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Old 01-21-2005, 07:28 AM   #1
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Shortly after we took delivery of our 39W I looked underneath and was surprised to see a substantial amount of rust. My No. 2 son is an MEng and I sent him the four pictures I took of the missing bolts in the gennie (photos were sent to Winnie as well). My son and aother engineer I sent them to both expressed surprise at the amount of rust visible. So, I took some photos of the undercarriage and sent them to my son and the other engineer. They both, independently suggested that all the rusted areas should be wire brushed and then an oil spray or something similar be used for protection.

I've sent the photos off the Winnie as well and they have passed them on to Freightliner for comments.

Within a month of getting the coach I was talking to the FTL help desk on another matter and expressed my surprise about the rust. The fellow said that the dealer should have power washed the undercarriage, especially since the coach was driven from Iowa to Ontario in the winter so it would have had a lot of snow, slush and salt on it.

Anyone else finding a substantial amount of rust underneath the coach?
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:28 AM   #2
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Shortly after we took delivery of our 39W I looked underneath and was surprised to see a substantial amount of rust. My No. 2 son is an MEng and I sent him the four pictures I took of the missing bolts in the gennie (photos were sent to Winnie as well). My son and aother engineer I sent them to both expressed surprise at the amount of rust visible. So, I took some photos of the undercarriage and sent them to my son and the other engineer. They both, independently suggested that all the rusted areas should be wire brushed and then an oil spray or something similar be used for protection.

I've sent the photos off the Winnie as well and they have passed them on to Freightliner for comments.

Within a month of getting the coach I was talking to the FTL help desk on another matter and expressed my surprise about the rust. The fellow said that the dealer should have power washed the undercarriage, especially since the coach was driven from Iowa to Ontario in the winter so it would have had a lot of snow, slush and salt on it.

Anyone else finding a substantial amount of rust underneath the coach?
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:43 AM   #3
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Thanks for reminding me that I haven't gotten under there with some black rustoleum and a wire brush. It's been on my to do list since about day 3.

I was surprised too. Winnebago brags about dipping everything, but it appears that while the components are dipped, they are welded together to the coach after, wrecking areas of the coating.

If I talk a wire brush and paint to Florida next week, think I'll have enough time? Argghhh.

Tim.
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:45 AM   #4
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Tim, I guess you know who one of the two engineeers is.

I've put the photos I sent Winnie of the missing bolts and the rust on a photosite - have a look and see if this resembles your rust.

Hit the collections dated Jan 20.

Rust and Gennie bolts

I have to say I'm not nuts about the idea of spending the winter under the coach here in Florida with a wire brush.

Now, about your trip to Florida - are you buy some chance going to be on the other side where a certain 24 hour race is going to run in early Feb? Looks like the best lineup in many decades.

Don
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:23 AM   #5
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Don,
Your pictures prompted me to drive down to my storage facility to take a look. I've been under my unit several times and didn't remember that much rust.

As I thought, I don't have nearly as much rust as your photos show. My unit was built in 10/03 and has been in FL since shortly after it was built.

As you probably know, EVERYTHING rusts in FL. Even had a stainless steel prop on my boat that rusted! Surprising that road salt would cause more problem than being here in rusty Florida.
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:43 AM   #6
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Looks a lot like some areas of mine. Mostly where welds are though, like in the slide photo above the HWH slider.

Things rust in Florida? Road salt is like driving IN the ocean, not just near it. Last brake job on my winter beater was a bit of a surprise. The wear indicators (the small metal tabs that are supposed to make noise when the pad gets thin) had rusted away!

And yup, Daytona Febuary 3rd through the 6th. First race for our '05 Mustangs. There will be at least three, and as many as five in the race (The Grand Am Cup race on Friday, a 200 miler.)
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:24 PM   #7
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Tim, I was tempted to ask my friend (Ex VP at MM) to let me know how I could get a crew pass. Then I reflected on what I had to offer them in the pits and figured even I'd turn myself down.

But, if you know of something I could do for a couple of days, do let me know. No. 1 son (Gord is No. 2) and I went in 1999 and I have to say it sure was cold in the middle of the night - extremely cold with the wind that blows across the infield into the stands.
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:28 PM   #8
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Tom, the MH has been in Palmetto area since November. I've rolled under a number of other coaches in the park and have seen nothing even approaching the amount of rust I have - and several are much older. I have to say I was impressed with an 03 Mountainaire - virtually no rust underneath and so much of the undercarriage was sealed off that I was amazed. It is on a Spartan chassis. Had a late model Wanderlodge come in the other day and it is parked next to a vintage WL (perhaps 12 years old) and I'm going to go over and see if they will allow me to roll under for a look. An 03 Mandalay and a 5 or 6 year old Foretravel looked faily clean in comparison.
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Old 01-21-2005, 01:22 PM   #9
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Don,
Sounds like someone is researching their NEXT coach

I think the Mountainaire on the Spartan chassis would be high on my list, but I'm forced to live with reality.

Saw an interesting thing when I went to check on rust. On either side of the radiator area there are large brackets that look like maybe they are one attachment for the rear cap. Four large bolts in each side. One of my bolts had a washer and NO nut. How that washer has stayed on I'll never know. Another nut was right at the end of the bolt (about 1/2 inch from being tight against the bracket). Couldn't move it with my fingers so it's probably cross-threaded. Might be worth a check on yours...
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:59 PM   #10
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Tom, I hope I'm not researching a new coach - that is the last thing I need now. I'd just like to be happy with this one without having a lawyer sue everyone in sight to get there.
I don't like doing that and I'm hoping the responsible parties will make sure we get what we paid for - and we didn't get a 25%+ discount like you folks get in the US - in fact, not ever 20%.
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:54 PM   #11
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....ever heard of Amsoil MP/HD it is a protective coating....wash coach on the underside with plain water -take it for a hour drive to get it dry go nuts with the spray can-get a Amsoil dealer to get it for you about $4.50 a can or so....I've been using it for 2 years now and I really like the results better than Ziebart-though not as will as KenCoat Protective but it is a lot easier to use....geof kaye....[enjoy your vacation]
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Old 01-22-2005, 12:18 AM   #12
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If I remember correctly from my chemistry classes, if you spray Phosphoric acid onto iron oxide (rust) you get iron phosphate(primer). Then paint it with your spray can of black paint. It should last for life. You can buy phosphoric acid at any place that sells steel beams and girders. Be careful of how you put the acid on.
Don't get it on skin or in eyes.
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:41 AM   #13
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I found phosphoric acid in the paint department an ordinary hardware store, under the name of Ospho. The quart bottle was about $5. and you can put some in a spray bottle, wear eye protection, and go to work. Just like Norman said, it turns rust into black primer when it dries. It's also sold in spray cans under the name "Extend", I think in Home Depot or Lowes.
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:06 AM   #14
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Capt.Bill,

I'm glad I brought my problem about the missing and broken bolts to the attention of this forum. It further substantiates my position with Winnebago, that I'm not the only having these problems, as they try to make me believe.

What response have you received if any from them?

Those people who own coaches, need to get of their duffs and check things out, or they may be is a situation they wished never happened. Problems like the this, that we bring to these forums are serious and need to be addressed and remedied post hast(asap).

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Old 01-22-2005, 05:49 AM   #15
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My new coach arrived at my dealer near Buffalo Friday from Iowa. I'm concerned about the coach being driven in salty slush. My PDI is scheduled for Tuesday. I just called Myers, my dealer, and asked if they wash the underside of a coach before delivery. They told me, not at this time of year. I requested that the chassis be power washed before PDI. I can sit out salty roads before moving the coach but the salt may already be on the chassis.

I'm headed to FL from Pittsburgh as soon as we pack our gear. I'm hoping I'll hit a good rain storm on the way down to wash the undercarraige.

Thanks very much for your post and photos.
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:56 AM   #16
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I think you can by pass the wire brush. There is some coatings that change the rust to a different oxide that you can spray on. Nutra Rust is one. Check out the local hardware stores. A lot eaiser than wire brushing the whole thing.
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:44 AM   #17
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Did either of you choose the undercoating option?

Shawn
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:07 AM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dleslie125:
Shortly after we took delivery of our 39W I looked underneath and was surprised to see a substantial amount of rust. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Don,

I really don't understand yer concern over a bit of rust on yer chassis. Although you haven't stated where the rust is located, I assume that it is typical chassis rust associated with incomplete chassis sitting out on the back lot in all kinds of weather for months at a time.

So . . . what is your *REAL* concern: that your rig might entirely collapse due to a bit of superfical rust? As a knowledgeable internet groupie: When have you *EVER* heard of so much as even a single a motorhome ever collapsing due to rust???

IMO, it's a total non-issue!
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:02 PM   #19
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Stan, pardon me, but have you had your eyes checked lately. I know OHIP won't pay for the visit, but if you've looked at the photos and you don't know where the rust is located, then you really should have an eye examination.

Enough for my attempt at humour, now for a few facts, comments and observations.

The chassis was delivered to Winnie by FTL in Nov 2003. The MH was delivered to your favourite dealer - Sicard - in March 2004. We bought it at the end of April and took delivery at the end of May (had to get a Z endorsement on my license for air-brakes first, and Sicard needed time to do the PDI - i.e., wash it and remove the stickers)l. When I talked to FTL on another issue within a month of delivery (I wanted to know what fluid was in the tranny) FTL said the MH should have been power washed after it was delivered.

I've rolled under several coaches at the park we are located at in Florida. NONE have rust anywhere near the amount that is on our coach and many are several years older and have wintered here for 6 months each year.

Our Journey has superficial rust on heavy structural pieces but there is also rust on welds and air tanks that are of concern to me. I'm not excessively concerned about forged pieces or castings but they do look ugly as can be AND that can lull one into not recognizing the concern about the rust on welds and tanks.

Take the tanks for example. Surface rust on a tank may not be a problem but most tanks are welded (2 end caps and body) and so there are three welds. Rust on these weld lines can be a problem. The first issue is that weld material is more porous and more susceptible to rust and secondly the tank is not a rigid structure and as it moves within its range of low and high pressure it will actually flex, causing microcracks or creating potential for microcracks along the weld lines. Continuous flexing will allow rust to tunnel along these microcracks and ultimately cause structural failure.

The majority of rust may indeed be inconsequential surface rust but if you chose to ignore it all together you can leave yourself vulnerable to significant rust issues.

I believe that the engineers* I've consulted KNOW what they are talking about, do you Stan?

The Triple E we had for one year was 4 years old when we traded it on the Journey. It was virtually rust free in all these areas.

Winnobago, I'm told that one has to be very careful with products like Nutra Rust since with scale rust may be trapped underneath and continue to work. One has to deal with the rust at the metal boundary were the rust is taking place.

NHRA - no, I did not order the factory undercoating since I bought from the dealer's inventory and the dealer did not order that option. If I had purchased an underdcoating from the dealer I guess it would have been applied right over the rust and with respect to the scale rust on welds and the tanks that has the potential to cause even more problems in the future. The rusting can continue underneath the undercoat, particularly if the undercoat develops a crack and lets water become resident under the undercoat. Then, it acts as a compress to focus the action of the rust. Of course this would have happened on the tanks and the tank would have developed pin holes and would not maintain pressure and would be structurally vulnerable. Undercoating is a good thing if done at the original manufacturer - Freightliner in this case - but it becomes suspect the farther down the chain it becomes applied.

Elements such as forged or cast suspension components are not very vulnerable to failure due to surface rust because they typically have heavy cross sections, but the danger becomes one of being complacent about rust and thinking no rust is a threat (which seems to be Stan's position - Stan can you say with any certainty that a motorhome has not suffered component failure as a consequence of localized rust? Do you think trucks with similar components are without failure due to rust? Perhaps you should talk to Sgt. Cam Wooley of the OPP.) Thin sections, particularly thin sections that are welded, such as tanks and brackets, are often the most vulnerable components with respect to rust.

Although we really don't want to trade our 39W at this time, when we got it we sat for much of a day in a 39K and 39W and finally decided that the 39W was best for our intended use. We did not anticipate ending up buying a lot in a park in Florida and spending almost 6 months in one place. Since there are three of us in the coach we can now see for this kind of use the 39K would be far more appropriate and would like to consider a Meridian or Horizon. Would I be kidding myself to say that a dealer would not give serious consideration to the rust in placing a value on our unit?

Stan, do you just have a "bit" of rust under your 5 year old coach. By the way, what is your definition of a "bit."

Regards

Don

*One of these engineers worked for Loctite a few years ago. Loctite makes "Extend" which is a product that is similar to Nutra Rust.
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