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Old 04-08-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
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Anyone ever had a window cut to size?

So our "new to us" Airstream has a few outstanding issues we're slowly fixing. One of the bigger issues is the broken back window that was replaced with a CHEAP piece of clear plexi-glass that is all scratched up...

I contacted our local Airstream dealer about buying a new window a few days ago, they took down my VIN and emailed Airstream about the window. Today they called me back and said the window would have to be made (3+ weeks) and would cost $485 plus $100 for shipping... I was like damn, are you going to kiss me first?! Seriously $600 for a flat frameless window? I guess I now know why the PO did a band-aid repair.

So my question to the group, has anyone dealt with a situation like this before? If so what options besides shelling out that sort of money did you go with?

Thanks in advance for your replies!
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:01 PM   #2
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Im re-doing all my windows. The front and back windows are flat. Call around to your local glass company's. I bet you can get a new piece of glass for less than $100.00 installed. It has to be tempered glass.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:44 PM   #3
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Several years ago we replaced the "obscured" glass in our Airstream's door with tinted tempered glass from our local glass company. That piece of glass is, of course, smaller than your rear window, but the price was much, much less than $600.

Tim
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:45 AM   #4
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you could also use laminated safety glass like used in the windshield. If you can handle the thickness of the material a glass shop can cut you a piece to size. They charge quite a bit because I believe that cutting laminated glass is more likely to go badly than just plain float glass.
Bill
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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So I thought I would update this post for future people who might have this issue...

Since I park my Airstream indoors and there was a band-aid fix in place this was not a huge priority for me so I put it on the back burner... Last week one of my employees accidently broke a window at my company so I had to call the glass guys out to replace the broken window. Since I keep my Airstream in my warehouse, while the glass guys were here I took them over and showed them my Airstream and explained my problem. They looked at it and said it was not a problem for them to make me a window. They measured it up and called me the next day with a quote of $195 for the glass cut to size with round corners, beveled edges with the four holes needed for the hardware, tented and tempered. (They explained the tempering process is done after the window is all cut to size) I figured for that price I'd give it a try.

Well three days later they came back with a window that looks as factory as all of the other windows in the Airstream. It took me about 10 minutes to install it and it fits perfectly!
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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Cyberous:

That is good news and I am glad that it can be done by a quality glass company as a field built piece. I had not known it was possible.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelocta View Post
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you could also use laminated safety glass like used in the windshield. If you can handle the thickness of the material a glass shop can cut you a piece to size. They charge quite a bit because I believe that cutting laminated glass is more likely to go badly than just plain float glass.
Bill
The advantage to laminated glass over tempered safety glass is that if it breaks, the broken pieces generally stick together and stay in the frame. Tempered glass, (like a car's roll-up windows) shatters to tiny cube-sized pieces that can be vacuumed up and won't pumcture a tire. Regular glass shatters to long dagger-like pieces and has no business being on a moving vehicle.

Polycarbonate (AKA Lexan) is what they use in aircraft windshields, bulletproof windows, and safety eyeglasses. Great stuff, hard to break, but scratches very easily. Can't break it with a hammer, but you can scratch it with a dry balled-up piece of notebook paper.

Plexiglass (AKA Lucite) is lighter in weight than any of the other options, cuts easily, but doesn't have the same impact or even scratch resistance as polycarbonate. It also expands and contracts more with temperature changes, which can lead to "crazing" if you don't leave gaps all the way around in the frame so it has room to expand.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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I can tell you that Airstream only uses tempered glass. Having a pano window replaced as we speak. It broke into zillions of little cubes as Protagonist describes. I wouldn't have been cut up much at all if human-window interaction had been involved. (okay, okay... it's pricy. But I discovered water on my land and am shipping it to the Southwest)

Safety glass is required in moving vehicles where an occupant might impact the glass. I've got a door with windows either side of the door. Building code required that each of those windows be tempered.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:57 PM   #9
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Perry.

Lexan is also available with a special coating on one or both sides.

We sold it some time ago for glass replacments on th 66, 67 and 68 trailers.

You can, scrub it with steel wool and never scratch it.

We demonstrated that to some of our customers, hundreds of times.

Andy
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