Winnebago Industries plant tours resume
If you’ve ever wondered what goes into building a modern-day motorhome, you can see for yourself thanks to Winnebago Industries. The company, based in Forest City, Iowa, resumed its tours on April 6 and will continue offering them through November 1.
Each 90-minute tour begins at the company’s visitors center with a 20-minute video that gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the production of a motorhome. Visitors next board a bus for a drive-through tour of the grounds and a walk-in tour of “Big Bertha,” the company’s main production facility, which is equivalent in size to eight football fields. From a mezzanine overlooking the production lines, visitors get a bird’s-eye view of the manufacturing process.
Back at the visitors center, tour-goers can explore the Winnebago Industries Museum, which chronicles the company’s 50-year history, as well as the design and construction of its motorhomes.
All tours are free, and all ages are welcome. The visitors center is accessible to those with disabilities; however, the factory tour does include two staircases. Tours are offered twice daily, at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Reservations are recommended for groups larger than six. For more information, call (641) 585-6936; visit www.winnebagoind.com/company/visit-us; or e-mail [email protected].
Visit Blue Ox and experience the Great Plains
Blue Ox, a manufacturer of tow bars, base plates, braking systems, towing accessories, hitches, sport carriers, and steering controls, has extended a special invitation to all RVers to visit its campground and manufacturing facility in Pender, Nebraska, while touring nearby historic sites and recreational venues.
All Blue Ox customers are eligible to stay at the campground for free, while non-customers pay $15 a night. The campground has full sewer and electric hookups, with primitive camping sites also available. Tours of the Blue Ox manufacturing facility are conducted each weekday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Picnics and ice cream socials are planned for this summer, and customers may schedule maintenance on Blue Ox products. To make arrangements or to find out more information, call (800) 228-9289, ext. 3107, or e-mail [email protected]. Groups are encouraged to call ahead.
Located just west of the Missouri River and approximately 40 miles southwest of Sioux City, Iowa, Pender rests in an area where early explorers got their first look at the great West beyond the Missouri River. Nearby Bancroft is home to the John G. Neihardt Center, which celebrates the life and work of this Nebraskan, who was a famous poet and chronicler of Western life and Indian culture. Head west to Pierce and the Cuthills Vineyards, Nebraska’s first winery, which today produces vintages from 100 percent Nebraska-grown grapes and raspberries. Also to the west is Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park, home of a fossil field created by ash from a volcanic explosion 12 million years ago. Back toward the Missouri River, the Nebraska Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway runs along U.S. Highway 75 between South Sioux City and Omaha.
For more information about Blue Ox, its products, and things to do in eastern Nebraska, call (800) 228-9289 or visit www.blueox.com.
Companies offering additional warranty coverage
Two companies that offer extended warranty programs for motorhome owners recently have expanded their coverage options with bridge warranties for owners of new motorhomes whose manufacturer is no longer covering warranty claims.
Protective Life Corporation concluded its annual RV agent meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a commitment to deliver innovative solutions and program enhancements to its distribution partners, including a new program for RV owners whose vehicles are not protected by manufacturer warranties.
Protective introduced proposed program changes set to launch in early 2010, but some elements of the program changes will be introduced immediately, including coverage for vehicles without a manufacturer warranty and for cross-border transactions.
For more information about Protective’s XtraRide Extended Service Contract, which is endorsed by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, talk with your motorhome dealer, or call (800) 323-5771.
ACC Warranty Services Group also is making it possible for customers to receive coverage on new motorhomes whose manufacturer is no longer honoring its factory warranty because of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with additions to its extended warranty programs.
The company has established RV warranty agreement programs that will allow owners of Country Coach Inc. and Monaco Coach Corporation motorhomes who have lost their factory warranty coverage to replace it with like coverage at a one-time up-front fixed cost to cover any repairs occurring during the contract period with a $50 deductible.
For more information about these programs, call ACC Warranty Services Group at (888) 299-9888, or visit www.accws.com.
Coachmen Industries Continues Service
Even though Coachmen Industries is no longer in the motorhome manufacturing business, having sold its Coachmen RV division to Forest River, customers in the southeastern United States can still receive service at the company’s facility in Fitzgerald, Georgia.
According to Lauren Fuller, service operations manager for Coachmen Industries, the company will continue to provide maintenance, repair, restoration, remodeling, and insurance repair services for all Coachmen, Georgie Boy, Shasta, and Viking products, along with units from other RV manufacturers. The facility, which is also a GMAC Gold Medal insurance repair program participant, is located a short distance from Interstate 75 in south Georgia. The service center also maintains parts distribution for all of Coachmen Industries’ former RV brands.
For more information, call (800) 638-5471 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or e-mail Ms. Fuller at [email protected]. An online catalog of Coachmen parts is available at http://oemrvparts.coachmen.com/partscatalog.
National RV Parts At Temecula Valley RV Center
Owners of National RV motorhomes in need of hard-to-locate parts for their coach may be able to find the replacements at Temecula Valley RV Center in Murrieta, California. Temecula Valley RV Center owner Erik Kitley said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to acquire a sizable quantity of National RV parts during the manufacturer’s liquidation auction following its closure in 2008.
Besides stocking a wide range of motorhome parts and RV appliances, the company’s service department handles a variety of maintenance, repair, body and paint, and installation work on all brands of Type A, B, and C motorhomes. And for those whose repair work may take more than a day, full hookups are available for overnight stays. The facility also has a secured storage lot for motorhomes, trailers, and boats, along with a host of cleaning and preventive maintenance services.
To order parts, schedule service, or find out more about the company’s storage options, call (951) 894-2347 or visit www.temeculavalleyrv.com.