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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Windshield Woes - Part 2

I wrote a blog last week entitled:

 Please read that one if you want to catch up before you read this blog.

We got the call from Tri City glass on Monday that the new windshields were in and I was assured that they were measured and were the correct ones. I made the appointment for Wednesday morning 8 a.m. to go in and get them done.

Of course on Wednesday, we woke up to the most humid horrible day of the year so far. EWWWWW

We fired up the generator and cooled the motorhome down with the roof air conditioners before I took off and drove it to Tri City Glass in Appleton. Steve had to go to work, so this was all on me. I got there in time and carefully backed the rig along the shaded treeline of their rear parking area. The roof airs were still going to keep the interior nice and cool. I had my coffee and my knitting to keep me occupied until 8am when they opened.

They were ready for me right away at 8 am and had me maneuver the rig carefully into their loading bay to do the repair.  I snugged up the nose right tight to edge of their loading dock so they could reach easily.  It's much better than trying to do it out in a hot steamy parkinglot, for sure!

A guy named Neil came to prep. I asked him to actually hold the passenger side windshield up to the front of the rig and dry fit it against the glass--- even with the old glass in place. I insisted it was to make sure the curve was right on each side plus the measurements correct.  He agreed, after I told him what happened last week.


The window was RIGHT this time! 

Everything was good to go, Neil started removing the old passenger window and prepping the area for the installation. There is a thin bead of rubber rope material that is removed first from the outer surface of the seal. It helps wedge the rubber right tight to the glass.

If you cut the seal crossways to look at it from a side view it would be like a fat letter K. The bottom opening in the K sets over the fiberglass opening of the body. The upper opening of the K is where the glass is set into. And the groove along the side is where the thin rubber beading is tucked into place.  The backside of the K is facing the interior of the motorhome.

The seal looks like this: 

He had to run some primer around the edge of the fiberglass and then a very thin bead of some Dow 4200 fast cure marine sealant. This was for the edge of the fiberglass where the bottom portion of the rubber seal would meet. The upper portion where the rubber meets the glass does not require any sealant.  He cleaned up and softened the rubber for the installation of the new windshield piece.

Now it was time to put in the new glass! 

We had to wait a little while for Randy to get there from the Green Bay factory where our son works. I had firmly requested on Monday that he come back for the installation because he really seemed to know what he was doing last week. He was skilled when it came to the actual window removal and replacement. I was confident he would do a good job, knowing that now the window was the RIGHT SIZED one.

Randy came soon and joined up with Neil to get to work. Once these two got started there was no stopping them!

With some grunting and groaning and shifting and tapping they were soon able to get the new piece into place. I got to help by holding back the windshield wiper mechanism, and then from the inside by helping to hold back the rubber in places while they worked to adjust the windshield into the correct position. It was very interesting to watch them work.

They have little claw like tools
 that run along the edge of the window
 that does not harm the glass.

 It pulls back the rubber seal just enough 
to get the glass to settle into place. 
It's important to get the glass centered in the opening,
 so it is not binding against the frame in some spots
or popping out of the rubber seal in others! 

There we go!
One done --- one to go ---

This was sure going a lot better than last week, for sure. 

Now it was time for the driver side window.

I stopped the guys midstream and asked them to measure and dry fit the second piece too.  Just in case.... because it appeared the box had not been opened nor the second windshield removed to be measured yet.  (I had been told in advance on the phone that the manager Craig had verified they were both right and measured correctly.. hmmmmm?) 

I was not taking ANY chances ... and was not satisfied until Neil and Randy held up the second windshield into place to be sure that BOTH pieces were correct... not assuming just because one was correct, that the other should be too! 

This one was tougher to get out and it broke in two different places during the removal process. Hearing the glass crack is sure scary!

Boy oh boy, am I glad they didn't start with this one last week because we would have sat with a broken windshield for a week while waiting for the correct replacements.

They got it all out and were prepping the area for the sealant and put the rubber seal back into place.

It was blazing hot and humid outside, but we were pretty cool inside the loading dock area. I still had the generator running while inside because the back large door was open. They said it was okay to leave it running.  The interior of my motorhome was nice and cool.  (even with big gaping holes of windshields missing from time to time... LOL)

I got to help with the wiper and the rubber around the edges. Randy got it shifted right into the exact spot and soon had all the rubber back into place. Once the windshield was in, then the extra thin rope beading of rubber is inserted to the seal all of the way around to wedge the rubber even tighter against the glass.

Both guys carefully inspected the Rubber seal all the way around inside and outside on both windows to make sure it was snug and fit tightly.

My oh my ---
Men who wash windows! 
That is every woman's dream

I went inside to sign the final papers and pay the $500 deductible that our insurance required for the windshield replacement. The total bill was just under $3,000!  Thank you, American Family and Leah Burg and Sarah Kopf!

I was cautioned not to drive on the road for a couple hours just in case, to let the sealants set. It's not that the sealant was actually holding in the windows itself, it's just that it was along the inside edge of the rubber seal by the body opening.

One of the guys stood out back as a spotter and stopped traffic for me. I could back out into the road and reposition the motorhome alongside the shady tree line again.

From start to end, the job took about an hour and a half. These guys really did well and I am very pleased. The job looks good. They didn't damage anything, and I think the first flub with having the wrong windshields shipped by the third party company was frustrating for everyone all around. Yes, they didn't measure the first time before removing a window, like I had asked.  But this time they were really very, very cautious!  (with myself being a WatchDog might have something to do with it?)


Well, with two and a half hours to go I decided to walk over to my favorite little thrift shop that was a few buildings down the road. I found a few little treasures but up near the front I found some wonderful large cones of Shetland wool from a factory in Scotland! There were also cones of another favorite brand called Jaggerspun wool and then even a cone of cotton and linen blend.

Yarns like this are generally in the $20 to $30 a pound range. Most of these cones were three to five pounds. They were marked $6.99 for the large ones and $4.99 for the smaller ones. I asked the manager when was their pink tag 50% off day so I could come back and get them for half price. I explained I lived 30 plus miles away and was just in town for service on a vehicle. She said it wouldn't be until Friday, but she gave me the half price deal today if I bought a bunch of cones to get them off her shelf!   LOL ... gladly!

I went home with all of these for less than $40!

The cone of cotton linen blend is great for kitchen towels woven on my looms. These cones of wool yarn are good for making socks on my sock knitting machine. Thin strands can sometimes be combined into combinations to be thick enough for the sock machine. They make interesting patterned socks.

I hauled the cones back to the motorhome in the heat of the noonday tropical blast of humidity.  ICKY!

Not only was it a wonderful day that the windshields got done, but I found a bargain besides.

At noon I fired up the rig and drove on home with no incident. It is now safely parked in the yard and Steve was able to come home from work and examine the fine job that was done. He is pleased and we are happy to say we now have two new windshields that are free of chips or repairs.

I am happy to have remained with the rig during the repairs and able to take photos too. I explained to the workers that I write a travel blog with over 20,000 visits a month.  Yup, over 20,000 times, people tune in each month to read the words I happen to type!  Amazing to me-----

As for the post about the actual replacement work, I found it interesting and hope my other RV readers enjoy reading about the procedure.  By reading other RV blogs and posts, we often learn a lot of what to do or not do when faced with a similar situation.

I hope that Tri City Glass, American Family Insurance and Safelite companies work well for everyone, not just someone documenting and publishing their process.

I also hope that next time someone pays attention when a customer makes a suggestion of making SURE things that the new items are double-checked before dismantling someone's property!!

Whether it's a man or a woman shouldn't make any difference in today's world, but sometimes it does.  **Sigh**  Next time I am faced with this type of situation, I am going to have to be even more forceful. Too bad that women who are forceful are labeled as "B*tches" in our society, while in contrast, a forceful man is considered being "Strong and has Leadership Qualities".  Just something to think about in our present society and political climate.

As a fellow Safari-owning friend Mel stated: "Karen...Happy to hear that they finally got it right....(Sadly we have to become an expert at everything to get any coach work done correctly by "professionals")."


  1. Congrats on the RV repairs, but WOO HOO for the sock yarn. They will make pretty socks.

  2. Glad you got the job done right this time. Nothing worse that sitting waiting for the work to be done just to find that they had the wrong size. We are needing our passenger side windshield done but Kevin said they don't make that size anymore so not really sure what we will do about it come fall. He is going to do some more research into it first of course.

    Hopefully you won't need to have them replaced again for a long, long time.


  3. Good job! You are absolutely right about how forceful women are labeled. I tell those people that I choose to embrace the title and be all that I can be. That will usually shut them up.

  4. Glad you got the rv's windshield replaced. That picture of all that yarn will make my wife jealous when she sees it.


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