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Old 12-21-2002, 04:54 AM   #1
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Repairing roof vent covers?

I've got a '77 Sovereign that has the white "plastic" in the middle of the aluminum roof vent "covers"...and now the plastic is disintegrating. So far, the huge plastic lens for the lights under them are catching any rain...but....
I seem to remember a long while back, some discussion of the "non-availability" of these things. What is the best way to repair this problem? Are the covers hard to get out and work on? It seems like some plexiglas could be riveted back in in place of the original material, but if anyone has experience in this repair, your input would be appreciated!
Thanks
JG
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Old 12-21-2002, 11:12 AM   #2
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Odd that you should mention this just now. I stopped by yesterday to see what the hail storm had done to my 85 Sovereign and discovered that it had beat the vent covers to pieces.

I was thinking Vulkem and pexiglas unit I get a chance to put in Fantastic Fans.

Mark
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Old 12-23-2002, 08:36 AM   #3
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any ideas?

The 74 Overlander that I just got has the same problem, has anybody got a lead on this? The duct tape seems to be doing the job but want to fix it right and soon.

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Old 12-23-2002, 08:45 AM   #4
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Smile complete assembly

I have two complete assemblies in Va...(locked away in A/S).
if interested..email
ciao
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Old 12-23-2002, 09:06 AM   #5
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I just finished fixing mine. I went to Lowe's and picked up a small piece of alluminum sheet (I think it was about 12"x18"), cut it to size, and riveted it on. I put a bead of parbond around all the holes b/4 riveting it all up, so it shouldn't leak (famous last words, eh? ).

funny thing: the original fasteners looked like small pop-rivets, except they didn't have any stems. a nice round, smooth head. underneath, you could see the shank (?) expanded, squeezing the hole tight, just like a pop-rivet. Wish I knew where to get those. The olympic rivets worked ok, but they're kinda big and clunky looking. and I had to enlarge all the holes to allow for the larger 5/32 size. Plus I wasn't thrilled with the results of my dremel-tooling on the stems. every attachment I tried sort of made a mess. the rivet heads just look all gouged up. but no one will ever see this, anyway. Oh, well. I will say that the new cover plate is attached BUT GOOD. that ain't never comming apart... There are 24 rivets in a 1 foot square piece of alluminum cover! more rivet than cover!! LOL!
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Old 12-23-2002, 09:15 AM   #6
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plastic?

My 26ft Argosy has square metal covers with about 1" of metal around the opening (horizontal). Above this, riveted to the vertical portion of the metal covers (around the parameter) are what appears to be standard SOB platic square clear domes. Looking from inside the TT, you see a small metal "shelf" around the opening, and then the plastic dome rising from the parameter. I though the PO had done this, but it appears that this was an AS option? I think if you measure the opening, you could buy standard vent domes, and rivet to the parameter. Keep dry!
Marc
P.S. DON'T DO WHAT I DID!!! I left the forward one open for a couple of days (Just a crack!), to air everything out. We just had the hardest rain storm. I thought the lip around the opening and the downward lip from the cover would be enough to keep the rain out and let it air out. The inside of the TT got pretty wet. Now I'm doing my Pahaska imatation!
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Old 12-23-2002, 10:34 AM   #7
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Chuck,

I think those original rivets are called "buck" rivets. I think you need a special hammer and backup jig to put them in. I might do what you did but use truss head s.s. screws and locking nuts if I can't find a good deal on new ones, or if I can even get them?

My Minuet has solid covers, I might just cap the ones on my Overlander with aluminum, especially in the rear bedroom area, just like what you did.

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Old 12-23-2002, 10:50 AM   #8
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When the question was posed not too long ago, Inland Andy said that replacement alluminum vent covers were no longer available. The only thing available is a replacement plastic cover.

I can't remember who it was, but someone posted a great photo-essay on installing a fantasic fan. I would have done that if I wasn't such a cheap *%$$@
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Old 12-23-2002, 11:00 AM   #9
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vent covers

John,
The PO of my trailer did just what Chuck did with his. The aluminum sheeting has worked just fine with no leaks. I would think Olympic rivets would look good around the area rather than standard rivets but as long as you use vulkum or parbond you will be fine.
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Old 12-23-2002, 11:00 AM   #10
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3Ms75Argosy

It is pretty hard to get all the moisture out of the rug and pad. I ran through a full tank of propane running furnace and AC together. A couple of pints of water came out the AC drain hose.

The best dryer I found was my electric leaf blower. I pointed it into the wettest area at high speed and then placed a 1600 watt ceramic heater against the input. What came out was just about like a rest-room hand dryer with several times the velocity. It really sucked the moisture out.

Good luck getting everything dry.
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Old 12-23-2002, 01:41 PM   #11
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what do you all think about those vent covers that go over the whole thing? They are kind of a reverse scoop...and sell for about 30 bucks. Iintend to do something about my vents as well...the white plastic section does look a bit tired, but the aluminum frame looks ok.
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Old 12-23-2002, 01:52 PM   #12
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Is parbond or vulkum something you can get at Lowes or HD?
I like the idea of the Fantastic Fan though...I missed the discussion on that somehow. Does the Fantastic Fan have it's own cover that would resolve the main issue also? Is it a "bolt-in" operation, or is it like most vintage Airstream work...somewhat "improvisational"?
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Old 12-23-2002, 02:14 PM   #13
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Alansd,
I have those covers...PO installed them. I'm theorizing that they were put on to stop a leaky seam. There were layers of sloppily applied sealers all over my vents...what a mess to get off!! been picking away at this since october...finally got it all finished and re-sealed w/ vulkem (neatly) a couple of weeks ago.

The reason I'm guessing this is because of the mess...and someone probably figured that this would be an easier and cheaper solution to the leak problem. (it would have cost thousands to pay a tech the shop-rate for all the hours it took me to scrape the old sealant off, and do it right) The "maxaire vents" wouldn't actually 'seal' a leak, but they cover over the area around the vents so that any rain would be directed away from the original vents underneath..sort of like an unbrella. I hadn't noticed any leak problems until I drove the trailer 100 miles in the rain...at which point I suspect water was blown under the maxaire vent covers, and got in and around the "real" vents, and then leaked in. This is the only time I noticed a leak. After this trip...no evidence of leaking, even in much heavier rain, because the trailer was just sitting parked in my driveway. they look kinda funny on an A/S...I think you can see them in my photo album.....

JG: I had to order parbond from my local trailer repair place. they didn't stock it, but it was in the catalog. do a search on the forum for "fantastic fan", and I'm sure you'll find the thread. They go in w/ sheetmetal screws....looked pretty easy from the description, although the hole has to be enlarged a little bit. and yeah, it has its own cover. there's even an option for a rain sensor that will auto-magically close the cover if it starts raining....
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Old 12-23-2002, 02:25 PM   #14
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Rain sensors

I have two Fantastic Fans with the rain sensors. One over the bed and one in the galley.

I didn't trust the rain sensors at first, but the day after I bought the A/S, there was a sseries of howers and I stayed in the A/S to see what would happen.

Right after I heard the first raindrops on the roof, both fans started closing. When the lid is almost closed, the fan goes off. Not a drop got inside the trailer. I think the airflow blows drops away that might otherwise get in.

The covers stayed closed for 10 to 15 minutes after the rain; then the covers opened and the fans came on again. This repeated several times as showers passed.

I think the fans are great and my only worry would be getting some rain inside in a sudden deluge of rain since it takes the covers quite a few seconds to close completely.

My policy is to leave them open and on automatic unless it looks like there might be a violent storm.
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