Installing Windows

Most people will want to add some windows as a part of the camper van conversion to provide ventilation, views, and light in the van.  This page goes over some of the options.

Windows installed on our camper van conversion.

Windows installed on our camper van conversion.

The things you will likely be looking for in van windows

  • Durable and well made.
  • Provide for ventilation.
  • Have screened openings.
  • Don’t leak!

In addition, for some, the windows are a strong style statement.

Frameless Windows

Some of the original equipment van windows do not have a visible metal frame — basically all you see from the outside is glass that is carefully styled to blend well with the lines of the van.  A nice look.  Aftermarket windows with this kind of a look are available for the popular vans (Sprinter, Transit, ProMaster, …), but at a premium price.

Frameless camper van windows

Frameless camper van windows

CR Laurence is one supplier of such windows — these windows tend to be up in the $500 per window area.

Using Flat Trailer or RV Windows

On our van (a RAM ProMaster) the curvature of the van side panel is so slight that you can use windows that are not curved to match the van skin.  The advantage of using a flat window is that there is a wide selection available, including ebay bargains.  I do not know how the curvature of the other vans compares to the ProMaster and whether flat windows can be used on other brands.

The windows we picked for our conversion are metal framed flat windows from CR Lawrence.  We used three altogether: one of them forward over the galley area, and one on each side in the back sidewalls over the bed area.  This turns out to be enough window area to give the van a nice light and open feel inside.  I would call this a medium price approach — they are nice looking and decently  made windows at about $170 per window.  There are much less expensive bargains on ebay, but in a couple weeks of looking I was not able to find a set that were the right size and met our ventilation etc. requirements — but, certainly worth a look.

The ebay windows can be an interesting option.  Often the ebay windows are high quality from good manufacturers, but they tend to be odds and ends with limited size and selection.  As always with ebay, be careful.

While putting in your own windows is a job that takes some care and planning, it is within the capabilities of a lot of DIYers.

LOTS more detail on how we did the window install on our conversion here…

Motion Windows

Motion Windows make high quality windows for a variety of purposes, including custom windows for Sprinter and ProMaster vans.  The windows are custom made to your measurements.  Several different quality/feature levels are offered.

They also offer dual pane windows for less heat loss.

CR Laurence Windows

CR Laurence makes a variety of windows.  Some are custom fits for specific vans like Sprinters or ProMasters, while others (like the ones we used) are flat windows intended for RV or trailer use.

CR Laurence window for Sprinter.

CR Laurence window for Sprinter.

Seitz Windows

Seitz is a popular European brand with some unique features.  They are awning type windows in which the whole window hinges at the top and the bottom pushes out — this makes for more vent area and some rain protection.  They are double glazed and come with built in screens and shades.   The glazing is plastic, so scratches can be a problem.

This is an excellent rundown on the pros, cons and features on the Expedition Portal Forum…

SeitzWindows

The windows may be hard to find in the US, and may have to be ordered from Europe.  Some US distributors that have been listed in the past no longer appear to handle these windows.  Found a few listed on ebay.  Some Seitz windows listed in Dometic catalog…, but I don’t believe that Dometic sells them in the US.

Review of Seitz windows …

Windows Suppliers

Some suppliers of windows:

Motion Windows — good reputation for custom made windows.

DK Hardware  — variety of windows for vans and RVs

Discount Van – Truck

ebay — A variety of windows available — sometimes very good deals.

CR Laurence — Maker of custom windows for van conversions

Also, check the online forum for your van for descriptions of installing windows.

 

Comments, Questions, Suggestions…

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Good write-up on window installation! I have it linked in my planning notes for our van Conversion.

    My question- now that time and miles have passed, are you still satisfied that non-contoured windows are a good idea? Have you seen the walls of the van show any rippling around the window? Is the frame pulling away or leaking?

    I ask because Motion Windows seems very opposed to flat Windows in the Pro Master, but we want the 50/50 slider and only need the 16-3/4″ window height.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Paul,
      No real problems, although some have had trouble with leaks on the CRL windows (but not me). The leaks appear to be a feature of the windows themselves and not related to being installed on a slight curve.

      I think that if you look hard its possible to see a little more warping of the sheet metal that when the windows first went in, but may be my imagination. I don’t find it objectionable at all.

      Certainly nothing like frames pulling away or any kind of leaking due to the slight surface curve.

      On the other hand, I’ve heard only good things about the Motion Windows.

      Gary

    • Hi,
      I don’t, but I think that the upper side panels on the Sprinter have more curvature which would make it harder.

      You might try the Sprinter Forum to see if anyone there has tried flat windows.

      Gary

    • You can NEVER EVER have too many clamps 🙂

      I tend to buy them on sale or at junk sales — its a 30 year collection — I like the Irwin Quick Grips the best.

      Gary

  2. Question about your window behind driver seat and over kitchen counter.
    You mentioned you had purchased these at CR Laurence, but when I clicked on your site it came up as DK Hardware. Looked like the CRL Universal non-contoured horizontal sliding window …21.25×16.75 “, #VW8209.

    Is ths correct? Looks like it would be a perfect pick for our needs in the small galley. Thanks for your feedback.

    • Hi David,
      DKH is one of the main sellers of the CRLaurence windows.

      That sounds right — I will try to remember to measure the window tomorrow or get a number off it.
      The “universal non-contoured horizontal sliding window” sounds right — that is, the windows I got are flat (non curved) and they are sliders.
      Gary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *