How Yellowstone National Park Made Us Switch To a Class C RV

We traveled in our 28 ft Grey Wolf Travel Trailer for almost a year and a half, but then we went to Yellowstone National Park for the first time.

Initial Thoughts of Switching

For some time Jon had been hinting that we should consider a move into a Class B. After our friends, Living Mile By Mile, made a switch to a Class B, we often watched We’re the Russo’s YouTube channel to try and get a feel for the idea as they too had made the move. (Well, I didn’t really want a feel for the idea, but Jon seemed to think I could acquire one.)

The first time the thought of switching to a motorized RV entered our minds, was during a visit to Phoenix from Flagstaff. The visit left us separated from our dogs, who were back in the Travel Trailer in Flagstaff, for hours longer than we had anticipated due to a lane closure resulting from a fire. There was only one way back, and luckily it was a lane closure rather than a road closure.

 
 Towing our Travel Trailer around San Francisco and into our friends' driveway was definitely not an option so we left it behind in Santa Rosa, which made for a long day with too much driving.

Towing our Travel Trailer around San Francisco and into our friends' driveway was definitely not an option so we left it behind in Santa Rosa, which made for a long day with too much driving.

 

Similarly, a trip into San Francisco to visit friends, while our Travel Trailer and dogs waited in Santa Rosa, got us thinking about the benefits of a smaller unit that could fit in driveways and keep our dogs closer to us.

But even after the above experiences, I held onto the idea that we would miss the space in our Travel Trailer and that a Class B with 2 dogs was just madness. I didn’t break until we made it to Yellowstone National Park last fall.

Yellowstone National Park Seals the Deal

Camping West of the Tetons

When we went to Yellowstone National Park we stayed in a charming boondocking spot alongside a babbling brook on the west side of the Tetons in Idaho. It was our own private paradise. It could not have been more perfect! The 4 x 4 capability of our truck and the just-high-enough clearance of our Travel Trailer made it possible to get to this spot.

After two days camping, we decided we wanted to drive into Yellowstone National Park. Not wanting to go through the hassle of packing up, hitching, and towing to a closer location, we decided we would jump in our truck and drive to Yellowstone.

 
 We loved the creekside boondocking spot we stayed in!

We loved the creekside boondocking spot we stayed in!

 

A Very Long Day Visiting Yellowstone National Park

We drove the hour and fifteen minutes to the South entrance of Grand Teton National Park. (Yes, there is boondocking at the much closer Upper Teton View, but we fell in love with the creek and the seclusion at our spot) Then, we drove the hour and a half to the South entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone, as it turns out, is a huge park with miles between attractions! Wanting to see bison more than Old Faithful, we drove for 2 more hours to Hayden Valley.

 
 A visit to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park made us rethink our choice of RV.

A visit to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park made us rethink our choice of RV.

 

We fell in love with Yellowstone National Park. It was beautiful, green and lush, as well as misty and majestic. Like many of our other National Parks it felt as if we had gone through a portal and into another world. It was worth it to drive out to Hayden Valley, as friends from Illinois had highly recommended, to see Bison an arm’s length from our truck windows.

We showered at Canyon Lodge (best. showers. ever.), and refreshed, but exhausted, at 8pm we really wished we didn’t have a 4+ hour drive back. What if our bed was with us and we could pull over somewhere much closer to Yellowstone?

I realized that it had been ridiculous of me not to encourage Jon to turn around sooner in the day, or just decide to do Yellowstone “another time”. I also realized that talk of returning to Yellowstone National Park the next day was crazy talk. We both knew this would have to be it for this visit to Yellowstone. Jon, I think, knew he’d finally convinced me that we needed to downsize to a motorized RV.

A Fast & Happy Switch to a Motorized RV

 
 We love our new Winnebago Trend Class C RV.

We love our new Winnebago Trend Class C RV.

 

What Happened to the Class B?

Our Yellowstone trip was in mid-September and by Halloween we were in a motorized Class C! We were thinking of Class Bs, so why did we end up in a Class C?

With two dogs, we felt we needed the extra space that a Class C provides. In our opinion, the price points of Class Cs were much more reasonable. Given the extra comfort and space, for us, that meant they delivered more value for the price.

We personally did not feel that the extra space provided by the wider body of our Class C (a Winnebago Trend: wider, but not much longer than most Class Bs we were looking at) would lead to much of a sacrifice in nimbleness compared to a Class B. We spend a lot of time inside of our RV, as do our dogs, and the wider space increases the liveability for us and our dogs.

Loving Our Class C

Four months in, we are so happy with our decision! Many Class C RVs are on the same chassis as many Class B RVs, but they just have a wider body. We’re also loving the fact that we almost fit in one regular parking spot!

The Class Bs we were seriously looking at would all have a slight overhang in a regular parking spot as well (some were 3 ft shorter than what we’re in so you can kind of get away with very minimal overhang, but by and large it’s really the Class Bs on short wheel base Sprinters that will truly fit in one parking spot and we were not looking at those).

Due to our wider body, all Class Bs do have an advantage over us when it comes to city parallel parking spots, but we have even managed some parallel parking in the city in our Trend.

We were very certain that we wanted a slide, but not one that had to be out in order to utilize or access anything in the living area. The dogs and us are very comfortable with the slide in, and as it turns out we have actually spent more time in our RV with the slide in than out. We are also still quite giddy about the fact that we can just get up from our driver and passenger seats and walk right into our living area for coffee or lunch, to use the bathroom, and most importantly to sleep! Yellowstone, we’re ready for you!

If you have any questions regarding our switch to a Class C Motorized RV, how we like the Winnebago Trend, or our thoughts on if you might want to make a switch to a Motorized RV, leave us a comment below! If you’ve made a similar switch and would like to share your thoughts, we’d love to hear from you too!