Why Dual-Pane Acrylic Windows are a Must-Have RV Feature
Why Dual-Pane Acrylic Windows are a Must-Have RV Feature
By: Jon & Nadia Bajuelo
When RV shopping, it can be difficult to decide if upgrades or optional equipment add enough value to warrant the extra charge. Should the optional items actually be standard? Will they truly make my RV experience better? When we were shopping for an RV, we narrowed it down to a Winnebago Class C, and found a feature that has completely transformed our RV experience. When we purchased our Winnebago Trend 23D, it came with the dual-pane acrylic windows. And, after seeing how they improve our travels, we think they are a must-have for RVers!
About Dual-Pane Acrylic Windows
Dual-pane acrylic windows are fairly common in the European RV market. If you are browsing Winnebago's site, you may even see them called "Dual-pane Euro acrylic windows" for some RV models, like the Trend. Although this type of window is standard in European motorhomes and towables (or caravans as they call them), they're a little harder to find here in the States. If you find them as an option, we recommend you jump on this upgrade!
RVing before dual-pane acrylic windows
Do you love to RV during the fall? Do you dream of RVing in the desert? Have you ever wished it wasn't so cold in your rig? Our RVing experience when it's cold out has been drastically improved by our dual-pane acrylic windows.
The fall is hands-down one of our favorite times to be out on the road. Crowds are at a minimum and nature is putting on quite the show for you with colorful fall leaves. The thing about fall, however, is that the temperatures are falling and nights are chilly.
Our dual-pane acrylic windows make RVing in the desert during the winter and spring seasons comfortable, as the superior insulation keeps the heat of the day and the cold of the desert nights from seeping into the RV.
Before we had our dual-pane acrylic windows, returning to the rig in the evening was uncomfortable. With the falling temps, it felt as if the cold was seeping into the rig through our windows, mainly because it was. Our dinette had a beautiful picture window, but that window made the dinette COLD! There were two options: layer on the clothing or put up our reflective insulation panels. Well, I don't know about you, but we sure did not want to unwind and eat dinner with the same amount of layers we were wearing out on our hike. As for the reflective panels ... being inside your rig with reflective silver staring back at you from every window just doesn't exactly scream cozy. To conserve propane for overnight use, we would set up a space heater, but those dry out your eyes.
RVing after dual-pane acrylic windows
After only a few months in the Trend, we can already point to some amazing improvements the dual-pane acrylic windows have provided. For one, seating areas near our windows are no longer frigid. Dinner can be had without us fully layered up to puffy marshmallow proportions. There is zero need for unattractive reflective panels. At bedtime, without the dual-pane acrylic windows, being warm required 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 humans, 1 quilt, and one heavy wool blanket. We love our pets, but they will push you out of your own bed at night if they sleep with you (our dogs are 50 lbs each)! With our amazing windows, warmth, even if there is SNOW outside, requires 0 dogs, 0 cats, 1 light fleece blanket, and 1 quilt. We can sleep in peace, since the humans and animals are warm enough in their own separate beds.
The view from one of our dual-pane acrylic windows as Nadia walked one of our dogs, and Jon stayed toasty inside the Trend, when unexpected snow hit Atlanta this winter.
The comfort in the cold afforded to us by our windows is invaluable. We can RV comfortably in the fall now. We've had comfortable desert stays in the winter and spring as well, even with the cool nights.
We are also using less propane due to the insulation the windows provide, keeping heat in and the cold out. As for high heat, we can't avoid it at all times since we visit family in South Florida. On our last visit, we found our dual-pane acrylic windows allowed less heat transfer than our old regular RV windows did.
Benefits beyond insulation increased safety
Superior insulation isn't the only benefit we've enjoyed since RVing with dual-pane Euro acrylic windows. Our windows have friction hinges with a multi-locking system. This makes them sturdy and increases safety because the locking system prevents the windows from being opened from the outside.
The dual-pane acrylic windows' friction hinges and multi-locking system increase safety.
The roller blinds that are included with the windows make it easy to obtain privacy and block out the light at night. The blinds clip straight onto a rolling screen so that you can easily keep the bugs out when you open your windows. When the blinds and screen are clipped together, you just roll up for privacy or roll down for the screen. When the view outside your windows is spectacular, simply unclip the screen and roll down! As we travel and needs change during the day, it has been so convenient to have an all-in-one solution.
Because our dual-pane acrylic windows are top-hung, or "awning style", we are also able to keep our windows open, and let fresh air in, even when it is raining. In addition, we no longer have to worry about dirt and dust getting in the window track because with top-hung windows, there is no track! We personally love RVing in Utah and the Southwest during the spring, so this has been a great benefit. The spring in the Southwest has mild temperatures, but the winds sure do kick up and blow dirt and dust everywhere! It's nice not to worry about the windows getting stuck on a dusty track.
Care tips for Dual-Pane Acrylic Windows
Proper care of your windows is important to keep them in good condition and avoid light spider-webbing that can otherwise occur. A friend with dual-pane acrylic windows on their Winnebago Navion recommended cleaning the windows with water and vinegar. It is also extremely important to only close the blinds two-thirds of the way in strong sunlight! This prevents excessive amounts of heat from accumulating and being trapped in the space between the window pane and the window blind.
If you are purchasing an RV with the dual-pane acrylic window upgrade from an RV dealership, be sure to take a very close-up look at the windows to be sure there has been no damage.
We would recommend that you take a very close look at the windows if the RV you are looking at has been sitting on a dealership lot. The dealership we purchased from did not have covered storage and our RV had been sitting in direct sunlight with the blinds fully closed. Sure enough, there was slight chipping on one of the windows and the rest were deteriorating. However, we personally had a wonderful experience getting this corrected. Winnebago quickly sent replacements for all of our windows to the dealer, and the dealer had them replaced in no time.
We are so glad we went for the dual-pane acrylic window option in our Trend. Compared to our RV experience with regular windows, dual-pane windows are a dream. We are able to RV more comfortably, especially in cooler temperatures. We can also easily let less light, sound, and bugs in. We can definitely see why these windows have become so popular in the European RV market. While we were shopping for a Class B or C motorhome, we took a look at a few Winnebago products. If you're looking for a new RV in this same size range and are interested in dual-pane acrylic windows, in addition to the Trend, you may be interested in checking out the Winnebago View/Navion, Revel, and Travato.