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Old 03-27-2015, 04:08 AM   #1
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Factory Tours

Those of you who have taken the factory tours, how revealing are they? Are they curated so you only see the 'good' or do you get arel feel of how well (read poorly) they are put together?
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:28 AM   #2
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That is a good question. I know for us, we saw the true factory daily operations. I would like to see what the general public is exposed to.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:31 AM   #3
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The Tiffin tour is about 2 hours, so you do get to see most of the operation (not the welding shop for safety reasons), but I wouldn't say you get much perspective one way or the other in that short period of time.

If you are getting your coach built, you can spend everyday with it as it goes down the assembly line which is fantastic. We watched the first 3 days of our build, and learned a lot. The people on the line are more than happy to explain what they are doing, and if you have any questions or something that you don't think is quite right, they'll take care of it on the spot.

In 3 days it went from a bare chassis to this.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:54 AM   #4
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The only factory tour we've done was the American Coach assembly plant in Decatur IN. We saw everything from a bare chassis coming in the back door to the paint shop (although the latter is not always on the tour, depending on how active it is) and everything in between. We both found it very interesting.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:00 AM   #5
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We toured the old Monaco factory in Oregon in the early 90's, and the newer Monaco factory some years later. We did the same at Country Coach a couple of times, and in each case we cot a comprehensive tour that covered everything from chassis assembly to the final paint.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:15 AM   #6
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I would made sure to take a tour of the factories that were in the running when we were looking for our new coach. You will see different things in each, just take mental notes and compare them after you leave. I didn't see anything at the places I went that made me not to want that brand. I love seeing how these things go together and the parts that went in them. Talk to some of the people on the line a happy employee helps make a good coach.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:38 AM   #7
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We toured Tiffin and Newmar, I would rate tours as revealing. If you know what your looking at.

We watched our coach being built at Newmar. You can go in after everybody has left and pour all over your coach, at the end of each day. Nothing is more revealing then seeing behind everything.

I photographed every wire run and back side of as much as I could.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:45 AM   #8
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We toured THOR diesel/gas in Wakarusa, IN last fall.
The same line produces the Tuscany and Palazzo diesel pushers,
as well as the sisters Challenger and Outlaw gassers.
Good walkthrough of the facilities, with many of all models on
the floor, from bare Freightliner and Ford chassis, up the finished
products.
Good explainations by the presenter, very knowledgeable, and
not rushed through.
(after hours tour only, no employees are work happening while
you view the plant floor)
What I like most is being able to view the parts, walls, plumbing,
electrical, and chassis items in there unfinished states. You can
then start to get a better idea of what your coach is like 'behind
the walls'...

: ) 2014 mid-year Palazzo 33.3
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:47 AM   #9
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Steve-- I toured Newmar a couple of years ago, and found the whole process straightforward and open. I agree with PDRJohn- you'll benefit far more if you have some basic understanding of construction processes and materials. In any case, knowledgable or not you'll leave with a healthy respect for just how complex these machines are.

Of course, if you go into it with the assumption that they're trying to hide the skeletons you'll probably be able to find something somewhere to justify your position.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:54 PM   #10
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Freightliner chassis assembly facility in Gaffney, NC was excellent !
Been there twice, learned new things each time, very intimate
and up close.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:18 AM   #11
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+1 on Freightliner
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:21 AM   #12
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I toured the Fleetwood plant 3 days in a row while my MH was at the service center, and learned something new every time. I would rate it as very informative with nothing to hide.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:06 AM   #13
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Factory Tours

I've toured Coachman (private tour) ,Thor, Tiffin, and Forest River (private tour).

The Thor tour was after most employees had gone home. Was a good tour- lot quieter than the others.

Coachman was a Class C line which was given be a manager that offered it to me while they were repairing my son-in-laws coach while I waited. Also good tour.

The tiffin tour was a real good tour. They take you thru the whole plant. I think they leave out a couple work station but was great. After tour they let you spent as much time as you wish in the finished coaches that are getting the factory PDI. In those coaches there might be 3 or 4 tech fixing things and checking everything. You can ask these techs & supervises any questions you want. Overall an outstanding tour.

When I purchased my Forest River in Elkhart there was a tile issue in the step area and FR had me bring it across town to the factory. 2 hour fix--
While they were fixing the entry I was given a private tour of their Class A build plant there.

Again a very good tour for me as I had just purchased a FR. I m sure I was allow more leeway than what their tours give. But I was able to see where everything was behind and in the walls and could get the one on one questions answered that we all like to ask. Again was allowed to ask any question and was give good answers.

So are the tours worthwhile. I would recommend them to anyone.

Russell
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:20 AM   #14
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I have taken the Winnebago Tour 3 different times when I was in Forest City, IA. I enjoyed the tour. The tour starts at the Visitor Center across the street with a video presentation. You are then transported from the Visitor Center by bus to the several buildings in the manufacturing facility. The Visitor Center has several parking spots for RVs with 50 A hookup. One thing that impressed me in Forest City was Pammel Park. It is a city park with a campground. There are 10 free RV dump stations with potable water open 24/7.

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