79 bigfoot - reseal windows in 3 ways, or replace windows? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-10-2017, 05:46 PM   #1
dlb
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Name: d
Trailer: bigfoot
British Columbia
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79 bigfoot - reseal windows in 3 ways, or replace windows?

i am about to reseal the door and windows on our 79 bigfoot when i started thinking that where the window frame meets the fiberglass is only one of several leak points with the windows, so i want to ask about the other leak points.

so beyond removing the screws and retaining strap from inside the trailer, popping the window out, and cleaning and replacing the sealant, it looks like the windows can also leak

- through the track of the sliding windows (picture 1). i noticed one sliding window has some weird, rotten old fabric in its track which i assume is original but obviously very worn out. all of the sliding windows are loose in the frames, in that i can jiggle them up and down. it seems to me they should be held snugly in the frames by some kind of seal.

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- between the glass and the window frame (picture 3). there is a rubber seal between the two but it doesn't look like they've ever been replaced, as they are dried out and cracked, shrunken, and someone has gooped some silicone sealant over the rubber in some places.

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can i reseal those areas, and if so, how? i did a search on here but couldn't find anything.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:23 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
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If you know the manufacturer of your window units, or can match the shape and dimensions of what you now have, you might find a replacement slider track weather striping here.

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/category-s/26.htm

For rebedding them against the side of the trailer when you get ready to remount them I would recommend Butyl rubber tape. It is double-sided and works well for rebedding windows. Start at the middle of the bottom of the frame and work your way around the perimeter. Don't stretch it, just lay it down as it comes off the spool. Any excess that squishes out after tightening is easily edge trimmed after installation.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:57 PM   #3
dlb
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there is no information on the windows as to who made them so today i took a few of the them to a local auto glass place. they were unable to help me.

next, i emailed bigfoot to ask them. a guy named grant emailed me back immediately (at 8 pm on a wednesday night -- i'm impressed) and told me that sun-view industries are the original makers of bigfoot's windows so i just sent them an email. here is their website in case anyone else runs into this:

RV Windows by Sun-View Industries

fingers crossed i hear from them soon and it's good news. otherwise i will have to get creative.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:21 PM   #4
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I have also received great customer service from Bigfoot. Let us know how the window project goes.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:35 PM   #5
dlb
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more bad news. sun-view said they did not make the windows in my bigfoot, that it was made before their time with bigfoot. so i went back to grant and asked if he had any idea who else would have made them, he said no.

so back to the drawing board -- i've been looking online and it appears the fabric seals in the channels of the slider windows are interchangeably called flex channels and u channels. i'm going to take measurements and should be able to find something that fits.

but before i do that, i'm going to try disassembling a window to get the slider out first. it looks like it will be a real PITA of a job so combine that with the 6 sliding windows and the cost of the seals, and i might talk myself into figuring out something else.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:06 PM   #6
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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Water leaking through the windows is a common problem for many Uhaul camper owners. For the window channel liner, look on crlaurence.com, they have lots of different types available. They even have a sample chain of 50 different ones. Look under "glass run channels". You will have to cut slots to match up with the weep holes in the window frame. That's another minor maintenance issue, keep the weep holes clear as debris can plug them. Weed eater line works good to run through them. There is a good thread about disassembling and rebuilding Uhaul slider side windows that may have similarities to your windows. You can find it in the document center here under Uhaul in the list of manufacturers.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:07 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1991 17 ft Bigfoot
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Several years ago we took our first Bigfoot, a 1986, to Sunview in Summerland, BC, to have the windows disassembled and all of the soft parts replaced. Sunview's owner told us that by design water gets into the tracks. The track material is porous, to allow water to seep into the frame beneath then drain out the weeps. While the OPs windows are not Sunview, I'm guessing the concept is the same.

Our second Bigfoot, a 1991, has windows that are somewhat loose in the frames. The wipers, the rubber strips between the fixed and sliding panes, are shrunken and no longer contact the sliding pane. The exterior rubber weltings between the glass and the frames are shrunken as well, leaving a gap. The tracks are not in the best of shape. Still, the windows do not leak water into the cabin.

What will make them leak is when dust and insect bodies accumulate on and beneath the tracks, blocking water's path to the weeps. Then the tracks flood, spilling onto the interior wall. Periodically I clean the tracks. I clean the under-track area with long pipe cleaners or cable ties, accessing both from the inside of the trailer and outside (via the weeps).

Bottom line, I guess, is that despite gaps caused by shrunken soft parts my windows do not leak.

While water does not leak into my trailer through the gaps, bugs get in there. My solution is to make a set of no-see-um mesh screens that attach to the interior-facing portions of the window frames.

Velcro attaches them. I used sew-on Velcro and 3M 5200 adhesive. The hook Velcro is adhered to the window frame and the loop to the mesh. I install only when necessary as they significantly reduce ventilation.

Once a screen is installed, opening and closing the window requires a work-around. Either peel back the no-see-um screen enough to access the slider, or go outside and move the slider with the palm of the hand. Non-skid drawer liner helps.

These additional screens are not the most elegant solution, but they will keep all of the bugs out.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:58 PM   #8
dlb
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thanks tim, that's excellent info. my wife and i had been looking at the frame tracks and drain holes, thinking that the loose sliding windows may not cause leaks so i'm glad to hear your experience. that's great news because it looks like replacing the slider seals requires cutting the welds on the aluminum window frame and then welding it back together after -- not a job i'm interested in doing on this old thing.

so i spent the day researching butyl tape and why NOT to use silicone sealant, then picked up the tape and some proflex sealant. spent the rest of the day removing the remaining windows and beginning to clean the old butyl tape off the fiberglass.

but there's another annoying development: two of the windows have been siliconed in place and are in there really, really good. even worse, both of them are known leakers. are there any tricks for getting them out?
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