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“Kid in a Candy Store”. We’ve all heard the expression, but I’ve never put a finger on the feeling as squarely as I did on our recent trip to visit the Winnebago factory in Forest City Iowa. You see, Winnebago has a test lab on site. And… oh yes… I got to play in it. Check out the video below to see just the first little bit of what I was able to get away with.
But seriously, folks…
Besides that it takes two hours in a salt spray chamber to destroy a cell phone, the real take-away is that WINNEBAGO HAS A TESTING LAB ON SITE!
You can read a little bit about their lab on this page, but seeing it working in person really drives home the point that they’re serious about building better motorhomes. While I’m goofing around killing a cell phone, you can see several metal samples in the test chamber that they were doing real corrosion testing on. Winnebago has a pretty sophisticated e-coating facility that you’ll see in our factory tour, and I’m guessing they were testing samples from there. And if you look closely, you can see that there’s an exterior grab handle in the chamber as well. When I asked how these tests really run, I was told that they typically leave samples in the salt spray for 500 hours! That’s three weeks, 24×7, a lot of moisture, and a lot of salt. So if you’ve got a Winnebago, you can feel pretty confident that your grab handle won’t come off and your frame won’t rust if you spend a week (or three) at the beach… at the equator… in a monsoon.
Salt spray testing is not the only kind of testing that they do in the Winnebago testing lab. In the coming weeks, I’ll be adding video of other kinds of testing that they perform on motorhomes and components – and of how you would use the test facilities if you think like a 15 year old boy.
See you next time!