Broken chain on roof vent - Boler 1975 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-02-2018, 02:30 PM   #1
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Name: Sylvio
Trailer: 1975 Boler
Quebec
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Broken chain on roof vent - Boler 1975

Hey guys! Thanks for still talking to me after my absence of 2 years...

My roof vent's chain has broken. You know those little beady chains? To close the vent tight, we need to bring in the second bead inside the little stopper. Guess where it broke? Right between bead #1 and bead #2!

I got one of those little "bead unions" and finally manage to put it in. But now the roof vent doesn't close tight. I'm fairly sure that driving in the rain would bring water in.

Bead #1 is set in some contraption in the vent. I would have to cut the little aluminum protection or undo the rivets, but it seems to be soldered there.

I really don't know what to do.

Taking off in 24 hours.

Thank you beforehand for those of you who are about to work your magic!
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:37 PM   #2
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
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Just guessing here that the bead union is before where you clip the bead to shut the vent. After putting in the bead union does it look like you are 1/2 a bead off? If so you could put another bead union in and then you should line up. If you are 1/3 a bead off then put in 2 bead unions, etc.
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:53 PM   #3
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Name: Sylvio
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Alex, to close the vent tight, bead #1 needs to be outside and bead #2 needs to be inside. The union is making it impossible to put bead #1 and bead #2 on each side of the stopper. So the vent is now partially closed: beads #1 and #2 (united by the union) are outside and bead #3 is inside...
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:58 PM   #4
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New Hampshire
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Ah, I get it now. The PO on my Boler replaced the original chain vent. I don't see a way out of your predicament. If you can, post some pictures showing the attachment point of bead #1 and what the lid looks like when closed. The only other possibility I can think of would be to put some sort of seal on the lip of the vent lid to close the gap.
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:31 PM   #5
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Name: Sylvio
Trailer: 1975 Boler
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Here are a few pics. One from the inside, two from the outside. I think I might have to cut a slot in that little metal "box" and, somehow, fasten a bead above the "box".
Attached Thumbnails
Roof vent 1.jpg   Roof vent 2.jpg  

Roof vent 3.jpg  
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:08 PM   #6
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above that bracket, I see the chain goes through a small tapered spring, and then is anchored by a sort of cupped washer. I bet the cupped washer has a slot the top ball of the chain is secured through....

I think I would take a pair of long skinny needlenose pliers, compress that spring, and try and fish the washer and chain out from the top... then put a new chain on the washer and feed it back through...

this might be easier to do if you can remove the hinge pin and take the whole top off the trailer so you can work with it on a table while seated
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:22 PM   #7
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Name: Sylvio
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OK, John in Santa Cruz, I'm going to give it a shot right now! But FORGET about taking it off!
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:38 PM   #8
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Name: Rob
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add a string and lace lock in place of chain

My Trillium 13' has the same vent, chain was broken however previous owner used a string in place of the chain from a hooded sweat shirt I add the plastic spring loaded lace lock found at outdoor stores or on your shoes or jacket draw string. Gently pull the string down to close the vent then push the lace lock toggle in slide it up tight to hold the vent and release.
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Old 09-02-2018, 01:57 PM   #9
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
above that bracket, I see the chain goes through a small tapered spring, and then is anchored by a sort of cupped washer. I bet the cupped washer has a slot the top ball of the chain is secured through....

I think I would take a pair of long skinny needlenose pliers, compress that spring, and try and fish the washer and chain out from the top... then put a new chain on the washer and feed it back through...

this might be easier to do if you can remove the hinge pin and take the whole top off the trailer so you can work with it on a table while seated
I had this break on me a couple times and this is exactly how I fixed it. The chain is attached to a bell shaped fitting on the end. this is the part that fits in the spring. I had to use the needle nose pliers to pry open the bell end to get the ball out. I had to deform the metal of the bell slightly to get it open far enough, so there will be a limit to how many times you can do this before the metal fatigues. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a replacement for the bell part, so I'm still using the original. The ball size on the chain is 3/8", I believe, which is the size that is used on window covering chains.

Once I get the old ball out of the bell end, I pop the new chain in and pinch it back together. Then I feed the chain back through the spring and into the trailer.

Try doing that in the middle of a downpour!
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