Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  1. Thanks to everyone for your replies. I've continued to talk to Winnebago, specifically the Service manager. He was no more helpful than the CEO of Winnebago; in fact he suggested that I wasn't taking care of my Winnebago Vectra as I should to protect my investment. I informed him that I would put my Vectra up against any other Vectra out there of the same age; its had a lot of improvements and upgrades made to it and the maintenance cost has never been spared to keep the RV in good operating condition or up to date since I purchased it new. I get a lot of comments on how nice my coach looks and the condition its in, except for the windshield problem. It's truly sad that a company the size of Winnebago won't stand behind their product when the problem is their design. I have had more RV windshield repair people look at the windshield since I posted the original message. One company indicated that they could repair the problem but I should suspect to see the problem return in 4-5 years. Frankly, I'm not interested in the problem returning ever; each time I talk to one of these companies I like to discuss exactly how they plan to clean and treat the rust problem and what they are going to do to prevent it from happening in the future. "RV Glass solutions", looked at my windshields, they say I have a few stone chips that should qualify them for free replacement in Florida; if so all I need to do is find out how they would clean the rust out and prevent it from happening again. They could do that here in Florida; I need to follow up on their solution. If that doesn't work out, I think what I'm going to do, (unless I hear from a company that really has a good plan for fixing the problem), when I get back to my northern home is to remove the black seal and trim plates, the interior trim etc. Then I'm going to see if I can seal the metal around the rusted area so that I can sand blast all the rust out. After that I will treat the metal with a rust killer like Naval Jelly or something similar; I'll also check and make sure I don't have one of the roof marker lights leaking. It was also suggested that I look into a paint called POR-15, which can be bought on Amazon, that is supposed to also neutralize rust and keep it from returning; that paint looked promising based on what I read. If I can accomplish that I have a couple options: I can have the windshields removed and finish treating the metal that windshield was attached to or if the thickness of the seal between the glass and metal is thick enough I may be able to clean out the sealant that is there, clean the metal and reseal the windshields. The bottomline is that Winnebago has an extremely poor attitude regarding this problem. Guardian provides the windshields and will charge $650 per windshield to replace them. Winnebago wanted $750 to remove each the existing windshields, clean the metal and reinstall the windshields. If they broke one, I would have to pay for the new windshields. Some simple math shows how rediculous this is: Winnebago $1500 plus windshield cost if they break one (50% chance). Do it my self: break windshields with hammer and have Guardian put in new ones $1300 plus cost of cleaning the metal < $100. If I ever purchase a new coach, it won't be a Winnebago!
  2. I have a 2004 Vectra which was a pain to fill; I could never hold the fill nozzle wide open when filling the fuel tank. I complained to Freightliner and it appears there was a fuel tank design that had a problem; they offered me a replacement tank that fixed the problem for free. Check on the installation cost of removing and replacing the tank if you go this route; the Freightliner service center in Londonderry NH I went too said it took 17 hours to change the tank ($1800). Personally I think they were dishonest, the tank is held in with two metal straps; the vent lines, fuel lines for the engine and generator and the fuel gauge electrical connections were all that had to be disconnected to remove the tank. The tank is in plain view under the coach and there's nothing in the way to remove it. I delivered the coach to the service center with almost no fuel in it to make it easy for them and when questioned about the cost they claimed the tank was full and it took a long time to drain and filter the fuel. The coach was originally brought to them because of fuel system blockage to the engine which caused the engine to buck (cut out) for lack of fuel. Initially when I called and talked to them, the service manager suggested changing the extra fuel filter I had them install prior to the engine lift pump a year before. The lift pump had suffered from contamination and blockage several times in preceding years causing us to limp home. The large fuel filter provided originally was installed between the lift pump and the fuel injection pump; it didn't do any filtering of the fuel to the lift pump. I hadn't changed the filter because it rained every day prior to taking the coach in for service and tank replacement. When I did deliver the coach for service I told the service person I hadn't change the filter and suggested they change it before wasting a lot of time. They didn't listen and went through a trouble shooting process that cost over $300 to find out the filter I told them to replace (on their recommendation) was clogged with some hard substance (not identifiable). Needless to say, when I complained I got no satisfaction. However, since this incident I have heard that if the welding slag inside the fuel tank that is created when the fuel tank baffles are welded in place is not removed, it can deteriorate in a moist environment (water vapor in the tank) and come loose and clog fuel filters This is the most probable answer as I purchase all my fuel at large truck stops where the fuel doesn't sit for months at a time accumulating moisture.
  3. Based on the fact you said you turned off the Main Power switch I might assume that your engine batteries are going dead and not the coach batteries. If so, I had a similar problem with my Winnebago Vectra; the engine batteries would be dead in about two weeks with the coach power turned off. There are parasitic loads on the engine batteries that eventually drain them unless you have a source to keep them charged. In my case, I added a little charging module that charges the engine batteries from the coach batteries. It seems Winnebago didn't think that was too important to install one in 2004; however, the newer coaches have this module I believe. The mini charger has a Winnebago part number and can be purchased on the web for about $50. With this mini charger installed my engine batteries never run down and the solar panel keeps the coach batteries charged. When I'm in Florida for the winter the coach sometimes sits for a couple months without being used and the batteries stay charged all that time.
  4. When you're at a rally, traveling from RV park to park and it's cold outside the central heat with the heat pump (powered by electricity you paid for at a park) is the cheapest way to keep warm. Mine works when the temperature is down to 25 degrees or so. When it's 25 degrees outside and you're burning propane at $4 a gallon and the insulation of the RV isn't great, the furnace(s) will burn a lot of propane. The only problem with the thermopane windows is the seal leaks sometimes and you'll have to get a pane resealed; considering all the windows in my RV, I have only two that fog up with moisture occasionally.
  5. I have now sent two letters to the CEO of Winnebago with no responses from his office regarding the leaking windshields on my 2004 Vectra; I've had several discussions with customer support, including an initial contact on the problem in 2010; but they were of little help. I was leaving on a trip to Kansas from NH within 2 weeks and thought the leak should be fixed before I traveled since I had water pooling on the dash during a recent period of intense rain. I had a local glass company look at the problem; they removed the trim along the top of the windshields and found the metal framework the windshields were attached to was rusted and the glass to metal seal had failed; they estimated $750 to repair the problem plus the cost of windshields if they broke one. Since I was traveling within 300 miles of Winnebago I thought I might be able to have Winnebago fix it at the factory, assuming they would be the best place to have it repaired. I asked the Winnebago customer support person how much it would cost to repair the problem and if they had spare windshields and any other parts so I wouldn't get stuck at Winnebago while someone had to make windshields or parts. The customer support person had no idea of the cost and couldn't tell me if they had spare parts or windshields in case they broke one (there's 50% chance of breaking a windshield when fixing this problem) nor could they schedule me a date to make the repair based on my travel plans. I was told that other departments at Winnebago could answer those questions to which I asked him if they had telephones at Winnebago to communicate between departments (I think he thought I should call around Winnebago and chase down the parts availability on my own). Eventually I was told that I would have to sign in to a nonscheduled appointment book when I arrived and take my chances that they could get to me within a week or so (this would be a little unreasonable since I was traveling with my wife and Golden Retriever); the cost would be $750 per windshield side (not including a windshield if broken) and the availability of a windshield from Guardian was still unknown. It appears, after talking to three different RV windshield replacement companies (including Guardian, the maker of the Winnebago windshields) that Winnebago clearly is the leader in the industry for leaking windshields by far; no other RV company has as much trouble as Winnebago with leaking windshields. It appears Winnebago is the only RV manufacturer that attaches the top of the windshield to the metal framework of the coach and here lies the problem. The metal framework isn't protected from moisture in anyway i.e. galvanized etc. nor is the rubber seal on the front cap sealed with any sealant. The rubber seal is shaped like a "T" and is secured by a pinch strip that is stuck to the metal framework with an adhesive (until the metal framework starts to rust), then the seal no longer does the job, it comes free of the metal framework which allows more water enter the windshield seal area eventually compromising the windshield seal until it fails completely. My problem started a couple years after I bought my Vectra, a few rust flakes would fall on the dash and I would clean them up not thinking much about what was going on. But as time went on it got worse, I attempted to seal the rubber strip at the top of the windshield to prevent water from getting behind it and dripping down the inside of the windshield when driving in the rain; it worked for a while but, in the fall of 2011 we had a lot of rain for about 10 days in a row and I found pools of water on the dash. Clearly there was a serious problem. This type of problem isn't something that would show up in the first year of ownership, it takes time for this type of failure to occur. After the two unanswered letters to the CEO of Winnebago and the poor response from customer support and the reports from the RV windshield companies I can only conclude that Winnebago has known about this problem for a long time and chooses to not stand behind their product as other companies do. It is clearly a poor design; Winnebago could easily have spent a another $50 on galvanizing the framework or other solution and saved an owner around $2500 to $3000 in repair expenses that according to the RV windshield companies will not be permanent; the problem will recur again and again because of the design. Winnebago would not even consider assisting me with the repair cost; basically I'm on my own to fix their poor design problem. This problem is one of the worst of the 50 or so problems that I have had with my Vectra. Other manufacturers have been really good in assisting me with significant problems that were clearly not caused by me. For example: Cummins: After 2-3 years of ownership I had problems with the engine bucking severely on occasion and had to limp home several times; it was caused by fuel flow restriction which changing the single fuel filter seemed to solve. I never got more than 10K miles out of a fuel filter. By year 5, changing the fuel filter no longer solved the problem. I called Cummins and they trouble shot the problem changing the CAP and lift pumps at a cost of over $3000 to them. This was really great support considering this was my 5th year of ownership of the Vectra. However, in the following years the problem continued to recur. Freightliner: I took the Vectra to a Freightliner dealer (2010) and they found the Lift Pump valving clogged which implied contamination of the fuel system. A Lift Pump is approximately $300 plus installation cost. I had the Freightliner dealer install an in-line pre filter to the lift pump that was serviceable near the existing filter (the original single fuel filter, filters the fuel between the Lift Pump and CAP pump). Winnebago saved money here again at the expense of the owner by not having a filter prior to the Lift Pump; I think the newer Winnebago coaches now have this filter. The next year (2011) I limped home again returning from a southern trip; and found the new in-line filter clogged with a hard substance (it saved the Lift Pump and there was no algae contamination). I contacted Freightliner and found that the fuel tank installed in my Vectra had filling problems (I had to nurse fuel into the tank slowly when refueling, I could not hold the fuel pump valve fully open). Freightliner offered me a FREE fuel tank with a new vent design to replace the existing one and eventually paid for the entire installation. This was really great support considering this was my 7th year of ownership of the Vectra. However, the real problem may have been caused by slag on the welds of the baffles within the tank falling off and mixing with the fuel; that would explain the hard stuff found in the fuel filter and has been a problem with metal fuel tanks in the past. The new fuel tank did fix the fueling problem and probably will fix the clogged fuel filters if the slag was the problem. ONAN was another example of stepping up to the plate by a manufacturer: my diesel generator, with only 150 hours on it, chucked the magnetic components off the rotor which stuck to the inside walls of the generator cabinet. Initially the local ONAN representative was only going to contribute $300 to the estmated $2500 repair cost but a letter to the CEO of ONAN was responded to with a call from his office that ONAN would stand behind the generator and pay for the repair less $100 deductable. This failure mode turned out to be fairly common and ONAN's policy was changed to fix these failures. The generator has worked well since then; Another example of a manufacturer standing behind their products. In summary, it's clear some manufacturers stand behind their products and some don't and Winnebago is one of those that does for the short term but not for the long haul! I will have to repair the windshield problem at my own expense, it appears, in spite of the fact the failure is not caused by a failure on my part but rather a failure of design by Winnebago. This recent experience with Winnebago will have a big impact on the next RV that I purchase; my first RV, a Pace Arrow Vision built by Fleetwood, never went back to a dealer for any repairs, everything always worked as it should have for the 5 years I owned it. I will take a very close look at how I'm going to repair this problem in an attempt to limit it to a one time cost. Anyone with a successful experience at this repair should feel free to contact me with your solutions or ideas, I'd appreciate them.
  • Create New...