Newmar and Thor Motor Coach Plant Tours

We have left Elkhart and are in Sunman, IN at the Indian Lake Thousand Trails Park. Before we left, we did plant tours at Newmar and Thor Motor Coach. The Newmar plant is in Nappanee and Thor is in Elkhart. I can see why Newmar rigs command more money after seeing them being built. The walls and roofs are stick built on 16 inch centers like a house except the studs are aluminum I beams. Wiring is installed and inside walls are glued and screwed in place. Then lots and lots of batt insulation is put in place before the Fiberglas goes on the outside. Similar process in the roof structure. The chassis are placed on rolling air jacks and moved sideways through the plant. Three or four men move the rigs effortlessly across the plant from station to station. There was lots of attention paid to quality control as well. I believe they are as well built as any we have seen so far. There was an underfloor moving belt on which trash was swept constantly. Very impressive!

I wish I felt so strongly positive about the Thor plant. It was the dirtiest and most cluttered of the six plants we have toured. I saw cabinet frames installed in a rig with cracked wood frames where the screws were driven without drilling holes. I saw holding tanks with the old style thru wall sensors. That’s all they use. Much of their work is sourced out to other shops including painting. That’s a recipe for poor quality. I like their floor plans, but I will never have a Thor product.

Author: John Huggins

John is a retired Navy Electronics Technician Chief. He traded the Navy adventure for a job in manufacturing quality assurance in 1986, and traded the job for the RV adventure in early 2005. Kathy has held jobs in the medical office arena as well as raising two sons. We now have 5 grand children and one great grand child.We have done much volunteer work since hitting the road including working at the Escapees CARE center in Livingston, Texas. We also are registered Red Cross disaster volunteers, and served in a Hurricane Katrina shelter in San Antonio, Texas.Our connection to Sarasota started in 1995 when John was transferred from New Jersey to work for Electro Corporation, later to become a division of Honeywell. He retired in 2004 and we bought our motorhome and hit the road.We are life members of the Escapees RV Club, as well as members of Good Sam Club and Family Motorcoach Association (FMCA). We hold campground memberships in Thousand Trails, RPI, and Passport America. Our home park is Hart Ranch in Rapid City, SD.Lately, we have worked in campgrounds in PA, IL, SD, AZ, and FL.Nowadays, we have become podcasters, broadcasting our show, Living the RV Dream on the internet. We also have this blog we are having fun with. Check out our Books page for our books on RVing and Workamping.

One thought on “Newmar and Thor Motor Coach Plant Tours”

  1. Didn’t wanna stay at Camp Newmar for free? We did the plant tour also, love the workmanship, don’t like the floorplans. Wish Winnebago had the quality Newmar does and vice versa.

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