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Old 03-03-2008, 07:36 PM   #1
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Replacing Roof Vents 101 (with Pic's)

Fellow Campers

This weekend I started into changing out my roof vents. All 3 need to be replaced. So I have created a picture – gram here in case some of you need to do this.

I have done 5 of these so far, 3 on the T2499 and now 2 on the T310SR. (still 1 yet to go.. ) And I have to say that the 2 on the T310SR where a lot easier. I picked up a tip from Steve Collins here on the forum to use some heat to soften up the Dicor and the butyl putty tapes. And I can attestto, it is 300% easier. Thanks Steve

First some FAQ’s

What was the temp out when you did this?
Saturday it was 42 and Sunday it was ~ 57. Yes spring sort of sprung…. I had asked Larue on my T2499 and there is no exact temp requirement however above freezing is recommended. And the Dicor tube of sealant needs to be inside at 60F and above before you apply. It says this on the tube as well.

How long did it take?
Well you get better at this the more you do. The time listed below are on the 5th one I have done.

Inside roof vent prep. 10 to 20 minutes

Ladder, roof prep and haul up all the tools figure out how you are going to do this. 30 to 45 min. This gets longer each time your forget a tool down on the ground….

Take up the old roof sealant, lifting off the old vent and cleaning up the roof ready for install. 45 minutes.

Prepping the vent to install on the ground. 20- 30 minutes

Installing the vent and reapply sealant. 20 to 30 minutes.

Inside roof vent clean up, 10 minutes

If you have never done one of these before, make sure you have 4 hours of dry, daylight ahead of you.

Now what stuff do you have to haul up there? Here is a picture of the “roof vent kit” (Camera optional )


Now on with the show.

First you need to start inside. You have to take down the inside vent shroud. The 4 screws come out and down it comes. There are normally 2 other screws that hold the screen in. The handle comes off and down the screen comes. Then put the handle back on and open the vent 1/2 way. You can open/close it some then while on the roof.




This is what it will look like with the screen and shroud off.


The rook prep. I do not have a walk on roof. So first is to put down a canvas and then 5/8 to 3/4” plywood to span the 16” centers roof raters. The canvas protects the rubber roof from abrasion.


You need support on 2 sides of the vent. And the blue looking rug is for kneeling on. My knees are not that good anymore for that long. Can use knee pads as well.


In my case I had Maxx Air covers. For those who have not seen these, there are 4, 1/4” nuts on the roof. Need 7/16” socket wrench.

The cover is off and now you can get to the vent


Mine are so shot they plastic crumbles almost into dust.


Next is to get off the old Dicor roof sealant. Here you need a stiff tool of some sort but no sharp edges on it. If you use a putty knife, dull off all edges on the blade. In my case I have an old steel chisel that is duller then dull with almost a 1/ 32” radius on the end. I use it just for these type of prying jobs where my good chisels stay sharp.


A tip I picked up here on Sunline Club was to use a small amount of heat to soften up the sealant. (Thanks Steve!!!) It is night and day different then doing it un heated. I have a 1500 watt paint heat gun but a hair dryer should do well to. You do not want to get carried away with the heat. Move the heat gun around.




And bring a shopping bag up with you for the scrap. Watch it, that sealant can get hot.


Work the heat with the tool and push easy. Do not dig in as you might touch the roof. The angle of the chisel worked well to keep may hand off the roof and it held the heat to help lift the sealant.


Once the screw heads and edge sealant are up, take out all the screws. These use a 1/4 “ hex socket. A drill motor/cordless drill here works well or your wrist will be shot.


Then warm the metal flange and work the tool under the metal. Once it is starting to lift put your hand inside, warm the flange and apply upward pressure.




Keep warming the flange and lift gently. Do not yank. It might lift the rubber. Let the putty tape release or use the tool to break it free and off it comes.


Then you have to get up the rest of the old Dicor and putty tape. Again light heat and keep gently working the tool. It will come right up.


Then clean the rubber roof with rubber roof cleaner and let it dry


Since I was putting the Maxx Air vents back on I drilled the brackets on first. It is just easier.


Then you need to put the putty tape on. I did this here to show it, but do it in the house if it is less than say 60F out. It will stick to the metal better. Or heat up the metal with the heat gun.


You need all 4 strips. It is optional to put a bead of Dicor around the inside edge where the flange goes. I have seen it both ways. Putting it there will fill any voids the putty tape does not seal.


Then place the vent over the hole and look inside to make sure it is even all the way around the hole or else. The or else is the screen inside will not fit up there if it is pushed all the way to once side.


Then start putting the screws in. Here a cordless drill with a torque clutch on the end helps get them all even. Do not get too over tight or you might bend up the metal.


Smooth out and squeezed out Dicor or putty tape. Then start applying the Dicor right over the screws heads and the full seam.




When done this stuff is amazing it self levels and even helps make the messy person look good.


Then let the Dicor tack up if you are putting a Maxx Air hood back on. Your now done.


Well in my case. I have 2 more to do….


Hope this helps

John
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:26 AM   #2
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Great post JohnB

This will definitely be very helpful to anyone needing to change a roof vent. Very detailed and lots of pictures.

It hit 50 here yesterday, can hardly wait to go camping.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:52 PM   #3
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replacing roof vents.

John,

Beautiful job. You make it look very easy. Where did you get the putty tape?

Joe
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:21 PM   #4
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Excellent job, John. Did this just affect '04's?

On a side note, it hit 56 here yesterday, and we have mid 20's and heavy snow falling at the moment, with 5-8" expected tonight. Come on Spring!!!!

Jon
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:01 PM   #5
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Re: replacing roof vents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDimasJoe
John,

Beautiful job. You make it look very easy. Where did you get the putty tape?

Joe
Joe

That Butyl putty tape can be found at most RV stores or on line.

See this link to which tape to get and which not to get.
http://rvtravel.com/blog/lowtech/200...tape-time.html

Here is one such place.
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/c...ants/48463.htm

Just look for the wording Butyl rubber. It does cost a little more and let them know you need it for rubber roofs.

Hope this helps
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan
Excellent job, John. Did this just affect '04's?

Jon
Jon, see the Roof vent post in the Community section. It is on both of my 04's
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:53 PM   #7
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John,

Great job on the vents, and super on the documentation!

Just a note to others about the use of heat to soften the putty and dicor lap sealant. The main goal here is to protect the rubber roof as you remove the old vent, so you have to find a balance between prying, heat, and pressure. John's recommendation of a rounded over edge on a chisel or putty knife is imperative.

If you are doing an older trailer with an aluminum (or even steel) roof, you can be a little less conservative with the heat, but don't use so much that you start a fire. The metal is pretty thin and the heat can transfer through pretty easily. Still use caution when prying up the old vent as you can easily slice through that roofing material.

Last summer, I helped my son remove the vents from his late '60's Holiday Rambler. This trailer had been on a private lot for many years, and the previous owner simply coated **everything** on the roof with several layers of tar and that silvery mobile home roof paint. That included the roof vents which were totally encased in tar and paint!!! The aluminum roof on that trailer is much thicker, probably at least 1/16" thick. We judiciously used a small propane torch to soften up several layers of roofing tar in addition to the putty tape. With the thick aluminum roof, we could really attack with putty knives and other more aggressive scraping techniques.

That's not recommended on any of our Sunlines, but it was an interesting and very informative experience. Another issue we ran into was that the old roof vents on his Holiday Rambler were about 1/4" smaller and the rough openings had big rounded corners. We spent a lot of time with a saber saw adjusting the openings and squaring out the corners before the new vents would fit.
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:46 PM   #8
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John,

Thanks for the pictures and descriptions.

Steve,

Thanks for the additional comments.

All the information provided here will come in real handy when I do a similar job this spring, installing our SHURflo fan.

Hutch
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:06 AM   #9
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That is a very nice step by step installation of the roof ventilation. Anyway, I really like the way of sealing those nuts in the side. It is really good for the water proofing of the hole. What brand of roof vent you've used by the way?
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:34 AM   #10
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Hi Jen

Two things.

1. Thanks for the good words.

2. Welcome to Sunline Owners Club. Glad to have you with us and hear of your camping adventures.

John
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:43 AM   #11
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Just wanted to toss in a BIG thank you to JohnB for the great pics. We just ordered some new vents, should arrive tomorrow, and these pics are just what we need to help us do the job!
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarknShana
Just wanted to toss in a BIG thank you to JohnB for the great pics. We just ordered some new vents, should arrive tomorrow, and these pics are just what we need to help us do the job!
Hi Mark

Thanks for the good words and hope it helps. Yes the pics really do help. I know they help me big time when I'm hunting for info from others. We all walk away with something a little different from them and most times more then we came looking for.

Good luck and need any help, post away as there have been many others who have done this before and after me here too and can help.

John
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:42 PM   #13
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John,

I don't visit here often, I don't know enough yet to be much of a contributor as of yet. I did want to say a big "thanks" for the effort it took to make this post. I read the post last night and re-read it this morning. I collected all the tools, performed the change out to a new vent and wired it all in about 2 hours. Chores aren't frustrating if you know what you are doing and this was a great help.

I would suggest one thing, to those that go next, it is trivial but will save one trip down the ladder. Use a 1/4 inch driver and socket with the cordless drill, the 3/8 gets in the way around the hinges (at least the new vent I bought.)

Thanks again.

Tim
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:40 PM   #14
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Tim, your welcome. We all have something to contribute and it makes all the difference in the world. For one, you gained benefit from this post and you reported back. That makes it all worth it for me that I was able to help someone.

Here on SOC we like to hear how one camps, one fixes the camper, what upgrades we all do and oh yeh, we really like pic’s!!!!. Basically anything about ones RV'ing experience and what Sunliners do from camping to family life to everything in-between.

Happy camping and look forward to your posts in the future

John
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