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Old 04-08-2020, 05:25 PM   #1
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Rusting of storage compartments

Hello. I own a 2018 Minnie Winnie 32K. One of the outside storage compartments appears to be rusting or at least, the inside skin, made of aluminum, I think, is deteriorating and leaving fine light coloured dust on the bottom of the compartment. I have 2 questions. Why is this happening on a relatively new model and second, can I apply a spray liner type protector inside the compartment, like that used for lining a pickup truck box?
Looking forward to the feedback. Steve Gourdeau
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Old 04-08-2020, 05:35 PM   #2
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It almost sounds like road dust. Are the door seals in good shape? Can you try a cleaner upon a section of it? Perhaps a picture would help.
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Old 04-08-2020, 07:03 PM   #3
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Aluminum doesn't rust, if unpainted or un-anodized, over time it will acquire a coat of aluminum oxide, but that doesn't flake off.
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Old 04-09-2020, 04:52 PM   #4
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Red rust comes from iron, a white oxide can come from zinc plating over steel or aluminum oxide if it's aluminum. The only one of these that needs quick attention is red rust.
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Old 04-09-2020, 05:23 PM   #5
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A couple of the compartments of my Minnie Winnie showed some rust too, so after cleaning them thoroughly I spayed some spray sealer on the insides with particular attention to the seams. Also spayed as much of the outsides of the compartments that I could reach under the rig.

On our last trip to the Lower-48 we drove through many days of rain and upon reaching our destination found some water in one compartment. The sealer still looked good so I looked at the door weather stripping and found a few small gaps and tears. After replacing that, all was dry again.

For what is worth, the key locks are adjustable to a small degree to make the door close tighter against the seal.
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:53 AM   #6
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This is very helpful. What was the spray you used?
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Old 04-11-2020, 03:29 PM   #7
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This is very helpful. What was the spray you used?

The name isn't coming to me right now, but its the same stuff the "Phil" hawks in the TV commercials. Rustoleum makes the same stuff under their brand name. I found it in the paint departments of several stores that sell spay paint in cans. It was less expensive than the TV brand too!

Before spaying the inside of compartments be sure to clean up any rusted areas with a scraper and wire brush, and wipe down the whole thing to remove any dirt. Obviously that's a lot harder to do on the underside but it will help the new stuff to stick to the old stuff.
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Old 04-11-2020, 04:14 PM   #8
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I find this in my compartments but it is not a rust or corrosion as it is happening in places where it never gets wet. I see it as a chemical reaction between the aluminum and something it is layered on like the adhesive or foam.
I've brushed the loose flakes off and removed as much as possible and then I'm trying to keep air and O2 from getting to the layer by painting a thick coat of bed liner material over it all. Yet to see how long it lasts or if it simply keeps on "rotting" away and leaves the coating hanging.
Aluminum doesn't rust but it does react with other chemicals.
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Old 04-12-2020, 05:38 PM   #9
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Well, it sounds like what I am experiencing. I also see some of the compartments get wet from condensation. I wonder if painting a bed-liner product would also help with the condensation issue! We live in Canada where right now it is freezing overnight and warms up in the morning .

I am very tempted to give it a try in the 1 cargo area where I see the worse problem with the aluminum oxidizing a lot, enough to actually peel off!! See pictures

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Old 04-12-2020, 06:46 PM   #10
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While doing some major panel removal, I also found the corrosion/ whatever to be not only on the surfaces where we might expect water but in places quite well separated from even the air blowing around. One of the more shocking was where a metal panel with a one inch+/_ fold was screwed to the sidewall interior. Under that one inch wide strip which is laying flat on the inside of the exterior wall, there was far more degradation that around the compartment doors where we might assume it was from getting wet.
On my 2015 Vaista, the exterior walls are made of panels of foam, then thin wooden material like thin paneling with the metal, assumed to be aluminum, bonded to the wood. There is some form of adhesive to hold the layers together and that is where I suspect the trouble comes in.
When I had the panel out, I did some pounding on the walls and found a whitish, grainy power would pour out of the holes which have formed in the metal.
At first glance, I thought possibly I had bought an RV that had been through flooding but looking around in a lot of other spots, I found no signs of that as there are lots of places lower where the paper tags are still untouched and never been wet. I have worked on restoration after hurricanes and I can't see any way there could have been a cleanup done to hide the mess left by flooding.
My only idea is that there is an obvious mismatch of some sort of chemicals used in bonding the materials.
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Old 04-13-2020, 03:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Steeve View Post
Well, it sounds like what I am experiencing. I also see some of the compartments get wet from condensation. I wonder if painting a bed-liner product would also help with the condensation issue! We live in Canada where right now it is freezing overnight and warms up in the morning .

I am very tempted to give it a try in the 1 cargo area where I see the worse problem with the aluminum oxidizing a lot, enough to actually peel off!! See pictures

Attachment 173251

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That kind of looks like the corrosion I'm seeing in splotches on the alloy wheels of my '02 Ranger. I think what happened was the Clear Coat on the wheels either wore off or became scratched deep enough in places which allowed water to penetrate and get under the Clear Coat and react with aluminum. Some of the Clear Coat flaked off as the corrosion worked its way under it. I have a suspicion that could be happening with these aluminum walled compartments. I would think spaying the areas with anything that will block moisture penetration would stop the corrosion.
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Old 04-13-2020, 09:45 AM   #12
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You might want to check out these images and, when you find one that looks like what you're experiencing, go to the site and see what it says about the issue:

https://www.google.com/search?q=corr...US890&safe=off
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Old 04-13-2020, 09:47 AM   #13
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Stopping corrosion like rust is harder to do than just covering in the places I've tried. Things like car rust have to be cut out or totally removed to keep it from just rusting away inside the paint or filler I've used. In my compartments, there is no way to remove it all as it goes back under so many of the other metal parts like braces. One reason to feel it is not related to water is that t does not show up as much on the inside of the skirting like inside the wall and under the genset where it certainly takes a beating and water from the dual wheels. There is none there but above, inside the compartment, there is plenty.
There is a thin blue coating of some type on the metal and it seems to bubble up before flaking off, which leads me to believe the problem comes from inside rather than surface corrosion. When I have scraped the bubbles off, I find there is an area where the white dust then dribbles out to leave a hole. Many places it is not at a joint or any penetration like a screw, etc. but just in the middle of sections.
Not been long enough to see how it holds up but I went with the thicker layer to try to seal it and assumed it will continue to expand but perhaps not show through as bad.
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Old 04-14-2020, 03:15 AM   #14
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Yes that sounds just like my issue. The people at the dealership had not seen this issue before! I plan to talk to them again about it over the next few weeks, I will report back. If nothing else, I will try a sealer - need to wait for warmer weather first though!
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:06 AM   #15
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Yes that sounds just like my issue. The people at the dealership had not seen this issue before! I plan to talk to them again about it over the next few weeks, I will report back. If nothing else, I will try a sealer - need to wait for warmer weather first though!
Hope you do find an answer but I suspect it will not be what we would like to hear!
On the temperature thing? We have different problems. I have to do this sort of thing soon to avoid getting too hot as we have already hit 94 F here this year!
Back to cooler today as a front moved through but that means the grass has to be cut!
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Old 04-14-2020, 05:20 PM   #16
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Your first photo shows a crack in pretty much a straight line. I wonder if there is some sort of frame underneath, made of a dissimilar metal. Normally when putting two pieces of dissimilar metals together, like a stainless steel fitting on an aluminum sailboat mast, you'd put a barrier, which could be as simple as a piece of vinyl tape. It could be that some sort of barrier coating has failed.

Have you tried probing through the crack to see what's underneath?
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:03 AM   #17
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What you say makes sense. I will inspect tonight - I was thinking that perhaps the 2 metals should be shielded from each other somehow. Could be something that was missed at time of assembly! Thank you for that.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:16 AM   #18
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Good morning all, from the beautiful shores of Prince Edward Island, Canada.
I finally got the issue fixed. The dealer made the repairs under warranty. As it turned out, there was a manufacture problem whereby the sheet of aluminum at the roof of one compartment was not insulated from the metal it was against on the up side of the compartment. They fixed the whole things, replacing the aluminum and insulating from the metal on the other side with some sort of tape. All good.
I was impressed with my dealer. So far Winnebago is also impressing me.
I will be spraying bed liner material in one of those compartments to see how it fairs with condensation. Thank you for your help
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Old 09-07-2022, 12:15 PM   #19
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I believe my issue is connected with this thread and would love to hear updates on what you did to repair / resolve the 'corrosion'. Our new to us rig, is a 2016 Minnie Winnie 31K.

Steve, is this a known problem that I should reach out to Winnebago on "...dealer made the repairs under warranty..."? BTW, we're next door in Hammonds Plains, NS.

I've attached two (2) pictures, one showing the underneath of the compartment, and the second showing where the compartment has rusted at the seam. The seam will require some metal work to remove rusted section and repair.
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Old 09-07-2022, 02:05 PM   #20
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Yes, this looksvery much like what WE had on a 2015 Vista 31KE. When first noticed, it was along the bottom edges of the sidewalls in compartments. and beginning to work up the corner where it met other material like the metal ends of the compartment.
Over time and as I worked on differnt sections of the RV, I noticed it in more and more places. Some werenear the edges of the blue sections but some were not. Some were near attachments which might have let water in, some were not.

I found our worth corrosion waswhere the metal of the wet bay "shield" or wall met the sidewall. I had the metal wall out to get behind it for a plumbing repair and found the blue metal where it had been sandwiched with the other metal was totally gone!

Check between any place where two walls like ends of compartments meet the blue sidewall? Any placewhere twowalls metand werepressedsolidly together,we had corrosion creeping out and that made it look like corrosion started in corners where I first thought it was joints in the sidewall metal.

I found nothing I could do would stop the damage from progressing. Having painted over rust on cars way back, I did not try paint but tried a much thicker material meant as a coating for pickup beds. It did not stop the corrosion but it was thick enough to hold the crumbles together so there was not an open hole!

We have bought and sold an unknown number of RV, so selling this one sooner rather than later was okay as we also ran into family health problems which now limit our RV time--so we have none!
Our son had covid back in Feb 2020 and it seems to be much like rust. You never get over it and it slowly progresses and get worse!
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