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Old 04-22-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Colorado Springs , Colorado
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PO made 2 Roof vents open forward!!!

I have a 1978 sovereign and at some point, (possibly at factory?) the 2 front roof vents open forward! I have had the center one blow open several times while traveling, fortunately it didnt damage anything. I have a couple of questions:

1) Can I turn the vents around without drilling rivets and pulling the whole vent assembly out?

2)If not, am I better off just enlarging the holes and installing fantastic fans(s) in their place?

3)If I go the fantastic route and enlarge the holes, what have others done for light fixtures since the original fixtures in my 78 will no longer fit?

Would love to hear input from anyone that has made this mod!!

Stream on!

Hunter
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:35 PM   #2
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If your vent are like the ones on my '77, they are meant to open sorta flat. If they get sticky, they may open front-up. Do they look like this? do the arms face forward? If so, they are installed properly
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:42 PM   #3
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1978 31' Sovereign
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I am pretty certain they open like a clam shell, only the rear one opens like the one you pictured. I know for sure the center one opens like a clam shell, and the front one has a fan in it, so I think it opens the same way - both open forward
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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If they are the same as my 75 TW, the cranks for the vents should be located towards the rear and the light switch towards the front. If the orientation is correct, you might have bent shafts in the two vents that are not opening correctly. The shafts are located in the rear and go from side to side. When these get bent the vent will tend to open in the front first and in some cases will not allow the vent to fully close.

To repair a bent shaft: remove the light cover and light assembly, remove the vent cap and then remove the shaft. There are nylon spacers that need to be removed from the shaft to allow it to moved to the side enough to work it out. Once the shaft is removed, beat the crap out of it until it is straight. Then reverse the removal steps and your vent will function correctly.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:19 PM   #5
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I feel your pain, Hunter. The factory installed one of the Fantastic Fans on my 2012 so that it opens forward. Seems to me they should always open to the rear of the trailer. I won't be able to put one of the Ultra Breeze vent covers on without the added effort of re-orienting the fan. What were they thinking?
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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There should be springs between the lifting bars and the covers to keep the lids horizontal. The PO replaced the covers on mine and tossed the springs. The covers flopped around fore and aft. If I hadn't found 3 used vent assemblies I would have gone with Fantastic Fans up front and made springs for the rear.

Tom
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:13 PM   #7
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I havent seen any springs in any of them, and looking at the mechanism, it doesnt seem like there are enough parts in the frame of them to lift the back half up. Last trip when one of them blew open, nothing was damaged, but the vent was open almost at a 90 degree angle. I am pretty certain I am going to have to turn them around or replace them. So the question now becomes: Should I replace them with a fantastic fan? Doesnt that involve a bunch of cuting on the interior and exterior skins? What about modifying the lights since the original fixtures will no longer fit to cover the openings? If I could just turn the existoing ones around in the existing holes, I might just cover them with those maxair covers or whatever they are called and be done with it. It rarely gets so hot in colorado that having multiple fantastic fans running at the same time is totally necessary.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewishw View Post
I havent seen any springs in any of them, and looking at the mechanism, it doesnt seem like there are enough parts in the frame of them to lift the back half up. Last trip when one of them blew open, nothing was damaged, but the vent was open almost at a 90 degree angle. I am pretty certain I am going to have to turn them around or replace them. So the question now becomes: Should I replace them with a fantastic fan? Doesnt that involve a bunch of cuting on the interior and exterior skins? What about modifying the lights since the original fixtures will no longer fit to cover the openings? If I could just turn the existoing ones around in the existing holes, I might just cover them with those maxair covers or whatever they are called and be done with it. It rarely gets so hot in colorado that having multiple fantastic fans running at the same time is totally necessary.

Thoughts?
My '91 has the same monster light cover, or atleast a similar one to yours. I installed a fantastic vent and put 2 small 12V flouresent lights on either side of the vent.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:21 PM   #9
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I don't install the vents with driving airflow considered. When on the road I always close them tightly. When I have two vents I mount them...one opens forward, one opens rearward. In windy or wet conditions I can then open the one with the least desirable conditions. I find that I never need to use two at the same time.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewishw View Post
I havent seen any springs in any of them, and looking at the mechanism, it doesnt seem like there are enough parts in the frame of them to lift the back half up.
The springs on mine are between the lift arms and cover supports. Pivot bolt fits through the center.
I highlighted it in red in the pic.
I took a look at mine this morning. The front vent frame and mechanism is mounted with the crank in towards the rear. Without the springs the cover would open towards the front on the trailer.
The used vents I got came from a '76-'77 that was getting Fantastic Fans. I was told it was a fairly simple, but time comsuming job. Drill out 50 some odd rivets, clean up 40 year old sealer and rivet the new fan on.

Good Luck,
Tom
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
I don't install the vents with driving airflow considered. When on the road I always close them tightly. When I have two vents I mount them...one opens forward, one opens rearward. In windy or wet conditions I can then open the one with the least desirable conditions. I find that I never need to use two at the same time.
Hey, that's a great perspective I hadn't considered. Thanks, I needed to hear that!
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