Dealing with a Busted Windshield
The first advice we pass on to new motorhome owners is make 1000 percent sure that your insurance policy has a glass replacement clause included in it. They all offer it and it is very, very inexpensive compared to the cost of that massive piece of front glass. I believe the repair bill for our last windshield was around $2,800 and the glass replacement clause in our policy is less than 2 per month with a $100 deductible.
Secondly, Replacing a windshield on a motorhome is not as easy as replacing a windshield on a car. They are very, very big. They require special tools to take the old ones off and put the new ones on.
Thirdly, many of the guys who say they can do it end up not doing it correctly and when it is not done correctly you can end up having it stress fracture later and more likely get leaks inside the bus on a rainy day. We know because 2 of the 4 times we have had it done we have ended up with leaks.
Here is my advice to how to make sure that this does not happen to you
- Your insurance usually will allow you to take it to whoever you want but most of them use RVGlassolutions to handle the shipping of the replacement and assigning an company to put it on. Do not take whoever they assign automatically.
- Make sure the company that is doing the install has done it hundreds of times before and has the right equipment.
- Make sure the company that is doing it has done it many times on your brand of coach.
- Only use reputable glass companies that have been around a while.
- Preferably take it to their facility so they have all the right tools. I have done field installs and they have limited equipment which can cause issues.
We now prefer to get the glass replacement done at Lazy Days in Tampa, FL. We have never bought a coach there but there glass shop is second to None. Richard Rainey runs the shop and his team has been doing this for 20+ years. They have all the right equipment and even keep most of the windshields in stock Richard and team have had to fix bad jobs we had done by other people. If it is a small notch and it has not splintered the Insurance company will try to get you to “repair” the windshield. We have tried this once but it has never lasted for us. My first inclination when we get a busted windshield is to fix it right away. We now have learned to wait till we can get to a reputable firm that has the proper tools to get it done correctly.
Fogged up Windows
We are now on our 3rd coach. Our first 2 coaches were a 2005 Phaeton and a 06 Eagle. Both of the coaches ended up with Fogged windows. With Dual pane glass and the stress of going down the road the windows seals of older motorhomes will breakdown causing the windows to Fog up. Our new bus (2012 American Eagle) has different windows that i believe are less likely to fog up.
In discussions on the forums this weekend someone asked if a fogged up window is a sign of a bad coach. My answer was no, it eventually will happen to most older coaches. But it may be a sign that a previous owner was not taking care of maintenance issues.
To replace windows on a coach, it can be very costly. We priced having a fogged up windows replaced at the plant and they quoted us around $800 per window. Fortunately for most coaches there are other solutions. Companies have come up with another solution, which involves taking the windows off the coach, disassembling them, cleaning the inside of the windows and replacing the seals with new more durable seals. For our coaches this ended up costing us around 2-300 per window. Well worth the cost saving of replacing all the windows.
There are 3 places that we are aware of that provide this service (There may be more but these are the ones that have shops committed to doing this full-time.
- Lazy Days, Tampa – As mentioned Earlier Richard and his glass team do a tremendous job. They are professional and respectful. You can camp at the Lazy Days campground and they will come over in the morning take 1 or 2 windows off your coach. They cover the holes left with a plastic and then take the windows over to there shop. They then bring them back repaired and put them back on later that day. We highly recommend them to our friends. I believe we paid
- RV Fog Doctor, Searcy, Ar – We have never used them but have heard they do a great job. Excellent reputation.
- Suncoast Designer, Hudson, FL – Again, We have never used them but have had friends who have. Have heard they are a little less expensive than Lazy Days. Have heard 80 percent good reviews and 1 or 2 mediocre.
If you are not sure if your windows can be repaired call Richard Rainey over at Lazy Days (813) 246-4999 x4450. He has so much experience doing this he will likely know off the top of his head whether yours can be repaired or need to be replaced. Please let us know your experiences!