Replace dome skylight with clear laminated glass

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by Anthony Hitchings, Jul 3, 2021.

  1. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    has anyone with an A-frame camper replaced a domed skylight with a tempered (or laminated) clear glass skylight (- so that they could see some stars in the night sky)?

    its on our current to-do list, for one of the small skylights above our bed - at the head end..
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't use glass , tempered or laminated. Unless you can get it like a windshield? Maybe like a plexiglass/ lexon or something similer?
     
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  3. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    By domed skylight you mean a bubble?

    Interesting concept.

    Saw an early 2000's model at Elkmont. it had a factory option, a hinged bubble. All I remember was the "5" tubes of caulk around the perimeter.
     
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  4. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Lol, i need that in my shower, so i can open it up and not hit the top of the bubble with my head. It would look funny with a head sticking out of a camper roof though.
     
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  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    My mom's TT had a vent with a clear cover right above their bed. However the sun and heat streamed right through that vent so much they ended up using reflectix to cover the vent. If you were to replace the windows I think you may have a bigger problem than what my parents faced as you will have a much bigger window. The heat from the sun will come in through the window and the sun in the morning will be intense. If you don't want to be waking up at the crack of dawn every morning you will need a way to black out that window.
     
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  6. Goforit

    Goforit Active Member

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    All of the above can be done. Yet, they all have drawbacks. Laminated is safe, but breaks easly on an impact (say hail, a branch, or even a green pinecone). Tempered is much stronger, but if it does break nothing is left but tiny schards of glass. I wouldn't use acrylic (trade name plexyglass). Polycarbonate (lexan) would be a better choice. I personally would use the Polycarbonate, like GE with a coating for better optics and scratch resistance. The other issue you will run into is; going from a dome to something flat. Have to make a good seal, as standing moisture will be more of an issue. If you choose the polly, please do not use plain silicone to seal it (disaster in the making unless a proper "for polycarbonate" neutral silicone is used).
     
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  7. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Adventures with KODI in AZ

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    I wanted to see what other options are available in case my Classic’s polycarbonate windows cracked. Glad we didn’t have this issue before selling the Classic. While researching options online I found the Avan Aliner and saw many better construction materials and accessories used. Wished CNW used the same while building ours in the US. I really like the windows for Avan Aliners from Australia. They have different windows from ours. One of their Window options don’t lie flat against the roof like ours which tends to crack and have leaks. They can be opened to allow air ventilation. From the different options to select, my favorite is the large winding dome complete with a fly screen as a good replacement. You would also have to buy the internal surround (metal C-section) for the dome. Keep in mind… this upgrade isn’t cheap but the quality construction and window type is worth it.

    https://www.avanspareparts.com.au/all-parts/windows-and-blinds/

    Happy Camping…[put&hy]
     
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  8. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    I am looking at a Velux deck-mount fixed skylight. $306+tax. My labor is free. Sealant and screws complete the cost. The "light" as its called in the trade (glass) is double insulated - and is flat (laminated) glass for the best distortion free clarity. Easy to clear with a regular squegee. Laminated glass is what's used on your auto windshield - its the safest form of glazing. I can afford to replace it if a (big) pinecone cracks the outer laminate's layer.

    BTW - windshield laminate is hellishly tough - I was bopping along a state highway one day at 60-65 in the Jeep Liberty, and a metal edged lid from a 55 gallon plastic drum on the truck in front of me became airborne and flew at the Jeep, striking the windshield right in front of my eyes with a huge thud. The lid bounded off the windshield and left a scuff mark and a tiny chip on the windshield. If I had instead been on my motorcycle I would have crashed and been in a bad way.
     
  9. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Yea, the laminite is a bit diffrent. A windsheild has like 8 layers of glass sandwiched between the plastic and glue. The skylights dont have that much. I was more worried about flex and size while traveling the road. Dont want to have it break on you!
     
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  10. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    Well - its too late now - we ordered one. This self-flashing model mounts and seals like a Fantastic Fan.
     

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  11. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Lol! Hope it works out perfectly!
     
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  12. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    BTW - since the old brittle interior trim on the skylight opening is too small - its useless - I need a new interior treatment of the larger opening. I could either do something in wood - which might be a bit delicate - or it might be OK.
    OR
    I could get 4 aluminum angles 1x1 or 1x1.5, mitre-cut them to make the square, gete them TIG welded at the corners ($100 probably) like an inside out picture frame, and thru bolt (screw, actually) from the outside face of the skylights mounting flange all the way thru the aluminum frame. This might help stiffen the roof, and it would provide more positive anchorage for the skylight compared to screwing the skylight flange into the thin aluminum roof sheeting. As shown in the attached image.

    Any comments?
     

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  13. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Adventures with KODI in AZ

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    I’d go with the aluminum option. That way you’re not worried about water damages to the wood. TIG welding might be cheaper after some estimates. I’ve paid less than $100 for having some work done on a boat trailer welded for a custom made model.

    Happy Camping…[put&hy]
     
  14. Tait

    Tait Active Member

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    It might be interesting to see what's under the existing plastic flashing. Mine had some kind of aluminum framing that the flashing screwed into. I understand your new window will be a little bigger than the existing one, so, even if you have that same kind of frame, you have to sacrifice it, but it might be worth looking in to.

    There would be a huge difference in sturdiness between 1/16" thick aluminum angle and even 1/8". It might make sense to go as thick as reasonable on the angle if you are hoping for sturdy.

    Also (I know you know this, but not sure if others reading later would): be careful bolting through the roof panel! As you have indicated in your drawing, it's just foam in the middle. It's easy to start crushing the panel by over-tightening (not that I know personally or anything). Lock-nuts or Loc-Tite are your friend here.
     
  15. Tait

    Tait Active Member

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    Can you post a link to the specific model you ordered?
     
  16. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    no progress - the skylight is still "in transit" - it has been for two weeks :-(
     
  17. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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  18. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    Project is on HOLD - I cancelled the LOWES order - nothing reliable was happening.

    I will do an in person visit with our local dealer on Monday. Maybe that is a better option.
     
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  19. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    Project is alive again. I just ordered the last 22x22 clear polycarbonate skylight by Specialty Recreation via Amazon.

    The roof opening remains the same size, and this is less $$ than the fancy glass skylights.

    Its a more affordable experiment. And straight-forward. And 100% reversible.
     
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  20. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    Side Note: the interior plastic trim around the skylight opening is called a "Garnish", it seems. All of the screws that hold the garnish in place in our 2003 Scout were rusted - from light to heavy. My guess would be that the rust is due to condensation from the single-pane skylight dome getting trapped behind the vertical face of the garnish. So I upsized to #10x3/4" S/S raised head screws, and drilled out the holes in the Garnish to match. All better now - except for one corner that missed entirely because the roof opening was cut too large n that corner.
     
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