RV Skylight Install Apprehension

We have a perfectly sound roof on our Jay Feather 24T travel trailer, and I cut a 14" x 22" hole in it... that made me very apprehensive.

Why, you ask? The kitchen in our Jay Feather, by comparison, is fairly large for an RV, with a lot of coveted counter space, which usually is a premium. Friends of ours have a much larger rig (and a lot more expensive), and they have "kitchen envy." But, the space is very dark and that makes it feel small, cramped, and not very homey. The solution to that problem was a skylight, and that requires a very large hole in a perfectly good roof. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.


I was able to obtain a framing detail of our trailer from Jayco; their Customer Service is actually quite good about that. I just sent them an email with the VIN, and an hour later, I was emailed a PDF. I then found a skylight that was the exact size of the opening required. Apprehension was starting to set in on the day of reckoning, but I persevered with my eye on the prize of sunlight. 

I laid out the location of the 14" x 22" opening required, using the Jayco roof framing drawings, and proceeded to drill a 3/8" hole in each corner with a 6" bit... no turning back now. With my Bosch saber saw, equipped with a 6" blade for cutting PVC pipe, I needed the extra length to cut through the thick roof (rigid  styrofoam sandwiched by 2 - 1/4" sheets of plywood and the EPDM roof membrane) I climbed up on the roof  and made the 4 cuts, guided by the 3/8" corner holes. Let there be light!

The skylight consists of 2 parts: the outer component is made of high performance thermoformed polycarbonate to be long lasting and easy to clean. I screwed the skylight to the roof using #8 x 3/4" stainless panhead screws, then taped the perimeter with 4" EternaBond Sealant Tape. To insure a complete waterproof installation, I edged the tape with Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant.

Exterior Component - RV Roof

The inner component, the garnish, is used to trim-out the rough opening to give it a finished took, and it is easily installed using the same #8 x 3/4" stainless panhead screws. The transformation is nothing less that amazing. "Let the Sunshine In." The skylight completely changes the feel of the kitchen: bright, warm, and inviting.

"Let the Sunshine In"

The installation is not for the faint of heart, nor an unskilled craftsman who is not comfortable using power tools, but it is not that difficult either. It is, however, well worth the effort. Below is my install video for those up for the challenge.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Bob, I am about to make this very same upgrade :-) I've purchased all the same parts you recommended.

    Thanks so much for the detail in your blog and video.

    Any tips you learned after/during that you'd like to impart to me ;-)

    I wondered if you allowed the roof rubber to fall down to cover the layers of the roof and ceiling? That is to say, did you make a precise cut in the rubber so when looking thru the skylight from the top you can see the layers of roof and ceiling or does the roof rubber cover them?