When we finished renovating our 1976 Airstream Argosy, it was apparent that the final renovation was one thing, but protecting our investment was another. Those Panoramic beautiful windows (both front and back) were the star of the show. We had to protect them! Buying Rock Guards for the Airstream Panoramic Windows are available and fit almost all models. However, they are expensive and we are on a budget.
So, how did we come up with a way to protect our Airstream Pano windows while at the same time not breaking the bank? Simple: We made our own, and here’s how we did it.
To keep this in perspective, we made these while on the road at a RV Park. It’s very doable but give yourself a few days to complete the project.
Let’s break down the materials you will need:
3/4inch Two Hole Strap U Bracket Stainless Steel Tube Strap Tension Clip Assortment Kit Heavy Duty Rigid Pipe Strap Clamp 20Pcs (you are going to want to double these up) *SEE VIDEO BELOW FOR DETAILS
SNUG Fasteners (SNG640) 100 Qty 1/4″ Stainless Steel EPDM Bonded Sealing Neoprene Rubber Washers #14
Orcon Utility Knife – Carpet Cutter
All of these supplies can be bought at your local hardware store if you (like us) are on the road.
STEP ONE: Drill a 1/4 hole in each U Bracket. Doubling them up makes this easier. You need to make sure your 1/4 hole is center through the bracket. This will also make mounting the Lexon to the brackets easier.
STEP 2 This by far is the most challenging step. Prepping to measure your cut. This is done by finding the edge of your curved window and creating the starting point. The curved panoramic window is EXACTLY THAT it’s curved not square so you can’t treat it as a square. The best way we started is to find that edge that ends toward the Center Window. We started at the top and created a straight edge from top to bottom. If you bend the Lexan around the window. The Lexan will be crooked. But that’s ok. Mark and Place your U Brackets above and below that straight center edge.
STEP 2: Once you have found your place for the U Brackets, you want to drill your 3/16 hole and rivet both U Brackets in (both top and bottom) This eventually will help you measure the Lexon. After you rivet the U Brackets, (with your 1/4 hole in them) place your Lexan at the edge you created and drill 1/4 hole in your Lexan. Secure the Lexan to the U bracket. Now you have your starting point to bend the Lexan and start measuring.
STEP 3: Remember, the Lexon will be crooked against the Pano window. You will want to place your U Bracket on the other side of the Pano. Rivet them in. Bend the Lexan and bolt them in (temporarily) Now you have a bent Lexan that should look crooked against your pano.
STEP 4: Measure One inch from the Pano Window Frame all around the Pano Window. If done correctly, you should have your Lexan just about a 1/2 inch over your U Bracket.
STEP 5: After you have measured one inch from the Aluminum Pano Window Frame and have marked it (we used a pencil) you can unbolt the Lexan cut it. We found scoring it, then cutting it with a sharp saw worked the best.
*NOTE: When you see the outline of your trace, and after you cut it. It will look odd shaped. That’s ok, the Panoramic Windows on a Airstream Argosy ARE ODD SHAPED.
STEP 6: Now measure all the rest of your U Brackets and secure them to the Airstream.
STEP 7: Drill all your holes in the Lexan to match all the 1/4 holes (that are now mounted on your Airstream) and start securing the Lexan.
NOTE: The 1/4 x 1 1/4 Neoprene rubber washers are meant to provide a cushion between the Lexon and the 1/4 x 1/14 metal washer. (see video)
You can see the finished product in our video. The entire project took 3 days due to time and lack of Sun. We did this at a RV Park in Sedona AZ.
If you have any questions feel free to post a comment on our YouTube Chanel and we will be more than happy to respond.
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