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Old 11-01-2014, 10:39 AM   #1
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Putting in windows...

Anyone have any idea of costs involved in putting in various windows in a cargo van? I'm trying to put a cost list together for a partial conversion home build sort of thing but I'm not willing to tackle windows. I can see some costs on smbs site but was wondering if anyone has other ideas,etc.
Thanks,
J
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #2
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Re: Putting in windows...

No one would do it here, not even the RV shops. We ended up doing it ourselves but our van came with small RV windows installed so we were just making the holes bigger. We bought our windows from SMB Texas and they sent us a template. We probably could have found the windows a little cheaper but they saved our butts so it was money well spent. Two cuts were needed for each of our awning windows, the larger one being the interior hole so it was intense but fun.

Here's a write-up on our blog if you decide to tackle it yourself.
Frameless window install

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

-John
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: Putting in windows...

It seems that Van Specialties was in the $500-600 range for an awning window installed. I checked a couple local (to me) window shops and had the same result as John and Mandi - they didn't want any part of cutting a hole in my van. Your best bet might be to go to some sort of auto body shop since they would be more comfortable putting a hole in the side of your van.

John and Mandi have inspired me, though - hopefully I'll have some direct feedback for you in a few days when I get a chance to get mine completed.


Measure twice, cut once!
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:34 AM   #4
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Re: Putting in windows...

^^^ careful posting all these templates. your gonna get coined the king of cardboard, lol. first ive seen of this van. do you have a build thread going yet??

its surprising that you guys are having such a hard time finding places to install windows. wonder if places that install sunroofs would be game? most the aftermarket windows i see install very similar to the basic sunroof installs.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:38 AM   #5
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Re: Putting in windows...

We measured about 50 times, no lie. Both the first cuts were nerve wracking, interior and exterior. The second window was much easier after gaining confidence from the first. The best advice we can give is go slow and stop if you need. It took us a week to get the first one installed, the second one was completed on the same day the first one was. Also, don't focus too much on the awning window not fitting after only the exterior cut is made. On our Ford, the interior framing was preventing the window from being dry fitted. Once we cut out that interior framing it was obvious where we needed to trim a bit more to get a good fit, it was different that what it seemed with the interior framing still in tact.

Thanks rockbender! Have fun and good luck!

-John
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: Putting in windows...

The Chevy/GM van has much less to cut through on the inside too compared to the Ford body. I've got a few vertical ribs that will need to be cut out or removed but that is about it.

Shenrie - yes, this is the Dookie (big brown van!) replacement. I haven't started a build thread yet because aside from installing a propane tank and giving CCV my credit card I haven't done much yet. I'll likely get one started once I make a little forward progress! I guess I could start it now with photos of my mocked up interior made of... cardboard!
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:28 PM   #7
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Re: Putting in windows...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnandMandi
We measured about 50 times, no lie. Both the first cuts were nerve wracking....

-John
I just got liquored-up real good before cutting my roof off, wasn't nerve-wracking at all


Actually, I drove to San Diego a second time and measured the roof-hole of the donor van before cutting. A three hour round trip.

Consider using an air chisel ($20 or so at harbor freight) to cut the van sheet metal; it cuts like a can opener, leaving a clean edge.





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