Side Window Framing
Next up is the wall panel for around the side window. This is one of those jobs that I've been putting off since I wasn't sure how to proceed. Sportsmobile installed the side window at the same time as the penthouse top. I took the following photo while the van was still in their shop.
During the installation they cut the inner metal shell from around the window area. This inner shell is what I use to anchor the wall panels. I could attach the panel above and below the window but it wouldn't match the curve of the wall.
I started on the panel with a couple of ideas. First measure and mark off an area around the window.
Measure and cut a section of fiberboard for the wall panel. Need to cutout the space for the window on the fiberboard. To mark out the window I had a little help. After Sportsmobile as done working the pieces they removed from the van where placed outside behind the shop.
At the time I retrieved the window cutout figuring it would come in handy sometime. That time would be now. Use the metal cutout as my guide.
Do a test fit. I'm using my foot to hold it in place for this picture.
Use non-flammable contact cement to glue styrofoam to the back side of the panel.
Smooth out the edges with a rasp.
To anchor the panel to the wall I'm going to try epoxy and see how it works out. First peel back the Reflectix foil warp from the wall and measure the window frame
The window frame sticks out about 1". Since it was an inch I thought the 1" square metal tube I had on hand would be perfect for an anchor point.
Wire brush off the rust and cut off a 2" long section. Use a pieces of tape to mark the center of the window frame then use 5 minute epoxy to attach the square tube to the van wall.
Do both sides.
The label on the epoxy reads that it works down to 39 degrees but I used a heat gun to warm things up a bit.
Let the epoxy set up for 24 hours. The next day I could pull on the square tubing hard enough to feel the metal wall of the van deforming but it held tight.
Hold the wall panel in place then drilled through the panel onto the square tube long enough to mark it. Then removed the panel and finish drilling a hole in each tube.
The hole is just a starter for #10 x 2-1/2" sheet metal screws. use the screws to hold the panel in place.
It fit snug against the frame at both sides but I thought the bottom could be brought in.
I tried to add a third anchor point at the bottom of the window but as you can see from this picture the weather took a turn for the worse.
With the now colder weather I didn't have the same success with the epoxy on the third anchor point. It just won't hold like the other two. Even tried using a space heater to blow on it but no luck.
The third anchor point isn't as critical as the first two so I'll just wait till there is warmer weather and try again.