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Old 03-05-2011, 03:26 PM   #1
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Up on the roof...

In preparation for polishing, I got up on the roof to see what mess is up there and sure enough, I was not disappointed - it was a mess! I'm not sure what to do about the vents on the roof. They have all been caulked with some kind of black stuff that is hard as a rock and was painted silver. Whoever did it figured if a little bit was good then a lot was even better. The caulk in some places is 1/2" thick and extends out from the vent plate about 3". I have been able to chip away some of it with a plastic paddle but the rest of it is really stuck on there.

I have a capped vent for the fridge and an open vent (makes a nice funnel for rain) for the heater. The overhead air vent is aluminum, which I would like to keep, and seems to be in pretty good shape. There are two air vents for the black tank and the gray tank that I was able to find covers for.

My question is this: Should I unscrew and remove the vent plates to clean under them and then put the vulkem (Tempro 635) under the plate or should I leave well enough alone and just caulk around the outside edge of the plate?

The heater vent is wide open but looks like maybe at one time there was a cap on it. Does anybody know where I can either get a cap that will fit it (not likely) or get a new one that will work better? I checked with VTS and none of their vent covers look anything like what mine do.

Both of the vents are really big and tall - is it necessary to have them that big or would something shorter work as well?

The fridge vent base plate is 10" x 18". The vent itself is 4" x 12". The Heater base plate is 13" x 10" and the vent itself at the bottom is about 5" x 9". I didn't measure how tall they are.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Lindy
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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Oh boy! That does look like a mess!!! Not sure what exactly, but you're right, something needs to go over that heater vent.

You may want to look for a round one, cut it in half and add a piece of aluminum to make an oval cap that will work. Ours has a similar condition and that's what it has - but it's not exactly the same...it's amazing how different each of these trailers are.

The 1st photo is our fridge vent which is round and the second shows the heater which is an oval that is the same as the round one except it has a piece riveted in the middle to make an oval:





I'm thinking this one at VTS may work with some modifications: Round Vent Cover Although it might be a bit small...hard to tell.


It seems they used whatever was handy at the local hardware store when they built them!

As far as removing the "gunk" that is "sealing" everything...you may want to try Permatex Gasket Remover - it's really nasty stuff, but it attacks everything. (including POR 15 don't ask me how I know! )

Shari
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:11 PM   #3
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I'm thinking this one at VTS may work with some modifications: Round Vent Cover Although it might be a bit small...hard to tell.

As far as removing the "gunk" that is "sealing" everything...you may want to try Permatex Gasket Remover - it's really nasty stuff, but it attacks everything. (including POR 15 don't ask me how I know! )

Shari
I looked at the round vent cover that you found at VTS and it is very small. I think it is more for air vents. I don't know how big the actual holes are but the base plates are really big. The fridge vent base is 10 x 18 and the heater base is 13 x 10. So I have to find something big enough to cover about that much area.

Your vents look really good! How did you get them so shiny???

Any idea where I can get the Permatex Gasket Remover? Would an auto supply store have it? I can make a quick trip to Salida to get it if that's who would carry the stuff. It doesn't sound like it is going to be much fun to work with.

Thanks for the info -
Lindy
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:08 PM   #4
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I got all kinks of hard goop off with a heat gun and scraper assortment.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:15 PM   #5
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I got all kinks of hard goop off with a heat gun and scraper assortment.

Isn't it amazing what a mess we can make for the next owner. Help me if I ever do something like that.... oops, I already did - painted the interior. Someday, someone, will be cursing me!!

Laura
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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Lindy,

The black stuff may be plastic roof cement based on the description you gave. That will be a bear to get off. Or any roof tarry-like substance. I think the heat gun will be your best bet, along with the gasket remover (if it dissolves the tar stuff at all).

Good luck!!

Chris
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I got all kinks of hard goop off with a heat gun and scraper assortment.
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Lindy,

The black stuff may be plastic roof cement based on the description you gave. That will be a bear to get off. Or any roof tarry-like substance. I think the heat gun will be your best bet, along with the gasket remover (if it dissolves the tar stuff at all).

Good luck!!

Chris
Heat gun! great idea - I've got one of those and will give it a try.

And the black stuff does look like plastic so I'll bet it is the roof cement stuff.

bummer.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:42 PM   #8
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Greetings,
The Fridge vent should look like what Shari has posted & the furnace should have a cap on it as well. I have seen quite a few creative solutions for the problems you have & a couple of them actually look quite good from the ground. The first one is to find a suitably sized chrome baby moon hub cap & fasten it with aluminum straps, however the best option for both caps is to purchase one of those chessy mess kits you once used in Boy Scouts. They are made of aluminum & are a similar shape & size to the original. You will need to cut one of the pans in two & fab a section to stretch it to make it work for the fridge. Rivet the parts together & polish it, & away you go. No one will ever figure out what you made them out of
Have fun,
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:57 AM   #9
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Greetings,
The Fridge vent should look like what Shari has posted & the furnace should have a cap on it as well. I have seen quite a few creative solutions for the problems you have & a couple of them actually look quite good from the ground. The first one is to find a suitably sized chrome baby moon hub cap & fasten it with aluminum straps, however the best option for both caps is to purchase one of those chessy mess kits you once used in Boy Scouts. They are made of aluminum & are a similar shape & size to the original. You will need to cut one of the pans in two & fab a section to stretch it to make it work for the fridge. Rivet the parts together & polish it, & away you go. No one will ever figure out what you made them out of
Have fun,
Colin
Now THAT'S clever! I have an old baby moon hubcap and will see if I can make it work. Otherwise, it's off to an Army surplus store!

Thanks!

I'll post a picture of the result when I get it worked out.
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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Ick!!!

The heat gun loosed the first 1/2" of gunk (and melted my little plastic putty knife) so all I need to do now is find that gasket remover stuff and maybe, with a LOT of work, I can get the stuff off.

Now, should I remove the vent in order to caulk under it or do I just caulk around the edges. The heater vent is flat against the trailer roof but the fridge vent has mountains and valleys in it and doesn't lay very flat.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:03 AM   #11
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...so all I need to do now is find that gasket remover stuff and maybe, with a LOT of work, I can get the stuff off.
We get the Gasket Remover at just about any auto parts store...I think some Ace Hardware Stores carry it too.

Good luck!

Shari
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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P.S. If you don't mind waiting a couple of days, Amazon sells it too - and it'll be shipped to your doorstep.

Amazon - Permatex 80646 Gasket Remover, 16 oz. Aerosol Can

Oppps, I just double checked, looks like they are out of stock on the big can...but this looks to be the same thing:

Amazon Permatex 80645 Gasket Remover, 4 oz.

Shari
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:08 AM   #13
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Now THAT'S clever! I have an old baby moon hubcap and will see if I can make it work. Otherwise, it's off to an Army surplus store!

Thanks!

I'll post a picture of the result when I get it worked out.
Cool!
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