Winnebago Industries is one of the oldest and most well-known names in the recreational vehicle industry. The company is headquartered in Forest City, Iowa and manufactures motorhomes and self-contained RVs for leisure and outdoor recreational use. The company was started in 1958 when John K. Hanson and other local businessmen convinced a California company to open a travel trailer factory in the then economically depressed rural area of Forest City. Soon after the factory was purchased by five Forest City residents and John Hanson became its president. The name Winnebago Industries came into use in 1960.
At that time the company was primarily manufacturing travel trailers and furniture and accessories for these trailers. By constantly updating, Winnebago developed innovative products such as a wall construction process called Thermo-Panel® that provides a strong, lightweight, insulated sidewall. This is still a Winnebago Industries exclusive.
In 1966 Winnebago Industries built its first motorhome. It was a 19-foot model that had everything a family needed for cross-country adventure. Yet Winnebago did not stop there. The company’s growth continued through the 1970s and 1980s. In 1986 it was the first RV manufacturer to celebrate 20 years of production and to reach the 200,000 motorhomes produced mark. Today Winnebago Industries operates the largest RV production facility in the world, manufacturing (exclusively) motorhomes, and makes the majority of its parts and accessories itself, increasing their availability. As stated on their website, “Dies and molds are kept on hand. So, if you need a holding tank 10 years from now, you can get one. The tank was made by us, not by someone else who has long since gone out of business or shifted production.”
The Navion iQ and Era are built with the Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis and are smaller and more aerodynamically designed for those looking for a Class B or Class B+ motorhome and better fuel efficiency.
To find out if Winnebago is the manufacturer for you check out our Motorhome Comparison guide which rates over 42 different motorhome manufacturers in the industry today on quality of construction resale value and more.