Entry Door and Roof Windows

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Hey all, we are considering replacing our entry door and roof hatches/windows. No major problems yet but we can tell that our current stuff will not hold up (already have small issues with latches, degrading plastics etc). So since our holes are already cut our options seem to be a bit limited. If we make this change, the roof hatches will need to be double pane glass with screens/shades. The entry door will need a full length piano hinge, multiple latches, well insulated with thermal breaks and a fixed window with shade. All hardware should be either stainless or aluminum. This stuff seems to be fairly common from European suppliers, but a bit rare here in the USA. So far I have looked at

  • KCT - doesn't seem to do doors and the roof hatches are no where near the right size
  • Outbound - has doors and hatches close to what I would like but are 6-7 months to deliver
  • PaBST - will do a door thru a partner but no hatches
  • Widebird - this one seems interesting as they are the same color as our habitat and claim to offer custom sizes, have an email out to them now
  • GXV, aka Adventure Truck - have emailed them on if they are willing to sell those now they have a DIY habitat option
So, does anyone know of anyplace else? Or have experience with any of the above brands?
 

Fred Skywalker

New member
I ordered Outbound door, windows and hatches about 2 months ago for delivery in April. I think Outbound and KCT offer very high quality products. I'm pretty sure GXV's windows are from KCT but I'm not 100% on that.

BTW, good luck ordering anything from the DIY section of GXV. I called and emailed them every day for 3 months straight this past summer. Nobody EVER returned a phone call. I was able to speak with the "sales" person (wife co-owner?) twice, told her I wanted them to build me a box with doors/windows plus a subframe. She said it might be possible and then ghosted me for 3 months. To be fair, they are probably swamped with building $800K campers and that's fine but if that's the case just close the DIY section. Imagine what their customer service must be like if you had a window problem.

I don't know anything about Widebird.

But yeah there are long delivery times for many things right now. I've gotten lucky on delivery times for a few items for my build but doors and windows weren't one of them.
 

Geo.Lander

Active member
I ordered Outbound door, windows and hatches about 2 months ago for delivery in April. I think Outbound and KCT offer very high quality products. I'm pretty sure GXV's windows are from KCT but I'm not 100% on that.

BTW, good luck ordering anything from the DIY section of GXV. I called and emailed them every day for 3 months straight this past summer. Nobody EVER returned a phone call. I was able to speak with the "sales" person (wife co-owner?) twice, told her I wanted them to build me a box with doors/windows plus a subframe. She said it might be possible and then ghosted me for 3 months. To be fair, they are probably swamped with building $800K campers and that's fine but if that's the case just close the DIY section. Imagine what their customer service must be like if you had a window problem.

I don't know anything about Widebird.

But yeah there are long delivery times for many things right now. I've gotten lucky on delivery times for a few items for my build but doors and windows weren't one of them.
  • Outbound - has doors and hatches close to what I would like but are 6-7 months to deliver
Good luck with getting your Outbound order in April, I mean that, we ordered ours before they had the 6 month lead time (2 months I think it was), eventually got ours on October, 9 months almost..
 

GoldCloverLeaf

New member
For what it's worth we're very happy with the Outbound windows, door, hatches and skylights, yes the lead time was quite long but you might find a lot of other products will have much longer lead times than usual.
 

Sitec

Adventurer
I looked at what was on offer and asked the same question when I needed to decide on a hole size in the roof (after starting to make my own then thinking better of it!)... Ian (Unimog Adventures) suggested boat hatches as theyre watertight, over engineered and sensibly priced. I liked the idea, and bought two of these:-


They are nicely finished, and I have one fitted already. The only negative so far is the interior trim surround is a little flimsey. It also holds the mozzi screen in place. I'm making a timber surround which will match the windows and be designed to carry the mozzi screen instead.

Re doors, from what I've seen all the caravan doors are pretty average in every respect. Having made all my locker doors based on our entry door, I'd suggest making your door to suit exactly what you want. We have a company here called UES. They have every catch, hinge and rubber needed to make your own.

 

Geo.Lander

Active member
KCT have decent lead times still, but my lord they are expensive 💸. Not like outbound are cheap either, we have outfitted a new triple glazed alu framed, anodised wall to ceiling 140m2 cabin for less than the outbound windows, doors, hatches, etc for our truck.. What can you do 🤷‍♂️
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Windows and doors always come with a trade off. It's either thermal efficiency, quality, weight or price. Although the Arctic Tern are not perfect, I still think they offer a great value.
All Glass windows require a "stepped cut" that requires a certain skill and tools. Therefore they are not for everyone! For me personally, I'm slightly concerned about the sharp 90 degree corners on most of the glass windows. Even with a relieve hole on the corners (see picture below) I have seen stress cracking in fibreglass campers (all makes and models). The Tern on the other hand have a very nice radius that pretty much avoids these possible failures.
Then there is the weight. Glass windows can weigh up to 3 times more!

Doors:
We have been searching for insulated, thermal transfer free doors for years. We even paid for molds and a small production run with a supplier in Russia. Silly Covid wiped them out and we can't get them anymore. There are several in circulation on Expo trucks including our personal vehicle and they performed outstandingly well. No condensation!
In any case, I have one more kicking around if you are interested.
 

Attachments

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Thanks for the offer @Victorian, but I am looking for a 3 point lock with a recessed handle. Plus the stepped cutout looks to be a bit shorter than our current 1813mm tall cutout. I think (and this is think as I am still waiting on more info) that not all glass windows require a stepped cut out. If you checkout Sideway and Motorcraft (and I think PaBST, but I am waiting on more details from them) they may not require that. Plus a stepped cut for us would be ok if the interior measurement stays the same (the cabinetry is close to the windows). KCT and Outbound do require the stepped cutout but neither offer sizes that can work for us. From the looks of it the KCT windows look like a bit of work to install, the Outbound a bit less. Sideway seems to just bond from the outside into a standard straight through cutout, not sure about the interior trim. Again, waiting on details. And you are correct, the roof hatches and windows are heavier than the acrylic options.

So, about price vs quality. I have to say I think some of our current stuff is better than others (windows are pretty good value). We are starting with the roof hatches only because I feel they are not great and not up to the quality of the windows (and will not hold up long term). For this thread I wasn't looking to bash any product, just get ideas from other DIY builders on what options they have found. I found out about Sideway and PaBST by looking at other's build threads.

I am hoping that the square corners in our panels would be ok. So far the ones that were cut in our roof panels for the current hatches have been ok. Plus, it looks like the install instructions for these windows include bonding the external frame to the panel. I am thinking that would reinforce the panel a bit.

Today I got the size chart from Sideway for their roof hatches. It looks like they offer one that they developed to replace the Seitz hatch, which happens to be the same 500mm x 700mm as our hatch (within a few mm). I was hoping for a fiberglass frame but this looks like a drop in replacement, and I have yet to find a fiberglass framed one in this size. It is aluminum framed with a cold break, double pane tempered glass, roller shade/screen and 4 point locking. Now I just need to find out how long it would take to build them. Plus they are even the same RAL 9016 Traffic White as our panels. I do have to work out how to deal with our 83mm think roof panel as it looks like it would need to inset the screen (think a fiberglass angle made into a frame and painted would work). Below is a screen shot of the install, the windows are similar in how they install.

1641877816968.png

Still working on the door, having an existing hole really complicates things.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Your feedback is very very valuable! At no point did I see this as criticism or bashing :) You guys live full time in your truck and use the products every single day. It's not surprising that you will find more things to improve/maintain than others that just go out for the weekend.
I'm looking forward watching your progress. As always, I'm here to help if you need me.

Cheers
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Your feedback is very very valuable! At no point did I see this as criticism or bashing :) You guys live full time in your truck and use the products every single day. It's not surprising that you will find more things to improve/maintain than others that just go out for the weekend.
I'm looking forward watching your progress. As always, I'm here to help if you need me.

Cheers
Thanks Andreas, while trying to work out how to deal with the issue of the filler for the replacement roof hatch I sort of came up with an idea. I think ideally these hatches would look the best if the screens were not inset mounted. By any chance would you have some bits of the fiberglass skins (either still on the foam or not) that you could sell me? If I were to make a 58mm tall rectangular frame (so roughly 700mm on 2 sides and 500mm for the other 2) with using the fiberglass I could butt it up against the window and then have it flush with the bottom of the roof panel. I would still need to work out a little trim but Heather really likes having the lights in the hatches so I need to work that out anyway.

And you are correct about the improve/maintain comment. We have decided our entry ladder is not the best for company. Plus using the step ladder as the first step has some drawbacks (hard to keep clean for storage and it takes up space in the gear locker). So I am in the process of a redesign, with any luck that project will happen at the same time as the hatches.
 

Alloy

Well-known member
Marine hatch / door might be an option
Lemar
OceanAire
AJR
Man Ship Marine
Vetus
Pompenette

Diamond Sea Glaze
 
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