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Old 09-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #1
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Winnebago 2201DS Review (a little long!)

Winnebago Minnie 2201DS Maiden Voyage!

We just got back from our "shakedown trip" with our Winnebago Minnie 2201DS travel trailer. We took a short trip down the road for 3 nights at American Wilderness Campground in Grafton, Ohio. After owning a 29' Sunline TR-280 trailer for 10 years, this was our first trip in our smaller (26'9" overall length) Minnie. Since the Winnebago Towable line is only in it's second year, I thought a little review might be of interest!

Overall impression is that we like the trailer very much and it will serve our needs. Spending some time in the trailer has confirmed our opinion that the fit and finish is pretty good and a lot better than we saw on many others, but with a higher price on the Minnie, one should expect a better product.

Pros:

1. Outside kitchen is really nice. I cooked a steak dinner with the Weber Q set up near the two burner stove where we boiled some potatoes. The sink was handy to have for wiping up a few spills and clean-up. The bar fridge would have been nice, but see the "Cons".

2. Gotta love the electric awning! Those weren't around when we bought the Sunline, so it's so nice to just hit the switch and watch it work!

3. As anticipated, double wardrobe and cabinet space in bathroom is great. Plenty of room to store linens, clothes, etc. Sink area with countertop space and spacious medicine cabinet is a huge improvement over what we had in the Sunline.

4. U shaped dinette will meet our needs for indoor seating/dining. We added a office style desk chair from Sam's for 1 additional comfy seat along with a very light stuffed "ball" footrest from Target. The chair can be transported on its side on the floor in front of the bathroom door with plenty of room for the slideout to retract. And, you can walk past the chair to get to the bathroom.

5. For two very hot days, the AC kept us nice and cool and the ducted system kept the inside temps pretty even from front to rear. On the third morning, it was quite cool, and a check of the furnace proved that it will do the trick. Be warned...initial start and burn-off of furnace paint or whatever triggered the smoke alarm! You would think the dealer would have done this when they did their set-up/testing.

6. The galley as expected....good 3 burner stove, standard Dometic fridge, microwave oven. Once I took the kitchen faucet off and tightened a loose nut, the faucet worked beautifully! With the pantry cabinet, storage is adequate...a little challenging compared to what we had in the Sunline, but good for a smaller trailer.

7. Having the swing around TV is great for watching TV from dinette or bedroom.

8. Towing with 5.7 Tundra/Equalizer 4 Pt. hitch is just a pleasure. The truck isn't being strained, and I can definitely feel the difference compared to 8K+ Sunline.

Cons:

1. Mattress - As to be expected, the mattress was terrible, unless you like sleeping on a board, and we had 2 egg crate foamies on top of it. After one night of less than great sleep, we headed to Sam's Club and bought a full size mattress which would fit on the platform built for a short queen. DW and I are used to having a full (did the same thing in the Sunline) and buying a full mattress is much less costly than ordering a short queen!

2. Bar fridge in outside kitchen was DOA. Winnebago really bought lousy fridges. The thermostat control is located at the back of the unit near the compressor. To access the on/off/thermostat control, you have to remove a access panel in the wardrobe and reach down to either plug/unplug the unit or use the control. Seriously...what idiot decided to do this. Since there is an electrical outlet in the outdoor kitchen, why not have the fridge plug into it, or put the dedicated fridge outlet where it would be accessible??

On the positive note, one email to Winnebago, and they've ordered a new unit and hope to have it when we have an outside ladder installed at the factory in a little over a week.

3. AC unit is a little bit noisier than what we had on the Sunline. The unit is located midway of the kitchen/dinette area, so it's most bothersome when trying to watch the television. When you're on the bed, it's not a problem.

4. 25 gallon holding tanks for gray and black water are a little limiting. I knew this when we bought the trailer, but as we're over 60, we tend to seek out full hook-up camp sites. I had to use the blue tote once. And....as expected.....the tank gauges aren't reliable, especially the black tank gauge which was reading 3/4 full when it wasn't anywhere close to that.

5. A few more electrical outlets would have been nice, especially in the following areas:
1. Next to the left side of the bed. I plan to add a reading light, so I'' probably have to figure a way to run a line from the outlet by the right side of the bed.
2. Dinette area. Only outlet is on the center of the front panel of the slide-out along the floor. Why not put an outlet on one of the side walls to make it more convenient for plugging in a toaster, computer, fan, etc.?

And, that's really the only cons we've discovered so far.

Bottom line: The Winnebago 2201DS is working out very well for us and we're pleased with the quality and the customer service we're getting from Winnebago Towables. If you're looking at travel trailers, I suggest you look at the Winnebago line and make your own comparison. Updates to follow as we spend more time on the road and enjoying our travels!!
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:58 PM   #2
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Great Review!!!! We have the 2101FBS and love it! This first season we have it at a Seasonal site and may do that again next summer--after that we may want to travel more.

I already have dreams of getting a hardier truck and moving up to the model you have!

I had to chuckle about your comment about the mattress---I like the mattress better than the one I have at home---which leads me to believe I may need a new mattress!!!,
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:55 PM   #3
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Well....Miss Vicki

I tell you what....that brick of a mattress is in our garage, and you may have it!
Seriously...if anyone in the Cleveland, Ohio area wants a brand new short queen mattress....only slept on one night...it's free for the taking!

The mattress may have been ok in our younger days....but DW and I like them on the softer side. Traveling with your own mattress....and favorite cold beveredge is one of the best things about having a travel trailer!
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:35 AM   #4
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2451 Mattress

Hi,

We have a 2013 2451 (like yours but without the big bath and outside kitchen has bunkbeds in the back) and we love the mattress. It may have been something that they eliminated in 2014. We like a firm mattress anyway and it may not have been stock on the Minnie. I'll get the brand name off it if your curious. The good mattress may have been switched out for 2014.

Thanks for your comment on the water tank guages as we've had a couple of occasions where It read full but there didn't seem to be a lot when we went to the dump out.

Does any one know how to tell if the tanks are full, other than the toilet backs up?

Enjoy your Minnie,

Bill
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the review, very informative. After five motorhomes over the years we are thinking of downsizing to a truck and trailer. We really like the looks of the Minnie 2101DS, now if we could only find one to look at here in Florida. We would like to be able to tow with a half ton truck, either Chevy/GMC or RAM, 2wd gas. What do you tow with? Any problems on the tow side?

Thanks, Mike
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
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CampingWorld in Bartow is one of their dealers, apparently not all Winnibago dealers carry these. It's convenient if you're anywhere in Tampa or Orlando. When we bought ours at the end of June they had a new 2014 2101 in stock. Frank Nicsinger was our salesman and he did a good job. 863-651-7110 I'd recommend him.

Good Luck,

Bill Fishbourne
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lthrnk View Post
Thanks for the review, very informative. After five motorhomes over the years we are thinking of downsizing to a truck and trailer. We really like the looks of the Minnie 2101DS, now if we could only find one to look at here in Florida. We would like to be able to tow with a half ton truck, either Chevy/GMC or RAM, 2wd gas. What do you tow with? Any problems on the tow side?

Thanks, Mike
Mike...I pull with a 5.7 Tundra 4WD. The truck is technically rated to tow 10K...but I wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis. The 2201DS pulls very easily behind the Tundra. Next Monday, I plan to take the rig to the CAT scales and I'll post the actual trailer weight and tongue weight if at all possible. I'm rather certain that my Sunline trailer was over 8K loaded, and that would have been the maximum weight I would have wanted to pull on a regular basis, and I'm not so sure how it would have handled going over the Rockies or other steeper slopes. I know the truck could do it, but it would put a lot of stress on the engine and transmission.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:19 AM   #8
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We noticed the same thing with our tanks----from what I've read on the JaycoForum, it seems to be the nature of the beast. Best thing is to keep it as clean as possible.

There are all kinds of devices to buy that are supposed to help get the tank cleaner---we are trying a simple one first. It has a connection to hook up the hose and spray water back UP into the tank.

Otherwise, a common practice is to look into the stool---if you see waste--time to dump!
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:02 AM   #9
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2101 only weighs about 4000 dry and 7500 total, hitch weight is about 500, so a full size pickup with a V8 should have no problem. The 2101 is not the same as the 2201. The 2201 is similar to our 2451, same weights. We're hauling the 2451 5000 dry and 8000 total with a 2012 Ford Expedition V8 limited with the factory tow package. No problems here in Florida (it's all flat!) seems to be plenty of power, but I don't know about the Rockies.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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Thanks, we're new to trailers so I'll look with a flashlight and judge it by that.

Bill
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:05 PM   #11
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2301bhds

We actually like the mattress, but ours is the foldable kind (over sofa). And our outside fridge has been great too, but it's clearly a different model since the control knob is inside on the freezer.

The AC is a little noisy, but not too bad. It kept us super comfy, even in August in GA. Some issue with the heat... smoke alarm till all the crud burned off.

Our black guage indicates empty when you dump, put if you sneeze in the bathroom, it's 2/3 full. All the others work perfectly still after a dozen trips.
Other than that, not one issue with ours. It's really been a pleasant experiance.

No problem at all towing it with our VW Touareg, even in the north GA mountains. Tons of power and very stable. I average about 16mpg towing. No sway or any other issues.
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:49 PM   #12
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Does anybody have some specific exterior measurements on the 2201ds? I'm not thrilled with the Winnebago website' measurements. We keep our trailer at a hunt camp for part of the year (thus why I can't go outside and measure myself) and I'm contemplating building a cover for it while it's there and need to know total length from tip of tongue to bumper, as well as how far out the slide extends and how far the slide is off the bumper so I can do some planning.

Anyone have measurements handy?
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by TDI-Minnie View Post

Our black guage indicates empty when you dump, put if you sneeze in the bathroom, it's 2/3 full. All the others work perfectly still after a dozen trips.
Other than that, not one issue with ours. It's really been a pleasant experiance.
I've come to the conclusion that the black tank gauge is useless. So, I just keep a close watch and/or dump the tank after 3 or 4 days. I've never owned or used a sprayer attachment that you spray the tank via the toilet opening, but I'm tempted to get one this spring and see if I can improve the gauge performance.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbwr View Post
I've come to the conclusion that the black tank gauge is useless. So, I just keep a close watch and/or dump the tank after 3 or 4 days. I've never owned or used a sprayer attachment that you spray the tank via the toilet opening, but I'm tempted to get one this spring and see if I can improve the gauge performance.
I do find the wand on the hose works well because when I use it, I'm always surprised how much stuff I can see come out through the clear hose section. It breaks up solids and eliminates the dreaded pyramid.
But the biggest advantage is the you really eliminate all black tank smell, so I always do it before any extended storage.
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:07 PM   #15
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Grey Tank on 2101FBS

Greetings,

I read a couple of posts about the incorrect readings on the tank gauges. I was wondering what would happen if the grey tank overfilled? Would it back up into the shower?

Grey, not black.

thx

Tim In Ashburn

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Old 12-27-2014, 09:07 PM   #16
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Mine did
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:39 AM   #17
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Yup, shower or the sink in the outdoor kitchen.
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