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Author Topic: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?  (Read 1730 times)

GrampaKilt

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The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« on: October 13, 2019, 07:34:54 PM »
Before purchasing the 14DB CL, I really wanted a Safari Alto F17, an all-aluminum trailer still manufactured in Quebec, and IMO, had/has a look and finish much superior to anything LL produced. In particular, the Alto came with an amazing front window. Since a CL was roughly half the price of an Alto, I choose the 14DB and vowed someday, I’d put in a front radius window. A few years passed since such a window was extremely difficult to source much less having a radius that might match the front of a CL.

Then, in summer 2018, I noticed Little Max Teardrops had front windows (European acrylic, no less) and had a hunch the trailer’s front radius might be close to the CL’s. I did the tangent math, the Max from a side profile pic, and my CL for real; the radii seemed identical! (Once the window arrived, I realized the radius of the Max was about 6 inches less than the CL—learning one should never try to take accurate measurements off an internet picture...Due to bendable acrylic, thick weather-stripping and window levers on the side, the radius difference mattered little.)

How I came to purchase the window is a matter of some intrigue. The players in the drama don’t want me to broadcast it on social media, so I won’t. The window, shade/screen and installation trim/weather-stripping are from the same European source that supplied LL.

Installation:
The window came with no CAD drawings; I had to figure out the rough opening by comparing with the side windows. I would need to cut through 2 ribs and was concerned they would spring outwards, but nothing budged. For the actual cutting, I used my dremel with a metal cutting disk. (Slow, it was, and many disks used, but I didn’t trust myself with an angle grinder!)
 
The floating ribs would need to be anchored inside the trailer to the continuous ribs on either side of the window. The lower ribs were secured with a length of 1½” x 1½” x 1/8” alum angle. I hid this angle by adding a convenient 4” shelf on the top flange. I used 1¼” x 1/8” alum tube for the top and hid it all behind a new 3-segment valance, needed for the window anyways.
 
Speaking of valances, I decided to change out the ugly 70’s fabric on the other valances. What I found was unbelievably poor valance workmanship. Staples into the end of 1/8” MDF (who does that?), obviously water delaminated pieces of OSB, etc. Scott Tuttle, you said other manufacturers don’t want potential buyers to look behind the surface. It’s a fail for CL valances!! I rebuilt them all!

The change this window made to the inside ambience of our trailer was astounding. There’s a vast improvement in natural ventilation, not to mention more light. We can see stars from the bed. This window is hardly the size of Alto’s picture window, but I’ll take it for a win. If I could change one thing, I wish the window was a little higher, that is, the same height of the CL’s side windows. Should there be any other CL owners foolish enough (actually it wasn’t that hard) to tackle this project, you can PM for advice. GK
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 02:42:59 PM by GrampaKilt »

Sylvain

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2019, 10:23:11 PM »
Impressive work on the front window GK!  You did an amazing job and it looks really good.  You are right about the Safari Condo Alto, they are incredibly high quality travel trailer.  We also wanted one but that price......Anyway, congrats on your new front window!

13

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2019, 09:08:33 PM »
GK beautiful job. Love the idea of more light. We have a similar issue with our 13 RDB where the front really feels like a bit of a cave. I was thinking to do a side window at some point but it would be a while yet before I could do a big project. Did you have to relocate any electrical lines for the upper clearance lights?

Merlin

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2019, 09:17:41 PM »
Wow! That’s a gold star mod. Very impressive.
Michigan

GrampaKilt

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2019, 02:52:20 AM »
Scout, no electrical in the area. GK

Fatdog2

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2019, 01:03:11 PM »
That a really nice looking job putting that window in and the trim work. I like the valance material too. Did you make them frame for the valance out of plywood instead of MDF like original? I took my valances apart and cut them down so they don't stick out from the wall as far. I would like to make some new ones and recover them. Great job on the window project.

GrampaKilt

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2019, 01:03:04 PM »
Did you make them frame for the valance out of plywood instead of MDF like original?
Yes, used a combination of 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 plywood. Also changed the idiotic way the valances were attached to the wall. Valances now sit on 5/8" square wood ledger strips, screwed to them from underneath. GK
« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 01:05:19 PM by GrampaKilt »

zonzin

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2020, 12:01:28 PM »
How do you deal with bugs and other road carnage?



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GrampaKilt

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2020, 11:57:18 PM »
How do you deal with bugs and other road carnage?

Thus far, we haven't traveled through bug plagues and no rocks/mud etc. seem to reach up to window level. The window has required no maintenance other than a wash. Other higher end TT's like Little Guy Trailers have front radius windows of the European acrylic kind that were used on CL's. I haven't read any reports of cracked windows or bug cleaning issues. GK

Cajun

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2020, 09:35:54 AM »
GK, where did you find that window? I've been looking at Dometic windows which are the ones that came with my camper but can't find a curved one.

C.

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2021, 02:03:54 AM »
@GrampaKilt fantastic work!

About the valance...

All of my valances are falling off since the screw holes, holding the L right angle brackets, are stripped and the screws can no longer be tightened. I was toying with the idea of using pop rivets in place of screws but then saw your approach.

I'm trying to visualize how your valance is attached, and was hoping you could describe how the square ledger strips are attached to the wall?


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GrampaKilt

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Re: The Only Camp Lite with a Front Radius Window?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2021, 12:46:01 PM »
Thanks! My ledger is screwed (#6-1 1/4" screw) into the vertical aluminum tubing extending upwards on each side of the window. You can see the structure in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZtOIbisE4M That said, the screws are meant to hold the ledger in place whilst my favorite construction glue dries--LePage's PL Premium. Drill pilot holes for all screws, not forgetting the underneath ones...Feel free to PM me if more info is needed. Regards, GK