RV Skylight Installation

After removing the old air conditioning unit from the top of our vintage trailer I had to find something to fill the giant hole in the roof and decided to install a skylight / roof vent.  It turns out that RV skylights and air conditioning units use the same dimensions (14″x14″) so that made it very easy.

I had to do some cleanup and repair on the hole due to serious dry rot from where the seal on the AC unit was not complete and allowed water in.  Luckily all the dry rot only affected the shim boards and not the actual roof rafters which bear most of the weight.  You can see in the photo below where the rot was so bad I could stick a screw driver into the wood with little effort.

dry-rot

Using a chisel, hammer and some pliers I was able to remove the rotted wood without damaging the larger structural beams underneath it.  I then cut 4 new pieces of wood to size and slid them in between the aluminum roofing and the ceiling beams and screwed them into place.

Buying the RV Skylight

After looking online for a skylight to replace our AC unit I finally settled on Heng’s 69632 14″ x 14″ Vent sold on Amazon.  It was going for a reasonable price and has the ability to add  an optional fan to it if you like.  The one downside to this product is that it does not come with ANY mounting hardware at all.  Luckily I found the Camco 25003 Universal Vent Installation Kit with Putty Tape on Amazon which helped alot.  It comes with the necessary screws and putty tape so you can install your vent worry free.

Opening where the skylight will go
Opening where the skylight will go

The installation is simple, just clean the roof top area of debris and wipe it down with some sort of soap cleaner – simple green should work fine. Lay down the putty tape around the edges of the opening and then place the skylight on top of it making sure the vent opens toward the back of the RV.  Install screws and you are done.  Super simple.  (Pictures of the installed product will have to come in the spring… the RV is tarped up for winter time due to a leak I cannot currently identify).

Removing the Air Conditioner

Living in the Pacific Northwest we do not have a huge need for an air conditioner on our RV and we decided to remove it.  Further influencing our decision was both the age and weight of the ancient unit.

The air conditioner that came with the trailer is a Coleman and has a thermostat connected to that you can control from inside the trailer.  We have no idea if it works as I didn’t both plugging it in to test it but if I had to guess it would either just not run at all or blow up on us.  The thing is very old and rusted and we decided to just get rid of it.

Removing a 175lb air conditioner from the roof of an RV is no easy task.  I decided the best way to do this would be to lean a 2×8 piece of plywood up against the roof line and then put the bottom of it into a wheel barrel that Amber was holding.  We essentially “slid” the old AC unit off the top of the roof and down the plywood right into the wheel barrel where we could roll it to the back of my car and take it to the dump.  We managed to do this successfully with no damage to the RV and no injuries to ourselves.

ac-unit  rv-air-conditioner

Up Next: Installing a skylight where the old air conditioner was.