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Old 02-07-2016, 12:31 PM   #1
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Adding a skylight to an older MH shower

On another thread, a secondary conversation came up regarding skylights in MH showers, and that they are good thing.

I have started looking into the possibility of adding a skylight to my Fleetwood Southwind. My MH has a fiberglass roof, which I think would be easier to add this item to, rather than a rubber or other type of roof.

Has anyone got recent experience adding something like this to their MH?

What are everyone's thoughts?
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:47 PM   #2
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If it were my coach, I would forego the skylight. First, assuming you cut the hole where it does not interfere with anything inside the roof, you would have another rather large opening to look after and make sure it doesn't leak.
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:54 PM   #3
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If it were my coach, I would forego the skylight. First, assuming you cut the hole where it does not interfere with anything inside the roof, you would have another rather large opening to look after and make sure it doesn't leak.
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:59 PM   #4
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If it were my coach, I would forego the skylight. First, assuming you cut the hole where it does not interfere with anything inside the roof, you would have another rather large opening to look after and make sure it doesn't leak.
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Yep, I agree!
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:04 PM   #5
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The primary purpose for the skylight seems to be to raising the ceiling height to compensate for the raised shower floor. If you don't need more ceiling height, don't do it. The skylight, in addition to creating many possibilities for water leaks, also creates a bit of a "solar oven" in the shower in sunny weather.



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Old 02-07-2016, 05:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input. I am a bit surprised at the negative responses, but there is power in numbers. I keep my MH in a barn I made for it, and while it clearly is not in there all the time, it does help a great deal that while home, the roof is protected...

I was not too worried about leaks, as the fiberglass roof is fairly low maintenance, and I do check regularly, and seal as needed. So far, I have been pretty lucky with no leaking.

I do have a light in the ceiling of the shower, so it is light enough while showering, and I have no height problems personally. I thought the skylight might 'modernize' the look of the shower, but that may not be worth the risk.

Anyway, thanks for the input, I guess. At least a consensus of nos is easier to figure out than a mix of yeses and nos.

Looks like the bazillion other projects will come before I revisit this one.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:10 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I am a bit surprised at the negative responses, but there is power in numbers. I keep my MH in a barn I made for it, and while it clearly is not in there all the time, it does help a great deal that while home, the roof is protected...

I was not too worried about leaks, as the fiberglass roof is fairly low maintenance, and I do check regularly, and seal as needed. So far, I have been pretty lucky with no leaking.

I do have a light in the ceiling of the shower, so it is light enough while showering, and I have no height problems personally. I thought the skylight might 'modernize' the look of the shower, but that may not be worth the risk.

Anyway, thanks for the input, I guess. At least a consensus of nos is easier to figure out than a mix of yeses and nos.

Looks like the bazillion other projects will come before I revisit this one.
Thanks for taking everyone's comments in a positive constructive manner, the way they all were intended.
I think you will find many other ways to make the look of your MH look modernized, besides adding a skylight. My personal experience with skylights in homes have not been very positive and I can't imagine having one (especially making one) in a motorhome.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:14 PM   #8
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I just replaced the skylight in my Winnebago and that involved doing everything a new installation would require except for cutting the hole, which would be the hardest part. The skylight itself is two parts, the exterior bubble and an interior one. The exterior is affixed with an aluminum ring and took two tubes of caulk to install (about two feet square) with three 1/2" wide bands of caulk going around the bubble, everything then held in place with screws. After the exterior piece is in place, you go inside and attach the interior section with screws (no caulk needed because the exterior has to keep the water out to protect the roof; no water should ever get to the interior section).

It's a couple of hours work to install the two sections. Probably would take at least another couple of hours to cut the hole as you have to cut through the roof, the interior ceiling and a couple of inches of insulation in between and get the cut clean and straight with properly rounded corners. I'm thinking a router with a long straight-cut bit would probably be needed.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:44 PM   #9
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I would think installing a new skylight would involve one more important step that has already been done with an existing skylight. I believe the opening needs to be framed for proper support.

I am not familiar with fiberglass roofs, so maybe my thoughts are incorrect? My TT has a wood roof (covered with EPDM). I am rebuilding it and have taken most of the ceiling down. Every skylight, roof vent, A/C vent, etc. had extra wood framing around the opening.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:56 PM   #10
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My roof is a sheet aluminum, rigid foam, and plywood sandwich. There's is no framing around the skylight opening. I have no idea how close any of the edges are to the structural cross members in the roof. The vent opening above the refrigerator is the same way, just a rectangle cut through with the foam edges showing.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:17 AM   #11
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Karl, everyone that answered you must have all been short guy's! Not to be-little (no pun intended) any of you guy's, but for me, being 6'3", a skylight is a must in the raised showers of the last 2 MH's I have owned! The first MH I owned did not have one, and it was a pain, every time I took a shower! I would not buy another MH without one! As for me, my skylight's never leaked, and were just one more thing I had to seal around once a year during my maintenance routine! My last MH's skylight in the shower let in so much light, it brightened up the whole middle of the MH!
As for you adding one, that would be your call! As long as you would not have to cut any roof supports or have any wires in the way, as alvo said, it will take you 2/3 hours to do! As for framing around it, the skylight is not a A/C unit, and it is very light, and once installed, would add to the support of the hole you cut!
And, if you get a clear one, and stand on a stool, while your wife drives down the road, you can wave at everyone she passes as you are showering! Rail!
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:09 AM   #12
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Karl, everyone that answered you must have all been short guy's! Not to be-little (no pun intended) any of you guy's, but for me, being 6'3", a skylight is a must in the raised showers of the last 2 MH's I have owned! The first MH I owned did not have one, and it was a pain, every time I took a shower! I would not buy another MH without one! As for me, my skylight's never leaked, and were just one more thing I had to seal around once a year during my maintenance routine! My last MH's skylight in the shower let in so much light, it brightened up the whole middle of the MH!
As for you adding one, that would be your call! As long as you would not have to cut any roof supports or have any wires in the way, as alvo said, it will take you 2/3 hours to do! As for framing around it, the skylight is not a A/C unit, and it is very light, and once installed, would add to the support of the hole you cut!
And, if you get a clear one, and stand on a stool, while your wife drives down the road, you can wave at everyone she passes as you are showering! Rail!
I have a skylight on my house that I installed, that is a mirror tube that goes down thru the attic to the ceiling of the hallway below. I did this instead of having that wood framed tube to go thru the attic like many traditional skylights have.

The reason that is significant, is the top dome is a real bubble, not unlike a clear satelite bubble, much more of a head quality dome, than a standard 2 inch dome of a motorhome skylight.

Earlier in that other thread, there was a link to a video for replacing a cracked skylight. That video removed the old one, and it was clear and obvious there was no framing, and it was on a motorhome with a fiberglass roof. That video is what made me think to do it.

I have been in more modern motorhomes with these, and it really does brighten up what is potentially a pretty dim area.

In my past MH, which was a class C, and also from the 80s, there was a vent in the bathroom and no skylight. Also, there was no light over the shower itself, but more over the curtain bar. Every time I showered, it seemed dark, especially on the back wall which was in a shadow from my body.

This new to me MH has a much better shower, with a dedicated light in the top of the shower itself. (wires I would have to deal with if I installed a skylight) It much brighter in the bath room in general, the vent in the bathroom (not the shower) is much brighter with its ring of lights around it, and I was happy with the improvement.

That was till this latest discussion, where I realized I may want to modernize the bathroom even more.

I have some potential big changes coming up, and I am considering the possibilitiy of becoming a full timer in this MH. If I do that, I wanted it to be as comfortable and 'user friendly' as possible.

And as for leaks, I am not worried. Any more maintenance is more maintenance, but in my mind, a skylight is not automatically a leak waiting to happen. I would not shy away from adding an air conditioner if I needed one, will most likely add solar, and very well may add other items to the roof. I will caulk well, and watch carefully, and will deal with what comes of it. I do not believe it will expose me to eminent danger.

And I do want to take that drive with my head out the top... All I need to do is grow 8 more inches and convince my wife to drive the motor home. Both tasks represent equal challenges to their completion.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:08 PM   #13
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Re: framing. My 1991 Rockwood MH has framing on every roof opening, skylight included. They also put some kind of thick coating over the framing as well. (perhaps some kind of poly coat or something like that). I don't think the framing is so much for supporting skylight or even the vents (which had framing too) but to re-enforce the roof's integrity.

I'm not a builder though and I don't play one on TV either but it seems to make sense in theory any way.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:38 PM   #14
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I am not a builder either, and I used the images from the video in that other thread to demonstrate what I believed to be likely in my roof.

What I saw however in that video was a number of layers of material, the thin fiberglass layer then a pretty thin plywood looking layer. Under that was some space and some insulation. I have no idea what kind of MH he was using as his demonstrator, and that skylight was just the lexan, no metal trim ring of any kind.

I did not like his instruction to use the self tapping screws and tighten down till the lexan puckers but not so tight that it cracked. Kind of very loosie goosie for me. Also, I would have used some sort of washer on those screws to distribute the load of the screw head, instead of puckering the plastic with no relief.

Lastly, he appeared to be screwing 1 1/2 or 2 inch self tapping screws into that thin layer of plywood.

I am the type to frame or at least stiffen that roofing structure. I would not take a 2 inch screw into a half inch or less of plywood. I would put a 1 by 2 frame under it at least to absorb the end of the screw, and frame it in the same effort, as a minimum. The result would be a framing of the opening, held in place with the glue, caulk and screws.

It may not be right, or the way they did it at the factory, (but mind does not have any factory installed skylights) but it is typical of the way I would do it.

Thanks again for all the ideas and comments. I think I will leave this on the list of projects to eventually be added to my MH.
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