Window Holes - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-28-2009, 11:29 PM   #1
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Is there any way to fix a window hole that has been cut too large? I removed the window to fix a leak and the removal revealed a hole that was too large. Previous owner replaced the original window (notice it's upside down) and in the process made the hole too large. He used a piece of wood on the inside as a "clamp" and screwed the window to the wood and simply filled the hole with caulk.

Picture 1 is the outside of the window - if you look close you can see the drain holes - at the TOP!
Picture 2 is the inside with the wood mount
Picture 3 is the outside view of the enlarged hole
Picture 4 shows the wood mount and how it overlaps the too big hole
Picture 5 shows how the holes don't catch the fiberglass, they just go into the wood mount
Picture 6 shows the entire length of the wood mount and how it hangs over the too large hole.

Am I stuck with re-doing the wood mount? or is there a way to replace the fiberglass and "shrink" the hole?


Attached Thumbnails
Outside_View.jpg   Inside_Mount_across_top.jpg  

Upper_Corner_over_cut.jpg   Upper_Corner_wooden_mount_in_place.jpg  

Upper_Top_screw_holes.jpg   Across_Top_oversize_window_cut_with_wood_mount.jpg  

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Old 03-01-2009, 12:59 AM   #2
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Is there any way to fix a window hole that has been cut too large? I removed the window to fix a leak and the removal revealed a hole that was too large. Previous owner replaced the original window (notice it's upside down) and in the process made the hole too large. He used a piece of wood on the inside as a "clamp" and screwed the window to the wood and simply filled the hole with caulk.
. . .
Am I stuck with re-doing the wood mount? or is there a way to replace the fiberglass and "shrink" the hole?
One of the nice things about fiberglass is it's so easy to work with and repair. You can take it to a boat shop, and they can do the work in a few days, or get a book on fiberglass repair and do it yourself.

Me, I'd peel the ensolite inside back several inches, do a coarse sanding job 3-4" out on the outside, strip all the old ensolite adhesive, paint and wax off. I'd make a luan plywood doorskin template that fills the area you want the fiberglass build up in, plus a second piece that matched the final opening and overlapped the existing inside edge of the fiberglass by 2". From there I'd sandwich a heavy fiberglass cloth between the two pieces of wood, then fiberglass the sandwich into place with two layers of cloth wrapped around both sides of the luan wood build-up at a 45-degree bias to each other and overlapping your trailer's existing fiberglass structure on both sides by 2-3 inches. Then fill, sand, and paint.

I'm sure theree are other ways to do it . . . this would be my way.

A simple fix? No, it's a pain in the . . .
Rocket Science? No.
Do-able? Yes.

Wear a dust mask and gloves while working wwith fiberglass.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:35 AM   #3
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Maybe you could find a window that is a little bigger than yours that would fit the hole or require a little trimming of your present opening.

It seems these people make custom sized windows. That would be great in your case:

http://www.motionwindows.com/index.php

"If the bridge is too low, shrink the house."
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:54 AM   #4
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I would do something similar to what Peter would do, only I would use fiberglass matt instead of cloth. I'm sure both would work, but I think the matt is stronger. Maybe if there is a boat place near you , that could be a good place to pick someone's brain. But I wouldn't be afraid to tackle the job.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:21 AM   #5
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We've had at least one member completely replace jalousie windows with the radius windows. The "fix" is very similar to what you're encountering as the windows are obviously not the same size or shape. See this topic for more info, there's also a link to their personal webpages:
Total Boler Restoration

Harry Young posted some good info here: I have done both repairing windows and resizing holes
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:03 AM   #6
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but I think the matt is stronger.
I think mat is strong enough for this job, and probably easier to apply in this case, but it is not as strong as cloth. Mat is used in simple lamination like for trailers because it's cheap and can be machine-applied, not for its strength.

Andrew
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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I'd consider getting a larger window.

If that was not practical, I would move the window up in the opening as far as I could, paint the wood white and install it at the bottom of the window. I'd seal everthing as best as I could and go camping!

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:34 PM   #8
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Yeah, Dan, that was my thought too - other than actually trying a fiberglass repair. Two problems, one, I'd have to re-do all of the holes in new places, leaving the old ones either in need of repair themselves, or at risk of leakage. and two, the window would be 'hanging' on the upper fiberglass sitting on the insecure bottom - risking further damage to the upper edge.
It might not be evident in the photos, but there is actually only about an inch available at the top, and it curves up in the corner to about half an inch only.

Next involves a trip to a marine supply store to see what suggestions they have. I'm leaning towards either trying to re-do the fiberglass or trying to re-design the previous repair so it holds up better.



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Old 03-03-2009, 12:20 AM   #9
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I think mat is strong enough for this job, and probably easier to apply in this case, but it is not as strong as cloth. Mat is used in simple lamination like for trailers because it's cheap and can be machine-applied, not for its strength.

Andrew
As Andrew points out, fiberglass cloth actually is stronger than mat, but that's not why I'd choose cloth over mat. Either one would hold up, but cloth has an inherently smoother texture, so it's easier to apply a topcoat filler layer, feather out the edges and sand smooth for painting.
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