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 > Fixing the skylight on BF10.4 - picture heavy

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HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bigfoot builds a very nice camper shell, then severely compromises it by how they install the roof penetrations. The skylight in the shower on mine leaked just once (wind? tilted the right direction?), I wanted to fix it permanently. There were two basic design issues: the skylight flange is flat and the roof curved, and they attempted to overlap the flanges of the skylight and plumbing vent cover. This resulted in gaps of more than half an inch, which were expected to stay sealed (at least until the warrantee expired) with a huge pile of butyl caulking tape. It did not last long.

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* This post was last edited 10/17/20 10:50am by an administrator/moderator *   View edit history

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First step was to fix the plumbing vent. I cut a short piece of G10 fiberglass tube, slightly enlarged the hole in the roof to fit, and sanded the gel coat back for a good bond. Then bonded the tube into the hole with a fillet of thickened epoxy. Even with no caulking at all, this creates a 1.5" wall that water will have to climb to get into the roof.

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* This post was edited 10/17/20 10:51am by an administrator/moderator *

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Of course the cheap RV caulking that was used on top of the skylight flange had long since failed. While this is secondary to the butyl, it does no good at all at sealing, and only makes cleaning it off a messy chore.

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* This post was edited 10/17/20 10:51am by an administrator/moderator *

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I removed the skylight and cleaned up the mess. The gelcoat was sanded back in preparation for the fix. Note that they somewhat missed the hole required of the shower.

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* This post was last edited 10/17/20 10:49am by an administrator/moderator *   View edit history

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My fix involved cutting a frame from some 1/2" G10 fiberglass sheet, then cutting and grinding the curve of the roof into the bottom of it, leaving the top flat. Grinding fiberglass is an unpleasant chore, obviously they could have molded this shape into the fiberglass shell with no effort at all at the factory.

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* This post was edited 10/17/20 10:51am by an administrator/moderator *

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fiberglass sheet like this is very strong, but can be cleaved between layers easily. To limit the grinding, I plowed slots at the appropriate depth every 3" or so, then chiseled out the waste and cleaned it up by grinding. It doesn't need to be perfect as it will be set in a bed of thickened epoxy which will fill in the gaps.


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* This post was edited 10/17/20 10:52am by an administrator/moderator *

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is a view along the contoured edge, You can see the curve of the roof which the flat skylight flange was asked to accommodate. The curve is approximately 3/8", either the flange and skylight must bend that much or you would have to have that much caulk at the ends.

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* This post was last edited 10/17/20 10:52am by an administrator/moderator *   View edit history

Lwiddis

near Bishop, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Excellent posting. Informative.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The frame was set in West Six10 epoxy. I've already removed the masking tape protecting the roof from squeeze out. The tape going left (towards the camper centerline) is to prevent the frame from sliding off of the roof in the wet epoxy as it sets

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* This post was last edited 10/17/20 10:52am by an administrator/moderator *   View edit history

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/16/20 02:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The edge of exposed epoxy was painted with PU paint, as epoxy has poor UV resistance. The skylight was set in 3M 4000UV sealant, and no screws were used at all. The sealant is far stronger than the screws, and does not involve drilling 20 leaks into the roof. The new plumbing vent cover was set the same way. It would have looked better if I'd cleaned all the old sealant off the top of the skylight flange, but a little bit of it was still stuck well, and heck - nobody will see it anyway.

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* This post was edited 10/17/20 10:52am by an administrator/moderator *

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