'76 scamp, new to this, roof vent leak - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-12-2015, 10:03 AM   #1
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'76 scamp, new to this, roof vent leak

Hi guys. My wife and I did our first of many overnights. It rained very heavily so I guess a good test. The roof vent leaked, so will need to fix. Hoping others can advise the best course of action. It leaked on the back and second to back rivets mostly. I'm considering trashing this and buying new. Thoughts and advice? Uploading pics now. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:13 AM   #2
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You need to remove the vent entirely, clean off all of the old sealant, and lay down fresh RV Putty tape and re-install the vent. If it is aged or damaged you may want to replace it entirely, but finding vents for thin fiberglass roofs isn't all that easy. However, new lids are usually in stock at most RV dealerships.


BTW: DO NOT be tempted to use common silicone sealant and just patch it up. It doesn't like fiberglass and will leak in time.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:16 AM   #3
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Thanks, do I drill out the rivets and just razor and gently pry it out of there? I plan to store in my garage so the thin vent is definitely a consideration.

Dan
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #4
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Leak

There is a youtube video, where the guy removes the vent, cleans it up, than reinstalls it. He uses Butyl tape for a sealant, than uses bondo to seal the entire thing. As for rivets, I'm not a fan, I use the locking nuts. I hope this helps. By the way, the video is quite informative, I think he's repairing a Boler.

Best to you.
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:01 PM   #5
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Bondo???

Quote:
Originally Posted by neauone View Post
There is a youtube video, where the guy removes the vent, cleans it up, than reinstalls it. He uses Butyl tape for a sealant, than uses bondo to seal the entire thing. As for rivets, I'm not a fan, I use the locking nuts. I hope this helps. By the way, the video is quite informative, I think he's repairing a Boler.

Best to you.
He used Bondo to seal the entire thing????
I hereby nominate that as the bad idea of the week.

Which proves that while many YouTube videos should be taken with a grain of salt, others should not be taken at all..... LOL

But, don't forget, if using screws and locking nuts, be sure to get stainless steel hardware
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:22 PM   #6
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I have done a bit of research on rivets vs screws and sounds like rivets will be my choice simply because I am anxious to learn a new skill.

Trying to picture this in my head. whether screws or rivets, sounds like the ensolite and butyl both flex/give so the goal is to compress those products just a bit, no tighter? is there a magic to how hard to torque the fasteners?

Thanks!
Dan
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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There is no "Torqueing" of pop-rivets but, to be sure they pull down tight, buy a package of what they call "back up" washers that slip over the pop rivet on the inside and are pulled down when the rivet is set with the tool. It's helpful, if the inside surface is soft, to have someone push on the back-up washer to be sure it seats against the inside surface.


BTW: Cheap-O pop rivet tools and supplies (aka H/F) are worth what you pay for them.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:07 PM   #8
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This spring I removed the sealant along the front edge of my vent, cleaned it with Isopropyl Alcohol and repaired with a quality "common silicone sealant". I am now without any leaks onto my bed! That is except for condensation on the interior metal parts when the humidity is high. C'est la vie.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:09 PM   #9
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Ok, thanks. I will remember that when it's rivet time. We do have a Fastenal close by.

Dan
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:35 PM   #10
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Silicone Sealant

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Originally Posted by rick in arvada View Post
This spring I removed the sealant along the front edge of my vent, cleaned it with Isopropyl Alcohol and repaired with a quality "common silicone sealant". I am now without any leaks onto my bed! That is except for condensation on the interior metal parts when the humidity is high. C'est la vie.
Almost anything will work for the first year or so. Come back in a few years when it starts peeling back and you have a leak.

RV butyl tape sealant has a life expectancy of upwards of 10 or more years and I removed still working tape sealant on my 40+ year old Hunter that appeared to be factory original.

Time and experience has shown that most common silicone sealants are short lived and will peel off/fail within a year or so.

BTW: The fact that Scamp uses silicone sealant carries no weight in this discussion. I have peeled off a lot of original Silicone sealant from Scamps when repairing leaky roof vents.
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:07 AM   #11
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Difficult to tell for sure from the photo but it appears that the vent is broken at the hinge area . I think considering the time and effort to remove clean and reinstall that a replacement might be in order.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:03 PM   #12
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As the spring for those original vents gets weaker with age it does not provide the tension that would keep the top tightly aligned. Think the hinge is a little sloppy and the weak hinge doesn't push things into place.

Butyl tape just works well and for a long, long time. Not adhesive so it can shift a bit under load AND is easy to clean off for replacement. Caulk not so much. Silly-Con can work when applied like a gasket to the parts before assembly but I don't think it is as long lasting or easily removed.

IF it would fit inside your storage clearances I would give some consideration to a fantastic fan. Low power draw 12 volt fan that can move enough air to make a difference in a small scamp. And it has a vent cover so.... two birds thing. I know fantastic fan has a low profile, also you will want to contact the company and ask for their thin wall spacer piece. They make a piece for installing in our single layer FG campers which don't have the ceiling thickness of a stick built.

There is a 12 volt line running along the side of the window up to the overhead cupboards to the small 12 volt light at the end. Should be able to splice into that line and run the short hop of wire from the cupboard to the vent in a slit in the ensolite. Just touch up with white caulk afterwards if slit is too obvious.

Don't think you will find a vent that fits the existing hole easily if you do please post the information. I think every post I can recall on replacing that vent involved a little bit of hole size increase. RV's are bigger now so vents are bigger?

Rivets vs. stainless steel bolts is an endless debate. I think direct replacement I would go with what has been there for a few decades, upgrade to a fantastic fan and I think you might end up using the fasteners commonly used with those which I doubt would be rivets. Plus 1 on small aluminum washers to spread load or shim but don't forget you can pull the pin from a rivet, cut down the tube, replace the pin and viola! shorter rivet that custom fits your wall thickness.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:25 PM   #13
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Check out ' Vintage Trailer Supplies ' they have great service and they have metal roof vents for vintage trailers .
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