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Old 07-05-2014, 06:29 AM   #1
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Want a Winnebago, but...

After just over a year of owning a Tiffin 42' Allegro Bus, we have decided the coach is too big for us and have decided to downsize. We have been looking hard at 2002-2007 34 and 36' Journey and Horizon/Meridian models because they seem like a great value and floorplan, but I may be guilty of doing too much research. After finding this forum, I'm very concerned about windshield rust issues with the Winnebagos. Our Tiffin (2007) had several of the historical Tiffin issues when we purchased it, but Tiffin was willing to fix them at no charge. As a result, I've been happy overall with the coach and the company.

I realize the sample group on an internet forum will be likely to have a greater percentage of people with problems, but from glancing through this, and other forums on the Winnebago problems, the windshield issue seems to be a "when", not an "if", and Winnebago is not helping with the issues. It also sounds like some service agreement/warranties have stopped covering the rust issues with the Winnie windshields.

So, am I being overly concerned? I know that all brands have their issues and that there are many happy Winnebago Industries owners. Will every Winnebago/Itasca have the rust issue?
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:38 AM   #2
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No issues with mine. Granted, I haven't had the windshield off to check, but no water leakage in a downpour and no rust is visible anywhere I can see.
My suggestion would be to make an inspection a condition of your purchase of a MH.
We love our coach! Floor plan is perfect for what we need. Good luck on your search.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:44 AM   #3
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I am on my 3rd Winnebago coach and I have never had a rust problem. I had a windshield replaced a couple of years ago and the glass company said no major rust problems.

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Old 07-05-2014, 07:15 AM   #4
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We're also on our second Winnebago product. Our 2001 had a windshield replaced at about 6 years old and there was no rust. Our 2013 is a little over a year old and has almost 15,000 miles on it. Again no rust and no concern that there will be any problems in the future.

Most of those claiming "known problems" have by in large purchased used coaches with unknown histories. They have no idea when, where, or how the leaks developed. Was it an ongoing problem from the factory, a poor installation of replacement glass, the result of an accident, or other as yet unknown cause? Without knowing the history of the unit I can understand Winnebago's reluctance to participate in repairs of vehicles long out of warranty.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:58 AM   #5
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I think serious leaks/rust will be evident on casual, non-destructive inspection, but is there a way to get a more in-depth look without creating a need for repair? Most sellers are not going to want us damaging windshield trim or removing internal cabinets/panels to get a look? If there is not, I will insist
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:25 AM   #6
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The wide black trim strip across the top of the windshield can be removed and replaced with no damage. It has a rib molded into the back of it that fits into a track that's secured between the upper cap and the glass. It just pulls out of the track and can be pushed back on after inspection. If there's rust, you should probably be able to see it. You may have to loosen the metal trim piece that runs down the side of the windshield as it captures the end of the upper rubber trim strip. The metal trim is secured with screws (3?)...

If there has been leaking, you can probably find some discolored spots on the trim piece inside the windshield. If you to be more thorough, that trim can be removed by taking out a few screws.

I think you should be able to determine if there has been any leaking/rusting.

I am one of the ones that had rust, but my Journey sustained major hurricane damage when it was only a few weeks old. Both windshields were replaced by a dealer, so I can't blame Winnie for what may have just been a faulty repair.

I would not hesitate to buy a Winnebago again. All RVs have problems, but I've been very happy with my Journey for 10 years and counting...
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:58 AM   #7
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I think that Winnebago makes a very good RV. But doesn't Tiffin make a number of RV's between 30 and 36 feet as well? Winnie would probably be less expensive.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsm View Post
I think you should be able to determine if there has been any leaking/rusting.



All RV's have known problems, some more than others. Luckily you are looking at coaches with few problems and that are easy to detect.

A quick inspection should tell you if the coach you are looking at has any windshield rust issues so I would not let this stop you at all. If it has you can negotiate a purchase price PLUS get it fixed. If it hasn't you can do one of the many fixes yourself (or just monitor the seal) and live worry free.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebreeze View Post
I think that Winnebago makes a very good RV. But doesn't Tiffin make a number of RV's between 30 and 36 feet as well? Winnie would probably be less expensive.

Mike,
Tiffin diesel pusher models in the age/price/size range we are looking for are limited. The Phaeton floor plans don't really work for us, and you are getting too new before you start getting into the rear engine Allegros. We found one that is very close, but we would prefer to stay just a bit lower in the price range.

One of our intended uses is taking 7 dogs to various performance events--we don't need a newer, pristine interior to do that!

Tiffin makes a good coach, and as long as you are willing to go to Redbay and wait your turn, they will fix about anything for free or low cost--they are just limited on models for what we are looking for.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:41 AM   #10
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An additional question, if anyone is still watching the thread: Starting out with a raised rail pusher, we go spoiled by the copious storage of the pass through bays. With the Journey-class, it seems storage is limited by the configuration of the bays. Believe it or not, our primary concern is storing exercise pen panels that are 48" X 24". Would they fit?
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:49 AM   #11
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I did a search and the WBGO that seemed to have the rust problem were 2003-2008. I believe those were all 2 piece glass fronts. The later single piece windshield had a different install process which eliminate the problem.

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Old 07-08-2014, 08:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cloudrnnr View Post
Mike,
Tiffin diesel pusher models in the age/price/size range we are looking for are limited. The Phaeton floor plans don't really work for us, and you are getting too new before you start getting into the rear engine Allegros. We found one that is very close, but we would prefer to stay just a bit lower in the price range.

One of our intended uses is taking 7 dogs to various performance events--we don't need a newer, pristine interior to do that!

Tiffin makes a good coach, and as long as you are willing to go to Redbay and wait your turn, they will fix about anything for free or low cost--they are just limited on models for what we are looking for.
I had a 2002 Journey with the 36GD floor plan. While there were no real 'pass-thru' compartments, two of the large passenger side compartments were deep enough at the very top to accommodate the size you need. Also, the store-more compartment under the driver side LR slide is quite long.... not deep but long. Not sure how the later models were configured.

The absence of a pass thru on the Journey/Meridians of the early to mid 2000's was due to the store more compartment on the driver side.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:05 PM   #13
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We had a 2004 Adventurer 38G for 10 years that gave us no problems. We just traded it in for a smaller Forza 34T. The floor plan works fantastic for us! I know what you mean about reading all the problems....I'm worried as well! Even though I've had no problems on our previous rig (that wasn't wear and tear) for the last 10 years. I'm hoping we will be as lucky with our new Forza...so far we really like it! Everything we want and nothing we don't! Good luck in your search!
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:45 PM   #14
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I have an 07 Journey 39K. I had one side of the windshield replaced in 2010 and there was a small 4 inch spot of rust on the bottom of the frame. The installer fixed it quickly with some rust repair coating after sanding down the rust.

Just had the other side replaced this past May at the Winnie factory service center, no rust on the frame at all.

Would not let this issue stop me from buying another WB, that would make the next one my third WB product.

Best Regards!
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:54 PM   #15
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Counting my 1st 1999 Chieftain and my current 2004, I have 15 yrs of ownership and no rust problems, anywhere on the coach. But I drive in the dry West mostly and have never driven it on salted roads.......maybe someone that lives in the snow/salt belt of the country would have different results???
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:05 AM   #16
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I bought my Winne new in 2007. Had the one piece windshield replaced in Jan this year. There was rust on the metal frame in numerous places. The glass company scraped and treated all of the rusted spots, they said it wasn't as bad as some they had seen.

I would buy another Winne if they still used the Workhorse UFO Chassis.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:31 AM   #17
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I have the Journey 36 G and had front end shield leaks since day 1. I've replace the right side shield one time due to rock damage. The window company did find rust in the channel and it was "mediated". I use a local RV repair shop and they finally removed the Winnie seal system and revealed the entire front shield.

As for storage, there is no through storage on my unit. There is one deep area but it runs across the coach from the side large box, the storage is approximately 15 inches high and goes deep but not through. Unless you store items in the cages when you travel the cages will take up most of your storage areas. Two long areas on the passenger side, 1 short area in front on driver side and two long areas on drivers side that runs together length wise.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:32 AM   #18
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Cloudrnnr


As for storage, there is no through storage on my unit. There is one deep area but it runs across the coach from the side large box, the storage is approximately 15 inches high and goes deep but not through. Unless you store items in the cages when you travel the cages will take up most of your storage areas. Two long areas on the passenger side, 1 short area in front on driver side and two long areas on drivers side that runs together length wise.

Thanks! Our panels fold down to 24" wide X 48" long and about 5" tall. Not a huge amount of space, but cumbersome to fit in a small space.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:26 AM   #19
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The 2005 Vectra (and Horizon) 36RD has a very large StorMore compartment on the right-hand side. It is a very long compartment with a taller section in the middle and also a deeper section in the middle.

The deep area in the middle is about 11" tall, 4'7" deep, and 5'9" long. The taller area in the middle is about 2'7" tall and 6'2" long (I neglected to measure just how deep is is--sorry). The main compartment is 10'9" long.
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