One of the first things that we did after ripping out the plywood was to install the windows. We started with the rooflights first. We actually bought two, but after installing the first one and re-measuring the van, we decided that we didn’t need the second one.
We decided to go for the Fiamma Roof Vent 50x50cm as we wanted something that was big enough to let in enough light. It comes in 3 different sizes (28x28cm, 40x40cm and 50x50cm – we went for the 50×50), with two blinds – a blackout and a mosquito net, it opens on all four sides with secure locking handles and comes in either white, or crystal. We chose the crystal for maximum light.
* Fiamma Roof Vent 50x50cm
* 18 x 44 x 2400mm planed wood, cut to size (roughly 50cm lengths) *See below comments at end of post
* Sika Sikaflex Ebt+ Adhesive, Sealant & Filler in white *affiliate link
* 12 x 4.8mm wood screws
* Alcohol cleaner & sponges
* Jigsaw with metal blade
The first step was to measure out the inside of the van where the rooflight was to go, which was measured to 50x50cm. We measured to make sure it was central within the roof-struts, then used a piece of the wood to mark it ready for cutting. Shane then used the jigsaw and cut along the lines until the central part was removed.
We then cleaned around the outside of the hole with alcohol cleaner on the outside of the van to get rid of any oils, dirt and grease that had gotten up there – it was dirty! Make sure you do this first, as we glued the batons of wood to the roof before thinking about cleaning it, and they then kept falling off while the area above was being cleaned!
The windows are designed to be fitted to a roof with a depth of 25-70mm, so because our van has a single skin roof of a thickness of about 1mm we had to pad it out with wood so that we could secure the windows in place. Apply the adhesive to the wood evenly and glue it to the inside of the van roof. It may need to be clamped while the rooflight is being prepared.
We then put a layer of sealant on the inside frame of the window and slotted it into the space from outside, then inserted the inside frame inside the van and screwed it in place.
Once all that was done, we used the sealant to fill in and go around the edges of the outside of the roof to make sure that it’s watertight and then screw in the inside frame with the blind and mosquito net. The next day, we got the hose out and checked that it was watertight – which it was!
We’re really pleased with how it turned out and already it made it so much lighter in there just by having it. It was actually really easy to install, though I’d say it’s a two person job because you really need someone on the roof of the van cleaning/sealing etc while one person is securing the batons and inside window inside the van, but it could be done with only one person.
** EDIT ** – In our first van we used 44x44mm thick wood, which when we attached both the top and the bottom parts of the roof vent, it left the visible connection lines as seen in the above photos as it was too thick. When we installed them the second time around, we used 18x44mm wood instead, which gives it a cleaner finish as the top part of the roof vent now sits flush with the bottom (as you can see in the below photo) so we’ve changed the instructions to match this.