As nomads living in tight quarters, we have resolved ourselves to not buy souvenirs OR if we do, they must be really tiny, multifunctional, or be something really special to spark a memory. There have been other things we've picked up along the way but are typically things we consume like food or drink. Sometimes, we will pick up a small, handcrafted items that we either display in our 5th wheel or wear.
Instantly, I fell in love with one of the shop vendor's handcrafted stained glass art. I've always loved stained glass. It reminded me of when I was a little girl staring at the stained glass windows in church; studying every color and the transparent picture.
I noticed he had an array of different window designs leaning against the wall on the floor with a standard RV door window frame right next to it. There were quite a few designs and motifs to choose from.
I bent down to flip through them. There were motifs of every kind; lighthouses, beach scenes, desert scenes, animals, sports team logos, military branches (except Coast Guard - grrrrrrr!), etc.
Being that our RV exterior is white with candy apple red, black and light tan swishy graphics, I kept our color scheme in mind when picking out the perfect stained glass window. It didn't take me long to pull one that caught my breath when I saw it. The colors were vividly perfect and the motif was just what I was looking for; the Arizona desert scape!
Since RVing, we've grown to love the Arizona desert so this was truly speaking to us.
The vendor took the stained glass art and showed how it fit into the RV door window frame perfectly. We agreed to buy it.
After handing the glass artwork to the vendor, I negotiated his price down to $70 cash. He packaged it up to protect it during transport and took it back over the border to our Heartland Landmark for installation.
Dan researched how to install it on YouTube. The morning of installation, Dan laid out a soft blanket on the picnic table and unwrapped our new 'to us from us' gift. It looked so pretty and I was ecstatic when we unwrapped it because the colors in the motif were exact to our exterior colors.
Dan laid his tools out as he always does next to our new window; a screw driver and a new tube of clear silicone. That's it! Below are the installment steps:
Per advice from the YouTube tutorial, he adhered shipping tape to the exterior frame to the door to hold the exterior frame in place while removing the inside frame and the existing frosted glass window. He unscrewed the screws from the inside frame. Dan carefully pulled the inside frame with the frosted glass off. He removed the glass from the frame and set it aside out of the way.
He cleaned out all of the putty-like adhesive substance out of both frames that held the original frosted window in place. He applied a thin bead of silicone in the track of the outside frame (still adhered to the door) where the putty-like adhesive used to be and allowed it set for tack about 3 minutes so it wasn't so slippery and runny when mounting the window and frame. Dan mounted the stained glass into the frame onto the silicone, quickly mounted the frame over the stained glass and screwed in the frame.
We stored the original glass under our mattress wrapped in cardboard just in case our new window breaks or is damaged. We left the door alone; not opening or closing it for a couple hours to allow the silicone to dry. It's a beautiful accent to the outside of our coach, but it's also absolutely gorgeous when the sun shines through it. We have received many compliments on how it looks. This was one souvenir that we didn't mind buying and each time we look through it, it reminds us of the fun we had shopping and picking it out that day.
So, if you're planning a trip across the border to Los Algadones, Mexico, visit the Stain Glass and Lamp Shades Shop:
The Stained Glass and Lamp Shades Shop.
Plaza Alvaro 2nd St. Suite B-68
Los Algodones, BC Mexico.
Not only will you be improving the look of your RV's door, you have a wonderful souvenir that tells a story. And if you're not crossing the border any time soon, it is common to see a stained glass vendor at RV Rally's. Though their prices are double, they are made in the U.S. and are usually made by an RVer. If you're attending a Heartland Owner's Club rally this summer, keep an eye out.