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Are Frameless RV Windows Really Better?

Frameless RV windows are a type of window that has become the standard on mid to higher-end RVs. These windows sit flush with the body of the RV and have no visible frame, unlike older models that have a visible border. The term frameless is mainly in regards to the look, because the windows actually do have a frame. The frame is just inset into the wall and the glass extends over the edges and seals on a strip of rubber.

frameless RV window

Benefits of Frameless RV Windows

Frameless windows offer a modern, sleek look that enhances the exterior appearance of the RV. Their seamless design can make the RV look more upscale and streamlined. However there are a few additional benefits over traditional windows.

Ability to Have Open Windows During Rain

One major benefit to frameless RV windows is the ability to have them open all the time, even while it rains. They open outward, so part of the window pane acts as a shield for the RV and the screen. Rain rolls right off the open portion of the window so you can have fresh air even on a dreary day. 

RV driving on highway with frameless window
Frameless windows on an RV provide a sleek exterior look.

Pro Tip: Want to block out the sun and keep your RV cool? Learn more about how to tint your RV windows.

Protected Seals and Frame

With seamless windows, the seals are hidden behind the glass that sits on the outside of the RV. This design keeps the rubber behind a UV-blocking glass that will help it last a lot longer. Without metal frames, there’s less risk of corrosion over time, which can be particularly advantageous in salty or humid environments.

frameless and framed windows on same RV
Note that the exterior has frameless windows but the slide window has a frame. Windows in slide walls are rarely frameless because of the frameless catch on the seals.

About Framed RV Windows

Older RV models use framed RV windows. These types of windows have a thick, black seal around them to secure the window frame to the rig. Many are one solid piece. However, many have a sliding portion that opens all the way.

Unlike frameless windows, it’s not a good idea to leave a framed window open when it rains as no part of the window blocks water from entering into the rig. While this isn’t ideal for RVing in poor weather, it can help with RV ventilation. Framed RV windows open far wider than their newer counterparts, which allows for a better cross breeze in your rig.

It is important to note that the seal around framed windows requires some extra care. Over time, the seal can become brittle and fade from the sun. This may cause water to seep in and make it look older. 

Pro Tip: If you’re RVing in the cold, you’ll need well-insulated windows to keep you warm. Here’s How To Insulate Your RV Windows.

Framed Window On RV wide Open
Our Framed Windows Allow For Wide Open Airflow, however the frames have oxidized a bit over the years.

Are Frameless or Framed RV Windows Better?

Choosing between frameless and framed RV windows ultimately depends on your priorities, including aesthetics, budget, and how you use your RV. Frameless windows can offer a modern look and some functional benefits, but it’s important to weigh these against the potential higher cost and specific needs for your RV lifestyle.

Due to the way frameless RV windows open, RVers tend to notice a decrease in cross-breeze ventilation. Frameless windows don’t extend all the way like framed RV windows do. Because only a small portion of the window opens ventilation problems may occur. If air quality or proper ventilation is something you struggle with in your rig, they may not be right for you.

However, the biggest point of contention for most RVers is the cost of the frameless RV windows. Upgrading from framed windows to frameless windows will cost more than just replacing them with new traditional frames. If you are looking for cost-effective RV windows, both framed or frameless, we highly recommend RecPro windows. While they are not name brand and don’t offer double pane, they are cost-effective and functional. Recpro also offers 5% off to our readers!

Have you noticed how RV windows tend to be curved and not square? Find out why!

Frameless Window Open
This is all the airflow you will get with frameless windows, on the other hand there is not frame in the middle of the view

Are Frameless RV Windows Really Better? 

You’ll get a mix of answers when you ask which window style is better on any RV forum. Some people love them, and some people love to hate them. Those who love them often praise their seamless, dark look with curved edges. Of course, aesthetic reasons aren’t the only reason why many RVers think frameless RV windows are better.

If you’ve ever stayed at a busy campground, you know extra privacy is a huge plus. The tint on frameless RV windows is a major upgrade for extra privacy.

Pro Tip: Give yourself some privacy by installing new window shades. Learn more about What Are MCD Shades? (Hint: Your RV May Have Them).

Remove And Replace RV Frameless Window

How to Choose the Best Windows for Your RV

When picking the right windows for your RV, think about your future RV plans. Do you tend to travel somewhere where it rains a lot or do you try to chase endless summer in sunny, hot climates? Frameless windows work great for fresh air in the rain, whereas framed ones provide better airflow.

Ultimately, you know your RV lifestyle the best and should consider that when selecting the right windows for your rig.

Do you want frameless windows for your RV? Drop a comment below!

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

Cinematography is another of Tom's passions, showcased in his work on the Go North series. You can see his camera skills on display in The RVers TV show on Discovery Channel and PBS where he also stars as a co-host.

Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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Peter Ribbens

Tuesday 5th of March 2024

We value the cross ventilation, a large consideration when purchasing our present MH. We had frameless on our two previous rig, and the ventilation was horrible. Someone figured out a way to make them open a bit further, but not worth the effort, IHMO. I was surprised to see the comments on window damage on frameless windows.

I now see ads for a top cover for the framed windows, which might allow them to remain open in a gentle straight down rainfall.

Tom and Caitlin Morton

Thursday 14th of March 2024

I have been thinking of getting a small awning or cover like that for a few of our windows too! Pros and Cons for sure but I love opening the windows wide too! Helps bring the outside in in a small space.

Steve Felt

Thursday 10th of November 2022

I wish I never got frameless windows. They stick out and when rocks fly by they smash the window to bits and its not easy getting them replaced by RV dealers. Luckily I found a glass shop to replace the windows that have burst on me. Also if the wind blows and you have the big fire escape windows open they will blow up and out too. I want to replace mine with sliding windows but the dealer told me it would cost thousands to replace. So now I have weather strips on the windows edges to ensure they don’t get broken by another rock. Never again will I get these windows.

Raymond

Thursday 10th of November 2022

I like the frameless windows on our 5th wheel except for one thing to look out for when traveling. Because the edge of the glass towards the front of the RV is exposed there is a chance that a rock can fly up and from a passing vehicle and hit that edge shattering the glass. That's what happened to one of our windows when someone was passing us along the highway. Of course this happened in a no passing zone where there is lots of rocks.

Mortons on the Move

Saturday 19th of November 2022

That's a good point! Sorry to hear your window was shattered.

William

Thursday 21st of October 2021

My framed rear window has leaked from day one. Either a poor Lippert part or bad install by TLRV on my Rovelite 14FD camper.