Replace cabover window glass
At first I thought it was a bug trail or something on glass, as it had just started raining. Quickly realized though glass is cracked, from top to bottom with several horizontal branches...Crap.
Got a ladder to check outside. Course I didnít discover until it starts raining. But careful inspection revealed no cracks outside-so its laminated glass just inside cracked. Checked again inside-no leaks so were good until the rain stops.
I really have no idea when or how this broke. Could be from all the jacking of the camper during recent repair, could a been a bird strike or tree branch or the fact we stuff pillows against it so we can sit up in the bed. I actually never recall opening this curtain fully, usually bout 12" to let light in during the day. Regardless it needs fixing.
I posted question on RV.net. Iíve never removed RV window before. I want to do this as quickly as I can. It appears and proved to be a 2 piece frame. The actual window goes into wall from outside. The inside frame pulls it tight to wall.
Next day-with no rain forecast I removed all the interior frame screws. From outside with some gentle prying the exterior frame came loose. Pulled the window and sat it aside. First priority is getting something in the hole. Window is 4 1/2' long 14" high. Used a plastic putty knife to remove most all butyl tape and perimeter caulk around hole. Then washed remaining butyl residue using paint thinner then soap & water. The filon is not attached to the camper window frame? For the moment Iím utilizing. I wrapped a piece of cardboard after trimming with an old shower curtain, slipped in between filon and frame along top edge, let it over hang sides and bottom. Used half a roll of duct tape to seal. I no more than got window out cleaned and covered and big black clouds rolled in. Never rained- water even a heavy fog could be a disaster though.
Plan is to remove glass intact, take to glass shop have new one cut, reinstall and remount to camper. The glass is sealed on inside with mastic, butyl I assume. A vinyl insert on the outside hold glass in. Well the insert came out easy but I couldnít get the glass to separate from the frame. Black mastic holding it quite tight. If I break the glass they will need the frame anyway so I put it back together to take the whole thing to them for options.
At the glass shop he said he has a tool thatíll cut the mastic, he wouldnít' charge to remove the old one and install new laminate. I said fine. But he wouldnít get to until tomorrow afternoon, possibly next morning but heíd try to get it tomorrow If he had some 'black' laminate in stock. He checked and had a piece that would work. Great. We talked about adding another piece of glass to make dual pane, as there's another channel that would allow. Other than having to split frame to accomplish was the added price. So decided to forego for the moment. There is an inside edge on interior frame that I could seal a piece of plexi to-later
Next day got really warm. I pulled the temporary cover, Tape glue was melting into filon. Used paint thinner again to clean off residue-rewashed. I glued and stapled the filon to frame, thinking this might help any twisting from affecting window frame. I also clearance a bit to ensure a small gap between window and wall frame. Then waited patiently for call that didn't come. Reinstalled the 'patch'. Next morning really warm again so pulled the patch, cleaned off tape residue glue again. Got a call about 11:30 window was ready.
Dropped everything ran to glass shop. Well the vinyl insert had at least 1/4" gap in ends, kind of lumpy looking, he said it was cold-when it warmed up it would swell back? He said even if it didnít he sealed with silicone so it wonít leak. Alarms went off but I just paid him and left.
Laying in back off truck with sun on it when I got home-indeed it swelled. But not closing gap-the entire bottom length of vinyl insert was loose, out of channel. Itís a t shaped affair the 2 of the legs are locking beads. Again this is what holds the glass in. I fought it for an hour trying to reseat the bead. Figured the silicone was keeping it from seating I gave up. Plus the more I thought about it I didnít want the silicone inside. If window ever leaks I couldnít do anything. So pulled the insert and cleaned out all the silicone. Thereís mastic on inside that actually seals the glass. Good grief, he silicone 12 years of dirt and residue sealant. No wonder it wouldnít seat. I donít think he understood what the inserts function is, itís not a seal. After cleaning the insert just snapped in- hey the ends even meet. Good grief.
Cleaned up the glass and frame, dry I sat the 'new' window in hole, marked wall so as to center the widow and have even gap all around. Laid a ribbon of butyl tape to perimeter of frame, sat in hole. With Margaret holding window from outside I went inside and drove in a few screws to hold from falling out. Reinstalled all screws went round & round slowly pulling window snug. Next day check screws-trim excess butyl tap. Water tested. Good to go. First & last time having someone install window glass. If I ever replace another I'll make a pattern. What an adventure