Imagine, you are cruising down the road on your next family road trip. Everything is going fine and then BAM, suddenly there is a chip in your windshield! Now your entire trip is ruined by the daunting thought of an expensive windshield replacement, or is it?
Due to the fact that a Class A RV is built with a different kind of windshield, the price of a replacement can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. Replacing a Class A RV windshield should not be done at home and is well worth the cost of having a professional complete the work for you.
So, is your family road trip actually ruined? Well, that mostly depends on the insurance plan you have for your RV and the size of your wallet. Continue reading below to learn more about windshield repair, RV windshield insurance, and general maintenance to keep your windshield in pristine condition.
RV Windshield Replacement (the facts and the costs)
Chances are you have needed to replace your vehicle’s windshield at least once or twice in your lifetime.
If so, then know a regular car windshield replacement typically costs between $200 and $800.
So why then, is an RV windshield so much more expensive to replace?
Well, here are the simple facts to answer your question.
Not only are Class A RV windshields so much larger than a normal vehicle, but they are also unique in how they are designed.
Most Class A RV windshields actually come in two separate pieces that are installed side by side. (Now try finding the seam in your windshield the next time you drive your RV!)
The other reason that Class A RV windshield replacements are so expensive is that they are made of a different material than a normal vehicle’s windshield.
Regular vehicle windshields are generally made of a safety glass that has been laminated and bonded to another sheet of glass.
However, due to the larger size and more air resistance, Class A RV windshields need a stronger (and larger) piece of glass than that of a normal vehicle.
So, how much is it going to cost you to replace your RV’s windshield?
Well, this is going to depend on the extent of the damage, how much your insurance will cover, and where you take your RV to be repaired.
However, places such as glass.com will give you a free quote on your windshield replacement!
Not only will this website help you to find out the cost of your windshield replacement but it glass.com also offers information on whether the windshield simply needs to be repaired or not.
So put your wallet back in your pocket and take a deep breath, the damage may not be as bad as you think it may be!
How do you tell if your windshield only needs to be repaired or if it needs to be completely replaced?
RV windshield repairs are going to be relatively cheap when compared to replacing the entire windshield.
Now you may be wondering what relatively means.
Well, a Class A RV windshield repair may cost you only $50! (Okay, so maybe it’s a little more than just relatively cheaper).
In fact, this $50 bill may even be completely covered by your RV’s insurance!
When choosing whether to replace or repair your windshield there are few things you should consider before making a final decision.
Remember that a repaired windshield is never going to be as clear as a brand new windshield.
After the repair process, while the windshield will still be clear enough for you to see, there may still be minimal evidence of distortion in your windshield.
So if these minor infractions will bug you or be distracting while driving, a full replacement will take care of all the imperfections in your windshield.
The final thing to consider for your Class A RV’s windshield is how long you are willing to wait for the results to be finished.
A repair may take a few minutes to a few hours; meanwhile, a full replacement may take several days (you wouldn’t want the sealant to still be wet when you leave the shop now would you?).
Content Courtesy of glass.com.
Are you able to just replace your RV’s windshield yourself?
You should NEVER attempt to replace your Class A RV’s windshield at home.
This certainly is a job meant for a professional (or a team of professionals) to complete.
In the event that your windshield is installed incorrectly, it could leak air, water, or dust inside while driving.
An incorrect windshield installation may also cause stress fractures or it may just plain fall out- and I am willing to bet that it will be more broken than your original windshield if that happens.
So save yourself the cost (and pain) of a SECOND windshield replacement and simply hire a professional to take care of the job for you!
RV Windshield Insurance
Hopefully you looked into the coverage of your RV’s insurance prior to purchasing it.
But just in case you didn’t at the time or haven’t purchased any insurance yet, let’s take a look at a few of the things your RV’s insurance should cover.
When you are purchasing RV insurance, the cost of a windshield replacement probably didn’t (or won’t) cross your mind.
But now that you know! Be sure to take a moment to review your insurance (or your potential insurance) to see what kind of coverage your windshield will receive!
Not all insurance companies are going to offer windshield coverage for your RV.
Unfortunately, if your RV is insured by State Farm, you are one of those who will not receive any windshield coverage.
Other insurance companies, such as AAA, tend to offer full replacement coverage and you will only be responsible for the deductible!
However, it is important to remember that each insurance company is different. Deductibles will vary as well as the amount of coverage available.
Some insurance agencies will encourage you to simply repair your RV’s windshield by offering to waive your deductible for the repairs.
Looking for some new coverage for your RV’s windshield? Be sure to check out Nationwide RV Glass!
With coverage in all 50 states and even in Canada, you can travel easy knowing that they have your back in the event of a chip, crack, or dent!
Click here to get a quote for coverage of your Class A RV’s windshield!
RV Windshield Maintenance
If you are properly maintaining and caring for your Class A RV’s windshield, you may be able to avoid the high costs of completely replacing the windshield!
Here I have gathered a few tips and tricks in order to help you keep your RV’s windshield in pristine condition for not only your next road trip but hopefully a lifetime of trips to come as well!
Consistently Clean Your Windshield
While this may not seem like a great way to keep your windshield intact, it is, in fact, a key element in your RV windshield’s maintenance.
At the beginning of all your trips, at each fuel up, and then again when you return from your travels, give your RV windshield a good scrub.
Be sure to remove anything (bugs, dirt, etc.) that may be on your windshield to keep it from hardening to your windshield’s surface causing extensive damage over time.
Don’t just roll through the gas station without washing your windshield simply because of a time crunch.
It takes a few minutes to wash the windshield, but a few days (and a lot of money) to replace it!
Clean the Rubber Sealing
This task does not need to be done every time you take your Class A RV for a drive, but rather should be a portion of your annual RV maintenance check-list.
Don’t start worrying that this task is going to be too intensive or hard for you to do for yourself.
In fact, cleaning the rubber sealing of your RV’s windshield only requires a small hard rubber scraper.
Simply take the small rubber scraper and run it along the inside of the rubber sealing around your RV’s windshield.
At this point, you may be wondering what the point of this task even is.
Well, as you drive down the road, dirt and debris tend to find their way into this rubber sealing and over time this dirt and debris will erode the rubber sealing leaving room for air and water to cause stress fractures in your windshield.
Be sure after cleaning your rubber sealant, that you push it back down ensuring there are no leaks or air bubbles left behind!
Purchase a Windshield Cover
When your Class A RV isn’t on the road with you, it may simply be sitting in the sun or in a garage collecting dust.
With a windshield cover you protect your RV’s rubber sealing from shrinking in the beating sun or from dust corroding your windshield!
Good news is! A Class A RV windshield cover is usually only $60 to $120.
I have even included a few of my favorite RV covers from Amazon for you to choose from!
ADCO 2600 Class A Windshield Cover ($64.43)
SUNGUARD Windshield Covers ($317) – I promise this is well worth the added price!
Don’t shrug off this tip thinking it is too simple to REALLY make a difference in the well-being of your windshield. While simple, a windshield cover can protect your RV’s windshield in a pinch in several different situations.
Don’t Travel in Extreme Weather
You are all packed up and ready to hit the road, but just as you decide to check the weather, a severe weather report is issued!
Now you may think that you just simply don’t have the time to stop and wait it out, but it is in the best interest of your RV and wallet that you do wait the storm out.
Whether the storm is hail or just high winds, flying debris can cause extensive damage to your RV’s windshield.
So choose to wait out the extreme weather and protect your windshield by using the windshield cover your just purchased!
Avoid Rough Roads and Driving Behind Big Trucks
Now this tip almost goes without saying.
But because I want everyone to be able to take the best care of their RV, I am going to say it anyways!
If you want your Class A RV’s windshield to last a long time, there are certain driving situations that you just simply need to avoid.
The first of these situations is driving on rough roads.
Driving down dirt or gravel roads increases the chances of a rock being thrown at your RV’s windshield.
The next situation to avoid is driving on freshly sanded roads.
Just like the dirt or gravel roads, a freshly sanded road is more likely to throw rocks or- you guessed it- SAND! at the windshield.
The sand will increase the “roughing” or deterioration of your Class A RV’s windshield.
So if possible, find a way to reroute your trip to avoid taking any of these roads.
The final driving situation you ABSOLUTELY should avoid while driving your RV is following too closely to large trucks.
We all know the pain of seeing that chip appear all because a semi or dump truck accidentally tossed a rock at your windshield.
While there is nothing the semi or dump truck can do to stop from throwing rocks, you have the ability to either pass or simply slow down and let the truck drive in front of you.
Do not put the integrity of your windshield at risk simply because you are in a hurry!
Replace Wiper Blades
When it comes to replacing wiper blades, many of us live by the rule of thumb by saying, “I’ll replace the wiper blades when they stop getting the job done!”
However, by doing so, we are in fact causing damage to our windshields!
When our RV’s are left in the sun, all of the rubber pieces begins breaking down, including the wiper blades.
Once the rubber of your wiper blades is worn down it begins to rub on the glass and start causing damage to your RV’s windshield.
To help protect your Class A RV’s windshield, choose to replace your wiper blades every 2 to 3 years rather than “when they stop getting the job done!”
Apply A Windshield Glass Protectant
There are many different kinds of windshield and glass protectant.
The most common are made to keep rain and water off of your windshield.
While there are some other more heavy duty protectants that can help protectant your RV’s windshield from both rain and small debris, these generally require a professional to apply them.
Talk to your RV windshield company to find out what kinds of protectant they suggest in order to protect your windshield!
Repair Imperfections Immediately
This part of your RV’s maintenance is crucial!
You should never wait to repair any crack, dent, ding, bump, or other imperfection in your Class A RV’s windshield.
Leaving any of these to sit may result in a stress fracture or clouding of your windshield.
No you may be asking “Dory, what does it mean to ‘cloud’ your windshield?”
Well, this all goes back to the design of your windshield!
As we discussed, windshields are two pieces of glass with a laminated piece of plastic in between.
When a crack or dent is left for a long time without repair, the laminated plastic gets exposed to the elements and begins to “cloud” or become foggy around the affected area.
So in order to ensure safe driving in your Class A RV, always remember to immediately repair (or replace, depending on the extent of the damage) your windshield!
Now that you have a few tips and tricks in your back pocket to help keep your Class A RV in tip-top shape, it is important to remember:
Doing each of these things does not guarantee that your windshield won’t crack.
Life happens and no one can say with 100% assurance that nothing will happen to your windshield, but continually following these tips will decrease the chances of something serious from happening to your windshield.