Vintage Casita window replacement / rebuild questions - Fiberglass RV
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:30 AM   #1
Member
 
Name: Jamie
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 48
Vintage Casita window replacement / rebuild questions

Well shoot y'all. We were going pretty good on our Casita rebuild and just hit a brick wall... All this rain in Texas has been a blessing and a curse but has clearly pointed out we need new windows.

Now we need to track down or replace our leaky windows in our 1994 Casita 16' camper.

I assumed that the windows on the Casita web store would work and they won't because they are slightly different sizes AND different curve. If they were just larger I would cut out the window larger, but I'm afraid if the curve is different then that won't work.

Hehr International is the company that makes the windows for Casita and I called their distributer (Parkin Accessories), the fella on the phone sounded like he took a little pleasure in telling me that they "probably don't even make those anymore", but instructed me to remove the windows to find a part number on the inside. If they were able to locate new windows it would be 4-6 weeks before I could get them.

So, now I'm in a little pickle as I don't really have a dry place to put the camper for 6 weeks waiting on windows that may or may not be available.

Looking at the windows it looks like they could be rebuilt using plexi glass, if I could find proper gasket material between the glass and the frame.

I did try searching using the forum search tool but every thread that had "window" keyword showed up... Anyone know good threads on window rebuilding?

Anyone else with a vintage casita replace windows? did you have luck finding them?
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Old 09-24-2018, 02:55 PM   #2
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Oregon
Posts: 3,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by saucesquatch View Post
Well shoot y'all. We were going pretty good on our Casita rebuild and just hit a brick wall... All this rain in Texas has been a blessing and a curse but has clearly pointed out we need new windows.

Now we need to track down or replace our leaky windows in our 1994 Casita 16' camper.

I assumed that the windows on the Casita web store would work and they won't because they are slightly different sizes AND different curve. If they were just larger I would cut out the window larger, but I'm afraid if the curve is different then that won't work.

Hehr International is the company that makes the windows for Casita and I called their distributer (Parkin Accessories), the fella on the phone sounded like he took a little pleasure in telling me that they "probably don't even make those anymore", but instructed me to remove the windows to find a part number on the inside. If they were able to locate new windows it would be 4-6 weeks before I could get them.

So, now I'm in a little pickle as I don't really have a dry place to put the camper for 6 weeks waiting on windows that may or may not be available.

Looking at the windows it looks like they could be rebuilt using plexi glass, if I could find proper gasket material between the glass and the frame.

I did try searching using the forum search tool but every thread that had "window" keyword showed up... Anyone know good threads on window rebuilding?

Anyone else with a vintage casita replace windows? did you have luck finding them?
In the meantime pushing some plumbers putty into gaps will help. It is easy to remove when you get the new seals but it will last for years if need be. . Roll small pieces of it between your palms to warm and soften it. This is the stuff you put under the faucets you mount and under the rim of sinks you are installing. It is meant to stop water. I use a popsicle stick or wood cuticle stick to press it into the gaps. It will do no harm.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:43 AM   #3
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 48
Thanks Corbin, I think that is a good idea in a pinch, and I have plenty laying around from past projects!

I ended up pulling the window last night and taking it apart, it actually doesn't look to complicated to rebuild but I'm sure there is a trick to sitting that gasket in properly.



Here is the gasket removed, I thought I would need a U shape but it's actually more like an L with a curve, then a slight lip to lock in.



now I'm on the hunt for the proper gasket material, any suggestions?
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Old 09-25-2018, 12:41 PM   #4
Member
 
Name: Jamie
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 48
Well, after some searches I found that it's not a gasket but a "Glazing Bead". More specifically to my application it's Hehr 1/8 Glazing Bead because they are Hehr windows.

So, I ordered 30 feet, this should give me enough for the front and back windows and at least one smaller (hopefully two).

I'll post up how the rebuild goes!
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:47 PM   #5
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 1989 Casita 16 footer
Tennessee
Posts: 46
Glazing Beads

Quote:
Originally Posted by saucesquatch View Post
Well, after some searches I found that it's not a gasket but a "Glazing Bead". More specifically to my application it's Hehr 1/8 Glazing Bead because they are Hehr windows.

So, I ordered 30 feet, this should give me enough for the front and back windows and at least one smaller (hopefully two).

I'll post up how the rebuild goes!
I used windshield sealant on the inside piece,it's not cheap$32
I pretty sure i have some of the glazing also,I bought to much.
We used a roller simular to the type for storm windows
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:25 AM   #6
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie B. View Post
I used windshield sealant on the inside piece,it's not cheap$32
I pretty sure i have some of the glazing also,I bought to much.
We used a roller simular to the type for storm windows
Thanks Eddie, I did order some window sealant and it was pricey, hopefully one tube does it for both windows.

I cleaned up all the old crud and scraped the sealant out of the old window, washed it up a just hit it with a coat of spray paint. Waiting for that to dry but I'm happy with how things are coming along.

I cut it on the table saw, pretty easy to cut, just went slow, lots of chips flying off.


Used the old plexi as a template and cut the corners on the bandsaw, I'm sure a jigsaw would work just as well


dry fit and everything is looking good.


Now just waiting for the paint to dry to seal them in.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:51 AM   #7
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 1989 Casita 16 footer
Tennessee
Posts: 46
Casita windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by saucesquatch View Post
Thanks Eddie, I did order some window sealant and it was pricey, hopefully one tube does it for both windows.

I cleaned up all the old crud and scraped the sealant out of the old window, washed it up a just hit it with a coat of spray paint. Waiting for that to dry but I'm happy with how things are coming along.

I cut it on the table saw, pretty easy to cut, just went slow, lots of chips flying off.


Used the old plexi as a template and cut the corners on the bandsaw, I'm sure a jigsaw would work just as well


dry fit and everything is looking good.


Now just waiting for the paint to dry to seal them in.
Looks Good
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:14 AM   #8
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 48
Thanks Eddie!

The window sealant was a little tough to work with, squeezing caulk gun took quite a bit of force, I guess there is special guns to use, mine is just a regular one from a big box store.

The only tricky bit was to not get the sealant everywhere, it is TACKY! A little goes a long way and I learned that cutting the plexi a little smaller than exact fit works in your favor. Once I dropped the glass in place I just pushed around the edge and you see the seal through the glass grab.



Real happy with how it turned out, much simpler than I thought it would be. The glazing bead went in nice and easy, shout out to RV parts center .com who I ordered from on Tuesday and it was here Friday.



I installed back on the Casita, no pictures there because it was getting dark and I wanted to get it set up. I did run a line of butyl tape since the gasket was not doing it's job, then a round of elastomeric caulk outside of that.
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Old 05-23-2021, 10:48 AM   #9
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Name: Shaun
Trailer: 92 casita freedom 16
Utah
Posts: 40
Just wondering how this is holding up? I have a 1992 that someone did something similar to the back window prior to me purchasing it in 2018. The plexiglass is starting to get some small cracks in places around the edge. Right now I have to reseal a side window that has showed a leak while we are getting rain. Once that is done I may think of replacing the rear window. Your posts were very helpful.
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Old 05-23-2021, 02:09 PM   #10
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 48
Swmalone, I'm glad my pictures and posts have helped you. These rebuilt windows have been holding up great. From what I remember cleaning the old windows was the hardest part, the black window caulk is like tar and really was a pain in the butt to clean off.

I rebuilt these because Casita no longer sells these curved windows on the front and back of these older units. I did end up replacing all the windows in our camper. The cost of the side windows was cheap enough that I just ordered those, the egress was the most expensive but that being said I replaced all 3 windows in an afternoon vs the one rebuilt window per weekend. So worth considering purchasing new if cost vs time is a factor.

If you haven't replaced a window yet a couple things to consider, get a decent fresh butyl tape, make sure the little weep holes are on the bottom (definitely installed more than one upside-down and had to do over) and for a caulk I used what Casita recommended and what they sell, this stuff:
https://store.casitatraveltrailers.c...ions/adhesives

Before you re-install make sure you clean the window area good so you get a good seal.

Last tip is when you caulk get mineral spirits handy and wear a latex glove, after you put a bead around the window dip your (gloved) finger in the mineral spirits and wipe over the bead for a nice clean seal.

good luck!
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Old 05-23-2021, 06:23 PM   #11
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Name: Shaun
Trailer: 92 casita freedom 16
Utah
Posts: 40
Thanks for the info. I don't have a front window since I have the model with front bathroom. All of the windows with the exception of that rear one still appear in pretty good shape. I think I might just need to pop them out and reseal them with butyl tape and perhaps replace the outer rubber gaskets/glazing bead.

That rear one is something I'm going to put off until I absolutely have to replace it. I don't have a garage or covered storage so once I pop it out it will be completely open until I get replaced.
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Old 05-24-2021, 05:45 AM   #12
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 48
Yeah, I'll bet that will fix many of your problems with leakage as well, fresh butyl tape and caulk will go a long way.

I didn't keep mine in the garage when either, when I popped the window out I just cut up a garbage bag and used packing tape to cover the hole. Not the prettiest but it held the water out so I could get it rebuilt.
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Old 10-29-2023, 04:28 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Name: Anna
Trailer: Casita
California
Posts: 1
Where can I buy the side windows and egress???
Quote:
Originally Posted by saucesquatch View Post
Swmalone, I'm glad my pictures and posts have helped you. These rebuilt windows have been holding up great. From what I remember cleaning the old windows was the hardest part, the black window caulk is like tar and really was a pain in the butt to clean off.

I rebuilt these because Casita no longer sells these curved windows on the front and back of these older units. I did end up replacing all the windows in our camper. The cost of the side windows was cheap enough that I just ordered those, the egress was the most expensive but that being said I replaced all 3 windows in an afternoon vs the one rebuilt window per weekend. So worth considering purchasing new if cost vs time is a factor.

If you haven't replaced a window yet a couple things to consider, get a decent fresh butyl tape, make sure the little weep holes are on the bottom (definitely installed more than one upside-down and had to do over) and for a caulk I used what Casita recommended and what they sell, this stuff:
https://store.casitatraveltrailers.c...ions/adhesives

Before you re-install make sure you clean the window area good so you get a good seal.

Last tip is when you caulk get mineral spirits handy and wear a latex glove, after you put a bead around the window dip your (gloved) finger in the mineral spirits and wipe over the bead for a nice clean seal.

good luck!
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Old 12-20-2023, 10:13 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Casita 16
California
Posts: 3
Older Casita Rear Window Rebuild

Hello,
I’m a new member who has been following this site for a few months. I have been especially appreciative of the very detailed and helpful 2021 post regarding the rear window rebuild by member Saucesquatch. Because of his helpful article, I was able to rebuild my rear window.
I thought it might be helpful to others if I did a follow up providing some similar and some different details on how I rebuilt my rear window because it’s always useful to get another perspective.
I have a 1995 Casita 16 which has the rear window with the compound curve. Because of the curve, it uses plastic panels instead of glass. Both lateral plexiglass panels were cracked so here’s what I've done: 1) I took out the 20 or so screws from the clamp ring from the inside of the trailer and removed the clamp ring. I then went outside and drilled out the four pop rivets that held the window frame to the body. Removed the caulking around the frame and pried the frame from the fiberglass body. Unfortunately, the previous owner used silicone caulking (which I never use on RV’s), so I had to clean that off thoroughly which took forever. 2) I taped a garbage bag over the opening to keep any rain out while I worked on the window in the garage. 3) Took out the two broken window panels and spent a couple hours thoroughly cleaning the aluminum frame of old silicone and old adhesive.
4) Ordered a 24”x24” piece of 3/16” POLYCARBONATE because it’s more robust (NOT PLEXIGLASS, which tends to crack). Used the old cracked pieces as a template to cut out the new panels.
5) Ordered new Hehr glazing bead from RV Parts Center. com for 3/16” thick windows:
Hehr Glazing Bead Used on 3/16 Glass, Black Exterior RV Window Seal - 31610BGB
(If you decide on using 1/8” thick polycarbonate instead, you’ll need to order the 1/8” rated beading from them. )
6) Ordered a 10 oz. tube of black Seal Bond 105 caulking as an adhesive to seat the polycarbonate onto the aluminum frame. I used Seal Bond 105 because it is very strong and flexible and is compatible with polycarbonate. Very easy to work with. Just layed a bead onto the frame and pushed the polycarbonate onto it. Because of the curved frame, I had to clamp down the polycarbonate until it cured. 7) Installed the black rubber glazing bead onto the outside of the panels. This went on easily and fit extremely well. Then sealed the two joints where the beads met with a tiny bit of Seal Bond 105. Worked great. 8) Triple checked that the trailer and frame mating surfaces were totally clean and free of the dreaded silicone. 9) I then placed 2 layers of butyl tape onto the backside of the window frame, pushed the frame against the clean fiberglass, and installed 4 pop rivets. In hindsight, 3 layers of butyl tape might have been better.
10) I then went inside the trailer and reinstalled and tightened the clamp ring. 11) After a few days, I re-tightened the clamp ring screws some more and cleaned off any squeezed out butyl tape from the outside. 12) Finally, I placed a bead of white Proflex RV caulking around the outer edge of the window frame.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_7239.jpg   IMG_7251.jpg  

IMG_7267.jpg  
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Old 12-20-2023, 10:30 AM   #15
Junior Member
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Casita 16
California
Posts: 3
Glazing bead for the rear window rebuild

Here are more specifics for replacing the rubber seal glazing bead on my 1995 Casita rear window. I ordered from rvpartscenter.com. See attachments below. Fast shipping and fit perfectly. It must be this exact size and shape in order to snap right on. I used the one intended for 3/16” thick polycarbonate. But if 1/8 inch polycarbonate is used instead, order that version. This company is good: rvpartscenter.com . They even called me before shipping it in order to make sure and discuss exactly what I wanted since I had initially told them that I wasn’t exactly sure which size I needed.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_7525.png   IMG_7526.png  

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Old 12-20-2023, 10:55 AM   #16
Junior Member
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Casita 16
California
Posts: 3
Saucesquatch mentioned this in his 2021 post, and I would like to reemphasize it. It is important to cut the polycarbonate panel slightly smaller than the frame opening (I cut mine 3/32”-1/8” shy) in order to allow the Seal Bond 105 to squeeeze around the edges slightly. I cut thin plastic shims and placed a few around the edges to insure that the polycarbonate panel imbedded onto the Seal Bond 105 in a centered way.

Lastly, it is important to be extremely careful not to use types of caulking and cleaning agents that are incompatible with the type of plastic panel you are using. It would be a shame to ruin all of your hard work by using incompatible chemicals. Things like some solvent based polyurethane caulkings, concentrated alcohols, ammonia, acetone, etc., can weaken, cloud, or crack the plastic. I’m guessing the cracked plexiglass that I replaced with polycarbonate may have become cracked due to cleaning with isopropyl alcohol (which is known to cause weakening and cracking in plexiglass). So be sure to do a Google search for Chemical Compatibility beforehand.
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