My Wounded Winnebago

My old 1986 Winnebago had a bit of a mishap back in November of last year. It was my last campout of the 2012 season. As I was leaving Colfax for the ocean, I stopped at the post office to get my mail, parking along the curb. What I didnt notice was a low hanging tree limb that bashed the right top corner of my baby just as I was pulling out.  It broke my heart and was a huge cause for concern because there was a big storm coming in the following day.  When i arrived at Wrights Beach (trip photos here) I immediately covered the gash with duct tape.

wounded Winnebago

Turns out the patch worked and other than some tiny drips from the window, which were easily kept under control with a bowl and a towel, I weathered the storm and drove home in the rain without any water damage.


When I got home I went to Home Depot and bought a huge blue tarp to cover it thru the winter.  Which worked out quite well.   But now that the weather has warmed up and I am planning a trip back to Wrights Beach May 1st, I decided to tackle the fix up project.


One of the key pieces to the repair was finding the curved trim/molding metal  piece that went around the corner and was totally messed up.  I sent out emails to various RV salvage yards around the country and was lucky to get a response from Arizona RV Salvage  in Phoenix.  They had a whole bunch of these pieces with a cost of only $75 …. plus $120 shipping, gulp.  Anyway.. I was thrilled to have found the part.

Since this is an old RV not worth a lot of bucks, I couldnt see spending a fortune to get it back to the original state but instead just really wanted to secure the shell so it was weatherproof and looked decent enough.  I talked to a Paramount RV in Reno and they suggested all I would need is to use ProFlex caulk on the two big tears in the fiberglass combined with putting on the new trim piece.  This was great news.  However… when I removed the duct tape I saw what kind of mess had been covered up all this time.  Totally shattered fiberglass in the corner.

Geoff Panek's RV damage

When I took out the shattered pieces of plastic I found I  had a big hole fill.  Foam insulation worked well for that.  Finally I made the decision to cut out the really bad area, replace it with a piece of aluminum, screw it in place, and caulk the torn areas.

Geoff Panek damaged RV repair


So after painting … good enough!  A little bit of frankenstein scars but what the heck.  Not that noticeable and now weather proof and ready to go.

Geoff Panek RV repair

Author: Geoff

Quick rundown: Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron International, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart, now living in Colfax, CA. We have six grandchildren. I enjoy camping in our RV, hiking, kayaking, fishing, droning and cross country skiing Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.

6 thoughts on “My Wounded Winnebago”

  1. Excellent work! Hardly noticeable but you know, duct tape probably would have sealed just as well. Duct tape, the snake oil of our day!

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