|Welcome to the
re sealing caravan windows page
|I have taken all the pictures off the renovation pages to form this single information page about windows as it is a job that most caravanners will want to do at some point. the average cost of resealing a caravan window in in a dealers workshop is £150, here is how you save that money and do it for a lot less|
|We started to remove the off side front window first and started inside the caravan taking the catches off the window. we found it better to remove the catches from all the windows that we were taking off but the choice is yours on whether you take them all off or one at a time.|
|We then turned our attention to the window stays , this is a two person job as one must be outside holding the window in the open position, this method also make it easy to access the screws that hold the piston in position. Once we had removed the fittings to the caravan their was no need to undo the pistons from the glass as they would go with it.|
|Once we had removed all the inner fittings we went outside and I located the grub screw on the outer rail, once this is unscrewed from the bottom the grub will slide out leaving the window track open; Note: each window has 2 grub screws to stop them from sliding out of position.|
|Left: Now I turned my attention to extracting the first two of the main window rail screws, I did this to allow the rail to bend outwards slightly giving me a better clearance from the main caravan corner seal Right : I can now gently slide the window off the rail and out of harms way.|
|We removed the right hand window in the same fashion and then we turned our attention the the centre window. As our caravan has a slight bevel to the front like most caravans do, I noticed that the window would not travel along the track to combat this we removed all the screws up to the centre window edge on the main rail, now the window slides out with ease.|
|We can now extract all the staples that hold the window rubber in place, taking great care not to dig into the rubber , I gently pressed a flat bladed screwdriver under the staple and prized it up just enough to get a pair of long nosed pliers in to grab the staple and pull it out.|
|Once all the staples are removed Annette pulled the rubber seal off the frame and we noticed that all the sealing compound was brittle and failing .|
|This photo shows the old sealant had dried out and cracked, fortunately we have replaced the seals in time as no frame damage has been found but by next season that might have been a different story.|
To seal the window frame and rubber together we would need to use the roll of 25mm wide mastic, This is easily obtainable from most caravan stores but if you are going to do all the windows you may want to try your nearest dealer that has a service and spares department and purchase the larger 20metre roll of mastic at a much cheaper rate of around £12.you can also obtain new rubber and plastic key strips in many dealers stores
We First tried to lay the mastic inside the rubber seal but this did not work so we decided to place the sealant on the frame first, this in itself was easier but still tricky.
|This next stage took the two of us, I held the rubber seal out of the way and fed it slowly to Annette and at the same time removed the paper protection layer off the mastic. Starting at the centre bottom part of the frame Annette had to feed the rubber seal slowly, keeping it open as wide as possible, ensuring the rubber sealed well with the frame and mastic. once both the rubber and the mastic came in contact with each other they stuck fast and you didn't get a second chance. once the rubber was in place we had a slight overhang of about an eighth of an inch, this is because of the shorter distance the rubber traveled due to the mastic,|
|So using an old rolling pin; on the seal we could squeeze the mastic and rubber tighter into the frame and ensure that the rubber went right into the corners and the rubber overhang had now vanished.|
|Once the rubber was seated we could finally staple the rubber into place.|
|It was now time to fit the white expanding flash to the rubber, this is not just to make the window frame look nice , it also acts a a key to keep the rubber tight against the frame.|
|Its a very slow and tedious job that hurts your figures but its well worth the effort. Now that all the windows had been resealed it was time to start fitting the glass units.|
|First job was to fit the right hand side window , by sliding the glass ( ok the plastic unit) into position and lock it off with the grub screw. now with a little pressure on the window you could mark out where the clasp needed to be screwed down. once that was fitted it was a case of repeating the process for the side clasps. We then repeated the whole process on the left hand side window|
|Fitting the piston window retainers is much easier when two people work on it. First as I held the window in position Annette marked out the the first of two measurements needed , this was with the piston closed, by marking a small line at the top and bottom of where the bracket sits on the frame provided the correct piston position. We could now make the second marking which is the screw placement markings by lining up the two lines made previously and then mark the holes with a pen through the bracket.|
|Once this was done we could fix the piston in place knowing it was going to open and close with ease.|
|The finished side window.|
|Turning to the front windows I first had to clean the main window rail with white spirits a rag and one of Annette's short haired pastry brushes ( shhh don't tell her) once the rail was clean I placed the mastic on the rail using the 25mm roll of mastic.|
|Fitting the main window rail is easy enough but their are a few tricks to doing it right first time round. When screwing the rail in , decide which side you are going to slide the centre window in from. We decided we were fitting the centre window in from the offside so I started to screw the main rail in from the first screw past the centre left of the window frame to the right hand side of the caravan leaving all the screws for the near side out and the protection paper stayed in place on the mastic. The reason for this is if you screw the whole rail in place you can not get the centre window along the rail as the caravan has a slight bevel in the front and the window will jam meaning you would have to take the rail off and break the new seal. We then fitted the offside front window in place and locked it off with the grub screw. Now we carefully slid the centre window into place from the near side and locked it off, then we removed the rest of the sealant paper and screwed in the remaining screws and fitted the nearside front window and locked it off with its grub screw. (HOT TIP: when fitting the screws through the rails and mastic layer first wet the screw in your mouth to stop the mastic turning with the screw)|
|Now that all three windows are back in place I had to fit the screw protection plastic strip,
( HOT TIP: if you are using new plastic its quite flexible and fits with ease but when you are using the old stuff as we were I found if you heat it gently with a heat gun it becomes very flexible again and fits with ease)
Now its back to the window fittings and catches.
and the whole job done saving you hundreds of pounds and feeling rather pleased with yourself.
regards Als & Nettie
Copyright © 'Alan Parker' All rights reserved.