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Old 05-18-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
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Help Please....Skylight Ordeal

Hello Everyone,

In short: After getting our Roo 233s home, it rained very hard and I discovered a leak in the skylight above the bathroom shower. It turns out it was a crack in the plastic outer shell coming from one of the screws. I called FR and told them about it, and they sent me out a new skylight assembly right away.

I got around to replacing the skylight today. I took the old one off, cleaned up all the lap sealant and butyl putty from the old one (this took forever by the way). Put the butyl tape on the new skylight nice and pretty. Lined up all the holes and pressed it down perfectly. Put the screws back in making SURE not to tighten them too much as to crack the plastic like what was done at the factory.

Got ready to put down new Dicor sealant around the new skylight. Thought I would clean up the surface a little before putting new caulk down on it. I sprayed one single shot of cleaner.... a small amount hit the new skylight and BOOM!! A crack happened in the NEW ONE!!

I think it was because the plastic was hot from the sun and the "cold" spray was just too much for it.

So....I am not happy at all. Looks like I will be doing this all over again! My question is this: "Does ANYONE make a better (more rugged) skylight for these things than the CRAP that comes from FR?

Please let me know because I don't really care how much it costs, or how heavy it is (the heavier the better as far as I'm concerned). I just need to replace this one quickly and I don't know where to go to find an aftermarket one that is much, much stronger.

Thank you all for any advice you can give about this situation.

James
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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Sounds odd it would crack regardless if it was in the sun. It sould be able to handle that - it's a sky light!

What is in the cleaner? Maybe it's not compatable with the plastic.

These guys make skylights for about any size and shape.
Replacement RV Skylights
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! 93 views and only one person knows about skylights? Odd...

Anywho.... I'm not sure why it cracked. The cleaner that I used was a cleaner made to be mild (it is made to clean window tint.... so it does no harm to plastics). The only thing I can think of is that, I installed it in the direct hot sun in Florida... it sat there getting hot for hours. Then went inside and got the cleaner from the air conditioned house. The cleaner is also an aerosol with a propellent, so that always comes out cold anyway. There was no damage other than the immediate "POP" the very instant the spray hit the plastic.

Thank you for the link. I know I will get Lexan to replace this acrylic one.

James
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:22 PM   #4
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Calling the factory skylight "crap" may have been the reason you only got one response. There are very few complaints about the skylights, so it would seem that it was indeed your own fault.

You mentioned not tightening the screws too much, but did you make sure the holes in the skylight were big enough for the screws? The holes should be big enough for the screws to slide back and forth, without the threads biting into the plastic at all.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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In my case I didn't reply because I couldn't add anything. However, reading about applying a cold spray to a item that was warm from heat did refresh my memory to be very careful.

I too would like to know how this works out for you.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonG View Post
Calling the factory skylight "crap" may have been the reason you only got one response. There are very few complaints about the skylights, so it would seem that it was indeed your own fault.

You mentioned not tightening the screws too much, but did you make sure the holes in the skylight were big enough for the screws? The holes should be big enough for the screws to slide back and forth, without the threads biting into the plastic at all.
I may have gone a little overboard with the wording of "crap"... you are correct. I spent hours in the heat trying to get it perfect only to have a brand new skylight crack the minute a cold spray touched it... I was quite angry at the time (if you can understand). I probably should have a cooling off period before posting in the future. No personal insult was meant by it and I apologize if I did.

I understand about the contracting of plexiglass and the need for holes to be just a bit bigger than the screws. I used the same factory parts that FR used (skylight and screws) and it looked as if there was enough play in there for movement. I guess I can just chalk this up to a BIG learning experience regarding the properties of acrylic plastics and be more careful in the future. Doom on me this time...

I am still going to try a Lexan product this next time. I have read until my eyes bled about the differing properties of acrylic vs. lexan and it seems that most state that the lexan is about 30 times more durable in the same thickness than acrylics. So, I'll give it a try.

Thank you for your posts and I will keep you updated on the progress.

James
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:59 PM   #7
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Can't really blame you for being a bit ticked off.
I have had similar experiences and would probably have been even less diplomatic. My comment about not getting responses was more about the reason for a lack of feedback, rather than a comment on whether or not you had the right to vent.
May I ask, do you know if they make skylights for campers out of lexan?
Ooops, never mind, checked the link above. They certainly do!
One wouldn't think that just spraying a cold substance on the skylight would make it crack, but I suppose if it was a hot day, and you were in full sunlight, that plastic was probably well over 150 degrees.
Hope your luck improves immensely!
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:13 PM   #8
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Thank you Don!

James
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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James - You can have them make the bubble a little taller to make more durable if you're ever in a hail storm. In central Texas hail storms are fairly common.

Don't forget to add pics of your replacment. Good luck.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:25 PM   #10
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They are cheap but I don't think it should have cracked. It can rain with the sun still shining bright down there and the same thing could have happened. Maybe the location of the holes is putting stress on the skylight.
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