Surfside Window Replacement - radiusing corners? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-16-2020, 05:18 PM   #1
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: Surfside
Alberta
Posts: 3
Surfside Window Replacement - radiusing corners?

Hi all, I have just begun to get my new (to me) '78 Surfside in watertight condition. Pretty much all the windows leak at this point. Unfortunately, as I have started removing and cleaning them up, I'm finding a re-build on the jalousies probably won't be possible. For sure 2 of the 4 windows have had seriously 'creative' rigging done to them. One had screws through the glass into the aluminum frame where a top frame piece was missing on a glass panel, and long wood screws going right through the aluminum frame into the wood frame on the side holding the mechanism in place. One has an unholy combination of silicone, what I think is some sort of roofing compound, and screws that have been used to seal the panels shut. I haven't taken out the other two yet, but even if they aren't totally messed up, at that point I'm going to be replacing two of the windows with modern sliding ones. I was looking for awning style, but couldn't find any in Canada that were reasonably price. Sunview in BC gave me a good quote on custom sliders, but they will only do windows with rounded corners in the frame.

So here's my question, is it easier/better to stick with the original window cutout size, and add fibreglass in the corners so that I can cut them to a 3.5" radius, or do I cut the window openings a little bit bigger so that the current point is in the middle of the curve? With those, what do people find are the best way to cut, or best material/system for filling in some window space? I'm curious if a putty like Marine-Tex would work for moulding around the corners, or if I would be better off making some sort of backing, adding a bit in each corner, then cutting it round. I'm not super experienced with fibreglassing.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:24 PM   #2
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
Posts: 2,912
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Originally Posted by foxycanuck View Post
Hi all, I have just begun to get my new (to me) '78 Surfside in watertight condition. Pretty much all the windows leak at this point. Unfortunately, as I have started removing and cleaning them up, I'm finding a re-build on the jalousies probably won't be possible. For sure 2 of the 4 windows have had seriously 'creative' rigging done to them. One had screws through the glass into the aluminum frame where a top frame piece was missing on a glass panel, and long wood screws going right through the aluminum frame into the wood frame on the side holding the mechanism in place. One has an unholy combination of silicone, what I think is some sort of roofing compound, and screws that have been used to seal the panels shut. I haven't taken out the other two yet, but even if they aren't totally messed up, at that point I'm going to be replacing two of the windows with modern sliding ones. I was looking for awning style, but couldn't find any in Canada that were reasonably price. Sunview in BC gave me a good quote on custom sliders, but they will only do windows with rounded corners in the frame.

So here's my question, is it easier/better to stick with the original window cutout size, and add fibreglass in the corners so that I can cut them to a 3.5" radius, or do I cut the window openings a little bit bigger so that the current point is in the middle of the curve? With those, what do people find are the best way to cut, or best material/system for filling in some window space? I'm curious if a putty like Marine-Tex would work for moulding around the corners, or if I would be better off making some sort of backing, adding a bit in each corner, then cutting it round. I'm not super experienced with fibreglassing.
Marine Tex won't work. To fill in those corner so they are raduised means you need to use glass cloth and resin and at least one layer of cloth on each side has to extend onto the surface of the shell to achieve proper support. If you want it flush on the outside then you will have to remove just enough of the surface of the shell for the cloth from the patch to overlap that area.

But first step, contact some RV scrap yards by email or phone. Take pictures, add measurements to the photo using a photo editing program. That way you have something to email as a reference for the scrap dealer to look at for a match. If it is just one upper piece of the window frame missing they might even have a suitable piece from another damaged windows you could substitute in. You can usually make lengths of metal extrusion shorter so it would likely work out to buy a window that is wider than the one you have. Of course if you are not comfortable with cutting, sawing and drilling you might need to hire a local handyman, car restoration person or window shop to do the fix up.
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Old 06-17-2020, 05:49 AM   #3
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,970
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Jalousie windows are the best windows in the RV industry (OK, just my opinion obviously). And yours fit the openings. I would carefully pursue every option to have them rebuilt. Anything is fixable, but takes the right skill set.

+100 Find some used jalousie windows out there, pieces from one could hold the key to repairing the second. These windows commonly are sold on ebay, lots of RV salvage yards out there. The pursuit of repairing the originals will be time consuming, you will need to be very resourceful, but probably will cost less than replacements, and take similar time.

In the "good old days" jalousie windows in RVs were the norm, most of them had them. So they are out there, and repairs are common too. All the seals can be purchased new.


I would be in NO rush to replace those windows. New windows are not cheap, do not open nearly as completely, and will not fit your openings. A sliding window (like my Escape has) gives you about a 40% opening, lets rain in, and so on. Meanwhile, the jalousie windows in my 1977 Trillium open 100%, work in the rain, etc.

I just posted a video I found on repairing one.
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Old 06-18-2020, 04:15 PM   #4
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: Surfside
Alberta
Posts: 3
Thanks for the advice. I've reached out to the scrapyards so I'm hoping I can find replacements. If I do go with modern windows I think I'm going to cut... seems a little easier than building up and then cutting down the corners.
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