Reseal or Full Re-seat Roof Vent? Trill 4500 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-06-2006, 11:50 AM   #1
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Trailer: Trillium 4500
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After examining the roof vent on my 1978 Trillium 4500 I learned two things:

There are 24 rivets holding the roof vent frame to the trailer.

The black sealing material that was originally overlapping the exterior frame of the vent is almost completely gone.

Question: Since the leak is very slight, is it worth drilling out all the rivets and completely re-caulking and remounting the vent, or should I try to just replace the overlapping seal?

If you recommend a complete re-do, do you know what size Arrow rivets (size number and length - short,long, etc.). I would guess I should be using aluminum rivets, not steel.

Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:12 PM   #2
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If you don't take the roof vent off, how are you going to know if the surrounding (wooden?) braces are damaged, or rotten, from the leak ?
The rivets only need to be long enough to go through the vent, and new butyl tape, to the roof. Regular rivets will have a hole in the middle, won't you have to use Airstream type rivets ?
I have usually screwed down roof vents, with the right length of screws, as long as they have a good sturdy wooden surround. I don't know how yours is made.
Then I would coat the whole area around the vent, over the new rivets, or screws, with Dyco 20/20 or similar.
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Penny. You are right about checking for water damage. The existing rivets do have holes in them like the new*ones I was thinking of using. I don't believe the hole in the rivet goes all the way through so water would not get into the trailer, just pool in the tiny well in the rivet head outside on the top of the trailer. I will double check. I did order Dyco 20/20 and Butyl tape just before you replied and was thinking of covering the rivets with the 20/20 as an extra precaution after I re-do everything. Hopefully I will be able to determine the rivet size once I drill the old ones out.

Thanks!

Fred

Quote:
If you don't take the roof vent off, how are you going to know if the surrounding (wooden?) braces are damaged, or rotten, from the leak ?
The rivets only need to be long enough to go through the vent, and new butyl tape, to the roof. Regular rivets will have a hole in the middle, won't you have to use Airstream type rivets ?
I have usually screwed down roof vents, with the right length of screws, as long as they have a good sturdy wooden surround. I don't know how yours is made.
Then I would coat the whole area around the vent, over the new rivets, or screws, with Dyco 20/20 or similar.
Just my tuppence (Brit for 2 pennies) Penny
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:09 PM   #4
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...I don't believe the hole in the rivet goes all the way through so water would not get into the trailer, just pool in the tiny well in the rivet head outside on the top of the trailer. I will double check...
I think we're talking about "blind" rivets here. They are installed by a tool that pulls a stem (they call it a mandrel) out towards you, so no tool is needed on the other side. Normally, the centre hole goes all of the way through (that's the open-end design), and is plugged by the broken-off end of the mandrel. This is not intended as a weather-tight seal, so some sort of sealant may be applied over each rivet, as on my Boler.

There are blind rivets which are closed on the end, so they won't leak through the centre hole. I don't know whether Airstream uses closed-end blind rivets, or solid (one piece, no mandrel) rivets which need to be hammered on one end while a tool is held against the other.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:32 PM   #5
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I have usually screwed down roof vents, with the right length of screws, as long as they have a good sturdy wooden surround.
Then I would coat the whole area around the vent, over the new rivets, or screws, with Dyco 20/20 or similar.
A job worth doing is worth doing to the extreme.
I wouldn't feel comfortable with anything less.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:27 PM   #6
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Interesting feedback! Yes, the original rivets and the ones that I was planning on using are "blind rivets" that I will install with an Arrow brand rivet tool. I'm not sure about there being enough wood under the shell to properly anchor screws. I will find out after I drill out the old rivets and lift off the vent. The fact that they used blind rivets leads me to think there may not be much wood but I've been wrong before. Just hope drilling out the old rivets isn't too big a deal.

Fred
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:10 PM   #7
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See also - Ceiling vent leak, -best fix here:http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...c=19284&hl=
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