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Old 04-17-2006, 12:47 PM   #1
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We arrived Friday at the Winnebago service building in Forest City and got backed in and hooked up (power only!) You must have an appointment to park near the service building; if you are a drop-in, you need to park somewhere else.

Things got rolling very early around here this morning. On Monday mornings (and only Mondays for some reason), they start checking you and the coach in at 0645 hours. They go over the pre-printed work ticket with you and then maybe 15 minutes later the techs show up looking for the customer. At that point you all walk over to the coach and they and you cover in detail the problems on the ticket. You can only add seven additional items and even those are on a "as time permits". Based on my phone conversation six weeks ago and emailed list of issues, they allotted me TWO technicans and FIVE days. That's a bunch of man-hours.

They bring the coachs back to the service area parking around 3 PM. Many people are apparently in and out in one day, some are here for much, much longer.

They have a nice accessories store which sells many common Winnebago-specific parts, and also generic Camping World type camping things.

The customer lounge is rather small, it might seat 20 or 25 people. It can get pretty noisy in there as it seems like everybody had a little yappy foo-foo dog in there. We had our cats in two carriers and decided to get a motel room for everybody's sanity (especially mine.)

We made friends with a couple here that brought in a 2000 Adventurer with a paint-popping problem. Along the middle trim piece every three or four feet there are areas about the size of a pencil eraser where a good piece of the sidewall literally popped out (pencil eraser diameter and maybe a eighth of an inch deep). As an amazing concession to good customer relations Winnie is going to COMPLETELY replace his side walls- yes the entire wall assembly. Atta boy Winnie!

Have I met happy campers? - YOU BETCHA!

Back to the motel... We are in the nearby (actually EVERYTHING is nearby in FC) Super8 motel with the cats. They are apparently the only game in town if you have pets. It is nice and they have free WiFi here.

Back to the coach... Dave the tech said they spent most of the day fixing little things and ordering parts. Most of the woodworking is now done in Charles City, so all of my replacement trim pieces (and two cabinet doors) are coming from there. We are getting more tile installed in the dining area so they ordered more tile (we also have two broken tiles.)

Sorry about jumping around so much - it's sort of the way I think

More later...
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:47 PM   #2
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We arrived Friday at the Winnebago service building in Forest City and got backed in and hooked up (power only!) You must have an appointment to park near the service building; if you are a drop-in, you need to park somewhere else.

Things got rolling very early around here this morning. On Monday mornings (and only Mondays for some reason), they start checking you and the coach in at 0645 hours. They go over the pre-printed work ticket with you and then maybe 15 minutes later the techs show up looking for the customer. At that point you all walk over to the coach and they and you cover in detail the problems on the ticket. You can only add seven additional items and even those are on a "as time permits". Based on my phone conversation six weeks ago and emailed list of issues, they allotted me TWO technicans and FIVE days. That's a bunch of man-hours.

They bring the coachs back to the service area parking around 3 PM. Many people are apparently in and out in one day, some are here for much, much longer.

They have a nice accessories store which sells many common Winnebago-specific parts, and also generic Camping World type camping things.

The customer lounge is rather small, it might seat 20 or 25 people. It can get pretty noisy in there as it seems like everybody had a little yappy foo-foo dog in there. We had our cats in two carriers and decided to get a motel room for everybody's sanity (especially mine.)

We made friends with a couple here that brought in a 2000 Adventurer with a paint-popping problem. Along the middle trim piece every three or four feet there are areas about the size of a pencil eraser where a good piece of the sidewall literally popped out (pencil eraser diameter and maybe a eighth of an inch deep). As an amazing concession to good customer relations Winnie is going to COMPLETELY replace his side walls- yes the entire wall assembly. Atta boy Winnie!

Have I met happy campers? - YOU BETCHA!

Back to the motel... We are in the nearby (actually EVERYTHING is nearby in FC) Super8 motel with the cats. They are apparently the only game in town if you have pets. It is nice and they have free WiFi here.

Back to the coach... Dave the tech said they spent most of the day fixing little things and ordering parts. Most of the woodworking is now done in Charles City, so all of my replacement trim pieces (and two cabinet doors) are coming from there. We are getting more tile installed in the dining area so they ordered more tile (we also have two broken tiles.)

Sorry about jumping around so much - it's sort of the way I think

More later...
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:59 PM   #3
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John,
The wife and I have made five trips to Forest City with two different rigs. Each time has been a good experience.
A few items you didn't mentioned were:
The outlet store. Look there before you purchase something in the customer service bldg. Might save a few dollars.
Rally park. Great area if you have dogs and there is water available up there along with a shower.
The techs are all knowledgeable and take pride in what they do. The add ons in my case were always recommended by the techs and all were completed.
If the dealers put as much pride in workmanship and customer service issue as the factory, wouldn't life be fantastic.
Enjoy reading your posts.
Bob
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:53 PM   #4
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I too was amazed when Winnebago opted to replace the sidewalls on my 2000 Adventurer because of the defective gelcoat. I had mine done 2 years ago. The technicians did a great job with the sidewalls and some other items. Only downside was that it took them over a month to do the work.

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Old 04-17-2006, 03:38 PM   #5
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John , glad to hear good reports and glad things are progressing the way you want them to. Says a lot about our Manufacturer. Jim
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:44 AM   #6
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I am one of those with the "Pops" in the side walls of a 2001. It is gratifying to know that Winnebago is standing by their product. This condition left un-corrected would literally render a motor home valueless. "W" have repaired some on mine, but they are appearing in other locations now. Looks like I will need to make a call to "W".
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:48 AM   #7
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John:
Why is it you had to take a hotel room?....by the way, go to the lodge for breakfast monday - friday and ask for Jill to be your waitress...she will take great care of you and any group you put together for breakfast or lunch. Its a nice place to hang out other than the service area. Please tell Jill that Ken and Phyllis say hi...enjoy
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:59 AM   #8
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Ken - the critters cannot stay on the coach while it is in the service bay, and the customer lounge was so noisy with people and yappy foo-foo dogs that we just got a motel room.

We would have needed a room anyway because they will keep the coach for a night or two sometime this week. Dave my tech said this morning they might pull my leaking bedroom slide today (there is a dedicated slide crew!) and they couldn't get the coach back to us by 3 PM. We are having tile replaced and some tile added so that is an overnighter as well.

Wow - as a matter of fact, we had breakfast in the Lodge this morning and Jill was our waitress. We are really liking this little town - the people are friendly and they seem to be proud of where they live.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:29 AM   #9
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John:

I'm reallying trying to swing enough time off right after Labor Day to make a trip to Black Hills and back without it being a two-way sprint. If we can do it, we will plan to stop in FC to see the factory. You guys make it sound like a neat little place to visit.

I will have my dog and he occassionally barks..but he doesn't qualify as foo-foo! He is a little knucklehead, though.
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:42 PM   #10
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Gary - you would find the stop worthwhile; just the factory tour is sort of like going to "Mecca."

It really is amazing at how many dogs I have seen yesterday and today - for a while I wasn't sure if I was at the vet's office or Winnebago.

Update:

They are keeping the coach tonight in the service bay. We were escorted to the coach by our service advisor (wearing safety glasses, of course) so we could grab some overnight essentials (and a bottle of Merlot.)

On our way to our coach we walked by our friend's Adventurer - it was a bizzare scene - the entire port side wall was missing like it was surgically excised. It looked like it could have been from a movie set!

We passed by another coach that had its living room slide tipped out - don't know if it was coming out or going in.

We were surprised when we saw our coach - Dave had been real busy taking things apart in response to our issues.

I noticed the bathroom wall pull away from the coach side wall some time ago and that was on my list - there was a gap of maybe 1/4 inch at the bottom corner and the caulk was pulled apart up the corner joint for maybe three or four feet. Dave said the fastners had pulled out of the sidewall to bathroom wall joint. He is going to need to partically dissassemble the bathroom to repair it. I wasn't exactly following the repair plan, but the good news was that there was a precise plan of action.

Another surprise was regarding a small leak of Dexron on the big can reservoir at the rear (or front if you prefer) of the engine I noticed months ago. Mike said there was a bad gasket where the power steering hose attached to the can. They have to put the coach on a lift to get to it! I know Freightliner noticed the leak, because they cleaned the can off at my chassis initial maintenance. Too bad they didn't try to fix it.

We also saw that our copilot chair was gone - sent to Stitchcraft to recover it. They didn't do a very good job initially with the fabric (Ultraleather actually) and it was rippled and puckered on the rear of the chair.

There was not one discussion about the validity of my repair items - it seems that if I'm not happy about it, they are going to do their best to make it right. I was sort of expecting some push-back especially about some cosmetic things I had on the list - nope.. nada.. Dave is taking of it!

As a general comment about the service bays, they were very tidy and clean. It sure looks like they are running a tight ship here. I wish my old shop looked that good!

Rock and Roll!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stop Press:

Just got off the phone with Bob Gregory (rebelsbeach).. he made it to Forest City. We're off to some Chinese food shortly...
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:46 PM   #11
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Hay John,
My wife and I cannot bring our RV to the GNR this year so we are flying in. We already have reservations at the Super 8. My question is this: Does the Super 8 back up to the Winnebago factory? I rented a golf cart and was hoping I could just drive it up to the fence at the back of the Super 8 and run around the GNR with the golf cart. Will this work. Mapquest shows the Super 8 a mile away?
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:57 PM   #12
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Dennis - the Super8 is maybe a half a mile to the south from the Winnie campus (the rally park is on the same highway, the factory is across the highway to the west) along a busy highway (well - busy for this part of the world). I think the highway shoulders would easily accomodiate a golf cart, but I don't know how legal that is. PM me if you have any other questions.
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Old 04-19-2006, 02:14 AM   #13
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Even though I'm not a candidate for this on 2 counts (coach is out of warranty and there's nothing really wrong with it ) this is a fascinating report. Makes you feel good about having bought a Winnie product. Thanks John! Steve
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:51 AM   #14
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Nobody is excusing the factory for depending on the dealer's service department for "last 50 feet of the assembly line". All manufacturers have problems of one sort or another to various degrees. Actually I expected to deal with a myriad of problems even before we ordered our new coach; anything this complex is going to have initial issues. Expecting zero defects is not realistic.

What I am very pleased about is the quality of the service experience here in Forest City. I don't know about the overall training and experience level of the techs in the service department, but my tech seems very sharp.

I'll tell you what is so fantastic about driving the coach hundreds of miles for factory service for me - I am getting the attention I expect, parts are not an issue, and the quality of the repairs is probably going to be much higher than my extremely large selling dealer could provide.

I met a fellow here that brought his Workhorse chassis in for a dash replacement because he couldn't find a Workhorse dealer that could/would do it on a timely basis.

Hopefully you will enjoy a good repair experience as I am having.
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Old 04-19-2006, 11:01 AM   #15
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Hello John,

We too, are at the factory getting a few of the many problems of our coach looked at that are still problems after many, many trips to many, many repair shops. In fact, the only trips we were able to take for the first 6 months of proud ownership were to different repair shops. Seems every time one issue was dealt with, yet another popped up on the way back. It became a family joke...whenever someone called, they asked what repair shop we were staying at now, but it was too true to be very funny. We were not able to set out til mid-December.

When we arrived at the factory, we were a non-appointment due to some erroneous info from a regional WIT rep. Not to mention that even if we had a scheduled appointment, we would not have made it on time due to weather and yet another problem that caused one more delay in our trip. When we called the service center, we were told we could come in and wait our turn in line. No problem. Appointments should come first, but then there comes a time when after one has "served their time" for being a "non-appointment" that it must be remembered that we are also valuable customers and should be treated as such without having to be upset.

We have seen that sometimes it gets very crowded in both the waiting area and the parking lot,and parking places are at a premium on a first-come basis and it even gets worse when people occupy hook-up spaces when their coach is in the shop overnight since they are discouraging parking at the Rally grounds. It makes one wonder why soooo many coaches are here for corrections to things that should have never gotten out of the factory to begin with. What does this say for Quality control?

I must apologize to you if you were upset by all the dogs that were in the waiting area. We lay claim to 2 of them. During our travels, we have found that most people travel with their pets and since they won't allow them to stay in the coach, there isn't much choice but to bring them into the waiting area or lock them in a car for hours and days. As for them being "yappy", they are dogs and that is their only way to communicate (since we haven't taught them to use the computer yet.) They just want to tell you "their story" and say "Hello."" I am happy to see you. "" Will you play with me?" Personally, I don't think having to be there on the end of a lead for 8 hours is their first choice either. Although we have never considered them foo-foo, (they don't have their nails painted, wear bows, or have hotel rooms, etc.) they are treasured pets who love everyone, unconditionally. Many of the people we have met while we have been here, since April 7, have enjoyed playing with or watching them. They welcomed the diversion to help pass the time from 7-3. We also try to respect other's feelings and keep them away from people who for whatever reason don't like to be around animals.

We are hoping to be out of here by the end of the week, and we will head back to a dealer for additional minor issues to be taken care of, since only a limited number can be addressed while we are here.
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:52 PM   #16
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SMIES:
When we arrived at the factory, we were a non-appointment due to some erroneous info from a regional WIT rep. Not to mention that even if we had a scheduled appointment, we would not have made it on time due to weather and yet another problem that caused one more delay in our trip. When we called the service center, we were told we could come in and wait our turn in line. No problem. Appointments should come first, but then there comes a time when after one has "served their time" for being a "non-appointment" that it must be remembered that we are also valuable customers and should be treated as such without having to be upset. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>That's a shame that you got some bum information about appointments. I made my appointment March 2 for this week and I got almost exactly the time slot I wanted. Some manufacturers are three to six months out on their service appointments! I was delighted that I didn't have to wait that long.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It makes one wonder why soooo many coaches are here for corrections to things that should have never gotten out of the factory to begin with. What does this say for Quality control? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Actually it doesn't tell me anything about the quality of the product. What it does speak to is that of the thousands of the coaches that Winnie sells over a multi-year period, that a percentage of them are here for service. If you want a true picture of Winnie's quality, you are going to have to cozy up with the corporate bean counter and ask them how much they are spending on warranty repairs and what their number of defects per unit is.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">We have seen that sometimes it gets very crowded in both the waiting area and the parking lot,and parking places are at a premium on a first-come basis and it even gets worse when people occupy hook-up spaces when their coach is in the shop overnight since they are discouraging parking at the Rally grounds. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>The parking situation should have been improved eons ago. It is not a good situation that should be addressed by providing a better parking area adjacent to the service building. If you think this is bad, you should see the customer parking at the Freightliner factory in Gaffney. At least FTL is building a new service building with appropriate parking facilities.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I must apologize to you if you were upset by all the dogs that were in the waiting area. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>We love critters - thats why we travel with two of God's little fur balls. What is annoying is when a bunch of them are making noise and they are wandering all over the place and generally getting in the way. We always try to make friends and grab a little pat or scratch where we can when we see an animal.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:01 AM   #17
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I'm sorry but I thought this forum was for discussion of problems and ideas that are pertinante to Winn coaches, not travelogs and personal messages.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:26 AM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by starchy:
I'm sorry but I thought this forum was for discussion of problems and ideas that are pertinante to Winn coaches, not travelogs and personal messages. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah...I agree this Winnebago forum is kinda fluffy, but going to the Winnebago factory and reporting on it is fairly pertanent to Winnnebago in my opinion.

Here is a post that could have been better used as email or PM's, but it's the owner of this board, so I guess he can keep it fluffy if he wants to.

Here is another one... I do like the pictures though...nice to see who is responding to you...

I do get a kick out of these guys that have build problems that require driving to the factory for repairs, and they are EXCITED about going there....makes me laugh...
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:05 AM   #19
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by FrontRangeRVer:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by starchy:
I'm sorry but I thought this forum was for discussion of problems and ideas that are pertinante to Winn coaches, not travelogs and personal messages. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah...I agree this Winnebago forum is kinda fluffy, but going to the Winnebago factory and reporting on it is fairly pertanent to Winnnebago in my opinion.

Here is a post that could have been better used as email or PM's, but it's the owner of this board, so I guess he can keep it fluffy if he wants to.

Here is another one... I do like the pictures though...nice to see who is responding to you...

I do get a kick out of these guys that have build problems that require driving to the factory for repairs, and they are EXCITED about going there....makes me laugh... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Well my friend - it is your choice to read it, look at the picture or just move on. That's what is so great about this country - we all have choices. It is sort of like reading the newspaper - not every article will meet the criteria to be read, and when you readt it, you might not agree with the news presented or conclusions presented.
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:26 AM   #20
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I enjoy reading your posts, John. I have visited your website several times and your picture of the new and improved Medallion Driver Info center was the reason I shelled out $75 to order one. It is a huge improvement over the old one.
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