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Old 11-18-2006, 04:44 PM   #1
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Help - '83 Motorhome Rear Corner Window

Hello all,

I must say that I am ashamed to make this post. I have been lurking for several months, but have yet to post because I do not have a lot of experience working on Airstreams. However, as with most people, this forum contains a huge amount of help; and I need some now.

A couple of weeks ago, the family and I went camping. After arriving late (after dark) and having two fussy, tired, hungry children (4 years and 2 months old) I hastily tried to back into a spot. Of course, disaster followed.

A tree limb broke the curb side rear quarter window in my unit. I can't tell you how I felt. Luckily, nothing else was hurt. But I obviously have questions:

1: The big one: Does anyone on the east cost have an extra window laying around? I called the factory and they said that, due to poor quality issues, they do not have any windows available. Furthermore, they do not no when they will; it has been over a year since they have had any available.

2: I removed all of the old glass, and (after reading threads about removing window frames) began to drill old rivets out of the frame. However, I am following the recomendations to start with a small bit and work my way up. The problem, I cannot see where the rivet ends, and the hole begins. I have only drilled out three rivits and decided to quit before more damage is done.

3: Is the frame two peices or one? In other words, I thought that there would be an outer and inner frame sandwitching the glass, but after looking, I can't tell.

Thanks in advance for any help. I hope that this will be an experience that I can help others with in the future.

Oh. By the way... I did use the search function, but haven't found any post pertaining to the rear quarter window in question.

Patrick
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Old 11-18-2006, 05:20 PM   #2
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Patrick,
Welcome! So sorry your first post is about such a sad topic.

I was able to get new windshield from Duncan Systems http://www.duncansys.com/default.asp

I don't know if they have/handle the curved rear glass.


Good luck.
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99
Patrick,
Welcome! So sorry your first post is about such a sad topic.

I was able to get new windshield from Duncan Systems http://www.duncansys.com/default.asp

I don't know if they have/handle the curved rear glass.


Good luck.
Duncan Systems does not have any glass for Airstream or Argosy Trailers or Motorhomes.

Since they are not an authorized Airstream dealer, they must purchase windows from a dealer.

The old style wrap windows has been an issue with Airstream since May of 2006. They simply don't have them due to several reasons, the latest being the glass they received to make them was breaking during assembling them with the metal frames.

They have been looking for another vender for sometime.

We will make an announcement when they in fact are available.

Andy
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Old 11-18-2006, 10:06 PM   #4
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Thank's for the responces. I am still curious if anyone can tell me how to get the frame apart. Is it a two peice frame? Should I be able to pry the outer frame off after removing the rivets?

I will try to take some pictures tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Duncan Systems does not have any glass for Airstream or Argosy Trailers or Motorhomes.

Since they are not an authorized Airstream dealer, they must purchase windows from a dealer.

...

Andy
Be that as it may, my insurance company had me work with them. They obtained the two new windshields I needed (I don't know from whence), shipped them to a glass place near me, and paid for the installation (less my deductable).

Guy
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by The Club
Thank's for the responces. I am still curious if anyone can tell me how to get the frame apart. Is it a two peice frame? Should I be able to pry the outer frame off after removing the rivets?

I will try to take some pictures tomorrow afternoon.
Sorry Patrick,

I've never had one of these apart. Surely someone has ...
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:30 PM   #7
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Patrick,
Welcome to the forum. I had my entry door window replaced by the factory after it was broken into. I've also had the interior window frames off along with bits of the inner skin. While I had not personally removed a rear window I believe that they would be similar to the other windows in the coach in that the outer riveted frame is indeed all there is holding the window into the unit.

I also remember reading that the rear curved windows in motorhome are the same as those used in the front of similar year trailers. If you can confirm this you might be able to open up some more resources for used or salvage windows. In fact, since no one has new replacements you might try Colaws RV Salvage in Carthage Mo, and also try another member here with the screen name RichardT in Bat Cave, NC.

On rivets. Those rivets were buck riveted at the factory. You can use blind olymic rivets to replace, then shave them to match the appearance of the bucked rivets, or if you have the tools, the know how, access to the back of the skin and a buddy to hold a dolly you could use regular rivets again.

There are a number of threads already on drilling out rivets along with replacement. The search should help you on this topic.

Lastly, don't feel bad about this mishap. We've all done something on our Classics that we wish we hadn't. Things happen. Again, welcome.
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Old 11-19-2006, 07:06 AM   #8
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Ouch! That hurt! But at least you didn't get the roof as most folks seem to do. I was going to suggest emailing RichardT but Steven beat me to it.
Good luck with your hunt. The lesson learned is about not being in a hurry to dock ....anywhere, anytime. I tend to back into a lot of places all day every day as I run my rig around. Camp sites make me get out and survey the overhangs and ground for the most level spot prior to backing in.
BTW Welcome to the forums, we're looking forward to getting to know you, your family, and of course your Airstream.... please post some picture of the AS...
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:57 AM   #9
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What a shame. There has to be a replacement for the window somewhere. I do not know if RichardT will have it since he had parts for a 280 without the curved back window. Can you fashion a piece of Plexiglas into the opening while you search for a new window?
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
What a shame. There has to be a replacement for the window somewhere. I do not know if RichardT will have it since he had parts for a 280 without the curved back window. Can you fashion a piece of Plexiglas into the opening while you search for a new window?
Plexiglass is a fragile plastic. It also will not tolerate the sun. It cracks and crazes in short order.

It would be far better to use Lexan. But, Lexan is also flexible and could pop out of the frame.

We have suggested, as a temporary measure, to simply screw the Lexan onto the wrap window frame. A new glass comes with a new frame. Therefore ruining the frame with some screw holes won't really matter when you replace the complete wrap window at a later date.

Attaching the Lexan to the outside of the metal frame also eliminates having to remove the frame. Makes it a simple job.

Of course, apply some sealer between the metal frame and the Lexan.

Using this method eliminates to possibilty of the Lexan popping out.

Andy
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
What a shame. There has to be a replacement for the window somewhere.
Replacement wrap windows for July 99 and prior coaches do not exist at this time.

Airstream has had a very difficult time trying to resolve that problem.

The new glass they recently received was an absolute failure.

Airsteam has been looking for a new vender.

We will be happy to announce when the old style wrap windows will be available, since we have several on order.

Andy
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by guy99
Be that as it may, my insurance company had me work with them. They obtained the two new windshields I needed (I don't know from whence), shipped them to a glass place near me, and paid for the installation (less my deductable).

Guy
Duncan Systems has a contract with several insurance companies to do exactly what they did for you. And, they do it, very well.

They do it much more efficiently than insurance companies can.

They simply confirm coverage, take care of the problem and send a final bill to that insurance company.

One of the few ways to help keep insurance rates down, which helps all of us.

Andy
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:19 PM   #13
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Out with the old...

OK. I had a productive day. I was able to remove the old frame and get everything prepped for replacement. I'll try to be succinct. I did the following:

1: Removed old rivets: Drilled the heads off. Then used a smaller bit to drill through the frame/skin. I will say that I followed advice of punching the old rivets through using a punch, but most of them didn't go all of the way through. I had to re-drill all of the holes to finish the job. I wouldn’t bother with the punch idea next time (and I'm sure there will be a next time)

2: Removed part of the belt-line molding: The molding covered the bottom of the window frame. I had to drill out the rivets and remove part of the molding to get to the window frame. Actually, I was able to remove the rivets within about three feet of either side of the window, and lift the molding up enough to get to the frame rivets. Thus, I avoided having to remove the molding all the way to the door.

3: Removed the old frame: I wonder if what holds our Airstreams together, rivets, or vulcum. It took quite a bit of prying to get the old frame out because of all of the sealant. But it did come out.

4: Clean up: I scraped all of the old sealant off and drilled out all of the rivet holes to be ready for new rivets. I will be vacuuming glass from inside for the rest of my life

A few notes: The frame is not two-piece. At least, not how I thought. I thought that the glass was sandwiched between two frames, but the frame is one piece in that regard. However, the straight side of the frame does come apart. So when I get new glass, I should be able to push the frame around it and re-use the old frame if I need to. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I still need glass. Please help. I have a few emails out, but no luck yet. I will try to order some rivets and sealant this week so that I will be ready to install the new glass. I do hope to replace it with glass, not plastic of any kind. I like to do things right the first time.

Thanks, everyone, for your help.
Patrick
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:26 PM   #14
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. So when I get new glass, I should be able to push the frame around it and re-use the old frame if I need to. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I still need glass. Please help. I have a few emails out, but no luck yet. I will try to order some rivets and sealant this week so that I will be ready to install the new glass. I do hope to replace it with glass, not plastic of any kind. I like to do things right the first time.

Thanks, everyone, for your help.
Patrick
Hate to disappoint you but you cannot get"just the glass."

Airstream "WILL NOT" sell just the glass. They never have and never will, probably because of liability.

When the old style wrap windows become available, I assure you that it "will" come with the metal frame.

Andy
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