Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. recently completed its 700th fully painted motorhome at its new 120,000-square-foot paint and finishing facility in Decatur, Ind.
Fleetwood, based in Riverside, Calif., reports that it takes about one and a half days for a Class A motorhome to go through its paint facility in Northeastern Indiana.
Fully painting the exterior of a motorhome is much more complex than painting an automobile because of the intricate graphic designs that RV enthusiasts want.
Construction of Fleetwood’s new motorhome paint plant began a year-ago and it went into full production on June 1. It includes nine paint booths, three convection ovens and two sanding and buffing booths. Around 140 full-time Fleetwood employees work at the painting facility.
Paint supplier Sherwin-Williams also has an on-site store at the Fleetwood plant in Decatur that employs a number of permanent and part-time workers.
The paint facility in Decatur “represents the most innovative and technologically advanced paint and finishing facility within the motorhome industry today,” said Frank Winnegar, vice president of operations for the Fleetwood RV Group.
“The customers I’ve spoken to who have taken Fleetwood’s paint facility tour have been extremely impressed with the operation,” added Harvey Boyer, general manager of Farnsworth Camping Center in Elysburg, Pa. “Fleetwood has raised the bar for fit and finish in this industry.”
Full-body paint has been around for years but, because of its expense, it has been, until recently, confined to the highline diesel pusher segment. But this year, several manufacturers have introduced full-body paint on highline gas motorcoaches with the intent of extending full-body paint into lower-priced motorhome and even towable RV segments.
Unlike Fleetwood, most OEMs rely upon independent contractors that specialize in full body RV painting.