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Old 06-17-2008, 10:40 PM   #1
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1972 23' Safari
Tallassee , Alabama
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Roof Vent Weather Stripping

The two vents with fans and lights in them had either dead or falling out weatherstripping. The last time it rained, the front vent / light filled up with water.

I found some 7/16" thick by 3/4" wide material that claimed to be suitable for camper roof vents. So far I have only done the forward vent. I cleaned off all the old adhesive and put the new stuff on and replaced the vent cover.

The forward vent still won't completely seal. It goes down in the front because of the springs but there is at least a 1/4" gap in the back portion of the vent.

Is there some really thick material that I should be using?

Is there any way to adjust the vent itself?

The mechanism is held together using pins that appear to go all the way through the shafts. When it is as far down as it will go, the lift arms are pretty close to horizontal which appears to be the way they are supposed to be. But the vent isn't down against the trailer on the outside either which I would expect to be the first step in getting it to seal.

The vents themselves do not appear to be deformed.

Any recommendations or ideas?

Thanks in advance.

Tom Bray
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tom Bray View Post
The two vents with fans and lights in them had either dead or falling out weatherstripping. The last time it rained, the front vent / light filled up with water.

I found some 7/16" thick by 3/4" wide material that claimed to be suitable for camper roof vents. So far I have only done the forward vent. I cleaned off all the old adhesive and put the new stuff on and replaced the vent cover.

The forward vent still won't completely seal. It goes down in the front because of the springs but there is at least a 1/4" gap in the back portion of the vent.

Is there some really thick material that I should be using?

Is there any way to adjust the vent itself?

The mechanism is held together using pins that appear to go all the way through the shafts. When it is as far down as it will go, the lift arms are pretty close to horizontal which appears to be the way they are supposed to be. But the vent isn't down against the trailer on the outside either which I would expect to be the first step in getting it to seal.

The vents themselves do not appear to be deformed.

Any recommendations or ideas?

Thanks in advance.

Tom Bray
Your gasket material is incorrect.

We have the original vent gasket material in stock.

Andy
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:20 PM   #3
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1972 23' Safari
Tallassee , Alabama
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Now that I have both vents apart, I can see where the problems are. The middle vent obviously hasn't been used as much as the front one has, probably because it doesn't have a fan in it.

The forward vent has a somewhat hacked repair to the mechanism. Obviously some of the retainer hardware has either broken or worn out. The middle vent closes positively. The forward vent doesn't work as well.

I talked to Inland this morning and they said that the mechanism isn't available anymore, so I need to repair it somehow so that it will hold the lid down against the weatherstripping (which will arrive next week).

The repair used steel nuts and bolts so this is going to be fun to take apart. It also has steel screws in place of the rivets holding the pivot section in place (also rusted pretty badly).

I haven't figured out whether it will be better to try and do the repair standing inside the AS or leaning over the roof. I have a pad to help distribute the weight so I won't dent the roof but I can only get within about arms length of the vent and still keep most of my weight on the ladder.

If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Tom Bray
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:25 AM   #4
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Caulking Removal

Hello Tom,

How did you remove the heavy caulk like material. I broke the back vent cover on our 2004 Safari, and was trying to remove it yesterday to replace the whole unit. The caulking is somewhat dried up and I am having trouble removing it. I was thinking of using a heat gun (sparingly) to soften it. Is that a good idea or is there other simple techniques?

Advise from any forum member will be appreciated.

Regards,

Titu.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:35 AM   #5
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Titu, I've used a small heat gun (of the sort for working with electronics...and heat-shrink tubing. small nozzle) to remove caulk, and it works beautifully.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:37 AM   #6
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If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Tom Bray
If you aren't concerned with keeping the trailer 100% original, I'd suggest you replace it with a Fan-tastic Fan. Vintage Trailer Supply carries them with a grey vent cover.

Vintage Trailer Supply - Vintage travel trailer parts and supplies!
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:23 PM   #7
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1972 23' Safari
Tallassee , Alabama
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As far as removing adhesive and caulking I believe in using whatever works.

I have successfully used a stiff putty knife, about 1" wide that I sharpened like a wood chisel. Usually the knife has a gradual bevel forming sort of a cutting edge. I add a second short bevel on the edge and flatten the back. This way it only cuts relative to how high of an angle you hold the knife. If you hold it flat it will remove thick stuff but leave the adhesive residue intact. Raising it up a little will allow it to start taking off adhesive. If it is sharpened correctly it provides an amazing amount of control, it should glide over the metal removing adhesive and other material.

Look up on the web on how to sharpen a wood chisel or a plane blade, both accomplish the same result. I resharpen it often. Also make sure there aren't any burs on it, that will scratch the aluminum.

I don't like to use a utility knife because it is sharpened like a knife (really) and is very hard to control.

I also use Krud Kutter to clean up - spray it on a rag, don't soak anything.

Between the putty knife and the heat gun things should go pretty well. Be careful with heat gun, it can do a lot of damage if it gets too hot.

Also a brass wire brush helps with the final clean up.

By the way, I added one of those nifty fans described previously when I replaced the rear vent. It is great. The only thing missing is that I don't think I have seen them with lights in them. I would replace the forward vent with that in a flash if it did.

Tom Bray
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