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Old 07-15-2018, 01:40 PM   #1
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Santa Rosa , California
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 51
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Front window strap repair

NOTE: This is my first tutorial post. It's taken me a while to learn how to get photos to attach. If I can figure out how to get the photos to attach directly (instead of links), I'll come back and modify.

We've had our 2018 Flying Cloud for about a year now. It seems to me that it will only be a matter of time before one or both of the two rubber things that secure the front plexiglass window protector, will break. I decided that I'd rather be ready now, than have to problem solve on the road. This is a preemptive repair.

If you do this, WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES and whatever other protection you may need.

Because the rubber part that is likely to break has been riveted to its steel bracket, fixing this on the road seems like it would be difficult.
https://i.imgur.com/4CujJ5Q.jpg

After buying the replacement part, I took a dremel to the side of the rivet that has a "rim". This side requires less grinding than the other side, which is nicely domed.
https://i.imgur.com/gXn7dCp.jpg

After grinding the "rim" of the rivet off, the rubber part can be removed from its steel bracket.
https://i.imgur.com/buXFcFr.jpg

Then the same thing was done to both of the ones on the Airstream. Tape protects the finish from damage from the grinding.
https://i.imgur.com/XV3ozOy.jpg

6/32 X 1 1/4 Stainless steel Allen-head bolts and stainless nylock nuts were selected to replace the rivets. The bolts were a little longer than needed, so I trimmed them down.
https://i.imgur.com/mMPDVab.jpg

Now the Rubber hold-downs are secured in a way that I can replace them whenever they break.
https://i.imgur.com/HOQR0WD.jpg

And here's the repair kit that I keep in a baggie in the toolbox. If you look closely, you can see that I applied epoxy to the threads where they contact the rubber, to reduce wear.
https://i.imgur.com/8rXHpnW.jpg

--Sean
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Old 07-15-2018, 02:24 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-15-2018, 02:40 PM   #3
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Very well done
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Old 07-15-2018, 02:41 PM   #4
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Well done sir
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:18 PM   #5
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2016 30' Classic
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A very good post - was just thinking the same as I put sone UV protectant on front plexiglass window's rubber straps. After 2 years, they seem to be in good shape - no evidence of cracking. That said, I will order a spare or two and put them in the tool kit.
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:00 PM   #6
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Mine are now 24 years old and still ok.
Al
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for the compliments. Hopefully most of you will get good life from yours like Big Al, 24 years is a great run for a rubber part! When I bought the replacements, the dealer (Bay Area Airstream) said they replace about two per month for people. Mine are a year old and already getting a little chewed up where they rub past the part on the window cover.

--Sean
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:33 AM   #8
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I have a 1969 that I acquired around 2004, give or take. AFAIK the rubber hold downs on the front window guard are original and still work fine, so far.

Perhaps they are due. They have outlasted the original AC, water pump, running lights, scare light, furnace, toilet, overhead fan, door latch, plastic cabinet latches, and several of the 1/4" plywood interior walls.

You would think with that much UV exposure, they would have deteriorated by now, but the rubber is still soft and pliable.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:38 PM   #9
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Sioux Falls , SD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanWasHere View Post
NOTE: This is my first tutorial post. It's taken me a while to learn how to get photos to attach. If I can figure out how to get the photos to attach directly (instead of links), I'll come back and modify.

We've had our 2018 Flying Cloud for about a year now. It seems to me that it will only be a matter of time before one or both of the two rubber things that secure the front plexiglass window protector, will break. I decided that I'd rather be ready now, than have to problem solve on the road. This is a preemptive repair.

If you do this, WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES and whatever other protection you may need.

Because the rubber part that is likely to break has been riveted to its steel bracket, fixing this on the road seems like it would be difficult.
https://i.imgur.com/4CujJ5Q.jpg

After buying the replacement part, I took a dremel to the side of the rivet that has a "rim". This side requires less grinding than the other side, which is nicely domed.
https://i.imgur.com/gXn7dCp.jpg

After grinding the "rim" of the rivet off, the rubber part can be removed from its steel bracket.
https://i.imgur.com/buXFcFr.jpg

Then the same thing was done to both of the ones on the Airstream. Tape protects the finish from damage from the grinding.
https://i.imgur.com/XV3ozOy.jpg

6/32 X 1 1/4 Stainless steel Allen-head bolts and stainless nylock nuts were selected to replace the rivets. The bolts were a little longer than needed, so I trimmed them down.
https://i.imgur.com/mMPDVab.jpg

Now the Rubber hold-downs are secured in a way that I can replace them whenever they break.
https://i.imgur.com/HOQR0WD.jpg

And here's the repair kit that I keep in a baggie in the toolbox. If you look closely, you can see that I applied epoxy to the threads where they contact the rubber, to reduce wear.
https://i.imgur.com/8rXHpnW.jpg

--Sean


My EXACT issue and was going that route!

Thanks for posting, I donít have a Dremel but will come up with something.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:03 PM   #10
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DBinSD, you can drill out rivets, also from the rim side. The replacements would probably be pretty easy to drill, but the ones on the trailer may be difficult because of how close they are to the trailer shell. It may be a real challenge to get the drill close enough without causing costly damage. You might consider purchasing a Dremel or something very similar, you may be surprised at how inexpensive a starter kit is. It'd be a sickening feeling to have the drill slip, and punch a hole through the front of your Airstream.

--Sean
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanWasHere View Post
NOTE: This is my first tutorial post. It's taken me a while to learn how to get photos to attach. If I can figure out how to get the photos to attach directly (instead of links), I'll come back and modify.
~snip...

--Sean
To add photo instead of linking, click the paperclip next to the smiley face and then select the files you want to upload.
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:58 AM   #12
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RJJ thank you, I'll try that out

--Sean
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Old 07-19-2018, 04:01 PM   #13
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1975 27' Overlander
gurnee , Illinois
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1975 vs 2018

I had to replace my front window tinted protector in an insurance claim last year. It came with 2 brand new rubber tie down handles but I didn't change them only the large glass and frame. It appears my 1975 rubber tie downs are still going strong. However, I do now own 2 extra ones in case they break before I die of old age. Whats funny is that my 1975 rubber tie downs are the same as 2018 tie downs. I guess it is made to last so why change the design.
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