Don’t fancy travelling around in a dark and stuffy box? Then you’re going to need some campervan windows! Installing windows creates natural light and ventilation, helping to keep the air in your camper cool, fresh and airy.
And even if you don’t mind living in darkness, but want to re-register your camper with the DVLA (either as a “motorhome” or a “van with windows”) then you’ll need windows to meet the criteria.
This post will cover the pros and cons of the most common campervan windows as well as looking at some unusual and alternative options.
When is it best to install a campervan window during your camper conversion? Find out in our 5 Stage Build Guide.
The reviews on the sliding bonded glass window and the hinged polyvision window are based on our own experiences. For other windows, we asked other vanlifers for their honest reviews and opinions.
Don’t have time to read the full article? That’s okay! Here’s a simplified overview of the windows you might choose for your conversion, with their main pros and cons.
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|Window Type||Material||Main Pro||Main Con|
|Bonded||Glass||Sits flush with the metalwork||Single glazed|
|Acrylic||Polyplastic||Double glazed||Stick out|
|Polyvision||Polyplastic||Double glazed||More expensive|
|Sliding||Polyplastic/Glass||Good for stealth camping||Risk of rain invading|
|Hinged||Polyplastic||Double lock internal arms||Breaks up the lines of your camper|
|Fixed||Glass||Generally the cheapest option||Can't open the window|
Table of Contents:
Common Campervan Windows
These three types are the most commonly used campervan windows. Bonded windows are made from glass, while acrylic and polyvision windows are made from polyplastic.
All three categories of windows have been designed specifically for camper vehicles, and therefore comply with European safety standards, as long as you buy from a reputable dealer.
All three have inside locks, although acrylic and polyvision windows both have double locking arms, as well as the ability to lock in place while slightly open, meaning you can’t open them further from the outside.
Bonded Campervan Windows
Bonded (AKA “new style”) windows are made of single glazed glass and bond (glue) directly to the van. They can be quite tricky to fit and some less confident DIY-ers sometimes choose to have them professionally installed.
They sit flush against the metalwork and look like the windows were already fitted when the van rolled off the production line. This makes it less obvious that you’ve adapted your van and is ideal for stealth camping.
Further Reading | 9 Easy Steps To Fit A Bonded Camper Van Window
Acrylic Campervan Windows
Seitz is the leading brand in acrylic campervan windows. They have a light, aluminium frame and thermal/double glazed polyplastic windows. They are simple to install but stick out slightly from the side of the van.
Because they were originally made for motorhomes (which have thicker walls), a wooden frame needs mounting before installing the window on a panel van. The frame creates more depth so the window attaches securely.
Polyvision Campervan Windows
Polyvision windows are very similar to acrylic windows, but they’re a more modern-looking alternative. They’re a lot sleeker and sit much closer to the body of the van.
As with acrylic windows, they need a thick wall to attach securely, so a wooden frame needs fixing in place first. But otherwise, they are very simple to install, as they just clip in place.
Our polyvision window was purchased from Magnum Motorhomes.
They sell some polyvision windows that ‘are not retail packaged or boxed so have some very minor marks from storage‘. Therefore they’re sold at a discounted price.
Common Campervan Window Openings
Hinged campervan windows are only available as acrylic or polyvision, whereas sliding windows are available as acrylic, polyvision and bonded glass.
Alternatively, you could opt for a window that does not open at all, in which case you’d be looking at a fixed, bonded (and therefore glass) window.
Sliding Campervan Window
Further Reading | How To Install A Bonded Window To A Campervan
Hinged Campervan Window
Fixed Campervan Window
See Through VS Tinted
The main difference between having either see-through or tinted windows is light VS privacy. Black (tinted) windows give more privacy, while or see-through windows allow more light to pass through.
If you choose see-through windows, then blinds or curtains can be installed for privacy. On the other hand, if you opt for tinted windows you can choose how heavy you’d like the tint to be.
See Through Windows
Alternative Campervan Window Ideas
But what if you don’t want to install windows in your campervan conversion? Or maybe you want to have something a bit more unusual?
The following windows will all bring something a bit different to your camper conversion. Additionally, there are things like reclaimed windows for larger conversion, but these will be heavy and won’t necessarily be a safe addition.
Skylights cross over into the ventilation realm if you choose one that opens or has a fan. You can read more about skylights and other types of ventilation in our ultimate campervan ventilation guide.
They are better suited to a larger conversation, as there’s more roof space. On a smaller van, they would dominate space that is more useful for a solar panel and additional storage.
Krys and Taylor are based in Ontario, Canada, where the winters are incredibly harsh. They decided not to include windows in their build so they wouldn’t lose any heat. Instead, a skylight was their source of light.
Including portholes will give your camper a cute, quirky look. They definitely add character to camper conversions – especially if you go for a brass-steampunk look!
The window itself is usually made of glass but adds a level of security because even if someone did smash it, there’s not much chance of them fitting through the hole. (Unless they’re with Oliver Twist!)
Dom and Missy’s super colourful Mercedes Sprinter conversion has yellow submarine vibes galore! So in addition to their sliding window, they have portholes for that real submarine feel!
We can almost hear you thinking that you’ve never seen anything like this, in real life at least. And you’re right… this one is rare, especially in the UK. But it’s so cool, we just couldn’t not include it.
It’s a package option for a Chevvy Express, called the “Chevvy Express Access Package”. Instead of windows, the whole side of the van opens up as one great big window. How ace does it look?!
Zach, from the vanual has these amazing windows/opening sides in his van. He told us that it’s quite rare to find used vans with this package installed. In the last two years, he’s only seen four and he bought one of them! Super rare!
And that’s it! Pretty short and sweet, huh?
Campervan windows create natural light and ventilation, helping to keep it bright, fresh and cool in your conversion.
In addition, if you wish to re-register your campervan as either a motorhome or a van with windows with the DVLA, then you’ll need to install windows to meet their criteria.
To find out more about how installing additional windows helps ventilate your campervan, and how they work with other ventilation solutions, read our Ultimate Campervan Ventilation Guide.