Get the inside story on one of the most recognized names in the RV industry as Winnebago Industries has announced the start of its factory tour season.
More than 10,000 visitors come to Forest City, Iowa, each year to tour Winnebago’s facilities. Tours, which last approximately two hours, are offered twice daily at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday from April through October, and at 1 p.m. in November. If your group is larger than six, reservations are recommended.
Founded in 1958, Winnebago later became the first recreation vehicle manufacturer to build motorhomes in an automotive-style assembly line system. Winnebago Industries builds its Winnebago, Itasca, and Era motorhome brands in one of the most technologically advanced RV manufacturing facilities in existence today.
“If you haven’t been on our tour — you are missing out,” said Winnebago Industries Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “The tour not only shows you how our motorhomes are built from start to finish, but also the technology and innovative designs that set our motor homes apart from the rest.”
The tour starts at the Winnebago Industries’ Visitors Center with a 20-minute video that offers a preview of the manufacturing process. After the video, the tour bus, constructed on a Winnebago Industries Commercial Vehicle shell, departs for a drive-through tour of the grounds. Tour goers are also able to do walk-in tours of three buildings: the chassis weld facility, where the raw chassis is prepared to become a home on wheels with the front cab and basement storage added; the stitchcraft facility that builds chairs, window valances, sofas and other furniture pieces; and the main production area named Big Bertha.
Equivalent in size to eight football fields, Big Bertha features three production lines. Visitors will see the magnitude of this building thanks to mezzanines that provide a bird’s eye view.
Before or after the tour, visitors can also visit the Winnebago Industries Museum, which is located in the upper level of the visitors center. The museum chronicles the company’s 54-year history, as well as the design and construction of the company’s motorhomes.
During the spring and summer months, the visitors center also features some of the latest models of the company’s Winnebago, Itasca and Era brand motorhomes, as well as Winnebago and SunnyBrook brand towables, right off the assembly lines. Visitors can also see one of the first motorhomes built by Winnebago Industries, the classic 1967 Winnebago D22, as well as a 1959 Aljo trailer also manufactured by Winnebago Industries.
Tours of Winnebago Industries are free, and all ages are welcome. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The visitors center is accessible to those with disabilities; the factory tour includes three staircases.
For more information, call 641-585-6936, visit www.winnebagoind.com/company/visit-us or email [email protected].