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Old 08-22-2017, 02:45 PM   #1
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Red face Skylights now attached only with double stick tape? Seriously?

I just met a fellow pulling a 2017 International 27 FB. He had noticed my 2017 FC 27 FB and stopped to warn me that Airstream is now using only double stick tape (no screws) to attach skylights. He said that his had recently blown off the trailer completely, only discovered when he stopped to camp for the night. He couldn't believe it when he learned that it had only been attached with tape but when he went to his AS dealer to replace it they confirmed that AS is now only using tape on current models. BUT, he said that the replacement skylight he ordered came with an aluminum bracket that overlaps the skylight around the edge and is screwed onto the the roof frame. Can this be true? Please say it isn't so. I can't get on my roof until I get home but standing on the picnic table I see no screws holding down my skylights. Praying they don't blow off before I get home.
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:48 PM   #2
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:17 PM   #3
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Well, if solar panels are successfully held with VHB tape, then taping the skylights 'should' be quite acceptable and perhaps better than (or at least as good as) screwing them down and adding holes to the roof. Of course, if the surfaces aren't cleaned and prepped appropriately, all bets are off.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:45 PM   #4
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I just replaced my cracked skylight on my '08 Sport. It was screwed down THRU the skylight into the framework, which likely is the origins of the cracks which allowed snow-melt/rain to enter the cabin. (Many folks don't realize that to use a common drill-bit to drill holes in lexan/acrylic/Plexiglas will crack the plastic. A special, flat-ended drill bit must be used to drill plexi. (Although if you're careful you can grind the end off of a bit and use it if you don't "crowd" the bit while drilling.)

I ordered a "cheapie" skylight (from a vendor in Caliais, ME... who I cannot name because the moderators will remove the post because they don't participate here and cannot "defend themselves")... and after I FINALLY received the thing... I installed it.

It was merely the "bubble"...so I had to cut a flat piece of Lexan/Acrylic to it's lower side to provide insulation... using GE Acrylic/Plastic-rated RTV to seal them to each other and also to the AS framework (after cleaning up the framework and removing the "burrs" caused by the previous installer's screws. I suspect it was a previous owner who was concerned about only tape being used by AS to stick the skylight onto the trailer.)

THEN.... I bought a long piece of 1-inch aluminum angle at Home Despot, and at intervals of 22.5 inches cut a "V" into one side, bending the uncut side 90-degrees... to form a square frame to surround the skylight. I then ran a screw thru the middle of each side into the vertical portion of the AS framework to further secure it.

This mimics the installation recommended by the preferred skylight mfr'r folks used from Dallas. I hope I never have to do it again... but if I had a newer AS with a "taped or glued-down" skylight... I'd make a similar frame and secure it.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:13 PM   #5
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My 04 classic was screwed, cracked around the screw holes after 6 years in the hot sun, replaced, my 13 classic has tape, no screws ,so far no problem, I like it..my cargo has the metal sides glued on, no problem, some metal body parts on cars are not welded, they are glued on...alli well
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:22 PM   #6
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Yes, seriously. They use VHB tape to hold airplanes together. Holding a skylight onto your roof is a much less critical application than that. I'd trust it.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:29 PM   #7
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AS switched to that method a few years ago because the previous crappy installation involved screws thru a plastic flange around the (acrylic?) skylight that resulted in leaks when cracks emanated from all the screw holes in the plastic.

I have heard of several instances of the newer taped ones blowing off!

Many of us have replaced the originals with very high quality three layer polycarbonate custom skylights mounted in aluminum frames made by Maxxim in Dallas.

The aluminum frame is screwed horizontally into the alumium skylight "curb" that is part of the Airstream roof structure

There is n comparsion with the units that AS installs - more expensive, but $ well spent!
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:30 PM   #8
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Vhb and uhb are awesome when used properly.
Ive got several hundred pounds of pv panels attached to my 34' roof. Ive been in hundred mile an hour winds with never a worry.
I suspect prep was faulty.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:41 PM   #9
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I replaced mine this summer and the factory skylight with VHB tape was a real pain to remove so I think you are good.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:56 PM   #10
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Taped on my 2011 International. No issues in a windy northern climate.
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:27 AM   #11
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I assume they are taped on my 2013 as I see no rivets or screws when I wash the roof.
So far no leaks or cracks 5 years in.
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:53 PM   #12
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Is this tape tested in extreme heat
I used 20lb strength to attempt to secure a magnetic knife holder to the interior wall and it fell off in a few days of heat
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:56 PM   #13
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You obviously didn't prepare correctly.
VHB will adhere well to a brick!
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:56 PM   #14
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Too bad this thread wasn't started a couple weeks ago. I just installed new skylights using the screws over aluminum frame method. It'll work and last long enough, but I would have preferred the VHB tape method for long term water resistance and durability.
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