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Old 10-20-2007, 05:06 PM   #1
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Where the fiberglass roof attaches to the sidewalls above the rain gutter, does the caulking actually prevent any water leaks or is it just to hold the roofing on?? I'm having to dig out the old caulking on the front 6-7 feet along the drivers side (what a chore) but the passengers side just has hair line cracks back to about the awning bracket which can probably be filled without too much hassle. If it very unlikely to leak any place along this roof line maybe I'm over doing the caulking preparation. I've taken the Winnebago factory tour before but never got to see the wall and roof attachments so don't know how all this attaches together.
Thanks for any help.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:06 PM   #2
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Where the fiberglass roof attaches to the sidewalls above the rain gutter, does the caulking actually prevent any water leaks or is it just to hold the roofing on?? I'm having to dig out the old caulking on the front 6-7 feet along the drivers side (what a chore) but the passengers side just has hair line cracks back to about the awning bracket which can probably be filled without too much hassle. If it very unlikely to leak any place along this roof line maybe I'm over doing the caulking preparation. I've taken the Winnebago factory tour before but never got to see the wall and roof attachments so don't know how all this attaches together.
Thanks for any help.
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Old 10-21-2007, 02:48 AM   #3
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That caulking area is supposed to be checked every 6 months per Winnie.

There have been many discussions about caulking those seams and the use of Eternabond to eliminate the caulking. May I suggest you look for Either Eternabond or caulking on this site.
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Old 10-21-2007, 03:03 AM   #4
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The cutaway of the roof/sidewall construction I have seen at the dealers, indicates the roof overlaps the sidewall by about a half inch. That would indicate no leaks if the sealing had minor flaws, however there have been reports of the roof pulling off while driving due to major roof to sidewall sealing failures.
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Old 10-21-2007, 05:45 AM   #5
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Here's a quote from the "Super Structure" section of the Winnebago website.

Our Thermo-Panel sidewall and roof design pressure bonds the exterior skin, lauan backing and EPS block foam to the walls' aluminum framework, while our unique interlocking sidewall and roof joint design ensures that the weight is carried by the metal substructure, not by a few attaching screws (like some competitors' models). The overall result is a stronger, more durable motor home.

The answer to your question would be tthat the caulking only seals out the water the side walls are joined to the roof by an interlocking joint.

As for reports of the roof blowing off, the only report I'm aware of on this forum was by the owner of a 13 year old coach. In that case they were the second owners and had no knowledge of what it may have gone through during the time the first owner had it. In any case it's not likely the lack of caulking caused the problem.
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Old 10-21-2007, 05:48 AM   #6
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The failure on our roof was because the overlap was only 3/16" so as the roof flexed in the wind, the roof let go. They replace the side rails, and it let go about 2 years later, and would not fix it. The insurance paid for it this time.

Now the roof is literally taped on with double stick 24" wide 3m tape. Haven't had any problem in the last 4 years now.

This was on a 99 diesel Suncruiser.
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Old 10-21-2007, 11:23 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replys. I've about finished with re-caulking any places with cracks in them. I've read several posts on the various forums about Eternabond and some seem to think even though it does a terrific job it also doesn't look as neat as caulking ( as if I could possibly do any kind of neat caulking). Thanks again.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:17 AM   #8
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We have a 2005 39' Meridian. Just returned from Forest City and paid $3,000.00 to repair ceiling inside from leaks. Of course, they said this was due to lack of maintenance on our part because we are supposed to caulk around the roof line. Also, they caulked the screws that hold our patio awning on to the side at the roof line. We were able to recover $2500.00 through our insurance for water damage. BE SURE TO CAULK!
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:18 PM   #9
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Issues like that really concern me regarding the 10 year roof warranty.. If you calk it yourself how can you prove it?
How can you prove that every 6 months you climbed up on the roof and inspected it? What if you used the Caulk someone at winnie told you to use but in the end it was the wrong one?

What I'm saying is Winnebago has a built in get out of jail card and can essentially deny the claim no matter what...It's one of those built in failures..
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Old 10-25-2007, 04:38 PM   #10
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I just downloaded Winne's sealant callouts for my 2004 Journey. I have ordered from Lichtsinn the sealants prescribed by Winne for the locations I'm interested in, specifically, the overlap between the front top cap and the side Luan above the driver's side window.

I'm hoping that by using the factory designated sealants and carefully applying them, I will not have an issue with Winnebago because nothing bad will happen.

Somehow, I have the confidence that I can do as good a job inspecting and recaulking using proper materials and procedures as any RV Service establishment, and a whole lot cheaper.
By making log entries in my MoHo records, I think an argument can be made that proper inspections were made at proper intervals.

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Old 10-25-2007, 04:52 PM   #11
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I like my Winnebago...it has a lot of features for the money. I also have been impressed with their customer support...I've certainly been the beneficiary of some fine assistance from Winnebago folks.

That said, I think their roof-sidewall configuration is a definite weakness. The expectation for a 6 month inspection of this area is, to me, recognition that this is a weak area. It would seem that it would be fairly easy to modify their build process to have the roof material overlap the sidewall 3 - 4", seal it, screw it down, and put some trim there.

I guess every brand has a weakness somewhere...a place where the engineers seem to have lost their minds. Eternabond is a sure fix for this, but it is not particularly pretty and certainly doesn't work for a coach with body paint.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:52 PM   #12
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Have a 2001 Brave. Last spring I had to re-caulk both sides of the seam that connected just above the gutter, all 60ft. of it. There was a crack showing of about 1/8+" from the sidewall when you pressed on the roof seam. Needless to say, water had leaked on to the ceiling along both sides for about 15ft. After drying for a couple of weeks I made a mixture of Oxy-Clean and water, sprayed it on, let it dry, brushed it off with a soft brush. Done that a couple of times and water stain all gone. Hope this helps.

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Old 10-25-2007, 11:55 PM   #13
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I have a stain on my roof from when the factory put a new one on, a few months later I had a stain at the roof air conditioners. They had not tightened the 4 screws down that seal the foam by pulling the unit down. They must have gone on break or quit for the day, because I have checked in numerous times. They have never come loose again.

I had planned on trying oxy-clean, ss Rocket Man had mentioned now I know it will work.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:46 AM   #14
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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 smlranger:
I like my Winnebago...it has a lot of features for the money. I also have been impressed with their customer support...I've certainly been the beneficiary of some fine assistance from Winnebago folks.

That said, I think their roof-sidewall configuration is a definite weakness. The expectation for a 6 month inspection of this area is, to me, recognition that this is a weak area. It would seem that it would be fairly easy to modify their build process to have the roof material overlap the sidewall 3 - 4", seal it, screw it down, and put some trim there.

I guess every brand has a weakness somewhere...a place where the engineers seem to have lost their minds. Eternabond is a sure fix for this, but it is not particularly pretty and certainly doesn't work for a coach with body paint. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was just reading one of the RV journals, Family Motorcoach or Destinations one of the two, and it brought out that a 6 month roof seam inspection is really required on all motorhomes regardles of the brand or type of roof. Maybe Winnebago is just more up front about this but it seems to be SOP for all manufacturers.
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:13 AM   #15
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Neil is right, except it doesn't just apply to motorhomes. Two previous RV's I owned both new a TT and a 5ver from different manufactures recommended inspection of ALL exterior sealants every 6 months. I can tell you that the 5ver had many sealant issues all over the rig due to flexing of the shell. And it was not a cheap 5ver.

It's the nature of the beast. Put a condo on wheels and pull it down the freeway at 60+ MPH and stuff is going to flex and move around. It's our job to keep on top of it. So far I have been extremely pleased with the way that the Itasca has held together with me putting over 12,000 miles on the clock last year. And I take it some really rustic places!

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Old 10-26-2007, 07:19 AM   #16
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I guess the seam can leak. I have a leak near the drivers seat in my Sightseer. I took it to the dealer to have it fixed assuming the drivers' window was leaking. The dealer told me that the leak was near the roof and they are waiting for Winnebago to send a rep, sometime near Thanksgiving, to look at my rig for a third time and to approve repairs.

My understanding of the dispute between my dealer and Winnebago is the extent of the fix. My dealer is telling me that they want to make sure the leak is stopped.
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:51 AM   #17
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Please don't take this the wrong way it's really nothing personal, but when I hear,
The Nature of the Beast?? I get a little upset...
I was told that for anything that the Dealer and Builder wouldn't or didn't have a fix for..
Many issues, but one simple one: a basement storage door was binding and was hard to close.. Nature of the beast I was told! When I got it home it was the piston that was not adjusted properly and was binding/hitting the side of the door..Fixed.
Major issue: A/C Heatpump.. A/C never could cool off the coach no matter what the outside temp was... They looked at it checked everything out and said "well you know it's a 38 foot MH with 2 slides it takes a lot to cool it down especially when it's very hot out! You ready? It's the Nature of the Beast! Then I found out about IRV2 and low and behold someone had the same problem... The duct was coming apart... Now it's fixed after I brought it to their attention...Not the Builder way, the right way!
I understand it's not a perfect world but there are things that can be done better especially after 40 plus years of building!
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:15 PM   #18
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Oh I completly agree Ed. That little analagy gets WAY over used. I am simply refering to something as simple as a sealant that is exposed to sun, rain, cold and heat on a daily basis. NOT some poor excuse for not wanting to take responsibility for sub standard manufacturing, or poor design.

As a matter of fact, the 5ver I was refering to in my previous post was a victim of poor manufacturing. In a short period of time too many parts were rattling loose. NO excuse for that. So I agree with you. Don't take weak answers for excuses when the real answer is poor quality control.

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Old 10-26-2007, 01:17 PM   #19
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Here is an interesting sealant technical tips article from the WIT Club News Exterior Sealants
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Old 10-27-2007, 12:39 PM   #20
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After reading this 'tip', I was more confused than before I read it.

This thread inspired me to carefully inspect my roof caulking and I found that it flexs when touched and appears to have a gap when touched.

Now does this mean that I must remove the old caulking and replace it with the correct stuff whatever that is.

I have seen eternabond referenced but know nothing about it. Do I need something exotic and unique or can I go to Home Depot etc. and get something off the shelf.

Thanks for ending my confusion.
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