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Old 09-06-2014, 09:48 AM   #1
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National's problem with windshield stress cracks

I have several stress cracks in my drivers side windshield. Exactly like the one shown in:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f105/body-flex-cracked-windshield-92916.html

Yesterday I ordered a new one from RV Glass Experts. They told me that there would be no guarantee against future stress cracks because there is a known problem with Nationals for the years 2000 thru 2002.

Does anyone know of any fix to keep this from happening in the future?? The glass should be here and installed in about a week. If there is anything I can do to prevent this in the future, I would appreciate the advice.

This is scarry as the entrance to my driveway puts a serious torque on my chassis and there is no way around it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:47 AM   #2
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Hello, Gerry! I cannot remember if we spoke about windshields when you gave me all the info on your mods last month, so here goes:

We have a 2005 Nat'l Dolphin, so our windshields may not be alike. However, in the 8 years we have owned this coach, we have had the windshield(s) replaced 3 times. The 1st was in Tucson at La Mesa RV by a local glass company they use. That one cracked a year later when we were visiting Yellowstone, and I heard the dreaded "POP" when driving on a dirt road, with a large dip, leaving a campground. The driver-side windshield not only cracked, but actually dislodged from the lower left corner. When we had that replaced, the next glass company we used told us they required all RV's to stay in their heated shop overnight, to ensure the new windshield was warm and pliable when being installed. Well, within several months the same thing happened again, cracking and dislodging in the same location. So I finally contacted my insurance agent, who did a wonderful job of researching the subject with past coworkers at State Farm HQ in Greeley, CO. Luckily, the recommended glass company this time was in my home town in Salida, CO!

The different tactics used by this company were to first have 3 workers present and all assisting with the installation. Then, they had me sit in the coach and tweak the leveling jacks to a point that I was so uncomfortable, I refused to continue until they had the owner of the company promise me they would pay for any damage caused by this action! I then called my insurance agent, who simply laughed and advised me to trust the glass company. Soooo, I lifted the coach off the ground, then tweaked the coach until I thought something would break, following the glass company supervisor's directions. Finally, after about 5 minutes of this (seemed like hours!), the new windshield popped into place, sounding like it was sucked in under a lot of pressure. 5 more minutes of new sealer being applied, and they were done! We have put over 5,000 miles on the coach since then, going over very bumpy roads, in and out of numerous parking lots with slanted entrances, and the glass company supervisor even told me to drive the coach up my 1/2 mile gravel driveway, before the deep ruts from the flooding rains had been repaired. I did, and he rode with me, and I was amazed that all was well once we arrived at the front door of our home. Now, I can finally park the coach on my property.

I hope any part of this helps. I have since used the same glass company for other projects in our home, and I am sure the supervisor would speak with you if you like. Feel free to PM or call me if you need any further information. Bruce
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:13 PM   #3
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cracked glass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerryl View Post
I have several stress cracks in my drivers side windshield. Exactly like the one shown in:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f105/body-flex-cracked-windshield-92916.html

Yesterday I ordered a new one from RV Glass Experts. They told me that there would be no guarantee against future stress cracks because there is a known problem with Nationals for the years 2000 thru 2002.

Does anyone know of any fix to keep this from happening in the future?? The glass should be here and installed in about a week. If there is anything I can do to prevent this in the future, I would appreciate the advice.

This is scarry as the entrance to my driveway puts a serious torque on my chassis and there is no way around it.
This is the first I've heard of National having problems with cracked glass. Mine cracked in March on passenger side where the bottom of window wraps around to the corner. I can live with it but going to have it replaced. It cracked while leveling it in mother in laws driveway.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:07 AM   #4
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Hi Bruce,
Can't find your # but Thanks for the great info. I called "Clear Advantage" glass co that put yours in. They were very helpful and my installer will call them for advice before installation. I am not surprised that you put 3 windshields in in 8 years and I don't want to have to go thru that.
Boy I like this site for information and guidance.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:38 AM   #5
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Hello, Gerry! After all the help you have given me, I am humbled to have been able to share my experience with you. I sent you my cell # to your cell phone, call me anytime! Bruce
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:44 PM   #6
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Cracked Windshield

Owner: 2005 Dolphin.....I was experiencing a strange noise when reaching a speed around 40mph. I spent a great deal of time and money trying to locate and fix the problem. Finally, two mechanics put their heads together and after test driving my RV for an hour found the problem; which may be the cause of your windshield cracking. In the front of the RV; beneath the engine access door, there are 6 to 8 cross chrome bars (similar to basement A/C). When I was traveling down the road around 40 mph, the wind velocity hitting the bars caused a vibration up the entire front (over the windshield) of the RV causing the loud noise…. And, maybe causing cracks in your windshield. We used “zip ties” strapping one bar to another, then, one of the bars we strapped…. we strapped to an upper bar, then another and another…. until all the bars were connected in a vertical row. We had one row connected on one side and a second row on the opposite side. Hope this helps
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:33 AM   #7
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Chrome Bars

Hello, were your chrome bars loose? Mine are tight, do not move at all. We have never experienced the noise you describe while driving, at any speed. I definitely will pay attention to that, though. Thanks for the heads-up!

Bruce
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:15 PM   #8
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Windshield / Chrome Bars

My Chrome bars were tight. The noise/vibration stopped after the fix.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:12 PM   #9
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I had not heard that windshield problems arose from that during earlier years of NRV. However, NRV had small rubber blocks used as inserts between the grills' horizontal elements to lessen or prevent resonant vibrations at speed.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:00 PM   #10
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After I get my new windshield in (Friday), I plan to be very careful about how I level up with the jacks.
When I bought this motorhome, I was not schooled on how to properly level it with the jacks. I have since learned (on this forum) what the proper sequence to use for raising the jacks.
Lower the front jacks first
Then lower the rear jacks
Then level from side to side with the rear jacks
On my “Power Gear” jacks there are no individual switches for ‘Front Right’ and ‘Front Left’ as there are on the rear jacks. I questioned this and found out that the front right and front left bleed into each other as you level from side to side using the rear jacks. Some motorhomes only have one front jack (in the middle) to accomplish the same result.
Hope this helps someone else avoid any future problems.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:22 PM   #11
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Hello, Gerry! Just making sure you read the previous posts concerning the fixes for a Nat'l problem with the chrome grills? I had never heard of that, what about you?

Bruce
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:08 AM   #12
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OK, We just returned from our first outing with the new windshield. No cracks but I was very careful to try not to put too much torque on the frame. Am going to put new shocks on (to keep from having a pothole do me in) but will probably wait till next spring to do that.
I am still torn about which method to use when leveling, but used the front jacks first as is recommended by Power Gear. Both methods make sense but since 'firebug5' has broken windshields both ways, I just don't know. This last trip I only used 1 rear jack and tried to utilize a 3 point stance. Going to the Dover Nascar race this weekend and will decide then what method to use there.
This is like walking on eggshells.
My grill is solid, no movement.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:36 PM   #13
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Your right about the rep for National Windshields. The Tradewinds around the turn of the century had the same issues. The very best thing you can do is replace the glass tube TV in the overhead if you haven't already. All that weight really flexes the front cap. Another thing is to level with the jacks BEFORE extending the slides. If you have a DP release the air in the suspension before leveling. Other than that just try to stay off washboard roads. Some folks have reported cracked frames in the front, but I haven't seen too many of those posted.

Dick
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:01 PM   #14
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Unfortunately, the "DuraFrame" flexes quite a bit and a lot of stress transfers to the frame cage around the windshields, cab and upper section. The results (for me) were cracked windshield, stress cracks in the side gel coat, and continuing popping and creaking noises. (former Dolphin owner)
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