Let’s Get CLEAR About: What Is A Winnebago?

Now, when traveling is no longer taboo, everyone mentions Winnebago at every possibility given. But what is a Winnebago in the first place? And how to choose the right vehicle before setting off?

This article collected all tips for finding a perfect van or motorhome and paying the right price for the right comfort.

RV Travel Trailer

What is a Winnebago?

Winnebago Industries, Inc. is a long-standing national manufacturer of outdoor lifestyle transport. The most common vehicle under the Winnebago brand includes travel trailers, motorhomes, boats, and fifth-wheel products. 

Considering the extent of production and the long history of Winnebago (since 1958), the company’s name became synonymous with the RV home and is a part of American industrial culture.

Winnebago’s mission is to provide the best transport for the outdoor lifestyle to maximize the positive experience.

Winnebago’s History 

The history of Winnebago starts in February 1958 in Winnebago County, Iowa. John K. Hanson, a local businessman in Forest City, founded a travel trailer factory. At the time, the city fell victim to an economic downturn, and opening a company of that sort looked like a hope for revival.

With other community leaders, Hanson persuaded the Modernistic Industries – another important player in the sphere – to start the business. 

As expected, the beginning was difficult, forcing Hanson to sell the entire operation. However, he managed to stay in a  ruling position in a new team and even become the company’s president.

In 1960, the company received its now-household name – Winnebago Industries. 

Around the same time, the company started manufacturing furniture and components for Winnebago travel trailers. Thermo-Panel construction has become one of the most revolutionary innovations of that time.

Six years later, the company released its first motorhome, which is now considered classic Winnebago RVs. The motorhome gained immense popularity in the RV community for its lower price, while the brand became a symbol of contemporary RVs and vans. 

Winnebago always tried to keep up with the customers’ needs. Within a decade after its launch, the company introduced Class A Winnebago motorhomes like Brave and Chieftain. These models were a cheap and compact option. The Brave became one of the most popular Winnebago campers. It continues to be one of the most demanded classic RVs.

In 1973, the company presented the Minnie Winnie van – a 19-½ feet (5.9 m) long van. Back then, Winnebago vans were riding on the Dodge B-series van chassis, classic for that kind of transport. Minnie Winnie was an affordable Class C van for a long time.

As time went by, the company added longer models the customers found convenient. However, when the fuel prices spiked over time, it changed the strategy and went on to make small Winnebago vans. For example, the“Winnie Wagon” RV became a savior for many Americans and continues its popularity strike today.

Winnebago is staying at the top of the industry because of the company’s attention to the trends. Following the typical fashion, it released its large diesel pusher Class A vehicles and compact Winnebago travel trailers.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the company used techniques from motorhome production to develop light- and medium-duty utility cars. The “Route Van” resulted from their efforts, with front-wheel-drive and aluminum revetment making it an affordable and comfortable vehicle. 

The company was also the first to present the Winnebago Travato as a Class B van. Another model, the Revel, has become an affordable off-road vehicle. 

The creativity of Winnebago found its expression in commercially profitable partnerships. For example, Winnebago joined efforts with Volkswagen to create the Rialta model. They also built a diesel-powered RV, positioned between a Class A and Class B type of vehicle.    

Six years ago, Winnebago decided to increase its recreational vehicle collection by acquiring the Grand Design RV brand. This way, the renewed assortment of travel trailers with fifth wheels and toy haulers. 

One of Winnebago’s latest purchases was Barletta Pontoon Boats last year, which specialized in making pontoon boats. The asset cost over $300 million.   

Another thing Winnebago RVs can boast is comfort. Convenience has always been a priority for the company to improve quality and control expenses. Most Winnebago travel trailers include a bathroom, mini-kitchen, refrigerator, microwave, sink, and storage compartments.  

Different models have special features. For example, the Winnebago “Roam” motorhome includes a remote-controlled wheelchair lift that also serves as a seat during the ride. Winnebago campers like “Solis” have a pop-up top with a solar grid. 

These are just two examples of Winnebago’s innovation and attention to detail. Eventually, it became the secret of the nation’s love.   

Travel Trailer at the sunset

Other Interesting Facts About the Brand

With a giant like Winnebago in the industry, it can be difficult to trace all the beginnings and basics. That’s why we have compiled the list of all important things one should know about Winnebago.

  1. Who is Winnebago’s Owner?

Winnebago Industries is a leading U.S. motorhome and outdoor lifestyle product producer headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Michael Hoppe is the current CEO. 

Winnebago’s employee number currently includes 6,532 people at administrative offices and manufacturing facilities.

  1. Where Does the Production Take Place?

The first production of Winnebago motorhomes started within Winnebago County, Forest City, in Iowa State. As the business flourished, the company expanded to three line facilities – in Charles City, Waverly, and Lake Mills, Iowa. 

The production in Forest City and other cities goes on in technologically advanced manufacturing facilities. 

Winnebago offers free factory tours from April through October. The Winnebago staff provides the protective clothes but bans video and photography.

  1. Are Winnebago Vans of Good Quality?

Winnebago has been developing its quality since the very beginning. Most fans of trailer traveling would agree the Winnebago RV home is the ideal worth aiming at. 

Since the company started manufacturing its furniture and smart tech for its vans, it could control the final product’s quality and vision. In other words, Winnebago took full responsibility and thus their reputation. 

Winnebago cares about its decades-long reputation of preserving all original details to keep prices lower and compete successfully. 

In sum, the high quality and full liability made Winnebago one of the most dependable brands in the industry.

  1. What is Winnebago RV like?

Class A vehicles include diesel and gas engines. As for the Class B models, they often have some unique additions like pop-up tops, wheelchair lifts, and others. They can be more luxurious depending on the model. 

The main feature of Class C vehicles is the size variety. Most Winnebago travel trailers range from 20’ to 38’, allowing mobility and convenience for all occasions.   

  1. Is the Average Winnebago Expensive?

The price for a Winnebago van depends on the type exclusively. The price range for RVs starts from $38,000 to $450,000. 

Winnebago travel trailers are usually the most affordable for an average citizen.

The Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for an average RV or travel trailer would be around $45,000-$50,000.     

For Class A vehicles, the price range starts at $175,000 and goes up to $450,000. And as for Class B, the cheapest options cost around $115,000, with more expensive vehicles starting at $205,000. Important to note – the prices do not include upgrades. 

  1. What are the Most Popular Winnebago Vans?

The Winnebago Travato is definitely the most popular customer’s choice. Travato is a Class B van with a gasoline-powered engine and comfortable design. 

The vehicle has four floorplans with double-duty amenities. Winnebago inside includes a lounge, a Murphy bed below storage, and a small convenient kitchen area. Winnebago offers several color options for the interior design, allowing customers to add some individuality.

Are They Worth It?

Having gone through the history of Q&A basics of Winnebago campers, the final answer to the question “Is it worth it?” is definitely yes. Winnebago is the industry veteran that sets standards for new companies while keeping its perfect reputation and staying up to date. 

That said, Winnebago offers so many options for most kinds of travel that finding an affordable and practical vehicle will not be a problem.

Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer

Parting Thoughts

The pandemic made people hungry for traveling but craving comfort simultaneously. Winnebago embodies these features and creates a vehicle one can call home. Travel and home have never been parallel to Winnebago, and their vans perfectly combine both.

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