I love our RV windows! They function like living masterpieces gracing the walls of our RV. At any given time, I might see mountains, a forest’s trees, or limestone cliffs as I look through our windows. It’s fun to watch the snowflakes twirl to the ground, too. Especially when I’m snuggled under a blanket inside our warm RV. RV windows are great, but how much do you actually know about them? I’ll bet there are things you may not have discovered about your rig’s windows. Especially if you’re new to RVing.
See out, see in
Our RV windows provide good privacy during daylight hours. On a bright, sunny day, when I look at our RV from the outside, the windows look black. I can’t see a thing that’s happening inside our RV, even when the inside shades are open and interior lights are on.
Come dusk, things change. Once the outside gets darker than the interior of our RV, our rig transforms into the proverbial fishbowl. It’s like being on stage with the entire campground as my audience.
Check out your RV windows—during the daytime and at night—from the outside looking in. Look to see if your fellow campers can see inside your rig as they pass by. Then take appropriate action.
Our RV windows have weep holes or drain slots that help rainwater escape to the outside rather than into our rig’s interior. Look for small horizontal slots (openings) in the bottom of your window’s frame.
If the weep holes become clogged with dirt or debris, water may intrude into your RV. No one wants water damage, mold, and the expense of repairs! You can avoid all of it by periodically cleaning the RV’s window tracks and weep holes.
On the inside of your RV, use a rag and a slotted screwdriver to clear the channel of dust. Compressed air with a thin, straw nozzle will help blow away the dirt you loosened with the rag.
On the outside of the window, use the rag and screwdriver to clear away road grime and dirt from the window channel. Use a wire or unbend a large-sized paper clip and push it up into the weep hole to loosen debris. Then use the compressed air once again to clear away the loosened dirt.
How often do you need to clean your RV’s weep holes? It largely depends on how often and where you camp. Check your drain slots often when camping, just to be safe.
RV window screens are removable, and that’s good news! Camping in the early springtime often means lots of pollen everywhere, even on the screens. If we happen to travel over dusty roads to reach the campground, our rig’s window screens get dirty then, too.
If you’re tired of looking through filthy window screens, I have two words for you: microfiber cloth. Yep, these work wonders on dirty window screens. Just remove the screen and take it outside. Rub one side of the screen and then the other. Like magic, the microfiber cloth will remove pollen, debris, and dust. It’s a quick and easy fix. (I love my microfiber cloths and use them for everything!)
I was in the process of showing my friends how our RV’s emergency windows function when I discovered that one window was stuck shut! Hubby went outside to inspect the window seal and discovered that the exterior window was stuck tight to the RV’s exterior. Yipes!
Thankfully, we were able to loosen the seal and I cleaned it with dish soap and warm water. We inspected the seal and it seemed fine—no cracks, splits or degradation. Our RV dealer suggested we condition the window rubber seal with 303 Rubber Seal Protectant. I sprayed the protectant on a clean rag and applied it to the seal. The window now functions as it should.
Please add your tips and hints about RV windows in the comments below. Thanks!
If I’m taking the time to remove window screens to clean, forget the microfiber cloth. I’ll be taking a brush and some sort of cleaner and squirt with a water hose. I use PineSol etc.
Our bedroom escape window is at the head of the bed. It is large, heavy and swings from the top and is about 6’6″ from the ground! How you hold it open while exiting has me puzzled! After removing all the silicone sealant, (the former owner had sealed it shut), I finally did get it open. There is also a somewhat sharp metal frame edge on the inside to slide over. So, I at least got the window to operate and I cut a piece of 1/4″ pipe insulation to cover the sharp metal edge. It is also black so not noticeable. Might save a scratch or two! However, in our 80’s I doubt we will ever be able to use it. So we have fire extinguishers close by.
In my opinion, every Rv, regardless of designation, should have an escape door from the bedroom area – the most vulnerable area to be trapped in! Hard to believe any safety code would allow this window arrangement. I wonder if anyone has ever used it and survived to tell about it? (Poll question?).
I agree totally with an escape door in all rv’s bathroom, bedroom area. We are in our middle 70’s most likely could not make it the exit window. We have two large capacity fire extinguishers in the bedroom and one behind the drivers seat kitchen area.
We attended a fire safety briefing a few years ago at a FMCA rally where they recommended that we use a blanket or something similar to cover the lower window frame of your escape window to protect yourself from injury as you exit the RV. Go out feet first so you can lower yourself to the ground safely.
They do work although not easily. We had a camper in a campground we worked in crushed by a large limb blown from a tree in a storm. The only way to get the elderly lady out was the escape window in the bedroom. Fortunately it was a small travel trailer and not too high. But it still took two of us outside to get her out. I put a pillow over the edge of the window frame. I’m not sure she could have gotten out on her own.
We traded RVs last July (2022) and acquired a reusable escape door with a ladder in the bathroom. We also have an escape window in the bedroom. However, it is so small that I’m not sure either of us can pass through it. Our previous RV had an escape window as described below — opened at the bottom, was heavy, had a painfully tall and thin metal lip at the bottom, and was several feet off the ground. An escape door should be much more easily used as our ages increase.
If the window slides in the frame, treat the track with PTFE lubricant. The aerosol carrier quickly evaporates and leaves a dry, oil-free lubricant that will not harm rubber/plastic nor attract dirt. There is a RV specific 3inOne window spray, but it is just a relabeling of the WD-40 PTFE product.
Many top hinged escape windows double as vents via a rod that swivels 90 and pushes out through a slot. But there is only a single latch point. I carry a couple spring clamps to hold the window less open. Strong enough to hold the rod at a different point, but not so strong that I can’t still push the window fully open to escape.
Emergency windows can be heavy and awkward to get out through. I cut a piece of wood to hold the window open should we ever need to use them for egress.
Excellent idea…..however in an emergency I know I would forget where that piece of wood was located. So I installed a couple of gas struts that hold the window open the moment the latch is released. Also added a small bathroom soft rug stapled to the countertop below the window that can be rolled out to protect my belly as I scoot feet first out thru the window. Now thinking about adding a small trampoline on the ground to soften the landing…or not.
Our emergency window is in the front, past the only door out, making it a highly unlikely choice of escape, should a fire occur while asleep. Plus, its size, shape and position make it an unlikely choice for a 70 year old as well. To increase our chances in case of a fire, we keep fire extinguishers in strategic places. That said we still maintain our windows and seals for vent purposes.
Our trailer has two doors so it didn’t originally come with an “escape window”. When we had the single pane windows replaced with dual pane windows we suddenly had an escape window in our bedroom (across from a door). I’ve opened the window several times just to make sure it works, but the problem is, it opens from the bottom and it’s very HEAVY. I don’t see how anyone could “escape” through it because of this weight and the distance to the ground. Head first OR one leg at a time? Neither seems to be a viable solution. We’ll just have to use one of our two doors . . .
We have the frameless windows and I don’t see any drain holes. Yes to lubricanting the seals and microfiber clothes.
I once checked the emergency window and it was stuck I pushed harder and it went flying off onto the ground below. Fortunately, the ground was soft and no damage to the window but getting it back on was a challenge. I had to remove all the old sealant put the window in place and reseal. The first time it rained it leaked water so I went back and applied more sealant. That worked. I had no idea the window wasn’t on a hinge from above but was two C-channels interlocked together.
Great reminder, I’ll be checking all of our windows before we go out again.
What about the frameless windows? What’s a good way to check the seals and drains on those?
2022 Rockwood Roo.
I second the need to treat the window seals with 303 or something similar. We have the frameless windows that crank out. I broke one by twisting the handle too hard because it was stuck. Oops. But we love the frameless windows since they can be open even when raining.
I use chenille sticks (pipe cleaners for you old-school types) to help clean the weep holes in the windows clear of debris. The use of canned compressed air can’t be over stated. Thanks for this article Gail!