way, but the View gave us so many more options! A neighborhood side-street just outside downtown Raleigh, Pinehurst Resort's clubhouse lot, a friend's driveway in Charleston, and NBC's Golf Channel Studios parking lot all became sleeping quarters for the night. Because the View can be backed into a single parking space (with a few feet overhang), we were welcomed to sleep in these unlikely spots.
Not only did they speed up our travels (no need to get settled into and travel to/from campgrounds), but it made for some memorable experiences. Waking-up to a 6a.m. call from an NBC producer instructing me to move our RV into position before our live Golf Channel Morning Drive interview that morning is something I'll never forget!
Getting the View into position before our live interview with Matt Ginella on the Golf Channel.
View Life vs. Van Life
For a brief moment, before embarking on this trip, I thought: "Boy, for a fast-paced road trip like this, a van might be easier than the View." My post-trip conclusion? Not a chance.
Yes, van life boasts similar benefits to those mentioned (easy navigation, quick travel, endless accessibility, universal parking spots), but the View's "home away from home" amenities can't be beat. It's sometimes hard for people to believe, but this 24-foot vehicle has literally everything you need. Beds, stovetop cooking, convection oven, refrigerator, dinner table, two sinks, full-size shower, flushable toilet, and far more storage than you'd ever believe. This all translates to a good night's rest, healthy home cookin', and an elevated level of comfort, all while zipping up and down the coast.
The View is also designed with a slide out, which helps to open up some added space. Sure, the more people you pack-in the tighter the quarters, but as Crazy Family Adventure has proved, you can roll with a crew 6-deep in a View! Point being, there's plenty of room to take the family - or in my case on this trip, a good friend and Mr. P the cat - on the road.
Me (right) and my friend Matt (left) capture the moment on another bucket-list golf course.
Enjoy the View
From cars to trailers, motorhomes to vans, there are lots of different ways to travel. Though no one way is necessarily better than the other, the Winnebago View certainly takes the cake when it comes to shorter (or fast-paced) road trips. And as I was reminded on my own recent Sprint to Streamsong road trip, you'll surely never tire of the View(s).
Every great road trip must come to an end, but with the View, the next is never too far away.
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