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Old 03-10-2013, 08:47 AM   #1
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Rear Window Shattered Inexplicably

Our unit is in storage. They called a few days ago to inform me a porter noticed our back window was shattered. It is completely broken into tiny pieces all projected outward from the window in an arc. The trailer was and is locked, and only I have a key. The screen is undamaged. The interior is untouched. No other trailers are damaged. It has been very windy, but there is a trailer parked right behind me that would block the prevailing wind.

I have no reason to suspect foul play.

This is a 2012 Flying Cloud 28.

Anyone heard of this before?
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by zeppelin View Post
Our unit is in storage. They called a few days ago to inform me a porter noticed our back window was shattered. It is completely broken into tiny pieces all projected outward from the window in an arc. The trailer was and is locked, and only I have a key. The screen is undamaged. The interior is untouched. No other trailers are damaged. It has been very windy, but there is a trailer parked right behind me that would block the prevailing wind.

I have no reason to suspect foul play.

This is a 2012 Flying Cloud 28.

Anyone heard of this before?
Not on a trailer. I have heard of it on some automobiles, back when I lived in Oklahoma more than 30 years ago. Basically, in a vehicle, or a home, or a trailer that's sealed up tight, if the inside air pressure gets too much higher than the outside air pressure, a window will blow out. Usually the thinnest window, or if all windows are the same thickness, the largest window, since it can bow out more easily until it breaks.

In Oklahoma, during my misspent youth, there were two causes of this phenomenon: A tornado passing nearby causing a sudden drop in outside air pressure was a common culprit. Another possibility, if the vehicle was closed up tight at night when it was cool, and then during the day it was in direct sunlight and got very hot, the inside air would expand from the heat and blow out the window. The key is, vehicle closed up tight with no vents open to equalize air pressure, and a large increase in the difference between inside and outside air pressures.

On my Airstream, which is stored where it gets plenty of sunlight for the rooftop solar panel, I keep the bathroom roof vent open, for this very reason. It's enough for equalizing air pressure, and being in my wet bath, if rain does happen to get in the vent, little harm is done, except the gray tank gets some rainwater in it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:31 AM   #3
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This happened to the front window on our '67.
We were on the road and stopped for lunch after 4 hours of hot Interstate driving.
We pulled into the back of a resturant parking lot under the shade of some large trees.
Halfway to the front door we heard the pop of the exploding glass.
A detour into town to have a hardware store cut a piece of plexiglass and get a roll of duct tape and we were on our way.
When we got back home the guy at the glass store said that a imperfection or chip in the tempered glass can cause the pane to shatter with a sudden temerature change.

Tom
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by zeppelin View Post
Our unit is in storage. They called a few days ago to inform me a porter noticed our back window was shattered. It is completely broken into tiny pieces all projected outward from the window in an arc. The trailer was and is locked, and only I have a key. The screen is undamaged. The interior is untouched. No other trailers are damaged. It has been very windy, but there is a trailer parked right behind me that would block the prevailing wind.

I have no reason to suspect foul play.

This is a 2012 Flying Cloud 28.

Anyone heard of this before?
That happens all the time.

A small nick in the glass, that is even difficult to see, causes the shattering.

When enough heating and cooling cycles have taken place, then the glass brain, if you wish, says enough, and then poof, it's in a gazillion pieces.

That is just something that happens to tempered glass, ever since Airstream started using it in 1966.

Just the way of life, or not, of tempered glass.

Andy
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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A friend of mine had that happen on the rear bath window of his 280 Motorhome while on a trip. He had no reason to believe anyone caused it. Tempered glass can just suddenly fail due to some long present imperfection I understand.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:09 AM   #6
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Happened to me too. Rear window between gas stops, perhaps the first day above freezing in several months. Trailer is 13 months old.

Stopped on my way past JC and they installed a new window in about half an hour (after sitting out the weekend).

But they did not consider it a warranty issue. Two hundred and some dollars.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:12 AM   #7
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Happened to me too. Rear window between gas stops, perhaps the first day above freezing in several months. Trailer is 13 months old.

Stopped on my way past JC and they installed a new window in about half an hour (after sitting out the weekend).

But they did not consider it a warranty issue. Two hundred and some dollars.
Insurance covers "sudden, accidental and direct" losses, not warranty, especially glass.

Andy
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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Thanks for the tip. I did not think of that!
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:17 AM   #9
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I seriously doubt that any trailer or motorhome is air tight enough to allow any build up of pressure. I vote for the imperfection or nick in the glass.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:26 PM   #10
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This happened to me today. I was in my trailer, parked at my house, with the furnace and space heater going. After a few hours in the trailer, I was watching football, I heard a pop. It was my back window. It shattered. I wondered if someone threw a rock through my window but hardly any glass was inside the trailer. I looked outside and it look the like window burst open from inside. Has this happened to anyone? My trailer is only two weeks old, got the trailer for Christmas.

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Old 01-06-2014, 01:29 AM   #11
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That happens all the time.

A small nick in the glass, that is even difficult to see, causes the shattering.

When enough heating and cooling cycles have taken place, then the glass brain, if you wish, says enough, and then poof, it's in a gazillion pieces.

That is just something that happens to tempered glass, ever since Airstream started using it in 1966.

Just the way of life, or not, of tempered glass.

Andy
Darn.....another thing to worry about. These discussion groups can really make one paranoid.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:44 AM   #12
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<<Darn.....another thing to worry about >>
Yeah especially if you're in the middle of nowhere
and it's the dead of winter.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:21 AM   #13
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Aren't auto windshields made of tempered glass ?
I don't think I've ever heard of that happening on a car.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:07 AM   #14
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Yes car glass is tempered. But a windshield (and recently much of the other glass in luxury cars) is laminated. That allows for a lot more forgiveness in expansion and contraction...until a chip occurs...then you typically see it run a crack with thermal changes. In cars, when you have a tempering issue, it is typically sunroofs and heated rear glass that shatters unexpectedly during a heating cycle.
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