Information, Modification

More Roof Work. Skylight Maintenance

I’ve heard Airstream owners say they service (strip and recaulk) the roof every five years.

That sounds a bit OCD to me.  Especially if you’re using a high quality polyurethane like Vulkem 116.

But, at the same time I wouldn’t wait for the eleven year mark, either.  Which is what I did.  So far:

  • Fantastic Fan’s are done
  • Rain channel and rivets are done
  • Vent stack done
  • Bathroom exhaust fan done
  • Fridge vent and cover done
  • TV antenna mount done

To do:

  • Front and rear skylights
  • A/C unit
  • Stereo antenna mount

Crawled up top. Put down some 1/2″ plywood to span the ribs. At a svelte 200lbs, I’ll dent the roof without it.

Stripped the caulk. It definitely needed it. About half of it came up easy- that means it’s not doing it’s job diverting water.

Skylight is in sad shape. Lots of cracks and damage.  It’s basically a tinted dome, with a colorless flat section that’s siliconed to the underside.  The cracks overlap the silicone, so I’ve got moisture inside the assembly. Once I pulled it off the curb, I could see inside the skylight framing and it’s obvious there’s water leakage as the wood blocking shows.

View from underside the skylight. You can see a crack running across the silicone seal between the dome and interior flat section. Also, anchor points to curb are busted up pretty bad.
22″x22″x1-1/2″ skylight curb outside dimensions.
Discovered the pop rivets holding the cradle for the antenna had broken loose and it was only being held in place by the antenna itself. That broad “M” shaped thingy is supposed to be standing on the long rectangular pad above the skylight. Cleaned and secured with double sided 3M VHB tape. I always try to avoid punching holes in a roof.

Scraped the curb to roof connection with a spackling knife, and cleaned it with mineral spirits.  Lots of rubbing needed.

At this point we’ve got two options: Replace with an OEM, or a Maxis Skylight.

Not real happy with the OEM. It’s a formed plastic hood that has cracked and broken around the whole perimeter. Checking the usual outlets, best pricing looks like $178, not including shipping.  The Maxis Skylight on the other hand, looks like a serious assembly. It’s got an anodized aluminum frame with a triple polycarbonate light assembly. Find it here. David (and Liz) at Maxis got back to me with a quote within 24 hours of $282 including shipping. Couldn’t give me firm lead time, so I’ll be putting the existing skylight back up there. I hate having to do things twice, but I’ve got to tow it back to storage and I’m not comfortable taping down some visqueen over the opening, in the meantime.

Seems like an extra $100 well spent. I think I’ll order one for the rear skylight, as well.  Rear is a rectangular shape.

See You Down the Road!




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