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Old 04-20-2020, 04:29 PM   #1
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21' trailer rear double window pane bottom edges closer than top

My 21' trailer was picked up from ETI just over a year ago and we put about 26k miles on it during the past year. Today I noticed the center gap between the rear double pane windows was not even from top to bottom. The top gap between the glass edges was 5mm but at the bottom it was just over 1mm. I thought (don't know for a fact) the gap would have been 5mm evenly from top to bottom when I first picked up the trailer and all the bumping and jostling on the road made the gap shift. I was worried that after some more towing on the road the bottom edges might touch each other and the glass could break so I emailed ETI service for help to fix it.

ETI emailed me right back saying that is how Hehr manufactured that window and the bottom edges will not move any closer together so no need to worry about them touching and breaking. I am trying to double check here with fellow 21' owners and see if your rear window also looks like mine or not.

The two attached pictures show the top gap first and the bottom gap second. Also I searched for this issue and didn't find another post on it before posting mine.
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:45 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by viator36 View Post
My 21' trailer was picked up from ETI just over a year ago and we put about 26k miles on it during the past year. Today I noticed the center gap between the rear double pane windows was not even from top to bottom. The top gap between the glass edges was 5mm but at the bottom it was just over 1mm. I thought (don't know for a fact) the gap would have been 5mm evenly from top to bottom when I first picked up the trailer and all the bumping and jostling on the road made the gap shift. I was worried that after some more towing on the road the bottom edges might touch each other and the glass could break so I emailed ETI service for help to fix it.

ETI emailed me right back saying that is how Hehr manufactured that window and the bottom edges will not move any closer together so no need to worry about them touching and breaking. I am trying to double check here with fellow 21' owners and see if your rear window also looks like mine or not.

The two attached pictures show the top gap first and the bottom gap second. Also I searched for this issue and didn't find another post on it before posting mine.
I had the same problem with a window that had sagged because of a incorrectly cut window opening. Mine had the gap opening up more at the bottom than the top. The pic below is how I corrected it and the window gap went back to even top to bottom.

While I had the window out, I also fixed the leak at the top due to the gap shown in the next pic. Some epoxy added to even out the surface on both sides of the top took care of it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Window shim correction.jpg (106.2 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg Window-leak-point.jpg (175.3 KB, 39 views)
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
I had the same problem with a window that had sagged because of a incorrectly cut window opening. Mine had the gap opening up more at the bottom than the top. The pic below is how I corrected it and the window gap went back to even top to bottom.

While I had the window out, I also fixed the leak at the top due to the gap shown in the next pic. Some epoxy added to even out the surface on both sides of the top took care of it.
Hi tdf-texas, thanks for your fast reply. In your repair did you reposition the bottom and corner braces to level the window frame? Just a quick guess from looking at your pictures.

In addition I have another problem if I try to fix it. Your window pane is secured by a top screw and you loosen it to slide the window pane out. But my trailer windows except for the one by the bedroom are all secured by what looks like a rivet. My trailer pickup was delayed for two weeks due to window inventory backup so it could just be that Hehr used rivets for windows made from that time on or for that batch. Maybe others can chime in about this detail if their trailers were picked up after April last year.

Anyway with this rivet is the right way to remove it to drill it out with the correct size drill bit? Would it be too risky to do the drilling? I don'e know if it can be pried loose or some other way. Do you remember how long it took you to get your window fixed? Thanks in advance.

Attached shows a rivet on my rear window top edge.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MVIMG_20200420_175737.jpg (400.9 KB, 24 views)
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by viator36 View Post
Hi tdf-texas, thanks for your fast reply. In your repair did you reposition the bottom and corner braces to level the window frame? Just a quick guess from looking at your pictures.

In addition I have another problem if I try to fix it. Your window pane is secured by a top screw and you loosen it to slide the window pane out. But my trailer windows except for the one by the bedroom are all secured by what looks like a rivet. My trailer pickup was delayed for two weeks due to window inventory backup so it could just be that Hehr used rivets for windows made from that time on or for that batch. Maybe others can chime in about this detail if their trailers were picked up after April last year.

Anyway with this rivet is the right way to remove it to drill it out with the correct size drill bit? Would it be too risky to do the drilling? I don'e know if it can be pried loose or some other way. Do you remember how long it took you to get your window fixed? Thanks in advance.

Attached shows a rivet on my rear window top edge.
Yes, I added the shims to level out the window frame. The aluminum frame would flex just enough to open up the window gap - it doesn't take much. Think of it as trying to form a U shape due to no support in the middle and touching only at the corners.

In your case, if the gap is larger at the top - it could be that the window is resting on something at the middle and trying to form an inverted U.

The picture of the window is one that I received under warranty by Hehr from the factory in Indiana. The defective window that was replaced I was told was made in California and had rivets instead of screws.

I wouldn't drill out the rivets unless there was some reason to take the window apart. Pulling the window out, cleaning off the old seal, and replacing the window with new seals takes about two hours. Adding the shims takes a little longer as multiple measurements to make sure I had it right before cutting the shims took a while.
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:14 PM   #5
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My 2019 E21 was completed last April also. My rear windows "touch" just at the bottom when opening/closing. I'll have to look tomorrow to see if the space is equal all the way to the top.
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:43 PM   #6
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Our E21 picked up April 2019, has an equal distance gap of 3mm from top to bottom down the middle of our frameless back window. We also have the same rivets on top like your picture shows. Interested in what you might do...in case this becomes an issue for us, too. - Bea
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:00 PM   #7
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Ok, I just did a quick fix. I removed the window frame's inside fastening ring and inserted a small oak wood block below the bottom frame near each end to raise the two ends. I used a pry bar to raise the frame to help squeeze the wood blocks in and made sure the blocks were pushed underneath the ridge that runs along the frame so the ridge is resting on the blocks. Before inserting the wood blocks I opened the window panes to different heights to avoid them touching each other accidentally. I aligned the wood blocks behind the screw holes closest to the bottom corners and drilled a hole into them before screwing the inside frame back so each block is held in place by a screw.

I was very careful while doing the work that I wasn't pushing the window frame toward the back too hard and I didn't remove the two top center screws I just loosened them.

After the fix the top gap is 5mm and the bottom gap is 4mm, not perfect but good enough for now. Maybe after another 10k miles bumping on the road the frame center portion might lower down a little bit since there is no support there then the gap might be evened out from top to bottom. I will check it in a few months and see what happens.
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:56 PM   #8
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You wouldn't think that a solid aluminum frame would flex but it does. Good to know that you fixed your problem.

Oh, the top center screws are in a slot that has some slack to it - no need to loosen them. The blocks that straightened the frame did the trick.
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File Type: jpg Screw slot.jpg (271.5 KB, 8 views)
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