Stained glass…who doesn’t love gazing through the many colors when the sun shines through? It reminds me of when I was a little girl staring at the stained glass windows in church instead of paying attention to the gospel and readings. I’d study every color, every soldered line, and the artistic characters. I was thinking, “why couldn’t we apply that to our home on wheels?” Not that we want our RV to look like a church but adding a little artistic impression is a good thing.
Where we got ours…
In January of 2018, while visiting Yuma, Arizona, we parked at the lot near the border and walked across to Los Algodones, Mexico for an afternoon of lunch and shopping.
We meandered the streets of vendors selling their wares, blankets, Mexico this and Mexico that. But then, I took a jaunt inside a vendor’s store and instantly fell in love with a plethora of handcrafted stained glass art.
The shop vendor had an array of different window designs leaning against the wall on the floor with a standard RV door window frame right next to it. There were quite a few designs and motifs to choose from.
As I bent down to flip through them, I was amazed by the different motifs of every kind; lighthouses, beach scenes, desert scenes, animals, sports team logos, military branches (except Coast Guard – grrrrrrr!), etc.
Being that our RV exterior is white with candy apple red, black and light tan swishy graphics, I kept our color scheme in mind when picking out the perfect stained glass window. It didn’t take me long to pull one that caught my breath when I saw it. The colors were vividly perfect and the motif was just what I was looking for; the Arizona desert scape! Since RVing, we’ve grown to love the Arizona desert so this was truly speaking to us.
The vendor took the stained glass art and showed how it fit into the RV door window frame perfectly. We agreed to buy it.
After handing the glass artwork to the vendor, I negotiated his price down to $70 cash. He packaged it up with cardboard and tape to protect it during transport back to our 5th wheel.
For those inquiring to do the same, we bought it at:
The Stained Glass and Lamp Shades Shop. Plaza Alvaro 2nd St. Suite B-68 Los Algodones, BC Mexico.
Dan researched how to install it on YouTube. The morning of installation, Dan laid out a soft blanket on the picnic table and unwrapped our new ‘to us from us’ gift. It looked so pretty and I was ecstatic when we unwrapped it because the colors in the motif were exact to our exterior colors.
Dan laid his tools out as he always does next to our new window; a screw driver and a new tube of clear silicone. That’s it! Below are the installment steps:
- Per advice from a YouTube tutorial, he adhered clear shipping tape to the exterior frame of the door to hold the frame in place while removing the inside frame and the existing frosted glass window.
- He unscrewed the screws from the inside frame.
- Dan carefully pulled the inside frame with the frosted glass off. He removed the glass from the frame and set it aside out of the way.
- He cleaned out all of the putty-like adhesive substance out of both frames that held the original frosted window in place.
- He applied a thin bead of silicone in the track of the outside frame (still adhered to the door) where the putty-like adhesive used to be and allowed it set for tack about 3 minutes so it wasn’t so slippery and runny when mounting the window and frame.
- Dan mounted the stained glass into the frame onto the silicone, quickly mounted the frame over it the stain glass and screwed in the frame.
- We stored the original glass under our mattress wrapped in cardboard just in case our new treasure breaks.
- We left the door alone; not opening or closing it for a couple hours to allow the silicone to dry.
As you can see, not only is it a beautiful accent to the outside of our coach but also, it’s absolutely gorgeous when the sun shines through it. We have received many compliments on how it looks. This was one souvenir that we didn’t mind buying and each time we look through it, it reminds us of the fun we had shopping and picking it out that day.
If you’re planning a trip across the border to Los Algadones, Mexico, visit the Stain Glass and Lamp Shades Shop (address and contact info above). Not only will you be improving the look of your coach’s door, you have a wonderful souvenir that tells a story.
Note: Another option of buying one is sometimes there is a stained glass vendor at RV Rally’s. Though their prices are double, they are made in the U.S. and are usually made by an RVer.
Disclaimer: This is how we installed our stained glass. This is the process we used and what worked for us. We are not responsible for others’ installation, products used, stained glass, doors, etc. and/or injury that results in installation. It is up to each owner to thoroughly research and take every safety precaution to insure proper installation.