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Old 01-24-2008, 06:33 PM   #1
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Window conversion.....

Ok, one of my biggest gripes with Airstreams (besides the corrosion issuse), is that Airstream, being a premium product, even in it's midrange and entry level product line, installs these crappy HEHR windows.

A while back, Rich L from Airstream Life posted about his modification to one of his windows from an HEHR window to the Classic style window. It got me wondering, can it really be that easy (though costly) and look that good. Then I saw the pictures:

Tour of America: Cool window!

So, I was on eBay yesterday and picked up some windows from a damaged 2004 Classic. I now have the big Classic window found in the back of most Classic trailers which is also the same window that is found in the Classic FB units with the front window area that does not have the panoramic window option in front. I also picked up a Classic style window that is the same size as my rear window on my 2004 Safari Six Sleeper.

Now I know I am going to be disturbing the good caulk job and that the bend radius is a bit different on the Classic windows compared to the HEHR. I also am aware that I will need the inside trim part, screen and if I desire, shade, but I got both windows for about $75 ($100 shipped). And they appear to be in good shape.

What do you all think. Worth a shot? I sent Airstream a question about doing the install. If it went well, I may as the wallet can handle, begin a replacment timeline of dumping most, if not all the HEHR windows on my unit. I am thinking that this would be far less costly than another depreciation hit on gettig a new(er) unit. Thoughts, comments, suggestions??
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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From your link
Quote:
David and Denver figured it out and their solution is guaranteed watertight.
There is no such thing.
What makes me wonder is, that on my 65 Safari whole window opens like the replacement on the site. Did AS install worse windows later?
Good luck on your project.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:51 PM   #3
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Windows

I saw Richs window and when they did it,The size was a bit off.They had to do some modding to it to get it to fit right.I would make sure the measurments are exact.
Everything was good until a certain point and the size was a bit off.
I would have thought that all the windows were cut the same size but apparently they are not.

I do have to say though that it does look good finished.They did a great job on it.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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Contact the seller

If you already bought the windows, why not buy the inside trim, etc. from the same seller?

Paula
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
If you already bought the windows, why not buy the inside trim, etc. from the same seller?

Paula
I had asked about some of the interior parts and sounds like the unit was scavaged for parts, so their gone, as are the screens, shades, etc. The windows were all that were left and he cut the alum skin around the window frame straight out, so I'll have some detatching to do once I get them, so if anyone here has any exp removing rivets, please let me know. This will be a first for me.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:35 PM   #6
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A drill slides off too easily. I'll use a Dremel and dimple the rivet before drilling it out. Good luck with your project!
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:46 PM   #7
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Hey Twink,

Use a spring loaded center punch to start a dimple in the center of the rivet. The aluminum is soft enough to leave a nice sized depression. Then drill a small pilot hole as a starter and finish with the proper size drill for the rivet (3/16" ?). I do this a lot and have yet to slip off one .
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:48 PM   #8
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As always, thanks Lew and thanks Bob for the alternate suggestion.

I can see I have a new hobby. I'm betting that there are PLENTY of rivets in these two windows alone to keep me busy for a little while!

Any idea what I could use that wouldn't damage any coating on the frame to take off any remaining silkaflex? (I think that's what the factory uses to seal em up.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:46 AM   #9
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Once the SikaFlex has cured, it's basically a mechanical removal process (as in scraping). Try to remove as much as possible and apply more of the stuff over where you took off the old sealant. It will bond to itself, unlike the dreaded.......'S' word.....SILICONE ......................
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:16 PM   #10
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Ok, I got my windows today. Looks like I can only really use one of them, the end cap one. It was a crap shoot for the other one, but the second window only cost me an extra $40 shipped. Maybe I'll ponder eBaying it.

I do also as an added bonus have a vista view window, similar in size to the CCD/SE fixed kitchen and bathroom windows.

So, I get the windows and first order of thumb is to clean 'em up. They cleaned up really nicely. Oddly enough though, this was a scraped 2004 Classic. Upon removing some of the caulking (I believe it's SilkaFlex), the top of the caulk is firm, I cut into it with a razor and as I am peeling it back, it's tearing off like string cheese. What REALLY caught me by surprise was that the caulk line about center deep from the top was still somewhat wet. Yes, it was still all gooey. I would have thought that since it was an '04 most, if not all the caulk would have been cured fully by now. Maybe not stiff cured, but dry and somewhat flexible cured.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:36 PM   #11
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Curing on this product is a chemical reaction to being exposed to air. Therefore if the caulking was done very well it might be that the underlying layer was not exposed long enough to start the curing process. Had the top layer failed somewhat then the lower layer may have fully cured at a later date. To be honest I would be glad that it was more liquid.... Easier to get off! Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:48 PM   #12
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I agree, makes it easier to remove and looks like the caulkers at the factory do a great job, cause it's all gooey in the center!
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGED52
Curing on this product is a chemical reaction to being exposed to air. Therefore if the caulking was done very well it might be that the underlying layer was not exposed long enough to start the curing process. Had the top layer failed somewhat then the lower layer may have fully cured at a later date. To be honest I would be glad that it was more liquid.... Easier to get off! Happy Trails, Ed
Ed,

You're CLOSE....but not quite on the mark. SikaFlex is a moisture cure polyurethane formulation that hardens with the moisture from the air, not the air itself. In fact, if you want to speed the skinning process, spray a very light, fine mist of water over the seam after you have finished.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:33 AM   #14
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Man, you just never know what you know until you know it....

I had no idea that SilkaFlex worked this way.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:00 AM   #15
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Lewster, I stand corrected! I knew it had to do with the moisture content in the air but was unaware that you could speed up the process of curing by actually using a fine mist spray. I will tuck that away for the next time I seal seams. Thanks for the tip. Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGED52
Lewster, I stand corrected! I knew it had to do with the moisture content in the air but was unaware that you could speed up the process of curing by actually using a fine mist spray. I will tuck that away for the next time I seal seams. Thanks for the tip. Happy Trails, Ed
BTW, This supposed to be a SECRET TIP!!!!!
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:55 PM   #17
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Crap!!!!

Now I'll be on "Double Secret Airstream Probation!!!" I hate it when that happens! Ed
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:17 AM   #18
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Ok, I got a response back from the factory. Installing the big front window and a the rear window are possible, but as for budget, that may be as far as I go this round, if I were to do it. I know that Rich Luhr had one of his replaced by a dealer, but one thing the factory said was that they have never done this before, which kind of gives me pause. Justified?
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:18 PM   #19
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Conversion

Twink, That the factory said they have never done this before means your idea is a Custom job... no more no less! The fact that they said it could be done and that Rich L. had one done by a dealer means it is feasible and certainly can work out. I think your justification is the benefit you will get from the higher quality and better function of those windows vs. what you have now. I would say if your budget allows... GO FOR IT! Only you can justify the expense but think of your unique fix for problematic window issues. You will most likely have a better seal of the windows in the body of the trailer and better trimout if the JC factory folks do the work. I for one like your solution for better air flow in the trailer by using these windows and it would certainly make your trailer one of a kind. Happy Trails, Ed
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