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Old 05-02-2014, 01:50 PM   #1
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Converting rear window to emergency exit

We have a Class A motorhome with a fixed rear window. It is 58 x 30. I'd like to replace the window with a slider. That would give us more fresh air in the bedroom and, more importantly, would be a much better emergency exit window that my wife could actually use. The existing exit window has a crank open bottom that remains in place when the upper window is pushed out. As currently configured, my wife would need a stool to exit this window.

With a rear slider, depending on the direction of the windows movement, we would have either a narrow 14 inch opening with an immediate reach to the ladder or a 28 inch opening with a longer, approx. 15 inch, reach to the ladder. I have long arms so am OK with the longer reach but am concerned my wife may not be able to reach the ladder to exit. However the larger opening would make the exit easier and faster.

Has anyone ever changed out the rear window? If so, what problems did you encounter? It seems like a logical and inexpensive solution to what would otherwise be a challenging if not impossible exit for my short wife.
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:10 PM   #2
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Not a bad idea, except that if you travel with the window open it would allow exhaust gases into the RV. If you do this, be sure window is closed for travel.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:03 AM   #3
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I thought they were all escape windows, once you threw the dog through it.


Just kidding.

If you replace it why not get one of the escape windows? The type that have the red levers at the bottom.

Some of these companies might be able to get you all the frame work and parts.

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Old 05-03-2014, 11:27 AM   #4
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We have those nifty roll out windows in the bedroom. The ones that open about 6 inches. They will only accommodate a very small dog.

Thanks for the link. Next time we head east, I'll check the place out.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:06 PM   #5
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My wife and I have also talked about replacing our large fixed rear window with one that would open for ventilation and for emergency escape. Hopefully some information will be added to this thread, giving us an idea of options and how to go about it. I wonder if there's any problem having a slider window on the back of a motorhome. Of course we'd keep it closed when traveling!

Thanks in advance for any ideas or advice.

Ken
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:00 PM   #6
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One consideration that manufacturers take about the rear windows that don't open is the concern about Carbon monoxide poisoning . If it wasn't shut well or sealed well the engine exhaust would enter while traveling down the road because of the vacuum created behind a RV while traveling down the road. Exchanging out a emergency window with a slider window isn't the best idea either but you better make sure everyone can fit thru the slider in the event of a fire.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:43 AM   #7
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An "Emergency Glass Hammer" will open any window easily.
emergency glass hammer - Bing Images

Exiting a RV in an emergency needs to be practiced (fire drill) in casual speed in advance by all regular vehicle occupants to prevent unnecessary injuries and panic when the real thing happens.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:23 AM   #8
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+1 what DOggy Dad said; buy the hammer. In fact, buy 2, and keep one tethered to the rear window area, with something like a 1/8" braided nylon cord, that you can buy in any hardware or Lowes.

I would pay careful attention to those that say replacing that rear window may allow carbon monoxide into the rv. Those rear windows are sealed for good reason.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggy Daddy View Post
An "Emergency Glass Hammer" will open any window easily.
emergency glass hammer - Bing Images

Exiting a RV in an emergency needs to be practiced (fire drill) in casual speed in advance by all regular vehicle occupants to prevent unnecessary injuries and panic when the real thing happens.
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Wouldn't a regular carpenter hammer work as well?

If one is planning on breaking a window as an emergency escape, practicing may prove to be expensive.

I think I will put a hammer near my rear window.

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Old 06-11-2014, 03:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper Ken View Post
Wouldn't a regular carpenter hammer work as well?

Ken
An emergency hammer is for emergencies, a carpenter's hammer is to pound nails!

Actually emergency hammers are designed to break safety glass with all the force concentrated in a point or very small area. I've tried breaking safety glass with a carpenter's hammer and it doesn't aways break on the first blow. Emergency hammers are often sold with a bracket that could be fastened to the wall near the window, having a hammer swinging by a nylon cord wouldn't be my first choice.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:27 PM   #11
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You don't mention the make/year of your MH. My rear cap is not part of the rear inside wall, better get underneath and look up before you start cutting.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper Ken View Post
My wife and I have also talked about replacing our large fixed rear window with one that would open for ventilation and for emergency escape. Hopefully some information will be added to this thread, giving us an idea of options and how to go about it. I wonder if there's any problem having a slider window on the back of a motorhome. Of course we'd keep it closed when traveling!

Thanks in advance for any ideas or advice.

Ken
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You don't mention the make/year of your MH. My rear cap is not part of the rear inside wall, better get underneath and look up before you start cutting.


He's got a window, no need to cut thru a rear cap.
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post


He's got a window, no need to cut thru a rear cap.
This appears to be my official "bonehead" day.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:24 AM   #14
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Good point on the carbon monoxide Tdog. I'll check into that.

I like the emergency hammer idea. It makes a lot of sense since once the window's out of the way it's an easy reach to the ladder. Even more accessible than a slider. My wife is short and it would be a challenge for her to get over the height of the emergency window which opens above the crank out window. That adds 6 inches to its height. She's short and not the most athletic.
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