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Old 04-17-2012, 07:17 AM   #1
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Epoxy mounted metal brackets falling off

We were sitting inside of our 2011 Vista 35F in a campground last month when we heard a loud noise outside. I went outside to check and found a large piece of metal lying right in front of my right front tire. After searching I found that it was the upper hood bumper bracket and the epoxy adhesive that they used to attach it to the fiberglass panel had let go. Had this happened going down the road I may have had a serious problem given where the bracket dropped. Winnebago said that this happens and will fix it even though the warranty is expired. I am happy for that, but this also happened with my 2007 Sightseer. On that it was a bracket that held the body panel that was to the rear of the back tires that popped off and left the panel waving in the breeze. I fixed that myself with ss carriage bolts, which is what should have been used in the first place. I am wondering if anyone else has had this happen.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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hey terry, We got a 1986 winniebago, it has a rear trunk lid in back to cover the spare tire.. it also has a metal latch you turn a key to open it... one of the latches fell off like yours..I put it back on with j b weild. been on for a year with no problems..auto zone and others places sell it. around 10 bucks a tube..you might give it a try...
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:53 AM   #3
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I backed into something and poped rear facia loose, same thing. epoxy.
When it was repaired the repair shop said the only way to do it right was to fiberglass it back on, which it was.
He said he sees this all the time.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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After years and years of epoxy failures wouldn't you think the powers that are would find a "FIX"? Being a loyal customer to a vender is one thing but buying inferior products that could create a tragedy is criminal.

Don,WIT 70041
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:14 AM   #5
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In all fairness, there are tens of thousands of these brackets running around on thousands of Winnebagos. The failure rate is small in comparison. Mine failed because I banged it. Perhaps in some the prep. was not correct for proper bonding, who knows. But it will pop off when hit as my repair man said, fiberglasss it back on and it will stay there.
You are correct though, maybe by just laying some fiberglass on the epoxy when it was applied would help and prevent some from popping off.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:41 PM   #6
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Typically you'll find that the problem is improper prep of the metal bracket. In many cases you'll find that the epoxied surface of the bracket has a nice coat of paint to which the epoxy doesn't adhere well. The fix is to sand off the paint before re-epoxying it in place.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:09 PM   #7
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drill a couple of holes, too

I have had some difficulty with brackets coming loose ...

I have sanded the surface and drilled two or three 5/16" holes in the flat surface of the bracket so that the adhesive "oozes" through the holes to increase the holding power ... none have come off a second time
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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About 2 years ago my rear grill on my 2004 Journey came unglued but I had it re-glued at my RV service place. Cant say what kind of glue or epoxy they used. About 4 months later it came unglued again at the same spots. Then I noticed that my front grill was nearly unglued as well as one of the fog lights. The rear end cap was also partially unglued.

I removed all grills and rear cap, ground and chisled away the old epoxy and used a grinder to grind down to the bare fiberglass at the location of the brackets. Then I sanded bracket paint down to bare metal. I positioned the brackets on the grills/end cap and then overlapped the bases of the brackets with a layer of fiberglass cloth and then painted this with the fiberglass resin/epoxy. I repeated this so that the brackets had 2 layers of fiberglass cloth. When these dried, the brackets were now permanently attached to the grills and end cap. After 15,000 miles and 1 1/2 years the brackets are as firmly attached as ever.

I believe that this is a more permanent bond but it is alot more work and the fiberglass resin is always messy and clean up is difficult. I share this with the forum as an alternative to epoxy. If I had found the right epoxy at the first ungluing, then I might also have been satisfied with that as have been other members of the forum.

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Old 04-18-2012, 08:11 AM   #9
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The bracket that popped off was painted but it had 5 holes in it that the epoxy had oozed thru and set up. It didn't break off the fiberglass panel, it broke where the epoxy came thru the holes. We're leaving for home on Sat. and I'm worried that the hood has no support in that upper corner and and will flex a lot at highway speeds thereby causing more damage. The dealer will fix it when we get home, but based on past performance with other repairs, I will probably end up fixing it myself. In the meantime I'm going to try some JB Weld and see if it holds.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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Terry, like others the factory epoxy continues to fail on my coach. One product, Might Putty as seen on TV, was good to work with in those hard to reach places. I bought a double order and reinforced all the metal to fiberglass mounts I could find. The best product I found was the fiberglass cloth and resin previously mentioned if you have the room to work the cloth.

Funny that my previous less expensive motorhomes never had this frustrating and ongoing problem that Winnebago has had for many documented years.....?
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #11
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Well Gang,
This is, to say the least, very interesting to read about. I've got a friend who, while were camping, went to check something under the front hood where the generator is store and when he went to open that hatch, it came right off in his hand. Can you imagine if that hatch, which, on mine, is around 5' across and around 18" high, came off during traveling down the road on a crowed freeway? It would be disastrous.

I can't remember just how he fixed it but, when folks post issues like this, it sure makes one sit up and take notice. It doesn't mean the entire coach is going to come unglued, it just means that one should do an inspection of all the glued joints possible, at least every once in a while. Probably after some seriously bad roads/freeways (I-5 in CAL) and more.

I carry at least two different types of epoxy on board at all times. I'm thinking I might add the little fiberglass repair kit you can get at most auto parts stores and Home Depot to the arsenal of remedies for small catastrophes I might encounter while on our travels. I have done quite a bit of fiberglass repair and construction so, I certainly know how well that system works.

I do like epoxies too. I'm always on the lookout for something new that will glue two asteroids together.
Scott
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:07 AM   #12
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I've had two Winnie's now. The first a 2002 Adventurer and the front hood brackets came off on the way to the WIT Rally. I got there OK and Winny fixed them, but I had to pay. The Winnie I have now the brackets on the rear engine cover came loose same adhesive failure. I fixed these myself with sone High temp Epoxy and Stainless Screws. I apppears that this is a common problem and maybe as stated earlier it is a low percentage. However, maybe not all failures are being reported and owners are fixing themselves or having other professionals take care of the problem.
Perhaps Winnie should be looking for a better method of adhesion.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:58 AM   #13
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I'm in the process of reattaching my front grill to the fiberglass with epoxy. Any recommendations? I-40 in Arkansas shook it loose and actually broke spot welds on the grill. I still need to glue the aluminum bar back to the fiberglass.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:04 AM   #14
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I had an '88 Windcruiser that the entire rear cap fell off of. Luckily, I was in a campground when it happened. After talking to several campers and playing with several ideas, I simply glued it back in place with clear silicone caulk. I figured that it would hold until I got back home, but when I got home it was holding so well that I just left it and kept an eye on it. It held for another nine years that I owned the coach.
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