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Old 03-28-2018, 02:16 AM   #1
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Default Rear Van Door Windows...your thoughts please

I am going to order a cargo van without windows and eventually add windows. Based on your experience, please tell me why I want/need windows on the back doors or why I don't want/need them.

Reading on how you use or don't use your back door windows hopefully will help me decide. I plan to have motion windows behind the driver and passenger side.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:14 PM   #2
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It would help to direct the discussion if you described how you intend to use the van that you are apparently going to build or at least modify.

What are your end-use goals? Road trips with or without overnighting in the van? More active or less active user (sports, etc.)? On grid or off grid? Stealthing or conspicuous? How many riders? What duration of trips? Carrying expensive gear or just run of the mill? Any special needs such as medical?

For some people, those answers might not figure into a window response, but they certainly would for me.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:56 PM   #3
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Have you looked at Dometic/Seitz dual-paned windows for the rear ones? These are plastic with some inert gas (argon?) between them. The advantage of this type of setup is that the panels are lightweight, as strong as glass, provide visibility, have great noise deadening properties, are extremely good for insulation, and have built in screens/curtains to completely block out light.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:59 PM   #4
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We do not have rear windows in our van and like it that way. Our floorplan isn't really suited to "relax inside and look out" as having too many windows cuts down on storage. As for driving and checking the rear windows, it was a big issue for about 5 minutes, but once you learn to use the mirrors properly, it's a non-issue.

We have one window and it's a seitz acrylic on the slider. While we don't have the views, we do have a very dark interior when sleeping.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:15 PM   #5
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You can look out the back & discover what's jumping around on your motorcycle...



That's a Bluebird, mountains of Utah a few days ago.

Trip report HERE
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:02 AM   #6
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Love the bird on the motorcycle photo!!! Priceless!

When driving a car and SUV, I am addicted to using my rear view mirror. I like using the rear view mirror to know when a tailgater is riding my bumper or seeing the distance of other vehicles behind me.

Regardless of my travel plans, reading what others enjoy or don't like about having rear door windows is very helpful to me.
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:53 AM   #7
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If you want rear windows it is best to get them stock I would think. They look better for one. Anyway didn't I read operable windows were illegal in the back? Depends on how you lay out your van inside. If you want a rear bathroom for instance, a rear window van is not so good.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
...Anyway didn't I read operable windows were illegal in the back? ...
If true, that doesn't stop them from being commercially sold.

Does anyone know who authored the short-lived blog called sprinter-camper.com? He put lateral sliding windows in both of his rear doors (post here). I am still very interested in this mod - it would help ventilation tremendously - but it falls into the category of "ain't broke don't fix it" and so it has not taken priority in our projects list.
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:30 PM   #9
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That's a DIY modification. My comment was ended in a question mark because I don't know the definitive answer or whether I saw the comment because of an agency regulation from the government or someone like RVIA. I'm not going to look it up since I have no interest in doing an operable window. I just don't recall any manufacturer of vehicles or conversions offering operable windows in the back as an option. It use to be quite common with station wagons. I could be wrong thus the ?
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Old 03-29-2018, 06:45 PM   #10
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There are always the domed windows used for dogs to peer through a fence, which might be mountable on the rear doors. I saw someone on Facebook who mounted these on his van, just for something unique.
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Old 03-29-2018, 07:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver2017 View Post
Love the bird on the motorcycle photo!!! Priceless!

When driving a car and SUV, I am addicted to using my rear view mirror. I like using the rear view mirror to know when a tailgater is riding my bumper or seeing the distance of other vehicles behind me.

Regardless of my travel plans, reading what others enjoy or don't like about having rear door windows is very helpful to me.
I end up using the side mirrors way more because the view from the rear in a van like ours is kind of "skewed". Very high and partially obstructed by the cabinets on each side. It's good as a final check but most of the time the side mirrors work better.

Especially since you will probably be on highways and country roads where the car behind you should be a fair distance behind.

The best reason to have a rear window is to have a good view when parked. Either for waking up in the morning or sitting at the table. Depending on your layout of course.

I suggest buying installed from the factory.

Please keep in mind that you won't be able to open your windows while driving, especially the rear windows that might suck in all the exhaust fumes.
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:04 PM   #12
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I have rear windows with vipers on our Sprinter Camper and wouldnít buy any van without them for 2 reasons:

1. We donít like to be in a cage, we like our 360-degree view.
2. Additional rear view for driving.

I have seen on the Sprinter forum a disastrous installation of the aftermarket rear windows; an adhesive was everywhere. Canít beat a factory uniformity of a robotically applied adhesive bead.
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
If true, that doesn't stop them from being commercially sold.

Does anyone know who authored the short-lived blog called sprinter-camper.com? He put lateral sliding windows in both of his rear doors (post here). I am still very interested in this mod - it would help ventilation tremendously - but it falls into the category of "ain't broke don't fix it" and so it has not taken priority in our projects list.
I remember the blog but not the author. I chased the windows down to the supplier who I believe was in Oregon. I saved the information but that computer crashed without a back up! Those windows were on my future to do list too.
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