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Old 05-15-2015, 12:15 PM   #1
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Why Do Winnebago TT's Cost More?

Hi Everybody,

I'm new to RVs in general and have been shopping around for our first Travel Trailer.

I've searched a number of brands and they all more-a-less look a lot alike. The only one that really stands out in price is Winnebago and Airstream.

Granted Airstream is considered luxury but aside from branding Winnebago doesn't look much different than a number of brands out there. They also offer similar size, tank, water heater, and amenities as other brands.

Winnebago doesn't even post insulation ratings which leads me to wonder even further. Is it just branding or is there something more to Winnebago to justify the extra cost?

Has anybody had experiences in Winnebago versus another brand? Any feedback would be wonderful. Thanks for reading.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:08 PM   #2
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Winnebago Motorhomes (I have a Winnebago View) have the reputation of being a quality vehicle. I am very pleased with the quality of my View.

Winnebago is, and has been the "name" and "the Standard" in the industry-so they do cost more.

Winnebagos sell for more (generally) and retain their market value very well (higher resale than most other motorhomes).

Judge for yourself-if they do not look any better, and they sell for more than the competition-then do not buy one. There are plenty of blogs to follow concerning how other folks think the competitors products hold up- to help you find the right one.

My Winnebago View is on a Mercedes Diesel chasis-and it cost a bunch! But I am planning on getting a good resale value when I dispose of it next year. Time will tell.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deny View Post
Winnebago Motorhomes (I have a Winnebago View) have the reputation of being a quality vehicle. I am very pleased with the quality of my View.

Winnebago is, and has been the "name" and "the Standard" in the industry-so they do cost more.

Winnebagos sell for more (generally) and retain their market value very well (higher resale than most other motorhomes).

Judge for yourself-if they do not look any better, and they sell for more than the competition-then do not buy one. There are plenty of blogs to follow concerning how other folks think the competitors products hold up- to help you find the right one.

My Winnebago View is on a Mercedes Diesel chasis-and it cost a bunch! But I am planning on getting a good resale value when I dispose of it next year. Time will tell.
Well, I wouldn't say they look the same quality as all brands. Just that some make RVs (or travel trailers rather) that look pretty solid as well. The thing is looks can be deceiving. We have really just started looking online and really need to see some in-person.

We do appreciate their reputation. My wife and I say that they seem like the gold standard for RVs. That being said we aren't concerned with the motor mechanics as we only plan on purchasing a travel trailer. I imagine the hull is built pretty much the same though. That's something I'd have to ask a sales rep.
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Old 05-15-2015, 03:33 PM   #4
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I don't see where they are priced higher than other "better" trailers you find from other manufacturers. There's a lot of entry level trailers, and then you see the better ones that are priced higher. With the Minnie line, you're looking at fiberglass side walls, so they are going to be pricier than the aluminum sided trailers. From our shopping, and we looked at a lot of trailers, the Minnie line come well equipped and the fit and finish is pretty good. I've had mine since the fall of 2013 and we've put in quite a few nights including some longer trips and our 2201DS has really done well. The major factors in us deciding on the Minnie are: 1. outdoor kitchen with bar fridge 2. roomy bath with lots of storage space which we need for trips of 1-3 months 3. floorplan with entertainment wall which makes it possible to use 1 television for both kitchen/dining area and bedroom.

Winnbago also does a good job with the cabinets as they are nice and solid. I've modified ours with access doors on the dinnette ends, slide out shelves for one dinnette storage area and both shelves in the pantry. The flooring is solid...no bounce and I was in some cheaper trailers that had real questionabe floors.

That being said, I would say Winnebago makes a nice trailer, but I wouldn't consider it anwhere near what I would call a luxury trailer or super high end. But if it was built the way I would like it to be, it would be too heavy for a 1/2 ton truck and too expensive for my budget. Anyone buying a camper just has to look carefully and buy what they feel is a good product that is within their budget. Really high end RVs tend to be either coaches or fifth wheels, and even in that market, the choices seem fewer than years ago (I'm talking about FW trailers).
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:33 PM   #5
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Are you looking at TT's or MH's, the threads talk both.... If your talking TT I"ll throw in my 2 cents... JAYCO starting with the Jayflight.. we looked for 2 years or more at different brands, and layouts.. we settled on the Jayco Jayflight 26rks and love it... easy to pull, we got Bunk Beds, and a queen bed in the front.. we have used it several times and love it... Yep, there are more expensive TT's even in the Jayco line, but bang for the buck we felt the Jayco met our needs and so far it has.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:06 PM   #6
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Look at Grand Design Reflection TTs, Jayco Eagle, Gulf Breeze Champaign series, and some of the others that actually compare to the Winnebago. The three mentioned are on my short list but the Winnebago Ultra Lite is on top of it right now. All the appliances are generally the same. The quality differences will be in the build. Attention to detail and what materials are used will be what makes it last, or sit at the dealer waiting for repairs, while turning into a money pit. Also, you'll find TTs are priced kind of in tiers. There are the ultra cheap, the cheap, the mildly expensive, the expensive, and Airstream... in a price class all their own. It takes some experience to get to the point where you are concerned about buying a well-built unit, instead of one that just looks good. Those experiences as mentioned above, can make a cheap trailer turn expensive quickly once the initial 1-year warranty is up.


If you're new, you might want to look for a slightly used trailer from an individual that's very handy at fixing things. My trailer is better than new, because I am handy, and all the bugs are worked out. I've even done some upgrading, like a stainless steel kitchen sink. It's on new, much better tires, and the wheel bearings and brakes have been maintained meticulously. I can show you anything about the trailer, because I've worked on just about every part at this point. Not a sales pitch, mine won't be up for sale for about another year.


From what I've seen... the Winnebago is a better trailer than many... including my brand. Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2015, 06:33 AM   #7
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They just seem to be screwed together better, too. They use the higher end materials like all aluminum framing and the part I like best is that they are the only TT that use gel coat fiberglass. Do an online search for the difference. Gel coat fiberglass is what is used on boats and really high end motorhomes. It does not have the grainy, dull look that all other fiberglass TTs have.
One more thing, I found the Minnie and Ultralight Winnebagos have some of the best, efficient floorplans. There are other, similar ones out there, but the difference is in the well thought out storage and little knick-knacks that are in them.

Lastly, the Winnebago TT are built on the same line as Sunnybrook, which is another one of those high-quality brands. Winnebago bought Sunnybrook around 2010 as a solid foundation to get back into the TT market. There are some similarities, for good reason. It's like Winnebago took the best parts of Sunnybrooks TTs, made them modern, fresh and really dressed them up to become the new benchmark.

They are in the "unique" corner with the Airstreams, but just not quite that highbrow or expensive.
And as to the price, shop around and time it well. You can get a smokin' deal.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:25 AM   #8
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recognition

name brand recognition

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Old 05-16-2015, 07:32 AM   #9
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The Winnebago mini comes in Red, Yellow, and Blue (I think). Now that just looks too cool. When I looked at Winnebago trailers I was not that impressed. They seemed to be about average in build quality and nothing special except the color.

Winnebago had to buy Sunnybrook in 2010/2011 to get into the towable market. Now Sunnybrook was building better than average trailers before Winnebago bought them.
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Old 05-16-2015, 08:10 AM   #10
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We have a 2013 2451BHS. As someone said previously manuf.s build certain models to specific price specs. The Minnie Winnie TT is a high end trailer not in the league with Airstream, but for triple the price what is? The difference you will see in the Minnie are the robustness and quality of the parts as well as the build. The sides are fiberglass, unlike many the coating is thick enough that no "print-thru" shows. They are not just masonite coated in fiberglass. You can't compare them with cheap aluminum sided boxes. Construction is solid, all appliances are top of the line. There are a few of these on the market, people often make mistakes buying TTs (too small, too big, really wanted a bus...) and you can probably save yourself ten G's buying used.

Things we don't like. The vent hatches are cheap chinese junk. We store outside here in FL and the sun ate them up in two years, basically just crumbling around the edges. We replaced them with polystyrene ones from Camping world. Our "queen size" bed is only 75" long (short queen). The new Winnies supposedly have an 80" bed. I'm going to see how they did that at the show in Tampa. I imagine the trailer is a foot longer like the Skylines. The air conditioner is LOUD! inside the trailer, nice and quiet outside. I think it is just drumming the roof when it runs. The dining room table is particle board covered with formica, easily water damaged. Ours had a hump that the dealer never got around to replacing. Ours came with no awning for the slide, make the dealer put one on as any little stick in the top seals will cause a river to pour in over the dining room table. Check the frame fit around the bottom of the bed, ours had a gap of about 1/2 in. and it broke on our first trip. We added a support under the gas lifts too as that little 1x3 needs some help. Buy a big tow vehicle (we have an Expedition), these are not as lite as they claim and it will push/pull a small vehicle around. The brakes can overheat in bad stop and go traffic (they all do I think), then the trailer will push the tow vehicle slightly at a stop. This scares the H out of the wife. We just get off as soon as possible and do something else for a while. Buy a good weight distributing hitch with sway control, probably a Reese, ours is junk. We've had some sway problems and found that unlike most trailers there is less sway if you put most of the load; ice, luggage, etc. over the trailer wheels vs up front on the hitch. Our is spec'd for a hitch weight of 630 lbs it's actually 820 with nothing stored up front.

Anyway they all have their quirks. We love the trailer, good luck finding yours.
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Old 05-16-2015, 08:40 AM   #11
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And then there is Outdoor RV and Artic Fox Trailers. They are a class of their own too. We looked at so many TT's but settle on an Outdoor RV Blackstone. We got a quality built 4 season trailer with the look of some luxury. My advice: there are a lot of very similar floor plans if not identical in different manufacturers. Look closely at the fine detail inside. We are getting older and didn't want furniture that was uncomfortable to sit on. I wanted a kitchen that has counter space. That was a biggy for me. And we both love the bed. We do not have to spend lots of money to upgrade the full queen mattress. Advice: Don't talk to the saleman as they don't always know the right answers. Talk to a person from the factory. We learned a lot that way.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:43 AM   #12
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Yep....when you start looking at true 4 season trailers, it's another classification. However , it usually means adding weight. I just wish Winnebago offered the option of thermal windows and heated underbelly in their Minnie trailers as I would have gladly paid a bit more to get those options. Heck, there's only 4 window in my trailer! I would have liked the thermal windows just to avoid condensation, and if you have an enclosed underbelly, why not have the ability to divert some warm air to the area when you need it?
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:04 PM   #13
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.... and if you have an enclosed underbelly, why not have the ability to divert some warm air to the area when you need it?
If your heat is ducted through the floor, you should have plenty of heat down there.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:18 PM   #14
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... you can probably save yourself ten G's buying used...Buy a big tow vehicle (we have an Expedition).
We looked at used for almost a year. You can save, but not ten Gs. Not for a "good" used trailer that's not outdated or smelly.

We towed our Minnie with a VW Touareg for a year and had no issues at all. Now mostly with a 3/4 ton Ram. The issues you describe sound like they may be related to other issues related to the tow vehicle or setup. Not sure, but weight is what it is, regardless the brand of trailer.
I never needed WD or sway control with either tow vehicle. It's rock solid.
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