The Cracked Camper Skylight
We bought the 5th wheel in August 2014. Overall, this Gateway by Heartland has served us well. Sure we’ve had maintenance issues and had to repair a few things, but this is to be expected with any RV regardless of type or manufacture. I was surprised to find this skylight crack….again. This is the second time this has happened. This unit is located over the bathroom shower and the original camper skylight cracked 18 months after we purchased the 5th wheel. Now 5 years later, not only has the top skylight cracked, but the lower inside half cracked as well.
Adding to this dilemma, the roof section between the top outside section of the skylight and the lower inside second is bare wood. During out last trip we had two days of torrential rain resulting from one of the 2020 Gulf Coast Hurricanes. With the volume of water and the growing cracks in the skylight, water pour in to the bathroom, seeped into the ceiling, creating a wet and potential mold mess. Fortunately, we caught the problem early making temporary repairs until a permanent solution could be made.
Temporary Camper Skylight Repair
With the continued deluge of water from the storm a quick repair had to be made. We couldn’t risk the continue water flow into the ceiling and down the walls without the potential of permanent damage to the 5th wheel. Fortunately, we carry a tube of Flex Seal for emergency repairs. While its use in a camper or any RV should be used with caution, applying the Flex Seal glue stopped the leak immediately and sealed on the plastic camper skylight even in the pouring rain.
Camper Skylight Replacement and Roof Repair
Our camper skylight requires an opening of 12” X 22”. Fortunately, this is a very common opening for many of the campers sold today. Not wanting to purchase the same unit again that was used in the previous repair, we found the exact fit from an Amazon reseller. We purchased 2, one for the outside and the second to go inside over the shower. We were very happy with the construction. These units were thicker than those to be replaced and were a perfect fit.
Removing the inside portion of the skylight is a breeze – a couple of screws and it easily drops out of place. The outside section is a different story. It’s quite the task to remove the lap sealant around the skylight, then remove the screws, and gently break the seal between the skylight and the roof membrane without ripping the fabric. With this being our second repair, the roof edges under the skylight became ragged and needed repair.
We planned to seal exposed wood inside the opening using EternaBond microsealant tape. We extended the repairs to include the area under the lip of the outdoor skylight ensuring all wood and damages to the roof membrane are adequately covered. We continued the EternaBond to enclose the wood between the rood and ceiling, and overlapped the inside part of the ceiling to ensure any future leaks would not enter the ceiling.
The next step was applying a bead of self-leveling roof sealant to the roof prior to setting the skylight followed by screws and then more roof sealant on top of the screws and around the edges of the skylight. The final step was replacing the inside skylight with screws only, providing a finished look to the bathroom.
With a little planning and a few careful steps, the camper skylight replacement and roof repairs took a couple of hours and will give us many more years of RV travel. For more information about this repair, see the view the video below.
Products Discussed In This Video
click item to purchase
Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the top right side of this page and click subscribe.
Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).
SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES