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Old 11-08-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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Double Pane window fogging and seal issues

RVers: I have recently removed and repaired the front sliders on my aging 1996 Bounder 34H. The repair required me to remove the slider and cut open the now broken seal between the windows. My case was so bad that the moisture absorbant had leaked from the honey comb inside the gasket and out onto the widow (etching it). I reversed the glass (bad side out) and glued the window halves back together using RTV. After drying I polished and cleaned the glass to remove as much etching as possible. Hot vinegar helped dissolve the calcium and lens cleaning polish kits from Harbor Freight gave me the best fit shine possible. My project worked well.... I am pleased. If any RVer would like to open a discussion I will better detail the process.

Craig Gosselin
1996 34H
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:34 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great fix. I'd be interested in knowing how you did it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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Me too. Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-08-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:29 AM   #5
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Since my fix for both left and right sliders just came to fruition here is a recap of the procedure.

1. Remove the inside slider aluminum window trim ring (about 20 torx self tapping metal screws in my install)
NOTE: there is some black sticky sealing paste that may bind the easy removal of the trim ring. Gently tug and pry at the lower corners (left and right) to get this free
2. carefully remove the U shaped felt gasket
NOTE: I slid the window to the rear and loosened the gasket to the front by pulling it out of the track and putting it back in place. Then slide the window forward onto the loosened gasket segment and pick up and loosen the gasket and trim to the rear of the window. Now you can tug the gasket out from under the slider without tearing it...you will need a bit of force but apply the tug slowly so you do not tear the gasket.
3. Remove slider window
NOTE: The slider is slightly bigger then the track that it is sitting in. Move the slider into the center of the track. Use butter knives or putty knives between the slider and the aluminum track to gently pry a bow in the aluminum track. Pull the window slowly into your lap and remove it from the track.
4. on a nice open surface lay the slider window. The slider handle needs to be removed.
NOTE: The aluminum handle on the slider window is glued in place. I used a razor knife and two flat blade screwdrivers to gently pry and cut the glue from the window halves/Handle. The prying happened at the gaps between glass and handle at both ends of handle along the thickness of the glass halves. I pushed the screw drivers into that slight gap, wiggling them until I opened a pocket of loose space. Working the razor knife up and down the length of the aluminium handle, the handle became free.
5. Cut open the two glass halves
NOTE: Use the razor knife to cut the gasket free between the two glass halves, working from the place where the glass is already dislodged from its once glued condition. The object here is to save the gasket if you can. You will be able to buy gaskets but why bother if you are trying to pinch a penny on this project. Work slowly all the way around the window on one side of the gasket freeing it from the glass. Pick the now freed glass off the mating half and mark the inside with a brite color crayon. Inside will become outside for the reinstall purpose.
6. Cut the gasket off the second piece of glass. Mark the inside as you did with the first piece and set it down on your work area.
7. Clean up time
NOTE: cleaning the glass is the largest portion of this project. Every project will be different. Thru experimentation on the first window I repaired I learned that if I clean the gasket (wiped it not bathing it with some vinegar and water letting it dry) and the outside of the windows (wash outside window with glass cleaner and use a razor scraper to remove glue and any impurities clinging to glass) I could glue the glass halves and gasket back in place then clean the etched glass on the outside most easily.
8. Glue up time
NOTE: Clear silicone adhesive was used to glue the glass halves. I needed one 4oz Permatex Clear Silicone squeeze tube for each slider repair.
Lay window (cleaned outside glass facing up on your work space) clean side up. Place a narrow bead of adhesive all the way around the outer edge of the glass. Use care not to get the adhesive all over or you will be looking at dried adhesive inside the glass for a long time. Lay gasket onto the adhesive and gently go around pressing it into place. This will help squish out the adhesive giving you a best bond. Place the other piece of glass on the gasket without gluing it in place. Place weights on the glass to help adhere the gasket well onto the lower piece of glass. This takes about 1 hour. Now remove weights and second piece of glass and get ready to glue the top piece of cleaned glass in place. I used latex gloves to keep my finger prints off my cleaned glass. With adhesive placed all the way around the gasket....place the outside cleaned glass in place onto the silicone and make sure it is nicely mating over the first piece of glass. Place weights on the glass to help it properly adhere all the way around. Let set up for 1 hour.
9. Cleaning etched glass
I used a clean terry towel shop rag and hot vinegar to clean the etching off my glass. Soak the terry towel in hot vinegar and lay it out on the white foggy garbage that is etched in your glass. It will dissolve the calcium that comprises the etching. After about a half hour of laying over the white cloudy area you can remove the towel and clean up the window using a razor scraper and regular window cleaner product. I additionally used a lens polish kit from Harbor Freight to polish up the etched side of the glass and give my slider a renewed shine.
10. glue on aluminum handle
Make sure the aluminum handle is cleaned and free of glue. Center it on the FLAT edge of the glass (curved edge goes towards rear of MH) Make sure the handle has the latch properly orientated. Place RTV adhesive down into grove in aluminum handle and the tap it into place using a rubber mallet or plastic dead blow hammer. Let set for a day so every segment of RTV cures.
11. Reinstall window, gasket and trim ring
NOTE: The gasket removal left a mess in my aluminum track. I washed and cleaned all the silt out of the track and washed the gasket in warm soapy water allowing it time to dry. Reinstall window first, using your pry tools. Slide window in cleaned track forward and slip the felt gasket up under the slider in the lower track. Pull window back on to gasket segment and slide window while holding gasket onto rear of slider forward (this will help you jimmy the gasket up under the slider and put it back into place. Do bottom first, sliding the window back and forcing slider and gasket forward until the gasket is all the way forward in track. the install gasket on vertical rear track and start doing the upper portion like the lower. took me a little doing to get my first gasket in place but I did the second one like I was a pro. Reinstall trim ring. Do a slight finger print removal on glass and marvel at the hundreds of dollars you saved in doing this yourself

My project took one evening per window....including removal and reinstall. Total time was about 4 hours of labor not including the cure time. My cost was $34 for supplies

Razor Knife
Razor scraper
paper towels
flat tipped screw drivers
weights
clamps
RTV clear adhesive
cotton terry cloth towels
vinegar
glass gleaner
latex gloves
Harbor freight lens polishing kit
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:30 AM   #6
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Hope this helps.... if you need more details in certain areas please ask

the reason the etching in the window took place is the gasket (made of honycomb material is filled with calcium carbonate). Once the seal in the double pane glass breaks the added moisture overwhelms the small amount of calcium carbonate. It dissolves and drips into the void in the glass. When it dries you get etching.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:47 AM   #7
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Craig,

Many thanks for your informative write up. I have a friend who has this problem. We will be using your method to fix his window.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:40 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing, Craig.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:46 AM   #9
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Thanks Craig. Well written and very easy to follow. I'm sure this will be valuable to many.

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Old 11-09-2012, 12:50 PM   #10
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Your welcome everyone..... sharing is what this site is all about. I am elbow deep at getting my recent purchase up to speed and like each of you...I would rather spend my hard earned $ on a toy I have wanted for a long time than a window that is foggy inside.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:07 PM   #11
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During the summer, I also repaired a fogged window on my motorhome. I took pictures and documented the process at:
RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: Dual Pane Window Repair-My Way

I bought the supplies from Amazon.

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:30 AM   #12
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Fred....I love your documentation. I took a bit of a low budget approach and it looks like you did a most professional job. Glad you posted your efforts so people can look at some different levels of approach.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:56 AM   #13
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Thanks for the kind words, but we both did the same thing. I just happened to have a camera and enjoy fixing things.

I see you have a "parts RV". Great idea, and that should make fixing things a lot easier.

Fred
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:59 AM   #14
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Fred...I promise that I did not intend on creating a parts RV..... hehehehehehe... earlier this year I curbed my 1995 Bounder too close to a leaning tele pole and bumped it. Oh boy the damage was so awesome to the cap and the windshields popped out. I made a windshield from items I bought at Lowes and drove from Pittsburg to Louisville. My parts RV is due to my stupidity. I bought another matching RV and am making the best of both .... It is comforting to go out and strip parts....but it broke my heart to have to do that. The interior of the Parts RV was awesome....the interior of the current one is becoming more awesome as I whip out my wallet and spend hours detailing and swapping. My novice driving skills and $3.35 at Starbucks can get me a coffee....but no one wants to hear a tale of RV destruction.
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