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Old 11-07-2015, 04:43 PM   #1
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Windows in a fixed fiberglass top

I'm planning on installing a Fiberine Super Camper Top in the near future. smugdoug did a similar install here:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...hp?f=24&t=6121

My dilemma involves window selection for the top. My ideal solution is a Dometic/Seitz S4 window which appear to be used in EarthRoamers and many european campers. They are also in the body of this van:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...hp?f=7&t=15292

I like the awning style of this window which seems better suited to the rainy pacific northwest. The built in blinds and screens are a nice touch as well.

Based on web searches, the S4 is available in a 1200x300mm, which I think would fit in the side of the fiberglass top.

I dislike the horizontal sliders for a couple reasons:
1. My previous dodge van developed leaks around the sliders.
2. My local converter, Van Specialties, will no longer install horizontal sliders in tops, as they have been unable to guarantee a water tight build.

So I'm here on the forum to ask a couple questions:
1. Has anybody had any luck sourcing S4 windows in the United States?
2. What are your real world experiences with horizontal sliders in fiberglass tops? Leaks, performance, likes, dislikes, etc?
3. Opinions on the subject are also welcome.

Thanks.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:34 PM   #2
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Re: Windows in a fixed fiberglass top

I love the newer Dometic windows for every reason except scratching. They are plastic so I've heard they scratch easily. For an SMB, to me, this means tree branches scratching them up. That's a big deal for me here in the East. YMMV. No other downsides that I've heard except finding them and getting a decent deal on them.

As for the side sliders I've known several who run them and no problems with leaking. Have you PM'd Pschitt about VivalaVida? He used them and his van has been run hard all over North America. I'm sure he installed them himself as he pretty much built his entire van. Also, I think he got a Fibrine top customer made to his specs. It may be worth asking about his build and how he mounted the windows.

build thread:
viewtopic.php?p=91415#p91415
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:06 AM   #3
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Re: Windows in a fixed fiberglass top

Being in the auto/truck glass biz let me add a few thoughts.....

Most windows in fiberglass tops tend to be set into rubber gaskets designed for this very use. If you have access to a local experienced glass shop that can/will cut laminated glass to your homemade pattern that's almost half the battle. These days that service isn't as widely available as it once was, those long ago days of 10 years or so.

Laminated glass would be superior to nearly every affordable plastic material because its not prone to scratching and discoloring from constant solar exposure. While it can and does break the lamination feature keeps it in place and the opening still weather tight until and if its ever replaced. It can also be cleaned with typical automotive or household chemicals without fear those too might cause visibility issues.

Cutting openings for use with any glazing material is definitely a DIY thing with a bit of knowledge going into it. I can help anyone going that route with advice or suggestions.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:08 AM   #4
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Re: Windows in a fixed fiberglass top

Thanks for the help so far. I'll send Pschitt a message.

As for the leaks, I'm not sure if the leaking typically occurs at the window flange to fiberglass top interface or from water not properly draining from the sliding channel. I agree that the window to fiberglass interface should be resolved by proper install. Not sure about issues with the sliding channel. Most home windows have a weep hole to assist with draining, but houses are usually plumb (or close). Any angle on the fiberglass top could tilt the water back towards the cabin and not allow proper drainage. Just thinking out loud here.
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:20 PM   #5
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Re: Windows in a fixed fiberglass top

Just an FYI.....

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=9965
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:13 PM   #6
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Re: Windows in a fixed fiberglass top

We have a horizontal slider in our high top, it is 48 inches long. No problems in 3 years.

Our old van had a 60 inch slider, and it both rattled and leaked.

The best solution would be no windows, but if you're sleeping up there I would want at least one.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help so far. I put off the purchase until next year.

Brent: I read through your posts and it certainly does not put fiberine in a good light and sounds like a miserable experience. For what it's worth, Fiberine did mention possible yellowing when I spoke with them. They said they thought the newer products were more likely to yellow based on newer formulations. Indicating they didn't have as much a problem with older tops. For total protection they recommended I paint the top.

As of today, I've been unable to find any tops similar to the super camper by any other manufacturer. The 30" of added headroom is extremely desirable for sleeping. The 24" bubble top style appear to be available from multiple vendors.

dhallly: In my current van, I have a top similar to the super camper (shown in avatar) and we do sleep up front in the top, on a pull out bed platform. We currently have no windows, which is great for leaks, but can get hot and stuffy in the summer. The idea of some cross breeze and also added light when not sleeping sounds great.
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2005 Quigley E350 EB V10
2006 Quigley E350 EB 5.4, Fiberine Super Camper Top (sold)
1995 4x4 Chevy G30 Extended 6.5l NA diesel (sold)
1984 Dodge B250 Get-Away-Van camper conversion (sold)
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:49 PM   #8
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Also, I did hear back from Pschitt and he has had no problems with his windows or top. And wow, that guy has been on some amazing adventures with his van!
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1995 4x4 Chevy G30 Extended 6.5l NA diesel (sold)
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