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Old 11-15-2007, 11:46 AM   #1
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After reading a number of posts about the need to inspect the gutter and cap seals I took a look today. The three 3/16" square weep holes on the passenger side seem to be clear and the two on the driver side seem to be clear. I assume the third one on the driver side is under the main slide out awning. Unfortunately I discovered some awning gutter sealant failure here and there and most unfortunately I discovered on the driver's side that the adhesive holding the side of the front cap to the side wall has failed. At the corner where the cap turns up from horizontal to vertical to go up to the roof, that corner is protruding out about one quarter inch.

I called Winnebago this afternoon and the service tech told me that for our 2004 Journey 36G that the side wall cap had a metal piece bonded to the inside cap fiberglass and screws located from the inside out through the body frame into this metal piece fastened the side of the front cap to the body side wall.

I told him this sounded just like when the rear lower piece of the rear cap (I call it the bumper) let loose. I used JB weld glue and clamped it tight and it bonded and has been good for over six months. He said that was just about it.

He suggested that I use a similar technique to bond the side wall and the cap. There is not much room with only a decreasing quarter inch gap between the side wall and the side cap. I'll try to wedge it out to allow some room for cleaning and stuffing glue up there. No doubt will need to tape some cover over the side walls to protect the side wall paint.

Then there is the clamp! That would be a size 12'. Not having one of those I'm planning to pull along side one of the steel poles where I store the MH and insert a screw jack between the pole and the side wall to pressure the cap side wall into the body side wall. It should work.

Then lastly is getting some sealant material to re-caulk the joint as well as the other joints. According to the "2004 Journey & Meridian Sealants Callout Sheet" I'll need Sealant A, Winnebago part # 072889-10-000.

On re-reading there are two procedure questions: (1) Will I have enough working space to clean and insert enough glue to cause a strong bond. (2) The obvious problem of how to remove the cap once it is glued in place. I doubt that I'll have the good luck to be able to find and smear sufficient amount of glue to the metal piece so that it will be re-assembled as initially manufactured. At this point I am assuming the screws did not just back out and it's not really a glue failure. Although I'll check it as I can I am betting it's a glue failure.

An alternative repair would be to locate the frame steel and drill and mount two external stainless steel fasteners mounted in a dress washer. This fix would reduce the appearance but allow for easier cap removal. This fix would also set up a potential leak problem as keeping the holes sealed would no doubt be problematic over time.

I searched the forum for a similar problem but only found where Peter Griffin had a side cap come loose and Winnebago fixed it under warranty. Has anyone else accomplished this repair? Anything I might not have thought about?
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:46 AM   #2
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After reading a number of posts about the need to inspect the gutter and cap seals I took a look today. The three 3/16" square weep holes on the passenger side seem to be clear and the two on the driver side seem to be clear. I assume the third one on the driver side is under the main slide out awning. Unfortunately I discovered some awning gutter sealant failure here and there and most unfortunately I discovered on the driver's side that the adhesive holding the side of the front cap to the side wall has failed. At the corner where the cap turns up from horizontal to vertical to go up to the roof, that corner is protruding out about one quarter inch.

I called Winnebago this afternoon and the service tech told me that for our 2004 Journey 36G that the side wall cap had a metal piece bonded to the inside cap fiberglass and screws located from the inside out through the body frame into this metal piece fastened the side of the front cap to the body side wall.

I told him this sounded just like when the rear lower piece of the rear cap (I call it the bumper) let loose. I used JB weld glue and clamped it tight and it bonded and has been good for over six months. He said that was just about it.

He suggested that I use a similar technique to bond the side wall and the cap. There is not much room with only a decreasing quarter inch gap between the side wall and the side cap. I'll try to wedge it out to allow some room for cleaning and stuffing glue up there. No doubt will need to tape some cover over the side walls to protect the side wall paint.

Then there is the clamp! That would be a size 12'. Not having one of those I'm planning to pull along side one of the steel poles where I store the MH and insert a screw jack between the pole and the side wall to pressure the cap side wall into the body side wall. It should work.

Then lastly is getting some sealant material to re-caulk the joint as well as the other joints. According to the "2004 Journey & Meridian Sealants Callout Sheet" I'll need Sealant A, Winnebago part # 072889-10-000.

On re-reading there are two procedure questions: (1) Will I have enough working space to clean and insert enough glue to cause a strong bond. (2) The obvious problem of how to remove the cap once it is glued in place. I doubt that I'll have the good luck to be able to find and smear sufficient amount of glue to the metal piece so that it will be re-assembled as initially manufactured. At this point I am assuming the screws did not just back out and it's not really a glue failure. Although I'll check it as I can I am betting it's a glue failure.

An alternative repair would be to locate the frame steel and drill and mount two external stainless steel fasteners mounted in a dress washer. This fix would reduce the appearance but allow for easier cap removal. This fix would also set up a potential leak problem as keeping the holes sealed would no doubt be problematic over time.

I searched the forum for a similar problem but only found where Peter Griffin had a side cap come loose and Winnebago fixed it under warranty. Has anyone else accomplished this repair? Anything I might not have thought about?
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:14 PM   #3
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can you show us a picture of the area and I can offer suggestions..thanks
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:57 PM   #4
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Peter, please see below two photos:





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Old 11-15-2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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Hey Steve,
Sounds like you have given this some excellent thought. I like your screw idea but instead of screws would a rivet work better? The reason for the rivet IMHO might be it would be much easier to disguise when finished but still provide the holding and if need be removal in the future. Winny uses rivets anyway and possibly matching up one of theirs would look facory. I would paint the finished rivet and I seriously doubt anyone would ever know. Just a thought. Good luck. Nice looking coach.
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:29 PM   #6
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I agree with the rivet idea. I'd drill for the rivets, put some sealant in the gap, then rivet the sucker down. Once painted to match the existing color, doubt anyone would notice from the ground.

If I ever have the generator door separation problem, I plan to use some high quality rivets.
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:19 PM   #7
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I had not thought of rivets as a fastener. Probably because I do not have any rivet experience. So I will need to ask for some assistance. I will need stainless steel rivets? 1" deep x Ό"? Winnebago told me that there is a layer of wood behind the body side wall. The rivet will hold OK in a thin layer of fiberglass and wood? How will I recognize a high quality rivet?

I am thinking that a threaded screw will pull the front cap side into the body side, closing the quarter inch gap. To use a rivet I will need to apply pressure to the front cap side to force the gap closed and then rivet?
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:37 PM   #8
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Here's my new best friend: Scotch VHB, AND Vehicle Applications

Be patient. I think the server is a Commodore 64
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:14 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SteveG:
I had not thought of rivets as a fastener. Probably because I do not have any rivet experience. So I will need to ask for some assistance. I will need stainless steel rivets? 1" deep x Ό"? Winnebago told me that there is a layer of wood behind the body side wall. The rivet will hold OK in a thin layer of fiberglass and wood? How will I recognize a high quality rivet?
I am thinking that a threaded screw will pull the front cap side into the body side, closing the quarter inch gap. To use a rivet I will need to apply pressure to the front cap side to force the gap closed and then rivet? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Regarding rivets, there is a special type of pop rivet called an "Oscar Rivet' that has slots cut down the side so that it forms a large holding collar when installed. It's meant for thin material applications.
You would have to hold the gap closed or push hard enough on the pop rivet tool to close it.

I became acquainted with them when I installed my A&E window awnings. They were furnished for the bottom brackets and strap holding bracket.
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:14 AM   #10
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Had the same problem, and I used a screw to secure the cap. Problem I had was that I drilled the hole for the screw too close to the corner and the fiberglass cracked and a chip broke off. After installing the screw I used touch up paint on the screw and unless I pointed it out no one notices it from the ground. Oh yes, I did shoot a little silicone under the cap corner before securing it.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:59 AM   #11
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Steve,

I had the same problem. It was recently fixed at the factory for no charge. They used screws from the outside and gave the passenger side the same treatment to prevent future problems. Or maybe it was to keep my side to side weight equal...

I'll stop by my storage later today and get a picture. It's hardly noticeable to me, but I don't obsess on appearance. It's 4 years old now, been through a major hurricane and still looks good, and more importantly, works good.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:20 AM   #12
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Steve - here's a picture for what it's worth (not much). I was too closed in by other RVs to get a good angle. There are 4 screws starting from the bottom of the curve in front and equally spaced back to the troublesome corner. It looks like there is a gap under the cap in the picture, but it's just a shadow from the high sun angle. When you look at all the other screws and rivets down the side of the RV, these don't draw attention at all.

I didn't ask the tech why he used 4 screws, but I think it looks more like it was assembled that way rather than just having the corner tacked down...

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Old 11-16-2007, 02:22 PM   #13
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Thanks to all for your input. I have not made my mind up yet regarding rivets or screws but either way I am going to apply pressure to the corner to close the gap. I think that will give me the best results.

If the metal piece which I am assuming has pulled away from the cap side wall is still attached by screws to the body side wall, and I can actually find the metal piece, I could rivet into this metal and the connection should be strong.

But I suspect that Winnebago choose the screw method because it is simple and quick. Tom, I agree with Winnebago's pattern installation and will also fasten down the passenger side while I am at it.

Again, thanks for the assistance. So between now and next Wednesday I need to complete the repair as we will be rolling over the Thanksgiving Holiday.
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:09 PM   #14
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Steve - if you want to see the metal parts, take apart the inside of the cabinet above the driver's seat. As I remember, the metal piece you're talking about is flush with one of the sidewall stringers and attached to the stringer with a couple of metal plates.

When I first talked to Winnie CS about the problem, they said to take apart that cabinet, tighten the screws in there, and it would suck that corner back in. Wrong.... Mine was separated as you suspect yours is. Maybe you'll be lucky.

If it will ease your mind any, I drove about 5k miles after I discovered the problem in the middle of a trip. I watched it closely and it never got worse. So if you don't have time to fix it now, don't worry about it.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:15 PM   #15
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Steve,
I don't know the structural differences between the "04 and "07 models but on mine, that corner of the front cap is secured by both sealant and a factory installed screw. Perhaps they are secured into the stringer/plates Tom refers to. If that is the case, you should be able to pre-drill into the metal, squeeze in some sealant and secure everything with a metal screw.
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:49 AM   #16
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Rivet or screw you will probably need a clearance hole going through the cap so you don't get stress cracks. They are usually 1/16 to 1/8 inch larger than the shaft on the screw/rivet.

If a rivet consider using a closed end one like they use on boats or metal roofs so there will be no chance of water traveling through the middle of it and into your sidewall.
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:06 AM   #17
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steve my problem was not up top it was at hood level on the side. When I was at winnebago I asked why some rvs had a screw in the corner where your problem is....they said to keep it down. I would take it to a good shop and ask winnebago to send you the kit to fix this. I dont know what it is called but it should have the screw and a little cap to fill the hole and cover for the screw. winnebago should pick up the bill...the capand cover should match the paint. ALos, you area or flap is longer than mine and that extra length probably requires a screw...good luck
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Old 11-19-2007, 04:20 PM   #18
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I have completed the side cap screw installation repair and my initial reaction was that I had installed moon-pies! It's not that bad. But I have renamed that part of the MH Arc-de-Washer...

Driver side photo of 7 screws


Passenger side photo of 5 screws


I decided to do the same repair that Winnebago provided Tom. See his photo above. The entire arc on the driver side was lifted slightly from the side wall. The end corner was lifted the most. The passenger side was still intact but the silicone seal had failed so I decided to do that side as well.

I removed the existing silicone sealant which had pulled away from the side wall. When I did this I noticed there was existing paint damage. See the driver and passenger photos below.

Passenger side:

Driver side:


I used screws as fasteners although others suggested rivets as an alternative. I do not have rivet experience and needed to move the siding and felt that a screw would be easier for me to work with. I used seven screws on the driver side and five screws on the passenger side as the lower part was tight to the side wall.


So that the screws would be evenly and uniformly distributed, I installed some masking tape to enable me to mark hole location measurements. I started at the corner with the first screw at Ύ" in from the edge and then located six more holes at 4" intervals. Did I need seven screws? I am not sure. But the side panel's edge had movement so the screws stabilized the movement.




I used #8 x 1" stainless steel oval head screws. I mounted them in a #8 stainless steel dress washer. The #8 dress washer fits between the edge and a bulging contour and leaves sufficient edge margin. I purchased the material at a West Marine store.

To avoid the drill bit causing fiberglass flaking, I drilled each hole six times. Probably overkill, but almost no flakes. I used bit size 3/32", 7/64, 1/8" 9/64" 5/32" and 3/16" The 9/64" bit was the inner hole for the threads to grab; the 3/16" bit was the outer hole which is large enough to help prevent stress cracks. I actually drilled the 3/16" hole in reverse to prevent the large bit from chipping and flaking the surface fiberglass. The drilling was almost perfect but there were a couple of holes that flaked slightly. The dress washer covered this damage. Although Winnebago told me there is wood behind the side wall I am not sure I hit any wood. The screws all had a solid bite.

Because we are rolling this coming Thursday I needed the joint sealed. But I still have to wait on touchup paint. To solve this problem I squeezed some BoatLife caulk up into the joint where I could. According to BoatLife this product is "A long lasting, permanently flexible marine polysulfide sealant which can be sanded, painted and used above and below the waterline. Tack-free in 1 to 3 days, Cures in 7-10 days (weather dependent). Excellent resistance to teak oils, gasoline and diesel fuel." The boating "how to" author Don Casey says, "Polysulfide is a synthetic rubber with excellent adhesive characteristics, and you can use it for almost everything. As a bedding compound it allows for movements associated with stress and temperature change, yet maintains the integrity of the seal by gripping tenaciously to both surfaces. It is also an excellent caulking compound since it can be sanded after it cures and it takes paint well."

I used "white" because the supplier was out of black. Because it is white I made sure it was flush with the joint and will paint it where it may be visible. After painting I will add a top layer of Winnebago silicone sealant #094401-04-000 at the joint which will cover over the white and provide a final joint seal for any missed voids.

Prior to attaching the screws, I applied BoatLife caulk to each screw and to the dress washer, top and bottom. The screw pressure squeezed the caulk into the voids. BoatLife cleans up easily with mineral spirits.

Because of the paint damage I have had to order some touch up paint from CDI who were the original full body paint subcontractor. They were very helpful. For $35 they provide the four colors and clear coat.
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:33 PM   #19
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Steve:

Looks like you got a good, solid fix. SS screws with countersink washers always make a nice looking job.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:13 PM   #20
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Good neat job!

Make sure you use a primer or metal prep solution rates for stainless to provide adhesion to the stainless steel fasteners when you paint them.

May have to do something similar on my Adventurer.
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