Annually more than 10,000 visitors come to Forest City, Iowa, for a free factory tour of Winnebago Industries Inc.’s manufacturing facility.
“If you haven’t been on our tour, you are missing out,” said Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts in a press release. “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 motorhomes apart from the rest.”
The tour starts at the Winnebago visitors’ center with a 20-minute video that offers a preview of the manufacturing process. After the video, the tour bus, manufactured by Winnebago, 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 with the front cab and basement storage added; the stitchcraft facility that builds quality 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 museum which is located in the upper level of the visitors’ center. The museum chronicles the company’s 56-year history, as well as the design and construction of the its motorhomes.
During the spring and summer months, the visitors’ center also features some of the latest models in the company’s Winnebago, Itasca, and Winnebago Touring Coach motorhomes, as well as Winnebago 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 trailer. The visitors’ center is also home to WIT Club, the company’s product owners club and Winnebago Outdoor Store, which offers a variety of Winnebago branded apparel, gifts, and wearables.