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Old 07-27-2021, 02:56 PM   #1
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Adding a window

I'm planning to add a window to my 2000 Fleetwood Southwind Storm 34T. Currently the wall above the sink is windowless and I'd like to change that 😀
Does anyone have experience they're willing to share with this type of addition? Once I ensure there's nothing in the wall, I plan to cut a hole and install a 12" x 24" sliding window, hoping it's that simple. Obviously I'll need to properly install and seal/caulk/etc, but beyond that what should I be considering? I've added a picture of where I plan to put it.
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Old 07-27-2021, 03:40 PM   #2
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My windows have a metal frame inside the wall for support.
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:32 PM   #3
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Make sure you are not going to find wires where you plan to cut out the window. I have found out that they run the wires any place convenient, not where you would expect to see them. Good luck with your project
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:38 AM   #4
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I'd be fairly concerned about what is in your proposed opening, from wiring to structural support for the wall.

If it's clear you'll need a fairly precisely sized opening, probably easiest to make a couple of templates and use a router. There isn't a lot of trim around the window to cover mistakes, a little misalignment could mean a window that won't seal and is obviously out of position.

To seal (and maintain position) the inner and outer sections of the window screw together and clamp against the walls. That means you need a spacer around the perimeter of the opening between the walls as thick as the distance between the walls so they don't collapse inward as you're tightening the window.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argosy View Post
I'd be fairly concerned about what is in your proposed opening, from wiring to structural support for the wall.

If it's clear you'll need a fairly precisely sized opening, probably easiest to make a couple of templates and use a router. There isn't a lot of trim around the window to cover mistakes, a little misalignment could mean a window that won't seal and is obviously out of position.

To seal (and maintain position) the inner and outer sections of the window screw together and clamp against the walls. That means you need a spacer around the perimeter of the opening between the walls as thick as the distance between the walls so they don't collapse inward as you're tightening the window.
I couldn't of said it better.

I totally get why you want to add this window, but I'm a fairly handy guy and have taken on some pretty big projects upgrading our coach—inside and out—but this is one I would not do. If anything goes wrong, it will go WAY wrong.

But good luck to you sir.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:58 AM   #6
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It “should” be doable, but I don’t know if it is. Best of luck as you enter into the unknown.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:40 AM   #7
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I would be a little hesitant considering the common RV window need a frame inside the wall to support it once you start screwing down the internal frame to the external.

If the conditions are optimum you can see the in wall framing in the overnight dew which will give you an idea of how the other windows are framed.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:15 AM   #8
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It is probably a doable project, but I would not attempt this. Are you going to be cutting through structural members? It needs a frame around the window opening.

RV windows clamp into place and just the foam inside the wall will not be sufficient for clamping.

But this is your RV and you can do as you please.

Ken
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:20 AM   #9
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I tried to add my $0.02 by googling “add window to rv”. I got lots of hits, mostly YouTube. You might feel better after seeing what others have done before you. Just make sure that the window and frame are really stout. You will be altering the structural integrity of the wall, so a robust frame will make up for that.
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:22 AM   #10
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All good points. Thanks to those who've replied. I will be looking into adding structural supports for the window, as suggested!
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:26 AM   #11
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Thank you sir. I searched all over this site, without any luck. Is it me or is the search not great? Regardless, I definitely should have tried google��, doh! Off to Google/YouTube I go... Sometimes I overthink and sometimes I underthink ��
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:02 PM   #12
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I installed a sliding window over the kitchen sink and a vent for the convection MW in my Horizon. I used a pneumatic body/reciprocating saw with a fine tooth blade to cut the hole, it gives good control. I used a die grinder with a 80 grit roloc disk to dress/fine tune the hole edges.

I practiced on a piece of 1/2” plywood to make sure the hole size was good, once satisfied I made a poster board template from that. My Horizons wall is 1-5/8” thick so I had to make two cuts, one outside and then one inside. To make sure the two cuts where dead on with each other I drilled two 1/8” holes through the wall on the template center line, one a 1/2” from the top and the other 1/2” from the bottom, then leaving the drill bits in the wall (sticking out on both sides) I used them as guide pins to mark both cut lines. Note: Make sure the side of the template facing out on the outside cut is facing the wall on the inside cut.

Here are a couple of pictures. I had JC Penny custom make the flush mount window blind.
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Old 07-28-2021, 02:23 PM   #13
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I installed a sliding window over the kitchen sink and a vent for the convection MW in my Horizon. I used a pneumatic body/reciprocating saw with a fine tooth blade to cut the hole, it gives good control. I used a die grinder with a 80 grit roloc disk to dress/fine tune the hole edges.

I practiced on a piece of 1/2” plywood to make sure the hole size was good, once satisfied I made a poster board template from that. My Horizons wall is 1-5/8” thick so I had to make two cuts, one outside and then one inside. To make sure the two cuts where dead on with each other I drilled two 1/8” holes through the wall on the template center line, one a 1/2” from the top and the other 1/2” from the bottom, then leaving the drill bits in the wall (sticking out on both sides) I used them as guide pins to mark both cut lines. Note: Make sure the side of the template facing out on the outside cut is facing the wall on the inside cut.

Here are a couple of pictures. I had JC Penny custom make the flush mount window blind.
Outstanding! I greatly appreciate you sharing. Good to know it's been done. Did you need to add any reinforcement to the wall or near the window? Or was it reasonably stout without?
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Old 07-28-2021, 02:58 PM   #14
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Outstanding! I greatly appreciate you sharing. Good to know it's been done. Did you need to add any reinforcement to the wall or near the window? Or was it reasonably stout without?
In the olden days I've done tons of these. RV widows are fastened in place by themselves. The outer frame of the widow screws to the inner frame. The biggest thing you need to be aware of is the thickness of the wall. The inside extrusion needs to be the same thickness as the wall. Hence in essence it just "pinches" itself in the whole.

The way I would start of course is to try and figure out where the wall studs are. Figure the maximum you could install it forward and backward and drill a 1/2 inch hole directly in the center. That way if you had to move it way back or way forward your pilot whole would be covered. Also this way you could see what is in it for insulation and measure the exact depth between the inner and outer wall.

A good scope tool would be handy at this time. Tougher if it is foam insulation but if it is fiberglass you could stick the camera in and look for wires or structure. If you can stay pretty close to the middle of the "studs" you'll have no structural problems.

We used to cut the outside with a pneumatic sheet metal cutter. they just nibble little half moon cuts and you can make a turn less than 1/2 inch with them. Just remember, it is a lot easier to make the whole bigger than smaller.

I guess I did not check and see what your outside material is, but if it is Fibron over plywood a nibbler would not work. A Dremel would be a better choice. The only problem I have with the guy who said to use a pneumatic saw is you are cutting through both the outer and inner panels at the same time. A lot of the time when we put them in the inner opening had to be a little smaller than the outer opening.

As for support, since you are really just pinching the window in what we always did was after cutting the whole, put the window in for a "test run" to make sure it pulled the inner and outer wall together just a tad. You don't want to suck it way in, you also don't want it loose. That's why getting the inside extrusion the right depth is important.

Once we got that right we then would cut down 2x2's to the correct thickness. They didn't need to be fastened to anything, just as a spacer so you got the "pinch" right. We usually just put a couple brad nails to hold them in place while installing the window. Once they are "pinched" they will not go anywhere. Old fashion Butyl tape works the best, although we did find some foam sealer that worked pretty good.

If you can order a stock size window you may be able to buy a plastic trim that goes in and covers the extrusion. We used to get them and cover in foam backed fabric. Some just snap in place, some took a screw in each corner.

I know, it's scary cutting a whole in the side of your coach, but if you do it without cutting any studs you won't have any problem.
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