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Old 12-27-2003, 01:56 AM   #1
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1998 28' Excella
Pensacola , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 27
Angry Sky Light Problems

I've got a problem every time it rains, with leaks around the sky light. Were these installed by AS as an option or dealer installed or aftermarket by PO? Whoever did the installation did a lousy job, and now I'm faced with cleaning it up (excess sealant all over roof). Looks like previous attempts to cure leak. Any comments, suggestions appreciated. Cant just remove it and replace with aluminum patch cuzz inside finished off nice (interior ceiling is insulated foam backed vinyl, faux leather; opening is framed with pull shade). An option I would not have gone for, but its there and I have to fix it and live with it.

Happy New Year and 73, Jim

1999 Excella Classic, 25'
WBCCI #5652
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Old 12-27-2003, 05:22 AM   #2
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Possible

jalewis

Seasons Greeting Jim~

Skylights were/are a feature installed at the factory.
As to whether your skylight was installed under that auspice is anyone's guess. (Streamers love to modify their units..trust me on that~! lol)
Quote:
An option I would not have gone for, but its there and I have to fix it and live with it.
The solution is;As you stated, remove the ugly sealant mess, taking it down to the bare componets (screws, edges of the skylight's lip, etc). Once you have a clean playing field, check for any cracks around the lips of the skylight where the screws pass through. BTW, I know of at least one person who has 'had to replace' their skylight cover as it broke on them while traveling. You might want to order and have on hand a new cover just in case you deem it necessary to replace it entirely.
You'll need to order new Vuklum sealant as well. I've enclose this link for sources of parts. If you haven't yet, you might want to bookmark this for future referencesAirstream dealers, etc
Depending on your location, etc..For East/West coast, I've found these people to be reputable dealers.
East coast: Steve, at
AirstreamDreams
West coast: Andy, at
InLandRV
Andy is an acknowledge "A/S Guru" and, as such, may have all the parts you need as well as, some helpful hints. Pick his brains any chance you get!@!
The one thing I'd pass on is, be sure that you clean the surface real good before applying the new sealant, before you reinstall the screws, put a dab of Vuklum around each screw's thread..
With a little planning and, some elbow grease, you should be able to get this under control..
While you're up there..Check all the sealant around all the other openings. Nothing is permanent when it comes to sealants/gaskets on the roof top of these units..The average life expendency is about 5 yrs.
One word of caution: While working on top, always step on the rib lines..(Max weight is 200 lbs)
Good luck to you..

ciao
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Old 12-27-2003, 10:00 AM   #3
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1996 30' Excella
Brighton , Michigan
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Jim,
Do a search on Skylights for several previous posts. I have had problems with mine coming off , never had a leak. Have heard of several owners who have had leaks from cracks which develope around the screw holes. If you click on the photo button at the bottom of my post you willl go to my photos, the click on my album for skylights and can see photo of the cracking around the screw holes and see my repair.

Jim
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Old 12-27-2003, 02:23 PM   #4
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Skylight problems

Airstreams square and rectangular skylights are made with a material that's .050 thick. As a result, in our opinion, the skylights flutter when the coach is in motion.

As a result of that fluttering, we believe, is what causes the cracks around the mounting screws.

We have made a mold and run some prototype rectangular skylights, but made with .120 thickness material, and have subjected them to road tests. They also have a thermal barrier, and are "solar gray" in color. The results have been great.

That skylight will be in our 2004 1st quarter sale list. Additionally, the mold is in process of completion for the square skylight, and should be available in about 30 days.

They both will be able to be mounted directly to the roof, for the Landyachts, or on the metal mounting flange, for the trailers.

A preliminary photo is attached for comparison.

Andy
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Old 12-28-2003, 10:04 AM   #5
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1996 30' Excella
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Andy,
Great news about new skylight covers. Keep us posted on square ones and when square are avaliable I will order both.
Jim
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:23 PM   #6
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1998 28' Excella
Pensacola , Florida
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SKY LIGHT PROBLEMS

Andy,

Thanks for the info regardng new, thicker skylight. Mine is square, also. I haven't measured it, but you probably have the dems since you have created molds. I would be interested in buying a replacement when they become available. Since my first posting, I have been up on top and have temporarily repaired the leaks by resealing the mounting screws. ALL were spider cracked around the screw heads, and some had long cracks eminating from the screw heads. The screws appeared to have been over torqued upon installation! There is also no evidence of any flat fiber or plastic washers under the screwheads. Add another complaint to the list of items I intend to tell Airstream about. All of the screws had a large dollup of Vulkem on them that had been there for a while, so to me it looked factory. Mine is a '99, so condx of Vulkem seems to be about that old. I agree, also, with your assesment that the existing plastic (polymer, etc.) is too thin and flexes in the wind. This, too, may have caused the spidering and cracking, or added to the problem. Since I am the 2cd owner, Airstream may not be interested in my assesments or problems, but someone on their assembly crew went nuts with an electric drill when installing screws. I have also "repositioned" sheetmetal screws on the forward electric vent fan as well as the Fantastic Fan frames inside of the trailer because some screws just went into the vinyl ceiling instead of going thru to the aluminum inner skin. Had to do same for the bathroom vent flange. Sloppy work for such a high end RV. I expect that of SOB's but not Airstream. We still love it, and it is better than anything else we looked at. I wouldn't own another brand. I guess my little repair jobs are just part of the deal that makes it more "mine". At least I'll know what I've got.

Looking forward to info on new domes from you. Will you supply as a Kit?

Regards, Jim
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Old 12-31-2005, 04:13 PM   #7
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skylight replacement

I'm replacing a replacement skylight purchased 3 1/2 years ago that has totally self destructed (cracking where unit was glued together by mfr) and I want to have one fabricated with an aluminum frame and a bubble, like for a house but smaller... has anyone done this? The aluminum would provide a better contact for the hardware rivets, another problem with my existing unit...

thanks

Peter
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Old 12-31-2005, 06:21 PM   #8
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Peter, et al

I have been wondering if the Seitz Roof Lights, made in Europe by Dometic, might be better made and more attractive than the skylights seen in North America to date.

Check here for example:

http://www.obrienscamping.co.uk/Heki.htm


Sergei


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Old 12-31-2005, 06:26 PM   #9
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Addendum

Perhaps a better site, but without prices:

http://www.dometic.com/templates/Pro...ry.aspx?id=674

Sergei
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Old 01-01-2006, 04:20 PM   #10
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Any pointers for removing the old vuklum and or old sealant with ease, like a heat gun or a chemical to dissolve the stuff or is it just elbow grease.
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Old 01-02-2006, 09:23 AM   #11
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I've replaced the skylight on my '97 Excella 25. I was able to find an aluminum framed lexan double dome skylight replacement at a local roofing supply company for a reasonable price: See results here:http://www.airforums.com/forum...tml#post105974

Look at posts number 71 and 74.

It is still working great and in my opinion is a much better solution than the OEM.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:22 PM   #12
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2001 31' Excella
Bluffton , South Carolina
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Angry Skylight replacement

The skylights are both replaced on my 2001 31 Excella for the same reason, AS does not know how to mount them. When I discovered the cracking around the mounting screws on the rear skylight, I took it directly to the dealer for warrenty replacement. But I ask the dealer not to use the direct mount, screwing through the top of skylight flange, but use the skylight manufactures method of mount through the bottom flange into the curb. After all, this is a curb mounted model and designed to mount on the skirt of the skylight. To improve the mounting and sealing surface for the skylight, I used a 1 1/4 x 3/4 red wood to frame it, mounted to the outside of the aluminum curb, which gave me a 1 1/2 cauk surface. Then I used SS pan head screws drilled through the wood into the aluminum curb, using the factory holes. This method uses the factory holes in the side of the skylight and does not create the stress factures that the direct mounting method that AS uses. In other words, no holes in the top to break out and leak!!!!The first one has been on for two years and the last one for two days. The dealer agreed with me on this mounting arrangement but can't do it because it's not factory approved. They use washers and more care!!

Thomson used an aluminum framed model and can be mounted the same way. These can be purchased through Lowes on specal order and save 30% over the dealer supplied ones. Good luck if your skylights are still on!!
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04 Chevy HD, CC, D/A, Curt Magnum V Rec., Full Amsoil Syn.,Dual Filters, ARE, MX Topper with lift Gate Door, Bed Rug, TPS & Bk.up Camera.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:51 PM   #13
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1998 28' Excella
Pensacola , Florida
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Sky Light Problems

Fred,

Thanks for the message. It has been some time since I last posted. I sold my 25' Excella, and now have a 28' Excella (I should update my profile). I have two sky lights in this one, and haven't had any leaks around them (knock on wood)! I finally had to take mine to a dealer to replace the sky light, after I had stopped most of the leaks, but the cracks had continued to grow beyond repair. I advised the repair shop to what I thought caused the problem (over torquing), but they knew about the problem, and added a frame to the curb, as you did. and attached the screws from the side using the access holes. Fortunately for me. the foreman of the rv repair facility we use around here was the authorized AS repairman for years at another rv dealer, so he knows his business. I haven't been atop my new (used) Excella to check things out, so I had better make plans to inspect before I have a problem.

Good luck, Jim
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