Skoolie skylights are one of the most critical roof items to install before you put up the ceiling in a skoolie. They are also really useful for getting natural light during the day so you do not have to use so much energy.
A skylight is one of the best and easiest ways to replace the emergency hatch in your skoolie. We needed one to replace the emergency hatch and while we were at it, we thought it would be nice to have another toward the front above our skoolie couch/desk area.
The skylight replacing the hatch was going to open while the other one would stay still. We figured we would have the skylight that replaces the emergency hatch open (as it is right by the bathroom & kitchen); so that we can let humidity and cooking smell out while bringing fresh air in. Chris & I went back and forth between which kind of skylight to buy, plastic or glass, domed or straight. Ultimately, it came down to the decision of a domed RV skylight.
Update 8/20/20: We removed the hatch skylight from the emergency skylight and replaced it with a piece of plywood on top of the lower frame to mount a Dometic 7350 Fantastic vent fan. We couldn’t be happier with the change! The framing of the holes detailed in this article is holding up amazingly 2 years in with the liquid rubber painted on the exterior up on the roof.
To DIY your skoolie skylight, you will need
- A skylight. We bought this ICON 22″ x 22″ skylight for the emergency hatch and this ICON 22″ x 14″ skylight for the front skylight.
- drywall screws
- 1″ woodgrip screw with the washer built in
- 2 x 4s
- liquid nails
- 100% silicone
- caulk gun
- a crow bar to get the hatch out
- an angle grinder to trim down the excess metal
- something to cut the 2 x 4s with. We used a chop saw, but a circular saw or a table saw would work just fine.
Then, it was time to assemble.
Skoolie Skylight Frame
Install Skoolie Skylights
We mounted the frame, put extra 2 x 4s of about the same length on the four sides of the frame, then we drilled the drywall screws from the frame to the extra 2 x 4s. Then, down from the roof into the extra 2 x 4s with the built in washer screws.
It was completely secure and sturdy.
After we screwed the skylight to the frame, we put waterproof flashing tape around it, then painted liquid rubber over that. We did a couple coats to ensure it would not leak!
Since the skylight that went in the emergency hatch can open, we had to ensure a leak proof skylight. We put rubber window seal on the bottom of the frame that has the skylight attached to it, and the top of the frame that is mounted to the ceiling.
After that, we put three hinges on the outside, all on the same side so we can open the skylight 90 degrees.
We wanted to let ya’ll know how we made our skylights. It was very inexpensive. The screws with the washer built in were $7.00, the other screws were $15.00 (we bought as many as we could since we will use them all in this build). 2 x 4s were about $2.75 / board. Liquid nails and silicone were about $5.00. The most expensive part were the skylights themselves, around $45.00 each.
We installed our skylights for around $160, which is way cheaper than purchasing a regular skylight.
Drop your questions below in the comments section and we will be sure to answer ASAP!