Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. Today he discusses insulating a shower skylight.
The shower skylight in our RV lets in a lot of light and heat in the summer and a lot of cold in the winter. I would like to install a reflective insulation between the two plastic domes. Will this cause any problem? Thank you. —Roger Ewing
The skylight in a shower has two functions: one is to let in light, while the other is actually to create a little more headroom.
However, the downside, as you suggested, is the material is a relatively thin piece of ABS plastic with little or no insulation value. Some manufacturers use a black opaque material that helps limit the sunlight, if desired. But it still has little hot or cold insulation characteristics.
Over the years I have seen a few “inventive” DIY projects where owner’s have spray painted the plastic a darker shade and even some that sprayed the cover with a rubberized product such as Flex Seal. A few owners reconditioned their roof with a Dicor product and coated the skylight as well. This would help a little, probably more in the summer to keep out sunlight and with keeping heat from building up quite so much.
Camping World and others do have skylight covers available that are virtually a padded blanket applied to the top. But additional insulation from inside would be needed, in my opinion. Since you indicated you have two plastic domes, I would suspect there is an aftermarket cover on it. However, I’ve learned to never say never in the RV world as manufacturers and dealers like to change things up just to keep us guessing.
I do not think placing insulation between the two sheets would create any issues. Just make sure that you seal whatever cover you remove to add the insulation really well. I would suggest using the silver foam material such as Reflectix, as it is flexible and easy to work with.
If you don’t need the headroom, I would also suggest cutting a piece of styrofoam insulation the size of the opening and wedge it in from the inside. You can get creative with a fabric covering, plastic or other material to make it look more appealing.
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