the Wiley Window and a simple DIY "leak proof" door

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the Wiley Window and a simple DIY "leak proof" door

Postby rowerwet » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:47 pm

finally after a few years of usng the tear, and four attempts I finally made a door I like and is almost never going to leak.
The first thing I figured out is the doors need to sit into the wall of the tear, my original designs all overlaped the door opening and relied on the seals sitting flush against the teardrop wall. They leaked :(
102046 This door worked but it is ugly, and over the winter ice and snow managed to pull the door away from the sidewall, causing a leak. Also depending on the ugly aluminum chanel only worked so well.

While I would have had an easier time making the inner door lip out of plywood, I didn't have any heavy enough on hand and I did have plenty of 1x4 and 1x6 lumber on hand from other projects.
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I framed both doors around the inside, the inner door lip is only held by glue, the same as every other part of my trailer. This way even if water gets past the eyebrow, and over the top or the door, and then past the door seal, it will run down the inside of the door or the door lip, pool at the bottom of the door frame and run back out.
111615
while I was at it, I decided square doors are ugly, Teardrops are notable because of how rounded they are, a square door takes some of that away IMO. I found a radius I liked, which just happens to be about the radius of a 55 gallon drum top.
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the yellow thing is a drum funnel, designed to allow buckets to be drained into 55 gallon drums, it is my radius profile for the doors.
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While I was able to trace and cut the old door to match the shape of the new round topped hole, the foam insullation and door internal framing couldn't come apart without destroying the door, especially as I planned on making a larger, more usefull window in the door.
97123
I was never happy with the airflow through my fleabay used RV windows, they only open about half way, and even then the window blocks part of the screen. The biggest problem I have when camping is a lack of airflow, the trailer is a small space and my wife and I make it too hot. Instead of buyig larger windows, I decided I would make my own windows, since was making a new door.

I started with the outer skin, the window "glass" will sit against the inside of the outer skin to minimize how far the brackets the window rests against when open wouldn't intrude too far into the tear.
111617
Then I went to the store to see what was pre-cut in a good size. while most of what was for sale was thinner than I wanted, I found 18" x 24" plexiglass in a .221" thinkness already cut. I laid the glass on the door to find a good location, the first thing I noticed was how the door latch handle would run into the window frame, unlike my RV window, the door latch couldn't overlap. This worked out ok though as I wanted to keep internal framing on the door down to save weight, by moving the window all the way forward I could use the hinge frame of the door as the anchor for the forward window bracket.
111618
I used a piece of 1x1 (3/4 really) to make the frame anchor for the aft window bracket. the rest of the door is hollow. to make sure the door wasn't warped I used construction adhesive on every piece of wood and screwed everyting to a flat wooden table until it dried.
111619111620
I know the window frame takes up some of the inner space in the teardrop, but as the tear is 5 feet wide I didn't think 6 inches of space near the top of the door will be a problem. I measured 6 inches from the door skin to the very top edge of the glass, this dimension became the template for the window fram brackets.
111621
Since a Wiley Window isn't sealed even when fully shut, it depends on the window frame collecting the water and draining it back out side where it belongs. I added an extra deep trough to the bottom of the window frame to take care of any stray water that might blow in when the glas is removed.
111622
after it was all fit together, the sides were glued to the door frames, I made sure extra glue oozed out of each window joint as the polyurethane makes the joints sealed. (I've built a couple boats with the stuff, it works fine)
111623
I cut a piece of plywood that exactly fit the window frame, then marked about an inch in from each side, I rounded the corners to keep with the round teardrop idea, then cut it out with my router. this is the screen frame.
111625
I used a couple of drywall screws clamp the inner side of the trough in place, then used marine epoxy and fiberglass tape to glue the trough in, I want this joint as waterproof as possible.
Last edited by rowerwet on Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby working on it » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:30 am

rowerwet wrote:Since a Wiley Window isn't sealed even when fully shut, it depends on the window frame collecting the water and draining it back out side where it belongs. I added an extra deep trough to the bottom of the window frame to take care of any stray water that might blow in when the glass is removed.

At one point in my build, I tried to use angib's modified Wiley design, but it needed a mechanism to pull the glass/polycarbonate (I chose MR-10) hard up against a seal glued to the side of the trailer. I wanted to seal out water, dust/dirt, and insects during travel or storage. I made a small mock-up and left it out in the sun and weather. The glued on seals' adhesive melted, and failed without even the wind pressure of travel. And my locking device, consisting of a threaded rod with wingnuts, was effective in drawing the window tight against the frame, but inelegant in form and function (looked lousy). I abandoned the effort, without plopping down big bucks for the MR-10. I went "conventional", and bought a couple of Lil Bears awning windows instead. How have you addressed the problem of wind-driven rain and dirt at highway speeds? I am not a skilled woodworker to this day; maybe I overlooked an obvious component somewhere.
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby rowerwet » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:33 am

after the epoxy hardened, the screw heads were full of epoxy, I heated the end of the screwdriver in a flame, I was grillng dinner at the time, the epoxy melted out of the screw heads like butter on a hot knife.
111794
I used outside corner moulding for the rest of the window brackets. Since the sides of the brackets are 1/4" plywood and rather flexible I added a brace across the top, I found this to be a good idea while camping as it keeps me from snagging the brackets getting in and out of the tear and while changing, standing in the door tent with the Tear door open. It also makes a good place to dry my towel, which can also act as a curtain if I needed it too.
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I didn't have any clamps long enough to squeeze the window brackets, so I made a spanish windlace , a loop of rope, twisted with the screwdriver to provide tension.
111792
using the screen frame as a template I located it on the outer face of the door, then used my router to transfer the hole into the outer door skin. Then I bedded the piece of screen I cut onto the inside of the door with RTV, then bedded the screen frame onto the screen with RTV. The window glass was placed on top, then some expensive weights were added to press out any excess RTV and make the screen frame as flat as possible (important for window sealing) RTV dries slowly when it it between two sheets of wood, give it time.
111627
after the RTV dried I located the two ,very important, drain holes, they must be at or slightly below the level of the bottom of the trough, and be located at the ends of the trough. then I soaked the whole inside of the window frame brackets and trough with epoxy, to seal the wood. keep applying the epoxy untl the wood doesn't take anymore, it is the only protection against rot for the window frame. The wet wood is where the epoxy ran through the drain holes onto the outside of the door, I wanted it to do this as the wood in the drain holes needs to be sealed fully with epoxy.
111632
Final door fit check, while the RTV and epoxy were drying I made the door rain gutter, 1x2 with a groove routed into the top. the forward curve is copied from the door frame on both sides and routed as well.
111633
I hung the door with stainless steel hinges from the depot, this is a picture from camping where the window performed perfectly. One night it was warm enough to want a breeze over me sleeping, but not need the a/c, or fan. I had to place the window rather low in the door I thought when planning it, to keep the window away from the top curve of the door. It turned out the window is just low enough to remove the glass completely, without the glass hitting the roof and having to open the door to get it out. Open like this the normal airflow out the tear vents kept me comfortable, early in the morning the draft was too much, I just dropped the glass in the frame and went back to sleep.
I love the airflow from the fully open window!
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by dropping the glas in I still get airflow but it doesn't blow on me, most of the nights we were camping it was in the low 60's F, perfect! with the window open like this I had plenty of airflow. This is the way I leave the window for towing, it may not work in dusty conditions, but living in New England I've never run into real dust I guess.
109765
one night it poured starting just after dinner, with my door tents and beach umbrellas out, I never got to test the water resistant part of the design. However one man who had Wiley Windows on his boat, sailed around the world, he said he doesn't think he ever shipped a drop of water through the windows that he ever knew of. he kept the windows open like this most of the time. The only time he removed the glass was when anchored in sheltered areas.
111636
one night it got into the mid 50's F, I latched the window shut with the screen latches at the top. the screen frame is a close fit seating against the glass all the way around, it doesn't need a window seal as the drain trough will catch any wind driven rain and channel it back outside. We had no drafts from the window. Overall I'm very impressed with how simple the window is, and the fact it is cheap. Using a window like this you could make any shape you wanted and have it stll be a fully openable screened window.
111637
the eyebrow gutter over the window is to help the rain stay out, I don't think it is really needed, but I needed somthing for the screws holding the window latches to bite into, the gutters are only glued on with RTV, as this side of the Tear is only painted, I never got around to protectng it with canvas bedded in paint like the top and other side are.
111799
My wife decided she wanted an RV window for her door, she was afraid the window brackets would intrude on her sleeping, changing,and play space, After our trip with the new window, she found it didn't get in the way at all, I may add one to her side, next year.
124733
Last edited by rowerwet on Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby rowerwet » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:05 am

working on it wrote:
rowerwet wrote:Since a Wiley Window isn't sealed even when fully shut, it depends on the window frame collecting the water and draining it back out side where it belongs. I added an extra deep trough to the bottom of the window frame to take care of any stray water that might blow in when the glass is removed.

At one point in my build, I tried to use angib's modified Wiley design, but it needed a mechanism to pull the glass/polycarbonate (I chose MR-10) hard up against a seal glued to the side of the trailer. I wanted to seal out water, dust/dirt, and insects during travel or storage. I made a small mock-up and left it out in the sun and weather. The glued on seals' adhesive melted, and failed without even the wind pressure of travel. And my locking device, consisting of a threaded rod with wingnuts, was effective in drawing the window tight against the frame, but inelegant in form and function (looked lousy). I abandoned the effort, without plopping down big bucks for the MR-10. I went "conventional", and bought a couple of Lil Bears awning windows instead. How have you addressed the problem of wind-driven rain and dirt at highway speeds? I am not a skilled woodworker to this day; maybe I overlooked an obvious component somewhere.

the only place insects can get in on mine could be the drain holes, but with the window in place it mostly blocks the hole, latched, the glass covers the hole. water will just run back out, I used the gas cans to press the screen frame flat while the RTV was drying. Since the plexiglass sits against the screen frame all the way around water drops will tend to stick between the frame and glass and run to the bottom.
If dust and dirt become that much of a problem, I will make a seal of RTV. With the door face down on a table, lay a bead of RTV all the way around the screen frame, cover it with plastic, then lay the window on top. Latch the window. Once cured peel the plastic off, the bead left behind will then seal to the window if you got anywrinkles out of the plastic.
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby rowerwet » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:42 pm

http://teardropbygary.blogspot.com/2012 ... chive.html
this build uses weatherstripping to seal the windows, I haven't seen the need for it yet.
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby LWW » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:24 pm

When I built my Weekender I built my own doors also. I've had my Wiley Style windows in it from day one. Mine are not as large as yours and I used some 1/2" lexan that I had laying around. There are pictures of my doors in a couple of threads before I put them on my trailer. I've used my trailer several times at out of state job sites while working on boats and heavy rain with wind have never come in. I leave my camper in my yard year round with the windows open for ventilation so I don't have mildew problems. Also by using the thicker lexan my wedges that hold my windows closed do a good job of sealing it up without using a rubber weatherstrip, smooth surface to smooth surface. Larry
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby rowerwet » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:30 am

glad to hear from another builder that likes theirs, I keep seeing people talking about the expense and trouble of installing RV windows. I wanted to put out a DIY window in an easy to find thread instead of having to search thorugh many build threads.
I wonder what 1/2" lexan costs...
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby working on it » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:45 pm

rowerwet wrote:I wonder what 1/2" lexan costs...

I just priced the 1/2" thick MR-10 (clear) that I was going to use (I had a source of used MR-10 before, but not now). I intended to make 15"x18" windows (the same size I later ordered from Lil Bear), so I priced a 15"x18" cut piece: $172 plus shipping ($344 for the pair). I really wanted the unbreakable, scratch-resistant Makrolon, but at those prices, I can get 3 pairs of the awning windows...so that was the final decision point for me.
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby rowerwet » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:01 am

my 18" x 24" plexiglass was around $20 IIRC, super cheap
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby michaelrsydney » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:11 pm

rowerwet wrote:my 18" x 24" plexiglass was around $20 IIRC, super cheap


I can beat that! My Wiley windows were built entirely of found materials from roadside cleanups! :)

Thanks for your help with these Rowerwet. I learnt a lot from your posts and have almost completed my own versions. I have put far too many photos in an album in the hope they may help others.
gallery/album.php?album_id=3268

I should have placed the windows a little lower in the doors, but luckily it all worked out ok and I can get the wedges out or in with the door closed, but only just! One detail I am pleased with is the rail on the upper inner edge which will stop the glass being pushed up when closed for security. Slots in this rail ends locate the wedges. The outside face of the door will be fitted with a fly screen so the exposed screw heads will be concealed.

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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby rowerwet » Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:10 pm

looks great! what are you using for the "glass"? does it provide privacy? it reminds me of the diffuser panels used in light fixtures.
I used turn latches to lock the window shut as I don't see the need for the wedges, on a boat the window glass would flop back and forth all the time as the boat rolled.
I find most tears have windows higher than I like. I have vents near the roof, having a window that is on the same level as I am lying, lets the cooler air flow right in on me when it is hot.
I'll be watching to see how you do the screens :thumbsup:
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby oakinteriors1 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:19 am

I added a different feature to my Wiley's , a larger sill and sloped.. I intend on being able to raise the window an inch and a half with it still flat against the door..a dowel pin will keep it from sliding down and the blowing rain should not come in...
1/4'' Baltic birch sides and cedar trim...I still have to make the triangle stays and get some newer plexi...
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby Corwin C » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:45 pm

oakinteriors1

One possible problem that I'm seeing ... the wiley window frame is quite close to the tangent of the corner curve and just barely below. Make sure your door will open/close without it hitting the curve of the door frame. Pictures at oblique angles can be deceiving, but it looks real close to me depending on how you're planning to hinge it.
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby oakinteriors1 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:11 am

You are right about the arc of the door swing..but like anything else with these builds , there is always room for modification...
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Re: cheapest windows possible, the Wiley Window

Postby andreuther » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:36 pm

Finished my wiley windows a few weeks ago. This post helped quite a bit. Thanks!
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