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Old 02-23-2010, 07:07 AM   #1
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Unhappy An Unusual and Unexpected Serious Leak Location

I have a 2002 Winnebago Minnie, and had found, in the last year, that Winnebago had failed to apply any sealer (or caulk) at all to almost all openings in the sides of the MH, except for the doors and windows. Rain entered as if invited. Winnebago's only response was "it's out of warranty". Well, I fixed all those, and thought that I was now sitting pretty. But last week I noticed that after a rain, water continued to drip from one rear corner for days after. Here's what I found - all the wood in the rear corner, passenger side, was wet, and near the bottom, actually rotted away. I always check the roof, and it's okay. I removed a vertical trim piece that covers the corner from the roof to the bottom of the skirt, where the two walls join. There is a one-inch-wide strip of butyl tape to cover the opening where the two walls join. But the person in the factory didn't put it over the joint - he put it on the fiberglass wall next to it. So every time that it rained, or I drove in the rain, the water ran under the trim piece and into the walls. I have delam big time here. Based on all this, I wouldn't have another Winnebago at any price. This repair will not be the correct one (replace rear wall or cut open walls and rebuild at the corners), as ths cost would be prohibitive. It's going to be a jack-leg repair to seal the opening and secure the walls at the corner.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:15 AM   #2
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How long have you had the coach? No one noticed for the past eight years? Seems like this would have shown up a long time ago.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbdb View Post
How long have you had the coach? No one noticed for the past eight years? Seems like this would have shown up a long time ago.
Ditto -- my first thought, given the age of the coach and how long have they owned the MH.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:25 AM   #4
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When I found my first problems, I also didn't understand how someone could own the coach, and not notice the problems that I noticed. When this problem showed up, I wondered why I hadn't noticed it sooner. Well, first of all, there were no obvious external signs of delam - all swelling went inward, and that corner is a small closet. I never had occasion to look in the dark closet to see the swelling. Until last week. The outer walls remained smooth and straight. The problem was only apparent when I pressed on the outer fiberglass wall, and it just depressed under very slight pressure. That's when I went inside for an examination. I've had the coach for 18 month or so, and the dripping only started this spring.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:34 PM   #5
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I've had the coach for 18 month or so, and the dripping only started this spring.
Any RV has to be properly maintained. That includes at a minimum once OR TWICE yearly inspecting roof & other sealants. It sounds like the original owner of this one did little or no annual inspection/maintenance. They may in fact have know about the problem, and sold it rather than fixing it ...but that would likely be hard to prove.

I understand your frustration in buying a rig, and then finding it has major problems, but blaming the mfg'er for gross negligence by a former owner is putting the blame in the wrong place. That's pretty much like blaming Ford Motor Company for a blown engine on a 2002 Mustang when someone neglected to change or even check the oil for 8 years.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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Perhaps you missed my point(s) - I seriously doubt that most, if any, motorhome owners remove all the outside molding and trim periodically, for any reason. And - the caulking being placed in the wrong place - on the solid fiberglass wall and not on the open seam - was the fault of the manufacturer, not any later owners. This damage has apparently been building up over several years. I DO check the roof regularly, and on my initial inspection, after purchase, found the absence of caulking around several outside access door frames (such as furnace, water heater, etc). It never occurred to me that further disassembly would be needed to find other faults. As they say - hindsight is always 20-20.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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Karl ...I got your point(s), but believe that had the original owner done (or paid to have done) the recommended inspections on a regular basis, most if not all of the problems would have been discovered/cured/prevented long ago. We all get surprises that we overlooked, or that are in hidden areas ...and things can be missed or done wrong in the mfg'ing process ...but as you noted the extent of rot, etc that you describe did not happen in the short time you have owned the rig. The missing caulk that you found could have been missing for years, and if it had been maintained properly it is likely that most of your more serious damage would not have occured.

You found the damage in a relatively short period of ownership because you were paying attention. If the previous owner(s) had been paying attention ...which includes regular inspection and maintenance ...I seriously doubt that you would have the mess on your hands that you describe.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:18 PM   #8
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I make it a habit to check the inside corners a few times a year. I think no matter how well a RV unit is built, or who made it, you have to remember with all the slides and openings, there are so many places for the enemy (water) to enter, especially driving in rain.

As far as delam, That just sucks.....period. If you think it is really bad, you almost have to take the corner molding off and peel back the fiberglass to see how bad the underlaying wood support is. If you have fiberglass installation that is what is going to "wick" up the water. A fellow friend of ours (IRV2 member) has the same problem in his 02' trailer. We didn't see it (delam) till it was too late also. He pulled up a section of floor and found besides rotted wood, that the batten fiberglass installation was like a big sponge. He is betting all the installation is also wet adding a few hundred pounds to the trailer.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:58 AM   #9
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Winnebago doesn't use batten fiberglass for their insulation - they use a rigid polyfoam, within a sandwich of (from outside - in) solid fiberglass sheet, about one sixteenth inch thick, then a one-eighth inch thick luan, then a one to two inch rigid polyfoam, and finally on the inside some sort of thin panelling. All this is glued together under high pressure to form a solid sandwich. Neither the fiberglass nor the rigid polyfoam will absorb water, but when water intrudes, it causes the luan to absorb water and swell up, which releases its' adhesive on both the fiberglass and foam sides, which then causes the wall to lose structural integrity and fail.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:17 PM   #10
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This thread brings back some memories--
Our first motorhome was a 1978 28' CruiseAir class A, it was 17 years old when we bought it. Unbeknown to me was that the right front corner of the roof let water in the wall. There was no sign whatsoever of a problem, inside or outside. One day while driving home from camping, about 10' the siding from the left front suddenly peeled back like the top of a sardine can (this happening at 65mph will scare the bajeezus outta ya!)...The screws under the molding had nothing to grab, and finally it all gave way. The whole front wall next to my drivers seat was soaking wet... we ended up trading it in for a '92 27' Winnebago Brave, it was about 9 years old. This thing had a fiberglass-sheet roof. It looked to be in perfect shape, but every time it rained, all the overhead light fixtures from the AC forward filled up with water. Turned out that while the roof looked perfect, it had invisible hairline fractures everywhere. Roof coating took care of the problem, and I was fortunate that the roof didn't wasn't rotted.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:51 PM   #11
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This thread will bring out the manufacturer chearleaders, it protects their resale. "Must be the owners fault"

It would be a sad day and the beginning of the end for the industry if we have to disassemle the coaches to inspect their work before or after purchasing. I was glad to have traded my Minnie Winnie when the bed that was touching the wall, always got wet when it rained. Traded it before there were any signs of damage. I'm sure the dealer will thoroughly inspect and repair before they sell it to their customer. And they probably have some ocean front property in Kansas for sale also. Yea right!
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:29 AM   #12
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PlayItForwrd said ". . . The screws under the molding had nothing to grab, . . . ", and this reminds me that I failed to mention that the lower seven screws holding the vertical trim piece were completely rusted away, and the next six or seven up were almost as bad. As I said before - I seriously doubt that ANY motorhome owner periodically removes all of his trim to check for sealant coverage.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:24 PM   #13
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WOW, now I'm scared. I'm having the chassis on my 1st MH inspected by a mech tomorrow & the consignment dealer told me he would check everything inside the coach.
It's a 2003 R-Vision Condor. No $$ has passed as yet. Dealer expects my answer tomorrow after the chassis inspection. Please advise what I should look for as far as water leaks. The roof looks OK as far as I can tell. Feel like I'm buying a used car.
Thanks in advance,
Hocky
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:50 PM   #14
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You have a recall! Make sure the dealer has it done!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hocky View Post
WOW, now I'm scared. I'm having the chassis on my 1st MH inspected by a mech tomorrow & the consignment dealer told me he would check everything inside the coach.
It's a 2003 R-Vision Condor. No $$ has passed as yet. Dealer expects my answer tomorrow after the chassis inspection. Please advise what I should look for as far as water leaks. The roof looks OK as far as I can tell. Feel like I'm buying a used car.
Thanks in advance,
Hocky
Report Date: March 3, 2010 at 07:46 PMSearch Type: VEHICLE Make: R-VISIONModel: CONDORModel Year: 2003 Results : 1 | All records displayed Make: R-VISION Model: CONDORModel Year: 2003Manufacturer: R-VISIONMfr's Report Date: SEP 11, 2006NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 06V363000 N/A
NHTSA Action Number: N/A Component: VEHICLE SPEED CONTROLPotential Number of Units Affected: 135Summary:
ON CERTAIN MOTOR HOMES BUILT ON FORD CHASSIS, THE SPEED CONTROL DEACTIVATION SWITCH MAY OVERHEAT.Consequence:
OVERHEATING COULD RESULT IN SMOKE OR BURN AND IN AN UNDERHOOD FIRE.Remedy:
FORD IS CONDUCTING THIS RECALL (PLEASE SEE 06V286). DEALERS WILL INSTALL A FUSED WIRING HARNESS INTO THE SPEED CONTROL SYSTEM FREE OF CHARGE. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FORD AT 1-866-436-7332 OR R-VISION AT 574-268-2111.Notes:
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION┐S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV. I forgot to hit the print version but you can go to the recalls.gov site and bring it up in print form so it won't look so scattered. Hope this helps, Joe
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