With all the traveling that us RVers do, it’s inevitable that one day you will get a rock chip or worse a cracked windshield. This unfortunately happened to us recently. At first it was just a small rock chip. If this happens to you, it is imperative that you get this repaired as soon as possible. A glass company can easily fill in the chip so that you may never even notice that it was there in the first place. Not to mention, when you get it filled in it will stop it from spreading.
Unfortunately, we were not so lucky. As not two hours after we got the rock chip, the pressure outside changed with an approaching storm. So our simple, fill in the chip in the windshield, grew to a large crack spanning almost the entire length of the windshield wiper blade.
Not repairable at all at this point.
We happened to be on our way to the Rochester, NY area to stay for a while, visiting friends and family. So we started making our phone calls. First to the insurance agent. Then to Tiffin to find out how we get a hold of a replacement windshield. They were wonderful. They found a local glass company that could install it at a Tiffin dealership in the Buffalo, NY area, just an hours drive from where we’d be parked. Which happened to be the closest also.
So we made our way to Rochester and waited for the windshield to come in. When it arrived safe and sound the glass company made arrangements with the dealership to install the windshield. This is an important step as once the new windshield is in place, you can not move your rig for at least 24 hours while it cures. So it’s vital to have a place that you can stay parked for at least that long.
Special Note: It is very important to inspect the new windshield BEFORE you touch the old windshield. If the new windshield comes in damaged it’s best to know before you take out the old windshield. So we opened the giant box that the new windshield was shipped in.
Thankfully, nothing was wrong with the new windshield.
The windshield’s on the 45LP buses are actually different than other rv windshields. Other than being giant, they are not held in the traditional way, by a rubber seal. They are actually held into place with an adhesive and sealant. Like a car windshield. So in order to remove the old windshield the seal has to be broken and peeled out.
It’s also important to note that once the windshield is out, it’s important to clean the area up of all adhesive and sealant so when the new windshield goes into place it can sit as flat as possible.
Once everything is cleaned up, the new adhesive get’s applied.
Now it’s time for some man power!
This is one heavy windshield.
All I kept thinking was, “Please don’t drop it”.
Oh my! Now that’s some man handling. I know when Tiffin installs the windshields at the factory they use a lift. So to see these guys man handle this glass was nerve wracking.
They did a great job though. Talking and coordinating who was where and who needs to move where next. Nice communication.
Now once the windshield is ready to be set, you don’t have much wiggle room. So you want to make sure that you have all hands on deck and that everyone is straight on. You don’t want any gaps.
Once the windshield is in you can slide it a tiny bit to make all the gaps even, but not much. The adhesive works fast, so they must work fast too. Better get it right the first time because it’s not coming out anytime soon.
New Windshield In Place
Once they are happy with the placement, small spacers are placed underneath the windshield to make sure it doesn’t slip down as it’s curing.
The glass crew then leaves for a few hours while the windshield is setting up.
They come back about 4 hours later and start filling in around the windshield with a sealant.
Once this is done, we sit. We can’t even move the coach to the other side of the parking lot. So this is why it is important to make prior arrangements with the dealership as to where they want you parked.
So we sat in front of the service bay overnight. Not that we haven’t done that before.
The next morning the glass crew came back for some touch ups and to add another layer of sealant.
After a few more hours of sitting, we were set to go.