* Front Cap Corner Separation *

While parked overnight Christmas Eve and Christmas day 2007 at our son's home in Alabama, it rained softly most of the night Christmas Eve. After returning to the RV park the day after Christmas, I noticed my small truck stop guide and fuel log book lying by the driver's side window were totally water soaked. A wrapped sucker left in the cup holder in the sidewall under the window was sitting in an inch or more of water! I could not see where the water came from. The window tracks were wet, so I thought maybe the frame drain holes were plugged, but when I checked they appeared to be free. The next day it rained again, and then I discovered water dripping from the top of the window. On checking, I discovered it was coming out of the window blind housing above the window. I checked the front compartments and found them dry. I pulled the wood strip from the front ceiling seam and found the ceiling damp under the molding next to the driver sidewall. Pulling the ceiling liner down at the seam, I saw nothing wet inside but did note the screw in picture 1 below. The main ceiling is the white cloth to the left. The wood surface in the lower portion of the picture is the inside of the front cap ceiling immediately above the driver. This screw secures the roof to the front cap, and as you can see, it is somewhat loose! It is somewhat difficult to get to with a screwdriver!! Another location where lock-tite should have been used on a screw in the original assembly!!


Finding no leak source from the inside, I went outside and got the ladder out. Inspecting the area above the driver's side window, I found the caulk pulled away from the fiberglass along the bottom of the cap side edge, and up over the curve of the roof to the air horns. It was obvious from the condition and appearance of the caulk that the last dealer I paid to R&R the roof sealant had skipped this area ...and they had to do the job twice to do that!! Note in the picture below how the caulk is pulled away from the fiberglass on the curve up over the roof. It also is pulled away from the fiberglass all along the bottom from the rear edge on the right, to the mirror bracket off the left side of the picture. As the rain gutter drains from the rear of the picture right where that caulking is, that is obviously where the water was getting inside, and then running down the inside wall and window.


Needing to get the potential leak sealed up before the next rain, I cleaned all the old caulk away from the areas where it was pulled loose. The picture below shows in a view from the ground how much space there is between the rear cap corner and the side wall. The entire space, ranging from apx 1/8" at the mirror end to perhaps 3/4" at the rear corner, was filled with silicone caulk, some black and some clear! Obviously, the separation has been there for some time, perhaps even since we bought the coach in 2003, and each dealer who had serviced the roof sealant had filled and refilled the gap.


Below is a close-up of the gap. The "black hole" in the space between the front cap corner on the left, and the rain gutter on the right, is BETWEEN the roof cap and the sidewall. There is maroon sidewall there, contrary to what it looks like. The white splotch is where the maroon paint has been scraped off in previous sealant repair jobs.


After looking at pictures of how this separation has been repaired on another coach or two, and after doing some pushing and experimenting on my coach, I developed more and more doubt that I would be able to pull the cap corner close to the sidewall with screws or rivets without possibly cracking the 1/4" flat edge I have to work with. Conversation with Winnebago Owner Relations and others who have had the repair done left me in doubt as to whether or not there is metal behind the area I would be putting screws or rivets into. After inspection and consultation in July 2008 by the Winnebago factory in Forest City IA, we concluded that the gap is not increasing and that it appears to have been this way from the time of mfg in 2002. I decided to leave it as is and simply monitor the sealant along with the normal roof maintenance schedule.

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