You know how sometimes those little jobs come along that you put off as you think that it’s going to be a bit of a pain to do…. well this was one of them.
On all three of the front windows the plastic insert trim for the rubber window surround was slowly pulling out of the corners. The worst was the front lower corners on the big central window. I’d ordered 15 metres of replacement from Leisureshopdirect.com (the part I ordered can be found here) for about 99p per metre. It was one of those jobs I’d been putting off for a while as I thought it was going to be a bit of a nightmare to do.
However on a recent jolly to Riverside Touring Park at Betws-y-Coed, one afternoon sat looking at it I decided I’d sat looking at it far too long and that it just had to be attacked head on.
Tackling it from outside, releasing the window hardware on one side – marking where the screw holes were on the rubber in pencil first, was easy enough. Two cross head screws held in each window latch and window strut to the frame of the caravan. The join in the old strip was in the centre at the top and getting a small flat blade screwdriver under the edge was easy and the the strip simply pulled out across the top and down one side.
I started by checking the width. When you order there are two widths available and two colour options. I’d previously checked the existing strip and measured it to be about 23mm wide. On the web site it was listed as 23 mm or 25mm and available in grey air white.The replacement was however around 50% thicker making it a lot stiffer to insert.
However it soon worked out that this additional thickness was to my advantage. I could now push the strip into the recess on the caravan side and simply run a small cross head screwdriver round the outer ‘flange’ (I had to get “flange” in there somewhere… silent nod in the direction of Miranda Hart) and flip it over the edge of the strip. The first corner was a bit tricky but my technique was improving all the time.
Once I’d completed the first section from the top down to the middle of the bottom of the frame, I re-attached the window hardware and removed the opposite side…
This was all going terribly well! It didn’t take too long to remove the hardware from the other side of the window, pull out the old strip and continue around the frame fitting the new strip in.
I wasn’t sure what caused the original material to pull out of the corners but I guessed there might have been some stretching when it was originally installed and maybe repeated heating and cooling over the last 8 years caused it to return to it’s original dimensions. With the new strip, I did try to ensure I’d not pulled it tight and used the handle of a large screwdriver to try and massage the strip into the corners as much as possible.
All that remained was to re-install the window hardware on this side and check for fit and finish. Everything seemed OK and Granville was summoned with his cloth…
A light squirt of silicone designed for rubber window seals and a quick polish with a microfibre cloth finished the job off nicely.
All totalled the main centre window took about 30 minutes to complete start to finish. Next trip out up to Barnard Castle in a couple of weeks time…. I’ll get the other two smaller windows done.
Finally, before anyone asks, yes I did choose to do this on the warmest day in North Wales so far this year!