Upper Fridge Vent Replacement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-31-2007, 10:40 PM   #1
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The Fiber Stream originally had a stationary panel for the upper fridge vent.


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Before

I had read about other members adding an exaust fan to help the fridge cool when the ambient temperature outside was above 90 degrees. I had such a problem last summer in Palm Springs when my fridge would only maintain 50 degrees inside, turned up to maximum.

However, when I removed the panel to access the space for the fan, I found that the fasteners along the sides of the vent panel did double duty, also fastening the back if the fridge cabinet to the shell of the trailer. When I removed the panel, the shell "relaxed" and moved away from the back of the cabinet, opening a 1-1/2 inch gap between the cabinet and the shell, and exposing the burner to the living compartment.

The interior of that vent space was all wood, and was dry-rotted from the exaust gasses.

I found a new hinged vent access panel, slightly smaller than the plain one. The cut-out in the fiberglass was small enough for the new panel. I used the original screw holes to install screws to re-attach the body of the trailer back to the back of the fridge cabinet, and installed snap-caps over these screws.

I lined the interior of the vent area with sheet aluminum.

Then I installed the new vent access panel which has a plastic insert piece around the perimeter to cover the mounting screws.

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And finally, I mounted a 12 volt fan inside to pull the exaust out and help the fridge maintain 40 degrees even in the hottest weather.

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Old 03-31-2007, 10:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
I found that the fasteners along the sides of the vent panel did double duty, also fastening the back if the fridge cabinet to the shell of the trailer. When I removed the panel, the shell "relaxed" and moved away from the back of the cabinet, opening a 1-1/2 inch gap between the cabinet and the shell, and exposing the burner to the living compartment.
When the shell "relaxed" from being fastened by the upper vent, it also put pressure on the lower vent, which screws popped out of the cabinet frame.

In this repair, I actually had to remove both fridge vents, replace the butyl tape as if I were resealing a window, and re-install them with longer screws to pull the body of the trailer back into contact with the back of the fridge cabinet.
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:10 AM   #3
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Frederick,

sounds like one of my typical projects... it starts out like a simple fix, and goes downhill from there. They begin as a 1 hr. project and end up taking 2 wks.

Thanks for giving us a "blow-by-blow" description so someone else has a little more insight into what is involved.

What are the dimensions of the new vent cover? I've been hoping to find one a little smaller than the lower one on our Casita. Our top one is aluminum like your old one, & I'd like access also. At least I'd like to be able to clean in there. Each year our refer seems a little less able to cope with high ambient temps.

Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
What are the dimensions of the new vent cover?

Kurt & Ann K.
The new vent cover is approximately 21" wide and 11" tall. This measurement is to the outside edge of the frame. I did not measure the size of the hinged door.
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Old 04-01-2007, 05:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
sounds like one of my typical projects... it starts out like a simple fix, and goes downhill from there. They begin as a 1 hr. project and end up taking 2 wks.
When I first became a homeowner, in the days before Scotty's/HomeDepot/Lowes, I quickly learned to avoid home repairs, esp plumbing, on Sundays
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:19 PM   #6
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Pete,
Good advice I'm sure. Particularly about Sundays.
It's a little late to avoid do-it-yourself repairs, however, I've reached an age where I have to admit I can no longer accomplish projects which seemed simple in my youth.
I also learned, quite some time ago, that prayer was and is of immeasurable value before the start of an endeaver, as opposed to after I've brought trouble upon myself.

Frederick,
I was hoping to find another plastic vent panel, but yours provides an alternative.
Thanks for sharing your solution.

Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:52 PM   #7
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Name: Con
Trailer: 1977 Boler 1300/2003 17' Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Your project is timely. This last winter I pull off the louvered panels so I could install a cooling fan and some baffles over the fridge. when I looked at it, I thought to my self "Why not install some hinged louvered panels?" As it turns out the place I bought my windows from also have a plant the produces radiused louvered baggage doors amongst other types of doors.

http://www.rvdoors.ca/products.htm

The nice thing about that is you have instant access to the fridge and don't have to drill out all the pop rivets.
I haven't priced the two doors out yet as I have been involved in other projects around the house.

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