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Old 11-10-2013, 08:20 AM   #1
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Purchased a 1989 Winnebago Chieftain

I am new to the Class A world and I am going to need some help. I just purchased a 1989 Winnebago Chieftain that had a roof leak issue in the rear. The walls around the bed are in bad shape. The roof has been sealed with something that just peeled up so I plan on stripping all of the old sealant from all of the areas I see it and reseal with Eternabond. I would like to know what the roof is made of on these. It feels a little soft near the edge but not like my slide in with a rubber roof that had rotted wood under it. This feels more solid than that. Also, The sales brochures I can find say the wall studs are aluminum and not wood, I am hoping this is so? Any help and suggestions are very appreciated. Also any things I should look for in this unit.

Rick
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:36 AM   #2
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Sorry I can't help you on the leaks, Our hasn't had one yet... Our roof is aluminum.
Great site here I bet you will get more than 1 answer which is cool, gives you some options. How about some pictures inside and out that will help too.
Good luck and look forward to seeing your new rig.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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Well I will see if I can get some pictures up here.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:01 PM   #4
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Some more.

This came to me from a widow who lust wanted to get out of it. It has everything they had in it to go camping. It has a few quirks I have to figure out. The radio in the dash will lose memory when you shut the vehicle off, it looks like all of the power to the dash shuts down with the key. There has been some wiring modifications under there so I need to see if I can straighten that out. Anyone have the original wiring diagrams for the chassis?

Rick
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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Well it sure looks like it's got a good foundation to work with.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:45 PM   #6
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Wow Looks nice I like the colors, is it a fiberglass roof?
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:51 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum

Rick, Looks you picked up a nice unit. I hope someone that has a similar Rv will come along and give you advice. You may need to tear off some of the roof and replace ay rotted wood. That is the first step to get the roof under control. Do a search for back posts on roof repairs/replacement. When you come to the tearout of the interior walls I can give you advice as we had to do this on our 1990 Classic HiLo. Any problem you encounter is fixable.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:49 AM   #8
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Try posting in the Winnebago owners forum, someone there maybe able help. Try contacting Winnebago if they kept the wiring diagrams on file. Nice unit, will be really nice when your finished.

Chuck
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:39 AM   #9
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If this on the p-30 series Chevy Chassis? If so Winnebago will just kick you over to the Chevy dealer. There are Chevy p-30 series shop manuals out there with diagrams on the net.

I have a '93 Winnebago warrior. The sides are(from the outside in) plastic/styroform/luan panels with alum. runners in there. I haven't investigated the spacing yet has I have not had the need. The roof on my unit is alum. so from the top down it is alum. / 1" of Styrofoam/luan. With this thin of a roof it would have to be alum. rafters. This can be seen by pulling the moulding from around a power vent . Spacing- don't know.

Here again then may have changed up completely between model years or models especially if you have ducted air conditioning.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #10
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I called Winnebago and the service manager told me the roof is fiberglass. He did not sound like he really wanted to talk so I left it at that but I would really like to know what is under the fiberglass and also how thick the fiberglass is. I can push down on the top in the area where the leak was and make it move and that worries me. I am used to wood structures so I maybe over thinking it but I only want to fix it once. Once I get it stripped of all the old sealant and resealed with Eternabond I will need to repaint the top. What is the preferred coating for a fiberglass top?
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:17 PM   #11
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Here's the 1989 Chieftain Brochure. It has some diagrams of the construction that may be helpful.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:30 PM   #12
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You can see how the roof is constructed by removing one of your ceiling vents ... and the floor by removing a heat vent ... and the walls by looking at he opening on the back of your refrigerator.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:57 AM   #13
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Chris, Thanks for the brochure, I already have it and went through it but it does not show what the roof is made of, just the wall studding.

Skigramp, Good advice, I knew about the wall thought the fridge and the roof vent trick but never though about the floor vents. Thanks. I am moving over to this from a truck camper so it is quite a change.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:17 PM   #14
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Welcome aboard, there is a ton of information here and on the Winnebago forum. I was a very proud owner of your very same rig and it served us well for over 90 K miles. I would suggest joining the WIT Club which could put you in touch with like owners and start exploring the Winnebago life style. It also gives you a 10 % discount on parts and labor on participating dealers and factory.

Gotta believe someone crossed the wiring with the ignition wiring and the manual cut off switch.

Although not certaiin I believe the roof is the same as the sidewalls, pull down the panel over the air con and I think you can see the construction. At the time of the construction of your rig, Win. was manufacturing a great deal of the components so you could not run down to your local hardware store and replace them. For example I wanted to put a Fantastic vent in the bath and it became necessary to enlarge the opening to make it fit. I also had to add snaps to hold the couch cushions in place, things like that.

Don G. WIT 70041
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