Resealing Windows - - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-29-2009, 09:07 PM   #1
Name: John
Trailer: Compact Jr
Posts: 32
I need to take the windows off to reseal and replace the wood frame on the inside.

Is there a document or consensus on the best materials/methods to use to seal the windows.

Has anyone tried to use this "plastic" wood (decking material) on the inside?

Thank you...

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Old 04-29-2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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No thoughts on that, but when you are almost finished, the last touch should be some insulation on the hidden (backside) metal parts of the window frame that sticks inside the trailer (foam or felt) -- The purpose of this would be to keep cold weather condensation from forming where it isn't easy to get to it.

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Old 04-29-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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I'm thinking you're asking two questions here, right?

1) Sealing windows
2) Wood trim on the inside (which probably accepts the fasteners)

For sealing (assuming a flanged window), I would choose butyl tape as my first choice. You could also use butyl caulk or a polyurethane caulk if you didn't like the tape for some reason. You put it on the back side of the flange before you put the window back on the camper.

For wood trim/backing plate on the inside, I would use real wood. I think there are a number of types that would be appropriate, or you could use a decent plywood. I can't see an advantage to using fake wood. It may be less prone to rot, but if you have enough water inside the camper to rot wooden pieces, you have more problems than that. I don't know how well the fake stuff takes fasteners; I would think it might be subject to "creep" under load, but not sure that would be an issue. I haven't researched it because I know I would use wood.

I don't know if the fake wood would be more prone to condensation; real wood does pretty well.

There is also the possibility of coating wood in epoxy resin, but again, I just don't think you should see that much moisture inside your camper.

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Old 04-30-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 1,519
Composite wood products have both advantages and disadvantages. On the advantages side, composites are light-weight, do not rot and composite "trim" products and many composite decking products can be cut, formed, and painted like wood. On the disadvantages side, however, is the matrix inside composite trims do not hold screws as tightly as wood does, so they're not always a good choice where a lot of flexing or stress occurs.

I used composite trim in one place on my trailer, for the frame I made for our roof-mounted solar panels. Composites made sense in this application because the "wood" frame is constantly exposed to the elements, but to use them there I I used both screws and urethane glue to assemble the frame and mounted it to our rooftop with both silicone marine adhesive caulk designed to work on fiberglass and six #10 2" coarse-thread stainless steel screws. It's been a solid and leak-free installation these last two years.

The inside of the trailer doesn't see the weather extremes that justify the use of composites, so I'd tend to assemble a well-fitting window frame from traditional wood products like poplar, hemlock, and other tight-grained but lightweight woods.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:08 PM   #5
Name: John
Trailer: Compact Jr
Posts: 32
Thank you everyone for weighing in...!!! As always - I appreciate your input and wisdom...

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