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Old 03-14-2009, 02:16 PM   #1
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Visiting Forest City Iowa and Area

We are thinking about going to Winnebago for servicing of our motorhome (Sightseer 35J 2009) this summer and we would like suggestions of what to visit in the area. Any advice about what to expect at Winnebago's services center? Thanks
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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When we had the Horizon we stopped there and had an AC problem fixed. Super nice folks. You can make an appointment or call and come in as a walk in. They will only do a couple or three things for a walk in.
July is not a good time to go. We tried to get in on 07 and were told they make no appointments for this month because of the Winne Rally they hold each year across the street and RR track from the factory and service center.
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:47 PM   #3
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Make an appointment. Check in the day before and ask when they want the motorhome... They have a free small campground and spots by the visitor's center with electric. Take everything you will need for the day out of the motorhome and get comfee in the waiting room. Get coffee, read the paper, watch the news... Talk to other Winnie owners.
If it will take more than a day, usually you will get your motorhome back in the afternoon. Pull back into the campground or visitor's center. and do the same thing the next day. July is tough with the WIT rally in town.

We had great service and the whole town is very friendly. There are several places to get water and dump in or near town.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:00 PM   #4
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Alain,
NOte you cannot make appointment in July becuase of Winnebago Grand National Rally. You should really plan to go to GNR and enjoy your stay as well as get your unit serviced. Go to http://www.winnebagoind.com/clubs/wit/gnr.php
to learn more about GNR.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:28 PM   #5
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I agree with dengraham.You should plan to go to GNR. It is a great rally. If you can come early. The rally is July 19-24 but you may enter the rallygrounds beginning the 10th. If you can come early it will be easier to get in and out to get to service.

If you aren't able to come in July there are several things to do and see in the area. Service is very helpful in giving directions to places in the area. Clear Lake is not too far east of Forest City and a cute little town also. It is home to the Surf Ballroom where Buddy Holly and his guys last played before their plane crash.

West on 18 is Britt, known as the hobo capital. It has an interesting hobo museum.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:43 PM   #6
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Something to do?
Well, about an hour's drive north of Forest City, IA up I-35 and a little east gets you to the town of Austin, MN, the home of Hormel Foods and the Spam Museum. It's a lot of fun and interesting lore.

http://www.spam.com/games/Museum/default.aspx
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:12 AM   #7
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If you're an old Rock & Roll fan, you have to go south about half and hour to Clear Lake, Iowa and visit the Surf Ballroom. Site of the last concert performed by Buddy Holly, the Big Booper and Richie Valance. The 50th anniversary of their last concert just ended with attendees from all over the country and 6 or 7 foreign countries.
You also can see the 3 large cross that still stand that mark the site of the plane crash off of I-35, east side, just north of Mason City.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:26 AM   #8
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Forest city has nothing going in town. A nice place in July for the rally but almost closed the rest of the time.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:34 AM   #9
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This link has Winnebago visitor info. Also visitor center and factory tours, restaurants, shopping, etc.

http://www.winnebagoind.com/company/visit-us/
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:33 AM   #10
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Just curious... what kind of service are you needing on a 2009 model that you would go to the factory to have done?
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:17 PM   #11
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Go to the steak house in Thompson, IA about 15 miles north. Best filet you will ever have. Don't remember the name of it but it is great. Someone at Winne can tell you.

Got the name. "Branding Iron"
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:53 PM   #12
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Smile

We have had lunch several times at the restaurant in the "Sale Barn" (on the highway going south out of town .... right hand side) ...

The food is decent and it is a great people watching place ...

You get to see the everyday people that live in this part of Iowa.
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:34 AM   #13
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Take a day to visit the bridges of Madison County - about an hour SE.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:35 PM   #14
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The Groto is located in West Bend, Iowa...just west of Forrest City....well worth the trip there...
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:01 PM   #15
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If you like used book stores there is a big very nice one in Mason City on the downtown square behind the mall. Mason City is thriving and very busy for a smallish city. There is a Walmart, Target and Kmart etc.

We enjoy just wandering the streets of Clear Lake and there is a super deli (something Overboard or Starboard) that has a fantastic sandwich, salad and dessert menu. All homemade. They are only open for lunch and are VERY busy. Well worth the wait. You can get everything to go and head to the park on the square to enjoy your lunch.

For all the scoop on Forest City go to Sally's in Forest City for breakfast and/or lunch and talk to Sally.

When we were there last fall Forest City was already feeling and showing the effects of Winnebago's layoffs and the economys downturn. Sad to see for sure. The people of Forest City have always welcomed Winnebago travelers with big friendly smiles. Great small town.

There also is a casino just north on I-35 and beyond there an hour or so is Cabela's. The Grotto is a great stop also.

Off I-80 west of Des Moines about an hour at the Greenfield exit is "THE ROCK". It is a big rock painted by a local (Bubba Sorenson) depicting the armed forces. He changes the scene every Memorial Day and is a fantastic artist. It's about a mile at the most south off I-80 and there is plenty of RV parking right across the road from The Rock. Trust me it is well worth the stop and is also close to the area of the Bridges of Madison county.

Enjoy Iowa and the friendly people. We always enjoy our travels to GNR, the rally and the extra time we spend in the area.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:24 PM   #16
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Madison County is about 140 miles south of Forest City. A pretty fast hour.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:03 AM   #17
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I nap about half the time while I'm driving . . . makes the distances seem shorter. Sorry for the mis-info. It's been about a year since we were there.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:12 AM   #18
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Bridges of Madison county are about 3 hours south of Forest City, near Winterset, IA.
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