Build Guides

9 Simple Steps To Fit A Bonded Camper Van Window With Confidence

There are several questions you may be asking yourself if you’re thinking about fitting a camper van window

“Can I do this myself?”

“What if I make a mistake?”

“Isn’t it super scary to cut a hole in the side of my van?”

“Shall I just let a professional do it?”

Before installing our camper van window, these were the questions on our minds, too.

But once we’d figured out what we needed to do; which were the right tools for the job and that all we needed was a little more confidence, we thought “Heck, yeah! We can do this!”

The inside panel of a T5 where the camper van window will go
Without a doubt, the scariest moment for us was cutting that first hole through the side panel. But however daunting that first cut may be, after that everything afterwards seems like a walk in the park.

And we to give that confidence to you, so you can install your own bonded camper van window.

We’ve broken down the whole process of fitting a bonded window into just 9 steps. Not only that, but we’ve compiled tables of all the tools you might need.

In addition, we’ve got all your safety measures and preparations covered as well as our tried and tested hints and tricks.

A man peeking out of a hole cut out of the side  of a camper van

If you don’t want to install a glass window, or if you want to know when it’s best to put windows into your camper, give these posts a read:

A Definitive Guide To Campervan Windows: Everything You Need To Know

5 Stages To Completing Your Campervan Conversion

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you make a purchase after clicking one, we may earn some commission. This pocket money will help Vandercamp Adventures continue to grow at no extra cost to you. It’s a win win situation!! Learn More…

Camper Van Window Installation Tools

Bear in mind that these things are not specifically used for installing windows, they can be used throughout your camper conversion build. So, we’ve included a column detailing their other uses.

Essential tools

ProductDescriptionOther uses
Tape measure5m tape measure- Essential tool for use throughout the van build.
Metal files9" 3 pack file set- Filing cut out ventilation holes.
- Filing any protruding bolts and screws.
Plastic hammerSoft-faced 16oz hammer- Installing cladding.
- Making wooden drawers
Window suckerSuction cup lifter- Installing solar panels on the roof.
- Can be used as a handle for accessing the roof.
Sealant gunSealant/mastic gun- Installing and sealing a sink.
- Sealing the edge of the flooring and around the kitchen worktop.
- Sticking wooden battons to the walls, flooring and ceiling.
Work benchFolding work station- Resting tools and materials on.
- Cutting wooden battens and sheet materials.
Wire woolMedium grade steel wool- Prepping wood ready to paint or oil.
- Cleaning any metal for painting.
Adjustable pliersWater pump pliers/Adjustable pliers 8"- Prising open window cutout for U trim to fit.
- Removing nails and screws.
- Plumbing.
- Mechanical jobs

Power Tools And Accessories

ProductDescriptionOther uses
Jigsaw800 watt electric jigsaw: Need higher watt for more powerful jobs.- Essential tool for a camper conversion.
- Cut wooden batterns, wood sheets, metal and plastic.
- Perfect for cutting cladding
Jigsaw blades20 piece jigsaw blade set - metal, wood and plastic- Cutting out ventilation holes.
- Fine teeth ideal for cutting cladding.

DO NOT BUY CHEAP BLADES - They can be less reliable and may break easily.
Cordless combi drillBosch 18volt combi drill with 2x batteries.- Essential tool
- Drilling pilot holes in wood.
- Used as a battery screwdriver.
Holesaw 20mm multi material holesaw- Cutting sheet metal, wood and plastic.
- Ideal for cutting holes for gas pipes, water pipes and electric cables.
Holesaw set (low budget)13 piece holesaw set
- Cutting sheet metal, wood and plastic.
- 76mm hole saw is perfect for gas drop out vents.
- Ventilation holes through the metal panels.
- Sink and shower drain holes.
- Heater exhaust hoses.
- Cutting holes for installing pipework and electrical wiring.
Holesaw set (high budget)13 piece holesaw set
- Cutting sheet metal, wood and plastic.
- 76mm hole saw is perfect for gas drop out vents.
- Ventilation holes through the metal panels.
- Sink and shower drain holes.
- Heater exhaust hoses.
- Cutting holes for installing pipework and electrical wiring.


Degreaser Heavy duty degreaser 5ltr- Prepping metalwork for adhesive and painting.
Cloth/wipesBIG WIPES scrub and clean 100pk- Cleaning up any glue, sealant, paint and other stains. As well as the hands.
Masking tapeMasking tape 50mm x 50m- Marking out the cuts for the vent holes.
- Marking wood.
Dust sheetCotton 12' x 9'- Protect the dashboard and seats from dust.
- Catch wood and metal cuttings.
Dust sheet rollPolythene dust sheet roll 50m x 2m- Protect the dashboard and seats from dust.
- Protect areas from paint, oil and glue spillages.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

ProductDescriptionOther uses
Safety glasses Grade F low energy impact.
Clear and anti-scratch.
- General use of hand tools.
- Protection from screws, materials and dust from cutting wood or metal.
- Comfortably wear them all day.
Safety goggles
Grade B medium energy impact - Grinding metal.
- Cutting wood with an electric circular saw.
- Better protection from wood cuttings and dust.
Ear defendersComfort ear defenders 27db- When using a jigsaw to cut wood or metal.
- Drilling metalwork or wood.

BONUS! - You're less likely to be bothered or disturbed by nosy neighbours when wearing them.
GlovesNitrile foam coated genral use gloves- Essential PPE for every stage of the camper conversion.
- Help to grip when lifting heavy items.
RespiratorP3 half face dust mask respirator.

- Protect against fine dust particles like sawdust and metal dust when cutting.

NOTE - Not suitable to protect against organic vapurs and gases caused from paints and aerosols. Filters with an 'A' rating are required.


These items relate to the optional steps we have included in the build guide. We didn’t use them, but they may be helpful to you.

ProductDescriptionOther uses
Angle Grinder240v mains powered,115mm, 900w- Cutting roof ventilation holes
- Installing underslung gas and water tanks
- Cutting protruding screws and bolts.
Grinder disk:
Metal cutting disks x5 - 115mm x 4 1/2"

Any metal cutting

NOTE - DO NOT BUY UNBRANDED, CHEAP DISCS. They can be less reliable and break easily causing safety issues.
Metal drill bitBosch 5mm HSS (High speed steel) metal drill bit- Drilling holes in wood, metal and plastic.
- Used for cutting ventilation holes in the van.
Metal drill bit setBosch HSS (High speed steel) drill bit set - piece19 - Essential camper conversion drill accessorie tool.
- Drilling holes in wood, metal and plastic.

Our Bonded Camper Van Window

The camper van window we installed in Vandercamp was a bonded, sliding window from Camper Glass.

We chose it because:

  1. The window opens easily by sliding the glass.
  2. It can be left open while driving to let more air in on hot days, which isn’t possible with outward opening windows.
  3. The glass has a tint of 80%, allowing us to admire the view from the inside while stopping anyone peeping in.
  4. It’s one of the least expensive window options available – ideal if you’re on a low budget like we were.
  5. Available as a complete kit so it’s ready to install.
  6. Tempered Safety Glass – E marked to meet strict European standards
VW T5 Transporter Driver Side Tinted Sliding Window, + FIT KIT + U TRIM
A sliding glass bonded window from Camper GlassRubber trim for a bonded campervan windowFitting kit for a bonded camper van window
Passenger Side Opening WindowWindow U-TrimFitting Kit

Camper Glass windows come in different sizes depending on your van. The window we installed is specifically made for a VW T5, meaning it perfectly fits the panel.

No matter what size van you’ve got, you’ll be able to find a camper van window to fit perfectly. Camper Glass have a wide range of windows to fit most types of vans.

You can then follow these instructions to install it!

Time and Cost

Like any building project, installation time will depend on your DIY knowledge and experience as well as your confidence in using the correct tools.

The cost involved will also depend on how many tools and DIY bits and bobs you already own.

We were lucky because Jolly is an experienced electrician and all-around amazing DIY-er.

Because of this, he has an array of hand tools, power tools and building work accessories, as well as a wealth of practical knowledge and experience.

Therefore, we only needed to buy the window, fitting kit and specific tools for the job (e.g. hole saw, window sucker, rust paint and degreaser).

Our total cost = £180.00

Remember, any tools you buy can also be used for other stages in the build, so the cost will be spread out over the entire camper conversion.  

And at the end of your conversion, you’ll have a handy tool kit to keep in the camper.

Our total timescale = Half a day

Allow a full day to fit the camper van window (with an additional 24 hours for the bond to set). You may not need this long, but it’s better to allow yourself more time so you can go steadily and do the job properly.

Although we set aside a whole day, we got everything finished in about half that time. This is because we’d organised our step-by-step guide and knew what we were doing at every stage.

Safety And Caution

Camper Van Window Installation PPE

When you’re using (or near someone using!) any kind of power tool it is important that you protect yourself with the right PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

The PPE required for installing a bonded camper van window: goggles, ear defenders, mask and gloves

A jigsaw and grinder can be dangerous if not used correctly because the blade or disk can break. If you’re not properly protected, this could cause a serious load of ouch!

Using the correct PPE will protect yourself and others around you. See the table above listing the items we used.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

This one’s pretty self-explanatory, to be honest!

Take your time and measure everything super carefully, so you can cut with confidence. Don’t go at it like a bull at a gate and end up making silly mistakes.

Because when you’re cutting into the side of your van, even a silly mistake is actually a whopper of a mistake!

A sign that says cutting is more fun than measu...


Create A Work Area

It’s a good idea when carrying out any building project to set up a working area. A pop-up workbench, a table or even just a sheet on the floor will work fine.

Hand tools with cups of tea and biscuits in preparation for fitting a camper van window

Your work area should include all the tools and materials (and biscuits!) you’ll need.

That way, everything is there for when you need it; you don’t need to stop what you’re doing to rummage through a toolbox or a shed to find what you need.

Next, unbox the glass and check the fitting kit contents is complete, otherwise you’re not fitting a camper van window today!

Window Installation Preparations

The ideal environment for installing a window is somewhere that’s dust-free and dry. Dusty, wet or damp conditions can reduce the effectiveness of the primer and adhesive when they are being applied.  

We installed our window on a driveway, so we had plenty of space to lay out our tools and materials, and to move around. The conditions were still, dry and warm, perfect van window fitting weather, if that’s even a thing.

Protect the area with dust sheets. If you’re working on a gravel driveway it’s a good idea to put a sheet down to catch any bits of metal that will otherwise get lost.

Use a degreaser to clean the area of the van where the window is to be installed. This will remove contaminants and surface oils which can affect the primer and adhesive bond.

9 Step Bonded Camper Van Window Installation

This detailed, step by step guide documents how we installed our camper van window. Some sections have slightly different methods of installation, but the end result is the same.

For that reason, we’ve included alternative and optional steps so you can choose whichever one works best for you.

We must emphasise how important it is to read this step by step guide thoroughly before you begin! In fact, read it twice, just to be sure.

Actually, read it three times!

The steps can be followed as you work but it’s important to be familiar with them so you have an idea about what’s coming next.

A labelled picture showing that the bonded window will be located on the side panel of the camper van

STEP 1: Measure And Mark Out

A benefit of installing a Camper Glass window is they require little marking out. This is because they are designed to fit a specific panel on a van, so there’s no positioning work or templates required.

Panel van walls are constructed of a single skin outer layer, with additional support struts and a strengthening beam. The outline of the support struts is where you’ll cut. So your ‘marking out’ has already been done!

A labelled picture showing location of the support beams on the side panel of the camper van

However, it’s still a good idea to trace this line with a pen, so you’ve got a solid line to follow when cutting out.

A labelled picture showing where to cut out the panel for a bonded camper van window

If you don’t choose a Camper Glass window, other window designs may require a template to be made (most manufacturers provide a cut-out template).

Place the window on a piece of card, draw around it and cut it out. Then, use this template to see where the window will be best suited and to outline the cut-out area.

STEP 2: Cut Out The Panel

Don’t worry if you don’t have much jigsaw or metal cutting experience!

Luckily, the cut doesn’t need to be perfectly straight so the odd wobble will be hidden.

But don’t throw caution to the wind! Still cut slowly and steadily, making sure to cut as close to the line as possible.


However, if you do stray off the cut line, start cutting again from a different location, as the jigsaw will try to follow the incorrect line.

  • 2:1 – Drill a pilot hole in each corner of the area to be cut out with the 20mm (or larger) holesaw. This will allow the jigsaw blade to fit through to start cutting.
6 pilot holes in the side panel of a camper to allow the jigsaw blade to cut out the panel where the camper van window will go.
  • 2:2 – With the jigsaw, start cutting from the inside along the edge of the panel and the drawn outline.


Use a fine metal bit and start slowly to get it started. Do not force the blade as it could snag and snap.

A man using a jigsaw blade to cut out the panel where the camper van window will go.

Alternative Step #2:2

  • 2:2 – From the inside, drill small pilot holes along the outline. Then, from the outside draw a line joining the dots (holes) and cut out with the jigsaw.

This method will result in a less smooth cut line because of small bumps where the pilot holes were drilled; also, drilling holes through metal can push out the hole edge, causing sharp points.

If the jigsaw blade catches and pops out of the line, it could damage the paintwork. The same goes when cutting from the inside but damage to the interior walls is less concerning because they will be covered.

Alternative Step #2:2

  • 2:2 – Using a small angle grinder, cut along the outline.

A small grinder can be used to cut out the hole. However, grinders create sparks so could cause damage to the paintwork and surrounding area.

Ideally, you need some experience using a grinder because if you slip or the wheel ‘grips’, it could cause damage to the paintwork, body of the van and worse, to you.

  • 2:3 – Be aware of any panel supports. They’re thicker and therefore harder to cut through.
A labelled picture showing location of the panel support piece in the side panel of the camper van

Alternative Step #2:3

  • 2:3 – Cut through the panel supports with a grinder.

This is optional because an angle grinder creates sparks and can be dangerous to use in confined spaces (inside the van).

  • 2:4 – Do not cut all the way to the next corner pilot hole. Leave about an inch to cut at each corner as this helps to remove the cut-out piece safely.
A labelled picture showing how to cut around the pilot holes with the jigsaw blade to cut out the panel where the camper van window will go.
  • 2:5 – From the outside, either tape the nearly cut-out piece in place or use a second pair of hands and a window sucker to hold it while you complete the cuts.
  • 2:6 – Remove the cut-out piece carefully – it will be very sharp so watch out!
A piece of cut out camper to make room for the camper van window.
  • 2:7 – The Jigsaw blade will be hot, so make sure it is put down in a safe place.
  • 2:8 – Get into the van to admire the new “view”.
A lady pretending to use a a window suction lifter as a telephone
  • 2:9 – It’s a good idea at this point to lift the window into position to see if it ‘fits’ with the cutout area.
  • 2:10 – Trim any major sticky-out bits with the jigsaw. This will be trickier than cutting straight lines and the blade is more likely to snap. This doesn’t need to be perfect, as the window and rubber U trim will hide most wobbles.

STEP 3: Protect Your Hole

Careful now! The cut-out edge will be sharp

  • 3:1 – Using the metal file, file the freshly cut metal edge to remove any sharp points, as these can cut into and damage the rubber U trim you’re applying next.
Filling the rough edges of the camper where the how has been cut for the window


Wire wool can be used to clean the metal edge for the paint to adhere better.

  • 3:2 – Clean up any metal fillings and degrease the cut edge; degreasing will remove any grease, contaminants and moisture to help the paint bond with the metal.
  • 3:3 – Paint the cut metal edge with metal paint (make sure it’s all covered) and allow it to dry, This is an invaluable step because any unprotected exposed metalwork will rust over time.

STEP 4: Install The Rubber Trim

  • 4:1 – The trim is a U shaped piece of rubber that goes over the cut metal edge. It gives a nice clean finish and covers up any sharp metal.
A black piece of u trim for the edge of the camper van window


If the temperature is cold, the rubber trim might be stiff. Place it in a bucket of warm water to soften it up. Ensure it is dry before fitting, otherwise, this moisture could get between the metal panel layers.

  • 4:2 – Starting at the bottom centre of the cut edge, push the trim over the metal. Continue until you end up back at the start.
  • 4:3 – If the trim is difficult to fit by hand, use a plastic hammer to gently tap it into place. Alternatively, if it’s loose, you can prise the inner panel out a bit with some pliers or grips or add some silicone to hold it in place.
  • 4:4 – Make sure the U-trim is pushed tightly into the corners and trim off any excess with a knife.


The join needs to be at the bottom of the window to prevent any water or moisture from getting inside the U-trim. If the join was at the top or on the side, water could get in, run down inside the trim where it would sit and eventually cause rust to the metal panel.

STEP 5: Prepare To Install

  • 5:1 – Remove the glass from its packaging (if you’ve not already done so) and place face down onto a flat, protected surface.
  • 5:2 – Accurately measure the outside edge of the glass and mark it onto the van with masking tape.
  • 5:3 – The area inside the tape is where the window will bond to the van.
A diagram showing where to apply the bonding to stick the new camper van window.
  • 5:4 – Clean and degrease the inside outer edge of the glass.

STEP 6: Primer Application

The primer will seal, protect and prep the surface to be bonded. It also creates a better adhesive surface.

  • 6:1 – Wearing gloves and using the applicator provided, apply the black body primer to the panel where the window will sit (inside the taped area).
Black edges where the bond primer has been applied to the campervan
  • 6:2 – Apply the same primer to the inside outer edge of the window that will be in contact with the van.
  • 6:3 – Make sure you apply an even coat of primer.
  • 6:4 – Leave to dry. It is touch dry within minutes, but we waited about 30 minutes to be sure. This is a good point to stop, put the kettle on and have a little breather.

STEP 7: Bond Adhesive


The bond adhesive is strong, sticky stuff. It’s similar to silicone but thicker and stickier.

If it gets anywhere it shouldn’t remove it immediately before it dries. Once it has dried, it can be scraped off with some elbow grease and strong adhesive remover will be needed to get it off your paintwork.

  • 7:1 – Before the bond adhesive is applied, make sure the window is ready to be lifted into place. Once the bond is applied, you’ll need to fit the glass straight away.


Apply the window sucker, open the window and wear rubber/washing up gloves. These will all give you extra grip so you don’t drop the window. And you’ll look gorgeous in your Marigold gloves!

  • 7:2 – Using the sealant gun, apply a 10mm thick ‘worm’ like line around the edge of the U-trim where it meets the van metal.
  • 7:3 – Continuing, apply the bond to the van panel, leaving a minimum of 15mm to the edge of where the window will be.
Diagram showing that the adhesive for the bonded window needs to be a minimum of 15mm away from the edge of the window.
  • 7:4 – When the window is fitted, the adhesive will squash down increasing its surface area. If the adhesive is applied too close to the outer edge of the window, the adhesive will spill over.
Diagram showing that the adhesive needs to be along side the u-trim for the bonded window.

STEP 8: Install The Bonded Window

Glass windows can be heavy, especially when trying to hold them in place. Don’t be a hero and attempt it on your own; get some help for this next part!

  • 8:1 – Camper glass windows fit into the groove of the panel. So, make sure there’s an even gap around the edge when fitting.
  • 8:2 – Without touching the primed area of the window, lift the glass, making sure it’s the right way up and has the correct side facing out.
  • 8:3 – Hold the window close to where it’s being fitted and align it without touching the adhesive.
A couple holding their camper van window in place while it bonds to the metalwork.
  • 8:4 – When you are confident it’s in the right place, LIGHTLY push the window onto the adhesive.
Labelled picture showing the correct placement of a bonded campervan window.
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


The window can be WIGGLED, very slightly, once it is applied. However, be aware that once its on, it’s on. SO DON’T PUSH TOO HARD JUST YET.

  • 8:5 – When you’re happy it’s in the right position, lightly apply pressure to the opposing edges (E.g. Top and bottom, sides and corners). This makes sure you get an even bond.
Labelled picture showing where to apply pressure on a bonded campervan window when it's first put into place.
  • 8:6 – Tape the window into place. The glass will hold by itself but will slide if not taped.
Gaffa tape holding the campervan window in place so it doesn't slip as the bonding is curing.
  • 8:7 – From inside, check the rubber U-trim is still in place and hasn’t been pushed out by the bond. If it has, lightly tap it back into place using the plastic hammer.
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


The window will take 3 hours to cure and dry. However, to be safe, it is recommended not to use the van or get the window wet for 24 hours.

STEP 9: Clean And Finish

  • 9:1 – While the adhesive is curing, give the glass and outer bodywork a thorough clean with a cleaning spirit to remove any primer, bond and dirty fingerprints.
A DIY bonded campervan window
  • 9:2 – We applied a small amount of left-over bond (silicone can also be used) between the U-trim and glass on the inside of the window. Overkill maybe, but we wanted to prevent any water from going where it’s not welcome. Also, we don’t like any waste.
  • 9:3 – Now sit inside and admire the “view” through the window you have cleverly installed!
Inside a DIY campervan conversion, looking at a view through the bonded camper van window.


Once our camper van window was installed, it completely transformed the feel of our van. Rather than a dark metal box, it was now full of light and air. It immediately transformed the van and started to feel like a proper campervan.

Doing it ourselves gave us a feeling of pride and accomplishment. This confidence spurred us on to tackle other tricky parts of our camper conversion ourselves.

By following this 9 step guide, along with all the helpful tips and guidance, you too will be able to install a bonded camper van window with confidence.

So gather your tools, set up your working area and put your safety specs on.

Are you ready for this?

Heck yeah, you are!

Next Step: 5 Stages To Completing Your Campervan Conversion

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