1968 Airstream Front Window Rockguard

I caused the problems with our broken windows on our last trip (see previous post) by removing the old front window rockguard off of our 1968 Caravel so I could rebuild it, but I didn’t get it rebuilt in time before the trip. Here is a picture of the original rockguard. As you can see, it was completely opaque, but it started out clear, back when it was new in 1968. It also had a few holes knocked into it from rocks over the years already.

I removed it from the trailer, which was easy to do, as it was not riveted on, it was only screwed on. likewise the two extendable arms were screwed to the trailer, and then to the inside sides of the cover, near the bottom. The shape of the cover allowed the arms to sit inside the cover when it’s folded down. This was probably the trickiest part of the whole build.

Inside of the rockguard after removal

The rockguard needs about 1 3/4 inches clearance inside for the arms to fit under it.

So I removed the plastic insert from the thin aluminum frame of the rockguard, and built my new aluminum frame to sit inside of the original auminum frame. That original frame would be key to locating the original hinge and latches so the new rockguard would fit right back into place on the body of the trailer without drilling any new holes.

I picked up these pieces of aluminum angle
Two of them together make this sort of Z piece. I riveted those together.

Then I riveted those pieces into the original frame with pop rivets. It was all looking really good, until I thought about the arms.

Oh shoot! I didn’t think about the arms when I selected my angled pieces!

Back to the hardware store.

Off to the hardware store for 1 1/2 inch angle pieces.
The first attempt fit well, so I used those pieces to mark the new ones and cut them to length.
Rivet it all back together again.
Finally, lay in the lexan and pop rivet it into place as well.
Finally, reinstall it on the trailer!
Install the arms, and everything fits like it was meant to be there!

I also replaced the weatherstripping on that front window and glued the lexan sheet into the hinge (which still refuses to come apart) with ParBond. It seems to be solidly seated in there now, and I don’t think it will come out. It opens and closes just like the glass window did.

All done! It really wasn’t that difficult, and I wish I had finished it before heading out on that trip and breaking the front and side windows. It was mostly a gumption block – sitting there in the garage staring at it and trying to puzzle out the right way to do it. When I finally jumped in, I did it wrong by using that angle piece that was too small, but at least it was easier to do it the second time with the right-sized angle pieces! It fits, it looks good, and I can see out of it from inside the trailer without having to open it up. And to think this is a project I’ve been mulling over for the past 10 years or so!

2 thoughts on “1968 Airstream Front Window Rockguard

    1. I found them in the back of our local Tru-Value, so hopefully you will not have too much trouble finding some. The big box stores did not have any big enough, that is where I got the first ones I tried to use, and those were the biggest they had.

      Liked by 1 person

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