This classically midwestern company out of Iowa is one of the most well-known names in the RV world. In fact, the term Winnebago is often used as a generic name for any recreational vehicle, regardless of the brand.
If you’re considering purchasing a Winnebago travel trailer, rest assured that these RVs are extremely high-quality travel trailers made with great attention to detail and are designed to last for years.
Winnebago is also known for its customer-friendly attitude in RV construction. This company listens carefully to customer feedback to make sure that their RV models come standard with the features customers want the most.
This includes using high-quality construction materials like real wood, stainless steel, aluminum, and high gloss fiberglass.
Winnebago also considers safety, like mounting their small, narrow travel trailers on a dual axle frame while other travel trailers this size are generally on single axles.
Not only does that mean that you’ll be okay on the road if a travel trailer tire blows, but it also means that if that happens, the slide room will also be fine because slides in the Winnebago travel trailers are mounted above the axle and still supported.
Read on to learn more about this great company and the travel trailers they offer to make your next vacation the best one yet.
All About the Company
Winnebago Industries (named for Winnebago County in Iowa) was founded in Forest City, Iowa in 1958 by John K. Hanson and is still headquartered there today.
Winnebago is a company that truly centers around the customer experience with its product and has made outdoor adventuring into a thriving culture.
The WIT Club is an organization sponsored by Winnebago for its customers, and anyone who owns a Winnebago is eligible to join. The 16,000 members of Winnebago’s WIT Club can attend sponsored events to gather with other Winnebago owners and even travel together for special events that celebrate the Winnebago lifestyle.
A membership to Winnebago’s WIT Club includes a customized metal license plate, a subscription to their monthly e-newsletter that keeps you informed about events and news, and access to social activities plus discounts on travel through Winnebago Outdoor Adventures.
Winnebago Outdoor Adventures is a partnership between Winnebago and Fantasy RV Tours which functions as a guided travel service so that Winnebago owners can join professionally guided vacations to incredible destinations like the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Mexico, and Glacier National Park.
Joining one of these caravan travel groups is a great way to see a new place because everything is planned and taken care of for you, and the cost of the adventure covers camping fees, attraction admissions, and so much more during your 15-50 day trek.
The WIT Club also offers discount savings on a variety of products including everything from enhanced listings on RV Trader to Winnebago warranty products and even new Michelin tires for your RV.
The company also hosts Winnebagolife, a lifestyle blog for RVers that posts helpful articles on RV customization, company events, rallies and caravans, travel tips, product reviews, RV maintenance, and a ton of advice for everything Winnebago that you could imagine.
Winnebago’s line of travel trailers encompasses the Minnie family: Minnie Drop, Micro Minnie, Minnie, Minnie Plus, and two Minnie 5th wheels. The Minnie line of travel trailers is designed to be versatile, easy to tow, and incredibly convenient.
The smallest of the Minnie line, Minnie Drop, starts at around $24K and is designed to be aerodynamic and full of great features. This tiny trailer has a cool retro, curved shape and measures 6’5″ wide while still having 6’5″ of headroom in the living space.
These models come in a range of lengths from 19′ to 25’2″ and come with either a 7- or 10-foot power awning with LED lights and a 6-gallon water heater.
Minnie Drop comes in five-floor plans, all of which have a one-piece fiberglass roof, convection microwave, TV antenna with booster, LED TV, power tongue jack, and aluminum wheel assemblies.
The next tiny trailer in Winnebago’s lineup is the Micro Minnie which measures at seven feet wide and offers ten open floorplans with prices starting around $24K. The 2108TB model even comes with a king bed that has the option of converting into twins.
These travel trailers range in length between 19’2″ and 25’5″. Standard features on the Micro Minnie models include an AV system with AM/FM/CD/DVD/USB/Bluetooth, exterior speakers, 15″ off-road tires, heated and enclosed tanks, and 3,700 lb torsion axles.
The travel trailer from which the entire line gets its name is built on an eight-foot-wide frame and remains lightweight while including slide rooms to extend the living space. Exterior lengths for these trailers run between 26’9″ and 32’4.5″ and exterior heights (including the AC unit) are under 11′ tall.
Prices for Minnie begin at around $33K, and each of the eight-floor plans includes a spacious dining area. Two of these models are in the popular bunkhouse style and one of these bunkhouse models, the 2801BHS model (as well as the 2701RBS floor plan), comes with a free-standing table and chairs standard.
Every Minnie comes with a flush mount three burner range with oven, a double door gas-electric refrigerator, USB charging ports, and a 13.5K BTU roof air system (which can be upgraded to the 15.0K system).
The largest of the Minnie line of travel trailer models, the Minnie Plus starts at just under $40K. This travel trailer offers more slide rooms and upgraded features throughout.
Like the Minnie, these trailers are eight feet wide. Exterior lengths run from 29’6″ to 36’11” and (with the AC unit) hit an exterior height of 11’4″.
There are six-floor plans in this model, four of which have at least two slides.
Standard features on the Minnie Plus include the 15.0K BTU roof air system, stainless steel appliances, solid surface countertops, an 8 cubic foot double-door gas-electric refrigerator, 10-gallon gas/electric/DSI water heater, fold-out solid entrance step, bathroom power Maxx Air vent fan, and LED accent lighting.
Theater seating is also standard, but most models have the option to replace it with a tri-fold sofa. Other options include the fireplace with a remote, free-standing table with four chairs in place of the roomy dinette and a 12V residential refrigerator.
Winnebagos tend to be rated highly by their customers and are a true fan-favorite. Lots of new travel trailer owners who start with a Winnebago tend to stick with the brand when upgrading or downsizing. And RVers who come to Winnebago after owning other brands seem to be happy with the switch.
But, as most RV enthusiasts know, no brand is without its hitches, and the best way to examine to positives with the negatives is to ask around and see what real-life customers think of the product.
Pros and Cons
On the whole, Minnie owners tend to be Minnie lovers, so we’ll take a closer look at some of the things that tend to come up when owners talk about their traveling experiences with Winnebago’s Minnie line.
Parking and Towing
For the most part, Minnie owners find aspects of parking and towing these models firmly in the pros column, possibly due to their overall small stature in comparison with other travel trailers.
These also tow well in a variety of terrain conditions. Owners specifically say that these trailers do well even in steep or curving mountain roads, citing the stability of the double-axle designs.
Customers also say it is very easy to live out of a Winnebago travel trailer for extended periods or even full-time because of their functional layouts and thoughtful hookup placement.
They do warn against parking for long periods in cold temperatures and either investing in good circulating heaters or considering a move to warmer temperatures to beat the chill.
Winnebago does offer an Extreme Weather Package option on most of its towable models which is supposed to help the trailer retain interior heat, but RV walls are thin and may not always perform optimally in every point on the weather spectrum.
Another area of concern for some owners involves the interior features of the unit. While customers love the stainless steel sinks and fixtures, one concern is that solid surface countertops are not standard in all models.
This can be a problem when water collects on the counters, particularly where the top edge meets the side. If the top begins to swell, then it weakens the bond with size and can cause a gap between them.
If this is a concern for you, definitely check out the Minnie Plus which does come with solid surface countertops as a standard feature.
Some customers and shoppers have also mentioned concern about the floor registers in some models. Floor registers can be a pain to maintain and keep clean, especially if you travel with pets. Definitely, check the models you’re interested in to see if this would be a concern for you.
The only other interior issue that seems to garner a consensus among owners of towable Winnebago owners is that the mattress can be on the thin side. Most who have an issue with the mattress says it is easily corrected by adding a foam topper, but others prefer to replace the mattress altogether.
On the plus side, customers generally found that the interior layouts of Minnie models are varied enough to be exciting and accessible. This could be one reason that Minnie finds loyal fans because the variety of layouts mean that most people can find at least a one-floor plan that works for them in any given model.
Another huge point in favor of Minnie’s interior is the vast amount of accessible storage. Cabinets are deep and well-constructed with a thoughtful layout that makes all the essentials easy to place and retrieve without having to bend over backward to make space work.
While this may sound like an enormous problem, it may help to clarify that this isn’t a large-scale structural issue on Winnebago’s towable models. But it is worth mentioning that some Winnebago Minnie owners have mentioned issues about the sink and shower faucets leaking.
In most cases, these faucets have just needed tightening to solve the problem. While this issue is admittedly minor, it can be a huge hassle to deal with if you don’t know to look for it.
A similar issue has been raised, particularly in older models, about needing to tighten the plumbing connections before taking that first trip to keep water from leaking out. However, there don’t seem to be many reports of this in newer models, so maybe this is something that has already been fixed in the manufacturing process.
Do keep in mind that with an RV it’s just good practice to get in the habit of inspecting leak-prone areas like fixtures, faucets, pipes, and hoses regularly to prevent leaking issues (or stop them quickly). Unchecked, leaks can get out of hand or cause serious damage in a short amount of time.
Customers have also noted that the water pump in some Minnie models tends to be on the loud side. While this can be really annoying, there are also some easy fixes to be found online that can help reduce the noise of the pump. Moreover, many owners who noticed the issue didn’t feel it was enough of a problem to do anything about.
Overall Customer Experience
While most of your time in your travel trailer is spent, well, in your travel trailer, the exterior matters too. Customers like the high gloss gel coat fiberglass exterior because it comes in six great colors (the typical white, platinum, and champagne as well as fun colors like royal blue, cherry, and hunter, a striking green).
But this exterior is also really functional because Winnebago manufactures the sidewalls the same way they do on their higher-end motor homes.
A nice bonus is that because of the thickness of the exterior wall construction, most scratches can usually be buffed out of the surface easily and don’t reach the deeper layers.
There are also some mixed reviews about Winnebago’s customer service. A few customers have complained that Winnebago isn’t particularly helpful with questions about their towables over the phone and that the owner’s manuals are too generic to be much help.
On the flip side, those same customers often find that the dealerships are helpful and that the needed information is definitely out there, it can just be hard to come by.
Of course, this may depend on the exact issue being addressed, and it always pays off to shop around and find a dealership that has a good reputation for continued customer support.
Winnebago’s Minnie line of towable RVs is one of the best values on the market. These travel trailers offer high-quality construction that keeps customers happily traveling for years.
Part of Winnebago’s 60-year success has come from paying close attention to the consumer experience and fostering an environment where Winnebago owners can come together and share common experiences in a positive way.
Winnebago consistently ranks as one of the best travel trailer manufacturers on the market and though they are far from complaint-free, most customers find that concerns are fairly superficial and do not extend to the overall structure and construction of the product.
It isn’t reaching to say that Winnebago owners are generally happy with their ownership experiences. That kind of customer satisfaction stems from creating a high-quality product that won’t break the bank and gives years of lasting value.