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Author Topic: Winnie Parts Support Whining  (Read 359 times)

Bill N

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Winnie Parts Support Whining
« on: June 25, 2018, 11:47:42 AM »
     In the past few days I have been reading an online Winnebago Owners board that has a post about somebody needing a vent window & seal for an 8 year old coach but the factory has told them the part is no longer available and a replacement would cost very big bucks.
     One responder says that is 'lame' that Winnie can't supply parts for an 8 year old coach because they advertise you can always get replacement parts from them.  Winnie responded that vendors frequently discontinue models and spare parts inventories but that did not seem to settle the issue.  In my long experience with Winnebago I also remember them talking of supply replacement parts but I always thought that mean large parts that were made in their factories - cushions, sidewall panels, plastic tanks, cabinets, etc.
    I recently went to Lowes to replace a 5 year old faucet for my house.  That model was no longer available so I simply got another model and adapted it to fit.  In this case the owner was referred to a glass shop for a fix - that seemed to satisfy him. 
     I would think that with vendor supplied parts owners should expect to do the same on some items but the discussion also got into "that would never happen in the auto industry."  Needless to say, comparing the auto industry to RV manufacturing is apples to oranges in my mind.  Just thought I would open a similar discussion here.  Would you expect Winnebago to maintain a supply of parts that were originally vendor supplied for years after manufacture?

Bill
     
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

FenderP

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 11:52:47 AM »
When we bought our Winnie earlier this month we were told that even after Winnebago no longer manufactures the part you can still get it but it will cost more because they will manufacture it for you.  It was explained to us that Winnebago could do this because they catalogue an in-house part number for every part in the RV.  100% truth?  I don't know, but there is an extensive list in the documents of parts and the part numbers.
I'd rather you offend me with the truth than appease me with a lie.

afchap

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 12:36:39 PM »
 How many years after manufacture would we expect?? And on what type parts?

 I have a couple of classic Fords. Ford may not have the parts I need, even body parts, but after-market companies often fill that gap. But that is much less true if your classic car is say a 1933 Plymouth ... the aftermarket industry supports those models that are more common so they can actually sell what they make. Classic car owners become good at fabricating what they can't buy.

On RVs, Winnebago can normally re-tool a body part for a price, but I have no doubt that stops at some year point. But windows, vents, light fixtures, appliances, etc come from other vendors. Winnebago did not fabricate them and cannot re-produce them at any price. If the vendor is gone, or changed the design, Winnebago is out in the cold along with it's owners. And there is little or no aftermarket industry making parts for RVs that the builder originally made so the only option is salvage from used vehicles. Unfortunately, that normally doesn't work for seals, etc.

We had a window replaced in our coach at apx 12 years. The window mfg'er had changed the design of the window so we could not get the exact design. I know the replacement is different from the others on the coach, but perhaps only 1 person out of 1,000 would notice the difference. I may have been able to have the original re-built, but only at considerable trouble and expense. Insurance took the easy way out and paid $1,230 to replace it with a very close match.

I would try to find the original mfg'er of the part, try salvage if that might work for what I need, find an rv repair guy who is good at fabricating and improvising, or create my own solution as I have sometimes had to on my 2003 coach and on my classic cars.
Paul ... (KE5LXU), was fulltimin', now parttimin'...
'03 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage 40e
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Tom

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 01:11:38 PM »
Quote
try salvage
Click the Resources button above and scroll down to RV parts & salvage.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

RedT

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 04:08:59 PM »
Check with WinnebagoParts (that's not the factory) They normally can provide the part or the source. I was told by my RV shop that Winnebago supplies parts for 10 years.
RedT, US Air Force Retired
2004 Itasca Meridian 36G
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Bill N

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 04:26:54 PM »
When we bought our Winnie earlier this month we were told that even after Winnebago no longer manufactures the part you can still get it but it will cost more because they will manufacture it for you.  It was explained to us that Winnebago could do this because they catalogue an in-house part number for every part in the RV.  100% truth?  I don't know, but there is an extensive list in the documents of parts and the part numbers.
 
Well the person was quoted $1200 for a vent window so I guess you could say that 'cost more.'  I did recently go to Amazon for a faucet part when it showed as unavailable on the Winnie parts list.  Amazon shipped it FROM Winnebago Parts with a different number and it fit perfectly.  So go figure.

Bill

 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 04:29:24 PM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

FenderP

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 04:34:47 PM »
 
Well the person was quoted $1200 for a vent window so I guess you could say that 'cost more.'  I did recently go to Amazon for a faucet part when it showed as unavailable on the Winnie parts list.  Amazon shipped it FROM Winnebago Parts with a different number and it fit perfectly.  So go figure.

Bill

Haha.  It just keeps getting more weird, Bill.
I'd rather you offend me with the truth than appease me with a lie.

John Canfield

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2018, 07:20:47 AM »
Winnebago had at least two suppliers go bankrupt in the big RV bust of ~2007-8. A window supplier and SCS Fridgette which supplied the keyless entry system and dash air. Winnie was left scrambling to fill that void.  Apparently the powertrain control module (PCM) for my 12 year Jeep Rubicon (the "brain") has been discontinued which is a much bigger deal than trying to fix a window.

Carrying inventory is very expensive which is one reason why auto manufacturers set up "just in time" delivery of outside-sourced parts and components for the production lines. Winnebago not being able to supply unique parts after five or six years is no surprise to me.

--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 09:14:08 AM »
In-house produced parts (cabinets, molded fiberglass,etc.) are an entirely different matter than parts obtained from vendors (the vast majority of components).  In-house can be produced and they have the plans; purchased parts have to be paid for in advance and stored, and may or may not be available from the manufacturer. 


People who have no experience in parts distribution have no  understanding of the high cost of purchasing and managing an inventory, especially for low demand parts.  I won't go into a detail explanation, but the overhead cost often far exceeds the value of the part. Further, a high item cost reduces demand for it and can drive the price up even more.  How often do we hear complaints about a $30 price tag on a 50 cent part? Followed by ways to jury-rig without it?


We would all love to have every product backed by a 10+ year supply of low-priced parts, but the economics are such that it ain't gonna happen. Even the auto industry, with a huge sales volume of even the specialty models has a hard time managing the supply.   If the auto company demands that a supplier commit to long term parts availability, the price of the item goes up to cover that extra cost, so we all end up paying up front.  Auto makers are legally required to have some types of parts available for 10 years (e.g. emissions components), but that doesn't apply to all parts.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 09:16:23 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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Bill N

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2018, 08:05:58 AM »
Another great post Gary.  It was what I was trying to say about the expense of stocking a myriad of parts.  I once had an older friend who owned a hardware in a tiny North Dakota town. He had been there for many years and had a stock that reflected it but most of it was for stuff that was obsolete and, for the most part, no longer in existence.  He had the reputation that if you needed anything, he would have it  But in talking to him one day he told me that all those old parts were just gathering dust and preventing him from ordering more up to date items.  He would love to sell most of it at cost but there simply was no demand.  That is not uncommon with a lot of these old time small town stores - loaded with useless inventory.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

John Canfield

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Re: Winnie Parts Support Whining
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2018, 12:36:39 PM »
There was an old-time hardware store in downtown Forest City, IA (Winnebago factory, etc.) called Hansen's - it was just like you described. Every trip to Forest City meant a visit to Hansen's. But it closed a couple of years ago, unfortunately nobody wanted to buy the business and a liquidation company bought the entire contents. This is a part of Americana that's disappearing.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather