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Cambria or Navion


JoeTrekker

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I appreciate the comments here under the Class C forum. I wonder if you can share your thoughts?

 

Until now I've been renting 25-foot Class C's and I really enjoy the lifestyle. I'm now considering buying a View/Navion, preferrably a 2008 H or J model. The alternative is a 2008 Aspect/Cambria. I'm a minimalist; less is more for me, and I don't expect to have a toad on my initial foray into the RV lifestyle (long story; I won't bore you).

 

So not having a toad might mean the smaller View/Navion is a better choice than the larger Aspect/Cambria. I have a couple of questions perhaps you gurus can help me with:

 

I enjoy travel to remote wilderness areas as well as national parks. Park maybe a week at a time maximum, but most likely 3 days here and there.

 

1. In the H model, is the fold-down sofa comfortable enough?

2. I probably would bring my bicycle, but not a toad. Assuming that I plan my food and water needs well in advance, is not having a toad really a huge problem? Although I worry about the possible dangers, I guess I could use the bicycle for emergency runs to a grocery store?

 

Your collective thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

 

Joe

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Hi Joe,

 

Interesting post. I, too, look forward to reading responses from others. The Navion is on my short list. In terms, of the Cambria, I lean toward Phoenix Cruisers (2552) or Nexus Vipers (27V) for whatever reason. However, the Navion is the shortest in length and creates the best possibilty of going toadless for my DW and I. I want to stay as compact as possible while still having a livable space for the two of us. You have peaked my curiosity. I am going to go back and look at the Cambria again. ;)

 

Take care,

 

Dean

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Hey, Dean -

 

I'm like you: the shortest in length the better. Take a look at the 2008 and earlier Cambria's. They are 26'7", but lots of good window usage for cross ventilation, especially in the dining area. Ventilation is important when not using the a/c (as in boondocking). Also, even though the '08 and earlier Cambria's have just 2 feet more length than the View/Navions, the addition of a lounge/reading chair behind the passenger's seat makes for much more comfortable living arrangements. Just my humble opinion.

 

After 2008, the Aspects and Cambria's jumped up in length to 29-feet. Not what I want.

 

One thing to consider with the View/Navions: except for 2008 models, they come only in diesel. In '08, Winnebago-Itasca offered some gas models. I prefer the gas models b/c otherwise you have to deal with not only more expensive diesel fuel, but also higher maintenance costs on diesel engines. You also have to jack around with DEF for those diesel engines. I want a simple life. So I'll stick with gas over diesel.

 

Good luck with your search, Dean. Keep me posted.

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My View is an 08 diesel and does not require DEF. Diesel fuel is slightly more expensive but gets better mileage. I have not experienced any appreciable difference in maintenance costs. In general, diesel engines last longer with fewer repairs needed, that's why NADA only takes mileage into account on gas engines not diesel. Gassers are less expensive than diesels.

 

But bottom line is to buy the one you want.

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Joe--I full-time toadless in a 25 foot non-slide Phoenix Cruiser 2351. Like you say, if you plan your food and water ahead, you'll be fine. You say you'll likely move every few days to a week, anyways, which will make picking up groceries and supplies very easy along the way.

 

My floor plan is similar to the Navion J, with a corner bed and bath in rear and dinette along the driver's side. Having a permanent bed that does not require setting up and breaking down daily is something I really value. It would probably be more comfortable than whatever couch set up you might find the H model, as well as easier to put some kind of mattress-topper on for additional comfort if needed.

 

Good luck with your search and your decision!

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Good Morning, AprilWhine & Bill & Carolaow -

 

Thank you all for your comments. They really help me.

 

Bill & April, I appreciate the information that DEF is not needed on the earlier diesel View/Navions. My "knowledge" (?) about DEF came from one of the discussion forums devoted specifically to View-Navion owners. It's actually more than a bit unsettling to me that I either misread the discussion threads on DEF and missed that the earlier models don't need it, OR that misinformation is being bandied about so frequently on a forum of View - Navion owners! Carpenters have a rule: "Measure twice; cut once". Obviously that's a good rule for me to adapt and follow as I research my RV purchase! Thank God for the Escapees Discussion Forums!

 

I'll be 70 in June and for me at my age, the simplier things are, the happier I am. I'll double-check with the View-Navion pundits about the DEF. It could make a difference in my decision.

 

Carolaow, I really appreciate your sharing your experience of being toadless. Your share has really revived my excitement that I can do the RVing I want to do if I use my noodle and plan appropriately. I'm eager to call up your blog and read of your adventures. Thank you again!

 

I'm very grateful to you all for responding to my original query. I'm excited to "graduate" beyond rentals and beome a "real Rver". LOL. See you good folks on the road!

 

Joe

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We've used our 23.5' Class C for 7 years without a Toad. Maybe 3 times in the 7 years we wished we had one, and that was to make "touristy" things easier in or near cities. When we first purchased our rig we anticipated this issue and planned at that time to rent a car for a few days from Enterprise when we really wanted one. We figured that would be a lot cheaper than the cost of having and using a Toad. But when it got down to actual practice, we just prefer being off by ourselves in a forest service campground or some similar place and it just hasn't been worth it to even rent a car for a few days to see something that flocks of tourists are clogging. Obviously, YMMV.

 

It seems to me that needing a Toad for the possible emergency situation in the context of a small Class C is really pretty remote. If I am physically able to drive a Toad I can drive my rig. If the issue is running out of food or water, well then we're really talking about convenience more than "emergency," and that is something that you can to learn to plan for. We do have a bike rack that let's take along our bikes and they can indeed serve for a run to a nearby store, but we take them mostly for pleasure.

 

As for boon docking, if you plan your food and water you can manage boon docking for three days easily. We routinely have gone 5 days, and the limiting factor was not on the "intake" side, but the "outgo". In many areas, if you abide by regulations, you will not dump your tanks, so that means moving to an area with full hook-ups for a day.

 

Whatever you do, have fun!

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Hi Joe & All,

 

I, too, am really enjoying this thread. I continue to be impressed and inspired by the the wisdom of seasoned RVers in terms of their willingness to share their experiences and opinions.

 

Joe, you have complicated my RV research! ;) I started my RV research focusing on rigs around 25 ft. thinking smaller is better; however, as the months of research have gone by, I have broadened my research to 27 ft. rigs plus/minus 2 ft. The Cambria is 29' 5", thus it never really made "my list." I spent last evening looking at it via videos and the Winnie website. Here is what I like about the Cambria:

 

1. LOVE the floor plan

2, LOVE that the external dimenions are 10'4" in height and 7'11" in width.

3. LOVE the external storage for a B+ rig!

4. I lean F450. Nice.

5. Like the decor and materials.

6. Has the requisite walkaround queen.

7. Sweet galley.

 

HOWEVER, this comes at the expense length. I am concerned that at over 29', we would lose the "nimbleness" of a rig like the Navion. This goes back to your OP. Navion v Cambria. I realize that you are thinking about an earlier Cambria that is couple of feet shorter, but I really like that 29K floorplan.

 

I have about 5 or 6 rigs on my list. Now, I have another one. Thanks, I think! :)

 

Keep us posted on your research.

 

Take care,

 

Dean

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Dean -

 

LMAO. Sorry to have complicated your research. :( LOL. I've been there myself, but I just figure that whatever I learn I can share with others and hopefully help them. I've also learned - as you've seen on this thread - that what I think I've learned can sometimes be quite erroneous. Like the issue with DEF. LOL. Thanks, April & Bill, for your correction. It's all good.

 

Dean, I remember something very wise when I attended my first Escapees Boot Camp. One of the event leaders told me: "Joe, you can spend years doing research. What most off us have done is change rigs 3 or more times as we live in them and actually live the RV lifestyle. Just do your research, but then don't wait. Make the best decision you can, jump in, join us in the fun of the lifestyle and then remain open to switching to another rig as your experience in the lifestyle grows." I think that lady gave me really good advice. Until now I've rented, but now I'm finally free of obligations and ready to join some terrific folks on the road. I'm super excited! And grateful for all my Escapees friends who've helped me via this forum.

 

When it comes to picking an RV, quality of construction is primary for me. Regarding Class C's, I strongly prefer the Winnebago-Itasca line b/c of their quality. I've toured their plant in Forest City, Iowa twice during travels, and I'm sold. Nothing takes the place of a pre-sale inspection by a qualified RV technician, but the Winnie line has very strong ratings under the RV Consumer's Guide, within the industry and among RVers with whom I've spoken. As other RVers have told me: "Joe, do you want to pay more and spend hyour time traveling and sightseeing? Or do you want to pay less and spend your time doing repairs to your coach?" To each his/her own, but the Winnie line is my choice for entry into the lifestyle.

 

Like you, I prefer a walkaround bed, but I definitely don't want a Class C over 27'. It's just my personal preference, but I figure if I were to opt for something greater than 27', I may as well jump up to a small Class A. That's a whole 'nother discussion. :)

 

Bill and April have re-awakened my consideration of a View-Navion diesel, but here it is almost April, and I need to make a purchase soon. I want to be out of Houston by mid-May, and heading back to the cooler climate of the Far North and Pacific Northwest for the summer.

 

This has been a great thread for me. If any of you prefer to email me direct, my addy is jmueller45@gmail.com. And Dean, I'm excited for you in your search. Stay in touch, buddy!

 

Joe

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Joe,

 

For the near future, I will have to be content with RV research. One daughter half through college and the other daughter on her way soon. No RV for me until I am finished with college tuition. Until then, I will use some of my discretionary time to research this new passion of mine, RVs.

 

I appreciate reading about your experiences with Winnebago. They are on my short list along with Lazy Daze, Leisure Travel Vans, Phoenix Cruisers, and Nexus. I definitely respect your desire to stay at or under 27 ft. My problem is that I want a 31' floorplan on a 25' chassis. Hmmm, physics is getting in my way! ;) It is all good. I recognize the compromises that must be made. Buying an RV is a lot like most other things in life. . .compromises, priorities, learning, etc.

 

Looking forward to hearing more about your purchase process and thoughts.

 

Take care,

 

Dean

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earlvillestu,

 

I definitely like Nexus products. My DW and I tend prefer the Viper line rather than the Phantom line of Nexus' products. Of course by going taller and wider, Nexus has done a fine job packing a lot into their 25P. I tend to prefer their 27V (not as tall or wide, but longer and less basement storage). As mentioned above, it is all a compromise!

 

Take care,

 

Dean

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  • 2 months later...

As a Winnebago Aspect 2008 owner. Which is the twin to the Cambria. Same MFG.

The fold down sofa is comfortable. But we did add foam to it. To make even better.

 

The Navion may be less trouble in shopping parking lots.

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  • 5 months later...

We have a 2008 Aspect 26A and love it. We do tow a 2005 Saturn VUE most of the time. The corner bed is very comfortable, and takes a little getting used to but otherwise a great rig for just the two of us and sometimes two smaller grand kids.

 

Regards,

paulin

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