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Old 11-16-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
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Skylights, leaks and poor workmanship

I just replaced the skylight on our 2007 Safari. I replaced the original with a Maxim and could not be happier with the quality of the replacement skylight.

I have nothing good to say about the installation of the original. In fact, I have attached some photos that show just how bad the original installation was. I did some minor damage to the skylight in taking it out, but as you can see, every single screw was over driven and cracked the skylight in every hole. Checking inside, there is some evidence of water intrusion, which would explain why we had some small water leaks in various places.

There were three places on the skylight that the screws were broken off during the initial installation..and just caulked and left.

I offer these photos and this thread for those that might be having leaks that they just cannot track down. I suggest that you get on top of your trailer and have a look at the skylight. I will bet that the installation is similar to mine..terrible!
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:56 PM   #2
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We've had leaks too. We took our Airstream to the dealer and they caulked different areas (looks like crap) and told us our skylights were cracked and needed to be replaced. We have indoor storage for the winter, but next spring, we will replace with the Maxims too. How difficult was the process?
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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New ones look better

We have a 2013 25FB (made this April). The skylight material looks like yours, but it appears to be installed with double side tape--no screws. So no cracks from exuberant installers.

Some day I expect the plastic will succumb to UV rays, and then it's be a pain to get the original one off and the tape cleaned up. But we can hope that challenge is years away.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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Beyond me why AS installs crap like this.

Ours were leaking and when I looked to find the cause, I found that almost every screw through the cheap plastic skylight flange had cracks emanating from it in the flange.

Possibly if AS had not tightened the screws so much this might to have happened, but I suspect it still would as the original skylights were brittle and useless.

Since replaced with Maxims - perfect now.

I gather that in their wisdom, AS's solution was to continue using the cheapies, but to use double sided tape instead of screws.


Perhaps it is better - but I have heard of these taped-on ones coming loose and leaking and some owners have resorted to changing them for after market units also.

No doubt the company's bottom line is as important to AS as it is to any other company, but is this any way to achieve the image of being the best RV on the road?

Perhaps that is not their goal.


Brian.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:23 PM   #5
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Check everything on the roof with caulk on it....AS workers have never figured out how to install anything up there.
Notorious for cracking Fantastic vents also, luckily FF replaced both ours under their warranty.

Black tank vent right off the line....

My repair the first week of ownership.

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Old 11-17-2013, 07:17 AM   #6
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To the question of how difficult it was to replace? The labor part of the project is pretty simple. Removal and clean up of the old skylight is time consuming (2 hours) due to the amount of caulk that the factory used on the original. Once cleaned up and ready for installation..simple and easy and no more than an hour to install the Maxim. I used a putty knife, rag and Acetone for the cleanup work.

The only issue on my trailer (07 Safari) is that the distance between the skylight and the air conditioned shroud prevents getting a drill in there to install the screws on the forward side. I used a 90 degree offset drill to do that job (not something that everyone has in the tool bag). Just be sure to look at it and plan accordingly if there is anything that will prevent getting a drill in position to install the self tapping screws into the Maxim. (#10 X 1/14 with rubber gaskets available at Lowes)

I looked at all of the information available here on the air forums before I started the project and found all of the advice to be excellent!
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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I am reading this thread with much interest since I am now in rainy weather and have leaks. Carpet wet around front door area, and sometimes a small puddle on the table of the dining area. Both near the front skylight. A visual inspection from a ladder shows the kind of worn and aged skylight in these pictures. I have a 2001 Classic SO.

So my concern is that crawling and working up on the roof might break loose some of the other old seams up there and cause more leakage even after the skylight if fixed. Should this be a concern? Thanks. Casey.
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Casey View Post
I am reading this thread with much interest since I am now in rainy weather and have leaks. Carpet wet around front door area, and sometimes a small puddle on the table of the dining area. Both near the front skylight. A visual inspection from a ladder shows the kind of worn and aged skylight in these pictures. I have a 2001 Classic SO.

So my concern is that crawling and working up on the roof might break loose some of the other old seams up there and cause more leakage even after the skylight if fixed. Should this be a concern? Thanks. Casey.

I don't think it should be a concern. Just stay on the rivet lines.

I went up on our roof and gooped up all the cracks in our original skylight flanges that were leaking with a clear flexible sealant (Storm King) and it did stop the leaks. But shortly thereafter I decided to do things right and replaced the skylights with the Maxim ones.

Brian.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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Here's a long thread about bad skylights and replacing with Maxim. I bought a replacement kit from a reputable online vendor but when I saw the Maxims I skipped the halfway step and ordered Maxims and had vinnie install them. They are great and no more worries about skylight leaks. They also cut down a lot on heat transfer. - Brad
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f455...hts-53517.html
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #10
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OK, thanks for the good replies. Since I am on the road I think I will go the goop up the old skylight route for now, and when time allows replace both of them with the great looking Maxims. Casey.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:55 AM   #11
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Do you have any pics of post installation?
I'm curious what specifications the new skylight had.
Was there a certain level of tinting requested? What were the options? Is this an expensive repair?

I am asking because I am anticipating this project next year.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
Do you have any pics of post installation?
I'm curious what specifications the new skylight had.
Was there a certain level of tinting requested? What were the options? Is this an expensive repair?

I am asking because I am anticipating this project next year.

Here is a link to their website - there is a section on Airstream trailer applications.

Products - Maxim SkylightMaxim Skylight


They did have a couple of pictures of our trailer on there at one time - not sure if still there.

The skylight uses a substantial welded aluminum frame and the skylight itself is three layers of polycarbonate - not acrylic - relatively hail proof.

If I recall, it cost us maybe $450 total for the two skylights. I arranged to pick them up in Dallas on our way home from Arizona, otherwise there would have been a substantial crating and shipping charge.

Installation was a breeze, most of the work is in cleaning away all the old caulking and bits of broken plastic skylight flange.

There is a choice of anodized aluminum finishes and different tints - you can select what you want for each layer.

If I recall, I went with top layer bronze then two layers clear - we still wanted to get a fair amount of light in.

Very happy with the results in every respect.

Brian.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:30 PM   #13
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i went with Bronze/clear/clear. Folks in the SW will commonly go with bronze/bronze/clear due to their intense sun..but it is pretty dark with 2 bronze layers.

IIRC, it was about $420 for both skylights on my classic and a snap to install. Very nice quality with Maxim, and they are familiar with AS sizes and fitment.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #14
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We got white frosted / clear for more even light over the longest period of time during the day.
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