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Old 10-27-2013, 09:51 PM   #15
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We bought a bright yellow 1805 Minnie last spring. Because of a series of family crises this summer, we got one weekend in May or so, and a week from Victoria BC to Grande Prairie via Prince George and return (rather than the Yukon trip we had planned).

We like our " Buttercup". I made several modifications that others might be interested in.
1. Switched out all of the incandescent lamps to LEDs. I found 24 on the web for $27. Now we can have ALL of the lights on, and still draw less than one incandescent lamp. We can dry camp for 3 days on our two 6 volt batteries before we need to charge - which we do when we drive 300 km or so. I also installed 21 LED spots on the wall above the bed for reading at night.
2. I built one deep drawer and two shallow drawers under the dinette seats, for food, canned goods and cups/dishes. Very much better than lifting up the seats every time you want to access those spaces!
3. I had several old hard disks in my junk drawer, so I took the ceramic magnets out of them, mounted them on a plastic sheet on the wall near the sink and we keep knives and kitchen tools there rather than in the drawer. Handy.
4. I also built a bookshelf between the fridge and front storage locker, to store our books and reference library.

Our Toyota Tacoma pulls it fine on flat ground, but has to work on hills. If I keep the revs below 3000 I have to slow down, sometimes to 50 or 60 kph. We did get up the long long Coquihalla 18% grades, but I am glad there were slow lanes! I do not like narrow two lane highways with no passing lanes. There are too many impatient idiots on the roads.

We will probably get solar for next summer' and remove the TV and air conditioner (to save weight) since we plan to go north not south. We will also be much more careful about how much weight we carry. The Tacoma really sucked gas pulling the trailer, and with a load in the truck it was even worse.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:53 AM   #16
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I LOVE the drawers under the bench! Was that some sort of kit or did you design yourself?
I want to do the LED conversion too. Any chance you have a link to that deal you found?
The book rack is great too, but very high for center of gravity. I always try to keep heavy stuff as low as possible.

Removing the AC sounds like a lot of effort and risk for leaks. How will you cap it?
Air resistance at speed is a much bigger factor to me than weight.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:28 PM   #17
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Welcome Rogonna!!! Only a few more days--congrats!

TDI---love your picture! We put our camper to bed for the winter and covered her up. It'll be a long 6 months! I gotta move south!

Gary--great mods! Thanks for posting.

I hope we all keep posting and finding new Minnie Owners. I've belonged to the Fiberglass Forum for 4-5 years ( we have a 1988 molded fiberglass Perris Pacer) and I was feeling lonely not having anyone to share my love and ideas for Minnie Bee with!

Happy Camping!
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:17 PM   #18
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TDI---love your picture! We put our camper to bed for the winter and covered her up. It'll be a long 6 months! I gotta move south!
Thanks! Sorry to hear you're down for the winter already. I'm hoping to do only light winterization between uses (blow out the water lines with air) and put a little antifreeze down the drains. Here in Atlanta we'll only be limited mid December through mid February.
Hope you can live (camp) vicariously through your friends online.

Maybe I'm the only one, but I find myself taking lots of pictures of our Minnie every time we're out.
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:20 PM   #19
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You lucky! I, too, take a bazillion pics---even took pictures with the cover on!

We have the camper on a seasonal site, so haven't gone anywhere with it. It's definitely the most interesting camper in the park! And it's like a palace to us since the Perris Pacer is 10' x 6.5 ' inside!
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:55 PM   #20
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The drawers in our 'Buttercup' we're not kits. I have a table saw and just built simple boxes of 3/8" birch plywood and bought drawer rails from the lumberyard. I havn't yet put the front fancy panels on, but the drawers are functional. There are several other places that I might add more - like under the bed for example, and perhaps a small one over the right wheel well opening into the entrance way.

We don't have any centre of gravity issues. The book shelf keeps things up out of thee way.

I think that the air con weighs about 150 lbs and also increases air resistance a lot. I am not sure if I will do this, but it is a dead weight for us. I would like to see a big sky light there instead, but you are right, one would have to be careful about leaks!

The LED lights I used are at

http://www.ebay.com/itm/20pcs-T10-19...3&cmd=ViewItem

There is a catch however! The dual lamps fixture in the RV are wired in such a way that one lamp socket in the fixture is ok but the other ends up reverse polarity. If you just plug the LEDs in, one will work, one won't, unless you install it so the bulb points upwards!

Rather than rewire the light fixtures, it is simple to modify the LEDs (really) - only for the side of the lamp fixture that the LED doesn't work as is. You only have to do this for one side. Just remove the plastic end cap, cross the LED leads and use some 1/4" insulating sleeves ( You can use electrical tape, or strip some insulation from a piece of 16ga wire and slip that over the leads, and reassemble. This procedure is simple, fast (just a few minutes) and safe - remember we are talking about low voltage DC.

I got 20 lamps for $24.99 + $3 shipping. I figure even if the burn out after a few months I am way ahead, since using the LEDs saves our batteries.
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:50 AM   #21
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Light Bulb Change

We bought a bright yellow 2451 last year and we love it.

We found that the lights were way too bright for us and they got hot. I think they are 14 or 18 watt bulbs. Two of these in each fixture may make the interior look bright and cheery at an RV show but you don't need them on the road. So we swapped them out for four watt lights. You can get 4 or 7 watt bulbs in the lawn & Garden lighting area in Loews. They are about a buck a piece. We found we only needed one in each fixture and that's using just a four watt 40 Lumens. We may eventually get a dimmer for the dining table and put a 7 watt there to give us a little more light when we need it for fine work.

Here's a picture of the package.

Enjoy your Minnie

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Old 10-29-2013, 07:22 AM   #22
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We bought a bright yellow 2451 last year and we love it.

We found that the lights were way too bright for us and they got hot. I think they are 14 or 18 watt bulbs. Two of these in each fixture may make the interior look bright and cheery at an RV show but you don't need them on the road. So we swapped them out for four watt lights. You can get 4 or 7 watt bulbs in the lawn & Garden lighting area in Loews. They are about a buck a piece. We found we only needed one in each fixture and that's using just a four watt 40 Lumens. We may eventually get a dimmer for the dining table and put a 7 watt there to give us a little more light when we need it for fine work.

Here's a picture of the package.

Enjoy your Minnie

Bill
Ha! I have a bunch of these in the garage for my home landscape lights. I do love the LEDs though. Maybe a hybrid approach. LEDs for frequently used lights in kitchen etc and low V incandescents for dim mood lighting over the bed. LOL
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:00 PM   #23
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A hail storm went thru where we have our camper yesterday. Thank goodness we had it all covered up! Hail must have come straight down, as I didn't see any damage on the sides of other campers, but plenty of people were on their roofs!

Don't know what I would have done if we had damage---this past June hail totaled out our Jayco camper which was only 1yr old!

BTW---this Winnebago is a much nicer, better made camper!
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:43 AM   #24
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What was the nature of the hail damage on your old trailer? Roof leaks? Skylight damage?
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:12 AM   #25
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What a nightmare that hail on the Jayco became! The damage we could "see" was just a lot of pitting on the front---a few pings on the sides. The skylights had marks where the hail hit, but no breaks that we could see. Didn't see any leaks. In fact, we weren't even going to notify insurance company, and after we did, we wished we had not!

They totaled it and would pay $12,500 for a new one, or give us $5000 if we wanted to keep it. After speaking to the head office at Jayco, I was told if we kept it, they couldn't honor the second year of our warrenty, and they warned me there was probably damage I couldn't see.

We were heartsick, as we really loved that camper. We took the total payout, and then couldn't find another Jayco Swift 184BH. It would have been another 6-8 weeks till new ones came out.

So one night, I was searching the the Internet for other types of campers that would suit out needs. That's when I first saw the Minnie (at a dealer about 3 hours from us). We bought it sight unseen, and went to pick it up the next week.

It was $5000 more than the Jayco and worth every penny.

V
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:24 AM   #26
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What a nightmare that hail on the Jayco became! The damage we could "see" was just a lot of pitting on the front---a few pings on the sides. The skylights had marks where the hail hit, but no breaks that we could see. Didn't see any leaks. In fact, we weren't even going to notify insurance company, and after we did, we wished we had not!

They totaled it and would pay $12,500 for a new one, or give us $5000 if we wanted to keep it. After speaking to the head office at Jayco, I was told if we kept it, they couldn't honor the second year of our warrenty, and they warned me there was probably damage I couldn't see.

We were heartsick, as we really loved that camper. We took the total payout, and then couldn't find another Jayco Swift 184BH. It would have been another 6-8 weeks till new ones came out.

So one night, I was searching the the Internet for other types of campers that would suit out needs. That's when I first saw the Minnie (at a dealer about 3 hours from us). We bought it sight unseen, and went to pick it up the next week.

It was $5000 more than the Jayco and worth every penny.

V
Man, sorry to hear about that. Sounds like insurance was being cheap and Jayco wanted you to just buy another trailer. That sucks. I've had similar debates with myself over contacting the insurance.
But I am glad that it all worked out and you at least have a great storry and testimony about the Minnie.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:17 AM   #27
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It was $5000 more than the Jayco and worth every penny.

V
Since I was also looking at Jayco trailers before buying the 2201DS, I'm curious as to what makes the Winnebago worth the $5000 difference....especially in terms of quality of construction (if applicable).
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:37 AM   #28
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Some things are hard to tally. Personally, there is quality of materials (especially things like hinge hardware), layout, efficiency of storage and counter space, wheels/tires and fiberglass vs corrugated aluminum.
I also think the Minnies have a ageless classic look compared to the Jaycos that are lost in the crowd as soon as you park next to any other trailer. Some people might not like every color option, but that's why there are options!
Not to say Jaycos are bad at all. We considered them as well.
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