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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Up On The Roof - Part One

Now that the First Battle of Bull Run is over, actually, it was the Fourth Battle of Bull Run.  The First Battle took place 150 years ago, the Second Battle took place on the same ground just about a year later.  The Third Battle took place 50 years ago, in 1961.  No it wasn't a real battle but a reenactment to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First Battle.  So the battle that took place this past weekend, to honor the 150th anniversary should be called the Fourth Battle of Bull Run.  All I know is it was an epic battle...with the heat.

We extended our stay here in the Bull Run Park campground until this upcoming Sunday.  It's so much nicer staying here than trying to keep our house show ready and living in it at the same time.  It's amazing how many footprints grow in the new carpets necessitating constant re-vacuuming to give the house that crisp look.

We will have to deal with being back in the house next week because we hit the maximum days stay (14) on Friday, but we've been allowed to stay until Sunday.  Then we'd have to be out of the campground for 4 days before we could return.

Now that the last battle reenactors have departed, including the Class A motorhome followed by a pickup truck pulling a trailer with a full size Civil War cannon on it, pointed backwards (guess tailgaters will think twice), the campground has quieted down.  Along with that, the temperatures have dropped to much more pleasant levels.

With no further danger from accidental flying bullets, I  ventured up on the Journey's roof to inspect the caulking and surfaces in general.  I took up with me a can of silicon spray.  You are supposed to lubricate the crank up TV antenna every six months.  There is a black plastic plug that you remove with a wrench and squirt some silicone down the hole to preserve the little rubber O-ring that resides on the antenna crank shaft.  If the O-ring dries out, you can get water leaks down the shaft and inside your RV.  You can see the black plastic plug in this picture. 

Looking at all my caulk I found it to be in very good shape.  I did note that the sealant that Winnebago uses to seal the fiberglass roof seam to the rain gutter along the top sides of the Journey was coming loose in a couple of spots.  I have to dig out the old sealant and put in new.  That will be Part Two, as soon as I get it done.  If the sealant  is ignored and enough of it comes loose, the fiberglass roof can tear off, it has happened to Winnebago owners that ignored the inspection schedules.  I'll get that taken care of soon.  This is an issue that is unique to Winnebagos and not found on other brands of RVs.

Another thing I found, and I can't believe I missed it after owning the Journey for over four years is my patio awning has a potential weak spot.  The awning is covered with a metal casing that protects the material from wind and sun UV rays so I thought it was pretty maintenance free.  Then I noticed (DUH!) that there is a two inch portion of the awning, where the edge slides into the side of the motorhome that is not covered by the metal casing, it is fully exposed to the sun.

You can see the metal casing at the top of the picture, with the exposed awning material as the dark line just under it, then the white fiberglass roof.  You can click on the picture to enlarge.

Knowing that someday, inevitably, the awning will have to be replaced due to sun damage, I took preventive action to prolong the life of the awning material. 

I use a product called 303, it is made to protect materials such as awnings, rubber, vinyl,  fiberglass and such from UV damage.

It runs about $14 for a spray bottle this size but it will last a long time.  I've used it for years in the Coast Guard on our Ridged Hull Inflatable Boats (Zodiac type) pontoons with excellent results.  It is pretty waterproof, re-coating every couple of months is all that is needed.
So I soaked my awning seam really well and will hit it again when I reseal the roof seams.  A little bit of maintenance now prevents big problem$ later.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. WOW Paul, as a Winnebago owner, I really appreciate your maintenance tips. Keep em' comin'!

    And I LOVE your sense of humor....laughed out loud as I read "tailgaters will think twice".
    Thanks for brightening my day.

  2. Nice post - lots of good info and helpful photos.

  3. I too loved the tailgaters remark. Brought lots of funny pictures to my mind. Glad the weather cooled down a wee bit for you.

  4. Hmmm, you say the roof will have some damage eh! I am hear to tell you it gets pretty exciting when it happens.

    Here is a story I like to tell when folks talk about roof issues.

  5. We're familiar with 303. It's good stuff.

  6. I am beginning to wonder why my antenna still works. I have never lubricated it, so I guess I will need to get on it. after all it has been over five years-way past that six months:(

    I do have the roof inspected every year and last year had the roof to sides completely re-calked. I have had various locations redone a number of times, including the from and rear caps.

  7. I love 303. Also, I hope no potential buyers are reading your blog....

  8. preventative maintenance is the best idea to prolong the life of your Winnie!!..good for you for climbing on the roof!!!

  9. I like the parks with 14 day limits for others but sometimes I want to stay more than 14 days. That's not too often but often enough. The problem is that some folks move in and never move out. I don't like those parks much.

    You've found yourself a new job. Inspecting everyone's awning now that you know how.

  10. Thanks for the great tips! The photos also help.

  11. Ahhh the ounce of prevention is so true. Glad you noticed it and had the right stuff or it.

    Suprised there's a 2 week limit?? You'd think theres another nice campground in your area.

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