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Old 01-08-2012, 12:53 PM   #1
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Unhappy Roof Popping Up/What to do?

Hi! We have a 99 Suncruiser and a few days ago noticed about 3 feet of the roof was popped out of the channel holding it. This was above the awning and the MH had not been moved/driven for a few weeks, so I assume it was the temp swings lately that caused it...

Anyway, made appointment at RV shop to have it resealed, then went up to take closer look. I was able to tuck it back down into it's channel, but I can't see any sign that it was ever caulked or sealed down in any way?!?

So... 1. Is it just the channel itself that keeps the roof edge secured?

2. What do I tell the RV place to do to keep it from moving? I assume it needs to be re-caulked, but w/ what and just down in the channel or along the outside? (which doesn't appear to have been done)

3. If it was warm enough, I would just get some Eternabond and do what others have done and tape along both sides, but its too cold for me to do caulking or taping until Spring, which is why its going to the shop.

Thanks for any help
Steve
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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Steve,
This is not unusual for a Winnebago roof, in fact, Winnie advises frequent inspection and caulk replacement as needed. A call to Winnie customer service will tell you what caulk to use. I got fed up with all this inspection and re-caulking and went with Eternabond tape a few years ago. Haven't had a concern since.
I never could understand how Winnie thought such a thin bead of caulking, within that little channel, would hold a roof at 60 mph. BTW, don't be surprised if other area's of the roof show a need to be re-caulked. Good catch on your part!
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The place I am taking it is not a Winnebago DLR (nearest one is in RI...) so I am not sure if they are able to take the roof edge out of the channel along both sides, put caulking in to the narrow space and then reseat it. It looks to me that the simplest fix is to clean and dry the roof edges as they are, then put caulking all along the outer surface where it goes into the channel, correct?

It's not going to look as nice, but it should hold better than whats there now, which is nothing!

I would let it sit until spring and then Eternabond the crap out of the roof, but we are planning on a couple of trips before then and I don't want to hear the roof peeling off in the wind!! (already had the awning do that to us a couple of years ago... )

I'm still amazed that none of the roof edges ever popped out before this considering how little seems to be holding it in place....
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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BTW, I just noticed you are on the Cape. Have you had any work done at Majors RV? Thats where I am taking it this week.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:55 PM   #5
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Do not let them use silicone. It will not hold for long and then makes it very hard for the specified polyurethane sealant to stick when you have redo it later.

Here's the Winnie drawing that shows where you apply the sealer:
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:15 PM   #6
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The roof side seam caulking is required to be inspected/R&R'ed at least annually. When properly maintained, there is no concern with the roof sheeting coming loose.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:39 PM   #7
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Avatab,

I had the same issue this summer. While giving the coach a bath 3 days before leaving for the Workhorse Chassis Motorhome Club rally in NE Ohio I noticed a 4' section had come out of the channel. I immediatly got on IRV2 and did a search. Because I only had 3 days before we were leaving I did not have time to get the Winnebago recommended product. I used a non-silicone material from Lowes, sorry, can't recall the name, but a search here will give you options. The material used at the factory is put on very thinly. Don't think that more is better as you don't want to seal the "weep holes" you can see from the bottom of the channel. I don't think this product is really used as a sealent, but to hold the fiberglass panel in place. With it in place and the weep holes open there is no way for water to get under the roof.

Another tip is to not wait until the 2 hottest days of the year to have to do this project out in the sun under the gun. That ladder got awfully tall toward the end. It only took a few hours with the removal of the old material and cleanup with alchohol taking the most time.

A quick search here will give you plenty of info.

Good luck,
Dave
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avatab View Post
Hi! We have a 99 Suncruiser and a few days ago noticed about 3 feet of the roof was popped out of the channel holding it. This was above the awning and the MH had not been moved/driven for a few weeks, so I assume it was the temp swings lately that caused it...
Seems to me I remember reading somewhere on this forum that Winnebago admitted to a customer that in certain years of motorhomes they actually cut the roof material a bit too short, giving it the potential to pop out of the channel if the caulk is not maintained.

It's not unusual that you didn't see any caulk in the channel. I just cleaned and recaulked our entire roof and there were areas along the edge that showed no sign of caulk ever having been installed. It was quite a job to clean all the gunk out of the channel and then put a good bead of marine grade polyurethane caulk in.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:43 AM   #9
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Seems to me I remember reading somewhere on this forum that Winnebago admitted to a customer that in certain years of motorhomes they actually cut the roof material a bit too short, giving it the potential to pop out of the channel if the caulk is not maintained.

It's not unusual that you didn't see any caulk in the channel. I just cleaned and recaulked our entire roof and there were areas along the edge that showed no sign of caulk ever having been installed. It was quite a job to clean all the gunk out of the channel and then put a good bead of marine grade polyurethane caulk in.
Ya Steve, you might be right about the edge cut a little too short and not in the slot far enough. I bought a 99 Chieftain brand new ..... same year as Steve's Suncruiser and owned it for 5 yrs. I checked the seal every yr and had to touch up a few spots. I sold it to my nephew and he didn't check the roof seal. One trip coming back from the sand dunes in very strong head winds, he lost abut 4 ft of roof that ripped off. So maybe the '99 units were built with short roof edge.

My 2004 Chieftain had very little sealer in the slot and I had to re-do 2/3 of the roof in the second year of ownership.. I used OCI QUAD from Home Depot clear polyurethane sealant and it has held up very well for 6 years.

Just last month I completely striped out the old sealant. Taking advice from the forum here, I used 0.140" window screen spline down in the groove to provide a wider gap and to keep the sealant from running down deep into the extrusion. Using the same OSI sealant, I noticed that the specs stated that for best results it should be about 1/4" thick. Using the rubber spline in the crack gives you a gap much closer to 1/4" so I expect good results over time. I think polyurethane needs the greater thickness to allow for more stretch/compression moving down the road and over the temperature swings thru the years.

I hope i don't have to mess with this roof seal for 8 more years.

Bill
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:58 AM   #10
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Unfortunately we have had a lot of problems with these roofs the biggest is te screws are broken that hold those moldings on. Hopefully the hope you take it to is careful and knows how to work with these roofs because they crack extremely easy. Then you are looking at some fiberglass repair. The product I use on these roof edges is proflex I have probably done 50 or so of these and never had a problem after wards. Hopefully the shop has some good techs and knows the process good luck
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
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Steve,
I've had Major's do a gas valve recall on a refridge but nothing else. I use Major's for most of my RVing purchases, odds and ends etc. Haven't had any major service work done because I try to do all my own work. I am however, considering having them replace leaking HWH hydraulic lines. I've scoped out the work myself and have decided it would be too much of a hassle for me to undertake alone.
Let us know if you're happy with the roof repair. Thanks.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:34 PM   #12
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why is silicone so bad ?
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:30 PM   #13
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why is silicone so bad ?
Silicone has only a fraction of the adhesiveness as polyurethane rubber. The elasticity of urethane is probably 2-3 times more than silicone. With the hot/cold expansion of the fiberglass roof, and the lateral stresses of the twisting action going thru driveways, a durable seal has to have a lot of adhesion and be able to stretch and/or compress.

Another big problem is getting anything to stick to a surface that has treated with silicone. Even silicone won't stick to itself once it's cured. So when the silicone seal gives way, you can't reseal it without cleaning the surface with a very strong solvent.
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:42 PM   #14
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Thanks for the replies!! I appreciate the info and even a diagram
Luckily, Majors has seen this before and know about the seam, the silcone/urethane issues and that Winnebago's have a history of this

They tell me there was a leak at the shower dome which got under the roof and popped it up in that area, but they are going to fix that and reseal that entire side of the roof edge w/ polyurethane. I am also having them re-do all of the roof seams, since it hasn't been done right since the factory...

I will let you know how it looks after I pick it up. I would not have known what questions to ask if it had not been for the great replies here
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:54 AM   #15
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3M makes a couple of marine grade polyerthane sealers. Poor memory, but I think they were 4200, and 5100. These stay flexible and yet are very strong. They are expensive and most boat,or marine stores should carry this product. They come in cauking gun tubes and one tube was sufficient to reseal my roof. If you have applied silicon then the surface needs to be cleaned with acetone or other similar cleaners else the polyerathane will not stick properly.

I also read Winnebago changed the roof design in about 2001 to fix this problem. They apparently are using a channel that is slightly deeper and they cut the roof a little wider, like a quarter inch or so, so the fiberglass goes into the channel deeper.

A friend has a 96??? Vectra with this problem and he replaced both channels with the newer deeper channel.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:04 PM   #16
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Is it good or bad??? we don't kn ow. It has been posted many times. We had it happen to 2 of our coaches;; No problem. On our ultimate, I took it all out Let it stick streight out. Cleaned the channel with a steel brush so it was spot clean then I went ot a Boat yard and got some Merine sealer filled the channel stuck the top in .. And that was it. I believe in making it air tight. as I don't want any cold air/water/snow getting in there. I like to use Merine glue/sealer when ever I can. It has never failed me.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:32 PM   #17
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Here is another roof sealant that can be used on the roof gutter edges.
Henry 212 Clear All-Purpose Patch 10.1 oz-HE212202 at The Home Depot
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:25 PM   #18
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Unfortunately we have had a lot of problems with these roofs the biggest is te screws are broken that hold those moldings on. Hopefully the hope you take it to is careful and knows how to work with these roofs because they crack extremely easy. Then you are looking at some fiberglass repair. The product I use on these roof edges is proflex I have probably done 50 or so of these and never had a problem after wards. Hopefully the shop has some good techs and knows the process good luck
We have seen 2 failures exactly as Greger has described above in our shop. One of those failures was on my coach . The failure was the screws holding the awning rail were broken. In both cases, luckily, the roof radius did not un-tuck from it's joint, as they were both sealed appropriately.

We currently have a 1999 unit in our shop where the roof radius did un-tuck along the complete length of the motorhome, due to lack of maintenance of the sealants along these joints.

Moral of story - check your sealants annually at a minimum. Check to make sure your awning rails are secure, and not flopping against the side of the coach. If your sealants are intact, you should have no problems.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:11 PM   #19
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We have seen 2 failures exactly as Greger has described above in our shop. One of those failures was on my coach . The failure was the screws holding the awning rail were broken. In both cases, luckily, the roof radius did not un-tuck from it's joint, as they were both sealed appropriately.

We currently have a 1999 unit in our shop where the roof radius did un-tuck along the complete length of the motorhome, due to lack of maintenance of the sealants along these joints.

Moral of story - check your sealants annually at a minimum. Check to make sure your awning rails are secure, and not flopping against the side of the coach. If your sealants are intact, you should have no problems.
Winnebago had a problem at one point with embrittlement of the screws (causing them to break) holding the awning/roof-edge rail onto the coach. Apparently the screws came from a different supplier and weren't up to spec. I discovered most of the screws on the left-rear rail on my coach had broken last fall and I had to have them replaced. I contacted Winnebago Owner Relations and they picked up half the tab for the repair (as a good will gesture) on my 6 1/2 year old coach!
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:40 AM   #20
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On ours it has been the 2010 navions the tension of the awning pulls on the rail and works so hard on the screws and with them just using tek screws into the aluminum brakes the heads. So check your awning rails everyone and make sure they sit flush against the coach. The slightest of gaps an I would take it to shop to get it fixed properly.
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