Skylight is one of the great features an RV can offer. It allows us to savor the beauty of nature the world has to offer. A skylight does not just provide the natural lighting you need but also helps in saving much energy during the day. At the same time, it makes your RV illuminated and captivating.
However, your RV skylight cannot last a lifetime. It is vulnerable to damage because of natural adversities that are inevitable such as the wind, rain, UV rays, and snow. Over time, you will ask yourself, “How to Replace an RV Skylight?”
Table of Contents
- Training Series – RV Skylight Replacement
- The Process of Replacing RV Skylight
- What Is an RV Skylight
Training Series – RV Skylight Replacement
It is beneficial to have a skylight in the shower area of your campervan. If you already have one, you may ask yourself, “How do I replace skylight in my RV shower? Below are the things that can help you in replacing your RV skylight quickly. It would help if you have the right tools to be used.
- New Skylight: You will need your new motorhome skylight replacement once your existing skylight has already worn out after years. Determine what type of skylight you want to use this time.
- Safety glasses: As this is also considered a handyman work, it is crucial that you have eye protection if things go uncontrollably.
- Screw and a Screw Gun/Driver: The screwdriver helps you to attach the RV shower skylight replacement by fastening the screw. It is also best if you have prepared extra screws just in case you need them.
- A shear or a putty knife: You will need something sharp to cut or scrape all the old sealant.
- Sealant: This is not an ordinary sealant that you can purchase anywhere; it is best to check the suggested type of sealant to use for your skylight.
- Gloves and a rag: Gloves are needed for safety purposes. You do not want anything wrong to happen to your precious hands, do you? The purpose of the rag is to help you clean all the scrapes and the sealant residue.
- Mineral Spirits: This comes last as it is only optional. Mineral spirits help you to remove the excess sealant conveniently.
The Process of Replacing RV Skylight
Step 1: Decide on the type of motorhome skylight replacement
Before replacing your existing skylight, you should first determine the type of skylight you want to install, whether it’s a fixed, tubular or a ventilated skylight. In addition to this, ensure that you are going to purchase the accurate size.
Step 2: Prepare all the tools needed
To avoid getting interrupted during the process and losing your momentum, check if all the tools needed are all prepared on the roof with you and are reachable. Also, do not forget to wear your protective equipment such as safety glasses and gloves. It is always better to be safe than to regret.
Step 3: Scrape off all old sealants
You may use your scraper, shear, or a putty knife to take away all old sealant. Make sure that the knife you are using is not too sharp. It would be best if you use a plastic knife to avoid damaging the roofing membrane of your camper van.
However, if you find it a bit difficult scraping off the old sealant, you may use a mineral spirit to soften the dry putty to help you take it off conveniently. It is recommended that you dampen a cloth with mineral spirits and not let the substance soak through the roofing membrane.
Step 4: Unfasten existing screws
Scraping off all the old sealants will now make the screws visible. Once they’re seen, you may unfasten the screws with a screwdriver. Moreover, if the old screws are neither damaged nor rusted, you may opt to reuse them. However, if damages or rust are present, it is an excellent choice to purchase new ones.
Step 5: Remove the old skylight
Now that we have removed all the old sealants and the screws holding the old skylight dome, you are now ready to remove it. It would be easier to use your putty knife to help you elevate and loosen the edges of the skylight dome until it gets easier to remove it altogether. Make sure that you are holding the roof skin gently to avoid any tears and slits.
After doing so, you may now continue removing all the sealant residue as much as possible. Ensure that all the corners of the hole where you will place the replacement are cleaned up.
Step 6: Apply the new sealant
Make sure that you double-check and purchase the recommended sealant for your motorhome skylight replacement. Afterward, conceal the screw holes on your roof using the new sealant. Run a single thick drop of the adhesive surrounding the opening of your skylight. Ensure that you are covering all the screw holes.
If you are worried about the irregularity and non-resemblance of the holes of your current skylight to the old one, it is still okay.
Step 7: Place the RV skylight replacement
After doing so, you may now place your RV skylight replacement above the sealant you placed around the holes. Wobble the skylight dome to squash the adhesive and flatten it out. The sealant will then make a bond between the new skylight dome and the roof. Ensure that the replacement is centered on your roof.
Once placed, you can now dig holes to put the screws. Tighten every screw to secure the skylight. Do not tighten it too hard so you will not have any hard time the next time you replace the RV skylight.
Conceal each screw head with a sealant. Lastly, cover the sides of the skylight with an adhesive. This is to avoid the rainwater sipping through inside your RV.
What Is an RV Skylight
An RV Skylight is a panel placed on top of the roof of your RV. It is where the rays of the sun pass through to your RV. Though its primary purpose is to provide natural lighting to the interiors of your camper van, it can also serve as ventilation at times when being opened.
A skylight is essential to confined spaces that do not have many windows, such as the shower and toilet in your camper trailer. It offers the additional luminosity you need. Skylight comes in various sizes and shapes, ranging from the fixed, tubular, to ventilated skylights.
- Fixed Skylights – a skylight panel attached to the roof of your RV that cannot be opened.
- Tubular Skylights – it is a cylindrical-shaped skylight that contains a rooftop lens. The purpose of the rooftop lens is to accumulate all the sunlight and pass it through the reflective tube. There is a diffuser just below the skylight that helps it disperse the light throughout the RV.
- Ventilated Skylights – this is the most common to all RV owners because of its dual purpose. Apart from how it is used as a natural light source, it also provides you the fresh air you need.
Regardless of how much we take care of the skylight or how consistent we are with maintenance, it eventually requires replacement. Make sure that you check from time to time to see if it already requires replacement before it gets too late.
Now that we have established all the necessary tools and the process on how to replace an RV skylight, it’s likely that you can now do it by yourself. However, if things get too difficult for you, it is always best to ask for a helping hand.
Except when sleeping, Arthur cannot keep camping out his mind. He loves RVing that he spends most of his time in his recreational vehicle and on the road. Arthur knows that this might change once he got married to the love of his life, Amanda. But the two have no problem, as Amanda also loves camping. In fact, the both of them are excited to have kids that would also love RVing.