Friday, June 17, 2011
Visiting Forest City, IA at the Winnebago Factory
We are now at the Winnebago Customer Service Center at Forest City, IA, which is the home to the factory operations for building the motorhomes. They have about 36 service bays for customer service and can do literally anything that you might need to repair your coach.
The service center is a very well run operation and features a number of rv sites, complete with electric, that folks can stay a, free of charge, while having their coach serviced. Here we are (at the right of the picture) during a rainy early morning just before the technicians came to pull our coach into service.
While our coach was being worked on, we checked out the Winnebago museum where there are all kinds of neat things to see -- including this 1959 Winnebago Trailer -- one of the first products that Winnebago built. Rick and Orinda were interested to learn that from this small trailer, the large Winnie organization was created.
This is more like it, says Orinda. A 1966 Winnebago 22' motorhome. She thought this might be a great trade for our 42' Tour, but decided she really liked her comforts with our current coach! It is amazing how much the coaches have improved since this rather humble beginning.
Of course, we made sure to take the excellent Winnebago factory tour (free, and offered twice a day). Winnie is unique in the industry in that they make most of the parts and components in the motorhome (not including the engine and chassis). By making things like furniture, aluminum trim, walls, showers, tanks, etc. they can control the quality and has the ability to make replacement parts for any coach in the future that might need it.
While we could not take pictures during the tour, these shots from the Winnebago Webpage, show some of the things we saw. It was amazing to see an assembly line 9 football fields long filled with motorhomes being built. At the completion of the line is the rain test, seen above, where the coach is subjected to heavy rainlike spray to check for leaks.
Ready to go! We had another great experience at the factory where all our repairs and adjustments were completed. Here, we are hooked up and ready to head north.