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Old 10-31-2019, 07:38 PM   #1
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What would you do?

I am somewhat new to Class A RV and recently had a very bad experience. I brought my Winnebago into a local dealer for a body panel repair. I had to travel out of state the next day by air. The day after that the service mgr. sent me a photo of my RV with about 20 ft. of the side of the roof ripped from the channel by the drip rail. The service mgr. had told me before I brought my RV in that this model was known for issues with the roof blowing open.

I told him I knew all about it. The previous owner cautioned me to check the roof frequently and so I did. I checked it a week or so before I brought it into the dealer. There was no problem with the roof when I dropped it off. I can only guess that the service manager was trying to drum up work to keep his men busy and or make some money fixing what he had his men destroy on my RV.

I told him I did not have money for his expensive roof repair and to leave it alone. I took the RV home when the original work was done and am working on it by myself. I am 74 years old and have been working on a 12 ft ladder trying to undo the damage that they did. The part where they pried the roof open looks like they used a flat carpenters pry-bar to rip the material free from the caulking sealer in the rail channel. That part is cracked from forcing it out of its location. I am not sure how to repair that part and am hoping that Eternabond will stick to the curved side of the roof where it tucks into the rail. This is a Winnebago dealer that did this to me. Any suggestions are welcome.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:20 PM   #2
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Find a lawyer? Perhaps I don’t understand. You took it to a dealer to fix a body panel and the roof was fine. The next day the roof is torn open?

How is that not something you would sue the dealer for? And since when do Adventurer roofs “blow open?”
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:25 AM   #3
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I have seen where people say that they use Eternabond and slide it down into the rail where the sealant/ caulk would be so I think you're safe there. We have paint in that area or I would have done that already. I think you'll be ok if you use that.

WhyTheHell they messed with it is beyond comprehension. Was the damage you were trying to fix on the roof or in that side area? I had a domed satellite receiver that was on our rv (not used) ripped off on an abort turn into a gas station (when I hit the cannopy - a long story but roof damage nonetheless) that I just Eternabonded over. It's been fine since.
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:00 PM   #4
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thanks for the replies

Thanks for the reply. The curved side roof material is a different material than the top of the RV. The top is/was a course material and the sides where it curves into the drip rail is a more glossy plastic-like material. I guess I will find out pretty soon. It has warmed up a bit today and there is some sunshine off and on so I am going to try it with the Eternabond.

In reply to the other gentleman. There have been reports of older roofs lifting off at the edges and water damage is a result. This is a relatively small change affair and lawyers only want to sue for big money so they would require a retainer from me with no guarantee of success. I don't have the time or money for this as it is much hiring a lawyer.
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:58 PM   #5
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Have you owned your RV from new? On my 2010 (Vista 32K) the roof is 1-piece from top into that rail with the sides painted up over onto the roof. I thought that all Winnie's had that same roof material. It's basically a thin piece of fiberglass bent over the edge and tucked into that rail which makes we wonder if maybe a previous owner may have done something to the top surface.



Either way I bet that the Eternabond will solve your issues.


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Old 11-01-2019, 08:12 PM   #6
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The RV is a 2006 and I am the third owner. The last guy did have roof issues and did a good job of fixing them and he warned me to keep my eyes on the roof. I have read here and there on the internet that these earlier models had roof problems. The side and top of the roof are different materials.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:22 PM   #7
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Other than 2 of Winnebago Motorized 2 newest models, the OEM roof top layer is made of a 3/16" 3 ply plywood covered with a continuous piece of a fiberglass gelcoat top piece, I believe known as Filon, that is glued to the plywood flat roof portion. It is not glued to the syrofoam shaper piece that it curves around. The roof is a sandwich of this on top, solid foam with some metal and wood reinforcements in some areas, with metal extrusions around the sides, front and back that provide points to drive screw fasteners into front / rear cap top metal extrusions and the side wall top metal extrusions.

The top piece is curved into a slot in the side metal extrusion and is held in place only by adhesive caulk. Winnebago operator manuals all say that this slot joint needs to be inspected annually to ensure the adhesive connection remains solid and secure.

I've attached photos of the dealer display of the roof / sidewall system and how it's connected.

If your roof no longer is OEM then perhaps you should consider going back to the tried and true Winnebago design. Out of nearly a million Winnebagos built with this roof design, only a handfull have failed and generally those are due to lack of monitoring and maintaining the adhesive connection.

Winnebago on some Vistas, including my 2015 model (built in December 2014), ran a continuous color matched strip of 4" Eternabond tape from the metal extrusion up and around the curve, completely covering the slot and the adhesive caulk. I understand this was done due to some spider cracking in the curve area on some Vistas, that the tape covers and hides. I don't know why they had this problem on Vista roofs and not others. They actually had a recall on some Vistas to retro-fit the Eternabond tape after units left the factory. It seems to be holding up very well on my almost 5 year old Vista, and it has the advantage of a very quick inspection of how the roof / sidewall seam is holding up compared to checking the caulk in the slot and trying to clean out old caulk and trying to re-caulk that joint.

From a cost perspective, the tape solution costs uses about $ 50 worth of Eternabond tape vs. the caulk solution using about $ 4 worth of caulk and the labor to run the caulk when making the RV is likely less than the labor to apply the tape. So, IMHO that's why they only used the tape solution when thay absolutely had to when making RVs.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:19 AM   #8
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Was there any particular damage done other than the edge being pulled out of the channel? If not, I'd just fix it via the Eternabond method and never, ever go to that dealer again for anything. Even with Eternabond, you'll caulk first with Manus Bond 75AM which matches Winnebago's recommended sealant. Dicor and similar sealants don't have the necessary adhesive properties.

I certainly wouldn't let them repair it, even for free. Assuming it's a Winnebago dealer, I'd file a complaint with Winnebago. I'd also ding them via Yelp and any other place I could find.

From your description of the roof material being textured on top and smooth in the curved area it sounds like the previous owner might have coated the top with something. To the best of my knowledge all Winnebago roofs of that vintage were 100% smooth. If there's an obvious physical joint then something more drastic was done.

IMHO pursuing a legal solution would just be more aggravation and most likely would only result in the dealer agreeing to a low, or no cost repair.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:59 AM   #9
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Small claims court to recover your costs including your labor might be the way to go. Would cost ~$100 to file and have them served most places. Likely go to arbitration first and I suspect they would settle pretty quickly. No lawyers need be involved.

But, that's up to you, you know your situation better then we do...

It would be helpful to put your RV information, year, model, length, engine, in your signature so we know what Winnebago you're talking about and don't have to tease it out or worse, guess.

Just in case, this drawing by Winnebago might help as you work on the roof edge. At least this is what they did in '00 and on I don't know how long. I did both sides of mine with Eternabond a few years ago and it's still holding strong...and little to no maintenance:



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Old 11-04-2019, 11:09 AM   #10
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dawa106,
Contrary to some popular belief, the fiberglass roof is NOT GLUED to the substrate plywood underlayment. If it was, the "reports" of roofs flying up both in stationary and traveling events, would be substantially reduced. Unless Winnebago alters its construction techniques on different days, the roofs are not glued on. I know, I was there right next to the assembling of the coaches on a factory tour. Yes, the edges are glued/sealed with a caulking/adhesive.

And, also, contrary to SOME thinking that eternabond is the almighty answer to the universe's problems, it IS NOT a FASTNER! It is a sealing tape, PERIOD. Can one use it as a binder between the roof and the edge, yep, sure can. Is it the ultimate answer, no, not in my opinion for whatever that's worth. What is the answer is to find out, just EXACTLY what type of caulking/adhesive is to be used on YOUR COACH.

And one more, NOT ALL WINNIBAGO roofs, are caulked/glued/sealed on the edges with the same product. For instance, full body painted coaches have the edge sealed/caulked/glued with something different than non full body painted coaches do. So, you'll have to find out what is used on your coach.

Maintaining that edge is one of the toughest maintenance items that's needed on a regular basis, due to it's technical and physical issues. It's not an easy job, no matter what ones age is.

One final thing. While we read of the so-called "Many" roof departures from Winne coaches on HERE, one has to think of just how many ACTUAL Winnebago and Itasca coaches that have been built, no matter WHAT era, that are still cruising America, WITHOUT ONE SINGLE ROOF ISSUE?
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:05 PM   #11
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Here is a picture of the different roof materials.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawa106 View Post
Here is a picture of the different roof materials.
Looks like the OEM single continuous sheet of Filon Fiberglass top layer. IMHO its all the same material but some sort of roof coating was applied over the top of it in the flat areas.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:16 PM   #13
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Do you have a photo of the damaged part?
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
dawa106,
Contrary to some popular belief, the fiberglass roof is NOT GLUED to the substrate plywood underlayment. If it was, the "reports" of roofs flying up both in stationary and traveling events, would be substantially reduced. Unless Winnebago alters its construction techniques on different days, the roofs are not glued on. I know, I was there right next to the assembling of the coaches on a factory tour. Yes, the edges are glued/sealed with a caulking/adhesive.

And, also, contrary to SOME thinking that eternabond is the almighty answer to the universe's problems, it IS NOT a FASTNER! It is a sealing tape, PERIOD. Can one use it as a binder between the roof and the edge, yep, sure can. Is it the ultimate answer, no, not in my opinion for whatever that's worth. What is the answer is to find out, just EXACTLY what type of caulking/adhesive is to be used on YOUR COACH.

And one more, NOT ALL WINNIBAGO roofs, are caulked/glued/sealed on the edges with the same product. For instance, full body painted coaches have the edge sealed/caulked/glued with something different than non full body painted coaches do. So, you'll have to find out what is used on your coach.

Maintaining that edge is one of the toughest maintenance items that's needed on a regular basis, due to it's technical and physical issues. It's not an easy job, no matter what ones age is.

One final thing. While we read of the so-called "Many" roof departures from Winne coaches on HERE, one has to think of just how many ACTUAL Winnebago and Itasca coaches that have been built, no matter WHAT era, that are still cruising America, WITHOUT ONE SINGLE ROOF ISSUE?
Scott


Its great to see an explanation from an actual Winnebago employee as to how and why some things were/are designed to work. Thank you!

That said, in looking at the roof edge diagram about in Jim Hi-tek's post, it would seem unwise to rely completely on an adhesive caulk alone to keep the fiberglass roof edge tucked into that side rail. I'm definitely not an engineer and probably should not question the design, but it seems to me that in addition to the adhesive caulk, adding just a few fasteners through that rail and into the fiberglass would be enough to virtually guarantee that edge would not loosen and pop out. To be sure the fastener holes might possibly be a source of water leakage, but there are already a host of sealers available for that and it would be relatively easy to inspect them annually.

But you are the expert here, what say you?
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:37 PM   #15
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Well... As a RV repair shop owner we replace many roof's every year on all makes and model RV's motorized and non-motorized. Winnebago roofs are indeed notorious for popping out and blowing off and everyone we have replaced ARE in fact glued down front to back and side to side. In fact on one that we were replacing year or so ago on a 2008 destination with the first divider wall inside being the bathroom wall was about 25 feet from the windshields, the foam core almost collapsed on us after pulling the filon and luan. Had my guys not been jonny on the spot that day we probably would have lost it. Luckily we caught it and were able to put braces inside from the floor to the ceiling regaining it's shape until the luan and the filon was glued on and then it regained it's structure. Matter of fact every roof I've ever been involved with from any manufacture has always been glued, I've never seen a floating roof as of yet. Not saying there isn't one out there but I haven't seen one on a typical RV.

Now about this OP I would encourage you to contact your insurance and make a claim on your roof and get it replaced. Once the edges start popping out on these and you man handle the edge more then a couple times the filon starts spider cracking out and some you can see & some you can't. Personally I don't like doing those repairs unless it's a temporary fix, because I've had it happen that it then leaks later on and the water runs into the walls and de-lam's the sidewall panel. Now if the edge looks ok (no cracking) and you snap the panel back in it should be ok, but if you repaint the corner it will help to fill any of the cracks but still no guarantee it won't leak. Get the roof replaced and move on with life! Just my 2 cents....

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Old 11-06-2019, 08:25 PM   #16
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This is an example of a Winnebago roof ( thin Filon) literally falling/peeling out of the aluminum track that is supposed to hold it tight to the roof.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawa106 View Post
Here is a picture of the different roof materials.

That is a dirty looking one piece roof and if the dealer pried it out of the channel to inspect it causing damage through his negligence instead of following the published procedure of gently pressing on the joint with a finger to check for gaps in the bond then he owes you a roof repair at a Winnebago dealer that actually knows what they are doing.

From the long scratches on the top is looks like its had a number of encounters scraping under low branches too.

Before Eternabond is applied the roof edge still needs to be slid back into the channel which it never should have been removed from. Usually if you find it gaps when you gently press on it then you simply scrape the old Manus Adhesive Sealant out of the joint, clean it up with a no residue cleaner, dry it and apply new Manus Adhesive Sealant that is less than 9 months from date of manufacture. Manus Adhesive Sealant has a relatively short shelf life and many problems people have is from someone using old tubes of Manus that have been sitting on the shelf too long since the solvents inside it evaporate from the tubes very quickly.

Replacing the entire roof due to his negligence can cost many thousands of dollars and is not a simple job. Consult your lawyer before calling Winnebago for their input.

I had to do that, sans the lawyer, when I bought my 2001 Adventurer after the "Authorized Dealer" started giving me the runaround and even though it was a used unit out of warranty Winnebago read them the riot act and put pressure on them to make things right and the dealer immediately complied.


Note that if you screw through or pop rivet the edge down to the roof that close to the edge you will likely develop stress cracks and lose the integrity of the roof. My 2001 is almost 19 years old now and since its had correct roof seam maintenance despite severe tropical storms and a number of hurricanes it has not had any issues aside from requiring the Manus Adhesive Sealant to be replaced. Also note that the differences in the Manus Adhesive Sealant with full body paint is basically the color of the Manus however its all a type of urethane adhesive sealant. Also if anyone ever used a silicone caulk on the roof seams then the correct urethane adhesive required to hold it together will never form a bond until all residual of that silicone is completely removed. Some owners really shoot themselves and any future owners of their coaches in the foot when they apply a silicone caulk or treatment to the roof. Eternabond will also fail if there is any trace of silicone caulk or treatment where its applied.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:15 PM   #18
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To fix the issue you will have to get up on a tall ladder and clean out all the dirt and factory applied sealant at the filon roof seam as noted in the diagram you posted on both Pass and Driver side of the roof. Some filon roof material was probably cut a little narrower side to side just due to width tolerances which reduces the overlap of filon to aluminium molding and makes sealing more difficult, other filon roofs had minimal sealant on the alumium molding so the filon peeling is a common issue that does happen more to these period Winnie Motorhomes.


How to Fix.....
Use a little soap and water first and clean the roof. There will be a lot and I mean ALOT!!! of fine dirt and leaves in between the filon and the aluminum molding. There will be a large amount of dirt packed in that space, a small shop vac also helps a lot. Then use a yellow putty scraper found at home depot with a rag soaked in alcohol wrapped on the scraper and insert/wedge it between the filon and the aluminum extruded molding to clean out all the fine dirt out the best you can with 90% isopropol alcohol to create a nice clean surface, don't rush, Apply a section of sealant after the alcohol evaporates completely then move on to the next 12 inches and repeat the process. Use a Chaulk gun and inject the "Manus Bond Product 75AM Sealant ( White) in between the filon and the aluminium extruded molding . Use another the yellow plastic scrapper to hold open the gap to push the filon back so you can inject the Manus-Bond to make a good seal. As you slowly advance and inject the sealant remove the excess as it sticks to everything!!. Have plenty of disposable rags and gloves to clean up as you progress.


This sealant is available from Amazon and at Fastenal. I used 3 or 4 tubes to finish both sides of my 34V Adventurer. It took me at least 2 days to finish the job and it is 100% water tight now


I posted a very similar post on iRV2 detailing this same issue about a year ago with a photo or two of how to use the plastic scraper to hold the gap open while you inject the Manus-Bond Urethane sealant. This is the ONLY recommended sealant by Winnebago. Side note: NEVER EVER USE any SILICONE based sealant anywhere on your Rig.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:42 AM   #19
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Side note: NEVER EVER USE any SILICONE based sealant anywhere on your Rig.
I agree with everything you posted except the above comment. Many of Winnebago's specified sealants are, in fact, silicone based. It's all a matter of the formulation. Not all silicones are created equal. Nonetheless, careful cleaning is in order whenever silicone based sealants are removed and/or applied.

Here's confirmation:

https://winnebagoind.com/resources/s...t%20Sheets.pdf
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:36 PM   #20
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Pictures of the roof before repair

There was no problem with the roof when I dropped it off at the Winnebago Dealer. It is now cracked at two spots where it was pried from the roof with a prybar. It was still cauled into the roof with the original factory sealant. I removed all the sealant completely now and made the repair with Eterabond.
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