Resetting windows in Aluminum Frame - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:41 PM   #1
Dax
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Resetting windows in Aluminum Frame

So the previous owners seem to have tried to tape over the windows to prevent leaks. I am going to take the windows off camper and reset in the camper with Butyl tape - but I can't seem to find any information on resetting the glass in the aluminum framing or removing it from the frame.

Does anyone have any experience on this or how much it would cost to have a professional do it as I am scared of cracking the glass.
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:27 PM   #2
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In my Boler 1700, I found that 4 of the glass panes leaked. They had been set 40 years ago using 1/4" butyl tape, and over 40 years the butyl leached out. I broke two of them trying to remove them and they had radius corners. I did successfully remove and replace the other two panes myself without breaking. I used 1/4" butyl tape on one of them and 1/4" polyurethane glazing tape on the other one. For the broken panes, I took them to a specialty glass shop. They fabricated new panes and installed them using glazing grade clear silicone.

As far as cost, just having a glass shop remove and re-seal/re-install an existing pane should be inexpensive. I would suggest removing the whole window and finding a glass shop that will give you a quote. I had to call around to find a glass shop that would do mine.
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:34 PM   #3
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Just to be clear:

You should be able to remove the entire window from the fiberglass body. There is likely leakage between the aluminum frame and the body. You can re-seal with 3/4" butyl and re-install.

To fix leaks between the aluminum frame and the glass pane, see my previous post.

Just FYI, all of the windows in my 1979 Boler 1700 leaked in various ways:

- Between the fiberglass body and the aluminum frame
- Between the aluminum frame and the glass pane
- At seams in the aluminum frames, for example, at the aluminum frame butt joints

EDIT:
- Also, rainwater can back up over the window tracks into the trailer if the tracks are clogged with dirt and debris, so clear the weep holes and tracks.
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:40 PM   #4
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plastic and rubber window gaskets

You can also look for replacement window gaskets. Note that the window gaskets in your photos don't actually seal the glass. The glass pane is first set in butyl, glazing silicone, etc., and then the gasket is applied to keep dirt out, cover the raw edge of the glass, etc.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:40 PM   #5
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I've done this a few times with two types of windows. Both types are inserted from the outside and have a flange that seals to the exterior of the unit. One type has a metal frame, inserted from the inside. that screws to the exterior portion. The other type screws from the outside into the trailer walls. These outer flanges are sealed to prevent leakage. Butyl tape works well or you can use silicone caulking.

The window panes are set in an aluminum or plastic frame. These panes either swivel outward from the top or side horizontally in aluminum or plastic tracks. The frames around the panes of glass don't need to be sealed as the windows are designed so that water will run off them, down over the exterior of the unit, unless the drainage holes are plugged.
Remove the screws holding the window in place. Use a box cutter or other thin blade between the outer window flange and the exterior wall to cut the old caulking. Remove window. Remove old caulking from window and exterior trailer wall. Check trailer wall for water damage and repair as necessary.

Check corners of windows for cracks/separations and repair as necessary. This is important as any leakage here will result in water inside wall cavity, damage, mold etc. I usually solder the corners if the window box is aluminum. Epoxy works for both aluminum and plastic windows.
If I have to replace a pane of glass I use Lexan (plexiglass). Its easy to cut with a saw and doesn't break.
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