A Conversation with Winnebago

Russ Garfin talks about the future at the RV Entrepreneur Summit

Don Cohen Don Cohen  |  03.01.2017

Part of the job description of being a Winnebago product manager is to spend time out in the field interacting with customers.  Those interactions often show up as features in Winnebago’s products and are why Winnebago coaches are so livable and reliable.

Recently at the RV Entrepreneur Summit 2017 held in Fredericksburg, Texas, summit organizer and GoLife contributor Heath Padgett (along with his business and life partner Alyssa) sat down with Russ Garfin who is Winnebago’s manager of the B and C class products.

Perhaps one of the most visionary people in the industry, Garfin offers some perspective, insights, hints and answers to how Winnebago sees the road ahead for this fast growing market segment.

You can watch an archive of the Facebook Live interview by clicking here.


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9 Comments

  1. Angel Posted on 06.11.2017

    I just watched the “Inside the Winnebago View/Navion 24G” video and it was very nice to know that you all are listening to customer feedback. I wanted to write to you because I’m in the midst of long term planning for full timing and I wanted to give you some suggestions now because I know that with the entrance of Hymer into the market, changes are afoot. I expect to see many of them in the next 4-5 years before I have to make my purchase.

    While I would prefer to buy American, at this moment, I’m leaning towards a van…but a Hymer instead of a Travato 59g because of the tech and here’s why: I want a cassette toilet, under hood generator/altenator, a stationary bed, no slides, lots of solar, an inverter, an electric fridge, etc. To be sure, I know there are many people (especially older) who stand by their black tank (and empty it too) but I have to say that when I retire, I never want to have to go looking for a dump station.

    With more money to spare (which might be the case) I’d like something just a little bigger than a van. Minus the tech, or lack thereof…the look of View/Navion J really appeals to me. But then you lost me with the u-shaped dinette and slide. Don’t get me wrong, that dinette is attractive, but I will be a single person traveling and I won’t need a whole dinette. I want a comfortable sofa (not too low) that I can sit and read on with a table that I can eat at and prep things on, but then stow away. No need for a slide (or the opt. cab bed). I want as much space as I can get, but in a small package with fewer moving components, because from what I’ve been seeing online, no offense, there are some warranty, quality control and customer service issues that may just be the way it is with Winnebago. While there are companies that manufacture that style of rv, the decor reminds me of many, many, many years ago. Ugh. And, they all have black tanks.

    Last but not least, if I was going to buy a van with a non-stationary bed, here is the van floor plan that I think is one of the very best for single travelers (something I think there will be many more of in the near future): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_5murAYfKg

    Spacious shower and kitchen with a wine cooler! Ok, I don’t drink so I don’t need a wine cooler. Maybe a more stylish/comfortable sofa/bed?

    Just some suggestions. I’ll keep my eye on Winnebago. Thank you,

  2. David Karol Posted on 05.05.2017

    In the future, please have the mic’s in the publics hands so we can hear the dialogue. Most of the audience questions were not loud enough.

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 05.05.2017

      Duly noted. As a first time event, the mic pass wasn’t completely perfect. Hopefully though, you heard Russ Garfin’s answers very clearly.

  3. Alex Z Posted on 03.21.2017

    Can I get your job?

  4. Maggie Graeber Posted on 03.08.2017

    We loved this! We did miss things though as we couldn’t hear what people were asking. Maybe someone could be on the floor with a mike next time? All in all, it was great!

  5. Dave Helwick Posted on 03.07.2017

    Very interesting—On future presentations, presenter needs to repeat the question from the audience. He seemed to answer questions, but we never knew what the question was!!!

  6. Gary Berscheid Posted on 03.07.2017

    Why doesn’t Winnebago offer mirror turn signals and side cameras on the 25B class c models? Coachmen offers the Ford 450 frame, V10 engine with mirror signals/camera on their class c models. Also, why don’t dealers have the 25B model with the Ford 450 frame with the V10 engine in stock? The 350 frame with the V8 engine is under powered when pulling a toad and has only a payload of 1500 pounds.

    A dealer told me that there is a $1300 delivery charge instead of letting me pickup the RV at your location. I’m only 100 away ( 2 hours) so distance to me is not a lssue. Why can’t I pick up the RV or accompany the dealer when he picks up other RVs?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 03.07.2017

      Gary,

      When dealers order products for their inventory they’re thinking about price point and configuration in terms of what they think will sell. This often means that both with cars and motorhomes, buyers who are looking for added equipment, specific color schemes, or upscale packages often have to custom order.

      Winnebago, as a policy, charges the same amount for delivery regardless of the dealer’s location and there’s a good reason for this. It keeps the economic playing field level for buyers throughout the country and ensures that the company has a strong dealer and service network. As is the standard for the entire RV industry, units are delivered from the plant to dealers via a contract delivery service. Dealers also provide an important step in the final process of pre-inspection delivery which adds an additional measure of quality control.

  7. Eric Eltinge Posted on 03.02.2017

    I recently saw a FedEx Sprinter van that said diesel hybrid on the rear door. When will Winnebago get this?