Winnebago's Family-Ready Minnie Winnie Has Over 50 Years of On-Road American Living Inside

Minnie Winnie 15 photos
Photo: Winnebago Industries
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Suppose you grew up during the 70s and onward. In that case, you're very well aware of one of Winnebago's most coveted RV, their Minnie Winnie. If you know what I'm talking about, then you also know that it's the RV often spotted behind families in time-worn photographs.
Well, Winnebago still builds and updates this timeless model, year after year, and with that, I've decided to dive in deeper to see just what over 50 years of being subjected to R&D can do to an RV or Class C motorhome. Grab your family of up to eight, balance those checkbooks, and let's take a trip across foreign lands.

But, before we do, let's remind ourselves a bit about the hands and minds behind today's magic, in this case, none other than timeless Winnebago. While this name is familiar the world over, not everyone is aware of the fact that they've been in the RV and mobile habitat business since 1958. While countless models have been spotted throughout their history, a few have been so loved that they've been carried through the ages.

All that brings us to the Minnie Winnie, and yes, it's one of the models that this crew is known for, having been around since 1973. That's 51 years of presence on the market. So, to give us an idea of what makes this unit so special, let's kick back for a few minutes and picture ourselves living out of a Minnie Winnie.

Minnie Winnie
Photo: Winnebago Industries
Now, to go through the list of features this lineup has in store would take several articles, not just one, so for the sake of argument, I've chosen to live out of the 31H floorplan, one of six available, simply because it's the one that fits the largest families, up to eight.

Taking us where we've planned our retreats will be a Ford E450 chassis rocking a 7.3-liter V8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, so all you have to do is keep that foot on the gas, and enjoy the open road. Don't forget about that toy hauler hitched up to its rear, carrying up to 7,500 lbs (3,401 kg) of goodies you plan on using; we'll get to those soon.

Once you've had your fun in the driver's seat and reached your destination, you and the gang will probably get out of the RV, stretch those legs, take in a deep breath of fresh mountain air, and look out upon the still lake waters nearby. You all gather around, take in the view, and before long, everyone's scurrying around like ants, setting up the campsite.

Minnie Winnie
Photo: Winnebago Industries
For now, we can send the kids off to gather firewood, while the adults start setting up tents, extending awnings, tending to solar panels on the roof of the Winnie, unloading ATVs from your hauler, and even digging a fire pit. Don't forget about the outdoor dining set and grill.

But, before we fire up the grill, a couple of shot callers from this story will need to head inside to prepare things like meat, veggies, and even the space that your family will call home for the next few days. What's important to note at this stage in your adventure is the fact that most of the floorplans Winnebago offers do include a slideout, so the mobile home you drive down the road will actually unravel into its final form once you've parked this RV.

At the press of a button, your habitat is ready, and all that's left to do now is climb inside. Once you do, you'll typically find yourself somewhere between the living room and bedroom, depending on the floorplan. Since the 31H is one of the largest available, it's going to be a few feet before any bedroom is spotted if you don't count the modular dinette, sofa, and cab-over bedding found in the living room.

Minnie Winnie
Photo: Winnebago Industries
Some of the larger units, such as the 31H, also include a huge kitchen. After all, feeding eight hungry mouths is no easy task and one that's going to need top-self appliances and features. Well, Winnebago made sure we have what we need with features the likes of pantries, solid-surface countertops, three-burner tops, up to 8 cu ft fridges, and double-bowl sinks. It's all you need to marinade chicken, section off those prime cuts of beef, and prepare the veggies. Not to mention breakfast, lunch, or dinner indoors. Why not bring along a bread maker? The Minnie's electrical system can handle it.

Toward the rear of the 31H, we'll need to watch our step as we pass into the rear of the unit. It's here that we'll find this unit's bathroom with separate features, including the largest shower of the floorplans, a pair of bunk beds, storage drawers and wardrobes, and finally, an east-west queen bed. And frankly, we haven't even begun to scratch this camper's surface.

In truth, countless other features and systems make up a complete Minnie home. While we can see some of them, the likes of TVs, sound systems, and control panels, others, like plumbing, AC and heating, and electrical are hidden behind paneling and floorboards and working overtime to make sure everything is on point when you need it.

Minnie Winnie
Photo: Winnebago Industries
Units are topped off with up to 44 gals (166 liters) of freshwater, 6-gallon (23-liter) water heaters, LP tanks, micro-generators, batteries, LED lighting, and so much more. Solar panels, however, didn't appear in the features list, so you'll have to talk it over with Winnebago to see how much that'll run you. Oh, and let's not forget that Ford is also part of this story, so your on-road experience is bound to be a bit more elevated than just riding along in your average truck.

The question now is regarding this unit's price. Well, the lineup does come in with a six-figure digit, starting at $143,292 (€134,600 at current exchange rates), so it's clearly not the least expensive RV from this manufacturer, but don't forget: this lineup has been around since before a lot of us were even born, and that means we can consider it a flagship, and as such, well, expect the very best this crew has to offer. A family of eight living on the road for $143K? That's pretty amazing if you ask me.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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