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Old 06-17-2003, 06:00 PM   #1
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Vista windows "filmy"

My '73 Sovereign, 31', has what appears to be loose film in the interior of the vista windows. I tried a search of the TomP archives, but returned nothing.

What is it?
What can I do about it?

Someplace between two of the windows (I think, it is the window caulking itself), I have a leak, which has rotted the plywood floor. I assume I won't have to remove these windows to caulk the leak, but if I need to remove them to fix the film inside I want to do it before I get to caulking!
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Old 06-17-2003, 09:08 PM   #2
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For info on repair, check out http://home.att.net/~n7kt/vview.html This article will tell you everything you always wanted to know
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Old 06-17-2003, 09:10 PM   #3
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Im assuming your vista views are the thermo pane type Im not certain about your year. I have fixed 3 on my 77 .It is a job but you can handle it . First it costs about 250 if you break it .I broke 2 .If you just want to fix a leak, clean it good and use vulkem .If you want to fix it , you can break the inner pane and leave the outer pane intact. its not easy and prepare yourself for failure . Im a talented ,handy guy . and I broke 2 out of 3 . The vista views are still available through the dealer ,should you fail . you need a rivit gun olympic rivits ,vulkem ,3m double faced tape and a rivit shaver to to the job right .It took me about 4 hours to take the old one out and install a new window . The new ones are single pane . good luck.
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Old 06-18-2003, 03:45 PM   #4
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mtbob, I tried the web page, but got a "content blocked" message. Perhaps AT&T will let me in later.

art, it sounds like I can live with the filmy stuff inside the "thermopane"-like window. I am waiting on two tubes of Vulkem 636. When that comes, I'll scrape out the old and apply new. The idea of trying to break one pane - and not the other - doesn't appeal to me!

BTW, what is the film?
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Old 07-02-2003, 11:57 PM   #5
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I have that same film on my 76 overlander. It looks like a bad sunburn with skin flaking off. It's curling up in some places. Appears to be possibly a very light window tint? It made a mess of my windows (just the wing windows). Some of the other windows in the camper have what appears to be water vapor between the glass and it's cloudy and you can't see out. If you decide to break one layer of glass out, a spring loaded machinest type punch would work good I would think.
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Old 07-03-2003, 09:28 AM   #6
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I just fixed one of mine on my 73 31'. This weekend I am fixing the other 4 (!). If was relatively easy on my trailer. I have the plexiglass inner pane that has to be removed. I will be taking digital pictures and will try to load the process onto the forum sometime next week.

BTW the window film was applied by Airstream. You can simply scrape it off with a razor blade once the inner pane is out. I completely removed the glass from the frame on mine so I could work on it easier. I did not remove the frame though.

Tripp
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Old 07-03-2003, 06:57 PM   #7
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...a data reference!

Tripp, thanks for the info. I am on the track of some gasket to repair mine.

FYI, check out this URL for details on the VistaView windows (info is about half-way down the list of FAQ's.

http://www.airstream.net/FAQ/FAQ_8.html
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Old 07-04-2003, 06:43 AM   #8
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Tripp
[B]I just fixed one of mine on my 73 31'. This weekend I am fixing the other 4 (!). If was relatively easy on my trailer. I have the plexiglass inner pane that has to be removed. I will be taking digital pictures and will try to load the process onto the forum sometime next week.

Howdy Tripp,
I for one will be waiting to see your pictures.
The V Vs on my 75 are going to need to be done and if I can watch you do yours first I just might take on the job myself.
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Old 07-05-2003, 11:37 PM   #9
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I took one apart on my 75 yesterday.
It had the snap ring that holds the glass in place. Plexiglass inner,
tempered glass outer. I didn't have any silicone or vulkem to put it back in with so I used plumbers putty as a temp fix and will bring vulkem with me when I go back next weekend.
By cousin has been a body man for many years so I brought the glass over to him to see about getthing the film off. He handed me a razor blade and some 00 steel wool.
Steel wool?? Really?
"Yep" he insisted.
Worked real good for getting all the small spots off after scraping with the razor.
Didn't hurt the glass at all.
I am going to bring some new plexiglass and make new inner windows. The old ones are smudged and a little cloudy.
The snap ring will be an issue to get to fit perfectly again as it wants to sag a bit after reinstalling it.
Even with the old plexi it looks ten times clearer than before.
Pilgrim your link was excellent.
MTBob your's doesn't work for me.
Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2003, 05:22 AM   #10
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...window fixin' gasket

I called Can-Am RV (http://www.can-am-rv.com/) and Steve in their parts department is sending me the required gasket to fix the windows that way instead of with Vulkem. Gasket material will be about $2.80 USD ($4.00 Canadian).

After consultation with Andy Thomson, who authored the article referenced above in the thread, the "silver silicone sealant" is not Vulkem. He recommends using a grey or silver tinted silicone available in most any auto/home supply store. Apparently, after super-cleaning the aluminum channel, you apply the sealant to the inside of the outer lip of the channel, then push the cleaned glass into the sealant. The gasket material replaces both the inner plexiglass and the aluminum snap ring.

I, too, will get some digital photos posted, as soon as I get the gasket.
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Old 07-06-2003, 07:33 AM   #11
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Pilgrim,
I did think it would be a good idea to eliminate the plexiglass inner window but I didn't know what I could find for a decent gasket that would be the right width/thickness to install so that you don't have an ugly looking interior to the window.
I'll be real interested in following your progress.
The other thing I've been thinking about is the front wrap around windows on mine are the "thermoPain" also and very steamy inside.
If a guy could remove the inner window and use a gasket like you are using for your V V with just one piece of glass.
Again, I would like it to look nice inside after I'm done.
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:31 PM   #12
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I'm going to post the following text which came from the vintage mailing list archives and was very helpful for me. I'll credit the source: Andy from Can/Am RV. For what it's worth, he was right on the money with respect to my '72!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Andy@can-am-rv.com

Glad to be of assistance. We have been fixing these windows using this
method for about 15 years with good success and no leaks.

We have had a gasket material custom made to fill the space in the frame
when the inner glass is removed. This material costs $3.00 Canadian or
$2.00 U.S. per foot to purchase if you would like some you can order it
from Sandy (parts@can- am-rv.com or 800 709 2931) and have it shipped
UPS. You need the smaller size for snap ring windows and the larger for
windows without the snap ring on the inside.

All of this is done without removing the aluminium frame from the
trailer thereby not disturbing the original caulking where the frame
fastens to the trailer shell.

WEAR SAFETY GLASSES AND GLOVES. It does not happen very often but every
once in a while one of the outer safety glasses explodes, it will throw
glass 100' if it does.

1972:
The first year Double Pane Vista View Windows were available was 1972
and these trailers actually had a plastic inner pane with its own frame.
So on a 72 you can remove the inner vista view pane and just clean off
the damaged tint on the inside of the outer pane. It is quit simple and
the finished product looks good.

Snap ring windows; 1973 & 1974 a few early 75's

These windows have an aluminium snap ring on the inside which is fairly
easy to remove. Once it is out you can pry out the plastic inner pane
and start cleaning out the caulking around the edges eventually you will
be able to push the outer pane through to the inside and remove it
completely.

Clean the inside of the frame out completely and wipe it with a solvent
so that it is totally clean, make certain that the solvent does not run
down the outside of the unit and damage the lacquer. Next clean the
glass off completely (you can remove the remains of the old tint with a
razor blade) and wipe it off with a solvent such as lacquer thinner as
well.

Coat all of the inside surfaces of the window frame with about a 1/8"
thick layer of silver silicone sealant. Take the clean glass and push
it into the silicone and then push in the rubber gasket(smaller size)
that will take up the extra space in the frame. Then all that is
necessary is to clean off the excess silicone on the inside and out and
let the remainder harden. The trailer should be kept dry for 6 hours
and not be towed for 48 hours.

1975-1984 Non Snap Ring Windows - Glass Inner Pane.

These windows are the most difficult to do. The inner pane is glass set
in the gooiest caulking you have ever seen. First you need to break the
inner pane with a hammer and a screw driver near the edge, don't go
through and break the outer pane. The larger chunks of glass in the
middle will drop out easily but the small shards of glass stuck in the
caulking need to be pulled out one at a time with pliers.

There is a soft plastic moulding in the frame that goes from the outside
of the outer pane through to the inside of the frame, you will see a lip
of it on between the outer frame and the glass. Cut the lip off of the
outside by running a sharp knife all around the inside edge of the
frame. Then it you grab the moulding on the inside with pliers you can
pull it out of the frame with the last of the glass pieces and the gooey
caulking.

Unlike the snap ring windows the outer glass will not come out through
the inside frame so you need to clean the glass and the frame with it in
there loose. Clean the inside of the frame out completely and wipe it
with a solvent so that it is totally clean, make certain that the
solvent does not run down the outside of the unit and damage the
lacquer. Next clean the glass off completely (you can remove the
remains of the old tint with a razor blade) and wipe it off with a
solvent such as lacquer thinner as well.

Coat all of the inside surfaces of the window frame with about a 1/8"
thick layer of silver silicone sealant. Take the clean glass and push
it into the silicone and then push in the rubber gasket (larger size)
that will take up the extra space in the frame. Then all that is
necessary is to clean off the excess silicone on the inside and out and
let the remainder harden. The trailer should be kept dry for 6 hours
and not be towed for 48 hours.


There you have it. It is not a job for the faint hearted but it is more
tedious than difficult. When it is done with the rubber gasket in place
it looks professional, like the factory made it that way. If you do not
wish to attempt the operation yourself we can do it for you here at
Can-Am but the labor can add up if you have several windows to do.

If you need anything clarified please feel free to E mail any time.

Thanks
Andy
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:41 PM   #13
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Smile

Here's a couple of pictures from my recent Vista View Re-incarnation. I call it that because the prior owner had cut out some aluminum to cover the outside of the window and hide the ugly peeling and slightly moist windows on the streetside of the coach. The aluminum was sealed with double sided tape and held in place by aluminum brackets riveted to the window frame. A pretty good piece of backyard engineering! But I wanted light!!!!

Per the above reference, you can see that the '72 had the plexiglass inner 'pane' held in place inside of it's own pocket of the frame. It had to be broken to remove. What you see in this picture is about 1/2 of the inner pane gone, the gasket which surrounded the inner pane hanging out and the ugly peeling on the remaining intact half.
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:54 PM   #14
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Cool

Here's a shot of the work in progress. The window on the left has been re-incarnated and the one on the right has been stripped of it's aluminum "shade" on the outside and is awaiting the breakout of the plexi on the inside.

I'm not very mechanically inclined, so you may not want to follow my directions on how to get out the inner pane, but here goes. WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES AND THICK GLOVES (I'm an ER Doc--so don't ask!).

Make a small incision in the inner pane somewhere near the mid-portion of the window with dremel tool. Insert beveled end of small wood chisel. Pry until breakage occurs. Remove small fragment. Make another incision along fracture line extending from this area and pry again until a new fracture forms. Continue until you have enough glass out to slide each window end toward the middle. Carefully grab the mid-line of the glass between the two frames vertically and pull. It'll either twist out, or break down the middle. Repeat for other end. Scape inside of outer window and wash. Clean up all of the filmy stuff that comes out and makes a mess...a drop cloth is a good idea!

Enjoy "new" window! You may have to wear shades now!

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