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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.

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I won't try to cover all you have said.

But for the windshield. It seems that you can not get the factory to correct the problem so try this. Go to a RV location that has accessories and look for the stick on guttering. Put it on with the botton edge right at the windshield. Be sure to go all the way across to cover the whole windshield. After you install the guttering seal the top edge with silicone. This will prevent water from coming down the coach and under the windshield molding.

Good Luck.

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Guest Wayne77590

And my wife has named our MH, "Citrus," so she can be politically correct.

Same problem with windshield on our 2008 Winnebago.

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If the steel is structurally sound I would use the same black adhesive/sealer that they use to install windshields on a fiberglass front cap. I had two new windshields installed this summer and they used a material from a caulking gun that resembled black silicone. Since it is black I would not reinstall the t moulding just fill the gap to be flush with the glass and fiberglass.

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Well mess my pants. Im glad I found this out before I plunked down a couple hundred grand on a new Journey. I'll forward this to the dealer in Iowa and see if they respond.

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We have not had any rust problems with our windshield so far. The motorhome is stored inside when it is not being used. I had the windshield trim off of it in the first year because of water running down the inside of the windshield. While the trim was off I used windshield sealer from the auto supply to fill the top edge of the windshield. I filled to where the water would run off of the edge instead of pooling on the top and maybe causing rust on the metal. This has seemed to work so far.

We have had 3 Winnebago motorhomes. The last one was the first new one. The other ones were used. This is the first one to give us any real problems. The problems started after the Winnebago warranty was expired. Three years after purchase the Freightliner ECM went bad. Freightliner would only offer to pay a small part of the repair. This was 13 days after their warranty had expired. I had just gotten it out of the barn after 5 months of storage when the problem occurred. Since we were going to the Winnebago factory we tried to talk to one of the "customer service" reps see if they would help us. The rep said "gee, I'm sorry to hear about your problem but we don't tell Freightliner how to run their warranties". We later made several calls to Freightliner and they paid for the repair, no thanks to Winnebago. Freightliner later paid for replacing a fuel strainer($300+) since the book that came with the new coach didn't have it listed in the maintenance charts. They also overnighted a new manual to us.

Cummins has been the best for the engine. Three new turbos and one new lift pump without any charges. All caused by the fuel strainer.

Onan wasn't as good. Ours also lost the magnets @ 142.5 hrs. We had to pay $430.67 and Onan paid $2659.25. This was because they used the wrong adhesive for the magnets. We thought that this was a manufacturing defect and should have been fully covered.

Winnebago has been little help, if any, since the warranty ran out. I hope that some day they find that a little help goes a long way toward keeping a customer.

Right now my wife will not even consider another Winnebago because of the treatment by the reps @ winnebago.

Good Luck,

Indiana Journey

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This is our 5th Winnebago product and our last 2 have had windshield leaks. Our 05 Adventurer had leaks from the rust problem, but they were sealed using "Proseal 34" a clear wet or dry marine sealer along the top of the windshield. Duncan systems later replaced the glass due to cracks in the glass from an impact. They sanded the metal to remove the rust, primed it with a spcial primer and replaced the glass. No more leaks.

They advised us that many leaks start from people who close their large slides and don't leave a window open to relieve the pressure. If you don't think a lot of pressure is created, put your hand by the open window when closing a slide.

All of the chassis problems, missing filters etc. come from the chassis builder not the coach builder.

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We have an 06 Meridian.

I removed the rubber trim, wire brushed the frame above the windshield and then sealed the windshield with 3M Windshield adhesive.

Replaced the rubber and no more leak.

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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!

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cricard04,

I will attach a link to a product called Chassis Saver. Its a pant over rust formulated pant. Always a good idea to clean the surfaces well before applying thought. It comes in silver,gray and black colors. The black will turn gray in time when exposed to sun light. After it drys it can be sanded with 400 grit and painted any color.

Must warn you it in not cheap,however it covers so well that a pint will probably do 4 to 6 windshields. Also! it does not store well once its been opened. so its best to use it up with in a week or two on any rusted areas of the coach frame. Use an old paint brush because cleanup is a nasty task,but it will really protect things. If water can get under it,that is about the only way that it will finely fail.

http://www.magnetpai...m/underbody.asp

Hope this info. helps a little R.M.

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We can confirm that Winnebago doesn't use the best design for windshields, and that factory service falls short of what one would hope. Still, we love our 2004 Ultimate Freedom, and we're glad Winnebago stayed afloat during the past few difficult years. It's great to have a source of technical expertise and parts.

We had the driver's side windshield crack at the top while on the east coast in the summer of 2010, during a five month round-the-country trip. We finally arranged for us and a replacement windshield to be in the same place at the same time at Duncan's in Elkhart IN, where rust was found around the window. Duncans cleaned up the rust, and put on some treatment that they thought would prevent a recurrence. They said this wasn't unusual on Winnebagos. So far so good.

Then last fall the passenger side windshield developed a crack, also from the top. Our local repair facility said that in all probability our windshields cracked BECAUSE of rust, although that's not something you want to propose to your insurer, since cracks from rocks are covered under comprehensive, but cracks due to rust aren't because that's a maintenance issue. So again we had the rust removed, and the steel frame treated, and a new windshield installed. So far so good again. We never had leaking, even though we've owned the coach since 2006 and keep it within a mile of the Pacific Ocean.

So yes, Winnebago should do a better job of design and customer support, but the coach fits our needs very well, and we expect to enjoy it for quite a while longer.

Stan

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My 2004 Vectra had no windshield problems but my 2006 did.. A little clear windshield sealant and it's OK now.

I agree Winnebago can be difficult to deal with if you get the wrong person. I've had better luck letting the dealer talk with the Winnebago folks.

I'm on my second Vectra and I love it. For the most part Winnebago makes a fine product

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I recently purchased a 2005 Winnebago Adventurer from a dealer. I drove several hours away to evaluate the coach prior to purchase, however I arrived after hours on the evening of inspection and had to spend the night in the town where it was located. I decided to ride over to the lot that night to take a look in person, because so far all I had seen was internet pics.

I noticed a piece of masking tape that seemed to be holding the middle rubber seal on between the windshields as if it were re-glued or something. I asked the sales guy the next day about it, and he said that the strip had to be re-glued. At that time I had no idea of this massive problem with Winnebago windshields.

The coach checked out and I bought it and took it home. After a couple of days I decided to wash it. It looked like it was raining inside of the passenger windshield. I ran in and checked it out. I removed the inside plastic panels to get a better look at the upper passenger windshield. There I found where the water was coming from and a little rust.

That night I searched the RV forums for the topic of leaking Winnebago windshields and was abhorred at what I saw. There is a never ending pool of information out there on the net. So I ended up taking the rubber molding off the exterior upper windshield, and sure enough, I found rust and water. I was shocked. To prevent any further injury to the coach because we are expecting rain, I wire brushed the rust spots and treated with an anti-corrosive, then I sealed with a Black Marine RTV all the way across. I am going to let it cure for 48 hours and leak check it. I cannot help but wonder what kind of rust is above that windshield in the front cap.

I am hoping that this fixes the leak, but I know that the inevitable is coming, which is to remove the windshields, grind off the rust, prime the metal, and new windshields. I intend to call the dealer tomorrow. This is something that they had to have known about, especially for having the coach on the lot since December. Anyone's thoughts or similar problems on this?

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Good morning;

This topic did get my attention. I bought a Winnebago Elandan through an estate sale, and one of the things noted was the condition of the upper windshield molding and gasket. I quickly made a temporary patch. While it is something that concerns me, I had also thought that I could have it repaired. It may be that it will definitely need to be repaired, and from all of the suggestions offered here, I have a much better idea of how to proceed. Thank you for that.

One thing I did not realize is the point that a Winnebago dealer or repair shop has no obligation nor incentive to be careful with the existing windshield while they are working on the watertight integrity of the rubber molded gasket and seal for the windshield. If they break it while working on it, then it is my responsibility and financial obligation to pay full list price for a new one, does seem a bit unusual in the repair industry. I do not recall a similar policy with any of the service industries where I worked at times in the past, and several of them were with motor vehicles. If I had ever made an error to the extent that it caused a problem with the customer's vehicle, it would be at my expense to correct that problem to the customer's satisfaction.

While the mechanical parts of this Elandan seem to be in pretty good condition, there have been an awful lot "little things" inside the coach part that have needed attention. This has turned out to be a "project." Oh, well. It actually is cheaper than golf or visiting the taverns, so I guess it is still a good thing.

Enjoy;

Ralph

Latte Land, Washington

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