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Old 07-03-2016, 09:24 PM   #1
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Raleigh , North Carolina
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Shattered Window - 69 Globetrotter

I shattered the little, fixed window on the front of the trailer (pic below)

I'm 4 months into a 12 month trip, a long way from my shop at home and only a few days from pushing into Glacier.

I'd love to hear some perspective on my plan to repair the window on the road. This will be new to me, as will removing and replacing rivets, so all advice for a newbie is welcomed.

My plan is to remove the pop rivets on the inside as it seems the aluminum trim piece will slide out, exposing the glass. Right?

I'm guess that the glass will be curved, not rectangular. Any ideas where I can find specs on glass?

I can get to a Home Depot, so the plan is to get tempered glass of the right thickness there and find someone or some way to get it cut to size.

It appears I'll need to make reuse of the little gasket / seal that I can see between the glass and aluminum. Should I use any window glazing or other material to prevent leaks?

The last step would be to buy a rivet gun and rivets from Home Depot and put the trim back, which I assume will be what keeps the glass and everything else in place.

If I'm about to walk off a cliff, please someone tackle me.

Thank you!
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Old 07-04-2016, 08:50 AM   #2
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It appears the worst to be true, I'll have to make this repair from the outside based on this tutorial. Yikes.

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Old 07-04-2016, 11:42 AM   #3
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Plexiglass and silver/gray duct tape will get you through till you are in a better position to fix it correctly. That is a long trip you are on and I can imagine you don't want it done halfway for to long. Good luck.

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Old 07-05-2016, 08:22 AM   #4
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Sorry for your misfortune!

With its tempered glass and no BS gasket that panel is sold as an assembly, OEM assembly includes using a hydraulic press to force the glass into the frame that is not achievable by the end-user. That is a flat window and is available complete for around $300 at VintageTrailerSupply internet vendor, though they do come up for less on eBay and/or Craigslist.

If you have the itch to do a quick repair battle know it's going to take more effort to puzzle in a sheet of Lexan since either method should* involve interior liners off, remove weatherproofing caulk, cut rivets, remove piece, reglaze the frame and reinstall rivets & caulk.

Either way if you're not able to buck the solid rivets in order a few extra Olympic Shaveable Rivets as the clamping wings that spread do not always do as they're supposed to the first time, an obstruction or uneven inner surface and they can leave wonderful little gaps that siphons whole rainstorms into the interior.

If you really want to get it back on the road ASAP - lexan and double-sided VHB (very high bond) foam tape, round the edge of the acrylic sheet to get rid of sharp edges - and a very little caulk meandering the periphery to prevent water from reaching the foam tape...

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Old 07-05-2016, 01:27 PM   #5
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Taos , New Mexico
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Replacing the glass is the easy part - it's the buck riveting that you have to do to get it back in place. I agree with the plexiglass idea as a temp fix then get it professionally done. You will be happier in the long term (spoken from experience with my 69 Safari - unfortunately).
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:02 PM   #6
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1969 21' Globetrotter
Seattle & Olympic Peninsula , Washington
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Had a similar situation on my 69. We cut down a plastic bin lid duct taped the heck out of it until we could make it back home to the garage.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the input.

I'm going the plexi / duct tape route to get through Glacier and am calling around to see if I can find a pro to replace it in Montana/Washington/Oregon in a few weeks.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:44 AM   #8
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I agree with the plexiglass or lexan with duct tape for short term. I have the question on what caused it to break so I can avoid it happening to me.
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:15 PM   #9
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1974 25' Tradewind
Calgary , Alberta
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Originally Posted by Mwkelley View Post
I can get to a Home Depot, so the plan is to get tempered glass of the right thickness there and find someone or some way to get it cut to size.
Tempered glass has to be cut to shape by the shop that does the tempering - you can't impact the edge of the glass after it's made without breaking the window (again into lots of small pieces).

Our '74 Tradewind also had a smashed vista window, and we had the double-pane style where the inside pane is plastic and retained with an aluminum snap ring. I provided a local glass shop with a template, and they made me two new windows exactly to size including the corner radii.

To mount the glass, I got the Tremco Polyshim tape that has an EPDM rubber ring embedded in it; one layer of tape seals the aluminum mounting flange to the new glass, the second layer goes between the glass and the inner plexiglas piece; then the aluminum snap ring retains the whole thing together.

This may be tough for you to arrange while on the road - it took about a week to get the glass since it was custom made, and the shim tape took a couple of days to ship from Edmonton to Calgary, by mail. If I were you I would go to Home Depot, get a sheet of 0.090" Lexan, cut it to shape with heavy duty shears, and use some weather resistant caulk to set it in place. It will last your trip, easily, and look good.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:55 AM   #10
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Stream racer, my theory on how we broke it, though I'm not completely sure. There is a small bookshelf below the window. We had several large children's books on the shelf leaning against the wall and, apparently, the glass. We got jostled a bit entering a construction zone, and I think the books slammed into the glass. It was at this time that I looked in the side view mirror and saw shattered glass streaming. I thought the glass pieces were water until I could pull over on the shoulder.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:53 PM   #11
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Blenheim , Ontario
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Possibly as you went threw the construction site a passing vehicle squeezed a stone with its tires in your direction.

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