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Old 06-11-2007, 08:09 PM   #1
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Had a great time. It was really interesting seeing how RVs are built. I recommend that if anyone that gets a chance, go on the tour.
It is only 1 1/2 hours and it happens after the workshift has ended so the production floor is quiet. That is not a bad thing as there was no safety equipment needed to tour the place. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and was able to answer almost all our questions.
There were two other couples with my wife and I. One couple was on their 3rd National. Both couples were looking at the Tropic Cals.
The facility is big. We only hit the main assembly line areas. The tour progresses from the Framing area into the coach assembly area, wall construction, fitting of interior walls, exterior walls and roof, slides and it ended where the coaches were in final assembly prior to paint. At the end of the tour, they had 5 completed coaches on display and probably ready for delivery. All had the air going and all were playing the factory tour DVD. There was a 40 ft Pacifica, a 35ft Tropic Cal, a 34ft Dolphin LX, a 32ft Sea Breeze LX and I think a 30ft Surf Side.
The Sea Breeze had the Tele Slide. That is one really slick looking item. It made the bedroom VERY roomy and that slide out chest was really cool. I think that will become a REALLY popular item. Too bad that is not on more floorplans than noted on the website.
On the factory Floor, we saw a Pacifica (like on the website) with the full slide in the works. The slide had not been fitted and it looked really interesting. Almost all the coaches in the main coach assembly like were gas. I guess that was just the timing on our part. A month from now it could have been diesel. I did notice a LOT of diesels across the street that looked like they were ready to be shipped to dealers.
Since our main concern was the Dolphin LX, we concentrated on these and found out there were 3 color schemes with matching interiors coming out. Kind of like the Topic Cal LX setup, 3 choices. From what the tour guide said, It sounded like the LX will now be more of a complete upgrade package. More so than it currently is. It also sounded like maybe the side cameras that work with the turn signals is part of the package. All were very nice and I would like any one of them. All were nice updates to the 07 lineup.
A side note. As we toured the other finished coaches and got to the 34 foot Dolphin LX, the storage doors under the living room slide are side opening ones, not flip ups like all the others and it looks like that will be the way the 08's look to be. A really nice change.
Not much else on any new changes to the line that I could see. I am sure there are more changes but I could not see any from what we saw.

Overall, it was a great afternoon and with the info we found out, tomorrow we are going to start the ordering process of an 08 Dolphin LX 6355. Based on what we know, it might be ready as early as the end of July. YAHOO!!!!
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:09 PM   #2
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Had a great time. It was really interesting seeing how RVs are built. I recommend that if anyone that gets a chance, go on the tour.
It is only 1 1/2 hours and it happens after the workshift has ended so the production floor is quiet. That is not a bad thing as there was no safety equipment needed to tour the place. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and was able to answer almost all our questions.
There were two other couples with my wife and I. One couple was on their 3rd National. Both couples were looking at the Tropic Cals.
The facility is big. We only hit the main assembly line areas. The tour progresses from the Framing area into the coach assembly area, wall construction, fitting of interior walls, exterior walls and roof, slides and it ended where the coaches were in final assembly prior to paint. At the end of the tour, they had 5 completed coaches on display and probably ready for delivery. All had the air going and all were playing the factory tour DVD. There was a 40 ft Pacifica, a 35ft Tropic Cal, a 34ft Dolphin LX, a 32ft Sea Breeze LX and I think a 30ft Surf Side.
The Sea Breeze had the Tele Slide. That is one really slick looking item. It made the bedroom VERY roomy and that slide out chest was really cool. I think that will become a REALLY popular item. Too bad that is not on more floorplans than noted on the website.
On the factory Floor, we saw a Pacifica (like on the website) with the full slide in the works. The slide had not been fitted and it looked really interesting. Almost all the coaches in the main coach assembly like were gas. I guess that was just the timing on our part. A month from now it could have been diesel. I did notice a LOT of diesels across the street that looked like they were ready to be shipped to dealers.
Since our main concern was the Dolphin LX, we concentrated on these and found out there were 3 color schemes with matching interiors coming out. Kind of like the Topic Cal LX setup, 3 choices. From what the tour guide said, It sounded like the LX will now be more of a complete upgrade package. More so than it currently is. It also sounded like maybe the side cameras that work with the turn signals is part of the package. All were very nice and I would like any one of them. All were nice updates to the 07 lineup.
A side note. As we toured the other finished coaches and got to the 34 foot Dolphin LX, the storage doors under the living room slide are side opening ones, not flip ups like all the others and it looks like that will be the way the 08's look to be. A really nice change.
Not much else on any new changes to the line that I could see. I am sure there are more changes but I could not see any from what we saw.

Overall, it was a great afternoon and with the info we found out, tomorrow we are going to start the ordering process of an 08 Dolphin LX 6355. Based on what we know, it might be ready as early as the end of July. YAHOO!!!!
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:27 AM   #3
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Glad you made the tour. I found it an eye opener, also. I have two rallies to attend this summer, both will have new rigs. Hope I am strong enough to avoid temptation. Oh well, nobodies' perfect.
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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RV Trade Digest has a article on information Mr. Humphreys, COB National RV, discussed at the annual dealers meeting. Mike, it dounds like your observation on the gas line was right on, more products at a lower price point. I was amazed at Mr. Humphreys statement concerning the production of only 3 units per week, thats just above closing the doors. I believe the capacity of the production line is around 70 per week. Here is the entire article

RV Trade Digest

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Old 06-12-2007, 02:25 PM   #5
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Fred:

Interesting article from Mr. Humphries. The Rally in Pendeleton could be really interesting!!!! Maybe some of the powers that be in national will attend.

I hope his comment about making 3 and selling 5 isn't based on a day's production. I hope that he means they are selling more than they are currently making?

RV 4 2 did you get the daily production rate when you were on the tour???
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:22 PM   #6
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JoeP one of most interesting things is that since Mr. Humphreys has joined the BOD National RV has started to "Toot is own horn" and inform the world that they still exist and here are our products. PR has been nonexistent at NRV for some time, an example is the TeleSlide that has been on the market for over 6 months and the announcements are just now going out. Now if someone within NRV would just edit the website and correct all the errors!

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Old 06-12-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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I believe that a positive outlook from upper management is the first step in building a sucessful company. The enthusiasm trickles down to the assembly line, where the rubber meets the road. On my second National RV, I still believe it is a quality product. I would buy another. Unless I win the Lottery, and then the Prevost looks pretty good...
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:00 PM   #8
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JoeP, unfortunately, neither my wife or I remember any daily numbers being mentioned but based on how saw rigs being staged in each part of the process, I am betting it is more than 3-5 a day. BUT that is a totally uneducated guess. While we were there I remember seeing at least 3 ready for paint and being driven to the staging area in the hour after the daily shift ended. I do know that there were a TON of diesels across the street ready for delivery.

From what I saw, it surely seemed like the employees had a positive attitude. The one couple we were with had some issues with their 03 Tropic Cal and they were being taken care of really well.

Bill, I just found out from my salesman today (as I signed papers for the deposit) that the whole Tropic Cal line is getting new front and rear caps that as the Salesman described as making them look like Pacifica juniors.
And as for a positive attitude from the top, that really helps. I just hope that PR firm National Hired will start doing their work.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:00 PM   #9
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After owning 4 other brands, we would buy another and Quote: "Unless I win the Lottery, and then the Prevost looks pretty good"...
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:00 PM   #10
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National RV stock has risin 25% since management shift.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:40 PM   #11
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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 Jestme13:
National RV stock has risin 25% since management shift. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

However, it's half the value of Jan 07 and a long hard pull to get back what has been lost. I believe good management speak goes well, but actions and return to profitability will tell the full story.

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Old 06-13-2007, 06:38 PM   #12
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Back to the topic at hand... The NRV store, across the street from the factory had free DVD's about the production process. Very interesting.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:42 PM   #13
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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 psyflyjohn:
Back to the topic at hand... The NRV store, across the street from the factory had free DVD's about the production process. Very interesting. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, if you take the tour, you get a package with brochures for all the RVs that National makes AAAANNNDDDD a DVD of the process....
Actually, to me, the real thing is much more fun..
Next time we go, we will have to visit the other side of the road where the parts and service center is. Unfortunately, we missed that side that time.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:11 PM   #14
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Just purchased a Seabreeze LX and can't wait to tour the NRV factory. We love the wide entry door and the Workhorse gas with the grade brake switch. It worked great negotiating the I-17 grade changes north of Phoenix - a challenge for any vehicle!
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