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Dirt/Scratches in between window panes

Sep 7, 2020
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On out front window there appears to be either dirt or scratches in between the two panes of the window. Its not always visible as it depends on the light and direction your looking. It's most likely been there since day one when we bought the van last October but being able to use it over the last couple of months and the good weather has meant that we've only just noticed it.

I think its on the outer pain only because the pattern on the inner pane is exactly the same. There is nothing on the outer surfaces of either pane that I can see.

We're due a service for our first service at the end of September and I will raise the issue then hoping this can be 'fixed' under warranty.

I'd appreciate any comments on what you think it might be and the likelyhood that I'll get it fixed under warranty, which will most likely be a new window.

0P2A9450.jpg

Many thanks
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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My money is on the two panes touching each other due to "wind" pressure, probably a passing lorry or "Luton van", bow wave wind slam.

Being a front window adds greatly to the probability.
I had one replaced under warranty as there was acceptance a batch was made with too thin material, but just the same happed over the years to its replacement.
I try not to notice it, the more so as now it would cost us £600 for a replacement.

Unless covered by a warranty, I would recommend taking the same mind set.
 
May 24, 2014
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Sorry, I hadnt read it properly, inbetween the panes is a different matter again. I agree with JTQs comments, I would try to live with it.
 
Nov 17, 2005
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On out front window there appears to be either dirt or scratches in between the two panes of the window. Its not always visible as it depends on the light and direction your looking. It's most likely been there since day one when we bought the van last October but being able to use it over the last couple of months and the good weather has meant that we've only just noticed it.

I think its on the outer pain only because the pattern on the inner pane is exactly the same. There is nothing on the outer surfaces of either pane that I can see.

We're due a service for our first service at the end of September and I will raise the issue then hoping this can be 'fixed' under warranty.

I'd appreciate any comments on what you think it might be and the likelyhood that I'll get it fixed under warranty, which will most likely be a new window.

View attachment 2096

Many thanks
Sam,

Can I clarify that the marks are in between the panes of the unit and not on the outer surfaces. I had a similar instance on my van when it was new which was put down to the window unit flexing when travelling and the inner surfaces of the unit rubbing together.

The solution was a replacement unit under warranty
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I think you are taking the best direction. Not Important, but it may support your case if you email the dealer service and sales, and give them advance notice of your concerns and that you expect it to be examined at the service opportunity.

John
 
Sep 7, 2020
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Thanks for the replies. Definitely between the two panes. I really can't imagine that this would be due to flexing of the window given the gap between. It's not central to the window which I think would be the 'touch' point if flexing was possible.

I've spoken to the dealer already and agreed to send the photo.

Just as an aside - cost of service on my Xplore 304 - £240 which includes £20 for wheel nuts which apparently are a one time use item these days.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I really can't imagine that this would be due to flexing of the window given the gap between
The "evidence" is that the marks are mirrored pane to pane, in location distribution, shape, etc., petering out towards the edges that are inherently "stiffer". What else creates so replicated, complex and located markings?

As said, I am confident of "the cause". The defence should be that the window should be "fit for purpose" and with a touring caravan towing it on roads, including where oncoming traffic can be met, is all part of the expected purpose.

For resolution, if the age, time scale and method of acquisition of the van fits the provisions of the Customers Rights Act 2015, that is where I would bring leverage, if your supplying dealer is in anyway intransigent.
 
Last edited:
Jan 3, 2012
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On out front window there appears to be either dirt or scratches in between the two panes of the window. Its not always visible as it depends on the light and direction your looking. It's most likely been there since day one when we bought the van last October but being able to use it over the last couple of months and the good weather has meant that we've only just noticed it.

I think its on the outer pain only because the pattern on the inner pane is exactly the same. There is nothing on the outer surfaces of either pane that I can see.

We're due a service for our first service at the end of September and I will raise the issue then hoping this can be 'fixed' under warranty.

I'd appreciate any comments on what you think it might be and the likelyhood that I'll get it fixed under warranty, which will most likely be a new window.

View attachment 2096

Many thanks
While your caravan under warranty get this fixed good luck
 
Jun 16, 2020
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A little research shows that a coming together of sides is an old problem and the window has supposed to be thickened and the gap increased. This is going back 10 years. You would think it would be sorted.

John
 
Jul 18, 2017
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My money is on the two panes touching each other due to "wind" pressure, probably a passing lorry or "Luton van", bow wave wind slam.

Being a front window adds greatly to the probability.
I had one replaced under warranty as there was acceptance a batch was made with too thin material, but just the same happed over the years to its replacement.
I try not to notice it, the more so as now it would cost us £600 for a replacement.

Unless covered by a warranty, I would recommend taking the same mind set.
This is what happened with our caravan and it was not even a year old. Got repaired under warranty just before we rejected it.

Marks on window.jpg

Marks on window1.jpg
 
Nov 16, 2015
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A little research shows that a coming together of sides is an old problem and the window has supposed to be thickened and the gap increased. This is going back 10 years. You would think it would be sorted.

John
We had this happen with our 2010 Coachman, window replaced under warranty with new window with the larger gap. Didnt happen again.
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
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As others have said, this is an old problem and is caused by the inner and outer panes touching when towing due to the pressure of the air on a large unsupported area.

Do not wait to register the problem with the dealer, do it NOW, as the windows tend to only have 12 months warranty.
 
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Sep 7, 2020
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Many thanks for the replies. Well you live and learn. Given the gap between the panes I wouldn't have thought it possible but there seems to be plenty of evidence that this can occur.

I've already reported it to the dealer along with a couple of other things that need fixing.

It seems to confirm my theory that some aspects of caravans have been designed by Fischer Price although they seem to take more wear and tear

FP.jpg
 
Jan 3, 2012
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When we brought our Elddis crusader super Sirocco for seasonal i notice someone with the window exactly like yours he replaced it straight away because we had warranty and also something else that was done as well :)
 
May 24, 2014
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Never experieinced it, but over the years I have heard many reports of this. No doubt, it does occur, but then again, you are dealing with the caravan industry. They know there are issues but still keep making and fitting the same part.

You only have to look back at the Nordelectronica debacle. Hundreds of those units failed but years later, they were still fitting them.
 
May 7, 2012
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This was a common problem a few years ago on I think mainly Coachman models. These were replaced under the warranty, but some replacements suffered too. If the caravan is still under warranty then you need to take it back to the dealer. If it was bought second hand, you can again go back to the dealer if you bought off one, but the response may depend on how long you have had it.
If there is no recourse from a dealer replacement would be expensive and you may have to decide if you can live with it.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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They know there are issues but still keep making and fitting the same part.
With just a 12 months warranty on windows they up to recent time would most probably be very little affected, only where the buyer was proactive.

But it could all change if we looked beyond warranties, and used the legal provisions, we now have to actually get kit "fit for purpose".
Sadly though "we" doing that, is about as unlikely as the industry itself improving their product.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I know it would not look ideal, but I would have thought the manufacturers could have cured the problem by fitting a transparent spacer dead centre between the pains.

Otherwise, keep motorway speeds below 80! 😁

I does open your eyes to the pressure being exerted on the front of caravans.

John
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Otherwise, keep motorway speeds below 80! 😁
Of course, but I don't think motorways are necessarily the issue, nor wholly do I think it is down to your speed.
My thoughts on this: On most motorways we will not be in the "outside" [barrier] lane, so not overly subjected to passing vehicle bow waves slamming against the window.
Speed is clearly a factor but pressure is related to speed squared.
So even at 60 mph on the motorway the forces are nothing like even on an A road where we could closely pass an oncoming vehicle of similar speed, a slam of air generating four times the surface pressure. Thats even assuming the oncoming driver is not speeding.

The spacer idea could bring its own issues as a local "hard" point, way from ideal in acrylics. Any spacer needs to be compliant, and carefully "tuned" for the right compliance, so I suspect a bit of an eyesore stuck in the panel middle.

The cure is dead easy, make the front pane thick and shaped strong enough not to bend enough to hit the back pane, clearly having a larger gap helps but still the front needs to be strong enough that it does not inherit its own stressing issue.


As with so much in this industry all it needs is an acceptance that caravans are towed on roads with all that brings, this bow wave slamming and rough and pot holes surfaces being examples; simply design "fit for purpose", tolerate what happens in real, not idealised life.
 
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Sep 7, 2020
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Well I'm still not 100% convinced that my problem is due to flexing. I've measure the thickness of the window and its approx. 45mm. Difficult to be sure what the thickness of each pane is but lets be generous and assume 3mm each. This means that the gap is in the region of 39mm, which seems far enough apart to prevent contact under pressure. For reference the side windows are about 20mm or so.

I tried putting pressure on the inside and outside panes and while I can't say this would be the same as 'wind pressure' I notice the inner flexes more than the outer but neither come anywhere near touching.

From what I've found on the internet most posts about flexing are only anecdotal and I can't find any direct evidence of this - which doesn't mean to say that it's not there just that I can't find it.

Many of these posts go back a number of years but there are also hints that changes have been made by the manufacturers to stiffen the windows - or maybe increase the gap. Again unsubstantiated information.

Some images posted show marks at the edges of the window which is an unlikely place to get contact.

Looking at my problem the marks seem more like dried water droplets and it is a fact that in April when it was cold outside we did get condensation in between some of the window panes including the front one. The condensation dried out when the sun shone and there are no marks on any of the side windows. I can't recall if the marks on the front coincided with the condensation.

Whatever the problem - contact or condensation staines - its not acceptable and as I said the problem has been registered.

FWIW: The caravan is mostly towed on Highland A and B roads and I keep the speed at not more than 50 on single lane roads and 60 on dual carriageway which we seldom come across. I always tow with a cover on the front.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Would not condensation depositions be different on the two panes, and vary forming on one or other reflecting the solar heating, van's internal and the ambient? Hard for me to credit each pane condensation marks mirroring each other.

I always tow with a cover on the front.
I would definitely not be volunteering that fact, that could open its own can of worms here.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are massive wind forces involved here. Using THIS LINK do some sums.
Eg, 60 mph creates 14.4 lbs per square foot, then remember it is square law thing and meeting a similar 60 mph oncoming bow wave, lifts this to around 58 lbs per square foot. Most caravan windows are of several square feet in size!
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Sam, my Coachman's window had the "scarring' I thought no way, but the dealer confirmed that many front windows had the same problem, a massive amount of pressure, and the two panes touch.
 
Sep 7, 2020
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Would not condensation depositions be different on the two panes, and vary forming on one or other reflecting the solar heating, van's internal and the ambient? Hard for me to credit each pane condensation marks mirroring each other.
Your correct. At first I thought it was the marks on the outer pane just being projected onto the inner pane by the light but its not. They are both marked identically.

I still find it amazing though!
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I still find it amazing though!
The aspect I find amazing is this self-evident issue is not addressed with adequate margins by the product "designers".

Then I might be naive to even think any true designer, other than a stylist, was involved at all?
 
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