First steps first I suppose. We need some windows in the van to let in the light and let us look out. As I’ve got older, I’ve found I spend hours considering options to such an extent that I even bore myself and worry that its not far off before I just stop making decisions at all. There are benefits however. Firstly it gives me something to do whilst the TV is being hogged with Eastenders and Coronation Street or some pointless period drama! Secondly it prevents me making as many mistakes as I used to when impulse buys were the order of the day.
Consideration came in two areas….performance and looks. I like double glazed windows for caravans and motorhomes for their insulation properties, but mainly because they reduce condensation, but they look pants in my opinion in a commercial van. You can disguise the look with some similar coloured wrap to make them appear the shape of the van ‘cutouts’, but this is not the look I’m after. Bonded, glass van windows which look like OEM windows and have the right shape look great, but are single glazed, so heat loss/absorption are an issue and condensation…….what to do? Vanity wins the day cos I want my van to look right, sod sensible options.
I spent some time finding the right ones and eventually plumbed for side window with sliding openers and only a slight tint so we can see out because we will have curtains or blinds for privacy. I chose windows from Van-X because the sliding openers were a descent size and their stuff looks well made.
Right lets get to it. We decided to only put windows in he panels directly behind the front door windows and the back doors. This was to preserve the structure of the van to allow for a shower room, kitchen and other wall mounted features and to keep costs down.
I did consider giving the van to a glass fitter to cut holes, glue the windows in etc, but I hate to pay for what I think I can do myself. Experience has taught me that most jobs are quite simple and with a bit of Youtube help how hard can it be.
William our sone was on hand and after some repeat measuring and checking I made the first cut. It was to be fair a bit of a bottle tester to cut the first hole in the side of my new van, but working on the premise that what can go wrong I set about it.
I bought an electric drill attachment nibbler from Machine Mart for about £30 and after drilling a pilot hole, it munched though the metal easily without the usual bending and twisting of edges normally caused by tin snips. Its very simple and you literally can’t go wrong. The internal structure of the van is exactly the right cut for the window.
Ready to go
The first cut. Well hole….Oooer!
As you can see, it is fairly simple to follow the structure of the van for the openings. This applies to all windows on a Sprinter.
Don’t bother with the knock on trim as it really make life hard. It holds the window off a little and caused a couple of leaks initially, so I got rid of it and the window fitted much better. It’s only used to finish the rough cut edges, but if like me you are finishing the inside with panelling and carpet etc it doesn’t matter. Make sure you treat all cut surfaces or they will rust!!
The window and van surface need treating with solvents to ensure a good surface for the polyurethane glue sticks.
A word of warning……Do not get the glue on anything you don’t want it on. It simple will never come off!!
Have William handy and make sure he doesn’t let go. They only need a cup of tea every so often to keep them happy.
Finally pack the window to ensure it stays in the correct place. I did have visions of coming down the next morning to find them stuck around the cills. Once pushed on firmly, they don’t move much. And that’s it…….and repeat.
Not bad for a first effort eh?