6. Ceiling + Skylight

For the ceiling and some of the wall panels we applied Marine Vinyl to the 5mm Plywood.  These panels were sealed just like the wall panels.  Using 50/50 mix of polyurethane, and then mold killing primer on one side.

Then using the Landau top contact adhesive the marine vinyl is applied.  There is a definite technique to applying the marine vinyl.  Be sure to do some test pieces when you start!  It’s important to use the Landau top contact adhesive for the marine vinyl.  I used 3M spray adhesive on two small trim pieces.  Those are the only two pieces that failed.  The vinyl loosened on both pieces.

This video shows how to apply the Marine Vinyl:

Skylight / Hatch – One of the design features I looked forward to most is the hatch, or skylight.   In the design phases even before buying the van I imagined lying in bed looking up at the stars, and waking up in the morning to the sun rise.  Thankfully that all came true and it’s awesome.  But I will also tell you that cutting a hole in the roof of the van was the scariest thing in the van build.

Link to our Skylight / Marine Hatch

This is one of the best features of the van for many reasons.  Not just sun rise, sunsets, and star gazing. This hatch give us access to the roof deck by simply standing on the bed.  We don’t need a ladder on the outside of the van.  A ladder on the outside of the van means anyone could climb up there!   The video’s are the bottom of this pages show the step by step process of installing the hatch.

Tools used to install the Hatch:

Heat Gun     

Oscillating Tool   

Cordless Drill     

Drill Bits     

Jig Saw     

Carbide Jig Saw Blade     

You will see in the video we removed one steel rib from the roof.  Then we replaced it with two precision cut wood ribs on both sides of the hatch.   The result was more roof support that the original rib.

We installed a Vetus Magnus hatch.   I purchased the hatch off of Ebay.  It’s a larger hatch about 22” square.  Easy for us to get out onto the deck.   I recommend an all aluminum marine hatch.  Check West Marine https://www.westmarine.com/boat-hatches/aluminum-hatches/        RV skylights are often make of plastic frames.  Plastic framed hatches may become brittle with years of sun exposures.  So I would avoid any plastic framed hatch or skylight.

In one of the videos you will see that the ceiling panel for the hatch is framed with aluminum.  I also glued a steel strip around the frame.  This allows for the use of magnets to hold up our bug screen.

Gorilla Glue      


Marine Vinyl   

Ryobi Caulk gun     

Through the Roof sealant   

Dicor sealant tape  – Hint, put in freezer before use.  Makes it easier to handle!

Fat Max Tape Measure    

Ring magnet – to clean up metal filings

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