So you’re away on your holidays, you wake up in the morning taking in the glorious view outside with your morning brew…and What IS that?!
Yep, there’s a split in your window – it’s only bloody gone and delaminated! What do you do? Fear not – heres’ our quick guide on how to fix your caravan window in a jiffy.
What Is Delamination?
When the two halves of double glazing separate at the edge, this is known as delamination. Rain and condensation will be able to get in between the acrylic, which if left will cause ingress – damaging the surrounding window.
You’ll probably first notice it when you see some moisture or condensation between the panes that doesn’t seem to disappear as the day progresses.
What Causes It?
Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence and not just limited to older vans – years of towing will eventually take its toll on the joints – including the windows.
If you notice signs of condensation in your windows that aren’t clearing during the day – get it back to the dealer as this is a sure sign of a shoddy build.
Suppose you need to tow the caravan back before you can fix it. In that case, you should seal up the window temporarily with duck tape to prevent the window from blowing out when towing your van at speed.
Fixing A Caravan Window With Repair Glue
Caravan windows are constructed by combining two acrylic panels, often with a distinctive curved outer and flat inner pane.
As we mentioned earlier, delamination is when the two acrylic panes separate. If the window has a crack somewhere, you’ll want to be checking around the joins and sills for signs of ingress (damp).
While we’re on the subject of acrylic windows, if you use the wrong cleaner, you can cause ‘crazing’ (similar to scratches) on the windows, which is irreversible. Check out our post on how to clean your caravan windows properly.
Glueing two pieces of acrylic together isn’t really glueing in the ordinary sense. You will need to use specialised acrylic cement.
This material resembles water and has no adhesive properties. It also won’t work on any other materials other than acrylic.
Acrylic cement softens the two plastic surfaces, allowing them to fuse together. The cement then evaporates as it cures, leaving a sturdy glue-free joint. This process is also known as solvent welding.
How To Remove The Caravan Window
This job will be easier if you can remove the caravan window. They are usually held in position on the rail with a small clip on either side to stop them from sliding along the rail. Slacken those, then remove the stays from the window frame.
You should then be able to slide it along the rail to a position where it can be taken out, though you may need to undo one end of the rail and /or move other windows out of the way first.
How To Apply Acrylic Cement
A hypo applicator is used to apply acrylic cement. The cement is poured into the applicator carefully and slowly to avoid overfilling. Because acrylic cement is a chemical solvent, it’s critical to keep your hands and eyes protected.
The two pieces you’re going to bond together must be CLEAN and flat. A microfibre cloth is good for this. Remove any dirt and debris – as much as you possibly can. This is vital to create a good bond.
Be super careful when applying your bonding product – you do not want any solvent to drip on your windows!
Before you use the hypo applicator, gently squeeze any air out of it. Then let go of the pressure on the hypo, allowing air to flow back in and preventing drips.
If any of it drips on the window, don’t wipe it away; instead, let it dry. It can be carefully picked off when it’s dry.
Using the nozzle, gently squeeze the cement into the joint between the two pieces while holding the joins together. You can let go of both parts of the window after a few minutes when the bond is strong enough.
You Might Be Interested In: Thetford Caravan Cookers: Common Problems And Fixes
Please note that it will take another 24-48 hours for the bond to fully form.
Below are our recommended products to repair your caravan windows:
Captain Tolley’s Creeping Crack Cure (leak/crack sealer) 60ml – Buy Now
TENSOL 12 Acrylic Adhesive, 50ml Bottle/Perspex Bonding Glue Cement – Buy Now
And that’s it!
Buying new windows for a caravan is extremely expensive. I’ve seen quotes for £450 and up (depending on window size). Even if you send it off for repairs, it will still cost you around £300.
If you are confident enough to perform some basic DIY repairs, you will find this an easy job – saving you even more money. Acrylic adhesive will set you back between £15 and £16.