Uhaul 13' windows -- repair or replace? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-11-2009, 09:46 PM   #1
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Hello,
I'm ready to tackle the leaky windows on my Uhaul 13' and I'd like some advice. Here's the situation:

The former owner used whatever he had at hand to make repairs, and he was fond of mismatched screws & silicon.

The most consistent leak is the emergency window -- side, next to the sink -- but it's obvious that he removed ALL of the windows, shot them full of silicon, and put them back on and peppered them with 25 screws, now rusty, through the metal frames -- into what, I can't say. The other two windows over the dinette/bed have leaked, and I figure it's only a matter of time before the one over the couch goes. The screens are fine, as are the glass panes, but the rubber & felt parts are totally shot -- cracked, rotted, chunks missing. One of the little grippers that you hold to open/close the windows is gone.

I've read all there is to read about resealing windows, both here and on the Uhaul forums. It made me want to order new windows all the way around and pay someone to install them.

Has anyone else done that, and did it cost you an arm and a let? Am I being a wimp -- should I try to replace the rubber & felt before giving up, despite the fact that it sounds like a punishing job, and these particular windows are probably hiding ugly things inside? How do you get tons of silicon off? And the crazy application of screws -- that alone makes me think that these windows are not salvageable.

I appreciate any suggestions or ideas anyone has to share.
Julia

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Old 04-11-2009, 10:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
...but the rubber & felt parts are totally shot -- cracked, rotted, chunks missing.

I've read all there is to read about resealing windows, both here and on the Uhaul forums. [b]It made me want to order new windows all the way around and pay someone to install them.

Has anyone else done that, and did it cost you an arm and a leg?

I appreciate any suggestions or ideas anyone has to share.
Julia
If [b]ALL of your rubber is shot, and you're not a natural-born tinkerer, I agree that your task ahead is quite daunting.

[b]For me, wheel bearings and brakes are items I do not feel qualified to tackle on my own.

Is it expensive to hire a professional to do it for you? You betcha!

But some things just beg to be turned over to knowledgeable service providers. Being in the opposite corner of the country, I don't have a recommendation of who to send you to.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:30 PM   #3
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You might take it to a glass shop and ask them for recommendations and/or estimate. Or a small window manufacturer, if you happen to have one nearby.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:59 PM   #4
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Having seen the U-haul windows (and I understand it's not easy to get seals, but I may be wrong ), I would be tempted to replace them with "regular" clamp-ring windows.

I was looking at a trailer that needed new windows and called a couple of Hehr dealers and was a bit shocked at the price (like $450 each), but then I called Scamp and they have windows that I believe would fit for about $130 for sliders and $150 for Jalousies (my preference as I like to be able to leave them open in the rain or when going off and it might rain). I think the difference is that Scamp buys them in volume. I think there was a $20 crating fee (would cover two windows) and about $40 shipping (dependent on where you are, of course).

As I remember it, the U-haul windows are about 18-1/2" tall and 24" wide, and the Scamp windows are 18" tall and 24" wide. I think the clamp ring might completely cover this small amount of extra height (only 1/4" on each) (and the Scamp fellow did say it is a wide clamp ring), but if you had to you could fill in with some pre-formed fiberglass board tabbed in.

I should note that I did not get super serious about the measurements at the time, so you might want to double check.

Although an "escape" window is a good idea (and was probably required for a rental trailer, I would think you could also get out the back (sliding) window. Of course one could also add an escape roof hatch.

My .02

Raya

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Old 04-12-2009, 08:12 AM   #5
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Replacement windows and 3-way refrigerators are the most expensive items to purchase for the molded lightweight fiberglass trailer. If it were me, and it's not, I'd try to repair. I'd search through the resources here: Window and Window Parts (I understand Interstate Metal Fabricators are helpful people and have a very good catalog), then take out the worst window and see if I could fix it. But, that's just me and I'm cheap. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:52 AM   #6
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And here I was thinking that ~$300 to the buyer's door for two new windows (that don't rely on hard-to-find rubber gaskets to seal them to the body) was a steal.

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Old 04-12-2009, 12:12 PM   #7
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The seals for a UHaul are very hard to find. Over on Uhaulcamper, Ami posted where he was able to find some for his, so if you go over there and search for his name, you should be able to find the location. Someone else found them too but I am not remembering the name.

Some people have described doing it. It sounds like a real job, sorry to say, but you might post a question for help from those who have done it.

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Old 04-12-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Here's a link I found on UHaulCamper: molding for middle seam and window source. Window info about fourth one down.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:38 PM   #9
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Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions & thoughts. I sold this trailer last year, unable to give it the time it required to finish the renovation, and it made its way back to me when the buyer had $$ problems. I went to the storage yard a few days ago, saw the even-worse-than-last year leaky windows and thought, right -- I can't face another New England camping season duct taping garbage bags over the windows.

Thanks Frederick & Donna for the analysis of what's right for me -- that's a good thing to keep in mind as I proceed with other repairs. I was cheered by the idea of doing the worst window first -- I can't exactly hurt it, right?

Michael, your suggestion to find a glass place was helpful -- I have a few leads to look into this week.

Donna, I can still recall the sticker shock I had when I thought about replacing the dorm fridge with a 3-way. Thanks for the tips on parts & manufacturers -- my folks live in Hillsboro, and I'm going to talk to IMF about making new windows and either shipping them east, or driving out to visit & picking them up & installing them at my folks. Here in Boston, I do all of my work in the storage lot or the more relaxed campgrounds. It's a great way to get help, but not everyone loves the Sanford & Son aspect, and I try to be respectful of that. At my folks, I could really make a mess. It's tempting.

Cindy, may your windows live long & prosper. I'll definitely post about it to help others as I go along. And you're right -- I should put out a specific request for tips.

Raya, the Scamp idea sounds great. I'm calling them first thing tomorrow to talk prices. I get the feeling that after one of these windows comes apart in my hands, I'll be happy to pony up the dough!

I'll keep this board posted as I give this a whirl. That howling sound from the east coast is either me barking my knuckles for the hundredth time, or writing out a check.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:33 PM   #10
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In the process of replacing the windows on my Boler to something climatically superior. I got them off a seller on ebay, $256 shipped for custom made to fit sliders.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:28 PM   #11
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Yes, I have to work on my windows too. But, My problem is not as bad as yours sounds. I will keep everyone posted on my progress. Oh and I will take pictures too!
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:10 PM   #12
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Ebay is a great suggestion -- thank you!

And naming your Uhaul Pearl -- I'm envious. I've yet to figure out what our little rig wants to be called ;-)
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:26 PM   #13
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Thanks for the tips on parts & manufacturers -- my folks live in Hillsboro, and I'm going to talk to IMF about making new windows and either shipping them east, or driving out to visit & picking them up & installing them at my folks.
Hillsboro! Then you gotta check out Buccaneer too... they're in Hillsboro: Buccaneer Manufacturing

Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:59 PM   #14
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Just as a data point: Buccaneer is one of the ones I called (the other was Pelland Enterprises). Both quoted in the $4xx range per window, for essentially the same window as Scamp sells.
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