Campster sliding window part - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-07-2016, 09:00 PM   #15
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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I took some measurements of the gap between the inside clamp ring and the fiberglass shell. It is measuring right at 1/4" thickness. So today at Lowes I purchased some 1/4 thick PVC lumber that is about 1-1/2' wide and is described on the label as "Lattice". This material is easy to rip to width on the tablesaw so one 8' length of it will make 16' worth of spacer material.

I don't think plywood is a good clamp ring material. Sure it will space it out from the wall but if you ever get a leak all that end grain is going to pull the water right into the material and delaminate the plwood. That will not happen to the PVC lumber because it is waterproof. While PVC lumber is not considered to be a structural material (as in load bearing) it is certainly sufficiently strong enough to act as a spacer under the clamp ring without causing damage to the skin or the windows and it should last the lifetime of your Campster because it won't rot or get moldy even if you do get a leak. You can adhere it to the shell with a caulking adhesive product that sticks to PVC as they will also typically stick to fiberglass. But be sure you check to make sure of that.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:48 PM   #16
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Wow. That stuff is a bit expensive. I assume the glass must be about 3/16 or better thick, so that puts the polycarbonate replacement well over a $100 bucks plus labor. I can probably install the window myself, but I don't have the tools for cutting and shaping the new window. I WILL be doing some serious shopping.

Again THANKS
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by rwilhelm View Post
Wow. That stuff is a bit expensive. I assume the glass must be about 3/16 or better thick, so that puts the polycarbonate replacement well over a $100 bucks plus labor. I can probably install the window myself, but I don't have the tools for cutting and shaping the new window. I WILL be doing some serious shopping.

Again THANKS
You can use standard polycarbonate, it will just scratch more easily and eventually might get some crazing.

I have tinted polycarbonate front windows on my Sunrader, they predate the hardened acrylic that is UV resistant. There are even some rock chips in them and a few cracks. I used a tiny drill at the end of the crack and then with a very small detail artist brush put some Weldon acrylic solvent in the cracks and in the little drill hole and also in the center cracks of the rock chips. Good to go for another 20 years Those two front windows are $300 bucks each plus shipping for a pre-made replacement as they bend around the corner in a radius. Only one company in California is making those replacements for the Sunraders and they don't use premium quality polycarbonate. In the summer time while parked I tape Reflectix over the outside of those windows to keep the heat out of the RV and to keep the UV damage to a minimum.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:26 PM   #18
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campster window screens

just adding some quick information to this thread. With the help of other forum members we have figured out how the side windows were screened at the factory. On the interior of the side window there is a spline groove in the center divider. The rest of the spline groove can only be seen and accessed by removing the clamp ring. Here is what the window frame looks like under the clamp ring. You will need to use individual segments of spline between the clamp ring screw locations to hold the screening in place.
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:04 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
After measuring my glass channel dimensions to verify that the product would indeed fit I went ahead and ordered a fuzzy window track liner. It is offered by Vintage Trailers which is where I placed my order for VTS-278 Fuzzy Glass Channel for Airstream Classic & Revcon MHs Research turned up this material was also used in the 1960's and very early 1970 as auto window glass run channel. You know when you rolled up your car window it went into that lined channel along the sides and top that sealed out the air and kept it from rattling. This stuff is the modern replacement for that era. Because it is also an auto window glass part you can purchase it from J.C.. Whitney as well but it is only a few cents cheaper from them.

I also order one more part, on the upright divider that is on the inside of the window there is a fuzzy weather strip piece. When I took the aluminum divider out to get a good look at it and touched the material to check its condition all the fuzz fell off onto the floor. It is another one of the universal auto glass materials but it too was used to make trailer windows.
That material is Vintage Trailer Supply part:
VTS-277 Pile Weatherstripping for Airstream Classic MHs

This is going to be an expensive rejuvination to get those windows functional again! So far just for this one purchase it was a little over $80.00 plus shipping. Of course I still need the outside gaskets and there is the cost of butyl tape as well.

Plus I need to fabricate a spacer ring for the inside. I had removed the felted wall liner the other night. There was an additional piece of material used in a ring right under the clamp frame. That material was just the old style grey felted carpet padding one would have found in a home. Not sure what I will make the spacer from, maybe one of the pieces of plastics we have lots of scraps of in the workshop. It can be cut on the tablesaw and it won't rot the way plywood might if a leak develops. Good to use up scraps and have it turn out better than new
I am now working on replacing the pile weatherstrip that the window glass slides in. The name for it is "window glass run channel". I did purchase the material from Vintage Trailer supply, see quoted product information above. This product sort of works, it does fit into the aluminum frame...with some strong persuasion. The glass, which is 3/16" thick in case wondered about that, does fit between the felt..but you can't slide the glass because the channel binds it up with a too tight fit distance wise across the glass. That means I can't get the window frame itself to meet at the cut edges for putting the rivets back into it. So basically it was a failed installation of new felting.

But I did need to make that rubber felt channel filler work. I had to make it work because I did not want to return the material to Vintage Trailer. There was nothing wrong with the product other than my Campster not having enough space next to the glass for that product. I entered into the "what if?" phase where you try to figure out how to make what you have work for you. I am not saying anyone should do what I describe below. Your renovation would be easier if you found a better fitting material. But since I had used up my budget my only choice was to make do with what I had.

If you look at the product photo you will see there are small projections of rubber on each side at the base. Those can (with effort) be pushed into the aluminum channel which has some small projecting ribs along its length. The rubber projections lock under that small aluminum rib in the channel. But what was happening was that the force of that compression on the width of the rubber base was of forcing the bottom height of the rubber upwards and that meant the window was then too wide for the width between the felt channels and it could not be slid back and forth. Another issue was the projecting rubber flange would not fit under the aluminum ribs as it went around the curves at the end of the window frame. That of course kept the glass from being able to seat properly in the channel when the window was closed. As you take the felt channel around the curve it will already make the felt edge bunch up around the curve so that issue is further multiplied. Oh well, I will sort that issue out too.

For the modification I did the following, along the sides I trimmed off the projecting bit of the rubber "fingers". But now that it was no longer being compressed width wise which made the bottom thicker and taller the glass was now too loose in the channel as it was wider than optimal and the glass wanted to fall out. ....Oh yeah life is like that, fix one thing and the next thing happens . So then I had to snug the felt channel back up against the glass by adhering in a filler strip at the bottom of the aluminum window frame. I chose the bottom for the filler strip because of gravity and the weight of the glass working to my advantage to keep it in place along with a little bit of adhesive of course. I did not extend that filler strip on into the curved areas or up the sides. It only at the flat lower edge of the frame. I made the filler strip 3/8" wide so that it fit down between the ribs in the aluminum channel of the frame. The thickness needed for a filler is right around 3/16" maybe a little under. That is one of those you have to try it and see situations as your frame height top to bottom might be slightly different than mine. So now the glass fits nicely into the channel and it slides with only a small amount of pressure needed to drag the glass along in the channel. You do want a small amount of friction as that means the drafts won't come in.

One sliding window made operable again another one to go. I will put a better description of the modifications of the felt channel with photos in my Campster modification thread when I work on that second window.

I still have the issue of the seal strip covers that are along the outside to resolve. No doubt when I find something it too will also require modification to adapt it for use on the Campster.
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:11 PM   #20
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See this little bitty thing in the photo below that is made of plastic and is 1 inch long, just under 3/8" wide and only 3/16" high on the two side legs of the U channel? There are exactly two of them in bottom of the aluminum window frame channel and their job is keeping the fixed pane of glass in the side windows off of the bottom of the channel so that water can get out the weep holes. I have it upside down in the photo, they are installed with the legs down so water can run underneath them. If that thin plastic fractures the glass pane will then slide down against the channel as that is all the support that pane of glass is getting. Yes indeed my little U channels are starting to fracture. I will machine replacement parts out of some Delrin plastic I have on hand. I absolutely do have to replace them before the window glass can be reinstalled as those pieces could break apart at any time.

Guess how else that fixed glass pane is held in place? Look Ma no glue on me! The glass holding is only being done by that worn out, shrunken in size after 45 years or so, exterior weather strip seal that is pushing against the pane. ...

There I go, grumbling about the windows again... Does your fixed pane window rattle? Now you know why, it is just floating around in the aluminum channel resting on those two little inch long pieces off plastic.
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:18 PM   #21
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Name: K C
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See this little bitty thing in the photo below that is made of plastic and is 1 inch long, just under 3/8" wide and only 3/16" high on the two side legs of the U channel? There are two of them in bottom of the aluminum window frame channel and their job is keeping the glass out of the bottom of the channel so water can get out the weep holes. The legs of the channel go down against the bottom of the frame so the water can run underneath them.

My pieces are starting to fracture so I will make replacements for them as that U Channel is a non standard size for anything currently being sold and getting the height right is important as well as the width. They do need to be plastic so they don't chip the glass when you drive over bumps.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:17 PM   #22
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Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
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Campster sliding window 3D printed parts

I just 3D printed my first replacement parts for the Campster sliding window. They were printed in black ABS plastic which is stronger than the original material as well as being more UV resistant.

The last post discussed why I needed to replace the original pieces that hold the fixed pane 1/8" above the bottom of the aluminum frame so that water can run out of the weep holes. The original, the white one in the photo was falling apart. These little U channel sections are not very large pieces but their function in the window is a critical one.

The original piece is 1" long by .35" by .125" tall and so is my replacement. As the originals were too weak to last the ages I have made the base of the U channel a little thicker as well as making the legs of the U thicker. In the center of the channel I have added a little Island in the Stream which will help prevent the channel from sagging and fracturing under the weight of the glass. There is still plenty of room for the water to flow through the U channel and reach the drain holes.

Originally there were two of these pieces under the window, I will be installing three. It took the printer ten minutes to print the three sections. As there are two sliding windows in the Campster I will make a total of six.

Well that was fun and it put a smile on my face
A few seconds worth of video of the printing process
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:48 PM   #23
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Way to go Karin. You might have to go into production. You can't be the only one having this kind of window problem.

Super cool.

Roger the
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:59 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by rwilhelm View Post
Way to go Karin. You might have to into production. You can't be the only one having this kind of window problem.

Super cool.

Roger the
Not sure what the price would be or that anyone would be willing to pay it. Not so much material cost, although there is some, as it is the labor cost. First there is having to set up the print in the computer software, get the machine prepared, prepare the surface of the glass platen so the parts stick to it, warm the printer up to temperature which takes about 5 minutes and then wait 20 minutes while a full set prints. Then remove the hot glass and go put it under hot water to release the parts, clean up, put the glass back where it belongs which is at least another 10 minutes. That is a lot of labor time and that makes it at least a 40 minute job to run 6 tiny parts not counting the time to package them. I can of course run more than 6 at a time and only do one one setup and one cleanup but I can't get around that 20 minutes for 6 pieces printing time or the packaging to ship time. As I am not a factory in China I don't think I will be going into business with them anytime soon

But I will share with fellow Campster owners a copy of my 3D .stl printing file if anyone wants to make some for themselves. That is free, no shipping cost. Just send a pm with your email address.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:33 PM   #25
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Well that's one way to.look at it. But not everyone has access to a 3d printer. For a lot of people, you're the only store in town. Maybe a complete kit sans glass is the way to go. ....... just a thought

You're doing good

Roger
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:38 PM   #26
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Name: K C
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Originally Posted by rwilhelm View Post
Well that's one way to.look at it. But not everyone has access to a 3d printer. For a lot of people, you're the only store in town. Maybe a complete kit sans glass is the way to go. ....... just a thought

You're doing good

Roger
I would never even consider going into the glass business, its too much of a make or break proposition

If you have the file you can send it to companies that do 3D printing as their regular business. You don't have to print it yourself. Shapeways is one of the better known ones who offer that service. The printer belongs to my friend, I just borrow time on it when he is not in the way. It sits right above his desk.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:55 PM   #27
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Make or break??? Geeeeezzzz.

Gotcha
Thanks

Rog
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:48 PM   #28
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Time to add another issue I have found with that Universal Rubber felt track. I got the window installed and it rained last night. Silly me I was not thinking ahead. I did not cut interim drainage slots into the bottom of the rubber felt window channel. So since I was parked on a slight slope all the water ran down the rubber felt gasket to the far end and spilled over into the inside of my trailer. Good thing it is gutted, there are no interior finishes to worry about. Guess it won't hurt anything at this point to open the window when the rain slacks off and take a knife to the bottom and see if I can cut some drain slots without removing the window again.

I think the felt track really does need to be made of woven fabric reinforced by metal but that it absolutely must not be a solid piece of metal but instead made up with metal segments so the water can pass through it and get out the weep holes. The Universal fit description for the rubber felt run channel from the automotive part sources does not mean it will work if not modified to allow for drainage

Did I tell you how much I hate these old windows and how much I long to stuff them into a dumpster? I am sure you know that by now! Oh well I will keep plugging away and see if I can make them work for another year. It might end up being that the only way to make them work for a year is to seal the glass in place to keep the water out.
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