You don’t want your skylights busted up from hail because you can’t park under a pavilion or garage. Have you ever wondered how to protect your RV skylights from hail storm or severe weather?
How to protect your RV skylights from hail damage? There are two ways to protect your skylight from hail damage. One way is to use some type of cover for the skylight. The other way to protect from hail is to install one designed to hold up against severe weather.
We’ll be going over how to watch and be prepared for when hail hits. We’ll also be discussing the many ways to cover the skylight for protection from hail and when you should and what to look for if you are installing a new weather-resistant skylight in your RV, and more!
When Is The Hail Coming?
The first step in protecting your RV against hail damage is to be aware when there is a chance of bad weather.
This is especially important if you are doing any traveling. The last thing you want to happen is to be stuck on the road and drive into a hail storm in a location where you can not pull over.
Here is a checklist of things to remember so you don’t get caught unprepared:
- Keep a watch on the local weather for any current storms headed in your direction.
- Be aware of any sudden severe weather alerts. There are apps and texting services that will keep you up to date on any issued out for your area.
- When traveling, check the weather report for all areas that you are traveling through for the expected time of day you will be passing through.
- If you see dark clouds and high winds, get to safety, and take precautions. Just because you haven’t seen anything on the news does not mean a hail storm won’t pop up all of sudden. Many of the worse hail storms happen with little to no warning.
Related reading: Does RV Insurance Cover Water Damage? What You Need To Know
If the storm has started, do not get out in the storm to try to cover your RV. Get somewhere safe. Do not try to be a hero. Being wet on top of a large metal object is not the best place to be in a storm.
Montana Summer Hail damage Raptor 300MP toy hauler RV >> Check out the video below:
How Do I Cover My Skylight?
You can cover your skylight with a temporary or permanent covering. Temporary coverings come in many forms, from homemade to store-bought.
If you choose to use temporary covers to protect against hail damage, you must be careful that you do not get caught driving out during a hail storm.
A regular RV covering is not a recommended way to protect your skylight against hail damage.
They are good at protecting against rain, wind, and sun, but they do not have the proper amount of cushion to prevent medium to large size hail from damaging your RV.
I have recently written an article in which I describe how to choose the perfect cover in more detail, read this article here
Even the thickest RV cover will not adequately protect your skylight against hail larger than the size of a nickel.
Homemade coverings could be something as simple as thick blankets stretched over your skylight. Other homemade coverings could be some type of container turned upside or using boards laid across the top of the RV’s skylight.
Since hail storms have heavy winds usually, you will also need a way to secure your covering over the skylight. This is only a practical way of protecting your RV’s skylight when you are not traveling, though. So what about permanent coverings?
Permanent coverings are solutions meant to be long term that are installed on the RV and are made from many different materials such as tempered glass or PVC.
Most can be easily installed using common tools you probably have already laying around the house. Not all coverings that protect your skylight against hail damage are transparent.
As far as covers go, a favorite type is hail screens. Hail screens are made with a metal screen affixed over a glass or plastic shield.
This gives protection from the hail while not completely blocking out the skylight. It defeats the purpose of having a skylight if you are not able to look out of it.
Installing A Weather-resistant Skylight
As mentioned previously, some coverings will block the view out of your skylight. So what if you are looking for a long term way to protect against hail damage and keep your visibility?
Then replacing your RV’s factory skylight with one that is weather resistant is the best option.
Most factory-installed skylights are not made out of tempered glass or other weather-resistant material.
When shopping for one, look for a replacement that is the correct size for the model of RV you own. It can be costly if you have to make modifications to make the skylight fit your RV.
Installing a skylight on your RV might be to big of a job for your average DIYer but not impossible.
Considering professional installation of a new skylight runs between $800 and $1500 per skylight, it might be worth your effort for you to do the work yourself.
If you decide to install it yourself, pay close attention when you reseal the new skylight. If not done correctly, it will cause your skylight to leak water. There are several videos out there to help you if you choose to install the skylight yourself.
Although professional installation is not cheap, the peace of mind that it was done correctly might be worth the added cost.
How to install a skylight protective cover on a camper or RV. >> Check out the video below:
When you looking for a new skylight, choose an energy-efficient skylight. That way, you are not only getting protection from hail damage, but you are improving your RV’s energy efficiency.
If you use your RV a good bit, that benefit alone may make it worth upgrading the skylight. They can purchased online or at a store that carries RV accessories.
A specialty store is always a great choice because they will have knowledgeable staff that can answer questions and match you with the correct product for your needs.
My RV’s Skylight Has Hail Damage. Now What?
Sometimes you may not be able to cover your skylight in time. So what happens next. First, I want to say is if you caught unprepared, do not go outside in a hail storm and try to attempt to cover it then.
If you are inside the RV, get somewhere safe away from the area under the skylight.
Once the storm is over, may sure everyone is safe first. Next, access the damage and cover any exposed areas. Now you can contact the insurance company. Yes hail damage is covered for the RV.
So why should you worry about protecting your skylight if the damage is covered by insurance? The RV itself might be covered, but items inside may not be.
If rain starts leaking, you will have to protect everything inside from water damage. It also takes time to make a claim, and in the meanwhile, you have to deal whatever collateral damage there might be.
There are a few ways to keep your RV skylight protected from hail damage. You can choose some type of covering or install a weather-resistant skylight.
If you live and travel in areas where hail is a rare occurrence, then some type of temporary covering might be your best choice. Otherwise, it is best to get a new skylight made to withstand hail damage.
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