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Old 12-27-2014, 09:17 PM   #1
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Skylight isn't leaking, it's condensation

A while ago I was trying to track down a leak around the plastic skylight. The original failed and was the source of enough water to rot almost the entire floor of the trailer. I replaced that, and replaced the skylight with another plastic one, which lasted a year and then failed, then a fiberglass one, single layer. I've had odd leaks over the 9 years since that was replaced and then figured out that it is condensation, and it's simply raining INSIDE the trailer. The time has come to replace this skylight with something double glazed. I want something that is transparent, maybe tinted to limit solar gain, but I want to see out. I think condensation is causing some other wet areas, nothing too bad, and I'm curious if others have had this experience and if there are any clever solutions floating around. Thanks
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Old 12-27-2014, 09:22 PM   #2
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Dehumidifier in cool weather.
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Old 12-27-2014, 09:40 PM   #3
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MAXIM Skylights.. de-humidifier can help too... but on our Maxim's.. we haven't seen any serious (dripping) condensation..

http://maximskylights.com
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:38 AM   #4
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Thanks- I'm thinking the Maxim will be a project this year. I've used de-humidifiers in the house in the past, but there is no power where the trailer is parked. I've used the chemical dehumidifiers but not sure if they really do anything.
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Old 12-28-2014, 06:51 AM   #5
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Thanks- I'm thinking the Maxim will be a project this year. I've used de-humidifiers in the house in the past, but there is no power where the trailer is parked. I've used the chemical dehumidifiers but not sure if they really do anything.
Clean kitty litter works as a chemical dehumidifier (at least, the kind that clumps when wet does). Also, if you place the pan of kitty litter directly under the skylight, any condensation that does form drips right into the litter where it's safely absorbed.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:19 AM   #6
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We have the factory installed skylights. Double glazed and have never noticed any condensation. When the need arises and it's time to replace them I will go with the Maxim version. From what I read here they seem to be the best around. But, so far all's well.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:39 AM   #7
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We were camped in heavy rain, very cool weather this fall thinking there was a leak at the rear corner of the Airstream next to the corner nightstand, but instead found water condensing on the lower wall and making its way down into the floor. There was little to no air circulation in that area.

Ventilation is difficult in these conditions because it's humid inside and out. Good to ensure your heated air is reaching the corners of the trailer, not blocked by things stored along the wall.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:58 PM   #8
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Yup, it was very rainy and temps were cool. Air circulation will help, the cat litter is a brilliant idea and I'm curious to see if I can find a small 12v fan and combine it with PV panels. It's really cool and damp where we are, on the Pacific coast. Between the Airstream and our old Alfa Romeo, it's never a dull moment.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:57 AM   #9
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I'm curious to see if I can find a small 12v fan and combine it with PV panels.
Take your cue from boat owners and install Nicro solar vents from Marinco. Available in both 3" and 4" diameters, these "mushroom" vents might be just the ticket. Especially if you install two, one at each end, and set one to blow and the other to suck. The stainless steel model would be very discrete on top of your Airstream. And they're rainproof!
4 inch Stainless Steel Day/Night Plus Vent | Marinco

If/when my bathroom vent gives out, I'm giving serious consideration to installing a Nicro to replace the existing vent.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:50 AM   #10
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Go to any truck stop accessory store to find more twelve volt appliances including fans. Jim
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:06 AM   #11
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MAXIM skylights are the only way to go. When you see the difference in the quality of these skylights you will be amazed and know that you have the best.

My factory installed skylights were cracked by over tightening of several hold down screws. I went to the trouble of exactly measuring them then calling MAXIM, however the knowledgeable staff only needed the year and length of my AS to match the exact size of my skylights from their records. My new lights arrived on time. I unscrewed my old skylights, ripped them off in pieces, stuck my legs down the open hole, then comfortably scraped the caulk away which was a chore. You will need several tubes of caulk and some stainless steel sheet metal screws and a battery drill. Once the new MAXIM skylights are installed, if you still have a leak problem, you can be assured the leak is not from your skylights. MAXIM offers smoked, milk and clear Lexan and white, black or silver metal frames. They are built with a dome within a dome (2 layers with dead air space between) and a flat panel on the bottom. Total of 3 layers of Lexan. I full time in my AS in all kinds of weather and have never had a sweating issue with the MAXIM skylights except for a small band of the metal frame that rarely gets little beads of water on it. Opening a window and fantastic fan vent about 1/2 inch each keeps the air moving and reduces moisture build-up until the sun comes out. Spend the extra money it takes to get MAXIM skylights!
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:23 AM   #12
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Take your cue from boat owners and install Nicro solar vents from Marinco. Available in both 3" and 4" diameters, these "mushroom" vents might be just the ticket. Especially if you install two, one at each end, and set one to blow and the other to suck. The stainless steel model would be very discrete on top of your Airstream. And they're rainproof!
4 inch Stainless Steel Day/Night Plus Vent | Marinco

If/when my bathroom vent gives out, I'm giving serious consideration to installing a Nicro to replace the existing vent.
Great suggestion, Protagonist! Multiple uses, cheap to operate! I use the same exact fan to circulate the air from the coils on the frig. Improved the efficiency, WOW. The dehumidifier will remove the humidity in warm moist environments. As per other threads on condensation, if your door is open when you operation your A?C, your apped to cause dripping from your ceiling unit because of moisture from the outside. Didn't mean to highjack this thread but I thought these were important points.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:23 PM   #13
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Excess moisture from condensation was one of the main reasons for the headliner failure of the 90's trailers. The water-based glue in use at the time just failed miserably.

I keep an eye on my glass window panes in the winter: if there is condensation on the windows then I know I need to ventilate more.

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Old 12-30-2014, 10:00 PM   #14
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I actually installed a Nicro fan in 2011, and it worked really well for 18 months, slowing until it pretty much failed. It was great, chugging along day and night, and it helped with the condensation but not entirely. I had installed it to air out the trailer for that it was great, but I wasn't in too much of a hurry to replace it, at $175 bucks a pop. Apparently this has become a common problem with Nicro fans made in the last few years, with production switched to China. Then I went to look at marine forums to see if I could find battery replacement information.. none yet but apparently the battery is now replaceable- apparently they hadn't been. I also didn't pay attention to the 2 year warranty. I tend to buy marine stuff for the Airstream when the quality is better than RV products, and may try to replace the battery or just buy a new unit. I don't like the way it looks- I mounted it to the old metal bathroom roof vent, figuring I'd replace that with a Fantastic fan.
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