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Old 01-25-2010, 04:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 9
Review of Berkshire Factory Tour

I just got home from what was the RV capital of the world. What a ghost town.
Before arriving to the Forest River Diesel Division you can just see the empty buildings that used to be thriving with business Chassis and RV builders out of business everywhere.

I was glad to see that all of the Forest River divisions were going strong. Not too busy to get sloppy but not too slow to have no work. My coach was not slated for start until Feb. 4th and it seemed like they had quite a few orders on the books.

Upon entry we were greeted by a wonderful lady who was expecting us and she promptly called Carter who was our guide.

The tour of the plant really shocked me as far as how well everything was built. I got the feeling that they are listening to feedback because they take quality improvement very seriously.
The slide-outs are all hydraulic with full piston rams. There is a cable which runs through the inside of the slide to keep it square and in line.
The cabinets are all hand built.
The side walls are hand built with welded aluminum studs and backing in place for each thing that is screwed to the wall.
There is a huge vacuum press which the walls and roof enter after all of the necessary laminations are in place. There is no way the walls or roof will de-laminate. They even go as far as applying a sealing product to every opening to control wicking of moisture in exposed end-grains like a window or door opening.
There was no signs of anyone cutting corners. Yes, it was an assembly line but every single part is hand made to fit. There was no automated cnc machines running to speed up production.
The rig does go to a third party for paint but returns looking awesome.

The wiring looms and plumbing routes were all professionally installed. I was sure pleased as well as reassured that the coach was going to be well built.
More to come in another post
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Upperco, Maryland
Posts: 3,136
It's nice to hear that FR is doing a good job building their products. Thanks for sharing your experience.
We took the Jayco Class C tour a few years ago and were really impressed with the quality they produced. I imagine the areas of Nappanee and Elkhart have realy been hit hard with all the closings of manufacturers.
Recently on the Speed Channel they ran a series called Ultimate Factories, Winnebago was included in the list along with Corvette, BMW, John Deere, Catapillar and a couple more. These are 1 hour programs that cover products start to finish.

2007 Georgetown 370TS

Driver: Charlie
Navigator: Sheri
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:14 PM   #3
2008 Berkshire Owner
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 17
I think my rig was built with ever rejected part they could find. My unit was so bad, Forest River picked the unit up from my house and drove it back to the factory for major repairs. Upon returning the unit, I still had problems.

I applause their customer services efforts, but their problem solving is substandard. The unit sticker price was $172,000 - I expected a better product.
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:05 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 180
Question. Which large mauf have dropped off and left these empty bldgs ? Also has poor sales etc affected the value of trade in's on motorhomes and trailers ? I'm looking soon to trade my 2007 Bershire. Should I be alarmed ? Maybe I should wait or are there deals ? Thanks...Ron
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:23 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 9
If it were not for the rebates and free upgrades I could not choke on the beating I am taking on my trade. It is all in what you want. The way I looked at it was, next year my trade will be a year older and worth less yet. If you can live with what you have plan on keeping it.
The day after I got my 2008 Georgetown I knew I should have gone for better. It has served us well and for the most part very nice but I always wanted the diesel pusher and should have done it in the first place.
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