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Old 11-14-2015, 11:03 AM   #1
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Another leaky windshield. And the DIY fix.

Five years ago I replaced the passenger side windshield, it was cracked and leaking badly. Rusty frame syndrome. Two years ago, the driver side, same scenario. The passenger side started leaking again, dripping on the dash. Just to be safe I got a 4" x 10' strip of Eternabond and sealed the front cap to the roof. Then I got a 10.5 oz tube of 3M Auto Glass Urethane Windshield Adhesive (08693) and a good caulking gun. I pulled off the rubber windshield trim and cleaned the top and bottom of the trim channel very well, including the top of the glass. I could see the rust behind and below the top of the glass. Then I sealed the trim channel at the top to the cap and at the bottom to the glass, completely filling in the gap all the way back to the frame. I used almost a half tube of the sealant doing both halves of the windshield.

Based on previous recommendations I wore nitrile gloves as this stuff is messy and tenacious. And I got a good smooth rod caulking gun (HD about $12) that had a high leverage ratio. Better to squeeze out the rather stiff sealant.

This is something that you should do, even if your's isn't leaking yet. And this is something the factory or any glass installer should do. Why do they fail? To install the windshield all they do is set the glass in a bed of sealant and stop there. What is left is a gap on top of the glass that lets water just sit there in contact with the steel frame and rust. Fill that gap with urethane and the problem is solved. By the way, don't just try this with automotive RTV silicone, use what is designed for the situation.
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:09 AM   #2
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Why would a replacement window installer do it if the factory doesn't? It is incredible to me that Winnebago to this day hasn't fixed this problem. I had it on my last MH ('99 Adventurer) as does my buddy on his '03 Brave. One of the things that dropped Winnebago down on my list when shopping for a new motorhome. They make a great coach but the windshield design is shameful.
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Old 11-14-2015, 04:37 PM   #3
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I agree, it is such an easy fix, why don't they do it?
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information CJ, I just put on my to-do list since we are staying home this winter. I may even take the MH in the city to have a friend who owns an auto-glass shop do it the way you did since my shoulders don't work well above my head.
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Old 11-19-2015, 08:54 AM   #5
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Did you leave the rubber windshield trim off after caulking?
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:11 PM   #6
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we just talked about this two days ago on a previous thread. It is shameful that winnebago does not issue a statement regarding everyone's existing and future problem

Did you also know that the channel that you place the rubber trim piece into is held in place with double face tape.
LOWEST QUALITY ASSURANCE POSSIBLE IN THE WINNEBAGO WINDSHIELD DESIGN.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:44 AM   #7
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I sealed ours up with GE silicone. Filling the gap up to the cap and down to the glass. Silicone is a fine sealer and can be used. Urethane is required for setting automotive glass due to its strong bonding strength and rigidity. The front windshield in most cars is considered part of the structural integrity of the vehicle. Silicone does not have the bonding strength or rigidity of urethane. In this case you're not trying to bond the glass to the metal frame only seal out the water.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:07 PM   #8
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I tried this method and mine still leaked. 2012 Journey 36m

I just got it back from the local glass shop, need to leak test over the weekend by pulling up on the rubber trip and filling with water behind the trim..

While it was only 3 years old, there was rust on the frame the shop had to fix.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:13 PM   #9
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silicon is a poor sealant especially on the steel frame of the windshield. Water can get behind it and continue to rust the steel. Secondly, it is very difficult to remove if you ever wish to paint the steel at a later date. It is much easier to go to NAPA and get the very tenacious urethane such as NELSON or other quality product.

I just finished my windshield gap with urethane and used a blade to put a smooth finish that will drain the water away from the frame. I had previously put a type of silicone they same way as OP and it did not work. Also, a boater for over thirty years and learned the hard way that silicone does not stop water. at best it is a temporary stop that ruins the base for other better products.

do you want to ask me how I know. Just replace both glass and they had to use a die tool grinder to get the steel back to a condition suitable for rust converter and prime.

this was the advise from not one but three people. two in the glass business that are customers of mine and my best friend who runs a big body shop operation. I would take their advice.
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Old 11-24-2015, 12:15 PM   #10
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When looking for rust be sure to look behind the extruded plastic clip strip.
see my BLOG on reason for rusting
More rust on frame from double face tape - iRV2 Forums
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladagobago View Post
When looking for rust be sure to look behind the extruded plastic clip strip.
see my BLOG on reason for rusting
More rust on frame from double face tape - iRV2 Forums
As a follow up to my original post, I will admit that while I was sure the top channel was sealed drop tight, it still leaked, so I went back and upon close inspection saw where I didn't get a full seal, so I went over it again with more urethane. This time I did a water test with a hose to see where it was really leaking. It still leaked even though upon close visual inspection, I could not see why. So I added even more as it had to go in storage in FL for 3 months the following day. I put ample catch buckets on the dash just in case my third attempt failed.

The good news: a stone chip on that side has started to propagate a crack. Hopefully by the time I return in March the crack will be big enough to warrant a replacement.

As a side note, when I called Progressive to change insurance coverage to storage, I also has them add glass coverage with zero deductible for $68 per year, previously I had $500 deductible on comp and no specific glass coverage. I told the agent I would likely need a replacement in the spring, so I wasn't being dishonest with them.

Now I am thinking that before the windshield guy gets here, I should completely strip it all down to metal including removing all of my patching and the plastic channel.

So, what did you do to seal the metal, what spray adhesive did you use and where did you get the new channel?
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7ole View Post

As a side note, when I called Progressive to change insurance coverage to storage, I also has them add glass coverage with zero deductible for $68 per year, previously I had $500 deductible on comp and no specific glass coverage.
$0 deductible for the glass is a good deal. You did the right thing

Now I am thinking that before the windshield guy gets here, I should completely strip it all down to metal including removing all of my patching and the plastic channel.
I paid the glass installer $175 to clean the frame left and right. they used a 3M disk on an air driven die grinder. They prepped the frame. Use a rust stopper like rustoleum rust reformer or permatex rust treatment on surfaces other that where the glass will be installed but ask the installer what to use. Phosphoric acid etch will stop and convert the rust. just messy.


So, what did you do to seal the metal, what spray adhesive did you use and where did you get the new channel?
I cleaned the old channel and steel with solvents like acetone, xylene and MEK. Wiped it several time until clean. USE DOUBLE RUBBER GLOVES (I use chemical rubber gloves). That crap will attack your liver. Once clean and dry - sprayed with as few coats of hi adhesion contact cement, like 3M on both surfaces, (I used "ironforce rubber base spray adhesive" but let it dry completely. Once you bond the two surfaces together it good for ever.

here is the rust and the grinding. you should be using scaffolding to work on the frame
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Old 03-19-2016, 12:07 PM   #13
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This is going to get ugly I am afraid. Per my last post on 11-26-15, I put catch buckets on the dash while in storage. 3 months later when I picked it up there was 1/2" of water in one wastebasket. 2 weeks later (very little rain during that period) I had the passenger side cracked glass replaced. As the glass guy removes and replaces the glass, I had no chance to go at it without the glass in place as I was in an RV park for 2 months and have no available inside place to work on it. He removed the glass, and cut the old rubber flat with a knife. He had no intention, or tools to remove all of the rubber, the retention channel or the old rust. He put a nice bead of urethane on the old rubber and installed the new windshield. I will give him credit, he did install a new rubber trim piece as the old one had shrunk to the point it wouldn't go under the side trim piece. Before he arrived I told him I had leak issues.

He told me the problem is not just with Winnies, but any RV manufacturer that uses similar frame construction. He said the proper solution, which would not be permanent, would be for a body shop to rework the frame. He said the design relies on water being able to run around the frame. He said caulking like I did will just allow water to be trapped and make the problem worse. I told him I didn't have a choice.

Two days later (today) we had a rain and it leaked like a sieve. I am now waiting for him to respond. I expect him to blame me for sealing it up last fall. I am just hoping he mans up.

Edit: Now wishing I had read this thread again before having the glass guy out.
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:35 PM   #14
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Soooo----Here I sit with passenger side leaking. Clear not rusty water. Is there a final answer to the problem?
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