May '20

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24 • RV PRO • May 2020 rv-pro.com "We had Vienna Maple and Honey Cherry. We also dove into getting rid of the raised panels," Bonczyk said. "That's not what people are putting into their kitchens and into their homes, so why are we building coaches with something you wouldn't put into your home?" And that became something of a theme for motorized interior design, right down to the Intent 30RAE accessibility enhanced Class A. New color schemes are Walnut – a darker color, but nothing like traditional RV brown; Driftwood – gray with less wood grain; and a nearly white Sonoma scheme. Forza also makes use of luxury vinyl plank flooring at the suggestion of a number of dealer customers. And an entire living room floorplan came from customer suggestions. "Listening to the voice of the cus- tomer, we had a floorplan that wasn't so useful," Bonczyk said. "The TV came out at an angle and had a problem with utilizing the captain's chair. We modified that based on customer input with a large TV, theater seating and a hidden storage behind the fireplace." Bonczyk credits Mann with helping the design team become conscious of sight lines and symmetry. He said Winnebago's new 9-acre pro- duction facility in Forest City, Iowa, also has made a huge difference. "We've been restructuring how we define Class A's," he said. "We extended the line, and redefined how we process our Class A's, how we put our slide-outs together, how we sequenced the compo- nents on the coach. And we incorporated our final PDI into that line, so there's immediate feedback. If an issue is found, we can immediately walk it back." At the other end of Winnebago motor- ized is a bit of back to the future. The Solis takes the old Volkswagen van with a pop-top camper and brings it up to date on a modern Dodge Ram chassis. "The time seemed like it was right," said Russ Garfin, director of product management. "We're having a lot of active buyers that want something small and nimble that they can use in the winter or even the summer. This is a product designed to allow people to do that." Solis is a price point below the Class B Travato and is built to be easy to care for. There is no onboard generator. Appliances are all 12 volt and it comes standard with 230 watts of solar, so the batteries will always be charged. Instead of having struts to hold the cabinets open, the doors have magnets built in that will stick to metal points on the ceiling to keep the doors open. Solis has a wet bath, has heat and venti- lation in the bathroom and hangers in the shower. It also features a cassette toilet. The freshwater tank has a sight gauge so users can tell exactly how much water is left. The MSRP is $101,000. On the Upswing During the dealer event, the COVID-19 outbreak was beginning to affect the economy and many businesses were cut- ting production or even shutting down for a time. During his opening statements, Happe sought to reassure dealers that Winnebago is on strong footing and prepared for what- ever lay ahead. "We will celebrate 50 years as a public company in 2020," he added. "We have been a market leader on the motorized side, and we are still considered to have one of the most recognizable brands in the industry in our flagship brand Win- nebago. We are a survivor in a highly cyclical business. There is an immense sense of pride by our employees in our legacy and a determined sense of resil- ience to adapt as we need going forward to survive and succeed." Happe said he wants Winnebago to become a trusted leader in outdoor lifestyle solutions and to display a commitment to restore strength in its core business. Degnan said he believes with the prog- ress the towables division is making, that a good start has been made toward reaching those goals. "You don't buy the Winnebago – you join Winnebago," he said, "and that's really the theme of Winnebago towables." Shannon Huffman Polson, one of the first women to fly a U.S. Apache attack helicopter for the U.S. military, addresses leadership qualities during the keynote speech at the Palm Springs Air Museum. As Polson spoke, a Curtiss P40 Tomahawk was on display at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

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