The great outdoors calls many to take trips every year. But some of us like to take the comforts of home with us when we go. This is where having an RV can be so beneficial. But protecting your RV’s windshield can be a concern to many. Class A windshields are larger and harder to produce than regular windshields making them a bigger target for road debris and a bigger hassle to replace if they get damaged. Well, you don’t have to worry about that if you follow these proven strategies for protecting your RV windshield whilst on a trip.
- Keep the Windshield Clean
Make sure you use a quality glass cleaner and clean the windshield thoroughly at least once a week. If you can keep the windshield clean and free of debris it will help prevent moisture from accumulating on the glass which could cause cracks in the winter time. It also keeps rough surfacing from happening which can lead to chips and cracks over time. The rough surfacing is what you really need to watch out for because this is subtle damage that results from a dirty windshield and is hard to spot until it is too late. If you want to avoid RV windshield replacement then make sure you follow this simple advice.
- Avoid Gravel Roads
Gravel roads have many small stones in them and for obvious reasons it is best to avoid them at all costs. Gravel roads are notorious for causing chips and cracks in RV windshields from cars that are ahead of you kicking up debris. This problem is compounded by people who don’t drive the speed limit and follow too closely to the cars ahead of them. This is just asking for trouble. The vehicle ahead of you will be throwing out rocks from the gravel road so make sure if you must follow another car that you follow at a safe distance. If you can pass the car ahead of you, do so at your earliest convenience, and never try to keep pace with a car that is going over the speed limit. If you must travel on a gravel road take precautions and drive as slow as possible. This will limit the damage from rocks being thrown out in front of you and will also give you time to see the road hazards that may be in your way.
- Replace Your Wiper Blades
Wiper blades on RVs are bigger and more powerful than wiper blades on a regular car. They are also made of a compound that the sun breaks down over time. Because of these reasons it is best to replace the blades at least every two years whether you think you need them or not. The compound in the wiper blades that breaks down over time can damage the surface of your glass if you are not diligent about regular replacement. This can lead to streaks and spots on the windshield at best, to a rough surfacing, to an outright chip in the glass at worst. As with all vehicles it is important to practice regular maintenance to make sure that everything is working smoothly on the vehicle. This is important for vehicle safety and counts double for the windshield wiper blades, so make sure they are replaced when necessary.
- Repair Chips Immediately
If you do happen to get a chip in your windshield then have it repaired immediately. Do not delay because a chip can turn into a crack if you hit a large bump in the road and then you will be faced with a full RV windshield replacement. Sometimes we are tempted to ignore problems, especially if the problem is small. We let it stay as it is and hope that it won’t get bigger. But that is not the way to handle this problem. Even if the chip is small and seems innocuous you should still get it repaired as soon as possible. This may be harder than a normal chip repair on a regular vehicle as class A windshields are larger and come in different shapes than a regular windshield. In order to repair the crack you may not be able to simply call a repair service and have them come out to where you are to repair the crack. You will probably have to take it to a shop to have it repaired and it may take a couple of weeks. If this happens while on vacation in your RV it can be a real disappointment and hassle, but it will be well worth it to take care of the problem when it is small. Think of the money that you will save from not having to replace the entire windshield rather than the money that it will cost to repair the chip.
- Never Drive in Hail Storms
Hail is a problem that doesn’t occur very frequently but when it does it can be a real danger. Traveling at high speeds while small stones rain down from the sky is a recipe for disaster for anyone’s windshield but especially for the larger windshields of RVs. If you hear that a hail storm is approaching you or you can see the hail stones start to fall, pull off to the side of the road and wait out the storm. While damage can still occur while you are pulled off of the road the danger will be lessened since you are not traveling at a high rate of speed. Cover your windshield with a tarp or professional windshield cover while you wait and make sure not to get back on the road until you are absolutely sure the storm has stopped.
If you follow these five steps then you will be well on your way to having a safe and enjoyable vacation in your RV. Remember to always keep your windshield clean, replace your wiper blades, avoid gravel roads, repair chips immediately, and never drive in hailstorms and you will have a safe trip.