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Old 12-28-2018, 07:19 PM   #1
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Plexiglass

I am doing a few repairs.

Yes, I have done an internet search…

Where do you get plexiglass suitable for a front window (facing interstate winds). Mine is about 18x40 inches, and has a slight curve on the sides. Also tinted. How thick should it be?
Easy to cut?
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Old 12-28-2018, 07:45 PM   #2
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Any glass shop should be able to help.
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:29 AM   #3
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Lowes carries both Plexiglass and Lexan (polycarbonate).
The Polycarbonate is less likely to shatter either in use or while cutting and fitting, but it will also scratch easier.
Personally I would accept the scratching (possibility) and go with the Lexan as the errant rock would probably just bounce off the front window.
Since the sheets are covered with plastic you can cut through that and then just peel the edges back a little to install so that after finished it is peeled away for a clean installation.
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:09 AM   #4
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IF the Roamer is anything like the plexi used in the front windows on Scamps and Bolers, the compound curve creates when the plexi is mounted into the window. It's not preformed. BUT, make certain you replace the plexiglass with the exact same thickness... no more, no less than the original IF you're using the same gasket material. This is especially important on a front window as air pressure (during travel) can cause the window to bow which drives rain into the interior if you use thinner material.
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roamer View Post
I am doing a few repairs.

Yes, I have done an internet search…

Where do you get plexiglass suitable for a front window (facing interstate winds). Mine is about 18x40 inches, and has a slight curve on the sides. Also tinted. How thick should it be?
Easy to cut?

From what I have seen over the years related to the thickness of glass used in RVs is that there are two common sizes that were used in North America, either 3/16" or 1/4". On my 1970 Campster they used the thinner 3/16" thick glass, no doubt to keep down the weight and the cost.

The only way to know for sure which you have is to use calipers or a micrometer to measure the thickness at the edge of the original piece of glass. If you have a sliding window in your RV you could possibly check the edge thickness there without removing the window. The maker of the RV would have ordered the windows used in the trailer as a set from the same window supplier to take advantage of the cost savings of sourcing it all from the same place.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:37 AM   #6
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Well,I bought some plexi, clear, but I am unsure how the window pane got installed. The dealership, aka dummiership, could not find the leak which was the uncaulked lights above the window. Their solution was to put silicone all over every part of the window, including the flat surfaces of the frame, as if that would leak. It is a mess. The window does not leak, but cant see through it.

So, hard to see what is going on.
I took the inner frame off the window, at which time the window usually drops out, but this is stuck, likely from the 3 tubes of silicone.
Looking closer there seems to be no way that the glass will come out except to bend. The frame is smaller than the glass all the way around. I will have to bend the glass both up and down and side to side at the same time to pop it out. That is easy compared to doing the same getting new back in.

Am I missing something hidden under the silicone?

To complicate, the window frame is bent/curved at the sides. I think it was flat then bent to form to the camper curve later.


outside


inside with trim removed


inside
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:36 PM   #7
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I was told that Plexi and Lexan are 2 different animals for other reasons but the one that impressed me was that the Plexi would "Flex and Vibrate" more going down the road and leaks would develop around gasket, where Lexan would not... true or not I don't know but on my Boler PO put in a plexi rear window and the think leaks, between the gasket and the seal. Had local RV dealer caulk and re-caulk this window with the same results. I finally put clear awning tape on the window to frame joint and it stopped leaking.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:56 PM   #8
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Plexiglass is an acrylic plastic, which is soft compared to Lexan, which is a polycarbonate plastic. That's why plexiglass vibrates much more.



Poly is stiffer and far more scratch and damage resistant. The clear lenses over the headlights of vehicles is Lexan.


Plex is easier to work with for fabrication and doesn't take the more specialized tools (bits, fine saw blades, and solvents) required to work with Lexan.




I work with many different plastics every day in my biz.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:15 PM   #9
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Also, acrylic can be, or is, very UV resistant. I had acrylic windows in my boat that were about 30 years old and still clear as glass, except for some minor scratching. I don't think Lexan will stay clear in the sun.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:30 PM   #10
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None of these speculations address the original question about window frames and construction and removal of existing pane.

I am speculating that the window has to be completely deconstructed. The frame has a seam on the side and there is screwed together, as all windows in RVs. It must be I have to unscrew the frame so I can spread it apart to get glass out. Anyone done this?
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:49 PM   #11
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Well, a few days of no rain. I taken the window out. Pulled the plexiglass out. It is thinner than I thought.

There is the gasket that was on the outside holding in window. Can I reuse or do I put new one in each time?
Is there a method to put gasket in?
Do I use the window goo (that auto parts stores sell) under and all around the gasket?

Another post somewhere a guy put a diagram of such a window and described a Florida shaped for the gasket. That is what I have.

Also, I bought already a thicker piece of plexi. Can I use thicker, or has to be the same?
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:05 PM   #12
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Easy to cut?
My plexiglass cuts resulted in unwanted splitting. So I clamped it between thin sections of plywood and cut the whole sandwich. That helped.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:24 PM   #13
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Good point BG. Did you use a wood blade or metal? Maybe a metal will cut worse and thus less stress.

The window was an absolute mess. They used so much window goo under the gasket. And im not even sure at this point that is the right gasket, it seems to fit right. I finished it with gasoline. The frame was smothered with silicone, I guess they made the surface of the frame waterproof too. I used a grinder and wire brush to remove everything. Now have bare aluminum and realize now I need to buy aluminum primer. ugh.

Are these gaskets meant to seal without goo? Mine seems pretty soft now, it might be too soft and degraded to be of much use. Hope local rv parts has it. rain coming Tues and no time to order by mail
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:25 PM   #14
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My plexiglass cuts resulted in unwanted splitting. So I clamped it between thin sections of plywood and cut the whole sandwich. That helped.
The way I cut Plexiglass without it cracking and splintering is to use Polycarbonate instead.

Polycarbonate (Lexan) does scratch easier than Acrylic plastic, but it is much stronger and can be cut with almost anything including a shear.
We blocked out to size at work with a metal shear and then cut with a saber saw.
Best is a bandsaw since the blade only moves in one direction.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:37 PM   #15
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I can't tell from the photos, but is the plexiglass held in with a rubber weatherstrip that has a lock strip in it. Our Uhaul uses that method for the side windows. The weatherstrip would have a groove on one side that the plexiglass would set in and a groove on the other side to fit on the window frame. A narrow insert locks it tight against both surfaces. Probably not what you have, but it's possible.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:41 PM   #16
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I do have a bandsaw.

This window has a curve to it, and the harder plastics do not seem to bend when I was at the store looking at them.

Window is all apart. After painting, then it will go back together.

If campers inn has new rubber piece then great, if not then will try old one with goo
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:11 AM   #17
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I do have a bandsaw.

This window has a curve to it, and the harder plastics do not seem to bend when I was at the store looking at them.

Window is all apart. After painting, then it will go back together.

If campers inn has new rubber piece then great, if not then will try old one with goo
The bandsaw will cut the Polycarbonate and you can cut the curve with no problem. Plexiglass would probably crack in the binding of the blade.
The "Lexan" might melt in the kerf where the blade is binding, but it will not break or crack.
I love working with "Lexan" but it will scratch easier than Plexiglass, but in this application I don't think that is a problem.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:16 AM   #18
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Did you use a wood blade or metal?
I used a jigsaw with a wood blade. I cut the plexiglass to fit into the window opening to accommodate ducts for my heat pump. I didn't actually replace a window.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:56 AM   #19
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A finer blade will give a finer cut.
If IF! you cut plexiglass you should make sure it is warm as it will be less likely to crack.
Either will work with Lexan.
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Old 01-26-2019, 12:07 PM   #20
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if you can clean all the old caulk/silicone off the original gasket, re-use it, if not and auto glass company should be able to get you what you need.
Looks like a rubber gasket, did you find a trim lock strip one one side or the other?
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