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Old 05-30-2017, 04:14 PM   #1
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2004 Winnebago Vectra Roof issues

Hello Everyone,

Ive read all of the posts about the Winnebago roof coming out of the J channels. When i got the RV two years ago, I noticed there was an issue and re-calked the J channel. Last year, I did the maintenance again and put etherbond tape over it.

We store our RV inside so the weather isn't beating on it all year. About a month ago, we took a trip to Wyoming and the roof pulled out of the channel, even with the eatherbond. Needless to say, I put a temporary repair in place until I could get home.

I spent ll weekend cleaning it all up and repairing the torn fiberglass. (etherbond is a pain to lean off) I see that the roof is de-laminating from the plywood on the very top. I put some M3 5200 in there but I don't know that it will do much as I couldn't really get it that far in there . I cleaned all of the rails tucked it all back in the J channel.

My question is, has anyone screwed that roof down? I'm getting ready to drive from Colorado to Washington and then down the coast and back to Colorado and i don't want any issues. I will of course re-caulk but i'm not confident that will hold at this point so id like to put screws in.

Fiberglass seems a little brittle. Maybe wig washers? I was thinking about the screws about an inch above the J channel and some in the wood along the top. I would of course need to seal all of the screws really well. Then I figured I would re-paint the rails once it is all connected.

Anyone have any thouggts?

Dave
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:02 PM   #2
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not sure on the roof, but our old Fleetwood Wilderness 5th wheel had major delamination issues. Both times lost 6-8' of the front side on the interstate on a vacation. I walked back up the interstate picked up the FRP and put it in the camper. When at the camp ground I used drywall screws with fender washers, lots of duck tape (white) and towed it home after vacation. It held up well however my issue was there wasn't much real wood to screw to and mostly mush (ended up with 3" screws in some spots).

Not sure the difference between the FRP on the sidewalls and what is on the roof of the Winnie, but I would think if there is something sold to screw to youd be good. I thought the drawing i looked at showed aluminum under it and foam ?

As refeerence Im super worried about mine for this same reason....
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:33 PM   #3
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You are correct, there is aluminum rails at the bend in the roof. I've decided to get 12 in flashing and put it in the J channel and then will screw that to the aluminum rail. I was just going to screw the fiberglass but felt like if anything went wrong, it would rip through the thin fiberglass so the flashing gives some extra strength.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:41 AM   #4
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Just fyi, the Winnebago roof fiberglass is NOT laminated to the underlying plywood.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:53 PM   #5
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What Chris said ...the roof fiberglass sheet cannot delaminate as it is not laminated. I would be very afraid to try to screw it down as I strongly suspect it would crack at the attachment points as the body flexes. If maintained properly, it will stay secure (although there was a year or 2 that had some issues as the roof sheet may have been cut just a bit short.)
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:25 PM   #6
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What I meant by de-laminate is it looks like it was glued down to the plywood which has partially separated.

I did caulk it and it still came undone so I got a 25 ft x 12 in sheet of flashing and overlaid the fiberglass in the channel and am attaching it in 3 places. At the j channel, at the apex, and on the top. I will then caulk the J channel and then paint the flashing

I had to repair the fiberglass where it tore so I'm over dealing with this.

Despite doing the maintenance I've had it lift 3 times so now I'm engineering my own solution.

I don't think the fiberglass will crack with the flashing.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:21 AM   #7
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As applied by Winnebago the fiberglass roof is NOT glued down at all. It is secured at the front and rear via screws and caulking through the front and rear caps and secured in the side channels by the sealant applied there. Of, various through-roof fittings also server to secure it to some extent.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:55 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info. Mine is definitely glued to the wood underneath all the way around except for the place where it lifted when it came out of the channel. It looks like it came that way from the factory. I'm the second owner and I do know original owner had issues with it as well. Maybe they had it glued, I don't know
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:15 PM   #9
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I believe just the outer 6" or so of the fiberglass where it turns over the radius at the edge of the roof is not glued. The rest is. That does allow for some movement and flex along the edge between the roof and the sides. If you keep the edge sealed into the j channel, it will work as designed. BTW eternabond (aka etherbond) is not an acceptable material in this application. Sealant as recommended by Winnebago is compatible with the intent of the design. Having owned two Winnebagos, I inspected them every year and resealed the edges every two to three years and never had a problem. If you don't do the required maintenance of an rv, then expect problems to develop and grow quickly.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:34 PM   #10
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Thanks. I've had the RV 2 years and caulked it 3 times. I'm almost done getting it all back together with all the repairs. I caulked it and then put the eatherbond but probably won't do that again. I will caulk it again and I don't see it. Wing a problem going forward. What caulk are you using. I'm thinking 3m 5200
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:31 PM   #11
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I used a product called Lexel Shasco. It lasted three year before I sold the mh. It is available at Ace Hardware or online. FYI push the fiberglass into the back of the j channel and fill the outer void with sealant for best results.
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:18 PM   #12
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I previously owned a Winnebago with the J channel roof and had a couple of minor issues that I was able to repair by re-caulking. Tiffin has had a whole bunch of roof issues with coaches that were built prior to 2012.

The roofs may crack where they make the bend to the sidewall. TMH fixes the issue by replacing what they call they "roof rails" (curved portion) with a piece of aluminum. That does result in another seam on the roof, but has worked very well for most, if it was done correctly (plenty of overlap).

I think that this solution would work very well on Winnie roofs as well. Secure the aluminum rail in the j channel with caulk and screw the top with a proper RV lap joint. That way there will be no force on either attach point.
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:38 AM   #13
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Thanks for the input. That's exactly what I've done. I overlaid the fiberglass In he J channel with flashing and then screwed it down. There are two aluminum rails that run the length of the RV. And I used them as anchor points. It's way over engineered but I should not have any more trouble. Like I said before, I caulked it 4 times in two years and still had issues as did the previous owner so didn't want to have issues on my trip in 3 weeks. I still have some work to do to finish it and paint it but it should hold well. In my opinion, Winnebago should have created some form of this to solve the issue years ago. I'll still maintain the caulk but if anything happens, I'll get a leak not have pieces of the roof rear off. Here are some pictures. All screws and washers were individually sealed as are all seams.
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