The Big Sleep: Forza 38W

It sleeps eight, has two full baths, and is one of Winnebago’s most affordable diesel pusher motorhomes.  Winnebago product manager Ryan Roske shows off some of the great features of the Winnebago Forza.

Learn More about the Winnebago Forza

In Winnebago world, the Grand Tour sits at the top of the product line with all the features and design touches you’d expect to find in a coach that’s nearly a half-million dollars.  Ryan Roske, Winnebago’s Class A diesel pusher product manager, takes you on a small tour of the BIG Tour.

Learn More about the Winnebago Grand Tour

World Champion baseball manager, Joe Maddon, and his partner apparel brand, Korked Baseball, released a new t-shirt this week featuring a retro-style Winnebago with Joe’s iconic glasses on the windshield. The Winnebago shirt joins a line of popular Maddonism shirts like Joe’s “Try Not to Suck™” and “Embrace the Target™” designs.

Not only can Cubs and Winnebago fans rock Joe’s newest threads this summer, it is also for a good cause. A portion of sales will be given to Joe’s nonprofit organization, the Respect90 Foundation. Founded in 2015, Respect90 seeks to provide children and families opportunities to develop championship attitudes through sports, academics and community involvement in all the places the Maddons call home: Chicago, Tampa, Mesa, Ariz., and Joe’s hometown of Hazleton, PA.

Check out the new Winnebago Korked t-shirt below—get yours by clicking here or by visiting the Winnebago Outdoor store in Forest City, Iowa!

 

Meet the latest addition to Winnebago’s popular mid-luxury diesel pusher line – the Journey 40J. Ryan Roske, Winnebago’s product manager of Class A Diesel motorhomes, offers a quick overview of some of the Journey’s top features.

Learn More about the Winnebago Journey

The statistics of the Holcombe’s third anniversary of travel are impressive: 2 Winnebago Views, 37 tires, 57 national parks, 49 states, 5 provinces, 456,675 photos, and 1,094 of best days ever. This four-minute video is a breathtaking review that rockets through Peter, Kathy and Abby Holcombe’s kayak voyages across North America (with a lot of in-between hiking). Right after the Holcombes bought their first Winnebago View we bumped into them at a tradeshow, struck up a conversation, and the rest is history.

As Winnebago brand ambassadors, the Holcombes have shared their GoLife adventures across the country on our website and in many newspapers and TV stations. Looking back, it’s been one heck of a journey and we’re excited to see what’s around the next bend in the river as their travels continue.

Learn More about the Winnebago View

Take one baseball manager and his wife and add in a large helping of Winnebago love, and you have something that’s “sweet.”  Join Joe Maddon and his wife Jaye as they get introduced to their new home away from home, a Winnebago Grand Tour.

 

 

 

Winning takes skill, strategy, dedication, and teamwork.  And nobody knows that better than baseball manager Joe Maddon.

Joe and Jaye Maddon are avid RVers, and during the off-season and spring training Joe spends time at one diamond for work, and one diamond at home.

When the Maddons set their eye on Winnebago’s flagship Grand Tour 45RL, the Winnebago team was proud to craft a coach fit for an owner who has high standards in both his professional and personal life.

The Maddons’ “away” home is the ultimate product of hundreds of hours of planning and decades of experience in designing premium diesel pusher RVs.  From the drafting screens of the engineering department to the final delivery walkthrough, teams of Winnebago planners, engineers, assembly technicians, and chassis specialists were all part of the “other team” to make the Maddons’ coach both comfortable and reliable.

A 45RL’s journey begins at Winnebago headquarters in Forest City, Iowa, where a product development team evaluates dozens of features and stylings that best fit customer needs and expectations. All of Winnebago’s motorized products are assigned a product manager who each represent one of the various classes of motorhomes.

Product manager Ryan Roske spends a lot of time with market research, gathering deep input from current and potential owners to determine the best mix of design and features.  It’s this deep understanding of changing trends and emerging technologies, coupled with decades-proven usability experience, that consistently puts Winnebago products on buyers’ shortlists.

Roske has every right to be proud of the company’s top of the line coach. “The 45RL is not only the biggest motorhome in our lineup, it is also the most technologically advanced. Our team made sure that when we entered this market, we did it the right way and included all of the amenities and manufacturing quality a customer expects with a product of this caliber,” Roske said.

Just a couple of years ago, Joe Maddon’s Winnebago motorhome would have come from Iowa, but this one was born on the West Coast in the company’s Junction City, Oregon plant.  The Junction City facility houses 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space and eventually will be the primary location for production of Winnebago’s Premium Class A Diesel Pusher products.

And while we’re talking about big numbers, here’s another one:  8,000.  That’s the number of components that go into a Grand Tour.

That’s a huge level of complexity which requires a very skilled labor force.  John Millis, the General Manager of the Junction City facility explains, “When Winnebago purchased the Country Coach plant in December of 2015 one of our critical deciding factors was that there was a highly skilled workforce in the area.  Our top 50 most-tenured employees have an average of 14 years experience working in the industry.  They truly enjoy building high-quality RVs.”

With Joe Maddon’s motorhome, the team in Junction City wasn’t aware who the customer would be until the motorhome was nearly completed.

“It was a cool surprise announcement,” said Millis. “We periodically have all-plant meetings and shared the news with our team that the manager from the World Champions was going to be in a product built by Winnebago. Our people take a lot of pride in every coach we build, but when you have such notable customers as the Maddons, it’s a strong validation of our employees’ passionate commitment to being best in class.”

And with all the boxes double checked it was time for the Grand Tour to set sail south to spring training in Mesa, Arizona.

Many RVers who’ve gotten tired of winter and want to get a jump on spring make their way to Arizona in February and March.  From parking lots and commercial RV parks to saguaro-dotted county parks that sit above the Valley of the Sun, it’s a great way to enjoy late winter in the desert.

Joe Maddon begins a circle inspection of the new Grand Tour.

That’s something Joe and Jaye Maddon were looking forward to as their Grand Tour rolled up.  Winnebago’s Vice President, General Manager Motorized Business, Brian Hazleton, was there to personally drop off a set of keys and help them get acquainted with their new coach.

From front to back, and inside out, Joe’s repeated comment was “Sweet!”

As Joe and Jaye begin to settle in, there’s no doubt there will be adventures ahead and stories to tell, and for the Maddons, Winnebago is the new home team.

Continue to look for future stories in our “Meet the Maddons” series on GoLife.

Vinyl graphics emerged in the marketplace in the late 50s in the form of wood graining on the side of automobiles. Early vinyl graphics were viewed as a low cost / short-life product and used as an option to painted striping. Fortunately, manufacturers have steadily improved the quality and service life of vinyl materials and the performance of today’s products are far superior to the early vinyl material… and the applications continue to grow.

Vinyl graphics are separated into two major classifications due to the materials used and the methods used to manufacture…i.e., calendered vinyl and cast vinyl. The primary ingredient of a vinyl film is PVC resin…i.e., plastic. The physical properties of a vinyl can be adjusted/altered with use of various plasticizers, stabilizers, and lubricants, depending on the application and the life expectancy targeted for the vinyl.

Calendered Vinyl: This vinyl is referred to as an “extruded vinyl” and commonly called “4-mil vinyl.” The increased film thickness and resulting rigidity of the film make this product easily recognizable. A calendered vinyl is produced by introducing the raw materials into a mixer and blending it with the necessary pigments to ensure color consistency. The end product is then heated and introduced into an extruding machine where it is rolled out into a large continuous film sheet. Perhaps a stretch, but the process can be compared to rolling out pie dough with a rolling pin… and similar to dough, the material will retain some “memory” – i.e., the film has a tendency to shrink back as it ages. This can result in premature adhesion-related issues such as bridging on irregular surfaces, edge lifting, and cracking. In summary, a calendered vinyl is considered an intermediate product due to the lesser costs of the raw materials and the process necessary to produce it. The long-term durability of a calendered vinyl is typically three to six years, but this is very dependent on timely preventative care and limiting exposure to the elements.

Cast Vinyl: Cast vinyl is commonly referred to as “high-performance vinyl”or “2-mil vinyl.” The raw materials used to manufacture a cast vinyl parallels a calendared vinyl, but the process of creating the vinyl film is where they differ. With a cast vinyl, the liquid vinyl is applied/poured onto a casting paper. As the paper travels through an oven, the solvents used to make the product a liquid evaporate leaving a dry and extremely stable vinyl film. Cast vinyl is manufactured at a snail pace with lesser square footage realized when compared to producing a calendered vinyl.

In summary, a cast vinyl is considered a “premium product” and the costs reflect this. The long-term durability of a cast vinyl is typically seven to nine years, but this can be extended with proper/timely care and limiting exposure to the elements.The suppliers of graphics to the RV industry offer both calendered and cast graphics, so it is a conscious decision to choose the better product. Although it’s an opportunity to take costs out of a product, Winnebago Industries. chooses to use cast vinyl because it is clearly the best choice for an exterior graphic/“decal” on an RV.

Ready-to-install vinyl graphics have four major components including:

1. Liner – This is a backing typically made from a heavy paper with a silicone-release coating. This prevents the adhesive on the vinyl from contact with any foreign matter.

2. Adhesive – High-performance acrylic adhesive is the most widely used today. The manufacturers of self-adhesive vinyl films typically coat 1 mil of adhesive onto the vinyl film during the manufacturing process.

3. Vinyl Film – The color of pigmented vinyl graphics are determined by the vinyl film. The vinyl is coated onto a casting liner at 1.5-mil thickness. Due to characteristics of each color, the elongation and memory will vary. Silver, for example, has a high metallic content, making it brittle compared to white, a nonmetallic color.

4. Premask – This provides two functions. The first, protecting the vinyl film during application. The second is providing a carrier for the vinyl film from the liner to the application surface without stretching or damage.

Care of Exterior Graphics – Vinyl film is a petroleum-based product and it must be cared for accordingly. Compared to the fiberglass exterior of a coach or a full-body paint job, the vinyl film is a fairly soft material…and it is porous as well. Simply, air and water molecules can pass through with ease.

  1. Avoid washing the vehicle in direct sunlight or in extreme ambient temperatures – it is easy to shock plastic which can cause micro cracking.
  2. Consider using a microfiber wash mitt when cleaning vinyl graphics. High pressure washing is risky, so keep the wand several feet away and perpendicular to the surface. Avoid use of brushes – they will scratch vinyl graphics.
  3. Use automotive detergents and rinse with plenty of clean water. Water-spotting is an etching process that can occur to the best paint surfaces and can certainly etch into the finish of a vinyl film, too.
  4. Avoid cleaners, polishes, and wax containing high concentrations of solvents. Solvent-based products penetrate and affect the plasticizers. This can destabilize the vinyl film causing it to shrink and become brittle. Solvents can also affect the bonding of the vinyl and the adhesive layer, too.

Consider use of a quality “synthetic polymer” wax. These “new waxes” may contain some polishes / abrasives to help clean a surface, but the synthetic polymers / properties provide long-term protection from the elements and most importantly, will not attack gel-coated fiberglass, paint jobs…or the vinyl graphics. A good wax will have a high SPF rating which will add to the UV protection properties that are engineered into all the exterior finishes including the vinyl film. Purchase the best product you can find.

Winnebago product manager, Ryan Roske, provides an information-packed overview of the diesel pusher line. From Winnebago’s exclusive Maxum Chassis to a view of the largest and most luxurious coach the company has ever built, “Kings of the Road” explains the differences and features from entry level to the top-of-the-line Class A diesel pushers.

Do you want to be a King of the Road? If so, we have some good news for you! From March 1, 2017, to August 31, 2017, Winnebago is extending our industry-leading warranty on our diesel pusher lineup to an incredible 3 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Visit your dealer during Carefree Diesel Days, make your best deal, then leave your worries behind — warranty repairs for up to 3 years or 100,000 miles are on us! Learn more here.

Touring Coach and Class C product manager, Russ Garfin, surveys the complete “Sweet Fleet” of Winnebago’s best selling compact motorhomes.  This overview includes a first look at the all new Fuse built on the the Ford Transit chassis.

From the beginning of the era of modern motorhoming, Winnebago has always been a leader and innovator in gas powered motorhomes.  Product manager John Millis walks through an overview tour of coaches from entry level affordable rigs, to our top-of-the-line models.

Can you believe it’s 2015 already? I remember my mother telling me that the older I got the faster time would go and she wasn’t kidding. Along with a new year, I often see others making New Year’s Resolutions. This year, I started working on organizing and trying to eat better.

I love eating salads, but really when I’m hungry I’d rather have something quick and easy then taking the time to assemble a salad. I had seen a lot of Mason Jar Salads going around on the internet and decided to give it a try. My inspiration was this Strawberry, Blueberry, and Spinach Salad.

This is a great night-before idea for a healthy and fast alternative to a roadside fast food lunch stop when you’re in between destinations.

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The strawberries aren’t really in season for us in the north so I decided to make a few changes. When making the salad I started at the bottom with the balsamic vinaigrette. Next, I layered mushrooms, blueberries, and grilled chicken. I topped that with almonds and goat cheese. Then I just filled the remaining part of the jar with spinach.

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It was actually easiest to make the salad all at once. Storage was even easier in my tiny fridge. When I was ready to eat my salad, I just poured it onto the plate. I did have to use a fork to scoop some of it out but it’s pretty easy.

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Everything tasted fresh and I loved the way the salad dressing comes out on top of the salad. I really think this is a great idea and something I’ll be doing a lot more of! It’s not only easy to store, but you can grab it in go. I love opening my fridge to see these beautiful tasty jars!

If you don’t want to carry the weight of the glass jars or worry about them breaking you can always use these Plastic Freezer Jars.