An FYI that I will be posting on every RV site and forum I can find until something is done about this.
More and more Winnebago's are coming of age where the adhesive that bonds the fiberglass edge of the roof to the J rail, is starting to fail and they fiberglass is starting to pop out of the J rail. If this happens while the motorcoach is in motion at 55 MPH a piece could fly off and cause possible injury or death to someone following. You might want to do some research to find a factory looking fix for this and see if there is a way to prevent it. I talked with Rod from Winnebago Customer Relations and he said they are aware of it and the Sealant seems to only hold up about 10 years. This just happened to my 99 Chieftain. They say it is the owners responsibility to inspect the sealant on the J Rail about every 6 months. There was not a sealant installed from the factory and a sealant is not an adhesive. You can not inspect the Adhesive as it is under the fiberglass. I thought I should make you aware so you can get an action plan for a sufficiant repair if you have not already done so. Alot of forums show that this is happening quite often. The sad thing to hear, was when Rod said they still use the same process today on the 2012's so in 10 years they will also have a factory defect that Winnebago will not take care of. They do not consider this part of the roof. This is a several thousand dollar repair that could have been easily prevented with a proper installation at the factory.
We are not sticking up for the manufactor. But the only thing that they care about is making it through the Warranty Period, only. As he already saaid, its the Owners problem at that time.
I guess as long as Buyeras put up with this kind of Shotty Work, what more can you really expect form any manufactors ?.
Ourselfs, first off, we would never buy a Winnebago Product, period. They just have to many problems with their Motorhomes. And don't forget about how the rip their Customers on any and all Winnebago Parts. They sure don't have the best Track Record for Customer Service or Customer Satisfaction.
There are just to many other brands out there with a lot less problems, and are easier to deal wiht in the long run.
Just our two cents worth. We spent a total of almost 3 years looking for the right Rexhall Motorhome. And that is the only Motorhome that we wanted, and that is exactely what we bought.
Rexhall is still in Business. Oyr Motorhome is one almost full proof, and so dfar has never broken down or has become any problems for us. Of coarse I do all of m y own work on everything thhat we own.
And I am a real Nut Case, when it comes to "Proventive Maintence Programs". Maybe thats why we have never had a "Flat Tire", or a "Blow-Out", or have ever
Broken Down" in the 45+ years as RV'ers.
We sure don't just don't chalk it all up to just good luck. For me anyways, I love to Tinker and work on our Motorhome, so for me it not work. I am in and out of our Motorhome almost daily doing something to the Motorhome.
Take good care of your RV, and you RV will tke good care of you. Good Luck. Happy Travels. Dan & Jill
Winnebago roofs have been the same for many years, at least 17 and maybe more, but if you inspect and seal often should not have a problem. Many owners use eternabond tape along the perimeter edge of the roof and say this is a good answer and fix. Having had several Winnebagos over the years I know of quite a few roof problems and have seen several going down the highway with the roof blowing up an into the wind. Winnebagos have some good points but the roof is not one of them. You are also absolutely correct in that this condition, fiber glass coming up, is not part of their 10 year roof warranty.
Retired and loving it
Living in the Land of Enchantment
Traveling in 2007 Newmar KSDP
towing a Jeep Liberty
with a Blue Ox tow bar
And this one comes up again. A few years back there were a lot of postings on this problem, although this one has a new take on it and I agree; sealant is not an adhesive. You can seal it all you want, but if the glue that holds it together fails, it won't hold it down. Great point.
There goes the "fiberglass roof is always better" arguement.
There are 24 hours in every day - it all depends on how you choose to use them.
Bruce & Jill Brown
2008 Kountry Star Pusher 3910
I have heard of this problem before, however, I have never seen the problem nor talked to anyone that has had this problem. A coach that is over 12 years old could have lots of problems depending on how it's maintenance was kept up or not kept up. I am on my second Winnebago/Itasca motor home and I have not had that problem and my FIL is on his 3rd Winnebago and has never had that problem. I have been to the factory at Forest City and seen the quality construction Winnies are made and they are made very well. How many cars/trucks do you see on the road that are over 10 years old and still running? If you maintain your motor home the way is should be there shouldn't be a problem. I'm sure if the sealant fails and water seeps into the roof joint it will surely degrade the glue that binds the roof joint together. Inspect that roof and keep it well sealed and there should not be a problem. Winnebago/Itasca has been in business for over 50 years so they must be doing something right! Their customer service at Forest City is awesome.
Jack & Peg
USN Ret AGC
Sioux Falls, SD
06 Itasca Horizon 40KD
I would guess also some of the problems could be how and where it's been sitting for the last 10/12 years. Exposure to the elements, the sun all year down south, or huge temperature fluctuations up north, the weight of snow and it's thawing and re-freezing, etc. could aid in degrading the adhesive. There are a ton of older Winnebagos still on the road or parked as permanent homes and I'm sure they all don't have the roof problem. Before I purchased our current MH I followed this forum for a long time and after reading all of the problems with many different manufacturers, I figured I would go with Winnebago just because they have been around so long, have a lot of dealers, and the factory isn't that far from Ohio. I also had a 1981 Brave that I purchased new and it never gave me any problems, maybe I've just been lucky over the years.
Don't want to appear stupid, but what is the "J" rail and where is it located??
I have had 2 Winnebago M/H's and no problem except this one I now have. It leaks over the passenger side window. Supposely fixed once under warranty, no luck, Twice fixed my self. I think I may have got it this last time. Haven't been in a rain yet to know for sure.
egh33 > That is the aluminum rail that runs on the top of the side walls, on either side from the front cap to the rear cap. One side has the gutter etc and the inside has the "J" that the fiberglass roof curves over the side and tucks down into. The joint is then caulked between the edgeof the J and the roof. Now the entire fiberglass sheet that comprises the top layer of the roof is glued to the substrait, so it is not like if the edge comes loose the roof will come flying off and leaving pop sitting on the toilet looking up at the blue sky. Winne says to check the roof seams - sides, front and rear every six months. Simply press in on the fiberglas with your thumb, just above the seam. It it separates from the sealer, simply cut the old sealer out and then press in and caulk into the gap and release. This method not only seals the surface, but also down into the joint as well. Not hard to do, but time consuming moving the ladder etc.
I find it interesting that someone with a coach as old as the 99 Chieftan the OP mentions did not mention whether or not he had done the required checks and maintenance and then expected Winne to take care of him.
I would take the fiberglass roof on my previous Winne product over the present coach with the TPO roof anyday. But, all this is just mey opinion.
.......More and more Winnebago's are coming of age where the adhesive that bonds the fiberglass edge of the roof to the J rail, is starting to fail and they fiberglass is starting to pop out of the J rail. If this happens while the motorcoach is in motion at 55 MPH a piece could fly off and cause possible injury or death to someone following....... I talked with Rod from Winnebago Customer Relations and he said they are aware of it and the Sealant seems to only hold up about 10 years. This just happened to my 99 Chieftain. They say it is the owners responsibility to inspect the sealant on the J Rail about every 6 months.................. There was not a sealant installed from the factory and a sealant is not an adhesive. You can not inspect the Adhesive as it is under the fiberglass.................The sad thing to hear, was when Rod said they still use the same process today on the 2012's so in 10 years they will also have a factory defect that Winnebago will not take care of.
I wonder, do they make new owners sign wavers acknowledging this defect and possiblity liability problem?? Is it in the owner's manual telling him that he has to inspect the sealant on the J rail every 6 months? Sounds like a Winnebago liability problem if something were to happen.