Van Build | Window Installation
Man Hours: 7
Tools & Materials: 1x Side Window, 2x Rear Windows, 2x Double Window Bonding Kits, Nibbler, Jigsaw, Good Quality Silicone Gun, Metal Primer, Double Cup Suction Lifter
The one thing we said we wouldn’t do ourselves this time round was the windows. We’d rather spend the money and save ourselves the headache. I will never forget the feeling when we realised the windows in Yosemite weren’t watertight. We pulled over on the side of the road and looked at one another, ‘now what do we do?’. Turns out, it was a relatively easy fix, just jam in some more sealant and hope for the best. It took us three attempts and a lot frustration to get them watertight. We got there, but it wasn’t fun. I'll also never forget the feeling when we realised we'd fixed the problem, a huge sense of relief and an even bigger sense of achievement. Either way, this time round we were adamant we would hire someone else to do them.
But as the build progressed we soon realised just how much we’d learnt from the first build. Everything has (so far) gone so smoothly and efficiently and we are realising how much better we are at this second time round. So we figured, ‘what the heck, let’s just give it a go!’ and we are so glad we did. The installation went like a dream and the windows are right off completely watertight. Success!!
What We Used
We ordered a side window for the sliding door and two windows for the rear barn doors. All windows are privacy tinted so people can’t see in but we can see out and lots of light still comes in. The windows come with the rubber trim.
We also ordered two lots of double window bonding kits which included:
2 x 310ml tubes of Polyurethane adhesive
Glass & body primer 30ml
Glass cleaner/activator 30ml
2 x pre-cut nozzles
2 x primer applicators
So we had four tubes of sealant/adhesive in total for three windows and we only just had enough. Admittedly, after last time we were generous with it but we can’t imagine one tube being enough for the big side window so we would recommend you double up.
Our windows and window bonding kits came from Van Pimps. We highly recommend them!
Step 1 - Cut out holes for the windows. We didn’t need to mark where to cut as the van had clear contours of where the windows should be so we just followed those. We used a nibbler to do the cutting which made easy work of it. We had to use a jigsaw to cut through the thicker strut in the middle of the side window.
Step 2 - Prime the bare metal edges with a metal primer (not included in the kits).
Step 3 - Fit rubber seals onto the inside skin of the van. Take your time to make sure it’s pressed on fully.
Step 4 - Clean and prime the glass. Both cleaner/activator and primer are included in the kits. Make sure you avoid the clear glass in the centre during application. The cleaner will scratch it and the primer is pure black.
Step 5 - Apply sealant/adhesive. Make sure the bead is high and consistent and make use of the pre-cut nozzles. This is where we went wrong on the last installation. We had a cheap silicone gun and it was really hard to apply the adhesive. Last time our beads were too shallow. Not this time!
Step 6 - Stick on the windows. A double cup suction lifter is a handy tool for this. Line up the windows, take a deep breath and stick them on!
Step 7 - Make sure to press around the edges to make sure there is consistent contact.
Step 8 - Tape the windows up securely to make sure they don’t slip down when they dry. We didn’t put enough tape on the first window and we noticed it slipping.
We are so chuffed we bit the bullet and installed them ourselves. They look fantastic and have held up in mega rain storms. The Grizzly is starting to look like a campervan now!
To see more of our window installation process head to our You Tube page to watch our installation video. Don't forget to subscribe to be the first to know when our next blog and vlog is live.
Total Man Hours: 41*
Total Build Cost: £1,103*
*Hours includes labour but not the many many hours of head scratching, planning and shopping.
*Cost covers all materials used for the build. We haven't included the cost of the van, tools or shipping expenses as these things will vary for everyone.