When you spend any amount of time traveling on the open road in an RV, a loud bang can bring sudden feelings of panic and dread to everyone in the rig. A quick check of your surroundings and you'll quickly see that the reason for that sound was that a rock hit and cracked the windshield. While this can be stressful, you feel relieved that it's not a blown tire or a problem with the motor. If your RV windshield is cracked, here's what you should do:

1. Tape It Up

As soon as it's safe to do so, pull over and tape the inside and outside of the window where the crack is. Depending on the size of the rock and how hard it hit the glass, you may have an indent or even a hole at the center of the impact, with spider cracks radiating outwards in all directions. When taping the cracks, make sure you cover every crack, no matter how small it is. Doing this will prevent dirt and debris from making it more difficult to repair the windshield, and it will help stop the cracks from growing larger.

If you don't have any durable tape handy, like clear packing tape or duct tape, don't panic. By law, windshields must be made with 2 pieces of laminated safety glass bound with a plastic sheet in the middle to ensure it can hold up to incidents like this. There is no risk of the glass imploding or falling apart, unless you are involved in another impact accident before the windshield is repaired.

2. Contact You Insurance Company Or Agent

Call your insurance company or agent to find out if you have windshield repair and/or replacement coverage on your RV insurance policy. Some companies provide this coverage free of charge with a zero deductible, while for others it's an add-on rider. Each state also has its own laws concerning insurance for windshield repairs and replacements. For example, if you have a Florida RV insurance policy with comprehensive coverage, the Florida state law mandates that a deductible can't be charged for windshield repairs and replacements.

Before you put a claim in, check the prices of parts and labor to replace the type of windshield you have on your RV and compare it with your insurance deductible, if you have one. In some cases, the cost of replacing an RV windshield is cheaper than your insurance deductible, making it not worth filing a claim.

3. Contact A Glass Contractor

Once you reach your next destination, it's time to call the glass company. If you're filing a claim with your insurance company, they will give you the contact information for their windshield replacement contractor or company in that area. If you are not going through your insurance, then you can call any local windshield replacement company or glass contractor. If you're having trouble locating a glass company, call the nearest RV dealership for assistance.

Tell the glass company your situation, provide information about your windshield, and answer any other questions they may have about your RV and windshield. They will then set an appointment for you to bring your RV to their shop to have the windshield replaced. It's always a good idea to call several different glass companies and get an estimate to make sure you get a good deal.

4. Fix It Here Or There

When setting up the appointment to have your RV windshield replaced, you may have the option of having the glass company come to you, or for you to drive your RV to them. Of course, if the crack is extensive and in your line of site, you'll want them to come to you. While the glass company may say that it can take about 4 hours to complete the windshield replacement, in most cases it only takes about an hour. But you should always be prepared for the unexpected, so give yourself plenty of time.

As you can see, there is no need to panic if a rock hits your RV windshield, because now you know exactly what to do. While you should get the windshield fixed as soon as you can, it is possible to drive hundreds or even thousands of miles with a cracked windshield. Of course, this is only when the crack isn't in the driver's line of vision. If it is in your line of vision, it's illegal in most states to keep driving, so you'll want to get it fixed immediately. 

For more information, contact a local windshield replacement company like Central Glass