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Why Most RV Windows Aren’t Square…Yet

At a recent RV show, we noticed that the windows looked square from the outside. Upon closer inspection, we saw that they were frameless windows that just sit on the RVs outer shell. This got us thinking: Why are most RV windows rounded? Let’s take a closer look at RV windows.

square window in modern RV
Are square windows the future?

Why Most RV Windows Are Rounded

Rounded RV windows aren’t only for aesthetic appeal. However, we like the look they give to the exterior and interior. The primary reason for round RV windows is to make them more durable for life on the road. From an engineering perspective, rounded corners make sense.

Sharp corners in a structure or material lead to stress concentration, which is the accumulation of stress in a localized area. When a load is applied, the stress around a sharp corner is significantly higher than in the surrounding areas. This is because the geometry at a corner does not allow the stress to be distributed evenly. Rounded shapes, on the other hand, allow stress to spread out more uniformly, reducing the likelihood of stress concentration.

uninstalled rv window
Even The Glass Of RV Windows is rounded on the edges

Think of it this way: if the wall of the RV flexes a little, the rigid window will not, and if it’s square, all the force will be applied to the very corner of the window. This could deform the frame or even cause cracks in the glass. Rounded corners will press that force in to the wider area before the curve and distribute the stress around the corner. Stress moves a bit like a fluid in a material and can “bend” around the rounded corner, reducing the chance of damage.

Can RVs Use Squared Windows?

If you love vintage campers, you have probably noticed that many feature square windows. These stark 90-degree-angled windows were once standard practice in the industry. Winnebago’s 1970 Brave is an example of how these windows used to look. 

There are a few examples of more modern RVs with inset squared windows, but they are rare as they require significant frame changes to guarantee no flex that will crack the window.

Avion vintage RV
Vintage motorhomes often come with square windows.

Most modern RV manufacturers use rounded windows because of their benefits. However, more RVs have started using square window glass. These usually are frameless windows, but the glass does not take any of the force of flex as it sits on the outside.

A slight roundedness to the frame might be all that is needed to keep these windows from cracking. This option may be the best of both worlds for someone looking for the aesthetic of a traditional window and the durability of a rounded window.

square window on brinkley
Notice how the square portion of the window sits outside the frame, thus no force is applied to the glass

Pro Tip: If your window seals need a little TLC, use our guide on How to Replace Your RV Window Seals to prevent leaks.

Aesthetic Appeal

While the function will always take precedence, many manufacturers found rounded RV windows had a more aesthetic appeal on the rig’s interior and exterior. Aesthetics will always change. We’ve made many aesthetic changes to our RVs over the years for a more modern look. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the industry seems to be shifting to square windows. We will see where things go and if this new trend will cause problems.

Pro Tip: Join the debate to decide Are Frameless RV Windows Really Better?

rounded RV windows
Apart from the aesthetic appeal, rounded RV windows have better structural integrity than their square counterparts.

Who Makes the Best RV Windows?

There are not a lot of options for manufacturers in RV windows, as Lippert has purchased most of the smaller brands. Lippert, however, is a well-known brand that makes a wide range of RV products in addition to RV windows. The company makes windshields and side windows for each RV type. Lippert makes various windows, including dual pane and frameless options.

Another reliable brand we know for making RV windows is RecPro. RecPro’s windows are imported, but we have had good luck with their products and they offer 5% off for our readers!

Are Square Windows The Future?

It depends on the type of square window. Inset-framed windows probably won’t be changing to square, but as for frameless, you will get to decide by voting with your dollar. If people like the aesthetics of square windows, we are sure the industry will swing in that direction.

RV frame gusset for rounded windows
Even if windows go square, rounded frame gussets will be required to de-stress the window frames as best possible.

Do you prefer rounded or square windows? Tell us in the comments!

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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