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Old 08-27-2013, 09:43 PM   #31
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We enjoyed our tour today - and appreciated being able to see our fifth-wheel mid-production. Thanks to Mark Lawson (left) and Wildcat Chris (right) for working with us to know when to be there and for your time today!
Thanks for stopping by! Looking forward to seeing a pic of your 'cat in action!
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:13 PM   #32
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Wildcat Factory Tour

Just returned late last night from an all day trip to the Wildcat factory. James Borum their purchasing agent took us through the plant on a 2 hour tour. Saw everything from where the frames come in to watching a finished product roll out of the building.

We went because we are interested in a Wildcat 282RKX and had never seen one. What a great experience learning why thing are done a certain way. I thought we may be seeing things from a distance, but we were right up close talking to production workers and even went up top to watch the roof being installed.

These are some of the new "upgrades" to Wildcats that are now in production.

Pre-wired for rear camera. Just below the rear center clearance light is a small plug that covers a hole with the camera wiring. You purchase the camera from outside source, not FR.

New slide out trim in living room and bedroom. Much nicer the the flat trim in previous models. It features convex and concave radius curves the entire length. Very upscale.

Larger wardrobe slide out in bedroom incorporating a window at the headboard end with a shelf and drawers below. Now you can get cross ventilation in the bedroom.

Spare tire is now mounted under the front basement area instead of the rear bumper.

Tile flooring has been replaced with wood plank flooring.

More intricate edge on Corrian counter tops.

Premium gelcoat now used on fiberglass sides.

New roof material with a non-slip surface. In production when the last roll of "old material" which is on the production line is used up.

New docking center.

2 new fabric choices, both with a pebble finish. Buckskin and a light grey that the name escapes me. Both with accent pillows.

New frame mfg. no longer will be Lippert. New company is Norco and will have a Mor/Ryde pin box.

We will be ordering after the first of the year because I don't want to take delivery in the dead of winter here in N.E. Ohio. We live in the snow belt and get in excess of 100" of snow annually.

Hope to be at the 2014 F.R.O.G. rally.....
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:00 PM   #33
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Will be interested to see who the frame manufacturer is.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:16 PM   #34
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And you didn't take any pictures???? aahhhhhhh!!!!!
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #35
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Forgot the camera, but had our cell phones. We were so interested in what was going on we didn't take a single picture.

As for the new frame mfg. I just called Wildcat back and the new mfg. is Norco and the pin box will be a Mor/Ryde. Hope this helps.

Also forgot to add that the appliances will now be stainless steel instead of black.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:58 PM   #36
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Sounds very interesting and promising better quality regarding frame and the like. :-)
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:15 PM   #37
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I'm happy to see these upgrades, especially the larger wardrobe slide with a window. I also like the pre-wire for a rear camera.

Now if they would make a RL FW floorplan with room for two La-Z-Boys in the rear facing the TV (<11' away) and keep the pin weight < 1300#. Similar to the Crusader 290RLT, except one foot longer so the recliners can stay put for travel.

Thanks for the report, Cover Dog.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:41 PM   #38
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Thanks so much for the nice write up about your factory tour! If anyone here is interested in visiting, please call: 574-389-3232 and speak with Mark to set up an appropriate time!

Wildcat's new features are now listed here:
Wildcat Fifth Wheel Features / Options by Forest River

You've hit on a number of the best new "goodies" Wildcat is offering this coming season. For the record, all Wildcats are pre-wired for backup/rearview cameras and the wireless Voyager backup camera IS available as a factory option -- or you can simply add it on later. The polar white T-60 true high-gloss gel coat from Crane Composites is a mandatory option with new production. The new frame manufacturer is Norco and their RV division is called BAL. You can find out more information about them here: BAL - Innovative Products for the RV Industry We are still using Lippert frames on a few larger models (313RE, 317RL, and 344QB) but have started our transition to the NXG (eXtraLite) and NXG2 (Wildcat) lines of frames (automotive electro-coated HSLA sheet steel, computer-designed and laser cut, formed or die stamped, and assembled with locking huck bolts vs. welding) for future production. Very cool next generation RV assembly...

More details to come! Thanks for taking the tour -- I'll let James know he did a good job!
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:32 AM   #39
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Chris,
The "new" marked items are really very impressive. Congrats to this. Will bring you many new customers as soon as the word spreads around!
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:16 PM   #40
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Chris,
The "new" marked items are really very impressive. Congrats to this. Will bring you many new customers as soon as the word spreads around!
Thank you! While I know it's still not a perfect coach (I don't believe such a thing exists!), the Wildcat design team is listening very closely to our customers. There was a lot of input right here on these forums that helped shape the conversation this year -- thank you to all who contributed ideas and suggestions!
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