Tag Archives: micro trailers

Small Trailer Snapshot: The Winnebago Minnie Drop 170S

In this entry of Small Trailer Snapshot, I’m featuring the Winnebago Minnie Drop 170S. Not only will I give you my thoughts on it, but I’m tag teaming with Josh “The RV Nerd” Winters, website manager and product specialist at Haylett RV of Coldwater, Michigan. We’ll give you our thoughts on why the 170S Minnie Drop is the best floorplan it has to offer.

Key Features: NXG engineered chassis; High gloss T-60 gel coat fiberglass sidewalls; One piece fiberglass roof; 13.5K BTU low profile air conditioner; Convection microwave oven; Audio Visual system: AM/FM/CD/DVD/USB/Bluetooth; USB charging ports; Gas electric refrigerator; 6 gallon gas/electric/DSI water heater; Power awning with LED lighting; Solar charge prep; 19″ television; Power tongue jack; Full dry bathroom; Kitchen slide out.

Key Specs: Total length 20’4″; Exterior height: 9’3″; Exterior width (body): 6’6″; Interior height: 6’5″; GVRW: 3800 lbs; Dry weight: 2800 lbs; Fresh water capacity: 31 gallons; Black tank capacity: 25 gallons; Gray tank capacity: 25 gallons; Furnace: 18K BTU; Water heater: 6 gallons; Hitch weight: 315 lbs; Awning length: 10′.

Why We Like It:

Josh: They brought a new take on a proven concept that is bringing more and more people into this world of small trailers. The execution of the model is pretty much flawless. And it’s the little details that set it apart like the positioning of the TV on its swing arm so it can be comfortably viewed from either dinette bench or the bed. Easily overlooked features like the jalousie windows for rainy day airflow (which is just so great when you’re boondocking it) are something that really pulls the experience together. The way they handled splitting/sharing the storage area by the entry door and bathroom is perfect. I’ve seen similar layouts across other brands make the mistake of offering no pantry or no bathroom cabinet. The 170s gives the perfect level of attention to both areas. They were the first in this class to offer a power awning (complete with easy tilt arms and LED lights at the base). The elliptical table dinette’s ability to easily float outside for picnic use is the perfect pairing. One of the best aspects of the floorplan is its ability to turtle up and be fully functional. You don’t really NEED the slide for the model to work — it just adds some breathing room you’ll appreciate. A lot of people miss the outside grill quick connect near the front storage door. I love how it’s positioned away from the awning so you’re not trapping smoke that might want to roll into the RV when you open the door.  But, as is the case with ANY Winnebago towable RV, the service records on the Minnie Drop series is superior to anything else we’ve seen in this market segment. There are other respectable brands for sure, but we’ve yet to find one this close to perfect.

Pat: In January of this year, I helped out a Winnebago dealer in Indianapolis, Braun’s Fun Time Campers, at the Indy RV Expo. When they introduced the 190RD floor plan late last year, I thought that would outsell all the other Minnie Drop floorplans combined. There were four of the Minnie Drop floorplans at the show and by far the 170S was the standout, far exceeding the 190RD. So many of the folks I talked to who looked at all four kept coming back to the 170S, noting that it was the floorplan that offered the most storage, the most functional layout, and had the best “open” feel. Besides the spacious bathroom and its great storage, the 170S is the only Minnie Drop floorplan that overlooks your campsite. And that is one of the more underappreciated features of any trailer  that offers it. A lot of folks I’ve spoken with don’t really even consider it until it’s brought to their attention, then that light bulb clicks on and they realize that overlooking your campsite instead of your neighbor’s is an important feature. And that light interior they introduced last year has really opened up the Minnie Drop compared to the darker wood tones that plague the industry. What I also like are all the standards the Minnie Drop has to offer (see key features above). The only options that are offered are wood grain exterior graphics and a 15″ offroad tire & axle option. But we can’t talk about Winnebago without talking about colors. And they offer eight different exterior colors to choose from. Since there is no base color, there is no upcharge, whether you choose champagne, orange, blue, hunter green, cherry, white yellow, or platinum. And that high gloss fiberglass makes those colors really “shine”.  These are well built trailers with exceptional fit & finish that is easy to see. While I post reviews on trailers by giving you the basics so you can make your own judgement on whether it’s a good trailer for you, I say this with the utmost confidence regarding Winnebago, “Buy with confidence”.

Thanks again to Josh for stopping by and contributing to this post! I, as well as other consumers AND sales professionals, have learned a ton from watching the 3,300 plus walk through videos he’s done on YouTube. He provides a lot of thought provoking commentary and no matter if it’s a 40′ fifth wheel or a 10′ pop-up camper, you’re going to learn something new. By all means, tune into his YouTube channel and join the over 18,000 subscribers to the Haylett RV channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRS9u1f7074u0Rrgu05K9Wg                                           And for an added bonus, you’ll see Josh’s walk through video of the Minnie Drop 170S at the bottom of this post.

(Editor’s note: My apologies for some spacing issues between a few of the photos below. Tried editing it all morning, but with no success.)

 

 

 

 
 

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Aliner Introduces Ascape Travel Trailer

Known for 30 plus years as an A-frame fold down trailer company, Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania based Aliner is set to bring to the small trailer market an unconventional (for Aliner) travel trailer called the Ascape in 2017.

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The Ascape is fairly unique for a trailer in its micro-trailer class, of which that class is rapidly expanding among manufacturers. It has a seldom seen rear entry door, with a drop floor which allows just over 6 feet of headroom yet keeping the total exterior height at under 7 1/2 feet. The walls are constructed with an .030 exterior aluminum skin and high-tech Azdel composites.

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“The Ascape is a progressive product that we are sure will not disappoint. For such a small trailer, the space inside is very welcoming,” said Brett Randall, President of Aliner. “Working together with the team members at Aliner, we feel this will truly please that market that has been waiting for a lighter concept.”

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The Ascape measures in at 13 feet long and 1350 lbs. It will come in a basic and plus model. The plus model will include a potty, A/C, audio/visual package and exterior awning. As of this writing, the MSRP is to be determined, and other specs, such as tank sizes, are not yet available.

The Ascape will debut next week at the national RVIA trade show in Louisville, which I’ll be attending. I’ll be sure to give it a look and let you know my thoughts.

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Jayco Introduces the Hummingbird

Middlebury, Indiana based Jayco, Inc. has introduced a new product to their travel trailer line for 2017 called the Hummingbird. Currently there are three floorplans  for this new lightweight unit that, as you might guess with one look at it, will be in direct competition with Forest River’s R-pod and Winnebago’s Winnie Drop.

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The three floor plans will be the 2715 lbs Hummingbird 17FD:

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The (weight TBD) Hummingbird 17RB:

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And the 2910 lbs Hummingbird 17RK:

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From the specs on the Jayco website, they’ll have 25 gallon tanks for fresh, gray, and black water with a 6-gallon gas/electric DSI water heater. Some of the usual modern day standards will include interior and exterior LED lighting, AM/FM/CD/DVD/Bluetooth stereo with speakers, black tank flush, power awning with LED lighting, 2.1-amp USB port in all models, solar ready, and 3 cu. ft. 2-way Norcold refrigerator just to name a few features.

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MSRP for these 20 footers will start out at just under $22,000, which should put them in the same price range as R-pods and Winnie Drops. And with Forest River’s lawsuit against Winnebago earlier this year regarding the similarities between the R-pod and Winnie Drop, don’t be surprised if we see similar action taken against Jayco, as has been the Forest River way starting out with the defunct Heartland mpg a few years back.

I checked out R-pod’s floor plans and sure enough, all three floor plans of the Hummingbird are floor plans that R-pod has:

The Hummingbird 17FD = R-pod RP-178

The Hummingbird 17RB = R-pod RP-180

The Hummingbird 17RK = R-pod RP-179

So I’m pretty sure we’ll see press releases by summer’s end pouring out of Forest River’s legal team. One possible saving grace from an exterior standpoint for the Hummingbird is the lower front end, where it has a concave look to it, similar to that of a late 1960’s era Shasta Loflyte.

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Without seeing one in person, I have to say I really like the looks of the Hummingbird when compared to the R-pod and the Winnie Drop. The decal package on the Winnie Drop is a hot mess and the R-pod never really has done much for me aesthetically. And as a point of disclosure, I say this as an owner of a Forest River product and a stockholder in Winnebago.  And don’t forget, Jayco offers their 2-year warranty on these where the others are just 1-year.

You can find out more about the 2017 Jayco Hummingbird at their website at: http://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2017-hummingbird/

 

(Hummingbird photos courtesy jayco.com)

 

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