The openers on my 1957 trailer won open the window – the handle just spins. What is wrong, and what can I do?

openers spins trailer window wrong
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The openers on my 1957 trailer won open the window – the handle just spins. What is wrong, and what can I do?

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Crank openers (operators) first appeared in 1955, and the Hehr style of opener lasted until 1965. It was patterned after casement window openers, but they had a weak link. The gears were cast from soft pot metal, and by turning the wrong way with the window closed, or opened against a resistance, they are easy to strip the teeth off the gears. Replacement is the only option, and generic replacements are available from RV dealers/suppliers, such as Vintage Trailer Supply. See this restoration topic for more info.