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 8/27/2005 9:41 AM
 
Since I'm a two time Fleetwood motorhome owner with my current rig being an 04 DP I thought it prudent to pass on information regarding windshield leaks that are a problem with some models of motorhomes. I'm not sure what all models are effected but I am sure several others are involved. What this problem consists of is twisting or tweaking of the front cap when entering or exiting an unlevel drive or road. If this twisting action isn't addressed or approached slow enough the windshields can and will break their seal or slip from their mounting gaskets if you have this type windshield mounting. On my 04 the windshields are mounted almost exactly like cars are in that the glass is adhered directly to the fiberglass cap. This twisting action can and will pull the windshields loose or in some cases crack the windshields. Recently I had both windshields pulled and reset after they had pulled away from the cap about 1/2 an inch. Fleetwood reimbursed me since I was about 5 months out of the factory warranty period. When I first contacted Fleetwood the tech I spoke with implied I had leveled the coach improperly causing this problem. Since my particular model has completely automatic computerized leveling I didn't feel his comment was valid. At that time I knew nothing of this twisting problem. I "thought" the repair was first class as I watched it being performed. Since that time and about 2,500 miles and 2 months later the drivers side windshield is leaking again, not as bad as the first time but none the less it's leaking. I'm aware that Fleetwood has a history of windshield problems but I thought it was a problem addressed for a series of motorhomes made back in the late 90's. It apparently hasn't gone away or has manifested itself in another manner. The whole point of this rather long thread is for you fellow Fleetwood motorhome owners to use caution on roads or driveways that may cause the coach to twist. Neil

Neil
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 8/27/2005 10:19 AM
 
Hi Neil, This problem isn't limited to Fleetwood. Many manufacturers have problems with twisting frames and leaking or cracked windshields. Last summer I had a Dutch Star come in on a trade that had the passenger side windshield sticking out about two inches in the top right corner. I've seen it happen on Alfas and Georgetowns. My good friend Rich Emond has a cracked drivers window on his Dutch Star right now. It cracked when he was letting his jacks up at a campground a few weeks ago. Sometimes, this is caused by twisting the frame, sometimes, its just poor workmanship at the factory.
John Veach www.TheRollingHome.com 1999 Fleetwood Discovery 37V towing a 2005 Chevy Colorado Z71 4x4

Libby and John and RV the CAT www.TheRollingHome.com 1999 Fleetwood Discovery 37V Unit 38 Fort Clark Springs Brackettville, TX towing a 2005 Chevy Colorado Z71 4x4 Click here to see our current location
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 8/27/2005 11:14 AM
 
I know what you mean John. I'm aware of at least a couple other manufactures of motorhomes whom have had a run of leaking or cracking windshields. Actually I didn't mean to imply this was only limited to Fleetwood rigs. Coming from an aircraft engineering back ground I can't help but wonder how this twisting frame or cap problem could be remedied. I have 25 plus years RVing, 6 of which have been full timing, I've owned 4 different makes and models of motorhomes with 2 5th wheel rigs in the middle of this mix, as much as I hate to admit it, I just recently became aware of the existance of the frame twisting causing such problems. Do you and Libby think you'll manage to escape this latest Hurricane? I watch the national weather and think of you guys trying to close on your house and get on the road again. Good luck Neil

Neil
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 8/27/2005 2:20 PM
 
Neil,
Do I understand your windshield is glued to the fiberglass? Most windshields are mounted in a rubber gasket and the entire assembly (windshield and gasket) is set in the fiberglass opening. That gives it more room to flex and not come loose or break. The more rigid a windshield is mounted, the more likely it will leak or break. But the floating mounted windshields do still break from stress as did Rich Emond's Dutch Star. Norm www.SeeYa-DownTheRoad.com

Norm www.SeeYa-DownTheRoad.com
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 8/27/2005 2:52 PM
 
Neil, we did fine, the storm swerved south and missed us. We are not sure if we will close on Monday or not because all of our government offices were closed Friday and we don't know if the buyers insurance will go into effect since we were under a hurricane warning. Norm, many of the newer Fleetwood rigs don't sit in a gasket. The windshield is really glued to the frame. It scares me, but there are a lot of them out there like that. Next time you see a Revolution or Pace Arrow with the bumble bee looking windshield, go look at how that windshield is mounted. Of course, my new toad, the Chevy Colorado does the same thing for the rear window.
John Veach www.TheRollingHome.com 1999 Fleetwood Discovery 37V towing a 2005 Chevy Colorado Z71 4x4

Libby and John and RV the CAT www.TheRollingHome.com 1999 Fleetwood Discovery 37V Unit 38 Fort Clark Springs Brackettville, TX towing a 2005 Chevy Colorado Z71 4x4 Click here to see our current location
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 8/27/2005 4:43 PM
 
Hey Norm, Yep some of the newer, no I don't know when Fleetwood started this, are "glued" directly to the fiberglass front cap. I'm not sure but I think they call this adhesive Polyester or something like that. When I had both of my windshields reset in Billings I watched the whole removal and resetting process. It took 3 guys about 5 hours to pull, clean the windshields of the old adhesive, then clean the fiberglass cap and re-glue both windshields in place. On the tube of the adhesive they used it said the recommended drive away time was considered 1 hour. We purposely sat there for another 2 hours before we moved to a friends house where we sat up for 2 weeks before we hit the road again. The only part I didn't care for about this new style of installing windshields was the black outer rubber seal. Once the windshields are reset in the adhesive a small area about 3/8ths of an inch is left between the edge of the windshields and the indented area in the cap where they sit. The outer rubber seal is only what is best described as "half" of what we all know as the old "H" style rubber mounting, like John described. Anyway this rubber seal is stuck in the remaining wet adhesive that oozes out between the windshield and the cap. The rubber seal is simply pressed in the adhesive, no sort of anchor other than the windshield adhesive. This newer seal kind of looks like a "C" with a small protrusion in the middle of the "C" that sets in the sealant........ Just like John I would think this new method of mounting would eventually cause a cracked windshield should the adhesive stick too tight and a person twisted his rig unintentionally. There, do I have you thoroughly confused now?? Neil

Neil
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 8/27/2005 8:41 PM
 
Neil,
I understand your explanation perfectly. It seems the windshield being mounted rigid helps with the body integrity of the motorhome. But the weak point is the glass and when there is stress something has to give. The windshield being the weakest link either pulls loose from the glue or it cracks.
All motorhome have chassis and body stress when driving on unlevel pavement, dumping air bags or lowering the jacks. I am always hearing my body crack and pop (well, not my body but my motorhome's body). I imagine the glass would crack if one of its purposes was to keep the motorhome rigid. Norm www.SeeYa-DownTheRoad.com

Norm www.SeeYa-DownTheRoad.com
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 8/27/2005 9:01 PM
 
We have a 99 Southwind, 36Z, I have had 4 windshields on the right side and one on the left side crack as described. In September 2002 I took it back to the factory. They removed both windshields and checked all bracing and hole sizes, and couldn't find anything wrong. Replaced both windshields with new and moved the front jacks from in front of the front axles to behind the front axles and voila, no more cracked windshields. The problem lies with the jacks being forward of the front axles twisting the frame. It has nothing to do with the individual setting the jacks up wrong Keep having fun, Virg, Fountain, CO

Keep having fun, Virg, Fountain, CO
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 8/27/2005 9:31 PM
 
John is correct in that we do have a crack in our windshield on the lower driver side. But to set the record straight, it happened as I was dumping the air and just about when the air was out of the bags. Then POP, one crack followed by three more. Obviously a stress crack. Newmar told me to have the glass guy check to see if there was any kind of fiberglass or gelcoat buildup in that corner of the windshield when the rubber is removed. They said it has happened before and, if there is a burr there, it would have been there from the beginning.
currently in Seattle, WA on "vacation" in a Marriott Courtyard. Peace, Rich Emond http://www.roamingamerica.com 2000 Newmar Dutch Star 3858 towing a 2000 Honda CR-V

Peace, Rich Emond http://www.roamingamerica.com 2000 Newmar Dutch Star 3858 towing a 2000 Honda CR-V "We leave for the sake of leaving And without knowing why We always say, 'we must go'.".....Baudelaire
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 8/27/2005 9:39 PM
 
Virg - Well, you just made my day! I have a less expensive MH (Rexhall Aerbus) and have wondered how I escaped this problem, because I've torqued my frame every way possible. My HWH jacks, however, are mounted BEHIND the axle, so this time it appears the engineers did it right and saved me. Thanks and good luck. - Dave

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