Is The Front Window Shield A Necessity? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-07-2007, 08:51 PM   #1
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My oldy moldy Boler ('75 $1800) came without a cover for the front window, if I drive it around will this be a problem? I actually like being able to see clear through with my rear view mirror!
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Old 07-07-2007, 09:13 PM   #2
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Hi Suzanne,

My boler didn't come with a window cover, and I never did install one. I liked taking the curtains down and looking right through with my rear view mirror too!
I think if a person has a low tow vehicle (like a car) it would keep more bugs, etc. off the trailer window, but it looks like you are towing with an SUV so probably not as much of an issue. I say do it. Anything that makes a person feel safer and have a better view while driving is always a good thing.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:15 PM   #3
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It's not really a problem until you get that one stray rock that ruins your trip and you are then faced with replacing the window. It may take years or it could be on you next trip out.

As an alternative to really expensive window covers, if you are handy with a sewing machine head to your local fabric store and get some heavy marine vinyl. Cut the piece to the window shape about 3" larger. Fold one inch in and sew it to make a nice edge. Add snaps around the parimeter. Then drill pilot holes in the fiberglass and screw in snap studs. (most hardware and boating stores have them) Add a dab of cualk to the back before screwing them in. You then have a nice cover that you can snap on when you travel and take off when you set up camp. If you want assitional protection you can add a layer of closed cell foam to the back side of the vinyl before you sew it. This will absorb any impacts even better.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:20 PM   #4
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eww, a rock...that's a great idea, I could even use clear vinyl (perhaps) thanks!

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It's not really a problem until you get that one stray rock that ruins your trip and you are then faced with replacing the window. It may take years or it could be on you next trip out.

As an alternative to really expensive window covers, if you are handy with a sewing machine head to your local fabric store and get some heavy marine vinyl. Cut the piece to the window shape about 3" larger. Fold one inch in and sew it to make a nice edge. Add snaps around the parimeter. Then drill pilot holes in the fiberglass and screw in snap studs. (most hardware and boating stores have them) Add a dab of cualk to the back before screwing them in. You then have a nice cover that you can snap on when you travel and take off when you set up camp. If you want assitional protection you can add a layer of closed cell foam to the back side of the vinyl before you sew it. This will absorb any impacts even better.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:48 PM   #5
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We ran out of time to get our Burro camping ready for our annual family camping trip last year. We reinstalled all windows before our trip but the front rock guard did not make it. We left our house at 12 midnight and arrived near the small town we were camping in at 6am. When we looked at the front window the slider had bowed in from the force of the wind and fallen almost completely out of the track. To get home we, duck taped a thin piece of plywood to that slider opening. Our windows are plexiglas. The middle slider cannot take the highway force winds.

If you windows are made of glass you probably would not have the same issue. But if the glasss is thin, you may think that a rock shattered it, when in all acutality, it was the sheer force of wind.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:39 AM   #6
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How much would replacement panes cost you? I suggest going to a window store and getting an estimate, just so you know ahead of time what the worst case scenario would cost. Then decide if you wanna take a chance, or not.

I built mine for 76 cents from the scrap bin at home depotto. Oh, don't forget every hole you make in the fiberglass is a potential leak where none previously existed.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:31 PM   #7
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How much would replacement panes cost you? I suggest going to a window store and getting an estimate, just so you know ahead of time what the worst case scenario would cost. Then decide if you wanna take a chance, or not.

I built mine for 76 cents from the scrap bin at home depotto. Oh, don't forget every hole you make in the fiberglass is a potential leak where none previously existed.
Here's an idea, if you want to leave it uncovered, but are concerned about breakage:
Buy some polycarbonate sheet, and make your window from that. Polycarbonate is as clear as acrylic (plexiglass), but much stronger. You won't break it! It is what they make lenses for safety glasses from. You can clamp it in a vise and smack it with a hammer, and it will not break. You can put it in a sheet metal brake and make a 90 degree bend in it. It is available in different thicknesses. You might have to call some local plastics companies to find it, cause I don't think it is available at places like home depot. They say that it does not stand up to sunlight as well as acrylic, but I made some inside covers for some house windows, and did not notice any yellowing. Probably long term, you would get yellowing sooner than acrylic, and would have to replace it sooner.
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:48 PM   #8
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Presuming we are still talking about the front window, it would be quite a task to make your own (I don't want to say impossible, because someone makes them, but likely not in their garage) because on most eggs they have a compound curve...

The window is up pretty high so it's relatively safe from tow vehicle rear tire kickup, so I figure the odds are about the same as any windshield (or even less, being somewhat shielded by the TV), plus they are plexi, not glass, so we are most likely talking dings not holes.

Even so, I believe the gravel shield has other uses, so I would likely put one on if I didn't have one.

BTW, Scamp wants $79 for gravel shield ($59 for shield, $20 for hardware), plus shipping, and $45 for a plexi window ($40 for plexi and $5 for gasket), plus shipping, so it would be a reasonable gamble to forego a shield, esp if you want to look thru the egg in your rearview mirror, and carry some duct tape just in case.

Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice!
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:03 PM   #9
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I have a lady hot rodder buddy who lives in Sedro Woolley Wa. She drives a customized 42 Ford tudor sedan (Blue) and tows a color matching Echo (13ft). We have gone on MANY campout weekends with her and her husband, who often drives along in his yellow 42 Ford convertable.

One particular run we were on, she was headed back North up I-5 in her car towing her trailer and he was following in his drop top. All of a sudden, he saw a sheet of what looked like glass flying through the air towards his car. He managed to avoid it but did NOT know where it came from. A few hundred yards along and her sees a letterman jacket soaring over his head. He thought to himself, Geeze that sure LOOKS like jacket I have!!!. ...another few hundred yards along an he's now seeing trinkets and decorations that he KNOWS are from his wifes' trailer in front of him. Just then ANOTHER sheet of glass flew over his head and darn near all the contents of their trailer (that wasn't bolted down) were headed his way. She finally realized what had happened and pulled over to the shoulder. I guess no one was injured by all the flying debris.

It turned out that the seal around the front of the trailer had softened in the heat had weakened, let go and caused the glass to get airborn. The missing front glass caused an increase in air speed inside the trailer, forcing the rear glass out (also because of a weakened seal) along with all the other contents. Had she had a rock guard on front she feels that this wouldn't have happened, so since that episode, I advise evereyone I know about this issue. You can talk all you want about how cheap and easy these 'panes' are to fix/replace, but think one also needs to be aware of possible other issues happening when you have a seemingly minor mishap.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:13 PM   #10
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Must a been doing about 97mph from the sounds of it...
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Old 07-09-2007, 02:22 AM   #11
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Nah!

She was just trying to keep from getting run over by a semi on I-5 between Everett and Sedro Wooley.
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Old 07-09-2007, 02:29 PM   #12
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I have to admit that the front window blowing in or off an egg is something I had never considered or even heard about before, so that's one more reason to have a gravel shield as protection.

So far, the only reasons not to have one are the expense/fuss of installing one and not being able to see through the egg while driving.

BTW, a GS was a neccessity on my old Jayco 16' because there were two front windows that cranked open and I'm sure the window seals would have been less than adequate when driving in the rain.

BTW, I was the third owner of that trailer and there were no dings on the GS.
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