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Topic: Class C Winnebago Minnie

Posted By: ONels21963 on 07/29/03 08:02am

My wife and I have been shopping for an RV (Class C) and we've narrowed it down to the Winnebago Minnie DS 29 ft., Ford V10. We plan to tow a Honda CRV with the weight hitch capacity at 3,500 lb. Were about to become new RV'ers, so obviously we have alot to learn. Anyone out there who has this unit could you provide me some feedback on any problems with the Winnebago?

My next question is I've read alot on the open forum and the overall commments seem to be with the weight issue. Is there a weight issue with the Winnebago 29 ft class c and CRV tow I've mentioned?


Chris Nelson

Posted By: cruizer on 07/29/03 08:17am

BEFORE you buy the unit , have the dealer take you to a scale and weigh
it (truckstop) .

Then compare the GVWR , GCVWR , and look at the weight of full fuel and
water .

Carefully compare the listed CCC to reality . Also weigh your tow vehicle
with a full tank of fuel , and add the hitch weight .

With this data , you can make a safe and intelligent decision .

Good luck & be safe !


If you think knowledge is expensive , think about the price of ignorance .......

Posted By: Ray F on 07/29/03 10:30am


What year is the Winnebago you are looking at?

1998 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
2003 Subaru WRX toad

Posted By: summersr on 07/29/03 11:17am

We have a 02 Minnie Winnie 30V and tow a 02 CR-V. Love it.

Went with a BlueOx BasePlate as I didn't want much visible when I wasn't towing it. The BlueOx Adapters just twist into the base plate when you are ready to tow. Had the guy in the site next to me almost fall over when he saw how easy it was to remove the tow adapters. His toad had a Stowmaster stuck on the front of his PT Cruiser.

The following is a link to what the front of the CR-V looks like with the BlueOx baseplate and adapters. The silver things sticking out are the adapters and just twist in and out

Results of my weight check before I bought the rig

2002 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 30V Weight

Weighed with full tank of gas, full tank of propane, full tank of water, gear

Front Rear Total

CCC (lb) 930 14050 minus loaded weight

Goodyear Wrangler HT LT225-75R16 Load range E

Max Single___2440 @ 70 PSI___2680 @ 80 PSI___2560 @ 75 PSI___2335 @65 PSI
Max Dual___2470 @ 80 PSI
At 70PSI front/80 PSI rear
Max Front__4880___Delta Front___860
Max Rear__9880___Delta Rear____780
Total wt___14760___lbs to max___1640

Best Inflation
Front___70 PSI
Rear____80 PSI

* This post was edited 07/29/03 11:35am by summersr *

2002 Mini Winnie 30V,ShurFlo Extreme water pump
2002 Honda CR-V toad,
BlueOx base plate/Aladdin towbar,
BrakeBuddy with breakaway & remote braking alert
Tucker food processor

Posted By: ONels21963 on 07/29/03 03:55pm

Thank you for the info. This will certainly help.

Posted By: ONels21963 on 07/29/03 04:01pm

Were looking at the 2004 Winnebago 29 ft. Bedroom and couch slideouts.
Appears that it will meet our needs for storage space and we really liked the idea of the slideouts as opposed to going with a longer unit.
If you own one or have owned, have you had any serious problems with it?

Posted By: ONels21963 on 07/29/03 04:13pm

Many thanks for all the info. Planning to buy the 2004 winnebago 29 ft. with slideouts for the bedroom and couch. Also, the blue ox tow bar and the brake buddy system for the tow vehicle. Do you have or know of another RVer that owns a unit like we are planning to buy? would like some info on any serious problems with it or whatever I should be aware of.

Posted By: summersr on 07/29/03 05:57pm

The 29B is exactly the same layout as the Minnie Winnie 30V. Unless you have a lot of kids, the Entertainment center option in the Cab over is great. Winniebago re-did the cab over to remove the side windows and put the VCR in the center and the tv on the right side which is a better config that I have on my 02 30V.

Check out the bathroom size. A large person will find out it is a tight fit. Also the bathroom door is installed with a spring hinge that acts as a divider when you are taking a shower. The large shower is nice.

Also check to see if the 20B is prewired for a rear camera/monitor. Mine was. I just got the Voyager 5" setup from CampingWorld, removed the sunvisors so I could pull the wires down in front that are behind the head liner (you have to splice in the three wires in the headliner to the power cable for the monitor. The wires are 1) ignition +12v, 2) Reverse +12v and are yellow and 3) ground which is white), removed the rear view mirror so the monitor could hang in its place, remove the center marker light in the back to get access to the camera wire. Was an easy job to install and eliminates the sweaty hands wondering what is going on with the Toad as you go down the road. Have my camera aimed so I can see both sides of the CR-V as I go down the road so I can see if it is safe to change lanes.

The dealer wanted big bucks to install the rear view system. Was an easy install. The key was what camera wire was installed and what rear camera's it would support.

Don't know were the 8 inches are between the Minnnie Winnie 30V and the Minnie 29B are but they look identical from a layout standpoint.

Posted By: ONels21963 on 07/29/03 08:12pm

Thanks for your reply. I have a question thats going to sound rather silly, but since were about to become new RVers, here goes.
When you travel with your unit and CR-V in tow, when going a rather steep downgrade (say 5-6%), do you put the RV in 3rd gear and just pump your brakes as necessary, or is there some other procedure used for going down steep downgrades? I'm told by the dealer that the winnebago (Ford V10) units have truck brakes. Our tow will have the brake buddy system.

Posted By: ccchuck on 07/29/03 08:21pm

.If you don't feel it inappropriate, if you do buy one could you tell how good the deal was-did you see a "ccc" figure?
I was really interested, and am still considering one but..the roof discussions really scared me though.

RVing since '74..

Posted By: Bobbygray11 on 07/29/03 09:59pm

I have a 31C Minnie Winnie 2003 and like it a lot. There was some problems
with the inverter that ran the entertainment system. The TV kept shutting down. The dealership kept
saying that it was under charged batteries, no matter how long I had the
batteries on the charger. I had the problem tracked down at an
auto electronics repair surface and found that the 12 v. wire running to
the inverter was too light and couldn't pass enough power
to run anything.
I don't know if it was Winnebagos mistake in supplying the wrong wire
or an assemble man's err in choosing the wrong wire to connect.

Posted By: Bobbygray11 on 07/29/03 10:17pm

I have a 31C Minnie Winnie 2003 and like it a lot. There was some problems
with the small inverter that ran the entertainment system. The TV kept
shutting down. The dealership kept
saying that it was under charged batteries, no matter how long I had the
batteries on the charger. Then later they changed the inverter. The problem
persisted so I had it tracked down at an
auto electronics repair service and found that the 12 v. wire running to
the inverter was too light and couldn't pass enough power
to run to the TV. Everything or anything kept shutting down.
I don't know if it was Winnebago's mistake in supplying the wrong wire
or an assemble man's err in choosing the wrong wire to connect.
I now have a 2000W hole house inverter running everything. I know its
not part of the options package but Winnebago has those inverters for
their higher end coaches and would factory install it if you asked for it.

Posted By: ONels21963 on 07/29/03 10:24pm

What roof discussions are you refering to?

Posted By: summersr on 07/30/03 06:27am

On the hill descent question. The E450 has a button on the end of the shift lever to turn Overdrive on or off. I just turn the O/D off when I go down hills and brake occassionally. I have my BrakeBuddy set on Sensitivity level 5 (defaults to 4 at start up). You just hold down the sensitivity button until it reaches 5 (it goes 3,2,1,7,6,5).

You will find the BrakeBuddy doesn't activate each time you brake. If you aren't doing a lot of real hard braking you will not see it activate. The coach brakes are doing the job just fine.


The CR-V Automatic tranny is great to tow but you have to follow the Honda prep exactly. You also need to cycle the BrakeBuddy 5 times to work the vacuum out of the CR-V brake system. I made check list that I religously check the box for every item in the "preflight" checklist. Also gives me a record showing I did the Honda procedure to the letter incase there is ever a problem with the tranny (have never had this happen and don't expect to have any problems)

Honda instructions from my checklist.

Perform Honda Tow prep procedure
  • Start the engine
  • Press on the brake pedal. Shift the transmission select lever through all of the positions (P,R,N,D,2,1)
  • Shift to D, then to N. Let the engine run for 4 minutes then turn off the engine
  • Release the parking brake
  • Leave the ignition switch in ACCESSORY (I) position so the steering wheel is not locked. Turn off all accessories such as radio, heater fan, etc

If you travel more than 8 hours in one day (including stopping time) you must repeat the above procedure

BrakeBuddy procedure
  • Attach BrakeBuddy to brake pedal
  • Move BrakeBuddy controller into position and adjust seat
  • Plug in power cable into power adapter port
  • Plug in disconnect cable into BrakeBuddy
  • Plug in remote transmitter cable into Brake Buddy
  • Do Test cycle five times and adjust seat and verify that remote transmitter is sending signal to the motor home

When you are removing the BrakeBuddy disconnect the power from the cigarette lighter and then release the air pressure from the controller. Will prevent the unit from accidentally cycling if you lean on the test button while removing the unit.

On edit
Think the BrakeBuddy now comes with the remote transmitter (one goes in the toad and connects to the BB control unit and one goes in the RV and lights up when the brakes go on in the toad), and the disconnect switch.

I had the disconnect switch mounted to the BlueOx baseplate on the passenger side between the adapter receiver and the safety cable tang. Was easy to do with the front facia off the CR-V. Drilled and tapped for a screw and mounted the switch. Ran the wires for the switch up along the passenger side fender and put the wires through the existing wiring gasket on the passenger side of the firewall (comes out behind the glove box). Took awhile (and a few utterances of "hail Mary full of grace..) but saved me drilling another hole through the firewall.

* This post was edited 07/30/03 10:29am by summersr *

Posted By: ONels21963 on 07/30/03 07:51am

Thanks so much for all your info especially on the CRV prep and brake buddy, I'm printing all this out now, a check list is an excellent idea.

Posted By: Ray F on 07/30/03 08:02am


With regards to the roof issue previously mentioned, there have been numerous people (myself included) who have had major roof leaks in their 2000-2002 Minnies. Winnebago redesigned the roof for model year 2003 and on, but there has been at least one forum member with a leak on a 2003. Keep in mind that the majority of Minnie's probably do not leak as only those that do leak get attention. One common thread among all those that do leak is a lack of factory support from Winnebago to work with owners to rectify the problem. You may want to do a search on this topic to help you in your decision making.

Out of frustration in the midst of our roof leak situation, we looked at replacing our Minnie with another brand. The problem is, we could not find anything that suited us better than what we already had. If you do decide on the Minnie, keep a close eye on condition of the roof joint sealant. Winnebago recommends an inspection by an authorized dealer every 6 months.

Posted By: summersr on 07/30/03 10:21am

As Ray F mentioned some of the pre 03's had leak problems. Would be interesting to see what the precentage was. My 02 30V has been leak free. Having said that it would be damn frustrating to have to go through the process Ray F did to get the problem resolved. Would think the elimination of the front overhead window and side overhead windows would help (is that way with the entertainment center option). Don't know if Winnebago is worse than any other RV manufacturer on fixing major problems. As you usually hear about the problems here one would hope they would represent a minority of units built. Based on Ray F's experience it would appear that Winnebago should be asking themselfs what the cost of customer loyalty is worth. A customer with a bad experience is not going to be coming back and will be telling all those that they know not to buy their product.. Dumb..Dumb[emoticon]

In a previous post I mentioned the units come prewired for the rear monitor. I got the engineering drawings from Winnebago regarding how the wires were run and an email that told me how to access the wires. The rear camera wire was not in the center of the rear cap as the drawing showed. Took it to the dealer and gave him the drawing/email and asked him to find the cable. It was stuffed in the left rear channel. The dealer had to remove the cap to pull it out. As the dealer removed it before calling Winnebago, Winnebago would not cover the dealers labor for removing the cap. Winnebago claimed the dealer did not have to remove the cap only take out the bottom screws and reach up into the cap and pull the cable out. Dealer ate the 2 hours of labor. Looks like the new rear caps have a plug and a molded recess for the camera and I would assume the cable for the camera is now behind the plug.

Other minor problems Winnebago paid without any problem (clock mounting bracket was mounted to low and the screws damaged the shade over the door, A/C thermostat fan switch wired backwards, armrest on drivers seat had broken bracket).

On edit..
A thread regarding a Fleetwood problem..

* This post was edited 07/30/03 12:42pm by summersr *

Posted By: Ray F on 07/30/03 12:58pm


I appreciate your comments. I believe that the leak problems indicated on this forum are definitely from a minority of owners. Let's face it, the people posting here are enthusiasts and are going to be more vocal (as much as a forum posting can be vocal [emoticon]) than the typical rv'er. While I have had my problems with Winnebago, I am not going to bash them other than by stating the facts of my situation to others so they can make a more logical decision. I don't know if I would purchase another Winnebago product (this is my second), but that final decision would be based more on how I was treated rather than the actual problem with my Minnie.

Posted By: mitch on 07/30/03 02:28pm

We have a 29' Minnie, 2000.
Wish it were as reliable as our Camry...unfortunately it isn't. We have had to replace the converter, water pump, LP gas detector, one valve on the stove, aux battery, and had the differential rebuilt after 40,000 miles. Roof leaks seem to pop up every 6 months or so, and it's often taken our dealer two or three tries to seal them all. We did get an extended warantee which covered everything, and that has proven to be a good purchase.

That said...we really like the unit and would probably buy another Minnie when this one finally gives out. When everything is working, it is very comfortable, we like the layout, and the size is ideal for us.

Mitch, Amanda, and the cats.
29' Class C, Winnebago Chalet

"Inside every older person is a young person wondering what the hell happened."

Posted By: rayterry on 07/30/03 04:48pm

Can not say enought about the "ccc". Most units do not have enought "ccc". Also find out if Ford, has actually certified the modified chassis. Check with Ford, 800-444-3311, Motor Home Customer Assistanbce Center. You may find that Ford does not recommend or stand behind the modifications.

Do you want a vehicle that Ford does not stand behind?

Posted By: Ray F on 07/31/03 07:37am

Most mainstream motorhome manufacturers (including Winnebago)are certified by Ford to modify the chassis.

Posted By: rayterry on 07/31/03 08:20am

That is not true. Try an get a copy of the certification. Call 800-444-3311, Ext. 6174 and ask Fred Ellis of Ford Motor Home Customer Assistance. Ford does issue guidlines. This is what is incorrectly linked to the certification comment that is misleading. The Ford statement is: "Your motorhome chassis has been stretched by the manufacturer. Ford does not recommend that the manufacturer perform this modification, but if they do guidelines are supplied by FMC." Also read your Ford warranty book. If the vehicle is modified the waranty is void.

Like you I was under the understanding that the chassis was certified. Ford will not certify any modifications to their product.

Write the MFG and Ford and get a copy of the certification. They may send you a welding specification.

Posted By: Ray F on 07/31/03 09:48am

Here is a list of the Qualified Vehicle Modifiers. I'm sure there is probably some loophole that Ford could use to deny warranty coverage based on a modified chassis. If that is the case, there would be many posts on this forum from denied warranty claims on any Class C over 24-26 feet for problems associated with chassis modifications by the manufacturer. I cannot recall seeing any posts related to this issue and, in my opinion, I would not use this stipulation for selection of a particular motorhome.

Posted By: summersr on 07/31/03 12:07pm

Guess I am weighing in on Ray F's side..

The Ford site states:

Warranty - The Ford motorhome chassis has a limited warranty for 3-years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Parts of the vehicle manufactured by Ford Motor Company are listed in the Warranty Information Booklet*** that comes with the recreation vehicle. It states the RV owner's rights and responsibilities, and should be read carefully.

In the Warranty Info book under "Other Items and Conditions Not Covered" the first bullet is:
  • Non-Ford parts of your vehicle, for example, parts (including glass)installed by body builders or manufactures other than Ford....

Additionally it states: Ford Motor Company may deny your warranty coverage if your vehicle or a part has failed because of abuse, neglect, improper maintenance, unapproved modifications....

The link in Ray F's post lists Manufacturers that are approved by Ford as Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) Class A, B and C Motorhome Manufacuturers

Ford also has setup a Motorhome Customer Assistance Center - This 24 hour, seven-days-a-week hotline was designed to serve both motorhome owners and RV dealers. By dialing 1-800-444-3311, the caller has access to the nearest appropriate service location, assistance in scheduling a service appointment and service assistance for motorhome customers and RV dealers in resolving Ford chassis-related concerns

Posted By: rayterry on 07/31/03 04:38pm

I called Winnebago Industries and talked to Rod in Owner Relations, 800-537-1885. Rod checked with their chassis engineers and confirmed that Ford does not certifiy the chassis. Ford does provide guidlines.

The fact that any RV purchaser should know is that Ford does not recommend modification to their chassis. Ford does not certify the chassis modifications.

Yes, many RV MFG do modify the the Ford chassis.

Many people, like myself, do not understand this relationship between Ford and the RV Industry. What you do with this information is up to the individual.

I feel the consumer should know, up front, that the chassis has been modified and that the Ford warranty has limitations and the true motorhome cargo carrying capacity.

Posted By: ArrowShooter on 08/01/03 10:27pm

Picked up our 2004 Minnie 29B on the 16th. Just got back from the coast, it was great! The unit is fantastic! CCC is 1014 pounds figured with 4 passengers, only two of us so CCC is more like 1250#. We have the entertainment center instead of the over cab bed. Air springs, outside entertainment center, automatic step, fantastic fan, VCR/DVD player, all the goodies. Didn't get the inverter, don't know if I will ever need it. Holding tanks went the full four days, batteries too! Filled it with all we needed, weighed it at the scales, 13450 pounds, with full water tanks, gas, etc. Thats 600 pounds under 14050 GVWR. We love ours!

Norm [emoticon]

Oh yeah, we didn't pull a toad, but will start thinking about getting one. [emoticon]

* This post was edited 08/02/03 09:32pm by ArrowShooter *

2004 Winnebago Minnie 29B, double slide
2004 Honda CR-V, Brake Buddy
Roadmaster Falcon 2 All-Terrain


Cancer Survivor! See your Doctor regularly!
If you want me to drive faster, buy my gas!!

Posted By: ONels21963 on 08/02/03 01:24pm

We can't thank you enough for all the info. We were really glad to hear you have no problems with the CCC. There will also be only two of us so we should have no problems. It was really great to hear positive feedback. We now feel much better about our decision. Did you have a toad? If so could you let us know how things went. Thanks again.

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