Burro Front Window - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-06-2011, 11:05 AM   #1
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Burro Front Window

This topic was raised a while back, but I want to see if I can get a fresh take on it. I want to replace the old, incomplete, leaky sliding front window unit in my '83 Burro with a single piece of Lexan™ or similar shatter resistant material. I know I will lose the advantage of being able to open this window for great circulation, but at this point I am more interested in losing the leak and keeping the structural integrity of the camper. I have a Fan-tastic™ roof vent unit to install, so hopefully ventilation won't be a problem anyway.

SOOOOO... who has done this and what suggestions do you have? Is Lexan™ the way to go, or should I use some other material, and which set of grooves in the aluminum frame should be used? (I'm thinking outermost.) Do I take out the whole frame and reseal with generic rubber weather stripping, butyl tape, or what? I already know that silicone is not my friend here. If anybody has a link to an appropriate You-Tube video or some such, that would be appreciated as well. As always, thanks in advance!

Froggie
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:41 PM   #2
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I am in the same fix - ours is cracked and the estimate to get it replaced was $500. Looking at alternatives
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
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Fran, I have all of the parts, but it is not assembled well and the window units do not slide properly in their tracks (in fact, I don't think they are even in the right tracks.) The screen came with it but is not installed. What I have in mind is to cut a single piece of Lexan™ and put it in the outermost of the three tracks then seat everything solidly and not have to worry about anything leaking. I have seen at least one person do this and then cut an opening for a small A/C unit. It shouldn't be too hard. Keep me informed of any good ideas you find.

Anybody else... any other suggestions to help Fran and me?

TIA ~ Froggie
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:46 PM   #4
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talked with an Rv salvage company and they are looking into it. I also need a travel shield for the front. The salvage company didn't seem to think that was much of a problem. Looked into a propane fridge and those run $300. Not sure my little Burro was such a good deal.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Ciarlo View Post
talked with an Rv salvage company and they are looking into it. I also need a travel shield for the front. The salvage company didn't seem to think that was much of a problem. Looked into a propane fridge and those run $300. Not sure my little Burro was such a good deal.
Fran,

That depends on what you paid for it initially, of course, as well as what you feel is necessary to bring it up to a level to fit your needs/wants. The early '80s Burros came with an ice box, and the fridge was an extra cost option. You might look into that as an alternative. As for the Gravel Shield, again it was an option, but the good news is that it was pretty universal. Look at the Document Center listing on this Forum for a copy of the original owners' do-it-yourself manual for info on installation of that option. If you buy an original window unit, even used, from a dealer, you will be paying more or less top dollar... do you still have a usable frame in the window opening? Would you settle for a non-opening one piece window there? The savings would be noteworthy.

Yours in Burro-hood,
Froggie
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:42 PM   #6
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I would not use the original frame for the lexan because then you have two potential leak areas, the lexan to the frame and the frame to the fiberglass. I would buy the rubber seal from Scamp or a car window installer and install it (or have it installed).

I have totally rebuild several windows, almost all the rubber and felt pieces are available from various sources. Metal can be fabricated. New glass, plexi or lexan can be cut. It can be a big project but can usually be done.

Good luck and let us know what both of you decide to do.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lizbeth View Post
I would not use the original frame for the lexan because then you have two potential leak areas, the lexan to the frame and the frame to the fiberglass. I would buy the rubber seal from Scamp or a car window installer and install it (or have it installed).

I have totally rebuild several windows, almost all the rubber and felt pieces are available from various sources. Metal can be fabricated. New glass, plexi or lexan can be cut. It can be a big project but can usually be done.

Good luck and let us know what both of you decide to do.
Lizbeth,

I understand that there are two interfaces involved ("glass" to frame and frame to fiberglass) but since the original installation involved the same arrangement plus had the sliding windows and screen moving in three tracks on the frame, I'm wondering why there would be that much difficulty sealing a single glass as a solid unit in the outermost track, then sealing the frame to the body in the same way as was done originally. With no movement, it seems that obtaining a secure seal should be fairly straightforward. What am I missing here?

Froggie
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:54 AM   #8
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Maybe I have your window pictured wrong. The Burro front window I worked on had three sections of plexi. One non moveable in the middle and one on each side that slide. There were two metal verticals that attached to the outer frame that held the center pane and they were also the locking places for the sliders. I can't picture removing those verticals and having a solid single track.

If you do this will you use a seal in that single track or use silicon (shudder) or something similar? I would recommend removing the whole window and reseating it in butyl tape if you haven't already. That tape dries out and cracks, and is a source for leaks.

I just think it would be much easier and tidier to remove the whole thing and start from square one.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizbeth View Post
Maybe I have your window pictured wrong. The Burro front window I worked on had three sections of plexi. One non moveable in the middle and one on each side that slide. There were two metal verticals that attached to the outer frame that held the center pane and they were also the locking places for the sliders. I can't picture removing those verticals and having a solid single track.

I just think it would be much easier and tidier to remove the whole thing and start from square one.
Lizbeth,

I've been hampered by the fact that it has been raining a lot here the last few days and my Burro is stabled in a storage yard nearby. I'll try to get out and take a picture today and post it, but IIRC, the big front window just has two large panes, one supposedly fixed and one slider, with a screen behind the slider. When I bought the trailer it had recently been off the frame for a floor replacement and all windows had been removed. The rear and side windows were returned to their proper places, but the front was just slapped back in for the trip home and temporarily secured, so it really needs some attention... the two panes are improperly jammed into the tracks and don't slide, the screen is not installed, and there is a crack down the middle where the edging on the window pane is missing. The aluminum frame looks salvageable, though, and since the other windows have that style, I thought the whole camper would look better if I preserved the frame while dealing with the window "pain" problem. Pix to follow.

Froggie
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:57 PM   #10
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I'll try to post pix of the front window from outside and inside. The two dark lines in the inside out view are part of the stone guard, not any part of the window itself. I guess I should have taken a close-up of the tracks as well, but didn't think of it as I was in a bit of a hurry.

Froggie
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FW Outside.jpg   FW Inside.jpg  

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Old 10-15-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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I don't know what your dimensions are for your front window but I have a Uhaul which I believe is similar to your Burro and I just replaced all of my windows with Scamp windows. The front window you are referring to was easy and it is still a slider. I measured my window and called Scamp in MN. They had a window that was just a hair larger than my opening so I ordered it. We had to make the opening just a bit larger but that's easier than fiberglassing to make it smaller (which is what we had to do with the side windows). And yes there is a bow in the opening when you put the window in but it accepted the 'bow' as we installed it and is totally water tight. We love it cuz there originally was no slider in that window. I believe the new window was around $200.00. It was worth every penny. Great window, no leaks, and an upgrade to a slider I would highly recommend that route. Just a thought. My pics of my trailer are on another thread if you would like to see.

Look under the Modifications forums and then the thread of 'Uhaul front window ideas' or something close to that.

Hope that helps some
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:52 PM   #12
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Here's a direct link to Mike's windows... it's inside someone else's topic so wait for the page to load, from this post down: Mike's U-Haul Windows
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:46 PM   #13
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Thanks, Mike T (and Donna D for the link. ) If I decide to go with an opening window, I will certainly have that source as my number 1 option. I'm looking at a couple of expensive additions (such as the 3-way fridge) and will be on a somewhat tight budget for a while, so I think going with a single, fixed pane may be the best way to go immediately, but then have the nice Scamp front window as a long term plan if $$$ becomes available and I figure I actually need the additional air circulation. The fact that my Burro will have the front dinette configuration makes this extra breeze a very desirable feature. As of right now, it looks like original frame with new rubber around the aluminum and a fresh batch of sealant securing the new Lexan™.

TTFN!
Froggie
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