Meet the Wisconsin Adventure Family Traveling in a Winnebago Minnie

Meet the Wisconsin Adventure Family Traveling in a Winnebago Minnie
This family of four is excited to share their love for the outdoors while promoting diversity!
By: Dineo & Bryce Dowd

We are a Wisconsin Adventure Family of four, and we’ve just moved into a Winnebago Minnie travel trailer! This is an exciting new chapter for our nature-loving family that will allow us to spend even more time in our favorite places. We are also excited to partner with Winnebago to share our authentic RV life experiences and help encourage diversity and inclusion in the outdoors.

An Intro to Our Family

Bryce was born and raised in Wisconsin, Dineo was born and bred in South Africa. We met in Utah, quickly fell in love, and got married. We traveled together as a couple, enjoying the beautiful landscape on the west coast, and creating terrific memories camping in the toy hauler we used to own. 

One day, we were camping in Bryce Canyon National Park and decided it's time to start a family. We later welcomed a beautiful adventure baby, Armani, who loves to explore and play outside. Zulu the dog also joined the family in 2019; she loves swimming, playing catch, and road trips. 

Our Outlook on the Outdoors

As a kid, Bryce’s family of four traveled mostly out west in an Alaskan pop-up truck camper (very self-contained and mainly just for sleeping). But my experience is way different. Growing up in South Africa, I didn't see any people of color (POC) in the outdoors, and my family told me that black people don't hike or go camping. I only started camping about nine years ago, when I moved to Utah.

Now, I'm very passionate about the outdoors, and I always say yes to the adventure. I love challenging myself and trying new things because I want to be a great role model to my daughter. Today, I consider myself a hiking and camping expert.

When Armani came into our lives, we started living even more. We became more adventurous and fearless. Our travels expanded to outside the country and, of course, we also brought her along on our road trips to explore. We didn't let her slow us down or stop us from exploring and living our best lives in the outdoors; this is a lifestyle. We brought her along from day one.

Armani was exposed to the outdoors and diversity from birth. She will know what's right and wrong. She will be able to stand up for herself and inspire others to be better. 

They say kids won't remember all these places we take them to see. It's ok. We will never forget, and we will cherish these memories forever. Most of all, we have a solid, beautiful foundation for her to tell her story when she grows up. 

Why We Are Excited About RVing

We moved to Wisconsin in 2017 to be close to family, and we had to let go of our toy hauler. When we got to Wisconsin, we started exploring the state parks. It was exciting to learn that Wisconsin has 48 state parks, and we are happy to announce that we have visited 39 of those already. We will finish the last few with the RV this spring!

It was only when the pandemic hit the world that we wished we had an RV. Before, we had embraced tent camping, but that was no longer practical. It was painful to just sit around and not know where the world is going. We started watching more TV. This was not the lifestyle we were used to … sitting around. We wished we hadn’t sold our toy hauler and imagined ourselves cruising from state to state, exploring all the national parks while social distancing. 

BUT … There Needs to Be More Diversity in RVing!

We began looking at buying an RV and shopping around for something that would suit our family. Winnebago was on top of our list, and we began to follow the lifestyle. But one thing was standing out: we didn't see diversity. There was a lack of diversity on social media and publications. I took some time, did my research, stumbled onto WinnebagoLife, and found a few POC living the lifestyle, but I would like to see more diverse families featured across the platforms.

That’s why we partnered with Winnebago to inspire and share our story as a diverse family who enjoys the outdoors. Our family wants to meet new people on the road from different cultures and backgrounds. We are fascinated by the culture and real stories of people we meet along the way. We would like to see more diverse families join the RV life and live with no fear of being judged. Camping is joy, camping is fun, camping is adventurous, and camping is an experience to cherish for a long time. We are also encouraging families to get outside through hiking and camping by sharing our insights in book format.

First Impressions of the Winnebago Minnie Travel Trailer 

“Wow,” was our first impression of the Minnie travel trailer. There are so many features, but here are some of our favorites: 

  • The canopy has a great light strip across, and the electric operation is so simple to use. The outside of the Minnie looks fantastic! 
  • Inside, the floorplan opens up with the slide. Armani has a bunk bed, and Zulu (our dog) fits nicely on the floor under her bed. 
  • We are also excited to try the added rear door for loading kayaks or bikes. 
  • Our privacy queen bed is up front, which is an upgrade from our previous camper that had all beds fold down from a wall in the back (with guests, we were all pretty close).
  • This trailer is more extended, yet lighter than our previous trailer. And it wasn't until after pulling it more than 200 miles in some wind and traffic that I looked at it all hooked up to the truck and realized this Minnie isn't so mini. But it towed behind the truck very nicely.

Overall, we love the floorplan and the modern style that makes it feel like we are home. Armani can get up in the morning and log in to her iPad to continue distance learning from the RV. Bryce can get up in the morning, get ready for work, and sneak out without waking anyone in the early hours. We love hiking with our dog and living in an RV allows us to get on the trails right when we open our door. We are surrounded by nature and are looking forward to connecting to the RV community in the campgrounds during our stationery living this summer.

We already have a two-week planned vacation in June to celebrate Father's Day in Glacier National Park – lots of excitement to try boondock camping along the way, and many things on our list to discover. In the summer, we are also planning to explore Minnesota state parks. 

We’ll be sharing more here on GoLife and you are welcome to follow along on Instagram as well, @dineodowd.

Comments

User commented on May 29, 2021 2:11 PM
Enjoyed your article!! Sounds like you are having a great time. Thanks for sharing.
User commented on June 30, 2021 10:36 AM
Thank you for sharing. Will follow on Instagram!
User commented on June 30, 2021 11:29 AM
Thank you for this article! I grew up camping in a diverse family of color and I know that we are out here camping, but its low profile. My entire family (grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, etc.) would family camp for a whole month during the summer. Those are some of the best memories of my childhood. We started camping in a cab over and moved up to a Winnebago, class C. My kids enjoyed a few outdoor activities growing up, but nothing like I did in my youth. They are now grown up and I decided last year to buy a Micro Minnie trailer. My new RV had to be a Winnebago. Period. I Love my Micro Minnie trailer! Anyway, please keep posting these articles. I know some people may not understand their importance, but a whole lot of us do understand and appreciate it.
User commented on June 30, 2021 11:54 AM
I look forward to meeting you on the road. 2500FL here
User commented on June 30, 2021 4:41 PM
I am thrilled to see Winnebago supporting more diversity in RVing. We are not POCs, but we are Jewish -- another community that appears to be under-represented among RVers. Having our own RV kitchen makes it easy to celebrate Shabbat and the holidays on the road, and for those who keep kosher, an RV is almost essential when staying anywhere but with family and friends. The more diverse the RV community becomes in all ways, the better the experience will be for those of us who love to meet people of all backgrounds and beliefs.