Your windows serve as one of the main important features of your RV frame. They let in light to create a warm interior and they let you enjoy the outdoors without actually being in it. Without windows, you could find yourself spending your vacation inside of an artificially lit box. If you wanted to do that, you could have just stayed home. Instead, with the gentle breeze and fresh air, you can relax in nature and recharge away from the constraints of daily life. But these windows need care, though, and they can be damaged over time. With the right tools and information, you can get them back on the right track so that you can keep enjoying them for longer.
One of the big problems that can occur with windows is they can become damaged by water or the elements. You can notice this damage through a few symptoms. If you feel a draft near your window, it could mean that the seal is broken or even the window as a whole is damaged. You could also notice gaps in the window or in the window seal. If the frame or caulking is dried or cracked or otherwise compromised, it will need to be fixed up as soon as possible. If there is rotting around the window, it becomes an even bigger problem, because this means that not only is the window seal damaged, but also that water has already gotten into your window and RV frame. You don't want this to happen. To prevent this, you can look for specific causes as well as ways to prevent them from occurring.
Causes and Prevention
One of the biggest causes of window problems is improper installation. If they're not put in correctly the first time, this can lead to not only replacing the window all over again but having to fix up the entire area that was affected by the damage. Also, windows that receive a lot of sunshine are more at risk for seal failure than those in the shade. Yet another reason why parking in the shade is a good idea. Using a heat gun or chemical strippers around the seal can damage it and cause it to deteriorate at a faster rate as well. Finally, high winds and extreme weather can put strain on the window. While you might not be able to avoid all of these things, keeping them in mind when you're designing your RV layout or deciding where and when to camp can help to extend the life of your windows and window seals.
To prevent the window seal from becoming damaged, care for the window and check it often. With a good first installation and proper maintenance, you can keep it looking and working nice for longer. Avoid using a pressure washer near the window, which can work its way into the seal and cause damage. Also, avoid using a heat gun or a chemical stripper around the area. If your window has already been damaged, then there are a few things you can do to fix it.
If you're driving through the night and you notice rain getting in through your window, then you're past prevention. You need a fix. You could take it into a repair shop, but you're already on the road and you don't really want to stop somewhere and put a pin in your vacation. If you're past prevention and need a fix to your window problem, then there are a few things you could do.
First, there is the very temporary solution. Simply put, cover it up. Use a trash bag, tarp, or other strong plastic material to cover up the window. Make sure to seal the edges with a waterproof tape to keep the rain and elements out. This isn't the best solution, that's true. But it'll get you where you need to go, where you can work on the next solution.
The next possible solution is to check the weep holes. The weep holes are the little vents at the top and bottom of the window frame. They are a functional part of the water drainage system for the window and if they become clogged, it can lead to leaks and further damage. The water will just sit in your window and eventually leak out. To clean them out, you can use pressurized air, a cotton swab, or even a knife blade. Just make sure that you don't hurt yourself or damage the window while you're cleaning out the slots. To make sure that they're all clean, pour clean water into the top weep hole and see if it drains out clean through the bottom weep hole. If it doesn't keep working on it, cleaning them and rinsing them with clean water. When the water comes out clean, then the weep holes are successfully cleared and cleaned. If the weep holes are clean and you are still getting water leaking into your RV, then it's onto step 3.
If water is seeping in through the seals around your window, then sealant is your next option. Try and figure out where the leak is happening; the top, bottom, or sides. Once you're located the leak, you can re-caulk it. Using our sealant and a caulking gun, re-seal the areas that need it. Re-sealing your window should do the trick, but if the problem is the glass itself or the window frame, then there's just one thing left to do: replace the window.
Replacing the entire window isn't something that most RV owners want to do but water damage is even more of a problem. To keep the problem from becoming worse, you'll need to take the old window off and use our strong sealant and butyl tape to create a strong bond and seal around your new window. This will keep it lasting longer and keep the water out once more.