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Old 11-25-2002, 10:20 AM   #1
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Mystery window or Haunted Airstream.....

Some years ago a friend of ours had a '68 Overlander. While on a hunting trip in the boonies, we were all by the campfire (outside temp. 38-40 degrees) when all of a sudden his curb side bedroom window EXPLODED! The only thing I could think of was that the inside was toasty warm and the outside temp. dropped fast enough to shatter it. Any ideas? Oscar

PS It blew from the inside outward.
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:55 AM   #2
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Pressure

Sounds like The window frame had an exceptional amount of pressure applied to it.

Maybe from "Bottom Sag" or the running gear could have been out of balance and the skin could have shifted during travel.
The pressure of the skin shift could have been exerted on the window frame and eventually buckeled under the pressure.

I have heard of windows cracking and or exploding from sudden temperature changes but tempered glass will typically crack or "spider web"

Shatterring and or exploding glass is derived from extreme pressure being applied to the side of the glass, (the thin side), towards the center.

It is remotely possible that if the leveler jacks were excessively lowered, an increased amount of pressure could be applied to the trailer and if the pressure was not equal from forward to rear or side to side, something is going to give.

These theories are all speculation and not to be misinterpreted.

Smily
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Old 11-25-2002, 11:15 AM   #3
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Split ribs

Looks like some one may unknowingly be contributing info on why your window exploded:

Quote:
Originally posted by PeterH-79MH


No, John, I didn't find any split vertical ribs, but there were some 'loose' horizontal ribs, which caused a problem upon reassemble, due to not having full access from the inside.

Looks like the same guy was still cutting the window openings in '79.
The thread about Aluminum Properties talks about Ribs that are cut to facilitate windows.

Not sure if your model had split ribs

Smily
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Old 11-25-2002, 11:18 AM   #4
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Smily sounds like he is on track, pressure applied from the body being twisted and transferred to the glass. Aluminum expands a lot, the fire may have been that little bit it took to make it shatter.

This is not an Airstream, but it is another 'haunted' vehicle. Back in the 70's my brother had a stepvan, no wiper motor or linkage. When it rained and you were moving, you could reach up inside and turn the wipers to get them moving and they would 'run' until you stopped moving. I know it had to do with air movement, but I have never been able to figure it out.

John
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:58 PM   #5
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There are only two things that I know of that have a negative coefficient of expansion. I once thought there was only one until a friend asked "You mean besides water?" So, ok, there are two. Care to guess the second?
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Old 11-26-2002, 05:41 AM   #6
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A little hint? Solid, liquid, or gas?

John
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Old 11-26-2002, 06:19 AM   #7
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Good theory but.......

That would imply that the trailer is air tight.

Although an Airstream is rather tight is certainly not air tight.

I would doubt that even a brand new airstream is air tight.

There are exhaust vents installed to facilitate airflow.

Also, typically on the older airstreams, there is openings below the twin bunks and under the bathroom sink.

Smily
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Old 11-26-2002, 08:14 AM   #8
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My understanding is that the shattering windows issue is why Airstream only used those windows for a few of the 1960 model years and then went to the aluminum framed oval ones. The new trailers have a frameless window and I know of an instance where the rear window shattered for no apparent reason as well.
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Old 11-26-2002, 09:28 AM   #9
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My 81 Excella II had dual pane insulated glass. One morning in Santa Fe New Mexico we were eating breakfast on the picnic table out side the trailer and we heard a loud pop and the sound of breaking glass. Upon inspection of the trailer we found the inside glass of the window in the center of the trailer had exploded and broken into small pieces all over the bed. Upon return home we talked to our dealer about getting a new window but were advised Airstream was no longer serviceing the thermal pane windows. We removed the remaing glass around the inside frame and filled the opening with wood strips the aproxmate thickness of the glass and sealed it in with silicone at the advise of our dealer who stated they had repaired many windows this way.
Jim
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Old 11-26-2002, 08:30 PM   #10
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74Argosy, It is solid and as common as sand.
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Old 11-26-2002, 08:39 PM   #11
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Silicon?
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Old 11-26-2002, 09:10 PM   #12
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Actually, Silica; i.e.; glass. Glass expands as it cools. I found this out the hard and expensive way. I have a '63 Mercedes Coupe. During the restortion I sand blasted it. The rear glass was protected but the seal edge away from the glass was left bare. Later that night the temperture dropped into the lower thirties. Boom! I heard it from inside the house. My best guess is the glass was in tight to begin with and powdered sand from the blasting had found its way into the window seal channel between the seal and the body making the fit even tighter. The seal was old and hard. As the temperture dropped the glass and sand powder (both silica) expanded. Something had to give. The seal didn't give but the glass sure did. That's my best guess as to what happened to me as well as the "Haunted Airstream"
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Old 11-27-2002, 06:04 AM   #13
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Duh, silica sand, I only use 30 bags a year.

That is interesting. I've been surrounded by it all my life, never knew that. I learn all kinds of neat things on this forum.

John
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