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Old 11-15-2007, 10:46 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, 10:46 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, 12:14 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, 01:57 PM   #4
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Peter, please see below two photos:





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Old 11-15-2007, 02:56 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, 03:29 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, 04:19 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 ¼"¯? 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, 09:37 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, 05:14 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 ¼"¯? 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, 05:14 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, 06:59 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, 09:20 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, 01:22 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, 04:09 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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