Winnebago Mecca

Our next stop, very much a long way from everything, in northern Iowa, was Winnebago's factory tour and visitor's center in Forest City. Our motorhome was made here and we have heard stories that the museum and assembly line were worth the drive.

When we arrived, the kids got a huge kick out of seeing classic motorhomes and trailers. We learned about the history of Winnebago and how the factory came to be the major employer in the area. They gave the kids several packs each of baseball-style trading cards featuring photos and stats of Winnebago products through the years including, their favorite, the Heli-home.

Finally, we donned safety glasses and boarded the bus for the three hour factory tour. We saw how they do the detail work like cutting fabrics and sewing cushions. Then we saw the area where they build the cabinetry and secure the structures on the chassis. But the most exciting of all was the huge building they call Big Bertha which housed the three assembly lines where all varieties of Winnebago and Itasca motorhomes are built to order. No photos were allowed but we could see everything from the walkways where we watched, suspended over the floor.

Back at the visitor's center we got to climb through several brand new units, none of which we liked as well as our beloved Navion. And last, we went to the store to see if they had any gadgets we did not already have or want - they did not. Good trip!

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