Almost every driver at some time in their life will experience that sickening cracking sound heard when a stone hits the windshield.
Usually, that sound of dread is followed with searching eyes trying to locate the point of impact.
Rock chips are where a cracked windshield usually gets its start.
Here’s what I’ve learned firsthand about RV windshield replacement…
How To Fix Rock Chips
The smartest thing you can do if you experience a rock chip in your windshield is to have it properly filled. This will prevent a crack from starting.
This small service can be done by any auto glass company. It will usually will cost less than $50 to do on-the-spot rock chip repair — as seen here:
Typically, your insurance will pick up the tab completely — because replacing the whole windshield is a so much more expensive.
Reasons To Fix A Cracked Windshield
Once a crack begins, it usually takes off and spreads across the entire windshield — often adding several new cracks along the way.
So the quicker you fix it, the better!
Plus, in many states, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle with a cracked windshield.
Not to mention the fact that in most of today’s vehicles, the windshield glass is considered part of the vehicle’s supporting structural strength when it comes to accidents.
How I Fixed The Cracked Windshield On My RV
You might be surprised how far back in model years glass companies can supply factory original replacement windshields!
Replacing a cracked windshield in my 1993 Pace Arrow motorhome simply required finding the factory part number (printed in the corner of an RV windshield) and making one phone call to their supplier.
In 2 days, my new RV windshield arrived. It was installed in about 30 minutes. All it took was money. In this case, $725 was the tab:
Now you might be thinking that wasn’t too bad. Sure, it was a sizable amount of cash, but in the grand scheme of things — it was manageable.
Let’s look at the details of replacing an RV windshield little closer…
The RV Windshield Replacement Process
My 1993 motorhome had the old-style split RV windshield (held in place with rubber insert molding) like this:
My cracked windshield was only on one side — so I only had to replace half of the windshield, basically.
Since there was no super-strong adhesive holding it in place, it was simply a matter of removing the rubber insert from the molding and having the skill to slide the new windshield half into the existing rubber molding — without breaking the glass.
However, today’s motorhome windshields usually consist of 1 piece for the whole windshield.
Some RV windshields are glued into place with special heavy-duty adhesives (that require much effort to remove and clean before the new glass can be installed).
In this case, the RV must sit overnight — for the replacement adhesives to cure and bond the glass to the window frame.
Full-size RV windshield replacement is a time-consuming and laborious process. And you lose the use of your motorhome overnight.
Here’s what the repair process is like on an entire motorhome windshield.
RV Windshield Replacement Cost
As mentioned above, it cost me $725 (and 30 minutes) to have half of my RV windshield replaced.
When I inquired about the cost of windshield replacement ahead of time, the prices were shocking:
- The average price for RV windshield replacement: $2,000.
- The most expensive windshield they had replaced to date: $4,500!
It might be worth a phone call to your insurance agent to make sure your coverage is up to the task. My bill came right out of my pocket — because it was a pre-existing condition when I purchased the motorhome.
TIP: Keep this in mind when you go shopping for a used RV: if the windshield is cracked, you better get an estimate to repair it before you decide to purchase — because the value of your motorhome will be much less if the windshield needs replacing!