2014 Travels travel blog

Carpes at Winnebago Customer Service

Construction on I 35 in Des Moines

US 69 runs thru Iowa farmland

Windmills are a "cash crop" in some areas

A detour took us thru some small towns

Welcome to Forest City
Home of Winnebago. Carpe was "born" here

On Tuesday Carpe visited CDI
CDI painted her and is investigationg some paint...

Next stop, Winnebago Factory Service

Back at the Visitor's Center Carpe greets local train


Mon, 02 Jun: Carpe Diem returns "home".

Today was a short road day, 135 miles from West Des Moines to Forest City Iowa. Forest City is the home of Winnebago Industries, the firm that built our Itasca (Itasca is a twin brand to Winnebago with little differences other than trim and color schemes).

We left around nine after putting our GPS plug together again. The little tip fell off so we had to round up the parts (never did find the spring) from the floor of the car. But, it seems that the spring and from a ballpoint pen will also work. It's always something you know.

Once on the road Bob got us to I 35 north thru Des Moines and its environs. Near Williams we left the Interstate on US 20 west a few miles to US 69. We took 69 north to Forest City. The only problems were a very strong northwesterly wind and a detour that got us sightseeing thru some small towns we would not have otherwise visited.

We arrived at the Winnebago Visitor Center a few minutes before noon and got a site in their courtesy camping area. We staked out our site with some cones and Carpe Dinkum while we took Carpe Diem to the Forest City dump site.

After dumping and watering we drove the coach to CDI Corporation, the firm that does all of Winnebago's full body painting. We were conferred about the 3M front mask that seems to be clouding up as well as some deterioration of the clear coat on the front and rear brows. After examining the coach the folks at CDI said they could remedy both issues at a very fair cost to us. We'll bring it back tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 0730.

We returned to the Visitor Center and got Carpe parked and settled in. Next stop was the Winnebago Customer Service desk where we signed up to get two minor maintenance issues addressed. We're on standby so we could go in any time they call, but most likely it'll be Wednesday or Thursday. Then we were off to the Lost Sock Bubblemat, Forest City's coin laundry, for five loads of laundry.

Once our duds were finished, folded, and put away, we hopped in the car and drove to nearby Thompson, home of The Branding Iron. The Branding Iron is a local icon known for its superb meat. Folks drive up from Des Moines and down from the Twin Cities to dine there. Monday is prime rib nite and even Sandi, who is not normally a prime rib fan, orders a portion. It was as great as ever.

Back to the coach for a delayed Happy Hour and feet up. A good day.

Tues, 03 June: Carpe gets some TLC...

We had an early appointment at Winnebago's paint contractor, CDI, to have Carpe's front mask and upper radius taken care of. That meant an alarm clock morning in order to have the coach on the road and ready for work by 0730. We are generally early risers, but having to get up is the pits!

Anyway, we got Carpe to CDI in time and they started work on the front mask. This is a 3M product that is supposed to protect the front of the coach. Well, it has deteriorated and will not shine. Rather the front of the coach has a dull, matte look. The techs at CDI attempted to buff it but to no avail. This was a strike out.

The other issue was the clear coat where the roof of the coach meets the front and rear cap. The finish was spotty and did not look that nice. CDI knows about the issue and arranged to repaint and refinish the entire roofline at a highly discounted price. We said "yes".

We left Carpe for her day of TLC, but before we left CDI we were treated to an in depth tour of their facility. It was very impressive and the paint quality on Winnebago's new coaches is top notch. Regrettably, they did not use the same level of quality in '07 when our coach was built, so we may consider repainting her some day down the road...

We returned to the Winnebago Visitor's Center in time to take the 0900 factory tour. We've taken the Winnebago factory tour multiple times and always find it interesting. They are constantly changing and improving things. This time we were impressed with how busy the factory is. A far cry from the almost empty building we saw on our first tour back in '09.

To Mason City for lunch and some shopping, and then back to the Visitor Center to work on our computers. We got "the call" around four and picked Carpe up. As expected, the front film was a disappointment, but the roof radius looked great.

Back to our space and Happy Hour!

Wed, 04 Jun: Another "homeless" day.

We slept in this morning and, upon awakening we discovered that we'd received a call from Winnebago's Factory Service Center. They have a service opening and can take us as soon as we can get there.

We rushed thru breakfast and got Carpe ready to roll. The tech came out and we walked thru our two issue list (one strictly preventative maintenance) and away she went. We headed to the parts desk where we were able to identify and purchase several parts and supplies we needed.

We met Lorraine Baake for lunch at the Ay Jalisco restaurant in Forest City. Lorraine is our sis-in-law Carolyn's 88 year young mother and we had a delightful lunch date. While downtown we claimed our mail and then headed back to claim our coach.

Back to the Visitor's Center parking lot we got settled in and went thru our mail. Nothing earth shaking so we enjoyed a very quiet afternoon and evening. Tomorrow is a nothing on the calendar day and we may well just stay put.

We're "outta heah" Friday morning.



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