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Old 11-27-2023, 06:24 PM   #1
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Opinions of a 2017 Minnie Winnie 31K?

Noobie here Thinking of buying the 2017 31K with 39K miles ..Wondering how owners feel about them? - what problems have you encountered? How is the ride, any suspension upgrades recommended? Any water leaks? How is the E450 chassis- powerful enough?
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Old 11-28-2023, 09:43 AM   #2
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Greetings MrBaseBall,
The 31 of 31K is a reference to the length of the portion that Winnebago makes. The overall length is two feet longer at 32'-9" (see brochure.) It is a big rig, so you will want to know you want something that large. My 22M is 24'-2" and is also built on an E-450. I feel that my anti-sway and load capacities are just right, but you might find it possible to overload a 31K; at least a little.
As far as power, you should be fine. 2017 is a good year for the V-10, and it also comes equipped with the new even-ratio-change-between-the-gears 6-speed; a big improvement over the old 5-speed.
As shown on pages 14-16 of the aforementioned brochure, you will definitely want the optional front cap. It is the most common place from which the Minnie Winnie will develop water leaks. Also, it is important that the prior owner was maintaining the roof sealant. Driving under branches can scrape-off sections of the roof sealant; another source of possible leaks.
This motorhome is seven years old, so tires and batteries might also need to be considered. The tires can age-out with sun exposure, so were the tires protected all this time?
Have you ever rented RVs of this category? Sometimes, that will help refine your taste in what you need. In general, larger motorhomes are better when you have a baseball team you are transporting and/or like to go to destinations for extended periods, while the smaller motorhomes are better for site-to-site touring.
Welcome to the forum.
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Old 11-28-2023, 11:03 AM   #3
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While I have no experience with the Minnie Winnie... my first motorhome was a 31" Forest River Forester.

All I have to say about it is that that's a very looooong bit of house hung off the back of the E450. It created handling and ride issues that made driving it a real chore. By the time we got to our destination each drive day I was whipped.

My 37' Class A is not nearly as taxing and the 31' Class C.

I'm 100% positive that a Winnebago is much better than a Forest River, so your new rig has that on the plus side. Our FR was very disappointing. Out happiest day was when we traded it for our 2017 Adventurer.
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Old 12-03-2023, 05:11 PM   #4
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Check the exterior storage compartments very closely for rust. I have a 2015 Minnie Winnie 31K which I really enjoy - and it hasn't given me any grief really, except for the storage compartments. The bottom of the rear storage is some kind of indestructible plastic, but the side compartments are some kind of cheap galvanized metal. I've had to patch all the side compartments with plywood, angle iron and tons of PL Super construction adhesive. I've had this rig professionally undercoated every year, and the entire chassis and coach are in great shape - except for the storage compartments.
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Old 12-03-2023, 06:31 PM   #5
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I have the same rig, but a 2016 version. We've had it 3 years and have been satisfied with it since purchase. The E450 chassis is great; no problem. I have upgraded the shocks to improve handling; that helped quite a bit.

I have some corrosion on the cabinets as well, but I don't worry much about them. It is a big rig, so it takes a bit of driving to get used to maneuvering in tighter spaces. All systems work well--generator, water, propane, heat, air conditioning, and waste handling. No complaints on any.

Mine did have an annoying noise eminating from the engine. The noise was audible from about 2,200-2,500 RMPs and sounded exactly like spark knock. Turns out that Ford removed a serpentine belt idler pully from the driver's side of the engine, which let the belt vibrate slightly and "chirp". Easy to fix--add an idler pulley identicle to the one on the passenger's side of the engine. No noise since!

Be aware that they love to drink gas. At 60 mph maximum and 55 mph most of the time it gets 8-8.5 mpg. And at 70 mph, expect less than 7 mpg. It's a powerful and reliable engine, but it gets thirsty pretty fast.

Ours was pretty well equipped with HWH levelers and only 15,000 miles on it, and we paid $54,000 for it in 2020. It now has 35,500 and we are very satisfied with ours. Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2023, 08:40 PM   #6
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I have a 2017 31k and love it! I was not stoked with the length, but floorplan is king and I haven’t found a better floorplan. Tons of counter space in the kitchen so cooking is very easy. Mine was a prior rental with about 20k miles on it. I picked it up in 2018 and have put over 20k myself, commonly towing a jeep grand Cherokee or 21.5’ wakeboard boat. Plenty of power.

Handling was fine stock, but wind and the toad pushed me around a lil bc of the large rear overhang. I installed a rear track bar and Bilstein HD shocks all around and handles much better now.

I have done tons of mods/upgrades over the years, partially bc of the rental being fairly stripped down, but also bc I enjoy tinkering.

You will love the rear storage, about the same size as my prior 5’er, but you can easily overload it so be mindful of just how much weight you actually load. Ironically the OCCC is generally higher than a lot of shorter rigs from other manufacturers. Mine is around 3,000 lbs. all in all we love the rig and have taken it all over.

Oh ya, we also have the minor rust on the compartments. Haven’t had to do anything about it yet.
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Old 12-05-2023, 07:50 AM   #7
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I own a different brand on the 2015/6 Ford E450 chassis. Mine is a 31'. The chassis has proved itself to be solid and well-powered. We do have the newer 6-speed transmission.

We haven't driven long enough distances to worry about the handling. However, if we were keeping it, upgraded shocks, a Safe T Plus, and possibly an upgraded rear sway bar were under consideration.

The only odd thing we have noticed is a resonating sound at about 55 mph, so we drive just a bit faster or slower.

Mileage has ranged from 7.5 mpg to a trip with 10.1 mpg, that one was downhill with a tailwind. Most trips are in the high 8s to low 9s. I use 8 mpg for planning purposes.

The reason we are selling ours is to move up to a larger class A DP for more room and an improved ride.

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