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Old 12-04-2004, 05:08 PM   #1
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If you have a Journey or Horizon and your electrical bay is beside the exhaust muffler, it would be a good idea to inspect it.

When our coach was assembled, the wood mounting platform behind the Transfer Switch Case was screwed to the rear wall of the electrical compartment, with 4 self tapping sheet metal screws. This would have been fine, if engineering allowed at least an 2" of space between the rear of the compartment and the muffler. In our case the the muffler was pressed up, snug, against the rear of the compartment and 2 of the 4 screws secured the muffler to the rear of the compartment.

It took 18,000 miles, but the screws finely won out. The screws vibrated and enlarged both the holes in the rear of the compartment and in the muffler. Then the firie exhaust torched its way into the electrical compartment and set the wood platform on fire.

If you've never experienced a coach go up in smoke while driving in 65 mph bumber to bumper traffic on I-80, you haven't experienced anything.

If that wasn't bad enough, the more then 40 hours it took my wife and I to remove-wash-wipe down-iron-reinstall everything inside coach, in Winnebago eyes is worth nothing. Thats right! After the Fire Restoration Company finshed their job, and we did ours, we were told that our labor was not going to be covered.We not only shorten our vacation, lost a lot of sleep, we were terrified riding back home in the coach that smell like a burnt tinder box.

Our life threatening experience, our painfull labors and gross inconvienence is our final reward for owning a Winnebago product.

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Old 12-04-2004, 05:08 PM   #2
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If you have a Journey or Horizon and your electrical bay is beside the exhaust muffler, it would be a good idea to inspect it.

When our coach was assembled, the wood mounting platform behind the Transfer Switch Case was screwed to the rear wall of the electrical compartment, with 4 self tapping sheet metal screws. This would have been fine, if engineering allowed at least an 2" of space between the rear of the compartment and the muffler. In our case the the muffler was pressed up, snug, against the rear of the compartment and 2 of the 4 screws secured the muffler to the rear of the compartment.

It took 18,000 miles, but the screws finely won out. The screws vibrated and enlarged both the holes in the rear of the compartment and in the muffler. Then the firie exhaust torched its way into the electrical compartment and set the wood platform on fire.

If you've never experienced a coach go up in smoke while driving in 65 mph bumber to bumper traffic on I-80, you haven't experienced anything.

If that wasn't bad enough, the more then 40 hours it took my wife and I to remove-wash-wipe down-iron-reinstall everything inside coach, in Winnebago eyes is worth nothing. Thats right! After the Fire Restoration Company finshed their job, and we did ours, we were told that our labor was not going to be covered.We not only shorten our vacation, lost a lot of sleep, we were terrified riding back home in the coach that smell like a burnt tinder box.

Our life threatening experience, our painfull labors and gross inconvienence is our final reward for owning a Winnebago product.

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Old 12-04-2004, 06:13 PM   #3
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Maybe you should have gotten out and let it burn!
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Old 12-05-2004, 01:05 AM   #4
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All in part, thanks to Winnebago's Customer Service Department Manager. You know it's hard times at Winnebago, sales are up 30% and profit is up 54% thanks to foolish folks like us.

How does it go? "Burn me once, I'm a fool; your not going to burn me again".

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Old 12-05-2004, 02:13 AM   #5
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Rich, I am so sorry to hear of your disaster.
I just thank God that you and your wife are OK.

The warranty folkes do not have a clue as to what we go through to make our coaches nice and to cover their goofs. We take our motor homes to the Manufacturers or Dealers at our own expense and time to make their products workable.

Its not an inconvenience to have someone follow you to the dealers so they can keep your rig while you still making payments. Often times we have to return three or four times to get a situation resolved, but this is not a problem its just normal when you own a MOHO. Or so the manufactureres think.
Thank goodness my dealer is only 10 minutes away and take good care of me. I still have to take it and let him inspect the problem, order the parts and then make an appointment for me to return some times two to three week out if it is not an emergency. If it is a problem that will keep you from traveling and he can fix it he will do it immediately.

I know you take pride in your coach but maybe you shouldn't have tried to save the insurance company money by doing it yourself.
If you are like me they probably wouldn't have done it to suit you anyway.
Have you tried to contact your district rep?
Best wishes and
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Old 12-05-2004, 03:04 AM   #6
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Thanks Inchy,

It would be totally wrong for me to have my Insurance company handle a product liability problem. And yes we take great bride in what we own, and we will not allow anyone to invade our privacy and handle our personal belongings. The Fire Restoration company did a fine job, but we still had to follow-up behind them-you know what I mean.

Everything had to be removed, everything. What a pain in the ---. Now we know why folks stay days at a dealer"s lot to exchange their items from one coach to another, and we're only dealing with the interior.

You could be in the same situation with your coach, have your exhaust muffler checked. Another friend of ours, had the same situation on his 2002 Journey. He was lucky, one screw broke off and the other was inbedding itself in the metal muffler strap. It hadn't got to the muffler.

As close to the factory people as we are, we never thought they would ever treat us so poorly. It takes a problem like this, to show just how honest and responsible a company actually is.

I should write a topic on RV Owners versus RV Empolyees, if I do, its going to come straight from the heart. Most of these people don't have the where abouts to own a MotorHome, nor could they ever know and feel the trials, tribulations and inconveniences we have to go through. It's just a job to them, and as it is in todays society, they really don't care. It's all about profit!

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Old 12-05-2004, 04:34 AM   #7
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I'm very sorry to hear about your loss and the attendant difficulties. Your advice to check the exhaust systems is really good and should be extended to inspecting all exposed (underneath) wiring harnesses and self-tapping screws that extend through the storage compartments. Check for metal shields where the exhaust passes close to any of these things, including the propane tank.

BUT, I think you are getting yourself needlessly upset over Winnebago's unwillinglness to pay for your labor. If you think your insurance company would pay for it, then file a claim. If you lost wages because of time spent cleaning up, etc., you have a claim. If they pay it, they might attempt to collect it from Winnebago. If you really want to punish Winnebago, you could sue, but you probably would lose and be stuck with your lawyer's fees. You could be counter sued for W.'s legal fees too.

Again, I'm really sorry about this. We shouldn't have to second-guess engineers and design people.

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Old 12-05-2004, 04:49 AM   #8
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How long ago did this happen?
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Old 12-05-2004, 05:42 AM   #9
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Tomcat,

Really sorry to hear about your problem. Have you considered filing a complaint with NHTSA? The form is at: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

Too late to help you, but it might help the rest of us. I'll be inspecting mine as soon as they finish repairing hurricane Charley damage - if they ever do...
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:33 AM   #10
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Tomcat. Please please please take tomsm's advice and notify NHTSA about this. I'm sure they will look at this as a "Life Safety" issue and force Winnebago to undertake immediate action. Look at it this way; you may be saving a bunch of us a big problem and you're sorta getting even with "W" at the same time.
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Old 12-05-2004, 03:04 PM   #11
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GG1,
It happened in September on our way home from harrisburg RV Show, by way of New York. We were making a long down grade with the exhaust brake on, building up a lot of exhaust heat. The screws finally fell out after 18,000 miles of heat and torquing of the engine. We had just past an Army Convoy of Hummers that was going east, the lead vehicl was off the road on fire. We thought the smell was from that, but about 5 miles down the road the smoke got worse. It's all history from there. We grabbed the yorkies and got our. Thanks for your thoughts.

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Old 12-05-2004, 03:19 PM   #12
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Barney B.,

Thank you too. I tried to contact them before ThanksGiving, it is a Safety Issue for sure.
I'll use the address tomsm gave tomorrow.

I'm sorry I didn't notify you folks sooner, I intended to do so after we got things settled. Now I feel like a jerk putting my own interest first.

All I can say, is if you know anyone with a Journey or Horizon that has the electrical compartment beside the exhaust muffler, have them either check the exhaust system or get it checked.

Another friend of mine was at the factory recently and had his checked. He said, "that a service tech was told about the problem and he went to his tool box for a bolt cutter then came back and cut all 4 screw tips off behind the compartment and then he acted it was no big deal". Maybe not for him at the time, but it saved my friend from having to deal with what we did.

Thanks for your concerns.

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Old 12-05-2004, 03:59 PM   #13
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Here is one more Winne would not take responsibility for,
I had a 99 Adventurer nearly catch on fire while in Vermont due to a hydraulic hose that was routed on top of the exhaust manifold FROM THE FACTORY, it finally burst fluid was all over the manifolds what a mess. The Winne tech at Forest City said Winnebago would never do such a thing and refused to cover the repair. I guess a burglar came during the night and re-routed the line over the manifold. The coach had about 8000 miles on it when this happened. My dealer billed me for the repair I refused to pay and never heard anything else.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:28 PM   #14
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As controversial as I can be about things, I get a lot of private e-mail from folks who don't want to write openly here and at other RV sites. And I understand their positions. Strangely, their sediments are about the same. A mojority of them have unresolved issues with Winnebago, that to me just aren't fair.

When somethings not right, I don't understand why they don't take a stand up position and take care of it. It would be more efficent to resolve the problem fast and correctly. A satisfied customer will create a much more positive response then a dissatisfied one.

There again, I think, that some employees let a little authority good to their heads and create more problems then good, and then their supervisors, acting as company officals, will take the same position just to save face, rather then confess that they were wrong.

Often time, in my replies I"ll praise certain companies for their superior customer service. Quality Customer Service before and after the sale, especially when the warranty period is so short, will produce more loyal customers than anythhing.

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Old 12-07-2004, 06:12 AM   #15
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Sorry to hear of your problem, but want to thank you for the warning. I'm sure going to check mine. You would think Winnebago would do a recall and check them all before someone is hurt.
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Old 12-08-2004, 04:05 AM   #16
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d.duin

I thought the same thing, but they acted like they really didn't care, when I asked what they were going to do about it. Even when my friend was at the factory, he said, " that they were very non-chalant about it and kind of brushed him off, although they did cut off the extended screw tips FREE.

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Old 12-09-2004, 04:47 PM   #17
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Checked my rig today. The sheet metal screws are only 1/4" from the body of the muffler. By pushing on the muffler I could get the body to touch the screws. No signs of wear on the muffler, but am not going to wait. Will either cut off the screws or remove and replace with a proper nut and bolt.

Recommend all of us check this out. Not hard to do. Get on your back and check out the muffer, (it is very easy to find), look for any other hazards while you are there.

Thanks Tomcat for the heads up. Sorry you had to find out the way you did.
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:04 PM   #18
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I appreciate your reply, it makes me feel good that I was able to save you from the problems we had. Once something like this happens to you, you can loose confidence in the coach and it hanges over you, not knowing if something else is going to happen, especially when we have two very loved yorkies that consider this their coach and spend time there when we socialize or go exploring.

The Winnebago can burn to the ground, but they better hope our yorkies are not inside...

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Old 12-10-2004, 07:49 AM   #19
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Is this a problem with a specific model or year of Journey?

Nick
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:49 AM   #20
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Do not depend on this being an issue for a specific year, model, or maker.

All of us need to---

CHECK YOUR COACH

Look under the coach where the muffler is located. Look for ANY hazards near the muffler and all other parts of the exhaust system.

There is a lot of heat there and there are a lot of "things" in the area that were installed by seperate crews without thought of interaction.

Be safe and rely on yourself to make the best observations and decsions.

Because of IRV2's ability, Tomcat's experience, and our interest, we have all been reminded of somthing we should all be doing anyway.
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