Despite the wind, which wobbled the camera on the tripod quite a lot and caused it to go bananas at the end, I had a nice mild day at the end of January when I seized the chance to install rear windows into the campervan. This involves cutting the metal from the rear doors, preparing the windows and door surrounds, then glueing the windows on with extremely sticky adhesive.
The process is very simple but you do need to take it carefully so as not to mess anything up. Inside the rear doors you find a double metal “skin” around the edges of where the windows would go if they’d been fitted at the factory. This is your guide. By drilling some holes at all the corners just to the inside of that skin (so you’re drilling into the bit of metal that will be removed), you’ve made a guide which you can then use from the outside of the door to jigsaw the panel out.
The metal edges are then filed smooth and painted to stop them rusting. A metal & plastic “U”-shaped cover is then wedged over the metal edge and banged into place with a soft mallet.
The windows are then prepared and this will depend on the fitting kit you bought but mine needed cleaning with a standard window cleaner, then preparing with a glass cleaning fluid they supplied, then a paint primer (supplied) being wiped around the edge. You’re not supposed to overlap the primer onto itself, just do one layer, but as I didn’t quite know where on the window would line up with the adhesive on the van, I laid several lines of primer next to each other on the window.
The van metal is also cleaned, glass cleaned, and given a line of primer (just the one line in my case because I’d use that as the line on which to put the adhesive).
The window adhesive is then laid on using a cartridge gun like you’d do a line of sealant with but beware – even with heating the adhesive a little, it is *extremely* solid stuff which didn’t want to come out of the cartridge at all and my wrist was aching from the effort of extruding it by the end. It’s probably worth investing in a low-geared mastic gun especially designed for stiffer gunge.
Note that you only have (in my case) twenty minutes before the gunge starts skinning over and you must have the window on before that happens. Also, you must keep the gun at 90 degrees to the van metal so that a tall, inverted V-shape is left and not a bead as if you were using sealant. This is to ensure the gunge sticks to every bit of the window.
Once the window primer’s had 15 minutes to dry and you’ve put the adhesive on, you just push the window into place – carefully because once it goes on, it really, really sticks and jiggle it just a bit to make sure it’s spot on.
Hold it in place with some gaffer tape strips rolled down from the van metal above the window, give it a gentle but firm push all around the glue line and then leave it to dry, ideally without moving the van for 24 hours or letting it get wet or frozen.
With luck, your windows are now installed. Top tip: wear goggles and ear defenders when cutting the metal, the little shards go everywhere and getting one in your eye would be horrible. Also, the noise from the jigsaw left my ears ringing for two days. Oh, and try to catch all the metal shards landing inside the van because they’ll rust really quickly if left there.