Winnebago Factory Service Center Experience & Tips for Visiting
Winnebago Factory Service Center Experience & Tips for Visiting
An inside look at the benefits of coming to Forest City for service, as well as COVID precautions.
By: Kenny & Sabrina Phillips
When we told friends and family that we were traveling to Forest City, IA, to have our windshield replaced, everyone responded with: “Why wouldn’t you just go to a local service center?” The simple answer is trust. Sabrina and I usually go to the Winnebago Grand National Rally every year and have been able to take advantage of the fact we are near the service center while there to have work done to our Vista. Through those experiences, we have come to know and trust them.
The Winnebago Factory Service Center has a top-notch team – from the people at the front desk checking you in to the service techs that really take the time to explain and address any issue. We feel there is no better place to take care of our Vista than Winnebago themselves.
This is why, when it came time for us to replace our windshield, we decided we would bring our RV to the people and team we trust the most, especially in these times of COVID-19. We knew Winnebago would have some type of social distance procedure in place to make sure everyone is staying safe and comfortable while having service done.
Editor's Note: This article was written in 2020, for an updated Winnebago Factory Service Center Guide please refer to this article.
Planning a Trip to Winnebago’s Forest City Service Center
When planning a trip to the Winnebago Factory Service Center, be sure to plan ahead and give them a call to check availability. We like to call at least six weeks prior to when we would like to show up, keeping in mind that summer is their busy season and then again right before Thanksgiving – they get another surge because of snowbirds preparing to travel south for the winter.
Winnebago will then schedule your appointment and email you a confirmation of your service as well as a camping permit that you can print. The camping permit allows you to park at the service center sites (which include 50-amp service) the night before your appointment, the amount of days needed for your service, and one day after.
You can also get water and empty your holding tanks down the street at Pammel Park or at the Winnebago rally grounds. We recommend you do this before you arrive for service. If you need propane while in town, FCA Farmers Coop will be able to refill your tank. They are also very close to Pammel Park. Just keep in mind FCA only accepts cash or check for the propane.
If you are looking for full hookups while you stay and wait for service, we recommend Three Fingers Campground. Sabrina and I have stayed there before and they have a wonderful campground with water-front views and large pull through sites. They are located less than four miles from the Winnebago factory.
If you are planning on having your insurance cover the work on your RV, be sure to contact your insurance company once you have made an appointment with Winnebago. Then your claim adjuster will be able to talk directly with the Winnebago service team about having the costs covered. We are Florida residents, so our windshield replacement was completely covered by our insurance. You can check out our blog here on GoLife of why and how we made Florida our domicile state.
Winnebago Service Guidelines During COVID-19
Winnebago has gone to great lengths to make sure everyone remains safe during the pandemic. When you first arrive at the service center, be sure to put your mask on to enter the building. Someone will greet you at the door, take your temperature, ask you a few questions about how you are feeling, and give you a wrist band that shows you passed for that day. They have a different color wrist band for each day of the week and this lets everyone know that you are up to date with the check-in procedure.
Once inside, you will be able to go to the front desk to check in where there will be a plexiglass barrier between you and the service team staff. They will have some paperwork for you to fill out and when you’re done with the pen it goes into a bin where it will then be cleaned before being used again. After you are all checked in, you and your pets are welcome to stay inside the waiting room while service is being done to your RV – just remember to stay six feet apart from other guests.
There is plenty of hand sanitizer available in the waiting room for your use and if at any time you start to feel ill, you are asked to please let the front desk know and leave the building.
When they take your RV in the back for service, they will fog the coach before the technician begins his work and then they will fog it again before they return it to you. This fog is 99.7% effective against killing germs and is also food-grade safe. This is a way that Winnebago is going above and beyond to ensure everyone is safe from the virus while having service work done.
Overall Winnebago Service Experience
We arrived one day early for our service at Winnebago and the first place we went was to the Winnebago rally grounds to empty our tanks and refill our water. We then printed the camping pass that they emailed to us when we made our appointment and placed it on our windshield and parked over at the Winnebago Welcome Center.
I then walked down to the service center to let them know we were there and they let me fill out all of the necessary paperwork that day, allowing them to start work on our RV early the next morning.
We had our RV parked out front of the service center building by 7 a.m. and I went inside to meet with Shane, our service technician. Shane called out my name and we walked out to the RV to talk about what we were having done. Our first day was an oil change, tire rotation, and balance. He gave me the opportunity to ask as many questions as I liked before taking our RV around back.
Later that day, when our RV was finished, Shane came out to chat with me again and make sure I was happy with everything. We got our RV back for the night and he said to be back out in front of service again in the morning at 7 a.m. to have the windshield replaced. The next day all the same steps were taken and this time when Shane came out to talk about how everything went, he had some paperwork for me to take up to the receptionist and pay our bill. This was such an easy process and our new windshield looks great!
Closing Thoughts & Behind the Scenes Service Center Video
I really hope this article helps you when planning a service trip to the Winnebago Factory Service Center. You may also be interested in this video I made that gives you a behind the scenes look of the service center, including an interview with Winnebago Service Manager Tom Olson. Tom talks about the Winnebago Factory Service Center’s capabilities, staff, and benefits of bringing your RV to them.
Take care everyone and safe travels!
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