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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Foggy Window Repair at Suncoast Designers in Hudson, FL

We have heard so many good reports from RV folks who deal with Suncoast Designers in Hudson, FL.  Located just north of Tampa, FL.

Suncoast Designers
15050 Labor Place
Hudson, FL 34667
727-868-2773

Many RV's have double paned glass called "thermopane" windows.  With all of the twisting and stress that an RV chassis frame goes through, not to mention the speeding down the highways in our travels can sometimes make the thermopane leak.  This is called a "blown seal" and allows intrusion of air and moisture in between the glass layers that leads to fogging.  We have that on our passenger side window up front.  The faulty metal band between the layers of the glass has allowed the air to leak inside.

Also, some RV's have a different type of window construction with a black rubber seal around the edge that gets sucked inwards and leaves a black rubber "snake" between the layers of glass, called "snaking" ... our friends Mel and Paula have that on their motorhome.

Two weeks ago, Steve called Suncoast Designers and we made appointments for both of us to have our windows repaired.  They were assigning appointments two weeks in advance and told us to come on a Tuesday night for a Wednesday appointment.


They have room in their lot for about 20 motorhomes, 
and offer FREE 50 amp electric and water too... 
and even a dump station! 
(under the orange cone) 


We got settled into our spots for the night 


 Most of the sites have hookups, but the last few on the end are boondocking 
or overflow area if you are waiting for a spot.

(we did notice some folks staying a day longer after their windows were done, 
taking up sites that new arrivals could be occupying....argggh! )

They even offer free wifi! 
If you sit in the pretty gazebo, you get the best signal.  
Also a couple picnic tables are available to eat out, socialize or rest. 
 A doggy walk area across the parking lot makes our stay complete! 




Wednesday morning we woke up in the pre-dawn hours to our weather radio alerts of a tornado watch in the area!!!  We filled an "evac bag" of current medications, purse and wallet, laptop and cell phone etc.  That was setting by the door in case we had to leave fast and get to the big building. We kept our shoes on which we normally don't do in the motorhome. The dogs were both ready with harnesses and leashes trailing inside the motorhome.  We could grab them in a moment and run if we had to!

We kept the news on to watch the progress of the storm, and most of it went south of us and some to the north.  We only got a few drops and some light winds... very lucky!

We got a knock on the door at 6:40 a.m. with a form to fill out and get ready to have our window removed. We had a bit of mix-ups at the office on our reservations. By 6:45 a.m. they were removing our window!~  At least we were going to get our window done, so that was good!   We were invited back later at 1 pm to get a tour of the window repair process inside of the factory.

These guys were very courteous and friendly.
You can see how foggy the large pane in the passenger side window is. 


 We watched the careful window removal process, cutting the silicone around the frame
and removing the window without damaging the frame or surrounding area.



This is how thick the walls are on our coach.
This guy came over and cleaned up the outside area 
to make sure it would be a good surface to adhere the frame back onto.


Then he stuck up the plastic coated window covering that would be in place during the process.  Now we felt like "part of the crowd" with our green taped up window like the rest of the folks around us! LOL



Later that morning Paula and I snuck off to the quilt shop and a grocery stop. which I wrote about on my blog before this one.  Steve and Mel held down the fort.

By 1 pm we went to the building to take our tour.  We donned safety glasses and were lead to the back work area.
This is one huge place! 

 Kevin was our tour guide 
and took the time to explain each step of the process 
and answer our questions.


He told us that even though we were just doing the one large window pane on the top of our window, that they do ALL three pieces in the window frame.  That was good to know, because we were wondering if we had to pay an extra $225 for each smaller window pane in our window. Nope... we were happy to hear that!

He said each window is clearly labelled and tagged.  Then they remove the glass from the frames and seals.  Care is taken to not bend or kink the frames in any way with a spreading tool to get the glass out. Some folks are having ALL their windows done, so the frames are laid out according to job order on the open space.



None of these frames are our window....


The glass is taken away to a clean area where it is processed...
 pieces are rolled on these beds of wheels into machines that clean the glass


New seals are added to replace the original thickness of your particular window brand.
This is done in a very clean area to not allow any dirt particles to enter the seal.


Now each panel of sandwiched glass goes into this oven and baked
at around 400 degrees (I forgot the exact temp he said) 



Here is a finished panel of glass with the new seal in between
the layers...  ready to go back into a frame! 
(sorry, it's a bit blurry, I snapped the pic in a hurry before he set it down)


They have two of these ovens to work on glass panels, 
and I bet it gets REALLY hot back there. 
not a place I would want to work.....


Thank you, Kevin for the great tour! 

At the end, available in the office are cans of the really great window cleaner they use. Someone on our RV list told me to be sure to buy some.  It's only $5 a can here, and I found it online in the $8-12 range plus shipping.  So I thought I would give it a try. 



We bought one can, and it cleans great with no streaking! The glass and mirrors feel smooth after wiping them down, the rag just slides across the surface.  I am going to get some more before we leave, for sure. 



Okay.. now it's the next day..... 
It is noon and they have our window all done and completely installed!  

Here are the pics I snapped of the guys who came to our rig.  They came and prepped the outside surface well before adhering the window frame.  It came all pre-gooped up with black butyl caulk on the inside of the frame where it meets the outside wall. 


It fit snugly into place and they had to tap it a bit and lift it a bit to get it into the most centered position.  With one working outside and one working inside, they had it all set in a minute.  The guy inside started screwing in the bracket tight to the inside wall, while the other guy on the outside held the frame tight to the body.

They would make wordless motions to each other through the glass, and you could tell they have done this before!   The guy outside was also using a clear silicone caulk around the top edge, then down each side as the inner guy was tightening the screws... then he went all around the window frame, even on the bottom.  I was hoping he would!  So it is good and sealed on all four sides. Thank you!  Here is a pic of the caulk they used around the edges.  The window frame itself is sealed with black butyl caulk to the body of the coach.


Now it was "clean up time" with their good can of the Ardex window spray. 
They washed the window free of all handprints and smudges both inside and out.
Of course I had to teasingly ask if he does ALL the windows all around the coach as a courtesy???

I bet he hears that 20 times a day-----

That window cleaner is really nice , and we bought two more cans before leaving.
They even gave us a handy, dandy tote bag to bring it all home in.  Ahhhh! 



Next, it was time to water test it. 
 The guys brought over a hose and sprayed it down... 
while one sat inside to look for any leaks. 
We were good to go! 




 Well, not quite.

First, we had to PAY the bill!

It was exactly as quoted. 
We are very satisfied and the window has a ten year guarentee,
with a sliding scale of pro-rating for each year in use. 

Here is our invoice, (plus sales tax on the bottom cut off) 

It was time for us to head up to Mom's ... and other people were wanting our parking spot in the electric sites, so we had to get a move on. 

We got road-worthy and headed on out, after saying our goodbyes and see ya laters with them.  They are heading south to join with some friends at another park, and we are now heading north back to Mom's house. 

Got more projects to finish up for her! 

ON EDIT 2 WEEKS LATER


We are now heading home to Wisconsin.... and are really appreciating our view out of the newly redone passenger window.  It's clear and no longer streaked, fogged, or full of moisture (even in the horrible humidity and pouring rain we just went through)  Thanks Suncoast Designers! 



2 comments:

  1. I'm glad you had a good experience there. We have been twice for 6 windows in our '04 Fleetwood. We did a blog post also on the process. Those guys are the "BEST"

    ReplyDelete
  2. We were very pleased with our window repair at Suncoast. Hopefully we'll never need another one fixed, though. ;c)

    ReplyDelete

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