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Old 02-19-2013, 08:48 PM   #1
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Recommend the Columbus Factory Tour

We ordered our 2013 Columbus 320RS in January. Our local salesman arranged for us to visit the Columbus factory in Middlebury, IN. The factory rep who gave us the tour was absolutely great. It was a very educational & awesome experience which confirmed that we did indeed make the right choice! If you are considering a Columbus fifth wheel and are within driving distance of the factory, I highly recommend the factory tour.

Just learned that our Columbus is scheduled to built this week. Very excited and really looking forward to travelling in our new fifth wheel!
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:26 PM   #2
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I visited the factory last October and I agree, very impressive.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:28 PM   #3
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We live in Atlanta and went to the Cherokee factory before we purcahsed our Gray Wolf 19RR.

Now we are looking at a larger toy hauler and no one within 500 miles has anything to look at. So we plan on making a trip to Indiana to do factory tours. Great way to really see the RV of your dreams. You learn so much...much more than at some lame dealership.

Matter a fact, we were going to a dealership in Alabama last week and the Forest River rep for Work & Play called and we met him at the dealership. What a wonderful tour! So changed my mind on many isses I had totally dismissed.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
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Hey maybe the next person that goes to the Columbus Factory Tour could video it for the rest of us that live just too far away??? ...definitely at least half serious...
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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Did the tour not allow cameras? Can't believe no pics posted yet of the Columbus factory.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:34 PM   #6
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I am hoping that Columbus will offer a tour during the FROG rally in August!!! Hint Hint!!!
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:42 AM   #7
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Hey maybe the next person that goes to the Columbus Factory Tour could video it for the rest of us that live just too far away??? ...definitely at least half serious...
It is not that far of a frip from Ontario. I live ah hour West of Sarnia, and it is a 3 hour drive from here.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:44 AM   #8
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We are scheduled to tour at the end of March.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:11 AM   #9
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A couple of obvious notes about the tour; First, every employee we talked with and saw seemed to be very happy and informative of where things were as tours are only conducted after the shift is ending and the factory itself is somewhat hard to find and the entrance is not clearly marked. Second, the layout was well designed so there are no wasted steps or space so that the building of each model run is done with efficiency and safety. We were allowed to check-out many of the models in place during each production step. It is obvious from start to finish that the head design engineers and managers are RV'ers themselves and knew what they wanted in an upscale 5th wheel at a fairly reasonable price. Currently, they are operating a 10 hour shift with a second shift for setup and restock building approx. 10 units per day. Columbus only has one line so they build only one floorplan model at a time for maybe a day or so before switching to keep things efficient and productive. The plant is so new with this building and plant being designed inside for the production of Columbus line that the money has been spent in production and not frills for the management or outside so you will have to hunt for the plant. The Columbus plant is located way behind the Forest River "Shasta" office & plant buildings with the drive being just to the NW of the office through a security gate that says "Employees Only" and the entrance to the Columbus plant building located at the far SW end of the building where the employees enter and the managers offices are within the plant.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:19 AM   #10
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It is not that far of a frip from Ontario. I live ah hour West of Sarnia, and it is a 3 hour drive from here.
OK then add on another 4 hours and the border crossing. It's not like it's going to change my mind. Our trailer is on our dealer's lot waiting for us to go April 22 to have our PDI and pick it up if all goes well with the PDI. So a factory tour at this point given the distance we would have to travel (on my days off as I still work full time) would actually just be nice to do, but not decision changing. If I lived within 3 or so hours as you say you are, then I would definitely do it.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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Nice, but its a Palamino thread. lol
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:10 PM   #12
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zs325RES post more pics if you have them !!! We did the factory tour two years ago !!!
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:13 PM   #13
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A good place for the Prime Time products would be at the Prime Time forum
Thanks
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:35 PM   #14
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OK then add on another 4 hours and the border crossing. It's not like it's going to change my mind. Our trailer is on our dealer's lot waiting for us to go April 22 to have our PDI and pick it up if all goes well with the PDI. So a factory tour at this point given the distance we would have to travel (on my days off as I still work full time) would actually just be nice to do, but not decision changing. If I lived within 3 or so hours as you say you are, then I would definitely do it.
Congradulations on deciding on your decision. We had decided on the Columbus 320RS after spending many years and lots of hours looking over & under other models. The factory tour was the icing on the cake and re-affirmed our recent decision to go with the Columbus. My opinion is that 99% of the problems I have read on here are directly related to what kind of dealer you choose and the old saying about getting the "Service after the Sale" which means that finding the right dealer may be even more important than deciding on the brand & model of RV to purchase! The factory tour isn't necessary but fun and informative.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:36 PM   #15
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Being on the west coast is a little far for me to get to the factory, I would love to see where ours came from...

I will be flying to Chicago in October, I think I'll hop a train and go visit for the day...
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:38 PM   #16
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VenturaBill , considering everything. I really would love for you to see our operation !!
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:43 PM   #17
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VenturaBill , considering everything. I really would love for you to see our operation !!
Chris

Thanks - I will add it to my plans then!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:10 PM   #18
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I am hoping that Columbus will offer a tour during the FROG rally in August!!! Hint Hint!!!
That's one of the tours that we did last year, and likely will be again. If not, we'll get you together with someone for a private tour. We were able to that with several plants that aren't set up to accommodate big groups.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:13 PM   #19
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If you come to Middlebury and tour the Columbus plant, stop by and say "hello." My office is just across the street in the Coachmen HQ building.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:01 PM   #20
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Right now she is laid-up somewhat after falling on a slippery floor coming in off some ice & snow a couple of weeks ago. She broke 4 bones in her left pelvic girdle area and so our RV'ing would be very limited. We told our salesman at Midway to contact the factory and put others who wanted their RV's last week ahead of us. Also, I just as soon have better roads for shipping the finished 5th wheel to us so we don't get all the salt & brine splashed up onto the chassis along with hitting all the pot-holes found on our Michigan highways right now!
Tell me about it. I looked at midway but we bought from Tradewinds outside of Flint because it was closer to home. Now I am trying to find a new place to get my service done because I am not happy with the service so far. It hit 60 here today and most of the snow is now gone!!! As soon as I get mine back from repair I am going to go camping!!!
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