Materials needed for this project →
- Motion Windows
- The windows come with the adhesive/sealing tape and screws you’ll need for the install
- Metal file to file down the rough edges
- Markal marker to treat the exposed metal
- Regular jigsaw and fine metal blades (24tpi)
- Standard cordless drill and some drill bits
- Painter’s tape to mark off the edges
- Some large pieces of cardboard for the window templates
I’m here for ya.
Seriously! Reach out on Instagram or YouTube with questions.
If you get tired of the words, watch the video instead.
Decide where you want your windows and what size you want.
I was placing my windows over a desk (about 32” off the floor) and over the kitchen ( about 36” off the floor). Both windows would be over a piece of cabinetry but also underneath a shelving unit hugging the ceiling.
After a lot of holding a measuring tape up against the bare metal walls (early in the build process). I decided to order custom width windows through Motion’s ordering process rather than the standard, given widths. I did this due to the unique locations of my windows and the above mentioned cabinets/shelves, as well as the supports in the van wall (I elected NOT to cut through one of the main supports just for an extra inch of window).
The custom ordering process looks a bit confusing but everything came just as I wanted it and fit perfectly!
Create the templates for cutting out the massive scary holes in your beautiful, expensive van…
It’ll be alright, I promise you. I did this with no experience! You can do it.
Grab some large pieces (bigger than your windows) of cardboard, the beauty clamp ring from the Motion Windows and trace the outline of the vertical piece (when it is laying on the ground). If that’s confusing just copy what we are doing in the picture to the left.
Try to be precise here! This is what you will draw onto the van and then follow with your metal-shard-spraying jigsaw so precision here will help make sure you make a good cut.
Trace the outline of your template on the inside of the van.
Be mindful of where you want to place your window in relation to the cabinets / desk / kitchens of your van! I know this sounds obvious…but in my excitement, for the second window, I completely forgot to triple check I was giving room for the 36” tall kitchen and 10” overhanging shelf and very nearly messed up my whole van plan…I ended up getting lucky and cutting the window hole at 38” inches off the floor which just barely fits the kitchen countertop comfortably.
Then, use the radius template provided by Motion to mark the spot where your rounded corners turn into straight lines (those are the points where you will drill holes to insert your jigsaw as well as trace the outline on the outside of the van).
Drill your holes at each marked corner and trace on the outside of the van.
Drill your holes wit ha drill bit large enough to let your jigsaw blade through (I drilled using a 1/2” bit which worked fine). Drill your holes so they end up on the inside of your outline.
Once all the holes are drilled (should be two holes for each corner), go on the outside of your van and connect all of the straight lines using a straight edge and the corners using the radius template.
We also taped a bag on the inside to catch metal filings.
Cut out your holes!
Insert the jigsaw into one of those holes and start cutting.
Just hold the jigsaw steady, go at a speed you feel comfortable with and OH YEAH….wear goggles. Shards will fly. Don’t go blind before you get to hit the road in this beautiful new adventure van, man, comon.
PRO TIP: Cut everything except a 2-inch piece on the top and bottom of the windows in order to keep the piece of metal you’re cutting out from wobbling all around. At the very end, go back and just cut those tiny pieces and the window will fall right out.
File down and treat the rough edges.
After you’ve done a little dry-fit of the beauty clamp ring to make sure everything looks alright, file down the rough edges with a metal file.
Treat the edges by simply running the Markal marker along the cut edge (it should leave a black mark behind just like a sharpie). This thing is amazing. I used this for my shore power hole (further along in the build) and wish I had used it when I cut my hole for the Maxxair fan as well. Highly recommend.
Prep the window and stick that baby in there!
Clean the edges of the windows (and the surface around the hole where you’re about to stick your beautiful window), apply the double sided tape that came with the windows (leaving a 1/2-inch overlap when you complete the full circle), set your beauty clamp rings in the cutouts so they are ready to receive the window, and then stick your window in the opening!
NOTE: the double sided tape will stick to the surface of the van as soon as you set the window in place so try to set it just how you want it before pressing it against the van.
Screw the beauty clamp ring to the window.
There is a small track on the back of the window which is what you’re aiming for when inserting your screws. You are not screwing new holes. You are simply inserting the provided screws through the holes and tightening them so they catch that track and pull the whole window snug acting like a clamp with the metal of the van between the two parts of the window.
Insert and loosely tighten several screws evenly around the clamp ring and then go back and carefully tighten each screw to a satisfactory tightness.
I was incredibly nervous to take this on myself…But alas, here we are and I have two beautiful, perfect Motion Windows in my van!
As I said, I very nearly messed up big time by not measuring three times before cutting the second hole for the smaller window above my kitchen. So, measure and measure again, folks!