Where to begin….the Dometic Heki 2 skylight is absolutely the crown jewel to this conversion! I had my heart set on a skylight in this van so much so that I bought the skylight with out really knowing what it would take to install. While unpacking, I began to get an uneasy feeling – what had I gotten myself into? The roof of the van needed a huge hole cut and, I started to see the curve in the roof in a new light. Since the skylight is operable the entire unit need to be mounted on a flat surface, both inside and out… The inside wasn’t too difficult of a solution. I would make a piece of wood which was scribed to the curve of the roof on one side and flat on the other.
The real challenge was to figure out how to create a flat surface on top of the roof. I began searching the web for possible solutions. Not sure what to look for, I kept options open for different materials which would fit the bill. I found a product used by the art community making production molds for a variety of materials – Liquid Silicone Rubber! The product was a two part epoxy of sorts. I would need to build a form on the roof which would hold the liquid in place until it hardened. The liquid rubber would be poured into the mold and become the flat surface I was looking for.
This amazing product gave me an excellent mounting surface and provided a very good weather tight seal. Success!!
Now some discussion on the merits of having a huge skylight in your campervan. The benefits are so many I’m sure I will forget a few here:
- The amount of natural light flowing into the van is amazing. I’ve found that the ample light gives one the feeling of being in a much larger space.
- When open, the amount of fresh air allowed in is refreshing. This makes for comfortable sleeping, stargazing while in bed and vents any cooking smells.
- The first time you find yourself camping in stealth mode with all the windows covered, the light and air make the experience very enjoyable. Instead of feeling cramped and reliant on LED lighting, you are treated to wonderful views of the sky.
- The skylight is large enough to crawl out onto the roof. In future vans I would like to be able to sit on the roof and watch the sunset, or possible be able to sleep on the roof. Possibilities are endless!
As you can see in the photos, the Heki 2 has a built in bug screen and blackout mode. This gives you many options depending on camping conditions.