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Old 08-13-2008, 02:01 AM   #1
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A while back I read a couple of posts about the adhesive holding the front cap to the steel frame failing at the sidewall. It appears the common fix was to add some screws to the cap at the sidewall to hold it in place.
I was cleaning the drivers side window when I noticed that my cap is starting to pull away from the sidewall in the same place as described in the earlier posts. I could see it on both sides of the coach, but the driver's side was more obvious.
As this seems to be somewhat common failure, I decided to call Winnebago in the hopes that if I took it up to Forest City they would fix this under warranty as they have done for others. I also provided some pictures to the rep for documentation. It took Winnebago about 5 days, but I finally got my answer today. Their response was that this is a maintenance issue and not a structural warranty issue, and it is probably caused by natural flexing in this area. I will just need to remove the old sealant and replace it with new. They didn't say anything about the painting that will need to be done.
To me this looks structural, due to the fact the cap is pulling away from the sidewall not flexing along the seam. I added a picture of the driver's side, but had some problems getting it uploaded. I'll try to get a few more uploaded today.
I am wondering what the consensus is on the forum. I am under the impression Winnebago is backing away from the commitment to their product and to the customer.

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Old 08-13-2008, 02:01 AM   #2
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A while back I read a couple of posts about the adhesive holding the front cap to the steel frame failing at the sidewall. It appears the common fix was to add some screws to the cap at the sidewall to hold it in place.
I was cleaning the drivers side window when I noticed that my cap is starting to pull away from the sidewall in the same place as described in the earlier posts. I could see it on both sides of the coach, but the driver's side was more obvious.
As this seems to be somewhat common failure, I decided to call Winnebago in the hopes that if I took it up to Forest City they would fix this under warranty as they have done for others. I also provided some pictures to the rep for documentation. It took Winnebago about 5 days, but I finally got my answer today. Their response was that this is a maintenance issue and not a structural warranty issue, and it is probably caused by natural flexing in this area. I will just need to remove the old sealant and replace it with new. They didn't say anything about the painting that will need to be done.
To me this looks structural, due to the fact the cap is pulling away from the sidewall not flexing along the seam. I added a picture of the driver's side, but had some problems getting it uploaded. I'll try to get a few more uploaded today.
I am wondering what the consensus is on the forum. I am under the impression Winnebago is backing away from the commitment to their product and to the customer.

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Old 08-13-2008, 04:32 AM   #3
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What we think is sort of irrelevant at this point since you have the word from the big kahuna.

If they say it is not a structural problem, I would believe it as I don't think they are just trying to duck a legitimate structural issue.

Remember it is a very difficult business environment now and what Winnie might have done as goodwill repairs a year ago might not be considered now.

My recommendation is to use the forum expertise to help you do a good job at repairing the problem.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:41 AM   #4
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Does it involve being a dangerous thing to the coach or a cosmetic flaw. Should that front cap continue it's decline would it cause a catastophic failure?

Point is that if it's a re-occuring flaw and noted by the mfg. it should go under a National Recall - oops I forgot - there isn't any Governing Body for RV manufacturers - so it's buyer beware plus repair.

Morally it's just not right.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:54 AM   #5
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We have a 2005 29r and we had to pay to have stress crackes repaired to the front bumper and this was still in the first year we had it.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:48 AM   #6
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The cap seperatig from the side wall i pretty com. I know that Winnebago started putt screws in the new ones, after there was so many coaches out there having that prolem. I put screws in mine about 3 tears ago. I cleaned out the old sealant and put in new and screwed it down with a s.s. sheet matel screw. That took care of that problem.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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Scott

It is difficult to tell from your tiny picture, but yours looks similar to mine on the driver's side. My passenger side is concealed/held down by the entry door awning. You can see pics of mine and read about at on my website at http://www.pjrider.com/RVCapCorner.htm

As you will read there, I had Winnebago look at mine at GNR this year. I agreed with them that the gap does not appear to be increasing. Note the paint pattern in the pictures after I removed all the caulk -- it appears the gap was existant from the factory as there is no paint under where all the caulk was. The tech did say they had had some problems with the cap flexing out at the corners when it was secured to the roof & walls.

I decided not to try to pull the cap corner down with screws, fearing I might crack/break the thin lip I have to work with. I decided not to prolong my stay in Forest City having them tear into the sidewall, etc to "fix" something that appears to have been there all along, and appears to be stable. I will simply monitor the caulk along with inspecting/maintaining the other caulk seams.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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Sorry about the picture. I was having trouble up loading the photo. It said I exceeded the file size so I ended up with the small pic.
When I searched the forum about this subject I saw the recommended fix from Winne was to add screws to the cap/sidewall union. I have the same fear Paul has that the screws may cause more problems down the road. Apparently there is a metal piece bonded to the inside cap fiberglass and screwed from the inside out. I got that from one of the earlier post. From what I found in my search on this forum this seems to be a common problem. My issue isn't too bad yet, but I fear it will get worse. I'm not sure yet whether or not I will attempt to fix this myself as my repairs are not always ascetically pleasing. I would probably put 1/2-inch bolts through the cap/sidewall and place a nut and washer on the inside of the MH. I don't think DW would like
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:46 PM   #9
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At GNR this year I had Winnie inspect the same problem on drivers side. I also was told it was a maintenance issue and I had them clean it out, recaulk and screw in as some of the new models have it. Cost about $95 time & material.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:49 PM   #10
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AFChap - Just read your post with interest, I noticed after a recent rain that I had a small amount of water dripping down the driver's side window. I tried running a garden hose on that side of the coach and eventually the wife watching on the inside saw a small drip. I started trying to localize the drip but couldn't get it to do it again. Another rain storm but no drips this time. Have you or anyone else tried using the rain gutter spouts that attach to the end of the gutters and are supposed to drain water out away from the side of the coach?
This is the first time I've had any water leaking into the coach in 5 years, but I gave the seams above the driver's window a good going over, everything looked okay but I re-caulked that part of the front cap and roof seam again. Appreciated your pictures, it gave me a better idea of where I should be looking. As they say, A picture is worth 1,000 words, and how true.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:40 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">rain gutter spouts </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I tried the gutter spout above the driver window. It helped some but didn't keep water from hitting the window frame and running down from there. Then I tried the stick-on rubber gutter and it didn't help much either. I still have water dripping/running down the outside of the driver window and sidewall.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">small amount of water dripping down the driver's side window </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have an occasional leak on the copilot side, dripping from the top frame and appearing to be coming in between the metal frame members. I cannot see the outside of the window frame at the top due to the over door awning so haven't been able to really check it out.

When I had my driver side leak, it was big time inside the ceiling and coming out the box at the top of the driver window that has the pull down shade inside. I noted Scott W's comment about a bolt with nut on the inside wall -- in my coach, if it were accessible, that would be hidden inside the box which you can access the inside of by pulling a fabric panel held in place with velcro.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:59 PM   #12
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I've had some discussions with Winnebago about caps. They do not consider caps as being a structual part of the motor home and therefore are not covered under the structual warranty. They call it "cosmetic". Well, when the parts come off maybe we should just leave them off. How many coaches will they sell when the general public sees all of these going down the highway with parts missing? They sure would not sell anyone a new coach without the caps in place.
I dissagree with them on their definition. When your headlight falls off the cap I consider that a structual problem, but then it's not up to me. It's not only Winnebago's interpretation of "structual member", the other manufacturers seem to be in agreemant with this. I guess only when your house collapses you have a manufacturing problem or defect.
Don't misunderstand me; I love my Winnebago, but for a quarter of a million dollars I shouldn't have parts falling off. I don't care if they are just "cosmetic". After all, that's part of the reason I spent all of this money.
Ya just gota love 'em....
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:22 PM   #13
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I can certainly see why most, and especially Winnebago that I am familiar with, RV manufacturers only warrant their coaches for 1 year. They know it will generally take that long for most parts to start falling apart or off and they are willing to cover the few that fall off early.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:11 PM   #14
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I feel very fortunate that this problem has not showed up on our coach. Have had a roof leak at the sat. dish elevation readout location.
Do other major brands suffer from it? does it appear to be a chassis based problem (Spartan, ..)? Or a fiberglass roof problem?
Thanks for your candid info.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:38 PM   #15
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">does it appear to be a chassis based problem (Spartan, ..)? Or a fiberglass roof problem? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
It is not chassis specific. Those I know of are both Spartan & Freightliner -- not sure about any gassers???

Only ones I am aware of are Winnebago from 2002 forward, therefore they have fiberglass roof, but from what I've seen I don't think it has anything to do with the roof itself. I believe it is cap shape/fit/attachment related.
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:18 AM   #16
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We've had an ongoing water leak/drip (depending on amount of rains) down the driver's side window -- leaving the inside track wet. As we were not going any where (and still under warranty), we were able to drop the coach off a couple of weeks ago.

It took a while...with the tech crawling all over the roof with a hose...but the leak was finally found around the air horns. The caulking 'looked' to be fine, but that's where it leaked! The driver window rubber gasket that was slightly twisted was also replaced.

Origins of leaks are not in the obvious places.


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Old 08-15-2008, 06:18 AM   #17
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AFChap-
If it's a 2002+ Winne problem, it's more of a design problem. Others have materials, chassis, etc in common.
Too bad it gets chalked off to a random failure or a maintenance issue.
thx

RRT2-
Good info and a place many of us should check.
thx
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:20 AM   #18
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Anyone out there with an '07 or newer? My friend has a screw on both of his sides right from the factory and his is a gasser. Did Winnie decide to fix this problem from happening because of complaints? or hindsight?
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Old 08-16-2008, 03:51 AM   #19
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Hi John. We have an '07. Don't have pics, but looks like there are screws there on ours. However, the little covers are 'pop-offs' and do just that...we've had to replace the 'covers' on both sides (parts are neutral in color...you have to paint them). Not a big deal...but a PITA. DH doesn't mind that type of thing if he has 'time'!

Hindsight is always 20/20 . . .

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Old 08-16-2008, 01:47 PM   #20
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I have refastened my side cap with photos. The repair has been in place for about 10 months and no problems so far. Here
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