Installing a window

last updated: Dec 15, 2021

I decided to go for just one window – in part to keep it stealthy, easier to keep warm/cool and also to keep down costs.
The window I installed is a privacy style window with no opening. Opening windows would not really be stealthy – but they obviously have their advantages for a camper.
Note: Not all windows have the same installation process. You can usually get adhesive kits from the window supplier – these tend to include instructions which, if followed correctly, will work. Do check the suppliers recommended method – the following is just to give you a basic idea of the process.
The process was fairly straight forward for my bonded window – but there is a lot that can go wrong!
1. First mark out the window placement on the outside of the van. Measure it about 3-4 times for your marking out. I used a marker pen to draw the hole to be cut out.
2. Put the window up against the van to check the lines you are drawing make sense with the actual window area!
3. Once you are 100% sure, drill a 10mm hole to put in your jigsaw blade, put on some ear defenders and eye protection (it is very loud) and cut your hole!
Installing a window the van conversion guide
Cutting the window hole (notice the crossed out line – I changed the marking after I put the window up against the van to check)
I recommend finishing the cut at the top, this way when you get to the end it does not twist off and buckle the metal work.
Installing a window the van conversion guide
Finishing the cut – the top middle section was the last to go. This meant with a gentle push the metal panel (with sharp edges) dropped inside the van not on to my feet.
5. Take a file and run it around the edges to take off the sharp edges
6. Close up any panel work. Just be sure to protect the shape of the panel with some wood
Installing a window the van conversion guide
Using wood behind the metal panel I used some mole grips to close these sections that would stop me putting the window edging on neatly.
7. Apply the edging, tap it around so it is pressed fully in to the corners, then when you are sure you have it right, cut the edging so the ends fit neatly together.
8. Paint on primer to frame (for my kit it was a kind of matt black paint). Clean the window adhesive area – this was in the form of some wipes – it removes grease and other dirt that could stop proper adhesion.
9. Apply the glue to window. It seems like you have to put on a lot of glue, and you do. It has to fill in the whole gap between the glass and the panel. There is a gap because of the thickness of the rubber edging.
If you do not put on enough, especially at the top, it will leak. I made this mistake (thinking that too much on the the thinner top edge would bulge out) there was a gap and it leaked when I tested it with a spray hose. I had to carefully squeeze in more adhesive to the top of the window to fid this problem.
10. As soon as you have applied the glue, place the window on to the van – get someone to help!
Installing a window the van conversion guide
I had this gaffa tape pre-stuck to the van (and held up) so as soon as the window was on, I could place them on the window.

11. Hold it there for a while, support it with tape. I used some bits of wood to help incase it would slide down while curing.

Installing a window the van conversion guide

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