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I have a 2004 Winnebago Vectra, when I let the air out of the air bags and the coach settles down, the right wheels have about 1 inch of clearance from the fiberglass on the coach. the Left wheels actually make contact with the fiberglass. Is this normal? Don Johnson
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.