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The practical guide to caravan skylights

A caravan skylight can drastically improve a caravan’s interior mood, providing natural light and much-needed illumination for food preparation and reading, as well as reducing energy consumption. Many skylights can also be opened and closed, improving ventilation and providing an escape route for steam and hazardous gases.

With such a wide range of options on the market, which skylight will work best for you? Here are some tips.

Check with the caravan company

First, call up the caravan’s manufacturer to verify that your model can safely accommodate a skylight. Importantly, check that there is no electrical wiring running through the section of roof where you want to install the unit.

Choosing the right spot

Choosing where to place a skylight is often a matter of finding the right trade-off between functionality, comfort and convenience. If it can be opened and closed, place it where it will be within easy reach. It’s usually better to put it above the kitchen and dining area than over the bed, as glare from the morning sun or streetlights could disturb your sleep.

Design and materials

A skylight is basically a clear transparent dome, although unit designs can vary. A good quality skylight panel will be composed of a robust weather-proof polymer such as ASA acrylic, which is resistant to UV light and stress fracturing. The panel may also be double glazed for improved sound and heat insulation.

Ventilation

All skylights can be opened, allowing air to circulate and providing superior comfort on fine-weather days. Some skylights can be operated like a simple hatch, in some cases using a telescoping wind-up/wind-down mechanism, while others can be opened from multiple sides for finer control over air flow. Some include an electrically operated option. They will also include a locking mechanism to keep the skylight from blowing open on windy days. An aerodynamic skylight design can reduce drag on the road, saving fuel costs.

Accessories

To protect holidaymakers from sunburn and an invasion of creepy-crawlies, many skylights can be fitted with roller blinds and flyscreens. If your holiday plans will take you to the tropics, be sure to check them for mould, which can grow in humid weather conditions.

Installing the skylight

If it requires cutting a hole in the caravan roof, the skylight is best installed by a professional who can ensure it is properly waterproofed.

Replacing an old skylight can be easier as many units can be simply slotted into place. First, ensure the new unit is the correct fit for the existing aperture by taking a precise measurement of the aperture’s width, breadth and depth. To keep moisture out, apply a high-quality sealant between the skylight and aperture. Old sealant should be carefully removed beforehand using a scraper or mineral spirits.

A new skylight can be a fantastic addition to your caravan, giving you that extra dose of fresh air and sunshine. Alternatively, if you feel ready to trade up, check out our tips on how to upgrade your caravan.

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