A month or so ago I asked on this forum if anyone had added a window into an OEM slab door on a Zinger 291RL.
No-one it seems had done so judging by the lack of responses, but some did point me in the direction of RV window suppliers, thanks everyone for that.
After researching the options, we settled on an AP products ‘Slim Shade’ which per it’s description comes complete with a built in shade in addition to the darkened tempered glass panel, both of which we were looking for.
The fine people at ‘Tweety’s’ had one to us within a couple of days of ordering online.
The ‘Made in the USA’ product comes securely packaged in four pieces. The outer frame, inner frame, glass and blind assembly. The outer box has a cut-out template printed on the outside.
Being of the old ‘measure twice, cut once’ school, my first course of action was to check the template was accurate.
AP have a disclaimer printed on the template stating that the tolerance is + or – ¼”, and that they are not responsible for miss-cuts. This is appropriate because the template, probably printed by a third party carton supplier, if used as is, due to its inaccuracy would have caused a major problem.
My tool of choice to make the cutout in the door is a plunge router fitted with a straight cut 1” long x ½” diameter bit. I made a substitute inside template from ¼” corrugated card allowing for the offset of my router base to the bit. I lined the inside edges of the template with tape to allow the router base plate to glide smoothly along when making the cut.
Having removed the door from the hinges, I was surprised to find it weighs about five pounds. It consists of a rigid expanded polystyrene foam core sandwiched between outer and inner fiberglass skins.
After clamping the card template in place on the outside, and ensuring it was centered with equal distance between the sides and top of the door I set my router cut depth to ½” to make the first cut though the outer skin and part way through the foam core. At 10,000 rpm the tool is easily controllable, and because of a quality bit and thin outer material it did not snatch at the door skin. Resetting the tool for two additional passes, one to remove most of the foam, and then a final cut through the inner skin made for a very clean cut.
Following AP’s instructions the outer frame was taped to the outside of the door, the door was then flipped and the glass was dropped into place from what will be the inside. The inner frame with the blind assembly was added and attached with 16 screws to complete the sandwich holding everything securely in place.
After a quick clean up and re-installation of the door we now have the extra natural light in the corridor between the living area and the bedroom we had hoped for.
Start to finish the job took about an hour, that included making the corrugated cardboard template. Whilst not for a novice, with a little patience and forethought, anyone with reasonable dexterity should be able to achieve a similar result with this fine product.