Sponsored by Winnebago Industries

Author Topic: Coming Unglued  (Read 8856 times)

Boris and Natasha

  • ---
  • Posts: 42
    • Bullwinkle's Travels
Coming Unglued
« on: September 21, 2010, 10:37:57 AM »
When a bunch of us met at GNR I remember John introducing a couple of "marketing" types from Winnebago who said they read this board. Well, guys, don't miss this one.

We have joined the ranks of Winnie owners who are coming unglued (in more ways than one). Yesterday we went to check our coolant level. When we went to close the engine hood, the metal part of the hood separated from the fiberglass part and fell to the ground...scratching one of the vents on the way down. Upon inspection, we saw several glue points on the fiberglass. That's right, this big heavy piece of metal that bumps along on the back of our motorhome is GLUED to the fiberglass. And, yesterday our glue decided to fail. (Thankfully, we were parked. It would have been something had we been moving!)

I did a bit of research and discovered this is not a uncommon problem. All kinds of Winnie owners have experienced such failures with their engine hoods and genny hoods, too. Yet, when we called Winnebago they seemed completely unaware of the issue and were of precious little help. The technician did ask if the metal was painted. It is. Then he instructed us to tell whoever makes this repair to grind the paint off the metal. (Then, WHY was it painted in the first place?)

We have an appointment next month in Forest City to finish some warranty work that was started in July. So, we're adding this to the list. Meanwhile, the metal engine hood is stowed in the basement and we're hoping the fiberglass part stays on for the next 2,000 miles.

This is our second new Winnebago in as many years. One of the reasons we bought another Winnebago was the quality. We had few issues with our Voyage, and we thought that's how it is when you buy a Winnie. But, now we know we were just lucky with that one. We've had a long list of issues with our Tour. None of them earth shattering. But, when you put them all together it really makes us wonder, like SargeW, how well these things are put together. When we took the factory tour in Forest City, our guide pointed to a big building and said that was the "Quality Control Department". Honestly, we think our Tour skipped that step.

We know that every new motorhome has bugs to work out. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory. But, the longer we own a Winnebago we're starting to wonder if they just build these things to look pretty in the showroom, knowing full well that most of their customers will put the product to use for 30 nights in the first year - tops. For those of us who actually use these rigs we paid a pretty penny for, we have to deal with the lack of quality on a regular basis.

Yep. We're not happy. We really want to like Winnebago again. But, when your motorhome literally falls apart in your hands it can be hard.

But, to keep this from being just a total vent, I'll ask a question.

Anybody have any ideas for a temporary fix to keep the fiberglass part of the engine hood from flopping around? We don't think bungee cords will fit, and we're afraid zip ties will mess up the paint. All ideas are welcome.

Thanks for listening. And, thanks for your help.
Traveling fulltime with "Bullwinkle" (2009 Winnebago Tour 40TD) and "Rocky" (2013 Jeep Wrangler) and a couple of cats.

Utclmjmpr

  • ---
  • Posts: 3496
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 11:16:14 AM »
When a its posted that winnie is monitoring this forum,, you gotta wonder who in the organization  is actually doing it and how often???>>>Dan
Vary rare American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.

WhiteEagle

  • ---
  • Posts: 349
  • John & Alice
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 12:00:40 PM »
Winnebago is and should be fully aware of the glued panels letting loose for several years...
In this past July, both front side panels became unglued on a trip to yellowstone - one day the front panel glue let loose, two days leter, the other side front panel let loose... unbeliveable but those panels are only held on by 3 blocks about 1" square - each glued to the side panel .. and themselves fastened to the frame by two plastic screws each....
Had bungi cords along so when they let loose, other motorists signalled me, I pu;lled over immediately and fastened them on in place with bungi cords before the rear section let loose or they bent backwards completely...
When we got back to WI, had dealer fasten them back on with screws .... they said they had seen MANY Winnebagos with the panels falling off because of the glue letting loose....
I never would have guessed a company would do such a cheap process but apparently that's their mindset on the panels...
2009 AB 40QSP-Powerglide-Cummins ISL 8.9L DP-Allison 3000-2 stage Jake Brake-Michelin 295R80 22.5-Pressure Pro System-Jeep GC Toad-Blue Ox Plate, Bar, Patriot Braking System-10K Genset-AquaHot-4 Panel Solar-SurgeGuard. Northern WI base
Everything's Relative
Unless Something Changes, Nothing Will

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12682
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 12:59:42 PM »
One of the fellows at our GNR gam was the Director of Marketing, and the other gentleman was in Service Admin.

Wow - hadn't heard about adhesive failures in quite a while.  Couple of years ago I had a small metal grill at the rear cap (engine access opening) come loose - it was adhesive failure.  Reattached it and its fine now.  Off and on going back a few years I have heard similar stories about fiberglass parts coming debonded to their metal counterparts.

My personal belief about the root cause of the problem(s) is/are poor surface prep of the mating surfaces.  I think the process as designed and adhesive will work fine as long as there are clean surfaces for the adhesive to bond.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

geodrake

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5810
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2010, 02:40:35 PM »
We had a similar problem on the engine hood.
George Drake

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12682
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2010, 02:53:29 PM »
I alerted Winnie to the issue - my contact and I are of pretty much the same opinion.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7224
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 03:07:21 PM »
I did a bit of research and discovered this is not a uncommon problem. All kinds of Winnie owners have experienced such failures with their engine hoods and genny hoods, too. 

Yep. We're not happy. We really want to like Winnebago again. But, when your motorhome literally falls apart in your hands it can be hard.


Yep, I can feel your pain.  On my 06' Meridian I had one side of the rear engine cover come loose. It was within the warranty period so the dealer reglued it and it held after that.  At the time there was a rash of folks reporting panels coming loose or even falling off.  And yes, Winne did act surprised at that time too.  However, after that particular time period the reports of body panels failing seemed to disappear.  I hope that they are not going to start up again. 

I checked my hood and engine cover attachment points regularly after that, but never had the problem reoccur. A buddy of mine that had a similar problem with his generator cover. His solution was to drill the cover from the front and insert galvanized machine screws all the way through the mounting brackets.  It didn't look bad but it bugged me that you would have to do that at all. 

Get it cleaned and re-glued and see how it holds up.  And let us know. 

Sarge 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
2018 JLU Jeep Sahara
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchick2018
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Don and Gloria

  • ---
  • Posts: 27
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 03:33:02 PM »
Wow, I would have hoped these problems would have been resolved since Winnebago built my 05.   I'm in the market for upgrading to a new DP, not in any hurry but if the right deal comes along on the right motor home, I'm ready now.  I'm not glad to hear about this stuff, but it is one reason I read through these forums.   

At 3 years old, the glue on the double stick tape (yes double stick tape) that held down the left front fender panel on my Voyage failed while driving and the wind pulled the fender out and cracked it all across the top, near the trim piece.  Cost me $, but I had it repaired.  Actually, it was replaced with a plastic fender.  This lasted about a year and then the bottom part of the same fender came loose again.  I drove around for several months with a bungee cord holding it down.   Winne factory service "re-glued" it to the frame a few weeks ago.  It's holding tight for the last 2000 miles.  Now at 5 years old, the bottom side of the Right front fender has come loose -  glue failed.  It's flapping in the wind.  I got it secured with a bungee cord - the same one I used on the other side.  I hope this fender panel don't crack before I can get it re-glued.   

The only things I can think of to temporarily hold these panels on are duct tape and the bungee cord or tie wraps that you already mentioned.  A friend of mine (2004 Sightseer) hood came loose from its metal bracket and he duct taped it shut for over a year - it looked awful.  Then he finally reattached it to the bracket by using "liquid nails" and it's held on for at least 3 years.  He cleaned up the tape marks and it looks pretty good now. 
   
Don and Gloria
2005 Winnebago Voyage 33V, Workhorse W20
2005 Isuzu Ascender

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12682
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 04:32:12 PM »
At 3 years old, the glue on the double stick tape (yes double stick tape) that held down the left front fender panel on my Voyage failed

One of my wheel well panels (I believe mine are fiberglass) came loose near the bottom; mine are hinged at the top (as I recall) and held tight to the body steel with double stick tape.  I can attribute mine to coming unstuck (for about 18" up from the bottom) to diesel fuel I have spilled over the years - it dribbles down and slowly dissolves the adhesive.  This is a prime candidate for some new engineering  :)
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

zukIzzy

  • ---
  • Posts: 430
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 04:49:26 PM »
You all would be surprised what is held together in your everyday life with double sided foam tape or glue or some sort.

wayne

PatrioticStabilist

  • Guest
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 11:07:41 PM »
I think it was loose when I bought it and didn't know it.  The fiberglass panel on the drivers side back of the front tire was flapping in the wind.  I kept hearing this noise and finally saw it.  I duct taped it, looked awful and on we went but the tape started coming loose.  When Tom and Ifixed it was when we found it was double sided tape.  We cleaned it good a put double sided tape back on, haven't driven it much since then.  Seemed kind of odd doing things like that that you pay a lot for, but he says it will stick for a long time.  Luckily it did not get torn up.

phelpo

  • ---
  • Posts: 130
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 09:24:36 AM »
I am assuming you all are talking about outside panels,  has there been problems
with the Vectras?   2004 to be exact?


Also, in reinstalling  the bedroom (see "Crap") I had screwed down the rear metal
cover (in closet) and noticed light coming in at the bottom of the closet....why was there
light between the inside fiberglass and the steel framing back there???? Cause there
is a 1/2 gap!!!!!!!!!!!!  Who designed this thing???   Right below this area is the diesel
engine..... :(    so this weekend some foaming insulation is going to be applied....

Phelpo
Phelpo
2004 Vectra AD
2007 Vue
2008 Mini Cooper

dcellisesq

  • ---
  • Posts: 13
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2010, 01:46:04 PM »
I, too, had a glue failure on my 2005 Journey (new in June 2006).  I was heading home to Portland and several hours North of Las Vegas I heard a funny noise.  Pulled over as soon as I could and found the lower rear panel (below the engine access) dragging on the ground, barely still attached on the left side.  Taped it back up with clear duct tape and made it home.  Winnebago assumed total responsibility, fixed everything, and it seems to be holding fast after three years.

Daniel C. Ellis
2005 Journey 39F
Portland, Oregon

Orick

  • ---
  • Posts: 1023
  • Went Full Time to Half Time but Still Fun Time
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2010, 02:17:27 PM »
Yep add me to the list that had the glue fail on the left front wheel well panel.  Took it to Forest City last month.  They charged me an hour labor to fix it.  Next time I'll do it myself.

Rick
Rick, Nancy, Peanut, Lola (Westies) & Bailey the Sheltie Dog
2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
Ford Explorer Toad

BB

  • ---
  • Posts: 45
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2010, 06:27:00 AM »
Orick, for what it is worth; I would NOT repair/reattach/re-engineer any failures that are known issues, especially body panels that like to detach themselves.

Imagine if you will, traveling down the road some panel takes flight, you see it cartwheeling through the air and score a direct hit to a vehicle behind you.  Now I don't know about  you but it were us this would cause a 30 car pileup with numerous instances of injury.

In this situation you did the repairs and you own the situation  but if you had a shop/manufacturer do the repair they would be on the hook.

I am not saying you would not also be getting a lawyer because you would BUT in the end all liability would not be on you and in all likely hood you would be able to recover expenses.

Think about it.

Orick

  • ---
  • Posts: 1023
  • Went Full Time to Half Time but Still Fun Time
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2010, 09:54:05 AM »
You bring up a good point BB.  Thanks for the input.

Rick
Rick, Nancy, Peanut, Lola (Westies) & Bailey the Sheltie Dog
2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
Ford Explorer Toad

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12682
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2010, 12:50:08 PM »
What I believe (based on a semester of business law) is that if you perform a repair in a negligent and dangerous manner, then there could be a liability issue.  If whatever is performed up to generally accepted standards, then the likelihood of an issue is remote.  But as we all know, anybody can be sued at any time for any reason.

In any case, this would be way, way down on my list of things to be concerned about.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

BB

  • ---
  • Posts: 45
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2010, 05:03:00 PM »
John,  an accident caused by debris from your coach is going to be quite expensive, a serious accident caused by debris from your coach that YOU fixed will in all probability be your ruin.  The only factor that would be in your favor would be if you were a certified rv tech, and even then you would have to prove that your repair was in compliance with oem guidelines - it would be very ugly.  I can guarantee that you would have to prove competency in body repair, that you followed manufacturers recommendations to the letter and then we have the small matter of liability insurance.

Of this I am certain,  insurance agents would vapor lock if he/she knew of owner repairs to this very very serious issue.

In the event of a fatality I doubt anyone would be able to help you.

Is it really worth it?

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7224
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2010, 05:15:55 PM »
In any case, this would be way, way down on my list of things to be concerned about.

I concur John, life is a calculated risk. Just like they tell you in Vegas, "you pay your money, and you take your chances".....
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
2018 JLU Jeep Sahara
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchick2018
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Orick

  • ---
  • Posts: 1023
  • Went Full Time to Half Time but Still Fun Time
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2010, 08:41:27 PM »
"The more I think about it,
 old Billy was right."

Don Henley

 ;)
Rick, Nancy, Peanut, Lola (Westies) & Bailey the Sheltie Dog
2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
Ford Explorer Toad

taoshum

  • ---
  • Posts: 2629
Re: Coming Unglued
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2010, 10:19:32 PM »
Both of our "hoods" failed.  Lucky for us, they failed in the driveway.  I wrote about it on this forum about a year ago and got a similar response from John and others.  I bolted the hoods in place with 4-6 1/4" bolts plus new adhesive (with no paint on the metal)... the way they needed to have been assembled at the factory, IMHO.  It is easy to show the tensile and shear strength of steel bolts to anyone.  The weak point  in the bolted assembly is probably the fiberglass under the head of the bolt.  They haven't budged since.  The glue joints in the fenders have not failed so far.  WB is still in business whereas many other MH companies are gone so they must be doing ok...even with the failure rate of the glue joints. 

Denial is a marketable skill and an artform...
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.