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Old 07-24-2005, 11:02 AM   #1
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Vista view installation-help!

hi all- The PO of my '72 international had to replace or re-do one of the upper vista-view windows, and they accomplished this by simply glomming it up in there with about a gallon of gooey caulk. I have the glass out, the opening all cleaned up, and need to know the right way to install it. They also had another inner layer of plexiglass glommed up in there the same way. I have the metal trim ring that apparently holds that in. So- what is the right way to do this? 2 other quickies: where might I find a key for the water intake port, and can the bumper (bent back, cracked, on one end) be fixed? thanks- tphan
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:58 AM   #2
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There are several threads here with pictures about how to deal with the vista view windows. Usually the inner pane is removed. The techniques to set the outer pane in place with the trim ring vary depending upon version. Do a search, If I remember right there were some very good pictorals.

As far as bumpers, Dave's trailer
http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/me...m/gallery.html
has one that got caught on something and pretty well ragged up. We were able to beat it back into some semblance of shape but will need to do something about the tear where the frame bolt was attached. It appears that a bit of creative leveraging and hammer work can be useful on misbehaving bumpers. They don't appear to be all that brittle.

For the water intake port, I'd suggest replacing the lock. You can find cabinet locks at most hardware stores that will work. Or, even better, (if yours is like mine) replace the access so that you get a cap on the fill and better protection.
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:11 PM   #3
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vista view re-do

hey bryan, and thanks- I did find some older threads on this, but oddly enough NOT when I searched for "vista view window replacement"- so just went with "window replacement" and then all kinds of stuff came up. Appreciate the help and guidance, as am an A/S owner only by about 2 weeks and new to this great forum. Maybe in about a year I can post some helpful replies, not just questions! Later....
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:49 AM   #4
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Hi tphan, welcome to Airstreaming. Seventies style.*

* In some respects it is a whole different game.


A long time back I came across a question regards the Vista Views, Maybe here but maybe on some other forum, (probably VAC forum which is now the VAL forum). Anyhow it pointed to another private website where some good Airstreamer had kindly placed a pretty good write-up on these windows.

Here is the old URL but I think it is now defunct.

http://homeatt.net/~n7kt/vview.html

The article was titled :
"The Infamous Vista View Windows"
I printed out a copy of it but didn't copy the pictures.

It states that in 1972 the Vista Views were unique in that that year only, the plastic inner liner had its own frame and that by removing that you can just clean off the delaminated tint from the inside outer glass. It also states that '72 was the first year for the Vista Views. It does not address total removal of the whole window unit though.

It says that '73,'74, and early '75 Airstream changed to the "snap ring" style of Vista Views.

It sounds like you have already removed your VV's completely.
Man that was alot of rivet removal wasn't it?
Guess all the caulk was to attack a leak. Did the PO actually remove the whole VV you think? I guess there is an outside chance that a PO added VV's to a trailer that came without them.

As to the Water Door lock; there are numerous threads concerning the keys for it. Apparently it is a simple keyway and there are just a few (maybe only one) different keys that fit it. i.e. lots of other trailer owners could furnish you a key copy.
Removing and replacing the lock is another story and I need to do just that, but doing so is not so simple IMHO.
DO NOT drill out the Cylinder except as a VERY LAST resort.


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Old 07-25-2005, 10:23 AM   #5
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Do I read this to say that a '72 doesn't need to have the inner pane broken?
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Old 07-25-2005, 10:59 AM   #6
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Vista Views

You can also pm PizzaChop. He has taken the vista view windows out to clean and they look really good!
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Old 07-25-2005, 11:35 AM   #7
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Vista Views

Mine are mid to late 75 and are the one piece pains Mine were leaking around the gray "rubber" (or what ever it was) gasket. I used the "break the interior pane out and reseal" method on 2 of mine, one inadvertently got broken There are 57 rivets holding that sucker in. I know I personally drilled out and replaced everyone of them what really got me PO'ed was the fact that the brand new single pane Vista View that cost about $250...leaked! From the glass seal to the frame! and I was not about to tear it back apart. Sealed it like I sealed the rest of the windows...cut the gasket back flush with the frame and resealed it with Vulkem...Now no leaks...at least there

Aaron
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:13 PM   #8
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Does it have to be Vulkem?

hi all, and thanks for the collective wisdom. I did not take out the riveted exterior frame, just the 2 pieces of "glass", from the inside. It had the trim ring arrangement holding it all in, plus a bucket of silicone. I scraped off the disintegrating film on the inside of the exterior glass with a sharp razor blade, now it is clear like new. I have cleaned off the goo from the frame, and am ready to put the glass back in. I picked up some gray putty-like gasket material, in a coil, from a generic RV store today, since I couldn't find any Vulkem. IS IT OK TO USE THIS?? i WANT TO DO THIS ONCE, THE RIGHT WAY! I then plan on NOT re-installing the interior plexiglass, as advised in most threads. I noticed that my other VV is the other style, with no removable trim ring to facilitate glass removal- what the? Anyway, it's all fun- beats most other work. Later- tphan
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:58 PM   #9
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tphan I am confused.

Are you telling us there were 3 panes of glass and 1 pane of plexiglass in your Vista View? Surely not!

Are we discussing the roof edge VV or the lower Belt rail area window which is shaped alot like the VViews? I'm not sure those are actually called Vista Views.

The outer glass on the upper VVs is slightly curved (Concave or is it Convex?).
I have read that there are NO replacement panes available ANYWHERE.
You can buy a whole new window from Airstream, but I am not sure it is the same size or shape exactly.
Do you agree that your outer glass is slightly curved?
If you got the outer (curved) pane out without breaking it you are a lucky guy.

I would check with a auto glass shop as to the best bedding stuff.
I do not think plain rope caulk is what they use. Actully you can buy Vulkem at many glass companies (and contractor supply stores in larger cities). But be aware there are many varieties of Vulkem. Some are not what you need.
Vulkem is well covered on this forum in many places. Also read the big Caulking and Sealant thread.


Please specify the location of the different windows that you are describing.
I would be shocked that the upper VV's are different. Are you comparing a lower and an upper?

Also DO NOT discard or LOSE or BEND the Snap rings that you won't need to re-use.
I suspect they are absolutely not available. You might sell them, if not and you don't want them, put my name at top of the gimme list please.

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Old 07-25-2005, 10:03 PM   #10
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Hi I hope I can contribute here. Im new here, but I have a lot of experience with Vista Windows (refurbished 5 of them successfully on my 78 Excella thanks to what I learned here). Anyhow I strongly recommend using VULKEM for sealing your Vista Windows against the aluminum frames. VULKEM is very easy to work with and all Windows Ive repaired have remained 100% watertight. Its the right material for the job. If you cannot find it locally, order it - the short wait will be worth it and the job will be done right the first time as you say. Please stay away from Silicone and any other sealants as results could be unpredictable. I know its tempting to use stuff available from your local RV, Hardware Store or Home Depot, but do it right. Im not sure if the "coil" putty you bought will work. There is another sealant used by Airstreamers called Silkaflex (I think), but I have no experience with it. Hope this helps !!
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Old 07-26-2005, 10:13 AM   #11
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thanks hitnmiss and alte797- sorry for the confusing description- 1 outer piece of real glass, one inner piece of plexi or similar. The outer glass came out so easy without breaking because it was just caulked in to the frame, and poorly. The PO had redone it, reasons unknown. (he also left me a FULL blackwater tank!) I may re-use the trim ring to hold everything in, or for looks, even though at this point I do not plan on re-using the inner plexi. If I don't, I will let you have it. BTW, I am talking about an upper, curved, VV. The other smaller one, next to the door, under the awning, is the one that appears to not be the snap-ring set-up- but I haven't really gotten into it yet, one thing at a time. I WILL get the vulkem, thanks for advice!! Gotta go out and replace 2 more skylight lids, which BTW I am doing by getting somewhat generic (but cheap: $10) Jensen lids and riveting the 2 A/S mounting brackets to. Will also call around for a deco 1 water port key- hope it's that easy. thanks again- tphan
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Old 07-26-2005, 11:14 AM   #12
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Make sure you clean the aluminum frame where the glass window will rest. Run a generous bead of Vulkem on the inside of the frame, then "mush" the window into it. I used some masking tape on the outside to keep the sealant neat, then finished it off by smoothing over with a popsicle stick. Then removed the masking tape. It holds well and takes several hrs to dry. I used Vulkem 116, Vulkem 616 is also good.

NOTE : I know you have a '72 and I realize that yours has different Vista Views. I believe you have an inner plexi window with its own frame. I would imagine you will need to keep that inner window and/ or its frame / trim in place as a "spacer" to "hold" the outer glass window in place ?.

PS : Another note - The lower belt windows are safety glass and they shatter really easy - take care, be gentle and everything will be fine !

Regards Rob
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:44 AM   #13
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tphan I agree with Rob about keeping the trim rings as assurance against the real glass being able to back up with shake rattle & roll plus heat & cold expansion/contraction.

and LET ME SAY IT AGAIN..(for any latter day readers of this thread)...
NEVER NEVER NEVER DISCARD THOSE SNAP IN TRIM RINGS.

For those Cialis moments or just to set the mood for remembering them...
You may someday decide to replace the plexi with a colored decorative plastic pane that is still available but hard to find.
It is sort of like the stuff that the rediculous shower door in some rear baths used. It used to come in many colors and designs. Seventy era stuff. But still many uses. Just not many sales.

Another trick is to find some discarded or remnant sheet vinyl floor covering and cut (probably need double) a "ring" of it using the snap ring as a template, and insert it back to snug up to the real glass window. Layer the vinyl cut outs to approximate the thickness of the replaced plexiglass.

Another and maybe easier trick is to get some small diameter vacuum hose from the auto parts store. Not sure which of the many sizes will work best. (Experiment) .
And place it between the ring and the glass as a filler. It will of course compress some and someone reported it does a fine job too. Might drive you to drink trying to get it to stay in til you snap the ring back in I suspect.

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Old 07-27-2005, 09:30 AM   #14
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Flicka- I love the "70's mood lighting" idea- now am wondering where to find a disco glitter ball that won't be a head-bumper. But you do raise an interesting suggestion, that of altering the clear transparency of the VV's. You could even totally foil over the inside of the VV glass, and use that little niche for a strip or track light, spice rack, or you could put in a piece of that suspended ceiling semi-transparent stuff to diffuse flourescent lights- Who says you have to be able to see out of these things?? There's plenty of other windows to look out of. Like you suggest, I will "experiment" with this, maybe having several removable (with velcro??) panels to take the place of the old inner layer of plexi. Thanks for the ideas!! Do you also have experience with re-doing those curved windows either side of the main front window?? In my '72, these also are cloudy, dirty, and ugly inbetween panes. But they look like a bear to take apart- Maybe I'll just glue aluminum foil to the inside and call it good. Later...tim
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