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Old 01-14-2015, 09:28 AM   #1
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Emergency Exit Window Conversion?

As I am nearing the end of my exterior restoration, and as I am planning my interior layout. I have been wondering about safety. Most new trailers have emergency exits. Vintage trailers not so much. Specifically the ones with Jalousie windows would be my concern.

I was curious if anyone has converted one (jalousie window) to an emergency exit? I had thought one could uninstall the window and then build some kind of hinged sub frame that the old window could attach too? The old window would still function normally,and look normal. However in the event of an emergency the whole window would hinge on the top?

It is beyond my skill level. I am curious though if anyone else has done it?
Safety is definitely something to think about, and has been on my mind as of late.

Thanks Jon
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:46 AM   #2
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Normally, the second choice for an emergency exit (the first being the front door) is the big window covering a lot of the rear of the trailer. Some even have a sticker above it saying 'Emergency'.

Don't you feel that is enough?
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
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I cannot imagine any piece of window glass in a trailer preventing me from getting out in an emergency.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jonplayers View Post
I was curious if anyone has converted one (jalousie window) to an emergency exit? I had thought one could uninstall the window and then build some kind of hinged sub frame that the old window could attach too? The old window would still function normally,and look normal. However in the event of an emergency the whole window would hinge on the top?
Tempered safety glass, such as is used on side windows in automobiles, that break into a bajillion tiny pieces rather than long knife-blade shards, is all you need for an emergency exit. Plus a hammer stored in close proximity to the window. Or better yet, a tomahawk, which will not only shatter glass easily, but will also have a better intimidation factor if you need it (see below).

Since no one rides in the trailer while it's in motion, you need an emergency exit for three reasons only: fire that blocks the main exit, rollover in high wind (tornado?) that leaves the door facing the dirt, and an armed intruder coming in the door. Therefore, the best windows to use as emergency exits are on the street side since the door is on the curb side (rollover), the very rear of the trailer as far from the propane as possible (fire), and as close to your bed as possible (intruder). I'm sure you can figure out the best window to use based on those three criteria.

In the case where an emergency exit is needed due to fire or rollover, it doesn't matter if you damage the window, because you'll have way more damage than that anyway. In the case of an intruder between you and the door, getting out fast is more important than avoiding damage to your window.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:27 PM   #5
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Tomahawk or war hammer, there are some nice choices out there. Cold Steel is one such.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:31 PM   #6
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In my trailer all the windows are jalousie. In the event of an emergency I could probably bust out of them. I am more worried about my kids.

Yes the front door is the main exit, however an emergency exit in the back would be peace of mind.

Just something to think about.


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Old 01-14-2015, 03:29 PM   #7
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However in the event of an emergency the whole window would hinge on the top?

Safety is definitely something to think about, and has been on my mind as of late.
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In my trailer all the windows are jalousie. In the event of an emergency I could probably bust out of them. I am more worried about my kids.

Yes the front door is the main exit, however an emergency exit in the back would be peace of mind.
Since you're more worried about your kids, go with something side-hinged, with a latch at the lower corner where a kid can reach. Something hinged on the top will tend to close itself under its own weight once opened, and a kid crawling through would have its weight pressing on him or her in the process. Side-hinged can be swung open and will not try to close itself on a person that is in the process of getting out. Especially if the opening is slightly wider at the top than at the bottom, so the sides are angled slightly and the exit swings slightly down as it swings to the side. The latch can be some sort of pull-to-release pin; yank it out to release the window, then push and it falls away to one side.

Also make sure there is something under the window on the inside that can be used as a step on the way out, and something on the outside that can also be used as a step (such as a horizontally-mounted grab bar). That way, a juvenile evacuee needn't be a fearless acrobat to go out the window.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:41 PM   #8
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Some of the older Airstreams hinged the entire window, main frame and screen as an assembly for the emergency exit. The created a sub frame that mounted in the shell, it has gaskets that seal to the window frame and latch at the bottom with a pair of catches.
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:54 PM   #9
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A little Adrenaline and a cast iron frying pan, pick a window.....Im outta here.
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:34 PM   #10
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Hmmm, the thought of my fat Butt climbing thru that window at the south end of my AS is a little disconcerting.

Perhaps I should be thinking of keeping a 12" chainsaw under the bed.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:21 PM   #11
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Some of the older Airstreams hinged the entire window, main frame and screen as an assembly for the emergency exit. The created a sub frame that mounted in the shell, it has gaskets that seal to the window frame and latch at the bottom with a pair of catches.
That is exactly what I was thinking.
I don't think I have the skill or the time to tackle that retro fit right now.

I was curious though if anyone else has. I wonder if the commercial restorers do anything like that?

Thanks for the comments everyone (even the funny ones)!




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Old 01-15-2015, 11:36 PM   #12
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Tempered safety glass, such as is used on side windows in automobiles, that break into a bajillion tiny pieces rather than long knife-blade shards, is all you need for an emergency exit. Plus a hammer stored in close proximity to the window. Or better yet, a tomahawk, which will not only shatter glass easily, but will also have a better intimidation factor if you need it (see below).

Since no one rides in the trailer while it's in motion, you need an emergency exit for three reasons only: fire that blocks the main exit, rollover in high wind (tornado?) that leaves the door facing the dirt, and an armed intruder coming in the door. Therefore, the best windows to use as emergency exits are on the street side since the door is on the curb side (rollover), the very rear of the trailer as far from the propane as possible (fire), and as close to your bed as possible (intruder). I'm sure you can figure out the best window to use based on those three criteria.

In the case where an emergency exit is needed due to fire or rollover, it doesn't matter if you damage the window, because you'll have way more damage than that anyway. In the case of an intruder between you and the door, getting out fast is more important than avoiding damage to your window.
Or, a toothed intruder ... of the bear variety. My wife has the best tomahawk available for all the reasons above. Especially a concern when the rear hatch is open ...
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Old 01-16-2015, 06:50 AM   #13
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Or, a toothed intruder ... of the bear variety. My wife has the best tomahawk available for all the reasons above. Especially a concern when the rear hatch is open ...
Wonder why I didn't think of that? Maybe because I haven't camped at Yellowstone yet…
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:43 AM   #14
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I friend of mine made this....looks legit!





https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.n...a34d09640a8f31
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