Posted by Cristina Escarilla on 6/27/2012
Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc. took the starring role in a half-hour episode titled American Factory which aired last night (Tuesday, 26 June 2012) on Discovery Networks Destination America, a specialty television channel that was launched on May 26, 2012. Produced by Electric Sky Productions Ltd. and narrated by Christopher Cook the show took an inside look at the RV brand that's been leading the way for half a century.
The American Factory episode focused on the 4-day process involved in the construction of a Winnebago Vista Class A motor home, from chassis and sub-structure prep to cab and house manufacture, on an assembly line that's the size of eight football fields. The 0.25 mile long assembly line known as Big Bertha uses a 1,000 foot conveyor belt to transport each Winnebago at 18 inches an hour through five specialist fitting stations.
The show provided an excellent insight into some of the specialist manufacturing techniques involved in the manufacturing of a recreational vehicle including the amazing wall construction process. Viewers also got to see the entry-level Class A Winnebago Vista put through its paces on the brutal terrain simulator test track adjacent to the factory prior to undergoing a demanding weatherproofing test where simulated rainfall hammered the RV at a rate of fifty inches per hour. The RV then had to pass a 140-point inspection before it continued its onward journey to the dealer.
It's fascinating to see every year what the engineers dream up for us to build...We try to dazzle the customers, said Harlan Rodberg, Winnebago Industries longest serving employee.
One of those dream RVs is the Vista which was described by the show as the ultimate recreational vehicle. The 2013 Class A Winnebago Vista is a gas powered RV which is available in the 35F and 30T floor plans as well as the new 26HE (single slide), 27N (triple slide) and 35B (bunk house) floor plans. Prices start at $69,999 and run through $123,147.