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Old 08-27-2011, 03:45 PM   #1
Winnebago Owner
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Posts: 57
Winnebago Rust Issues - Seeking Owner Info

I had originally started this thread over on the Class A forum site, but many replied that it belonged here instead. Here is what I said:

I have just experienced the dreaded Winnebago rust issue first hand. My coach is a a 2005 Itasca Meridian (same as Winnebago Journey) that is stored 95% of the time in an insulated garage in Southern California. My rig has only seen a few rainstorms and has never seen a snowfall or a salted road. Despite it's easy life, the steel frames behind both front windshields developed rust that was severe enough to break both windshield panes. The lower four lower metal positioning brackets were heavily rusted because they were installed with no rust protection or even paint. That rust spread to the lower part of the frame around all four brackets. The upper frame rail was severely rusted where someone at the Winnebago factory had scribed what appeared to be a window alignment line through the paint. The upper molding allowed water through and it sat against the steel and caused rust.

Winnebago's response to my letter of concern has been typical, in that they claimed no responsibility or liability and are trying to hide behind their 12 month warranty. My feeling is that they caused these problems and should be held accountable. The average cost of this repair is running $1,500 to $4,000 per incident. We paid far too much for our coaches to be ignored in this fashion.

Here is the tricky part: Although there are numerous instances online of this rust occuring, my attorney says that it will be difficult to find an attorney to file a class action suit on a contingent recovery basis. That might change if we can find someone who has been injured as a result of the rust issue.

My belief is that if the rust remains undected long enough, it could eat through the thin metal frame that holds the windshields in place and they could literally fall out (or in) of the coach during travel due to their weight. This could cause a loss of control of the vehicle and possibly injure other drivers. Because this is an over-the-road issue, my attorney has advised that it should be brought to the attention of both the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a means to press Winnebago to recall any and all coaches that could be affected. In my mind, this would be a far more effective method of righting this wrong than trying to organize a court case. The costs of a recall program could be severe for Winnebago and would hopefully encourage them to maintain better build quality and fix their mistakes in a timely manner before someone really gets hurt.

I also believe that someone needs to move forward and make Winnebago stop hiding behind their short warranty. They have caused a tremendous amount of cost to both owners and insurance companies with all of the glass and metal repair that has been needed because of their negligence on the manufacturing line.

Please, if you are not affected - Do not reply to this thread. I am purely making an effort to collect names in order for the submission to DOT and the NHTSA. If you have been affected in the past, or suspect that your coach may have rust in its windshield frames, please send your contact info and details to me at: [email protected]

This is not going to be a quick task, but I am willing to do the legwork in order to get this process started. Also, please ask any other Winnebago owners you know to visit this thread. Coaches can easily be inspected for rust by removing the window side trim pieces and the upper and lower plastic moldings. No glass has to come out. Just because you see black sealant, don't think it will stop the rust - Most of my rust was hiding under the black sealer). If you have had a mysterious glass crack with no impact sign, you most likely have rust. If not removed and sealed, the rust could become severe enough to cause the whole front cap to have to come off for a proper repair. Something like that could easily cost $10,000 and would most likely not be covered by your insurance policy.

Once the list is complete, I will make the submissions and notify those who have corresponded.

Thank you for your help with this matter.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:07 PM   #2
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 41
Vectra rust

I had the same problem on my '04 Vectra. The metal clips holding the window inplace rusted and one window cracked due to pressure from the rust buildup. The windshield repair man was very familiar with the "Winnebago" problem. You might check with the winshield replacement shops for frequency of work on Winnebago coaches. My current rust problem is with the compartments. ""StoreMore - RustMore"
Don "VectraDon" Thimas

2004 Vectra 40AD
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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We have closed this thread and moved the original discussion here in the Winnebago forum.
Adios, Dirk - '84 Real Lite Truck Camper, '86 Wilderness Cimarron TT, previously 4 years as a fulltimer in a '07 DSDP

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