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Old 05-04-2014, 01:59 PM   #1
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1992 25' Excella
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Roof vent questions

1992 25í Excella:

Both my front and rear roof vents are cracked and need replacement. They are the style that cranks straight up to open. They do not hinge to open. The fans work fine, although they are a little noisy. The cranking mechanisms work fine, but are a little stiff. The only parts that look bad to me are the white exterior plastic cover pieces. Iím wondering about the repair job and have a few questions.

Should the whole vent/fan assembly be replaced or can I just replace the plastic cover?

Any suggestions on good vent assemblies that look ďoriginalĒ on Airstreams?

Pros and cons of different options?

If I had a good way to access the roof, Iím sure I could do the repair. Since I donít have safe roof access, Iíll probably source the parts myself, and hire someone to do the job. A huge Airstream dealer, Sutton RV, is located about two hours away from me. I could take it to them or hire the local RV repair shop where they work on all brands. Would the Airstream dealer have any advantage, or is this job so routine that any shop could do it without damaging my trailer?

Any feedback would really be appreciated.

Thanks,
Doug
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:58 PM   #2
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I would guess a standard 14" lid would fit
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:13 PM   #3
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Probably a Fantastic Vent would be the best choice for replacement. However, some seem to like the Maxi Vent just as well. You can get the Fantastic Vent with temperature control, rain sensor, and even a remote control. They make special trim for the curved ceiling of the Airstream. The available exact options can make self order a bit tricky.

If you are not able to do it yourself, Sutton would be a decent place to have it done. They may wish you to buy the vent from them, rather than supplying it yourself. I would call them for information.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Probably a Fantastic Vent would be the best choice for replacement. However, some seem to like the Maxi Vent
Fantastic Fan and MaxxFan (not Maxi Vent) are both excellent products but don't "look original" Most people feel the advantages outweigh the original equipment. I have both. I prefer the MaxxFan because you can travel with it open and rain can't get in. Don't confuse the MaxxFan with the Maxx Vent which is a shroud that goes over a standard 14" lid.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:53 PM   #5
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Heres a idea I found on the net you can replace plastic with temp glass.4 rivets you can remove and do yourself.

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Old 05-04-2014, 11:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
Fantastic Fan and MaxxFan (not Maxi Vent) are both excellent products but don't "look original" Most people feel the advantages outweigh the original equipment. I have both. I prefer the MaxxFan because you can travel with it open and rain can't get in. Don't confuse the MaxxFan with the Maxx Vent which is a shroud that goes over a standard 14" lid.
Ah, good to know the difference. I have not used the Maxx Fan, have only read about others who have liked them. I have used Fantastic Vents though.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:44 PM   #7
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Sweet I just found out that all my vents work with the original motors

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Old 05-06-2014, 12:49 PM   #8
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Ooh and there solid covers too no plexiglass

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Old 05-29-2014, 07:52 PM   #9
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Fantastic Fan plastic bases all cracked and leaked

I'm pretty well disappointed in the Fantastic fans. I wouldn't use them again. I installed 3 in 2010. I installed them using the supplied gasket and sealed them with premium silicone as directed. The rear fan base cracked at the mounting screw location the second winter. By 2012 two were leaking at the cracked bases. I removed the silicone and sealed the bases with Vulkem. 2013 none leaked. This spring all three were leaking.

I investigated and the Vulkem was tight but the bases were all cracked from the flange to the top. Two had 4 cracks each and one had 2 cracks. When I washed the cracks with acetone and globbed Vulkem on the cracks two of the vents are still leaking from cracks under the hinges.

I called VTS, where I bought them, and they told me there was only a one year warranty and I must have installed them wrong. They gave me a phone number for the company that makes them. I called them May 15, 2014 and talked to a man. He said the Fantastic fans are not made for Airstream trailers. He said he's told Airstream about the problem. He said the fans are made for a flat roof trailer, and do not fit the curve of the Airstream. The fans I bought are colored gray to agree with the Airstream aluminum, and came with a curved interior garnish to fit the curve of the roof of my trailer. Originally they fit good and worked nice. He said the fan bases need to be shimmed 1/8" on each side. This is the first I heard of that.

The good news: I received 3 new frames and gaskets May 28th at no charge. The bad news: I've got to climb on the trailer and replace all 3 vents . . . again.

I'm sorry I removed the 3 original vents. They were cast aluminum and didn't leak and had not cracked in 34 years. They just needed new lids at a fraction of the cost and at a fraction of the work of installing plastic fans . . . twice.

Even though Fantastic fans knew I was installing the replacement vents on an Airstream, they only provided the same flat gasket as came with the original fans that failed. There's no notes in the box on how to shim both sides of 3 fans 1/8".
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:27 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for the info.

This information is very helpful. Thanks! For now I still have the original fans with silicone patching the cracks in the plastic covers, but the covers won't last much longer. I might just get new covers if I can find the right ones somewhere.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:36 PM   #11
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I would use 1/8" aluminum stock to shim up each side.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:24 PM   #12
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First time out with Airstream at thousand trails in bandera tx but water leak in no seals on our vents buying them this wknd for all three vents.learning lol

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Old 05-30-2014, 08:43 PM   #13
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I installed Fantastic Fans on my trailer, but mine does not curve as much as yours. I have had no problems!
I suggest that you should not use the gasket that they send with the fan bases. Instead, install a few layers of putty tape in what ever thicknesses are necessary to overcome the curve of the roof, instead of rigid shimming. Then install the screws only tight enough to make the putty tape ooze out all the way around, do not tighten those screws enough to warp the plastic frame. Once it oozes out all way around trim the putty tape flush with the edge of the base. Then clean the surfaces with rubbing alcohol before caulking the entire perimeter of the fan base and the top of each screw. It you install it this way it should last for many years. Though re-caulking occasionally should be expected maintenance.
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