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Old 01-03-2005, 01:28 PM   #1
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Wife and I are pondering (just pondering) moving up to perhaps a newer Adventurer or maybe even stretching to a Journey or Horizon. However, the issue of the roof edge needing constant attention and re-caulking is a concern. For example, we love the new Adventurer with full body paint but I'm wondering what that roof would look like with a strip of white eternabond tape on it (I've seen the eternabond fix mentioned on this forum).

Anyone know if Winnebago has improved on this issue with newer coaches?
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:28 PM   #2
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Wife and I are pondering (just pondering) moving up to perhaps a newer Adventurer or maybe even stretching to a Journey or Horizon. However, the issue of the roof edge needing constant attention and re-caulking is a concern. For example, we love the new Adventurer with full body paint but I'm wondering what that roof would look like with a strip of white eternabond tape on it (I've seen the eternabond fix mentioned on this forum).

Anyone know if Winnebago has improved on this issue with newer coaches?
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:15 PM   #3
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I ponder that thought myself. We have a 2003 Journey DL39QD with the standard paint skeem and would really think twice about the full body paint. Sure it looks great, but you bring up an excellent point that a lot of folks haven't thought about. They sure get riled up when they find that scratches aren't easily touched up. There is no such thing as an easy touch up for a fully body paint job. The Paint job itself is labor intensive and so is any touch up job. And they don't make caulking to color match the paint. If they stopped the paint job at the drip edge rail, that would make a difference, but only for the roof edge.

I've been looking at other coaches and they don't seem to experience the roof sealing problems that we face.

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Old 01-03-2005, 04:55 PM   #4
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Well, we aren't married to the idea that our next coach has to be a Winne (wonder if anyone from Winnebago monitors this forum?) I can understand that any motorhome needs some periodic exterior re-caulking, but every 6 months to a year for something as critical as the roof edge seems in need of some re-engineering. Also, wonder why they haven't devised a way to attach the roof panel to the sidewall with a more permanent bond?

How does Newmar deal with their roofs? We certainly like both their gassers and DP's.
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Old 01-03-2005, 05:31 PM   #5
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Winnebago states that the roof/sidewall sealant should be inspected every six months; that doesn't mean that it requires replacement every six months. I have owner 3 WI class-A motorhomes, and have never had to do more than re-seal a few small areas on an 01 Adventurer. I was in Iowa this past October, and while there, had the factory techs inspect the roof sealant. My rig was 3 years old on October 10, and the sealant was fine. I had the rig visually inspected, and then had Winnebago do one of their low-pressure leak checks.

The only leak they could find was a small area on the front of the driver's window, which they repaired. Some people make this out to be a lot bigger deal than it is in reality.

I used to have access to Monaco owner's maintenance procedures, and right there, on the web-site, was listed the requirement to inspect, and re-seal all the windows in their motorhomes. It went on to say that the windows may have to be removed, and re-bedded in order to maintain water-tight integrity or the warranty may be voided.
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:19 AM   #6
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I've wondered how many people tape their roofs on with Eternabond out of fear (generated by what they read in forums and news groups) rather than need.

The 1999 Brave we had was sort of soft and spongy above the joint, and once I had the sealant inspected and repaired. As I looked at it, it seemed that anyone standing on the roof within a foot of the edge might flex the sealant enough to break the seal. So I just kept my clodhoppers away from the edge on my rare trips upladder.

The 2004 Brave is virtually solid above the sealant. It appears to me that it has been reengineered, or least improved. I have had it inspected (with no problems found) and will do so periodically.

As for full body paint, I enjoy looking at somebody else's (and counting fleabites in the finish) more than I would enjoy having it on my humble cabin on wheels.

I think the notion of "constant attention and re-caulking" is WAY overblown.

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Old 01-04-2005, 04:31 AM   #7
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We traded our 2003 Suncruiser after 1 year. When we traded it on the Allegro Bus we noticed that it did have some caulk seperation around the bedroom slide and a bit on the driver's side so it was due for some recaulking after one year.

You asked about how Newmar installs their roofs. We looked at Newmars being built at the factory. They use a much heavier gauge of fiberglass and they screw it down at the ends so the potential for flapping roofs doesn't exist.

Our Tiffin uses seperate side caps that have a lap joint over the main roof. This system is also locked down so that flapping roofs aren't an issue.

Our Suncruiser was a nice coach but Winnebago's roof design of a thin fiberglas sheet that's barely tucked behind a J channel isn't one of there strong points. Eternabond is a good patch but on full body paint it's just not acceptable. If you like the coach, just be sure that it's inspected every 6 months and recaulked when necessary.

Either way, I'd recommend the full body paint. It's much easier to keep looking good compared to unpainted gel coat fiberglass. After it's gets a few years on it you'll be glad you did.
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Old 01-04-2005, 05:08 AM   #8
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Im not sure I agree with you about the roof problems not really being a problem. When we put the eternalbond on my '03 this summer, we could already see several area's where the caulking was starting to seperate or crack. So this was not an old rig that you might think would have the problems. Also, when I had the rig out to the dealer for some work shortly after I did the eternalbonding, the body shop foreman asked if I had done that or if the factory was "finally fixing the problem". He has seen several rigs that needed repaired. He has also seen some that the roof had actually lifted up on the sides when the wind would hit it while driving.
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Old 01-04-2005, 06:01 AM   #9
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Not sure this answers the color match question, but I believe the UV resistant EB has a plastic backing that can be painted. Still a job to match however.
But...what will the high dollar paint look like when the sides start to bubble from de-lamination if you chose not to use EB? Frankly I am not excited about climbing up and down a ladder, trying not to scratch the fiberglass, dragging along a caulking gun, putty knife, rags and cleaner every six months. Until Winnebago actually re-engineers and solves the roof/side joint problem then EB is the easiest and safest way for us non-technician types to keep a coach from leaking.
Surely Winnie can develop a seal like EB that is not so visible, but just as safe.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:23 AM   #10
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I look at Winnes roof to side wall seal montoring as this......even though monitoring the joint is a pain in the butt....I like the idea of a nice solid one peice fiberglass maintenance free roof over my head. Plus, with basement AC, all I have to monitor is the side wall to roof seal.

I just traded my 1994 Vectra with basement A/C and the roof to sidewall joint was perfect. Never a problem in 11 years.
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:40 PM   #11
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Hi Ho: After reading about roof problems in this forum and others I checked our 2000 Itasca 35U last summer (about 4 years old) before staring a one month trip to the east coast. What I found was almost complete deterioration of the joint except for a 1 foot section on the drivers side and across the front. I don't know that the roof would have blown away, but I will install eternabond next spring just to avoid the problem. It took me about 4-5 hours to clean and reseal the whole roof but I sure felt better about a long trip with the roof seal intact.
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:31 PM   #12
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My thoughts are this on the roof to side seam. I think a high percentage of owners inspecting there seams don't have a clue as to what there looking for. Getting up on the roof as so many say they do to inspect I can't see how you would see if the seam was open. The only way I know to really inspect the seam is to view it from the side as you gently press in on the roof material inch for inch down each side. Just looking at it, it looks fine. I guess on the roof you could look over the edge and maybe press on the roof side, but that seems like the hard way of doing it. There may be a lot of owners that have problems, think it looks fine and it is not.
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:47 PM   #13
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Hi Ho N8XV: Good point. Since we have the same coach, I wonder how much of your roof was still attached. By the way, I've been active as W7KCC (extra) for about 45 years. Boy, I'm getting old--well it's all relative.
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:44 PM   #14
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Dirk is right. I susoect there are a lot of folks who just look and think the joint is sealed. Just looking at the joint on our coach did not find the problem. But when I put my thumbs just above the joint and pushed in, the crack opened up very easily. I cut all the old caulk out with a painters tool and cleaned it with Windex, even down in the joint with a towel wrapped around the end of the tool. When I re-caulked, I pushed the joint open to make sure the seal was deeper than just on the surface. Used a damp finger to finish the seal up. When I got all the finished, I did the EB thing. I sure don't want to get surprised one day with wet stains on the ceiling.
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