Help! What is this stuff?? Vent suggestions.. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-14-2017, 09:57 PM   #1
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Name: Riki
Trailer: 1976 Boler
British Columbia
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Help! What is this stuff?? Vent suggestions..

Hi all,

We just bought a 1976 13 ft Boler trailer and are very excited about it.

We took it out last weekend and realized the rooftop vent is leaking. The lid is quite cracked and needs replacing but we're not sure what this sealant is all around the vent.... (we've very new to all of this stuff

Any ideas? Is this silicone? The stuff around the rivets has a spongy-type feeling.

Any ideas/suggestions are welcome. Also should we start with just replacing the lid, or the whole vent?

Thanks!

Riki
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:38 PM   #2
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British Columbia
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not sure what that sealant is but I would call it a MESS..I am not sure if you can just replace the cover, others with more experence will know. On my 73 boler there is no vent cover overhang so even in the lightest rain
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:27 AM   #3
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Welcome to FGRV Riki. Not sure that I would replace the whole vent since the lid is in such bad shape. The base looks OK to me from the pic and yes, it does look like silicone. Silicone is not thought highly of with FG TTs. If you can find a company name on the frame you should be able to get a replacement lid. The hinge design is the biggest factor to match up no matter who makes it. Replacing the whole thing isn't a bad thing but just doing the cover is cheap and a lot quicker and less messy. If you should do the lid and find it still leaks, the base can be pulled, cleaned up and reinstalled with new butyl tape.....you've got the lid .
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:50 AM   #4
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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What a goopy, gloppy mess. If it's silicone .

I'd replace the whole vent, not just the lid. Water can find it's way into a trailer through the tiniest space. I see the lid is cracked, but unless water pooled several inches on the roof, it would have needed to spill over the vent bridge. More than likely it's leaking somewhere under all that gunk.

First find a replacement vent. Buy butyl and Proflex RV caulk (or similar). THEN, pull that mess off and clean off the roof of the trailer, thoroughly. Install new vent.

Go camping.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:22 AM   #5
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Name: Pat
Trailer: Escape 2013 19 ft
California
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
What a goopy, gloppy mess. If it's silicone .

I'd replace the whole vent, not just the lid. Water can find it's way into a trailer through the tiniest space. I see the lid is cracked, but unless water pooled several inches on the roof, it would have needed to spill over the vent bridge. More than likely it's leaking somewhere under all that gunk.

First find a replacement vent. Buy butyl and Proflex RV caulk (or similar). THEN, pull that mess off and clean off the roof of the trailer, thoroughly. Install new vent.

Go camping.
I would second everything Donna has said to do . If it was mine I would want the whole vent new and fresh butyl under vent flange with Proflex RV caulk or DiClor sealant around outside edge of vent and covering rivets or screws that holds vent to roof . Pat
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:47 AM   #6
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Name: Bill & Jeanie
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I agree that the best idea would be to replace the entire vent. Presumably you have a 14" x 14" opening which will fit virtually any standard vent unit. I'm partial to the Maxxfan Deluxe 7000 or 7500. For a little over $200 you get a ten speed reversible fan that raises from the roof when you turn it on (or manually open). It has a low profile when driving and comes with a remote. Operation in a hard rain is not a problem.

Maxxair - MAXXFAN Deluxe All-In-One RV Vent, Shield & Fan | Airxcel
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wbullivant View Post
I agree that the best idea would be to replace the entire vent. Presumably you have a 14" x 14" opening which will fit virtually any standard vent unit. I'm partial to the Maxxfan Deluxe 7000 or 7500. For a little over $200 you get a ten speed reversible fan that raises from the roof when you turn it on (or manually open). It has a low profile when driving and comes with a remote. Operation in a hard rain is not a problem.

Maxxair - MAXXFAN Deluxe All-In-One RV Vent, Shield & Fan | Airxcel
I agree too . Pat
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:53 PM   #8
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Name: Stephen
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"NOT" sure what it is, exactly, but the color looks like JB Weld epoxy.
Or, if someone had access to it, my "guess" would be fuel tank sealant, again an epoxy.

What this leads to is when you go to remove the goop be careful that you do not try to "peel it off!!!" Shave the epoxy off sloooowwwly, to prevent additional damage.

These types of epoxy can adhere to the top layer of your fiberglass and if you try to peel it off it "may" peel off the top coat of your fiberglass leading to an bigger, more complicated, and expensive fiberglass repair.

Other wise your job, hope it goes quickly, easily, and not a cascading like an avalanche down a slippery slope.
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by apfixer View Post
"NOT" sure what it is, exactly, but the color looks like JB Weld epoxy.
Or, if someone had access to it, my "guess" would be fuel tank sealant, again an epoxy.

What this leads to is when you go to remove the goop be careful that you do not try to "peel it off!!!" Shave the epoxy off sloooowwwly, to prevent additional damage.

These types of epoxy can adhere to the top layer of your fiberglass and if you try to peel it off it "may" peel off the top coat of your fiberglass leading to an bigger, more complicated, and expensive fiberglass repair.

Other wise your job, hope it goes quickly, easily, and not a cascading like an avalanche down a slippery slope.
Another good idea. . I changed out 9 in plastic vent on our trailer . I used a plastic scraper and acetone , rags and lots of patience . The plastic scapers are in paint depts of Home Depot etc. . They have different sizes . Sometimes letting acetone sit on whatever that is helps . Pat
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:46 PM   #10
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Another good idea. . I changed out 9 in plastic vent on our trailer . I used a plastic scraper and acetone , rags and lots of patience . The plastic scapers are in paint depts of Home Depot etc. . They have different sizes . Sometimes letting acetone sit on whatever that is helps . Pat
I was thinking it might be roofing sealant . Just have lots of rags and take your time . Pat
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:06 PM   #11
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Trailer: boler
British Columbia
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darn computer crashed as I was typing my post. By boler has the original vent no leaks but no overhang on the lid so even in the lightest rain it needs to be closed so it doesn't leak. I might just replace the complete vent with a model with a bit of overhang on the lid. BTW I have had my boler for 1 month and am really enjoying it
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:33 PM   #12
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
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I would replace it all and start with a clean slate. Its so far gone and the patch and re-patch of the base indicates previous failures. So start fresh and if its leaks its your fault. Sometimes patching over patching just isnt worth it. Done right with modern materials you should not have to address this problem until some one or something does in the top cover. Even the materials used on the new covers are far better than what was available even 10 years ago.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:03 PM   #13
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Name: Riki
Trailer: 1976 Boler
British Columbia
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Thanks so much for all the advice!

I found a 9 inch vent online and am going to replace it. Just a little daunting given all the bad reviews I've seen about silicone and that I've never worked on a trailer before. Looking forward to putting in a new one though. Wish me luck!

Thanks again
Riki
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rdyn View Post
Thanks so much for all the advice!

I found a 9 inch vent online and am going to replace it. Just a little daunting given all the bad reviews I've seen about silicone and that I've never worked on a trailer before. Looking forward to putting in a new one though. Wish me luck!

Thanks again
Riki
One more thing you could do to extend the life of the new vent is to paint it with Krylon fusion paint . It 's paint especially for plastics that are effected by UV 's .Pat
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:35 PM   #15
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You can do this you don't need any luck. Just make sure you clean off all the old stuff down to the shell. Then wash the area and clean with alcohol, or acetone if you still have original gel-coat and keep you hands off the area. Then use real butyl tape. (the bubble gum stretchy type and not the cheap putty tape that will dry up and leak at a later date. Remember you cant go putting your full body weight on the roof of the trailer. I personally put my truck next to the trailer and build a platform I can stand on. That just leaves me leaning on the roof edge of the trailer with the truck and platform bearing most of my weight. Make sure you clean the vent too to remove releasing agents from the plastics. If the vent is plastic do not use acetone on it, Acetone and common plastics do not work well together. Stick to just alcohol.
I test fit the vent and put tape around the vent. then put the putty down on the roof. Then start your rivets in all the holes. then after you get all the rivets standing in place I start setting the rivets in the middle of the flange and work my way out to the corners. I alternate rivets in each of the flanges as I make my way around saving the corner rivets for last. The putty will squeeze out. Don't worry its supposed to. After your done riveting cut the squeeze out. use a kitchen knife and not a razor knife. cutting Butyl tape is best done in the cool of the morning when it will cut clean. in the heat of the day it can stretch and turn gooey and hard to remove. If you bothered to put tap down around you vent flange you can then pull up the tape and remove the excess butyl all in one shot leaving a nice clean area. Then I would wipe down the flange, rivets and area around the flange with alcohol and then seal them with the Dicor sealant. I like Lexel sealant too, but no silicone. Its good to seal around the butyl calk as it stays sticky and holds dirt of you don't. You can also use masking tape again around the vent leaving it 3/16" away all around the vent flange so once you get the sealant down you can pull the tape for a nice clean installation. If yo don't care for the extra work its OK it is on the roof normally no once could see it.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:58 PM   #16
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Name: Pat
Trailer: Escape 2013 19 ft
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
You can do this you don't need any luck. Just make sure you clean off all the old stuff down to the shell. Then wash the area and clean with alcohol, or acetone if you still have original gel-coat and keep you hands off the area. Then use real butyl tape. (the bubble gum stretchy type and not the cheap putty tape that will dry up and leak at a later date. Remember you cant go putting your full body weight on the roof of the trailer. I personally put my truck next to the trailer and build a platform I can stand on. That just leaves me leaning on the roof edge of the trailer with the truck and platform bearing most of my weight. Make sure you clean the vent too to remove releasing agents from the plastics. If the vent is plastic do not use acetone on it, Acetone and common plastics do not work well together. Stick to just alcohol.
I test fit the vent and put tape around the vent. then put the putty down on the roof. Then start your rivets in all the holes. then after you get all the rivets standing in place I start setting the rivets in the middle of the flange and work my way out to the corners. I alternate rivets in each of the flanges as I make my way around saving the corner rivets for last. The putty will squeeze out. Don't worry its supposed to. After your done riveting cut the squeeze out. use a kitchen knife and not a razor knife. cutting Butyl tape is best done in the cool of the morning when it will cut clean. in the heat of the day it can stretch and turn gooey and hard to remove. If you bothered to put tap down around you vent flange you can then pull up the tape and remove the excess butyl all in one shot leaving a nice clean area. Then I would wipe down the flange, rivets and area around the flange with alcohol and then seal them with the Dicor sealant. I like Lexel sealant too, but no silicone. Its good to seal around the butyl calk as it stays sticky and holds dirt of you don't. You can also use masking tape again around the vent leaving it 3/16" away all around the vent flange so once you get the sealant down you can pull the tape for a nice clean installation. If yo don't care for the extra work its OK it is on the roof normally no once could see it.
Very good instructions . Pat
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:30 PM   #17
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Name: Riki
Trailer: 1976 Boler
British Columbia
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Wow, thank you so much for the detailed instructions! So so helpful!
I'm looking forward to getting outside and working on the trailer this weekend
Thanks again,
Riki
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