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Old 08-11-2009, 12:23 PM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
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Vista View Windows

The UV barrier on the dual-pane vista view windows of my 1972 Overlander had broken down and I was faced with somehow repairing the window or replacing it. The larger window (drivers side) had been "fixed" by some PO klutz and he used steel rivets and silicone. I decided to drill out the rivets and remove it which was no problem at all since the interior skins were off.
From the outside I drilled through the center of the 1/8 rivet with a #30 bit down to the skin and then punched the remaining part of the rivet with a 1/8" punch.

I called Inland RV to see if there were replacements windows available; talked with a very nice lady; and found out that dual pane vista view windows are no longer made - only single pane windows are available and they are expensive. Makes sense as the dual pane windows were clearly a bad mistake.

I decided that if I was going to end up with a single pane window anyway, why not take the vista view to a professional glass place and see if they could remove the inside pane. Turned out the the inside pane is acrylic while the exterior is tempered glass. They easily cut around the edge and removed the acrylic, warning me not to remove the rubber glazing and small band of acrylic remaining after the cutting. Looking at it closely, I found that the inner pane fit into its own track as does the outer, glass pane. I simply removed the rubber glazing and remaining acrylic from the inner pane and essentially have a window ready to reinstall. Since the inner skins are off, I will do this with solid rivets, rivet gun and bucking bar (Aircraft Spruce).

The curb side vista view is still riveted in and with the skins off I will remove the acrylic inner pane with the window still in place. I will use a small trim router and a bit whose guide bushing will ride against the window rim; then discard the inner pane glazing and bits of acrylic.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bhpowell View Post
Turned out the the inside pane is acrylic while the exterior is tempered glass.
I thought both were glass. AS used a bunch of different combinations during the 70s I guess plastic/glass was one of them.
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:41 PM   #3
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Lumatic,

Assuredly, the 27' Overlander I have has inner panes of acrylic. I thought they were glass, too. I'm photographing the process of removing an inner pane with the window in place but don't know how to post images.
BH
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:51 PM   #4
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If you so a search on this forum, you'll find some other folks have done a similar *fix*. There is at least one photo documentation of the process. Though I don't think they've used a router to complete the repair. Thanks for supporting this method - as I've read those posts until I was blue in the face. And was a little hesitant of their method of breaking the interior pane. (some models do have a glass pane too). I'm still trying to get the courage to do it - so I just leave my covers closed.

I've also been looking for a fix for the plastic sliders that the covers move on. Mine are cracked and prevent the covers from sliding up/down smoothly. Those parts are no longer available either. I haven't found any creative fixes for those....

Please post your pics of your job and good luck. Hope your second window goes as smoothly.

Laura
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:36 AM   #5
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Vista view slider repair

Funkill,
Having had a lot of experience building all or part of several composite aircraft (Rutan Long-EZ), I rely on fiberglass and epoxy for many of the repairs. I've strengthened most all the bathroom fixtures and the kitchen window trim which holds the shade. I will need to similarly repair the trim for the vista view sliders plus the window trim on either side of the front window. It's not difficult. You can find the fiberglass at Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. I use a 5-oz (per sq yard) bi-directional glass which comes about 38" wide. I use MAS epoxy which I obtain from an on-line boat supply in Georgia. Do not use polyester resin. The MAS epoxy is less expensive than most, is a bit less viscous so it wets out easily and the cure time for the "slow" hardener is around 8 hrs. You get 30-45 minutes of working time and can knife trim the glass edges in 4 hrs. Use dacron tape for transition and on the edges.
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:59 AM   #6
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Vista view, removing inner pane

Laura,
Decide if your inner vista view is glass or plastic. If it is glass, it will probably be tempered glass. That is easy to break our. Borrow one of those automatic center punches from someone if you don't have one. Apply contact paper on the glass surface. Place the center punch tool down in a corner of the glass and "pop" a center punch mark there. Chances are the whole glass will shatter into small pieces. The contact paper keeps it from flying everywhere. Removing acrylic would require that you do it in such a way that you do not contact the outside pane. I opted for a router as I have several and have lots of experience. You could also use a dremel tool but in all cases, be very careful. I built a template out of 1/2" plywood to guide the router. My interior skins are off so it's a bit easier than if they were not. The plywood template's outer edge matches the outer edge of the window; inner template edge is about 1-1/4" inside the outer edge so the template is essentially an oval of 1/2" plywood. The router bit has a ball bearing guide the same diameter as the cutter (1/4" dia) and is above the cutter (between cutter and router). Affix the template to the window with double-sided tape and add some "gorilla tape" to help hold it on. The acrylic is 1/8" thick so adjust the router so the bit barely cuts through the acrylic. The guide bushing contacts the inner template margin. With the initial setup you will be able to cut the top and bottom of the acrylic. Ends are tricker as the windows are curved. You will need to carefully increase the depth of the router setting for the ends but take care not to get back to the initial cut or the bit might get into the outer pane. Just go slowly and carefully. I'll try to figure out how to post pictures.
BH
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:38 PM   #7
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Wow BH - thanks for the info. I have worked, very limitedly, with fiberglass. It's an idea.
I have a dremmel but never did get a router (on my Christmas list for years) since I dropped most my home DIY for trailer and figured it wouldn't be a highly regarded tool. But my daddy has one. And he's quite handy with it. Sounds like a father/daughter project!
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:17 PM   #8
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I have had the same vista view problems with my 77 Excella. The center punch idea sounded great, so I tried it out. Important tip: upper inside windows are NOT safety glass. You have a very good chance (read about 100%) of shattering the outer glass with the punch. Anybody got a vista view window for sale? There is another thread in which the procedure is to use a flat head screw driver with a hammer to gently break the inner pane and then remove it in pieces. Very sharp pieces. This sounds worse than it actually is if you take your time and don't go near the outer pane. Having tried both, I'd stay away from the punch. Oh well, if it were easy, it probably would have already been done!
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhpowell View Post
Laura,
Decide if your inner vista view is glass or plastic. If it is glass, it will probably be tempered glass. That is easy to break our. Borrow one of those automatic center punches from someone if you don't have one. Apply contact paper on the glass surface. Place the center punch tool down in a corner of the glass and "pop" a center punch mark there. Chances are the whole glass will shatter into small pieces. The contact paper keeps it from flying everywhere. Removing acrylic would require that you do it in such a way that you do not contact the outside pane. I opted for a router as I have several and have lots of experience. You could also use a dremel tool but in all cases, be very careful. I built a template out of 1/2" plywood to guide the router. My interior skins are off so it's a bit easier than if they were not. The plywood template's outer edge matches the outer edge of the window; inner template edge is about 1-1/4" inside the outer edge so the template is essentially an oval of 1/2" plywood. The router bit has a ball bearing guide the same diameter as the cutter (1/4" dia) and is above the cutter (between cutter and router). Affix the template to the window with double-sided tape and add some "gorilla tape" to help hold it on. The acrylic is 1/8" thick so adjust the router so the bit barely cuts through the acrylic. The guide bushing contacts the inner template margin. With the initial setup you will be able to cut the top and bottom of the acrylic. Ends are tricker as the windows are curved. You will need to carefully increase the depth of the router setting for the ends but take care not to get back to the initial cut or the bit might get into the outer pane. Just go slowly and carefully. I'll try to figure out how to post pictures.
BH
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:59 PM   #9
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After reading the post discussing the use of a Dremel tool to rout and cut away the the plexiglass inner pane on the Vista View windows. I realized that my other hobby, building 5 string banjos might provide a tool to do this job. You see, my 1976 Airstream has the same problem with the Vista View windows that many in the forum have. After reading a members quote about cutting ( routing) the plexi glass out with a small cutting bit in a dremel tool, I realized I had just the ticket for this little task. It's a finger router I use to do my pearl inlay on my banjo projects. It is powered by a Foredom Flex-shaft motor. It is able to do very close, and precise work, and just might be the solution to this task. You can take a peek at this little honey at Stewart McDonald Guitar shop supply. Stewmac.com
I won't be attemping the project till spring, but look forward to givin it a try.

Mike
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Joebanjo View Post
After reading the post discussing the use of a Dremel tool to rout and cut away the the plexiglass inner pane on the Vista View windows. I realized that my other hobby, building 5 string banjos might provide a tool to do this job. You see, my 1976 Airstream has the same problem with the Vista View windows that many in the forum have. After reading a members quote about cutting ( routing) the plexi glass out with a small cutting bit in a dremel tool, I realized I had just the ticket for this little task. It's a finger router I use to do my pearl inlay on my banjo projects. It is powered by a Foredom Flex-shaft motor. It is able to do very close, and precise work, and just might be the solution to this task. You can take a peek at this little honey at Stewart McDonald Guitar shop supply. Stewmac.com
I won't be attemping the project till spring, but look forward to givin it a try.

Mike
Hey Mike,

If you haven't read it already, here's a link to BH's article on this subject.

Removing the Inner Pane of Vista View Windows

It's very informative, has some good photographs, and should help you with your project. The finger router sounds like a good tool.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:56 PM   #11
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Don't have the tools or skill, I just keep the cover shut.
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:30 PM   #12
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bhpowell,

Thanks very much, this is a great repair I can do next spring.

Aage
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:48 PM   #13
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Those Vista View Windows...

My 74 Trade Wind has shed the UV coating from both vista view windows and I was thinking of drilling a 1/4" hole at the bottom, through the acrylic and a 1/4" hole at the top, through the acrylic and using a vacuum at the bottom hole to suck out the shed UV coating??? Comments please, or past experience with this problem. I'd like not to replace or even remove the windows.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:49 PM   #14
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My 74 Trade Wind has shed the UV coating from both vista view windows and I was thinking of drilling a 1/4" hole at the bottom, through the acrylic and a 1/4" hole at the top, through the acrylic and using a vacuum at the bottom hole to suck out the shed UV coating??? Comments please, or past experience with this problem. I'd like not to replace or even remove the windows.
I took one of mine apart and replaced the inner Plexiglas. The UV coating was still very much attached to the outer glass piece in many areas and had to be scrapped to remove. I doubt you would be very happy with the results.
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