Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: NL Skylight lug broke off
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 > NL Skylight lug broke off

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Dewclaw

Oregon

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Posted: 11/01/20 12:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So, I found a piece of semi-circular white plastic laying on the bed. Looking around in the bunk area I found that one of the plastic lugs that the skylight latches to had broken off the frame. Luckily I always rope the darned thing down when we are on the road so it held with just one side latched.

Now the problem is how to fix it. It's part of the internal skylight frame and I can't see buying an entire frame. I'm thinking that I will make something that will have a lug that the latch can hook onto and which will fasten to the plastic frame.

Have any of you had a skylight failure like that? If so, what did you do to repair it? TIA


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joerg68

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Posted: 11/01/20 04:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A picture might help to understand, and identify which type of skylight you are referring to, for the non-NL operators. See http://photoposting.is-great.net/?i=1 for photo postung here.
Is this the original Skylight? At 12 years old, the plastic has probably become brittle and prone to breaking. If you fix the one spot, you may well have the next issue soon. Then again, you can always try your luck and go ahead with your repair.
The (simple, standard) roof vent on our camper simply disintegrated this year - it is a 2017... There was no doubt about repairs, though. It was just gone, and what was left of it crumbled between my fingers. The remaining hardware inducated it was properly closed at the time.


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HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 11/01/20 04:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If this is a Heki skylight, it is par for the course. The Heki is a great idea, poorly executed from cheap materials. They work fine as long as they are never in the sun.....

Again if Heki, parts are available from Dometic USA for an exorbitant sum and long lead times. Cheaper and quicker on European eBay sites.


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mike/kellie

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Posted: 11/01/20 06:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This above! I bought the struts and new locking lugs from Europe. Take your time to cross reference numbers and size.


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Dewclaw

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Posted: 11/02/20 12:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have not posted for quite a long time but finally figured out how to post pictures. They are more than the size intended. Anyway, now it's easy to see what I'm posting about.


Here is a picture of the skylight showing the place where the piece (lug) broke off.


[image]


Here is a picture of the piece that broke off.
[image]


Here is a picture of the other skylight latch, still unbroken.

[image]

* This post was edited 11/02/20 12:23am by Dewclaw *

Dewclaw

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Posted: 11/02/20 12:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the replies, all. I had already bought new locking latches and have them stashed in the camper in case of need. But the lug itself breaking off is something that I have not heard of. Since the lug is part of the frame, it looks expensive (as is everything Heki/Dometic).

It would be great to have more replies and suggestions. :-)

Z-Peller

Oceanside BC

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Posted: 11/02/20 01:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JB Weld makes PlasticWeld. I would attach the broken lug back in place with JB Weld and fill in the topside of the lug with JB Weld at a 45deg angle upwards to give it some strength for pull of the latch. Picture looks like the latch has an ear that goes over the topside of of the lug as well as below, so that may have to be cut off to make clearance for the JB Weld 45deg build out bracing.
For more strength against the upward pull of the latch and because of the upper ear, might be better to use a 90deg metal angle on topside of lug and JB Weld it in place.....

* This post was edited 11/02/20 02:03am by Z-Peller *


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d3500ram

Colorado

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Posted: 11/02/20 08:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with Beagle on the opinion of quality of Heki... I wrote a critical opinion of them in THIS TOPIC.

I had one of the black colored "forks" of the rotating portion break off on my last camper... Crazy Glue did not work. But the rotating part in my situation and the "lug" as you call it are only part of a lock of sorts. I say lock because I am not sure if it is meant to keep the skylight in place while traveling down the road.

You mention that you "rope" yours down, but I just left my as is because there was a significant amount of downward force from the pistons holding it down. I installed new piston because the original ones would not hold the skylight in the UP position. I never worried about trying to get a permanent fix because they really held the window very well in the down position.

But, if you want to fix yours, the frame is relatively easy to take down for a possible fix. Maybe you can install a metal angle with small nuts and bolts to replicate the piece that broke. I had to disassemble mine because the shade slipped out of its guide track slot.

If you choose to take the frame down and the shade works properly for you, DO NOT LET THE SHADE SPRING AND ROLLER COME OUT OF ITS POSITION. It is similar to spring loaded roller shades on a house window in that you need to pre-load the spring. It can be done on the Heli but it is a PIA,

Dewclaw

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Posted: 11/05/20 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Z-Peller wrote:

JB Weld makes PlasticWeld. I would attach the broken lug back in place with JB Weld and fill in the topside of the lug with JB Weld at a 45deg angle upwards to give it some strength for pull of the latch. Picture looks like the latch has an ear that goes over the topside of of the lug as well as below, so that may have to be cut off to make clearance for the JB Weld 45deg build out bracing.
For more strength against the upward pull of the latch and because of the upper ear, might be better to use a 90deg metal angle on topside of lug and JB Weld it in place.....


Thanks. I have used the ordinary JB Weld with good success. I'll get some of the PlasticWeld.

Dewclaw

Oregon

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Posted: 11/05/20 08:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

d3500ram wrote:

I agree with Beagle on the opinion of quality of Heki... I wrote a critical opinion of them in THIS TOPIC.

I had one of the black colored "forks" of the rotating portion break off on my last camper... Crazy Glue did not work. But the rotating part in my situation and the "lug" as you call it are only part of a lock of sorts. I say lock because I am not sure if it is meant to keep the skylight in place while traveling down the road.

You mention that you "rope" yours down, but I just left my as is because there was a significant amount of downward force from the pistons holding it down. I installed new piston because the original ones would not hold the skylight in the UP position. I never worried about trying to get a permanent fix because they really held the window very well in the down position.

But, if you want to fix yours, the frame is relatively easy to take down for a possible fix. Maybe you can install a metal angle with small nuts and bolts to replicate the piece that broke. I had to disassemble mine because the shade slipped out of its guide track slot.

If you choose to take the frame down and the shade works properly for you, DO NOT LET THE SHADE SPRING AND ROLLER COME OUT OF ITS POSITION. It is similar to spring loaded roller shades on a house window in that you need to pre-load the spring. It can be done on the Heli but it is a PIA,


Thank you. That is good info and a good caution regarding the shade spring and roller. I will probably glue a replacement piece on without disassembling the frame.

I rope mine down with a piece of cord running under the mattress and then tied to the aluminum handle. A nice lady at the RV shop told me that was the only way they could get their campers (or something) shipped to the east coast and still have the Heki in place when they got there. So help me, if I every trade the Northern Lite in it will be for a camper with NO HEKI.

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