Windows are – literally – windows to the scenes and goings-on of the outside world from within our RVs as we drive or vacation in a campground.
They are about more than visibility. They are key features to an RV’s design aesthetically as well as for letting in natural light. But windows are also essential for moderating and controlling your RV’s interior temperature. Here are some common window problems you may need to deal with when you own an RV – and what you can do to fix them.
Notice a little permanent fog in your double-paned windows? It’s usually an indication of a leak or crack in the rubber of the window seal, letting in moisture and forming condensation (fog). You can take your RV to a professional that specializes in cleaning windows. They can take out the window, replace the seal, and reinstall the window – saving you from the expense of having to buy a completely new window.
If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, you can remove the window and clean the panes. You may find yourself needing to purchase new glass panes and a rebuild kit, however. You can also clean and dry between the panes, which means you’ll need to drill small holes into the seal to gain access and then resealing the holes after you’re done.
This is what will happen if you don’t deal with seal cracks immediately. Leaks let in drafts, reduces the overall temperature control of your RV, and let water creep in, potentially causing a more serious – and more expensive – problem down the line. You never want to get to this point due to negligence; however, sometimes, things just happen.
Someone tries to force a window open or closed, for instance, causing a noticeable crack or tear in the seal. The fact remains: fix the seal as quickly as possible either by using a professional or on your own.
Hand crank doesn’t work
There may come a time, especially when it comes to older RVs, when the hand crank just doesn’t want to crank a window open or closed anymore, or maybe doesn’t close a window tightly. Depending on your brand of window, you will need to remove and replace part or all of the mechanism. RV forums and service centers for your particular brand of window (or RV manufacturer) are resources where you will want to ask for advice.
You may need a salvage parts supplier in some cases. Some of the mounted operators can be removed easily, but some may require a little more finagling. Regardless, you shouldn’t have to remove the window to do this. Having window cranks that work is essential for safety, so don’t just let things go if there’s a problem.
With all window fixes, make sure your RV is protected from the elements and any holes where windows have been removed are well covered. The less time, the better. Healthy, well-maintained windows mean a healthy camper, of both sorts.