After months of off-roading in our truck camper, the Dometic Seitz windows in our camper were looking pretty rough. Desert scrub and tree limbs had taken their toll with numerous scratches running horizontally along the length of our windows. We love the Dometic Seitz window. We gave it our highest rating, five stars, in a comprehensive 2016 review. The enclosed sunshade and screen along with the dual thermopane insulation make it the perfect window for our travels. Without a doubt, the biggest con associated with the acrylic window is its proclivity to become scratched. Over time, these scratches can become unsightly and can ruin the views from inside the camper. Nobody likes a scratched window.
With some free time in our schedule during the COVID-19 quarantine, we decided to give our windows a good polishing. Rather than use Meguire’s acrylic polish, which is what we normally use, we decided to pull out the “big guns” and use Dometic’s window polish and cleaner (older stock still carries the Seitz name). Available primarily in Europe, this cleaning and polishing kit can also be purchased on eBay for around $40 or can be obtained from your truck camper manufacturer. Companies that currently offer the Dometic Seitz window or a close equivalent like Euro Vision or Plastoform include Bundutec, Northstar, Northern Lite, Outfitter, Bigfoot, Nimbl Vehicles, and Lance. Expedition vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. that use the Dometic Seitz window include Earthroamer, Sprinter, EarthCruiser, and Global Expedition Vehicles.
For this job, you’ll need several things. Even though you can do this job by hand, we strongly recommend using either a Dewalt polisher or an 18 volt battery operated rotary drill like those made by Makita. These devices make the job go much faster. In addition to the Dometic window cleaner and polish, we also recommend getting a set of microfiber buffing pads, a buffing wheel to mount on your drill, and a load of microfiber cloths. You’ll also need a small bottle of warm water to keep the polish wet while buffing. Before starting, you’ll also want to remove all jewelry like rings and watches, which can accidentally scratch the windows while working on them (don’t ask me how I know).
First, clean the windows to ensure no dirt is on them. This prevents additional scratches during cleaning and buffing. This step needs to be done by hand. When cleaning use a back and forth motion rather than a circular one to prevent additional scratching. Before cleaning, spray-off all dirt and dust on the the windows using a garden hose and water.
Second, polish the window using a polisher and a good grade of polish like those made by Dometic (Seitz). Using a circular motion here during polishing is obviously fine. Make as many passes with the polish as needed. Keep the polish wet with a spritz bottle, but not too wet. You’ll get a feel as you gain more experience with the process. For deeper, more difficult scratches a heavier grade of polish or compound like Diamond’s might be needed. Make sure this work is done in the shade to prevent the polish from drying out.
Third, remove the glazed polish with warm water and a microfiber cloth then do a final cleaning of the window using the Seitz Window Cleaner and a dry microfiber cloth. Try and keep the microfiber cloths that you use for everything separate. We like to use different color microfiber cloths to help with this entire process (i.e. blue for the initial cleaning, green for the removal of the polish, yellow for the final cleaning of the window).
How do the windows look now? A hundred times better. With several passes on the more troublesome windows, they now look great. Are all of the micro scratches now gone? I’d say most of them. After polishing them, some scratches can still be seen, but these scratches are mostly on the inside. Additional time will be needed to get to these later. In the meantime, we can now enjoy the morning and evening views from the comfort of our dinette.
Of course, it’s best to prevent scratches from occurring in the first place. The best way to do this is to follow the advice of world-renowned overlander and explorer, Gary Wescott. He covers his windows with XPEL TracTape before tackling roads and trails with exceptionally bad vegetation. This will be our Modis Operandi from now on.
II. Basic Acrylic Window Maintenance Tips
No Dometic Seitz window cleaning or polishing job would be complete without also cleaning the exterior frame and rubber seals with 303 Aerospace Protectant. This space-age product makes the frame look great and keeps the rubber window seals soft and supple. Doing this is especially important in hotter climates and in areas with greater amounts of sun like in the American southwest.
If your Dometic Seitz window screens and shades are binding and difficult to operate, especially in cold weather, there’s no need to disassemble the whole window to clean it. All that is needed probably is some RV silicone spray lubricant. Just a few squirts of the liquid in the window’s side tracks should solve the problem. We recommend doing this twice a year to keep the shades and screens freely moving. The struts that lift and hold the window open should be lubricated with this same lubricant as well. If lubrication doesn’t solve the window binding problem, you’ll probably need to disassemble the entire window and do a deep cleaning.
As for the screens, cleaning them is a fairly quick and easy process. Simply take a moistened microfiber cloth and gently wipe the screen, inside and out, using the cloth. Do this as often as is needed, which for us is pretty often, with all of the dirt roads and boondocking that we do.