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Old 01-26-2013, 11:36 PM   #1
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Both windshields separating from the coach

2005 Mandalay 40E,purchased new 28,0000 miles. No significant problems with windshields in past. A little leak shortly after delivery,fixed by dealer, some wind noise in 2010 and windshields were "reset" by service outlet,(glass people were subcontracted for that). No problem after that. On last cross country trip both windshield finally got one chip too many and were replaced. The Replacements came from Duncan systems in Indiana. The glass was installed by Insurance glass contractors. Barely 100 miles since,mostly to service in prep for next season. Parked it in drive way and a couple of days later both windshield out of rubber gasket, the left in particular about thee plus inches separation, and the center bar was bent towards the right. The right side separated from right pilar,Glass guys from Insurance claim that this is a body problem. Your thoughts please
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:50 PM   #2
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Naturally that would be their 1st response. It is not like they want to own up to it being their problem. That would be unwise. My opinion is that they did not glue it in properly and it pushed back out when the temperature changed. Rubber contracted with cold or expanded with heat. Now it is also a possibility that the glass is not the correct size, maybe a 1/2" to small and since it is not seated properly or deep enough in the rubber, it pops out on its own.

If the original glass lasted 28K miles it is probably a problem with the glass or the installer.

I have seen glass that did not match the window frame, it was touching the steel without the proper separation and that caused the window to crack from twisting. I have also experienced the rubber separating from the window frame due to twisting of the frame when jacking it up improperly. So there are reasons for that to happen but your description of events does not lead me to that assumption. JMHO.

Get another glass company to give you their opinion without disclosing who is involved.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:47 AM   #3
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While I have a Pace Arrow the procedures is very similar, when I bought my bus someone had installed a new windshield very badly while there were no air gaps the glass was tilted out of shape where I was more concerned about the glue letting go and it dropping out so I was keeping a very close eye on it until I could have it serviced.

While I was at the factory in Decatur In. I got caught up in 100+ degree temps and a few tornado watches and woke up one morning with the windshield cracked my insurance company sent me 100 miles north to Duncan against my wishes because of poor service the first time I went to them for fogged glass anyhow I was assured that they had contractors that could do the job when I got to Duncan their only glass installer was almost 2 weeks away at a Rally in Iowa.

Several sub contractors showed up and kind of scratched their heads and fiddle around and did not do the job nor were they capable of even talking the job through. I have well over 50 years in the vehicle service area and am very well versed in how windshields get replaced. I took my bus and went home and contacted the insurance company and explained it all and they checked it out behind me and asked what my suggestion was since it seemed to be going nowhere in a hurry.

Long story short they agreed to let me take it back to the factory for them to replace both windshields but they might not pay for all of the factory charges which was kind of fine with me.

I took it back to Fleetwood who suggested about 35 hours to replace both glasses well the lead installer had about 24 hours into the job as well as several assistants for a total of well over 50 hours to install both glasses.

Before this sounds like a bash they did and outstanding job replacing the glass and I could not have been happier and I'm a bit fussy.

They thoroughly cleaned cleaned all the frame work with was plastic like material and the center support metal was sandblasted and the light pit marks filled in and painted and a major procedure was used to install the glass and let the sealant cure over night while the glass was strapped in place.

Before I forget the charge was right about $2400.00 for both windshields and installation kits as well as new windshield moldings from Fleetwood not Duncan, insurance paid it all as it was less than what Duncan initial quoted even with the additional parts supplied by Fleetwood.

Now not all was a glowing success about 4 days and a few hundred miles later the left windshield cracked while parked overnight again from the left side of the body well needless to say Fleetwood was accepting no responsibility for it over the telephone so being that close I drove back to the Factory who took it right in pulled the glass out and found the crack was not from road damage and replaced the drivers side again free of charge just another 2 days down time but faster than replacing 2 glasses.

Now this was all posted just to lead up to showing you the pictures which I know you will not get from roadside installers but it was all necessary in my opinion to do the job correctly.

No thanks to Duncan who refused to stand behind the glass even to a big customer of theirs like Fleetwood









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Old 01-27-2013, 05:51 AM   #4
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Doesn't anyone else think it odd having spent the kind of money these rigs cost they can't come up with a way to keep the windshields in place.... This has been a problem for years and across different makes. Maybe a little more engineering is needed to compensate for the rigors these coaches endure as they are lifted by the leveling systems and such.....
Just a thought.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by blackf3504dr View Post
Doesn't anyone else think it odd having spent the kind of money these rigs cost they can't come up with a way to keep the windshields in place.... This has been a problem for years and across different makes. Maybe a little more engineering is needed to compensate for the rigors these coaches endure as they are lifted by the leveling systems and such.....
Just a thought.
I agree. Due to the structural component of these windshields you really have to have someone who knows what they are doing when they install replacements. After my second crack in the same location I contacted RV Glass Solutions in Eugene/Coburg, Oregon. I was informed that in my particular model coach the dash has a tendency to shift and push against the windshield. They installed the replacement in the proper position and would not let me move the coach for 24 hours until it set. Have not had a problem since.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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They installed the replacement in the proper position and would not let me move the coach for 24 hours until it set. Have not had a problem since.
I think the letting the sealant cure is the key to the problem, these are entirely a different animal compared to a car windshield and even the small windshields are recommended to cure before being driven even if that is ignored.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:45 PM   #7
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I have seen this before in both motor homes and coaches.
The way these things are built and run off the assembly line in big numbers, they are moved and bumped around in the factory and the Urethane sealants used to bond them are not given enough time to cure, when fitted from new.
Bang the screen in and move it along, if you doubt me watch some of the factory tour videos on Utube.

Its been found that many of the windscreens have dropped or become misaligned before they are even delivered to a dealer new or even left the factory facility.
This means its now only a matter of time before it cracks or moves further.

For the fitting to be correct as designed the vehicle and the screen should not be moved more than a few feet for a min of 24 hours and kept at and even temperature.
If its to cold the Urethane will stop curing altogether and this is often overlooked particularly when replacing a screen.
Keep this in mind if replacing in fall or colder climates.

If allowed the 24-48 hours to cure correctly the Urethane sealant will hold an elephant upside down on golf tee.
As has been stated here, once the screens were allowed to cure properly after being correctly aligned no more issues.

Keep an eye on screens when cleaning your screen or washing your windscreen, look for signs of movement in the seals or the glass sitting proud if a seamless bonded screen.
Creaking and wind noise can be warning signs too.
Pick up on these early and you can avoid a possible broken screen.

If you do need one replaced away from the MH builder see if you can find a coach builder or a glass company that has plenty of experience with replacing screens in Buses and modern trucks as many use the same technology.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickBBD View Post
I agree. Due to the structural component of these windshields you really have to have someone who knows what they are doing when they install replacements. After my second crack in the same location I contacted RV Glass Solutions in Eugene/Coburg, Oregon. I was informed that in my particular model coach the dash has a tendency to shift and push against the windshield. They installed the replacement in the proper position and would not let me move the coach for 24 hours until it set. Have not had a problem since.

Actually I was referring to the original design and engineering of the windshield and supporting frame work. It just seems to me they under-engineer this area causing what should be unneeded repairs. If the manufacturers insist on building coaches with the large windshields they should have the engineering behind them to prevent this type damage.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:42 AM   #9
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My story, and included in it are hints.

2005 Damon Intruder purchased new within a few month windshield coming out re-set by Guardian Glass (Contractor) IN Detroit. Wet behind the ears glass Tech said "It'll probbly come out again.. He was right.

2006 Dang thing came out again. Somewhere betwen Kingman and Winslow AZ.. Put a strap on it to keep it from getting worse and continued to Las Vegas (I mean it was Friday Evening and there was no way I was getting it fixed then).

Dave Simpson Glass (a very good contractor) took 3 days, Removed the windshield and reattached using a poly-uurethane like adheasive.. I'm not sure his job would have come out.. However Dave (The man himself) Told me he was not happy, Pointed out why, Had the dealer take pictures and E-mail them to Damon, who agreed to a factory visit.

Later that year, after a FMCA rally some 30 miles from the plant (Timing was great) I visited. They also took 3 days, removed windshield, re-cut oepening, and replaced again using poly adheasive.

2011, It started to come loose again, I re-sealed to stop wind noise and replaced strap (it is a ratcheting cargo strap anchored to "J" hooks at each end (A type of eye bolt.

No evidence of it moving.

This summer I'll get the windshield replaced again (IT took a rock hit and is damaged) and I will replace the strap too.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:38 AM   #10
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Pretty sad that you should have to drive around with a load strap across the front of a motor home that isn't all that old.
Not really good enough is it from a manufacture stand point.

Hope you finally get it sorted
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:33 PM   #11
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I fully agree, Alas, I don't design them, If I did, I'd do it differently..

The problem is the windshield sits in the frame a bit like you sit on a chair.. If you are sitting on a chair you can slide forward off the thing onto the floor.. So can the windshield.

This is why vehicles have seat belts, to keep you from sliding off the chair in a sudden stop.

The strap.. Is a seat belt.

now imagine if you set the botton of the window into a "U" shaped channel. Now it can not slide forward.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:11 PM   #12
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Fully understand see my previous posts on this subject.
Had a lot to do with Motor homes and construction of them just not in the states.

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I fully agree, Alas, I don't design them, If I did, I'd do it differently..

The problem is the windshield sits in the frame a bit like you sit on a chair.. If you are sitting on a chair you can slide forward off the thing onto the floor.. So can the windshield.

This is why vehicles have seat belts, to keep you from sliding off the chair in a sudden stop.

The strap.. Is a seat belt.

now imagine if you set the botton of the window into a "U" shaped channel. Now it can not slide forward.
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