Winnebago History

In October 2020, a decision was made between the management of Winnebago and the management of The Hitch House that the Hitch House would start selling Winnebago Class B products. Being that we were a current Pleasure-Way dealer we felt that the two Class B product lines would complement one another.  Thus, Winnebago’s products were an excellent fit with our current Motorhome offering. Winnebago acquired Newmar in 2020; The Hitch House has been a Newmar dealer for over 12 years - the relationship just made sense.  Winnebago is trusted leader in outdoor lifestyle solutions by providing unmatched innovation, quality, and service. Not to mention, it is one of the most iconic names in the industry. We have since added a few more Winnebago Motorhomes to our product line, including Ekko, Adventurer, Vista, and Minnie Winnie.

Winnebago began as a civic project. It was in the late 1950's, and Forest City, Iowa needed jobs.  Local businessman John K. Hanson loved vacations in his family's Aljo travel trailer and had an idea: Lure the RV's California manufacturer to open a local factory. It worked.  Backed by local investors, Modernistic Industries began production with 17 employees on February 12, 1958, and produced its first 15-foot towable weeks later.  Its sticker price $895. Soon, John K. bought out the other investors, and kicked off a series of innovations in design, quality, and safety.  The company made 50 improvements to the Aljo, including a choice of 15-foot, 17-foot, and 19-foot models.

The 1960's were a decade of phenomenal growth, and American prosperity drove an RV boom.  Winnebago deliveries would soar from $1 million in all of 1961 to $1 million a day by September 1968. In 1961, 102 RV dealers came to the company's first Dealer Days for tours of the now-legendary plant. With a name change to Winnebago Industries (after the county of its locale), Winnebago pioneered game-changers in quality, manufacturing, including:

    • Super structure framework for building integrity.
    • Strong, lightweight construction with Thermo-Panel walls and roof.
    • An efficient, automotive-style assembly line with outstanding craftsmanship.

In 1966, Winnebago rolled out its first self-contained Motorhomes: The F-19, built on a Ford chassis, and in 1967, the famous D22, built on a Dodge chassis. It was the first of many times Winnebago would set the pace for an entire industry. Winnebago is such a cornerstone of the market that sometimes their brand name is synonymous with RVs themselves. They have been in business for over half a century. No wonder they are so well-known!