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Old 06-11-2013, 06:36 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Melton Mowbray , Leicestershire
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3
'76 Sovereign Vistas modification?

Hello all,

This is my first technical question so don't be too hard on me.
I have read lots on refitting the vista units but do not see the point of putting the Plexiglas back in.
This is what I would like to do,
remove the unit, clean the rebate, fit a double sided twin stick butyl tape gasket, drop in the glass and fit the securing ring back in.
To fill out the gap left by the absent Plexi and butyl spacer I wanted to use rubber wedge, its a gasket available in different thicknesses, we use it to take up the frame gap on upvc double glazed units in the UK.
Now I know the golden rule is to have everything at hand before starting but I am not sure of the original glass/Plexi/butyl thickness, not without removing it all first which would be daft.
Does anyone now the measurement so I can order the correct sized wedge?
Please tell me of any pitfalls in the scheme.
Thanks in advance Mike

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Old 06-20-2013, 11:57 PM   #2
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1976 31' Sovereign
golden , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by Joebanjo
... Why then, is everyone wanting to jump back into the double pane window configuration when Airstream themselves have abandon the notion of double pane windows for their trailers? They must have found the whole concept too troublesome to continue. Can a double pane window really provide that added energy bonus to an all aluminum trailer?...
A year ago I had the Sovereign up in Seattle for their unprecedented cold December. Average temperature was about 20 degrees for three weeks. If you've seen my thread on the Sovereign, you'll recall that it has a catalytic heater. All but one of windows were double pane.

The one single pane window collected all the moisture as a thick layer of ice. The double pane windows remained free of condensation. I was very surprised at the stark difference in performance.

It's easy to add BTUs to warm up. It's much harder to subtract them. I'm more interested in comfortable sleeping in hot deserts (Burning Man, etc.). I don't think the double pane window performance is as helpful in hot weather, since a lot of my desert time is boondocking, so the windows are open. But anything that will allow a 13.5K BTU air conditioner to keep up when I've got a hookup in Vegas is OK with me.

Yes, they are a lot of work, but when you break your first inner glass, let me know how much work it is to clean out the shards and then devise some way to properly restrain the outer glass in the thick frame. I'm betting it's almost as much work, maybe more. I'm just saying that converting to single pane may not be "easy." I did it for the one window that I broke accidentally and it was a PITA.

there is also a guy who single paned all of his windows....
Rebuilding your double pane windows with new "U" gasket
I rebuilt all my double panes windows to new single pane configuration and used new "U" gasket material available from
C.R. Laurence CRL Glazing Vinyl; 1/2" Channel Depth 9/64" to 11/64" Metal Opening - 100 ft Roll | GC725C

I just copy and pasted that from a thread I was following
We are about to do most of the stack, vista and wing windows in our 76 sovereign. Just buying material now. Pretty daunting and intimidating. But it's gotta get done so here we go :-O

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Old 06-22-2013, 01:32 AM   #3
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1976 31' Sovereign
Melton Mowbray , Leicestershire
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3
Thanks for that, I had not realised that folks tend to like putting the vista units back as original. I am a builder by trade, we fit lots of glass in wooden and upvc frames, true double glazed unit have the air sucked out the cavity, on wooden windows the seal often breaks through movement caused by shrinkage etc. They then mist up and look grim.
I just saw it as a reasonable modification.
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