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Old 03-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #1
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
Petaluma , California
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Maxim Skylight install on a fiberglass motorhome

Many Airstreamers have found (or will find) that Airstream uses an inferior quality skylight on their RVs for some reason. Mine is no exception. Fellow Airforums member Airslide identified the problem immediately at the beginning of winter during an inspection of our motorhome. (You can see some of his work here). He suggested that I contact Maxim Skylights for a replacement that will likely outlast the motorhome. I dragged my feet on this issue. I then experienced some terrible leaking occurring during a recent heavy rainfall.

So a couple of weeks ago I contacted David Thornton at Maxim Skylights to see if they offered something for a roof lacking a curb to mount their skylight to. I'm not too sure, but it looks like Airstream trailers have a curb on their roofs for the skylight to mount on top of. David suggested a low profile self flashing skylight in white powder-coat to match my white roof. I emailed him some photos of the skylight along with the measurements.


The skylight arrived last week and looks impressive. I was able to select bronze polycarbonate domes which should keep most of the light out. We do a lot of traveling along I-5 in the summer heat and we just don't need all the extra sun in our motorhome most of the time.







It's a bit taller than the one its replacing, but it's right behind my front A/C unit so the wind won't bother it.



I placed an order with Best Materials for a roll of EternaBond tape, EternaPrime primer and a steel seam roller. I already have a cleaner equivalent to EternaClean so I didn't need that. As soon as these supplies arrive, I will get to work and update this thread.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:45 PM   #2
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
Petaluma , California
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Work in Progress Update

The weather cleared up a bit and I received my supplies from Best Materials.


I used an oscillating tool with a flexible scraper blade to get off all the years of sealant off. I could see where problems were covered up with Dicor in the past when repairs should have been made first. A few of the screws were so rusted and corroded that they resembled rusty nails more than old screws.



Then I cleaned it up all the way. More scraping, then some chemical cleaner (of which I forgot the name of right now).



Then goes down a bead of Dicor



Then I got some pilot holes drilled and mounted the skylight and put most of the screws in. You can see that the footprint of the Maxim Skylight is a bit smaller than the factory skylight. I'll to pick up some shorter screws for some of the areas near metal electrical boxes.



At this point is was getting late and DW had dinner ready. So I covered it all up. Hopefully I'll get some time tomorrow to put in the smaller screws on top, clean it up again with chemical cleaner, prime with EternaPrime, and then put down the EternaBond tape. I'm also going to be using EternaBond on some other areas of the roof that could use some help.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:09 AM   #3
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Not many things are more satisfying than doing a job yourself the right way. Good looking work.
Post the final pictures.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:24 AM   #4
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1993 33' Land Yacht
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Skylite looks like its well made, should be a nice upgrade, and best part no leaks.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:42 AM   #5
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When you measured, what points did you measure? Actual opening or an inch inside? or...?
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:02 PM   #6
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2007 23' International CCD
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Just got a 2007 23ft International Ocean Breeze last week.
Today I got the ladder out and climbed up to take a look at stuff on the roof and noticed the cracked skylight and lousy sealing job used by the factory. Got down and looked closely at the skylight from inside and noticed cracking in corners and a few spots where water has dripped down onto the clear plastic under the dome.
So I now have a new job to take care of before we take our trip.
Got on forums and found lots of people replacing the same exact skylight. Thanks to you and others I now can repair this and move on...hopefully!
cwf: I measured the dome edges at around 18 x 18 inches so will be looking for larger outside dims from Maxim.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:36 PM   #7
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
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To get the measurements, I measured the inside skylight hole first.


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It appeared to be 21.5" square from the inside with a footprint of around 30" or so outside.


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I emailed Airstream from their website and they gave me a replacement part # and said it was a 22" square skylight. When taking to Maxim Industries, I sent them more pictures of the measurements and said I feel more comfortable with a 21.5" square skylight. And it turns out the 21.5" square one fits very nicely.


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Maxim does have an Airstream section on their web site and they have the measurements of some of the more common ones. Mine is the first one they've done for a motorhome with no curb. So it looks a bit different and was powder coated white to match the white fiberglass.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Nyce job!
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
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Now I need a new garnish (interior trim piece).

Mine is fairly thrashed from 17 years of sunlight.


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Here's the one Airstream is stating might be a suitable replacement.



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I'm not so sure about that one. I'll check to see if they have any other ones that might work better.

Anybody know of an aftermarket source for these types of parts?
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
Petaluma , California
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The correct garnish (trim piece) is finally on its way from Airstream. I had to call an out of state dealer to get the part as my local AS dealer apparently isn't interested in selling parts. Hopefully I can get this updated soon. I did take the Cutter out on two camping trips in the past 2 weeks. We got really soaked on the first one. There was leaking.... but not from the skylight.... back to the drawing board.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:48 PM   #11
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New Maxims arrive am
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:50 PM   #12
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New Maxims arrived today.



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Old 04-26-2013, 09:54 PM   #13
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Off with old on with new Maxims



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Old 07-18-2013, 03:43 PM   #14
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
Petaluma , California
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Well I finally got around to finishing this project last month (and I would have updated this thread but I was too busy installing a set of base-plates on my toad and installing a braking system on it before our last trip). After discovering that the damage done to my roof was much worse than I originally thought, I decided against using Eternabond to seal everything up with. Although the previous owner had the roof resealed a week before we picked it up, the RV repair shop he used simply put new Dicor over some really, really, really old Dicor. I'm no RV roof expert, but I think that after 15 years of patching.... somebody should just remove the old Dicor and start over. They sealed over old Dicor that had water under it!!! I'm thinking that a new roof is in our immediate future so I don't want to complicate that by using Eternabond right now. So I just used Dicor since I think that it'll be easier to remove in the event that I need a new roof.

I finally received my interior trim piece from Airstream (via Airstream Adventures Northwest in Portland, Oregon..... can't we just order direct from Airstream???). And it's looking good on the inside too.



The triple bronze that I picked worked out perfectly as just the right amount of bright California sunshine comes through. I don't think that I want to reinstall the skylight cover and cover up that nice skylight.

Here you can see that as it sits on my rig, behind the front A/C and in front of the Fantastic Fan, it is completely shielded by the A/C when in motion.





And it looks great both on the inside and on the outside!

I highly recommend the skylights from Maxim, no matter what type of RV you have.

Call David Thornton at Maxim at 800-367-8168.

Airstream Skylights - Maxim SkylightMaxim Skylight

And again, a big thanks to Maxim and to Airformus commercial member Airslide for helping me through this project!
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