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 > Storm Windows - How to build & first winter results *(NEW)

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Photomike

Southern Alberta or where the camper is parked!

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Posted: 01/03/11 08:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Okay I have had a few people ask me about the storm windows that I made for the TC, so here goes a description. When finished one of the nice things is that you cannot even see them on the window.

1 - Material, this was the hardest part of the project. Many places have plexi but it has a number of different trade names, also a lot of different quality levels - some is easy to scratch, some thicker, some not clear, etc.. I found some at a glass shop that was going to supply and cut the plexi but it would be 1 - $80.00, 1 - $125.00, 1 - $150.00 and 1 - $175.00. I am sure that the cutting would be much better and cleaner than what I did but the cost was way out from what I wanted to pay. My final cost was $95.00 for the plexi and I could have saved a little more as I didn't layout the templates exact and ended up with some leftover (for the next project).

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2 - Measuring - A close second in the pain level to finding the material. I had read that someone had made a template for carpeting and remembered this when I was measuring. The rounded corners was the big problem, but with the template it worked out pretty good. I used some scrap newsprint and taped it to the wall around the window and traced the outline. I would use something a little thicker next time so it didn't tear so easy. Doing it in the daytime is the best as the back light coming through the window shows you where to trace, at night it was a lot harder. Then I cut out the template and used that to trace on the plexi. Nice thing about the plexi was it had plastic on both sides so you could trace and it wasn't on the glass. All four windows were a different size so I had to do four templates and lay them out on the plexi to use the most material and make it easiest when cutting. Four windows all the same would have been much easier.

3 - Cutting - I have cut glass in the past and I have cut plexi as well - I love cutting plexi compared to glass. I used a knife and scored the plexi and snapped it. There are other ways but with my limited space to cut this was the cleanest way. To do the long straight cuts it was simple, a new blade for each window so it was sharp, a half dozen scores to the plexi using a metal guide and then snap. The corners I did freehand, traced several times with the knife then snapped.

4 - Test fit - No matter how close I cut - things seem to move. So I always did a test fit and if needed sanded that area a little more.

5 - Sand edges - To smooth out the cuts and clean up the edges I sanded the edges to remove the sharp parts and if needed to make it fit.

6 - The mounting holes - This was easy to line-up as I removed the screws in the window and marked the holes. Then I drilled out the holes a little larger than the screw as I didn't need it to bind anything just pull it tight to the window. One thing to note (from experience) hold the plexi flat when drilling as any twisting will cause it to crack, got three cracks this way. Actually started to drill at a slower speed and it worked a lot better than fast.

7 - Another check - Make sure that the window fits and the holes are in the right place.

8 - Turn window upside down and remove the clear cover.

9 - I then added a closed cell black foam to the plexi, I ran this along the edge between the plexi and the camper window - so when the plexi was pulled up to the window it sealed. Also - I did not use all the screws to mount the window and if I did not use the foam it would have been a problem. The foam cushioned it and it sealed it.

[image]

[image]

10 - Fit window into place, remove the other plastic cover and start putting in the screws. Before doing this make sure that any debris is out of the window - plexi is full of static and attracts dust. I did not punch or drill the foam, I just ran the screws through this. CAUTION - Do not tighten too tight. I used a cordless driver for a few at the lowest setting and managed to crack a couple. I then switched to a screwdriver and it was slower but only one cracked. One thing that I noticed is that the screws are not centered in the black track, some where a ways in from the edge of the plexi and some were close to the edge. Really doesn't matter as long as it holds the glass. I thought of using a washer but some screws never had enough space for this.


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11 - Enjoy the warmth! It made a HUGE difference on the windows that opened, but even the single pane window. Now the TC heats up a lot faster and stays warmer longer between furnace cycles.

_______________________________________________________________________

May 2011 - First winter results

Well today I took off most of the storm windows after running them all winter. This past winter did not lend itself to camping so only made it out a few times. Overall I found the windows to work really well, cut down on drafts big time and did add a little insulation value to the window as well. Less drafts meant that the furnace did not have to run as much and saved on fuel. The biggest drawback was on nice days (okay there wasn't many/any this past winter) you are not able to open the windows. The other drawback was no way to open the window to vent out the humidity, this was an issue once when one of the boys and I were camping and we dried some snow pants with the cat heater - it was damp in the camper and would have been nice to open the windows for a few minutes. Was it worth it, yes as it saved buying new windows. Would I use storms over better windows if I was buying new, no I would spend the money and get the best (warmest) windows I could. The last thing is the storage for the summer, with thermopane windows no storage problems. I also thought about using the shrink wrap and now I am glad I didn't as I see how much abuse the plexi took from the dog and kids, think the shrink would have had a hole in it in no time.

* This post was last edited 05/01/11 06:30pm by Photomike *   View edit history


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maddog348

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Posted: 01/03/11 09:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice Job !!





brianjw

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Posted: 01/03/11 09:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks good!
I had been wondering lately if anyone was using plexiglass or lexan or anything for insulating the windows. I was envisioning using something like that, cut 1/4" to 1/2" larger than the window frame. Applying the foam tape to the plexiglass so that it contacts the wall just outside of the window frame, to help reducing the cold that is transmitted through the window frame itself.

But of course I'm still shopping for the right camper so all I have are ideas... Good to hear that it works well though.


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Photomike

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Posted: 01/03/11 09:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

brianjw wrote:

Looks good!
I had been wondering lately if anyone was using plexiglass or lexan or anything for insulating the windows. I was envisioning using something like that, cut 1/4" to 1/2" larger than the window frame. Applying the foam tape to the plexiglass so that it contacts the wall just outside of the window frame, to help reducing the cold that is transmitted through the window frame itself.

But of course I'm still shopping for the right camper so all I have are ideas... Good to hear that it works well though.


My second idea was to cut larger as you mention and use self adhesive magnets to attach to the window frame. Remembered how much the strips of magnets cost and dropped that idea.

KKELLER14K

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Posted: 01/04/11 03:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I already have dual panes but didn't have it in the door. Nice to have some there isn't it? It's one of the first things I tell people to get. Insulated windows, you never regret it..go check out the sticky section of how I did my door...very similar as to how I did it. Good job!

* This post was edited 01/04/11 03:48am by KKELLER14K *

KKELLER14K

BEAVERTON OREGON

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Posted: 01/04/11 03:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


Made a cliky for you!


kohldad

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Posted: 01/04/11 05:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for taking the time to do the write-up. Very well done.

Now I know what my project is going to be next week after I pick up the camper. The extra warmth will be appreciated on my next winter trip.


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Rolling Condo

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Posted: 01/04/11 08:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had 2 pieces of 1/8" acrylic cut for my 2 bedroom windows. Measured for them to be 1 1/2" outsized of the window. Outlined the window with white Velcro tape. Put the gripper side on the acrylic. Press in place and no more drafts. Pull off and slide under a mattress for storage.


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Photomike

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Posted: 01/04/11 09:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rolling Condo wrote:

I had 2 pieces of 1/8" acrylic cut for my 2 bedroom windows. Measured for them to be 1 1/2" outsized of the window. Outlined the window with white Velcro tape. Put the gripper side on the acrylic. Press in place and no more drafts. Pull off and slide under a mattress for storage.


I like the Velcro idea. I have two of the reflective bubble sheets for the cab over windows and they keep coming out. Velcro here I come!!!

iwon415

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Posted: 01/04/11 09:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can no longer open the window without removing the plexi glass right?

TimH





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