Removing top vent? It's not coming off. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-01-2012, 03:02 PM   #1
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Removing top vent? It's not coming off.

I used clippers to shave the rivets flush with the roof fiberglass. But I didn't have my drill bits, so I tried drilling a few rivets out entirely but that didn't work so well. I tried pulling it up and just bent the vent frame a bit.

I assume I need to drill out each rivet from the top or bottom? Once the rivets are not holding will it come up easy or? Or will the butyl and silicon put up a fight? Any tips for cleaning old butyl and silicon off are welcome.


And tips for working on top of the trailer are welcome. I assume it's not kosher to climb up there!
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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I bet the old sealant will require use of a sharp-edged prying object.
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:48 PM   #3
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I bet the old sealant will require use of a sharp-edged prying object.
Yeah, was thinking something like a paint scraper, but while sharp at the edge is good, I think thicker than a paint scraper at the base would be good. Or use the scraper to break the seal and then something thicker to pry with.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Heat. A hair dryer is what I use. Slide a putty knife in from the side and gently twist. Try not to bend the metal. The new ones are even thinner. Raz
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:26 PM   #5
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Heat. A hair dryer is what I use. Slide a putty knife in from the side and gently twist. Try not to bend the metal. The new ones are even thinner. Raz
Not sure heat's a problem! It's been in the upper nineties if not up in the mid hundreds lately!

Not sure there's anyway not to bend the metal. It's an old fan, but I did think someone could still use it. But I'm pretty sure when it's finally off it's not going to be in great shape even if I was as careful as possible.

The new one is nice thick, sturdy plastic!

Putty knife/thin scraper is on the Lowes/Home Depot list.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:37 PM   #6
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Not sure heat's a problem! It's been in the upper nineties if not up in the mid hundreds lately!

Not sure there's anyway not to bend the metal. It's an old fan, but I did think someone could still use it. But I'm pretty sure when it's finally off it's not going to be in great shape even if I was as careful as possible.

The new one is nice thick, sturdy plastic!

Putty knife/thin scraper is on the Lowes/Home Depot list.
I was thinking top vent on a fridge. My mistake. Raz
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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Got it off, had to drill each rivet with two size bits. A little prying and it came off.

Just have a lot of messy holes to deal with that do not line up with the new vent's holes.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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And tips for working on top of the trailer are welcome. I assume it's not kosher to climb up there!
Dont know the location of the vent you are replacing but if its at the rear of the trailer over the bed area you should be able to just open up your big escape vent and stand up through it to work on the smaller vent.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:38 PM   #9
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ok...lol picture a 61 yo geezer doing this,,,
i leaned my extension ladder against a limb on my old maple,,,then two planks from the ladder rung to the tree fort in said maple giving me a platform six inches above my trailer to slither acrossed .....so just plant a maple,,,have three kids....build them a tree fort...

wait never mind,,,rent some scaffolding,, once a year would be way cheeper then kids.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:06 PM   #10
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ok...lol picture a 61 yo geezer doing this,,,
i leaned my extension ladder against a limb on my old maple,,,then two planks from the ladder rung to the tree fort in said maple giving me a platform six inches above my trailer to slither acrossed .....so just plant a maple,,,have three kids....build them a tree fort...

wait never mind,,,rent some scaffolding,, once a year would be way cheeper then kids.
I laughed out loud at that mental picture! It sounds like something I would rig up. Glad it held!
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:31 PM   #11
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Dont know the location of the vent you are replacing but if its at the rear of the trailer over the bed area you should be able to just open up your big escape vent and stand up through it to work on the smaller vent.
Yeah, I am doing some of that. But other than drilling out tiny rivets and then finding some way of bonding them again I can't take the screen on that escape hatch (I have taken the main cover off). So I have to reach around that darn screen!!!!
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by john warren View Post
ok...lol picture a 61 yo geezer doing this,,,
i leaned my extension ladder against a limb on my old maple,,,then two planks from the ladder rung to the tree fort in said maple giving me a platform six inches above my trailer to slither acrossed .....so just plant a maple,,,have three kids....build them a tree fort...

wait never mind,,,rent some scaffolding,, once a year would be way cheeper then kids.
If I just had some trees in my workshop!!!
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:30 PM   #13
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Yeah, I am doing some of that. But other than drilling out tiny rivets and then finding some way of bonding them again I can't take the screen on that escape hatch (I have taken the main cover off). So I have to reach around that darn screen!!!!
So I take it you are replacing a vent that is in front of not behind the escape vent.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:52 PM   #14
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Got it off, had to drill each rivet with two size bits. A little prying and it came off.

Just have a lot of messy holes to deal with that do not line up with the new vent's holes.
yeah, none of my holes lined up either. a strip of butyl tape across them all took care of any leaking tho.

as for removing old butyl or silicone - I've found the brand "Goo Gone" with a putty knife do better than anything else for me. Silicone is a real pain tho!

and now that I'm finally done laughing at John's description of his 'scaffolding' (dang I wish I would have thought of all of that!) - I'll put in a plug for a multi-position ladder. I bought one last year and have found a thousand uses. Top section sets across the top of the roof while the rest of the ladder leans up against it - lets you create your own version of scaffolding while spreading the weight out.
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