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Old 08-21-2014, 04:37 PM   #1
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Fogged Window repair thread.

Folks,
My 05 Rev has some fogged windows. They do not appear bad enough to warrant glass replacement, but I would like to fix them. Going to use this thread to post my plan as well as progress.

I live near San Jose CA, so I know of no service providers nearby, at least not the good ones people refer to here. I am young handy and enjoy this kind of stuff so I decided to research the "how".

A few videos and after viewing some pre-packaged kits I have come to realize a few things:
  • This is a labor intensive job. Need to remove lambrokins (or whatever the valences are called) and many many screws. I can already think of a few screws partially blocked by the dash for the drivers window.
  • Providers charge $2-300 per window for this work.
  • There are kits available by a reputable provider that include most of everything you need.
  • All of the components are available individually, here are examples from Amazon below.
  • New windows are pretty expensive, and few folks tend to go that route. Actually, installation of new windows is a large fraction of the window repair time I believe, perhaps as much as 30%?
So, the key components required to do this job appear to be sourced primarily by a company called CRL or C.R.Laurence. The key components are:
The spacer used between the glass panes, which includes desiccant and comes in 66 foot rolls.


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006JCPK2Q/...=IOAGE6IK8I507



The sealant used to seal the foam inbetween the window panes:


C.R. LAURENCE 877 CRL Silicone Foam and Metal Spacer I.G. Sealant: Thread Sealants: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific



Additionally, there are a few specialized tools, such as the sealant guide below:


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001Q5JNJM/...I23TLPDFP7YNGJ


One thing I am unsure of, is what to use to seal the refurbished windows to the coach with. Some use foam tape, some use butyl tape like this:


Amazon.com: Dicor (BT-1834-1) 1/8" x 3/4" x 30' Butyl Seal Tape: Automotive



Once the window is installed, a clear rv silicone would then be in order.




Based on what I have seen, repair includes removing the window frame from RV, which in itself is time consuming.

  1. Pulling the window glass from the frame.
  2. Cutting the sandwiched panes of glass apart. One video I saw showed this being done with a utility knife. I immediately thought a piano wire would be more effective and safer, do not know.
  3. Scraping old foam and sealant.
  4. Cleaning glass. May need to scrape or use CLR/and/or Windex. Depends on how bad the windows are I guess.
  5. Placing foam between both panes around perimiter
  6. using caulking gun and the block above to caulk the sealant above around the perimeter of the glass panes.
  7. Let dry for however long the sealant calls for.
  8. place refurbed panes back into aluminum frames.
  9. prep coach and apply the butyl or foam tape around preimeter of hole on coach and place window back in and install screws and such.
  10. Hit the edge of window frame with silicone.
  11. lather/rinse/repeat for however many windows you have.
Anything I am missing?

Foam tape or butyl? I see one disadvantage of butyl being its color. My coach is painted, dark in some areas, and I would be afraid the butyl tape would stand out. My window frames are black also.

My coach is in storage. When I get it out (unless someone else can measure) I will measure the thickness of the window panes to determine if 3/16" or 1/4" foam spacer and place my order. I can see no reason why I shouldn't just purchase supplies off of Amazon myself. Seems very reasonable pricing.

Jay-if you are reading this, have your coach?

Thoughts, words of encouragement or doom and gloom?

Chris
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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I will be watching this thread with great interest. I have five that decided to fog. A company local to where I love will build new ones with the smallest around $122 with me doing the R&R. If I can go it myself I will.


Thanks,

Alan

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Old 08-21-2014, 05:19 PM   #3
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Alan, I believe that they use an inert gas between the panes. When I resealed my dual panes I blew gas from my Mig welder in between the panes just before I sealed the last little hole I left for that purpose !
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck 1935 View Post
Alan, I believe that they use an inert gas between the panes. When I resealed my dual panes I blew gas from my Mig welder in between the panes just before I sealed the last little hole I left for that purpose !

Chuck, as I don't have welder anymore I will need an alternative I guess.


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Old 08-21-2014, 05:26 PM   #5
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The purpose of the gas is because it is dry. Maybe there is an alternative like Co2.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:56 PM   #6
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There is no inert gas between panes of glass in RV applications. Manufacturers do put desiccant in between to capture moisture.

No need to use your mig. I have not found any confirmation of inert gas, like what is done in residential applications, in our motorhomes and much to the contrary.

Chris
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akeyzoo View Post
There is no inert gas between panes of glass in RV applications. Manufacturers do put desiccant in between to capture moisture.

No need to use your mig. I have not found any confirmation of inert gas, like what is done in residential applications, in our motorhomes and much to the contrary.

Chris
I'll tell you what I know from doing 3 or 4 or ...

1) there is NO inert gas between panes.

2) the desiccant is contained in the spacer.

3) use 1" Butyl tape and not 3/4" ... you need the extra to completely fill the width of the frame. Cut off the excess with a smooth plastic knife or the edge of an old credit card AFTER the window is drawn tight to the RV body.

4) no silicone sealer is required ... the Butyl tape seals the seam.

5) you can't really see the Butyl tape once the window is drawn tight to the body.

6) if the glass is etched (quite often), only polishing will remove (or mitigate) it ... I did not find any chemical that did anything ... and I tried everything.

7) the "handles" are a bummer to get off the sliding pane ... a propane torch moved back and forth across the entire handle eventually loosens the adhesive ... in my case, the paint was not damaged at all. Fasten the handle with the same glass sealer you used between panes.

8) reseal the glass in an air-conditioned room (low humidity).

9) it's time consuming ... figure one window per day ... you will hate this job.

10) I had one pane that was severely etched ... I replaced that pane with Lexan (not plexiglass) ... so far so good after 1 year.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:25 PM   #8
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RV windows don't have any gas in them. I found a place in Florida thet looks promising. I have 3 small panes that are fogged up and they will do the repair. I'am going to take them out and ship them down there. One has a shattered pane and the added charge for that one is $55. These things are small so they quoted me between $50 and $75 bucks each. Normal charge is $200 or so per window, which for a large one that made sence. I reched out to them and when we were finished the young lady knew what I needed. I found them on line.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJr View Post
RV windows don't have any gas in them. I found a place in Florida thet looks promising. I have 3 small panes that are fogged up and they will do the repair. I'am going to take them out and ship them down there. One has a shattered pane and the added charge for that one is $55. These things are small so they quoted me between $50 and $75 bucks each. Normal charge is $200 or so per window, which for a large one that made sence. I reched out to them and when we were finished the young lady knew what I needed. I found them on line.
I'm assuming you are referring to Suncoast:

Suncoast Designers | RV Window Repair Specialists in Hudson, FL

$55 for a broken pane is OK ... I was quoted $60 per pane (2 panes to a section) at a local glass place ... no labor, just replacement pane.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:41 PM   #10
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BTW, nearly all Butyl tape is a medium shade of grey. You really can't see it against the frame.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceisla View Post
BTW, nearly all Butyl tape is a medium shade of grey. You really can't see it against the frame.
Good to know and thanks for the tips above.

None of my windows look "that bad", so I am curious about how etched, if at all, they will be. Do you have a before pic of the window you couldn't salvage?

I do have polishing equipment if needed I guess.... Hoping to avoid that.

Chris
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:39 AM   #12
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Good to know and thanks for the tips above.

None of my windows look "that bad", so I am curious about how etched, if at all, they will be. Do you have a before pic of the window you couldn't salvage?

I do have polishing equipment if needed I guess.... Hoping to avoid that.

Chris
Sorry ... no pics ... it looked like frosted glass in one area of about 6" X 6" and interfered with seeing the mirror (driver's side).
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:50 PM   #13
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I agree with all that Bruceisla posted. I got my "handle" removed using a heat gun but it took a while. No damage to the handle finish. I also left out the rubber strip in the handle when reassembling and used the sealant as a glue. It has held up well.

On some windows, after removing the frame from the coach, you must remove 2 or 4 screws holding the frame together (usually at the bottom) to allow you to slightly flex the frame open so that you can remove the dual pane window. There's a picture of this process in the files section here on IRV2. Look here iRV2 Forums - Files - Exterior

For me, getting the two panes split apart was not an issue as one side of mine was already loose.

I had one of the two panes that would not clean up so i took it to a local glass company and had a tempered replacement made.

One additional tip: for your work surface, cover it with cardboard for padding and to catch the drips from the sealant. You can easily trim excess sealant after it dries.

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Old 08-23-2014, 11:08 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the links for supplies! I have about five panes with serious seal creep that I want to fix. I read that if your window is subjected to the suns heat you will get fogging (seal leak) or creep (seal movement).
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