Vehicle sun roof addition - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-17-2006, 12:45 PM   #1
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Seen lots of fiberglass trailers as well as the stick/aluminum trailers that only have a pop-up vent cover.
What I haven't seen is the use of large sun roofs like those found in vans and cars. Why?

The window is sandwhiched between a 'H' design type seal and really shouldn't leak. The side windows on my Scamp are sealed in a housing which has a seal only on the outside panel. I would think that with the large window, a lot of natural light would be a great thing for the interior.
To keep debri and bugs out, a screen could be added.
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:01 PM   #2
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personally I wouldnt want a "sunroof' in my egg.. for one thing it would be HOT HOT HOT and its bad enough if you dont have some kind of a/c or a good fan. I had a car with a sunroof and would never get one again...I guess one could put one in if they wanted too.. each to what they like....

Oh i forgot to add that the vent on top is also an
escape hatch'....
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:04 PM   #3
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Dometic (the same people who make many of our refrigerators) have a Windows and blinds selection which includes Heki "roof lights". Most of the available models are substantially larger than the common 14"x14" roof vent, and they routinely have integrated insulating blinds. I had not seen these before following a mysterious (to me) reference to a "Midi Heki" in the web site for the recently discussed Deseo trailer, and these products appear to be common only in Europe.

Automotive sunroofs seem generally unsuitable for conventional RV use because they are designed to install in the sheet metal roof of a car, but maybe that would be a reasonable fit with a moulded fiberglass trailer shell. The sunshade (not always included in an auto sunroof) would be required, in my opinion.

By the way, I dislike sunroofs in cars, because they add weight and complication while reducing available headroom.
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:22 PM   #4
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Cars have sunroofs because when they're in use, you can't step outside. Fortunately, we don't have that restriction with our eggs.
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:34 PM   #5
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I had to smile when I read Jack's post - definitely a moment.

On the other hand, it is nice to have a sunny interior. For those who truly don't care, because they only go inside to sleep , maybe we can get one of the current trailer makers to make some up with the extra-lightweight and extra-well-insulated no window option?
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Old 03-19-2006, 01:47 PM   #6
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I had to smile when I read Jack's post - definitely a moment.

On the other hand, it is nice to have a sunny interior. For those who truly don't care, because they only go inside to sleep , maybe we can get one of the current trailer makers to make some up with the extra-lightweight and extra-well-insulated no window option?
Like this Pod camper/hauler? I only asked the question as a teardrop manufacturer is now offering it as an option - sunroof with also a slide curtain. And it has a screen! Though just a simple pop-up style sun roof, there are some car manu's that have a slider sunroof where the glass is over the roof.

For getting manu's to add options, I'd like to see a parking brake added. My driveway is 23* at steepest point and its nerve racking uphooking the trailer at times hoping the chucks don't slip or the trailer goes forward even an inch. I usually have to turn the camper 90* sideways to feel safe enough.
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Old 03-19-2006, 02:56 PM   #7
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I dunno, but I really don't think I would like one in my trailer. A couple of decades ago, I had one added to a car. Although being tinted kept the inside of the car from heating up, I can't begin to tell you how much fun it was driving along out in the middle of nowhere with a major lightening storm in full force. No place to duck and hide till it was over ... just keep going. That happened more than once. That cured me until I purchase my present car. It happen to come with a sun/moonroof. While it totally closes off so that storms are not a visual issue, it does take up valuable headroom that I sure don't have in my trailer.

I have been in fowl weather several times while camping. I always feel safe and snug. If I had a sunroof ... Ah, for me? No thank you ... very much.
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Old 03-19-2006, 04:33 PM   #8
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Dometic (the same people who make many of our refrigerators) have a Windows and blinds selection which includes Heki "roof lights". Most of the available models are substantially larger than the common 14"x14" roof vent, and they routinely have integrated insulating blinds. I had not seen these before following a mysterious (to me) reference to a "Midi Heki" in the web site for the recently discussed Deseo trailer, and these products appear to be common only in Europe.
The new Winnebago View has the new Dometic Heki Skylight over the lounge/Bed area. It can be opened and has a screen as well as pleated shade built in. Not sure if it was also an emergency exit.

The View has molded fiberglass roof so it seems that it might work on Casita. As stated it has been available in Europe. Since it has made it's way to at least one American RV it might be available to aftermarket sector down the road.

Pictures are the same or very similiar to what I saw in the Winnebago View.
Attached Thumbnails
Heki_3_Plus.jpg   Heki_3_Plus_2.jpg  

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Old 03-19-2006, 05:41 PM   #9
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My 1300 does have an automotive sunroof above the table area.
It is amazing how bright and open it makes the trailer seem compared to my other,bigger trailer without the sunroof!

The trailer came with it installed and I was nervous about leaking but I lubricated the rubber seal and used a little silicone caulk and I have not had a problem with it.
It does get warmer inside than it would without the sunroof but in the winter that is a good thing.
I have a Fantastic fan where the factory vent was and in the summer it can cool things off quickly even with the sunroof.
I made a little panel to stick under it if I need to but so far it is not an issue.
I also can tilt the sunroof up to exhaust hot air and it really helps even with the fan so close to it.

I will try to get a picture of it this week.
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Old 03-19-2006, 07:44 PM   #10
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The PlayPac had a 2 foot diameter dome in the ceiling. Mostly acted to give you a little extra headroom in a spot - but also acted as a sunroof. It DID bring in a lot of light - but the main downside was that you really couldn't put a shade up there. Would have made it awkward to catch an afternoon nap if you weren't parked in the shade to begin with.

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Old 03-19-2006, 09:10 PM   #11
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I really like the interior look of the Winnebago View (also sold as the Itasca Navion). Given that the chassis is a Mercedes Sprinter (built in the U.S. and sold as a Freightliner and Dodge, but still the German design), perhaps the whole thing is a European model, much like the T@B is a European trailer made in North America. Both bring in styles and actual components which would otherwise not be seen here.
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Old 03-19-2006, 09:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
...For getting manu's to add options, I'd like to see a parking brake added. My driveway is 23* at steepest point and its nerve racking uphooking the trailer at times hoping the chucks don't slip or the trailer goes forward even an inch. I usually have to turn the camper 90* sideways to feel safe enough.
At the risk of encouraging a sidetrack from the main topic here (sunroofs)...
It appears that European trailers routinely have a [b]parking brake, operated by a hand lever at the coupler; it is easily added to them because they use cable-actuated surge (over run) brakes.

Dexter's catalog shows that cable-actuated parking brake hardware is optionally available for all of their drum brakes. Adding the parking brake function to an existing trailer would presumably mean replacing the backing plates. I wish I had known this when I had my hubs and brakes replaced - I would have considered choosing the parking brake version then.

Anyone who has serviced typical rear drum brakes on a car or light truck has seen that the parking brake mechanism is just a lever added at the slack adjuster point of the mechanism, acting on the same brake shoes as the regular hydraulic function. It's the same idea adding a parking brake to an electric trailer brake.
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Old 03-19-2006, 09:32 PM   #13
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I really like the interior look of the Winnebago View (also sold as the Itasca Navion). Given that the chassis is a Mercedes Sprinter (built in the U.S. and sold as a Freightliner and Dodge, but still the German design), perhaps the whole thing is a European model, much like the T@B is a European trailer made in North America. Both bring in styles and actual components which would otherwise not be seen here.
Brian
The Sprinters I have seen are all built in Dueseldorf??Germany and are all Mercedes but sold as Dodge and Freightliner here in the U.S.
I have a close friend with one and I have almost brought one home a few times.
In fact they are so German that the Dodge service guys still have no good clue about servicing them. Luckily they do not seem to require a lot of service but here in St.Louis they seem challenged even to do an oil change.

What a great vehicle though!
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:17 PM   #14
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...The Sprinters I have seen are all built in Dueseldorf??Germany ...
It may be that the U.S. assembly plant is still not in operation. FedEx took delivery of 1000 Sprinters in Canada, made in Europe and complete with European model and brand badging (Mercedes star, etc.) - they just didn't want to wait for North American production. The plan was apparently to bring all major assemblies from Europe (complete engines, etc), but do final assembly on this side of the pond. They are now selling well here, but I don't know where they are actually being made.

Athough they are sold as a Dodge, they are also a Freightliner, and the Freightliner dealers are familar with Mercedes diesel engines (in larger series) already - that's apparently who is servicing the Candian FedEx vans.

All of this has nothing to do, of course, with sunroofs; however, it does underline the importance of having either manufacturer support, or a product which doesn't need it!
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