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Old 01-25-2011, 05:58 PM   #1
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Re-securing OEM Skylight

I know how brittle the OEM skylights are - having already lost the rear skylight during a trip and paid dearly to replace it. I've also observed the typical "overtightening" of the installation screws that breaks a hole through the plastic around the screws. That said I'm wondering if I can get another year or two out of my front skylight rather than cough up a couple of hundred bucks for a new one. The skylight doesn't leak so my plan is to remove the "dabbed-on" caulking, withdraw the existing screws, one at a time, and then replace them with new screws and "fender washers," squirting a bit of caulking under the fender washer before tightening it, and then re-dab the new washer and screw all over with caulk. Has anyone else tried a similar fix with any luck?

I've already ordered a new cover for my Penguin A/C from Icondirect. Unlike the skylight, I couldn't come up with a good structural way to fix the A/C shroud. It's a shame that Airstream doesn't select a product with superior resistance to weathering. Note that my unit is a 2000 Excella - i.e. ten years is a ridiculous life span for accessories when the expected life span of the trailer itself is well in excess of 50 years.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
I know how brittle the OEM skylights are - having already lost the rear skylight during a trip and paid dearly to replace it. I've also observed the typical "overtightening" of the installation screws that breaks a hole through the plastic around the screws. That said I'm wondering if I can get another year or two out of my front skylight rather than cough up a couple of hundred bucks for a new one. The skylight doesn't leak so my plan is to remove the "dabbed-on" caulking, withdraw the existing screws, one at a time, and then replace them with new screws and "fender washers," squirting a bit of caulking under the fender washer before tightening it, and then re-dab the new washer and screw all over with caulk. Has anyone else tried a similar fix with any luck?

I've already ordered a new cover for my Penguin A/C from Icondirect. Unlike the skylight, I couldn't come up with a good structural way to fix the A/C shroud. It's a shame that Airstream doesn't select a product with superior resistance to weathering. Note that my unit is a 2000 Excella.

I haven't tried that, but think it should work.


My skylight flanges are badly cracked around all the screws and started leaking last summer. As a temporary measure I just gooped up all the cracks with a clear sealant called "Storm King" available here in Canada and for now, that fixed the leak.

Mine are too far gone to repair, and I will likely go the Maxim route, but an alternative I was thinking to use was not unlike your solution.

I was going to use new "standard" skylights, but add 1" aluminium "clamping strips" all around the mounting flange thru wish the screws will go.

In fact I think that "Out of Doors RV (?)" sells a kit complete with an aluminium clamp frame for this purpose.

If for any reason I don't pick up a set of Maxim skylights in Dallas next month, that is what i will do

I think using "fender washers" would be just about as good. I think you can get them in stainless too.


Brian.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:25 PM   #3
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I haven't tried that, but think it should work.


My skylight flanges are badly cracked around all the screws and started leaking last summer. As a temporary measure I just gooped up all the cracks with a clear sealant called "Storm King" available here in Canada and for now, that fixed the leak.

Mine are too far gone to repair, and I will likely go the Maxim route, but an alternative I was thinking to use was not unlike your solution.

I was going to use new "standard" skylights, but add 1" aluminium "clamping strips" all around the mounting flange thru wish the screws will go.

In fact I think that "Out of Doors RV (?)" sells a kit complete with an aluminium clamp frame for this purpose.

If for any reason I don't pick up a set of Maxim skylights in Dallas next month, that is what i will do

I think using "fender washers" would be just about as good. I think you can get them in stainless too.


Brian.
Brian:

I too considered the continuous flange, but matching up the original holes would be all but impossible - and drilling new holes in that brittle plastic would probably be a disaster. With a new skylight I think that the flange idea would work great.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:29 PM   #4
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My rear skylight blew off between Tuscon and Deming. A friendly trucker waved me over to tell me about it. I just received my replacements (ordered the front one, too, as I can see cracks) from Out of Doors Mart, metal trim ring/flange is included, and is predrilled. I'll take pics of the replacement ceremony... Philip
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:50 PM   #5
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Replaced factory skylight with new units from Jackson Center and used aluminum strips provided by them as well , the skylights are oversize for the flange and the aluminum strips were oversize for the skylights. Did the best mounting job I could. The skylights where then plagued by major condensation issues. After a year of frustration I replaced them with Maxims and I couldn't be happier. If You need skylights don't waste Your time or money with the factory style even if they come from other sources , Maxim is the way to go.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:14 PM   #6
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After a year of frustration I replaced them with Maxims and I couldn't be happier. If You need skylights don't waste Your time or money with the factory style even if they come from other sources , Maxim is the way to go.
I went the same route and agree 100%, what an improvement.

Beats me why AS don't use a far superior product like this. Granted it is more expensive but not that much more.

You'd think that they would want to build on the reputation the have (had?) as being Rolls Royce or Cadillac of travel trailers rather than crappy it down as they seem to do these days!

I sent info on these skylights to AS - as no doubt others have done, but I'm not holding my breath!


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Old 11-02-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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PhillipKS,

I totally agree with ctdair, that the best skylight replacement is the Maxim skylights. They are built sturdy, no flimsy construction as the original skylights.

Best of luck,
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:05 PM   #8
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Yes..replacement with OEM complete. Not happy. These OEM were both larger than the curb, so using the trim rings was pointless. I attached both, but I consider it a temporary fix. I'll be going with Maxim as well in the near future. Oh well...live and learn...and read the Forum BEFORE you order parts.

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Old 11-03-2011, 06:02 PM   #9
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What was your net cost for the two Maxim skylights???
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:24 PM   #10
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The Maxims look to be residential units. Probably much heavier that the OEM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:55 AM   #11
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I recall the price was $450-475 for 2. I also seem to recall 2 Airstream replacements with trim ring where $275-300.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:04 AM   #12
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Thumbs up

Very happy with this from Inland RV....

Much better quality than OEM..

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Old 07-11-2012, 08:57 PM   #13
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I'm reading your comments a year later because our Inland replacement that Bob and others like is a mess. Yes, it seems I probably over-torqued the screws when I went back up to "fix" some small leaks. But in looking at the Maxim design on their web site it appears there are no screws through the plastic dome of the Maxim? It attaches to the side of the aluminum skylight flange - with a strip of sealing tape where Maxim meets the flange? That in itself could be far better than drilling holes through the plastic dome.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:56 PM   #14
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After replacing the OEM skylights twice, I purchased the Maxim skylights and installed them in March, trying to beat the heat.

I probably took longer than normal, however, I was meticulous to clean the previous caulk by scraping and rubbing with denatured alcohol so the new caulk would have a clean surface to adhere to.
I debated on the color of frame, finally deciding on the white powder coat to go with the white roof.

One of the better improvements made to the AS.
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