Replacing ~9" roof vent in Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-11-2008, 06:15 PM   #1
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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The roof vent that's near the kitchen in my Boler came to me with a broken handle, and during a downpour last night it started leaking.somewhere around the frame (no evidence of past leaks, but I guess it has to start sometime). I'm thinking it's time to replace! <_<

A rough measurement showed it to be about 9" square, and the only vent I come up with in that size online is the Elixir Mini-Vent. This actually looks like it might be the same as the one in there now, but as it's dark and raining I don't know for sure right now. I'll be able to take photos later on.

Here is the new Elixir Mini-Vent:



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I'd be interested to know if anyone has found any other ~9" roof vents, especially if they had either metal or clear plastic covers.

Given the issues noted above, I plan to remove the current vent and install a new one. Just wondering if there are any "gotchas" or "wish I'd know thats" from anyone who's already replaced theirs. One specific question I have is how do you get to the vent on top? Can you reach it from a ladder? I know I wouldn't want to put the amount of weight on the roof of actually climbing up onto it.

Also, has anyone used the Elixir Mini-Vent?

I realize that I could probably go to a 14" x 14" vent and/or a powered vent, but I'm not sure I feel the need, because my Boler has the jalousie windows on each side of the dinette, plus a jalousie over the stove and one in the door. The latter two are the ones I keep open most of the time for ventilation (I can leave them open when I go away, which I couldn't do with roof vent). I guess the only slight temptation with the 14" vent is the fact that they come with a clear top, which would make a nice "skylight" effect. OTOH, I'm not sure I need to make a bigger hole in the roof just for that when the trailer has windows on all four sides.

Is there any issue with the roof being so thin compared to a stickie? The vent I have now fits flush with the inside of the roof, basically, but I have no way of knowing if it was modified. I can't tell exactly how deep the flange is on the new Mini-Vent, but I guess it could always be trimmed (?).

Thanks in advance for any information/tips/warnings

Raya

PS: I searched the archives but didn't find anything just like what I'm asking.
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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Keep in mind that if something happens to the vent on the road (like backing under a tree with the vent raised...), a 14x14 replacement will be easier to find!
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that if something happens to the vent on the road (like backing under a tree with the vent raised...), a 14x14 replacement will be easier to find!
I appreciate that there is more selection in 14 x 14, but I'm not having trouble finding the 9 x 9 vent - several places seem to carry it. they call it a "kitchen" or "bathroom" vent.

I'm not averse to cutting a larger hole if I need to, but with the jalousie windows in my Boler, I'm just not seeing a need for more ventilation (that is actually less able to be open, say, in the rain, than the windows).

Raya
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:14 PM   #4
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I put a 14x14 inch one in a 13 foot i owned at one time. I just took a jig saw to cut opening bigger, then installed a small wood frame on the inside.
I would do what Pete suggested.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:22 PM   #5
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Raya,

I agree with Ches and Pete, especially if you can go ahead and put a Maxfan or somesuch in. I have the jalousies as well, but the max would sure be awesome to have for the in-between weather. They have the rain hoods where you can run them through storms as well which would really help with condensation. I would think it would really be a selling point as well.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:31 PM   #6
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For me, right now is probably not a good time to expand the opening and go with a bigger, more-complicated Fan vent. I can appreciate how nice they might be --- and if I do add one of the Fan vent models later (and indeed I might), I can always expand it then, and I will know I'm doing it to exactly the right dimension for the Fan vent.

Meanwhile, if anyone has replaced the 9 x 9 vent in the roof of the Boler, what did you find in there? I don't believe that I'm going to find any wooden trim or reinforcing, but it would be nice to know what to expect ahead of time. Also, has anyone laid hands on the Elixir Mini-Vent?

When you reinstalled the vent, did you use rivets or machine screws -- or something else?

(One more thought concerning 14 x 14: While the 9 x 9 doesn't seem to require any reinforcing around the edge of the opening, the 14 x 14 might.)

Thanks for your thoughts Even if I don't go with a given suggestion, it's good to hear opinions and input.

Raya
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:35 PM   #7
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Given the issues noted above, I plan to remove the current vent and install a new one. Just wondering if there are any "gotchas" or "wish I'd know thats" from anyone who's already replaced theirs. One specific question I have is how do you get to the vent on top? Can you reach it from a ladder? I know I wouldn't want to put the amount of weight on the roof of actually climbing up onto it.
Given the small size of the trailer, you should be able to bring a stepladder close to the trailer and lean over the top without having to outright stand on top of the trailer, provided you can stretch a bit and your gut doesn't get in the way. The vent on our Trillium was held by rivets, and in our case is metal so I just drilled them out, re-sealed it with butyl tape and seated it back into place using new rivets that I covered with epoxy. We have found the smaller size vent to be quite sufficient so far and don't feel compelled to get a larger one until we really feel the need for it.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:40 PM   #8
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One thing to consider is height. The compact vents are VERY low profile. Standard vents stick up a few inches. Might make all the difference if you're trying to roll it into a garage and it's already a squeaker.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input, Daniel.

I have a rivet question (for you or anyone else): If you use the butyl tape (as I plan to), and then you rivet, and then the tape still has a bit of a "squooge out" factor over the next few days (as I've read it does), do you ever have a problem with the new rivets not being tight enough as a result? i.e. the tape oozes out and now there is "slack" in the rivet?

I'm going to be re-sealing my windows too, so this is on my mind, and I had considered using machine screws in place of the rivets for that reason. (Actually, the two larger windows in the dinette are already screwed in; but the small windows over the stove and in the door are riveted in place, as is the roof vent.)

Raya
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:51 PM   #10
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I have installed the same 9" x 9" vent in my Compact Jr. It replaced an old aluminum vent that broke. I could not find any other vents this size online. I bought mine from rvadenver.com. I've had it for one year and am very pleased with it. I should have replaced the old one sooner.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:59 PM   #11
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I have installed the same 9" x 9" vent in my Compact Jr. It replaced an old aluminum vent that broke. I could not find any other vents this size online. I bought mine from rvadenver.com. I've had it for one year and am very pleased with it. I should have replaced the old one sooner.
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Ah, good to know. Thanks! RVAdenver is one of the places I was looking. Although they only show the ivory colored one, and I think I might prefer the white one that I see another place has in stock (of course it's more $ )

I think if this one hadn't started leaking (granted, we've had nearly 4" of rain in the last 24 hours!), I would probably have limped along with the old, wired-together handle just like you did with your old vent. Guess the occasional biblical downpour is good for motivation
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:08 PM   #12
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Greg (and maybe Chester or Pete? Not sure what exact trailer you have/had),

I see you have a Scamp 13, so your roof is probably similar to mine in construction and rigidity. Did you frame the opening with wood when you enlarged your vent (if you did)? I'm thinking that since the hole would be over twice the area of the smaller vent, it might need some reinforcing "framing" around it.

Also, since the Boler ceiling is not all that high (as say, a Trillium), did it become bothersome to have the extra inch or so of the framing protruding into the trailer? Oh, or I just realized: Did you ad the reinforcing to the outside of the roof (if you did)? Of course then it would make the trailer even higher...

Maybe you haven't even replaced your vent, but these are some of the thoughts/concerns running through my mind when considering going to a larger, 14 x 14 vent.

Raya
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:15 PM   #13
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If you use the butyl tape (as I plan to), and then you rivet, and then the tape still has a bit of a "squooge out" factor over the next few days (as I've read it does), do you ever have a problem with the new rivets not being tight enough as a result? i.e. the tape oozes out and now there is "slack" in the rivet?
I'd say only the excess butyl putty will ooze out from the pressure and shouldn't escape and leave a gap behind causing the vent to leak or rattle, if that's what you mean, given the how sticky it is, and especially if the tape is about an inch wide or so. But that's an area where I would actually tolerate a bit of caulking if this was ever a problem. Only gotcha I see with rivets is that you may need to use larger ones once the old one are removed, or use washers. But I suppose screws could work, too - you may not have a choice depending on what you find out about installing the new vent.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:03 PM   #14
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Raya,
Unless someone has modded your trailer it should be a straight swap. Carefully drill the rivets out from the top 1st, then the bottom if some are there. (look closely because some of the rivets hold the old aluminum vent together and have nothing to do with the attachment. The rivets from the top should end before they come through the ensolite.

As for the butyl tape, enough will ooze out from the pressure, but not enough to make the rivets become slack. Some have used SS machine bolts instead of rivets. Some use caps to seal off the small hole in the rivet heads, some use butyl and some use (gasp) silicone.
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