Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthorneUpdated: February 17, 2023

There are many types of RV windows, but most of them open similarly. In general, you will need to open the window by unlatching the locking mechanism and then pushing or pulling the bottom of the window out. Some windows may have a second latch in the middle that needs to be released before you can open the window entirely.

Since there are so many types of windows, we broke them down by type so you can determine how to open your RV windows.

Fixed windows.

These windows are often found in RVs, trailers, and 5th wheels. They are usually made of a single piece of glass that is entirely sealed around the windowsill. That means there is no way to open them, so they are primarily used for viewing purposes. In general, they’re pretty small compared to other types of windows.

Some fixed windows have a small opening at the top that can be opened to allow some air circulation. These windows are generally not meant to be used as an emergency exit or to get fresh air into the RV.

Venting windows.

Venting windows are one of the most common windows found in RVs. They have two parts, the main window, and a smaller venting pane. The venting pane is hinged at the top and can be opened to allow air to circulate even when the central part of the window is closed.

To open a venting window, unlatch the venting pane and slide it open. Be careful not to slam the venting pane open or shut, as this could damage the window.

Picture windows.

These larger windows are often found in the front of the RV or slideouts. Picture windows are similar to fixed windows, but they’re much larger. They usually do not open. However, you may find some with a small opening at the top for ventilation.

Picture windows are great for taking in the views, but they do not provide much ventilation. If you’re looking for a window that will allow you to get some fresh air into your RV, picture windows aren’t the best option.

Sliding windows.

Sliding Glass Window for an RV
Sliding windows typically have a screen and can open either up/down or left/right.

These are similar to the venting windows, but instead, the entire window slides open from one side. Sliding windows are a great option if you want to maximize the ventilation in your RV.

To open a sliding window, unlatch the lock and then slide the window open. Make sure that the lock is securely latched when you close the window so that it does not accidentally open while driving.

These provide great views and the best ventilation of all the window types.

Awning windows.

Opened Awning Window on a 5th Wheel
Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outward from the bottom.

These windows are hinged at the top and open outward from the bottom. They usually have a hand crank that is used to open and close them. Some do not have a crank but instead open with gas struts. These windows are great for ventilation because they can be opened a little bit or all the way, depending on your needs.

To open an awning window, first, unlatch the lock. Sometimes the cranking type does not have a lock. Then crank the handle to open the window. For ones with gas struts, just unlatch the bottom and push outward. You can adjust how far the window opens by how much you crank the handle or how far you push.

Exit/Egress windows.

RVs must have at least one exit/egress window that campers can use in an emergency. Depending on the size of the RV, there may be more than one.

These windows are usually larger and have a simple locking mechanism that you can open from the inside. Some may also have a second, smaller latch in the middle. This latch needs to be released before you can open the window entirely. Generally, you will lift on the locking arm and swing the arm outward, which will force the window to open.

Most RV exit and egress windows do not open, well, at least not for ventilation purposes. They’re a one-time open window. That means if you open it, it will fall out of place. And if it’s intact after crashing to the ground, they’re a pain to put back in.

Now that you know how to open your RV windows, you can enjoy the fresh air and views during your camping adventures. Be sure to close the windows when you’re done using them (especially when you’re driving) to keep the bugs out and the wind from blowing through your rig.


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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