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Old 09-20-2021, 09:23 PM   #1
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AM Eagle Windshield repair recommendations

I am looking for recommendations for someone who can "fix it once, and fix it right"


The background:


I have a 1997 American Eagle which I purchased from the original owner. The right upper corner of the right windshield cracked soon after he purchased it while he was jacking to level it. I was familiar with the issue due to reading, but he explained how he did not have the front up high enough and while jacking, got the chassis in a bind and popped it. It was in the extreme upper corner and since it never spread, he never bothered with a repair. The crack was so old, the tinted area was discolored in the affected zone.



After having it for a year or so, I noticed that the weather stripping/ gasket on the left upper windshield had a small gap. After further inspection, and comparing it to the right upper (cracked) corner, noticed the right side was definitely crowded, protruding slightly and the entire windshield assembly seems skewed to the right.


Another data point: I keep it at my house and the driveway causes a bit of a twist when pulling in or out. I never thought it would be enough to cause an issue, or anything that would not be experienced to a similar or higher degree when pulling into driveways, parking lots, crossing RR tracks or turning onto a road which changes elevation in the turn.



Finally: I was pulling out of my driveway a couple of weeks ago when it was dark one morning, and in addition to the "normal" creaking sounds it makes when easing out, I heard a distinct "pop". Sure enough, when it was bright enough outside to see, I saw a new crack appeared running from the old damaged area. Now it must be replaced.





Question 1- Who should I get to do the repair? I am willing to drive to Indiana to get American Coach to do it if that's the right thing to do for a "permanent" repair, but I have no other desire/ reason to be in Indiana any time soon. It would be ideal to have someone do the repair on the east coast. I am in Raleigh NC, but I am not afraid to travel to get the right person to do the job.



Question 2- I have read about persons doing repair using Urethane to adhere the gasket to the body and then adhere the glass to the gasket. This option seems to make sense to me, but I have also read that it should "float". What is best in my situation?



Question 3- What are the thoughts/ comments about causes? Was it sure to break anyhow since it already had the crack and was more vulnerable? Is the old gasket likely a contributing factor? Could the skewing which is visible be legacy from the initial damage he did years ago jacking, or is the driveway contributing/ causing issues? Is it likely to happen again?





This unit has the Gillig chassis, which is supposed to be a robust chassis, and went a long way towards helping me decide this was the one for me. If I cant expect it to negotiate my driveway safely without risking another windshield, I must consider if I want to continue owning this coach. It is disappointing to make that statement, but if the simple elevation change of the driveway is a problem, then I think it's not the right one for me long term. I do not expect it to go offloading, but if it's that delicate, I don't want it.





I would appreciate any input to the above from others who have experiences, especially with a similar vintage American coach. I am hopeful this is a rare event with this vintage of coach and if it's fixed properly, it's highly unlikely to happen again. Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowJoe View Post
I am looking for recommendations for someone who can "fix it once, and fix it right"


The background:


I have a 1997 American Eagle which I purchased from the original owner. The right upper corner of the right windshield cracked soon after he purchased it while he was jacking to level it. I was familiar with the issue due to reading, but he explained how he did not have the front up high enough and while jacking, got the chassis in a bind and popped it. It was in the extreme upper corner and since it never spread, he never bothered with a repair. The crack was so old, the tinted area was discolored in the affected zone.



After having it for a year or so, I noticed that the weather stripping/ gasket on the left upper windshield had a small gap. After further inspection, and comparing it to the right upper (cracked) corner, noticed the right side was definitely crowded, protruding slightly and the entire windshield assembly seems skewed to the right.


Another data point: I keep it at my house and the driveway causes a bit of a twist when pulling in or out. I never thought it would be enough to cause an issue, or anything that would not be experienced to a similar or higher degree when pulling into driveways, parking lots, crossing RR tracks or turning onto a road which changes elevation in the turn.



Finally: I was pulling out of my driveway a couple of weeks ago when it was dark one morning, and in addition to the "normal" creaking sounds it makes when easing out, I heard a distinct "pop". Sure enough, when it was bright enough outside to see, I saw a new crack appeared running from the old damaged area. Now it must be replaced.





Question 1- Who should I get to do the repair? I am willing to drive to Indiana to get American Coach to do it if that's the right thing to do for a "permanent" repair, but I have no other desire/ reason to be in Indiana any time soon. It would be ideal to have someone do the repair on the east coast. I am in Raleigh NC, but I am not afraid to travel to get the right person to do the job.



Question 2- I have read about persons doing repair using Urethane to adhere the gasket to the body and then adhere the glass to the gasket. This option seems to make sense to me, but I have also read that it should "float". What is best in my situation?



Question 3- What are the thoughts/ comments about causes? Was it sure to break anyhow since it already had the crack and was more vulnerable? Is the old gasket likely a contributing factor? Could the skewing which is visible be legacy from the initial damage he did years ago jacking, or is the driveway contributing/ causing issues? Is it likely to happen again?





This unit has the Gillig chassis, which is supposed to be a robust chassis, and went a long way towards helping me decide this was the one for me. If I cant expect it to negotiate my driveway safely without risking another windshield, I must consider if I want to continue owning this coach. It is disappointing to make that statement, but if the simple elevation change of the driveway is a problem, then I think it's not the right one for me long term. I do not expect it to go offloading, but if it's that delicate, I don't want it.





I would appreciate any input to the above from others who have experiences, especially with a similar vintage American coach. I am hopeful this is a rare event with this vintage of coach and if it's fixed properly, it's highly unlikely to happen again. Thanks in advance for the help!

The only part of your question I can answer is from years in the body shop. A windshield mounted in rubber should never be glued in place.
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. Hoping to get more!
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Old 09-30-2021, 07:06 PM   #4
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I would call RV Glass Solutions. They have contacts all over the country for replacing RV windshields. While have some glass work done by them in Oregon they had a motorhome with a windshield that was not seating correctly. They gave the owner the name of a body shop that could correct the problems so the glass would fit.


https://rvglassexperts.com/
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Old 10-01-2021, 03:27 PM   #5
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I know Raleigh can be pretty hilly in certain parts of town (born and bred), so it is hard to say whether your coach should be able to easily make the climb.



I think the RV Glass solutions suggestion is a good one.



Your Eagle has excellent bones and is riding on a chassis that was a $20K upgrade when she was built. Not fragile by any stretch of the imagination.



If your levelers are the 3 leg design and the previous owner was not skilled in how to operate it when initially purchased...that makes perfect sense to me as an explanation for the crack.



What happens on these vintage coaches is that the gasket actually shrinks a bit with age and this is probably why it has popped out in the corners.


IMHO a new gasket and glass will be well worth the expense and give you years of good service if the installation is done properly.



On these old birds, the windshield floats in the gasket which allows for some movement to prevent the glass from fracturing under pressure.


Always raise the front first before deploying the rear jacks and you will have no issues.



I would say you have a "keeper", but has you can see from my signature I am not objective having owned a 98 since 2009!


Good luck with your decision!
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Old 10-02-2021, 08:23 AM   #6
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Thanks for the response. This is helpful. I really like it and would like to keep it. It's really reliable and does everything I need it to! I have read about other models having chronic windshield issues, but I haven't really heard about the issue existing with this model/ vintage. Hoping that's not the case!
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Old 10-02-2021, 08:47 AM   #7
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I would take it to REV in Indiana. You are most likely to get a service tech that has replaced windshield in a similar situation. First call them and see what they have to say. I had one replaced there several years ago and was pleased with the results.
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Old 10-02-2021, 09:03 AM   #8
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For my Eagle, I called all the local glass companies in my area, including Safelite, none did large RV glass...

I then used one of the "National RV windshield replacement" companies got off Google.

All that was is a deal where they found someone in my area, using a larger footprint than my search.
Had to drive about hour and half to get it replaced as they didn't do on site replacement.

Once they got finished, great job btw, the guy says next time call him and he'd save me $500 for not going through the "company"

OP- Google search and call every glass company in an area as far as you're willing to drive. I'll bet there's someone who'll jump on it for less $$
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Old 10-02-2021, 01:45 PM   #9
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Andrew Steel has a channel on You tube. He makes pretty informative videos about Motorhomes. If he doesn't like a product he won't endorse it or say favorable things about a product. The Glass company he uses and swears by for his moho is RVGlassGuruAZ.com. They may be worth a try.
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Old 11-09-2021, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackwrench View Post
For my Eagle, I called all the local glass companies in my area, including Safelite, none did large RV glass...

I then used one of the "National RV windshield replacement" companies got off Google.

All that was is a deal where they found someone in my area, using a larger footprint than my search.
Had to drive about hour and half to get it replaced as they didn't do on site replacement.

Once they got finished, great job btw, the guy says next time call him and he'd save me $500 for not going through the "company"

OP- Google search and call every glass company in an area as far as you're willing to drive. I'll bet there's someone who'll jump on it for less $$
Mackwrench,
May I ask what you paid for comparison? I've got a quote of $1326 for the passenger side of my 99 Eagle at a local shop in Northern Colorado.
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Old 11-09-2021, 02:58 PM   #11
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Mackwrench,
May I ask what you paid for comparison? I've got a quote of $1326 for the passenger side of my 99 Eagle at a local shop in Northern Colorado.
Yep, I'm away from coach for a bit, but I'll look at paperwork when I get back....but I think I paid more than $1326....my cost included the "nationwide glass" deal
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Old 11-09-2021, 08:34 PM   #12
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Mackwrench,

May I ask what you paid for comparison? I've got a quote of $1326 for the passenger side of my 99 Eagle at a local shop in Northern Colorado.
Just looked at the invoice....I paid $1,700.....it was replaced by a small independent glass company that the national company paid, I was told about $500 difference if I'd dealt with them direct.

All the national company did for their part was make me an appointment.

My advice is to search for a glass company in a area as far as you're willing to drive to for $500.
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Old 11-10-2021, 09:10 PM   #13
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Update on the situation:




I spoke with a service representative at the factory in Indiana. He explained what they would do if they were going to do the repair, and his thorough description helped me decide to make the trip so they could do it. They are going to pull both sides, replace the entire gasket and install the new glass and reset the old one. The total estimate is $2115. They will inspect the opening and trim/ modify as necessary. They also use urethane on the gasket to body and gasket to glass. He said they didn't used to do it that way, but found out that it works much better doing it the new way. I am going to be there 12/3.



Thanks for all of the contributions.
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Old 11-11-2021, 08:14 AM   #14
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In my opinion you are making the best decision. Most people do not realize the windshield is structural, when I had to replace mine I went to the factory to make certain it was done correctly. Not the lowest cost and I had some resistance from my insurance company. Hope the weather isn't too bad, let us know how it goes.
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