Uhaul rear window - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2010, 06:38 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1985 U-Haul CT13 ft ('The Mothball')
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Uhaul rear window

After repairing my side window I have now taken on my rear window.

So far it has been a huge challenge - and the window isn't even out of the frame yet! Could someone please explain to me why Phillips screws are so popular? It defies logic.

Alright - so the rear window of the Uhaul CT13 is a clamp style window. The inner portion of the window is a metal cover that is attached with multiple phillips screws. - they screw into the metal window frame, not into the fiberglass (I know this now). Naturally the first step is to release these. Aaargh! A few came out easily, then I started with the tricks:
Hitting the screwdriver with a hammer to release the rust
WD-40
Lubricating oil - wow this is better than WD-40 for this job!
My brother in law helped with his impact drill
Still had 3 left. - one broke. The next two were a pain. I do not know what metal these screws are made of - but they required a cobalt drill bit to drill them out. The lovely screw extractor I bought would not go into it at all.
Ok - so finally I broke the top off the last 2 screws by drilling out with the cobalt bit and using a chisel to pop the top off, not pretty but I was getting angry.

Now the inner metal cover can come off! Pretty easy to pull off now.
Note - a huge amount of all the oil you used will come gushing out when you take this off, make sure your cushions etc are out of the way - I was lucky.

This reveals the metal window frame which is held in place by butyl caulk I believe. You can actually see the edge of the fiberglass window hole from the inside. I have begun cutting off the excess butyl caulk around the fiberglass on the inside and prying the window free on the outside with a plastic scraper. Next step is to push it out and free it.
More to come...
Bridget
Attached Thumbnails
back window, metal clamp.jpg   clamp coming off.jpg  

clamp off.jpg   rear window clamp off.jpg  

cutting butyl caulk.jpg   freeing outside rear window.jpg  

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Old 08-06-2010, 09:38 PM   #2
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I put some penetrating oil on my screws and let it sit 24 hours. They still weren't easy. When I replaced them I went with stainless! I haven't tried to pry the window out yet.

Regards,

Matt
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:46 AM   #3
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why phillips head screws

[QUOTE=Bridget T;218775]After repairing my side window I have now taken on my rear window.

These screws were introduced by the auto makers to make assembly easier. They automaticly center on the magnetic driver bit thus ensuring rapid insertion. The automakers are not so interested in how easy they are to get out.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:07 AM   #4
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RV window replacement

Bridget T,

I can understand your frustration. Corrosion can be tough to get apart. Yesterday I found this article with some connection to Sun-View Industries, which is where I got my replacement window.

How to Remove an RV Window for Replacement: Steps in Removing Leaking or Broken Recreational Vehicle Windows
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:46 AM   #5
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Strange that the new format dropped my signature, but kept my avatar. Trying to get "2004 Bigfoot 17 CB" into my signature.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:12 AM   #6
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Rear window out

Ok, so we got the window out - it was really sealed in, especially at the bottom. We used a plastic scraper, then a butter knife under the outside rim of the window to cut through the sealant. You could actually hear a sort of popping noise as this worked.
The inside I cut the excess sealant off around the inside and had to pull back the carpetting at the bottom as the sealant really got stuck there.

It seemed to be held in with a type of black butyl caulk I think. Definitely put in with a caulking gun, but not as sticky a consistency as butyl tape.

Also once the window was out I noticed it actually has a very slight curve to it. I have tried to show this in the picture against the lines of my hardwood floor. You can also see the sealant, plus one of my enemy screws whose head I cut off (Ha!).

So now much cleaning, and then to disassemble and rebuild this window too. (And yes, I have already bought stainless steel screws - with Robertson heads of course!)

I am wondering if I have the right sealant for when I put it back in. Here is a picture of what I plan to use. I have 2 tubes. Any advice on whether this is the right product and whether I have enough?
Thanks, Bridget
Attached Thumbnails
rear window caulk.jpg   rear window screw.jpg  

rear window curve.jpg   butyl sealant.jpg  

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Old 08-07-2010, 08:32 AM   #7
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Bridget T,

The usual window sealant is butyl tape, which comes in a roll. It goes between the outside wall and the outer flange. You can buy it in the width you need, ie one inch, 3/4" and possibly others. The flange on the outer portion of the frame has to be in reasonably good shape and clean to achieve a good seal. There are 2 threads about replacing windows in a little Bigfoot not long ago (first forum category, second page back). I'm still looking into this and haven't taken mine apart yet. Good luck!
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:36 AM   #8
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I just measured the rear window hole in my CT13 with the window out and it is 41 1/4" inches wide and ranges from 18-18 1/4" in height.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:44 AM   #9
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That's close to what I used, and I didn't use a whole tube for both windows.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:36 PM   #10
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Rear window rebuild

Once the window is out cleaning is required - I used a plastic scraper to take away the majority of the butyl caulk and then goo gone to remove the rest. This worked very well. I disassembled the window and removed the old felt, cleaned the channel, then put in new felt and reassembled the window. I will not detail it here as it is the same as what I did with the side windows - see this thread:

Uhaul Side Windows

One interesting difference between my back window and the side window is that the back window does not have the notches that the rubber felt can fit into, it is just a square channel. So no fancy technique needed to get the felt in the channel. Also there are 6 weeping holes on the back window - again I cut holes in the felt rubber as detailed in the side window post.

I plan to use butyl tape rather than the caulk to install based on the feedback I received - thanks!

Bridget
Attached Thumbnails
rear window channels.jpg   rear window channel.jpg  

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Old 08-12-2010, 10:31 PM   #11
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Inserting rear window

So I cleaned & rebuilt the windows and then my husband helped me with dremmeling and drilling and punching out the screws that broke or I cut. This took a lot of effort - basically you should do anything you can to get these screws by unscrewing out to avoid this.

Finally the window was ready for reinsertion. The window hole was prepared by reglueing the carpetting (I pulled it off to clean the edges well and to install new marker lights which are just above the rear window) with 3M Super 77 spray glue, then cleaning the edges on each side of the fiberglass window hole with Goo Gone then with Acetone.

I apologize for no photos of the install but we were racing against the sunset to get it done, and trust me I was not about to wait another day.

First we dryfitted the window to get a sense of how to get it in - it stuck in a couple of spots and it is better to figure how to get the window in now, rather than once it is sticky with butyl. There were a couple of areas on the fiberglass frame (upper and lower midline) that were depressed inwards - so I added a little butyl at these spots to flatten out the area where I would apply the window. - You can see this in the picture of the open window hole.

We applied the butyl tape to the side of the frame that will touch the outside fiberglass wall but not to the part 90 degrees to that the enters the window. I have tried to show this with the arrow in the photo where I am showing the edge of the frame. You can also see where we applied it in the Uhaul manual diagram where they are applying 'silicone sealant' although they seem to be applying it all over. (Do not use silicone for this project).

I found if you leave the paper backing on the butyl you can press it to the part of the frame you want without it sticking to your fingers, but you need to rip the paper off around the corners to get the butyl to wrap properly. We decided to apply two layers, so pulled off the paper backing on the butyl we had applied and then applied a second layer in the same area. You have to be careful doing this as butyl really sticks to butyl - if you stick it in the wrong spot you need to use a box cutter to cut the layers apart.

Ok - so now you have two layers of butyl applied on the edge of the frame that will press against the outer fiberglass wall once the frame is inserted.

Lift up the frame and insert it into the window - you will be happy if you did a dry run, so you have a sense of how to insert it best. Two people help for this initially. But if it sticks, one person inside can help guide the window.

Once the frame is in, you need to make sure all corners of the window hole are covered by the frame and butyl. Push the window frame to where you need it.

With the frame in the location we liked, we then pressed butyl in to the spaces you can see from the inside between the frame and the fiberglass hole. I had to pull the carpetting around the window by about an inch (and even trimmed it in some spots) so I could do this. Again I have tried to show where we put this butyl with an arrow on a photo of the window inside before removal.

When you are happy with the butyl, you reattach the frame. I used stainless steel Robertson screws of course. Insert them just to hold at first, then go around screw by screw clockwise (or counterclockwise) turning just a little to each. It will take a few round the clock turns to tighten them all up - you don't want them as tight as possible - just to clamp the window. Too tight and you will start to squish the inner frame.

Butyl will start to squish out the outside of the frame - good, this is what you want - you can cut the excess off later with a plastic scraper (to not cut the fiberglass).

I found I was able to tighten the screws a little more the next day after the window had sat in the sun.

Now the window is in. My window has passed the hose test! A great improvement over its leaking all the time before.
Attached Thumbnails
rear window glueing carpet down.jpg   rear window carpet glued down.jpg  

rear window hole.jpg   Screen shot 2010-08-12 at 8.49.43 PM.png  

Screen shot 2010-08-12 at 9.04.11 PM.png   Screen shot 2010-08-12 at 9.49.54 PM.png  

back window done.jpg   back window doene closeup.jpg  

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Old 08-17-2010, 10:35 PM   #12
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We just had two huge days of rainfall, (44mm in one night alone) and.... no leaking! Yay! (Just so you know this window was previously a sieve.) I'm really glad we went with the two layers of butyl, more is squishing out on the outside edge but I'll soon cut the excess off with my trusty plastic scraper.
Bridget
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:39 PM   #13
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Name: James
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Bridget,

Can the front window be done the same? I'm assuming all I would need for parts is butyl tape.

Thanks, Daman
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:22 PM   #14
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: 13ft U-Haul
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Windows

I purchased the same 13ft U-Haul trailer last summer and I have experienced the same problems with the windows that you have had with water leakage. I am in Ottawa as well, and we are looking to re-do the windows ourselves. I was wondering if you had any spare material I could purchase from you, ie. felt and different rubber gaskets since I know you can only purchase these items in large quantities.
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