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Old 03-04-2016, 11:51 AM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
Norman , Oklahoma
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70's Roof Vent Fix?

Wife says it it time to retire and travel in our 1972 27' Land Yacht.

My first project it to fix the leaking front roof vent, with fan.
The vent cap has been modified. A hole was cut in the cap and a white plastic sheet was riveted with semi-tubular rivets. This lens was attached to the outside of the cap and just fell apart when I touched it I was searching for the source of the leak. I don't know if plastic was factory, dealer or owner completed but it is very professional quality. The cross bars for the opening mechanism was attached with Pop-rivets so the assembly has been taken apart before. There is a second thin layer of rigid white plastic stuck to the underside of the vent cap (see pictures). I think this extra layer was added later but I am not positive.

I have taken it apart and I am still trying to get all of the layers of goop off the aluminum so I can polish it up.

Because new caps are no longer available I am going to have to re-install a window of some sort back in the hole. I was wondering if any one has had any experience on how to do this correctly.

I have an request out to a company that makes replacement RV Lexan Domes to see if they will custom make a small dome for me to insert, their smallest listed size is 10x10 and the hole is 8X8. I am afraid if I cut the hole bigger I will lose a lot of rigidity in the aluminum cap, plus my metal cutting skills are sadly wanting.

If you can help I would appreciate any comments.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:32 PM   #2
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Springville , Alabama
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It looks like someone wanted a skylight and modified the vent. Here are 2 easy solutions
1. Buy a small sheet of alumium. Cut to fit. Seal it with sikaflex and rivet.
2. If you like skylight- buy a small sheet of plexiglass and install as above.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:23 PM   #3
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I'm seeing a really cleaned up vent cap. I agree with the above recommendation. I also have noticed some metal caps that are about the right size, and a standard stock item at some roofing material suppliers. Actually Frontier, if you have one of them on your area. Other than that, there is of custom fabrication in the roofing industry and almost every major metro area has a couple of custom metal fabricators that really work more affordably than common, using small and large breaks and presses. I think a custom build would likely be around $120. Or, buy a similar stock size and have them modify it for less.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:55 PM   #4
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1972 27' Overlander
Norman , Oklahoma
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ARRRG...... Guess I am learning the frustration of owning an old Airstream. The other vents have the same vent caps with the rigid plastic interior liner but do not have the outside skylight option.

The cap I am working with has three semi-hallow rivets on each side where there was something attached before, but not needed for the current configuration. I am thinking the cap came from an earlier model that had the side hinged opening mechanism. I don't know what brand the existing vents are but the opening mechanisms are designed to open the back of the vent first and then with a couple of cranks the front of the vent comes open.

I might be able to buy one of the 14x14 inch plastic caps, I see where some people have put those on, but I would like to keep it close to the original as I can. The bubble dome I was thinking about was a small but acceptable modification from the original, in my mind.

The bases are the 12x12 opening with radius corners I understand that can be an issue in getting a seal. Most of the plastic caps I have seen are for square corner bases.
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:05 PM   #5
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There are probably a few stock aluminum vent caps lying around in people's garages who have removed the stock vents completely and replaced with a Fantastic Fan. Try reaching out via the Air-classifieds and see if you get a bite.

good luck!
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:18 PM   #6
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Twin Cities , Minnesota
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I just did that on my 75 last summer.
There are two layers of plastic. My guess was to give it some insulatative quality.
Both layers were pretty well shot.
I took both layers out and just replaced the upper one.
I used Lexan. MUCH tougher and longer lasting than plexiglass. It's available at Home Despot in the window dept.
I cut it with a skill saw then used silicone sealer and self tapping screws to fasten it on. I didn't care about the minimal heat loss with one layer.
Lexan is pricey but it was still a simple, inexpensive repair.
It was amazing how much light it let into the camper with the yellowed original plastic and second layer gone.
I did not have to remove the covers. Just zipped the self tapping screws through the new plastic into the aluminum with a cordless drill.

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h5...m/100_1663.jpg
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Old 03-04-2016, 04:19 PM   #7
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No rivets and silicone- quick check the pulse of many on the forum😬😇
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Old 03-04-2016, 04:29 PM   #8
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My 72 Trade Wind never had those plastic bits, was that a particular feature to the Overlanders?. Might be easier to swap out the old vents with a new fantastic fan.
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:01 PM   #9
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1993 34' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugjenkins View Post
It looks like someone wanted a skylight and modified the vent. Here are 2 easy solutions
1. Buy a small sheet of alumium. Cut to fit. Seal it with sikaflex and rivet.
2. If you like skylight- buy a small sheet of plexiglass and install as above.
The vent was not modified it was factory. Lexan (polycarbonate) is a lot better than plexiglass. Get the UV resistant type. Good chance you can find a solid cap through Colaw's of Missouri
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:52 AM   #10
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1975 27' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugjenkins View Post
No rivets and silicone- quick check the pulse of many on the forum😬😇
Lol.
I suppose.
Up on the roof where no one will see I didn't think it mattered.
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:39 AM   #11
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If all those vents look like that, it might be a good time to upgrade to at least one Fantastic vent. They are quieter, move more air, and have lower amp draw than the old original.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:56 AM   #12
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The plastic in the vent cap was a factory original feature.

I would agree with overlander63 that a replacement Fantastic Vent would be a better solution. Not difficult to cut the rounded corner original opening a little larger. As he says, the Fantastic Vent is quieter, move a lot more air and use far less 12 volt power than the original fans.
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:49 AM   #13
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You can buy a replacement plastic vent cover for that vent I did it on mine I bought them from Airstream I think Out Of doors mart sells them also . I just threw mine away last fall .
The fantastic fan is the way to go you will get a lot more air . I just checked Out of doors mart , Solordome Vent pt. #921105 $ 42.95 hope this helps
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:29 PM   #14
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1983 31' Excella
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The vent cover was factory. I repaired mine with Lexan from Home Depot. Easy - Peasy. My trailer had a total of 3 fans. I had 2 fan with lights at each end of the trailer and they had a solid aluminum covers. The fan only was in the middle of my trailer and had this clear cover... I think it was designed to let light into the trailer.
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