Airstream Window Catastrophy

We planned a camping trip to Whidbey Island in May, to complete the vacation in October that got cut short for Barclay’s illness. So I started preparing the Airstream by tackling some of the issues I found on our last trip.

I polished up the old Plexiglass window

I replaced missing rivets

I lubed and tightened up the door latch.

I pulled off the broken front window guard so I could rebuild it. I didn’t get it done in time, but I figured that was ok, lots of Airstreams travel without front window guards. Surely we could make ONE trip without ours.

We were all ready to hit the road for an adventure. But when we finally hit that road, we were cruising along about 50 miles from home when I looked in the rearview and wondered why the curtains were waving around inside the trailer?

OH NO!

And the broken front window let in so much air going down the highway that it also blew out our old plexiglass window!

OH NO!!!

We pulled over in Castle Rock and carefully cleaned up all the broken glass we could with the limited tools available in the trailer, swept debris up off the road. Then considered our options and turned around and headed home.

Once we got home I started taking stuff apart while Dave ran to the hardware store and picked up some lexan.

I easily cut it to size on the table saw and installed the side window. It could probably use new weatherstripping as well, but good enough for now.

The Front window had other ideas. Nothing we could do could get the hinge apart. You need to take the two piece hinge apart to attach the new window with adhesive tape to the hinge. But the hinge was absolutely not coming apart.

Dave and I tried impact drivers and screw drivers and soaked the screws in penetrant and even tried to drill them out, and nothing was working. So we called Scott over.

He tried everything from special screw extractor bits to the dremel to heating it with a torch, and still nothing was working, and we didn’t want to set the trailer on fire, so as the sun was getting low we pried all the broken glass out of the hinge and slid a piece of lexan cut to size up into it, put the clips on the bottom, and because of how much flex it had, we fastened a piece of aluminum across the middle to hold it in place (since the top wasn’t actually stuck in with adhesive like it should be).

So we had replaced 2 windows in 5 hours, and were completely exhausted. We slept at home that night and the next morning we were ready to roll again.

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