Motorhome Windshield

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by CFMarine, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. CFMarine
    Joined: Jun 2015
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    CFMarine Junior Member

    hello and glad to be here.

    I am currently rebuilding a 50' houseboat/ motor yacht from the hull up. One nice cosmetic feature of modern yachts is a large, curved, and sometime single piece windshields looking out the main cabin.

    I want to mimic this look and would like some feedback on possibly using a RV windshield. The cruising speed will be 10-12knts and primarly be used in rivers and the gulf of mexico. My main concern will be the shock stress on the RV glass from choppy seas. any thoughts would be great!
     
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    Have you considered Lucite or a similar product? You can bend it within reason, depending on thickness. It can withstand abuse and shock better than glass. Some of it blocks UV radiation also.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    RV side window glass will be tempered, so this stuff is real strong. An RV windshield will be laminated glass, which isn't nearly as strong, but it's the only thing I use on windshields. The thickness of the windscreen is scaled to the expected loads, so how big a thing are you looking for?
     
  4. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    A curved windshield should come from a GM 4106 , cheapest at about $125 Each.

    Buy you will have to make a frame.

    For wave impact the best bet would be a side window from an MCI.

    These are 3/4 Lexan and mount in a nice frame that can be opened/

    Usually heavy tinted , so a PIA at night and heats up the interior during the dat, but opening is SO! nice.

    Only hassle is NO WIPERS can be used on any style of plastic.
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Ports and windows can be covered with a film that will reduce UV A & B by 99%. The best is made by 3M and has to be installed by them, but it's a ballistic film, greatly increasing penetration resistance as well.
     
  6. CFMarine
    Joined: Jun 2015
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    CFMarine Junior Member

    Par, have you used RV windows in marine applications? Do RV windows have suitable hardware?

    The ideas are great. i will have to do some more research. The size of the window i'm looking for is about 8' across. I like the idea of it being glass too. One reason I like RV windows is the fact i was able to find prices for older models and they were not bad.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've used automotive glass previously, but RV specific glass isn't any different. Flat glass is simple enough and I always use laminated glass for this, which is available in a few different colors as well as clear. Curved windshields requires a lot of looking, unless you can adjust things to make something work. This can take some doing, wandering around bone yards with templates, just to see if something fits or can be cut to fit.
     
  8. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    I wonder what glass that amphibious RV uses? Look like normal fare.
     
  9. CFMarine
    Joined: Jun 2015
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    CFMarine Junior Member

    I Imagine the thickness has something to do with the strength of the glass. I will have a custom fit frame built into the fiberglass. preferably i will be able to find a common windshield in case on needing to be replaced.
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Glass strength is commonly calculated and incorporated into structures, such as automotive and buildings, as it's properties are fairly well accepted. If it's a static concern (load bearing frame), then regular tempered stock is all you'll need. A basic calculator is available at >dupont.com/safetyglass<.
     
  11. ch3oh
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    ch3oh Junior Member

    It might be hard to find out how thick the rv glass is, without having an uninstalled one. Maybe the factory would tell you. Or a laser tape measure?
    You could split the windshield and add center posts to make it stronger. It's not easy to cut laminated glass and end up both pieces intact, so get some practise with junkyard glass first. Draw the cutline on both sides, snap the glass ever so gently to both directions. Pour some alcohol in crack and light it on fire to cut the laminating film inside.
    If the rv glass is made by a small local factory, they could produce a thicker one using existing cutting files and bending jig. They would likely do at least 3, first one for adjusting the bending oven program (high likelyhood of scrapping) and second one in case of handling accident, sticking to bending jig or cracking in the autoclave. They could also laminate it using a tinted film. It should still be cheaper than a fully custom glass..
     
  12. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Interesting thread, I have been thinking of the same thing after I delivered my Gemini catamaran from the east coast in 2013, its the only boat ive owned where you are looking through a windshield from the helm and it didn't take long to realize you need a windshield wiper so glass is a must. If one were to locate an automotive windshield of appropriate curvature could it be cut to shape with a water jet cutter? Also if you were able to use a flat tempered glass panel can that be cut or does that need to happen before tempering?

    Steve.
     
  13. CFMarine
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    CFMarine Junior Member

    I would like to avoid any modifications to the glass if possible. I would not want to ruin the windshield trying to split it in half. but its relatively easy it might be worth it. I would like to experiment cutting glass for other areas of this build.

    I like the angle of a Winnebago Rialta windshield. I do not know if it will be wide enough though. Now I see why i might want to cut it in half. Finding a good starting piece will be crucial.
     
  14. ch3oh
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    ch3oh Junior Member

    Yes, an abrasive 5-axis waterjet could do the job. It's a highly specialized machine, most waterjets are 2-axis.
    You can't cut tempered glass. It's not tempered like steel, but rather forms a skin and a core with huge tension between them as they are cooled on different rates.
    You can etch it opaque or key it but puncturing through the skin layer shatters it. I just watched my friend break a 1550x1410mm tempered glass today. He was removing some hardware from the edge by tapping it with a hammer. Good times :)
     

  15. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Flat auto glass is fairly cheap, safe and can be cut by any auto body shop.

    Go to a bus company and purchase a side window frame , used scrap will be cheap! May even slide open.And swing out.

    Far easier to have an aluminum frame shrunk and welded than create a tight frame , where the glass can be repaired in GRP.

    Many old TT simply use a wood frame , cheap to create and repairable.
     
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