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Old 05-12-2007, 08:42 AM   #1
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Holy Moly, our new window fell out!!

So there we were, taking an afternoon nap at Watchman Campground on our recent trip to Zion, and suddenly KA-THOOOONG THOOONG THONG! We jumped up to find that one our our brand-new curved side windows from Vintage had actually fallen right out of the clamp, bounced off the metal table beside the rig, and bounced onto the ground! (Note: These are the infamous curved side windows of the 66-67-68 years.)

Thankfully, it didn't break, and we crammed the thing back into the mount and didn't open it for the rest of the trip.

Oh, just to make sure, I went ahead and inspected the other new one we bought, and it was just about to fall out, too!

What gives. Well, it was unusually hot (low 90s), and the tar stuff that I'd gotten from Vintage had become very pliant. But that can't be the whole story, and it isn't!

Inspecting the new new windows, I found that they're a bunch thicker than the originals, hence a good deal heavier. So here's my explanation: You take a much heavier window, seal it with tar that tends to get soft with heat, and clamp it on just from the top, and the thing will pull back out. (And, if you're lucky like we were, it won't break when it hits the ground.)

So what to do? Here's my thought, but I'd sure like to hear ideas from others, too! (Next trip isn't until fall, so there's time!) The idea is to get some kind of hard plastic to go around the side of the window at the top; to glue this plastic piece to the window edge itself; to apply glue on the outside of the plastic piece and put the window into the original 67 clamp. In this way, I alleviate the softening of tar and provide for the extra holding capacity into the clamp that the heavier window requires to stay in place.

Ok, that's the story. Please let me know your ideas!!


Lynn

PS: This is only the first of the problems we had with the Airstream on this trip! I'll explain others in separate posts.
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Old 05-12-2007, 08:47 AM   #2
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That was a bad luck/ good luck combo for sure. I worry about my glass doing that as some of the POs repairs havent always been optimal. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
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Old 05-12-2007, 11:12 AM   #3
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There are adhesives that culd glue the crack of dawn shut. Some of the polyurethanes like vulkem and 3M marine sealant are tenacious. Some traditional automotive glass adhesives are notoriously prone to coldflowing.
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Old 05-12-2007, 11:56 AM   #4
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The original glass windows were very thin and extremely fragile. I know because I accidentally broke one. It makes sense that the replacement windows are thicker and heavier so it also makes sense that they can’t be reliably held in place with just a bead of glue at the top. I‘ve even had a Plexiglass window fall out because the glue was old and brittle. It would be great if there was some type of hardware to actually clamp them in the hinge (glass bar). Barring that, an extra strip of plastic and more glue might be the best fix. It’s definitely a problem that needs a cure.
Btw Lynn, if I’m reading correctly, you used a black tar sealant to glue your windows in the hinges. I used 3M silicon weatherstrip adhesive as the glue when I did the replacement. I think the black tar sealant is just for leak prevention. Steve Hintgen lists detailed installation tips on his web site:
Vintage Trailer Supply - Vintage travel trailer parts and supplies!
I think it was Steve who told me to use the 3M silicon glue but it may have been someone else.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:19 PM   #5
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I can't believe your glass fell out and didn't break! Wow!

Be sure and let us know how you finally fix it. I have one window I need to replace, but I'm waiting until the plexi shows a little more age before I dive into that project.
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Old 05-12-2007, 02:00 PM   #6
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I used the "adhesive bedding tape" (basically a strip of tar on a pull-off tape) to bed the windows. Really needs something better than that. Maybe the strip of plastic held in place by the TremPro 635 fast-curing version of Vulcem would be the best.

I do need to measure the thickness of the new windows and then scour the local hardware scores for appropriate plastic pieces. Another thing for my "Taos list." (I just added it to my list, so now I can post this message.)


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Old 05-12-2007, 02:04 PM   #7
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Oh, I was going to add that we actually need to replace one last window in the rig: The smaller curved one over the kitchen sink is still ancient plexiglass, and it's near death. Might make a good one for some bathroom that needs an opaque window. Or a good filler for the bottom of a dumpster.

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Old 05-12-2007, 03:00 PM   #8
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You're lucky

Soooo lucky it didn't break! I was cleaning window tint from one of my side windows, which was still installed, when it pulled right out of the window bar in my hands. That's what put me on the road of installing new bedding tape in all of my windows. I've been there and done that, so here's what we did:

We put two-sided heavy duty tape over the top of the windowpane, then folded the thick black rubber bedding tape over that, and installed it. No glue, nothing. I've had no problems, and no leaks in heavy rains so far. We gave the windows a good solid tug after installing and they're in good.

If you go to my Flickr pictures there's a pictorial of sorts that shows what we did that prevents our windows from falling out. It's below in my signature.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

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Old 05-12-2007, 07:28 PM   #9
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I would use an aviation sealant like PRC1440B1/2. If you have an FBO (Fixed Base Operator) at a airport near you you can most likely buy some there. It will basically seal and adhere to almost everything. Its kind of spendy at around 20 dollars for 6 Oz's. but worth it. I'm assembling my Globetrotter with it. It will never leak where I use it.
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Old 05-12-2007, 09:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood
I would use an aviation sealant like PRC1440B1/2. If you have an FBO (Fixed Base Operator) at a airport near you you can most likely buy some there. It will basically seal and adhere to almost everything. Its kind of spendy at around 20 dollars for 6 Oz's. but worth it. I'm assembling my Globetrotter with it. It will never leak where I use it.
Humm! Interesting idea! There's an FBO right across the street from us, but maybe my elderly dad has a cheaper source. (He's currently got his Aercoup's wings and tail section off to repaint the whole thing in his garage.)

Thanks for the tip!!

Lynn
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:44 AM   #11
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Just a little more info here. I got out my calipers yesterday and did some measuring. (Hard to do because those little lines and numbers are really hard to read for a person developing lots of near-vision difficulties!) Here's what I found:

Original glass: 1/16th inch thick
New glass: 1/8th inch thick


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Old 05-13-2007, 09:02 AM   #12
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One of the service bulletins I have found stated that a bead of clear silicon caulk should be place along the window / bar joint on the inside and outside to help prevent the window from slipping out. Also it is recommended that the windows be fully opened, not just partial, in weather where the temperatures are above 80 degrees. Seams that this is not a new problem to the Curved Corning window......
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Old 05-13-2007, 03:15 PM   #13
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Hey, the window was wide open when it fell out!

Lynn
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Old 05-13-2007, 03:23 PM   #14
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Probably a bad idea

So, I'm sure that there is a reason why no one has recommended automotive clear RTV? I have used it where shock resistance and adhesiveness are required. Mostly on cars.
One caution about hardware fixtures. I had a similar problem with an Italian car that had a lot of body flex. I devised a piece of hardware to fix the window into the frame. Oops... cracked the window during a race. Maybe just bad engineering but when I used RTV, the window stayed where it was supposed to be. There are many grades of RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanization) that go from mildly adhesive to sticky enough to glue an oil pan on.
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