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Old 02-01-2007, 04:51 PM   #1
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Repairing or Replacing Roof Vent Covers

Has anyone had any luck repairing or replacing roof vent covers after the translucent skylight portion cracks and begins to leak?
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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We replaced ours Ken...although, I'm sure it's a bit different than yours though with 10+ years difference in our trailers, but it works perfectly now. No leaks and a very simple repair. I don't recall where we got our replacemnt -I think it was Vintage Trailer Supply - Mr. InsideOut did it and it was painless...I guess I only remember the painful repairs!

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Old 02-01-2007, 05:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
We replaced ours Ken...although, I'm sure it's a bit different than yours though with 10+ years difference in our trailers, but it works perfectly now. No leaks and a very simple repair. I don't recall where we got our replacemnt -I think it was Vintage Trailer Supply - Mr. InsideOut did it and it was painless...I guess I only remember the painful repairs!

Shari
Thanks mucho Shari. You are correct, Vintage Trailer Supply has a nice replacement vent for Airstreams of your era, but not mine. I'm hoping someone has found a source for new vent covers or a clever way to repair the vent covers on Airstreams manufactured in the '70s.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:33 PM   #4
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Ken,

Do you have the type with the aluminum frame and translucent (sp?) plastic in the center?

If so, I have tried to repair mine with a rather thin piece of plexiglass that cracked around each rivet (dumb idea). I will be re-doing them with thicker plexiglass (5/16") and will attach with washers on backside of rivets.

With vulkem, they should not leak. (I didn't have any problems for about year with the first repair.)

If you have the kind that are entirely plastic, they make one from Ventline that will work, although it's not exactly the same.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:50 PM   #5
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Thanks, Ron!
Yes, I have the aluminum vent covers with the translucent plastic(?) panel.
If the Ventline is the correct size, I wouldn't mind going all plastic.
Otherwise, I will try 5/16 in. plexiglass as you suggest.

Do you have a link for Ventline?
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klevan
Thanks, Ron!
Yes, I have the aluminum vent covers with the translucent plastic(?) panel.
If the Ventline is the correct size, I wouldn't mind going all plastic.
Otherwise, I will try 5/16 in. plexiglass as you suggest.

Do you have a link for Ventline?
Plexiglass should never be used in the sun.

It will crack and craze in 2-3 months.

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Old 02-01-2007, 07:00 PM   #7
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If Not Plexiglass, Then What?....

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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Plexiglass should never be used in the sun.

It will crack and craze in 2-3 months.

Andy
Thanks, Andy. What do you suggest? I don't see a replacement vent cover on your webpage.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:02 PM   #8
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Have you guys seen this?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Airst...80501354QQrdZ1

Also, The top of teh vent cover that you have now can be repaired with VINYL sheets. Make sure that you use sealed rivets, or stainles screws and dip them in Vulkem, Sikaflex or the like. Go slow, be careful. Oh, and while you are up there, get a roll of sponge tape to seal it against the body of the vent.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:20 PM   #9
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Aluminum Works Great!

Ken,

Mine did the same thing. I cut out a square of thin gauge aluminum and attached it to the aluminum outer housing. It's no longer translucent, but it doesn't leak a drop.

I plan to replace mine with Fantastic Fans eventually. For now, the aluminum replacement works great.

Best of luck,
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klevan
Thanks, Andy. What do you suggest? I don't see a replacement vent cover on your webpage.

Click on parts.

Part #83098 or #83101

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Old 02-01-2007, 10:03 PM   #11
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Ken,

My bad, try lexan.

You can buy it locally (usually) at a glass shop. Even comes in smoke (or so I've heard).
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:33 PM   #12
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Per Andy and Ron's recommendation, I used Lexan polycarbonate that I found at Home Depot.
The project was a breeze.
I used my radial arm saw with a hollow-ground plywood blade to cut pieces of Lexan 9 1/2 X 9 1/2 inches square.

Then, to radius the corners, I used a jigsaw with a fine-tooth, multi-purpose blade made by Bosch that cuts on downstroke and upstroke.

I used the vent cover itself upside down on the Lexan square as a template to drill 1/8 in holes in the Lexan at each rivet hole. Then I flipped the whole assemby right side up and secured the Lexan to the vent cover using 1/8" blind aluminum rivets with 1/4 in. grip range. I bedded the Lexan first on a flat strip of rope caulk.

Economical and effective, Lexan is guaranteed to withstand ten years of direct sunlight.

I can provide pictures if anyone is interested.
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:05 PM   #13
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Sounds like a plan. My vent covers don't leak but they sure look crappy.A fantastic type fan would be great, but I saw where Pizzachop put new inside light/vent covers on his Sovereign and they look nice and clean. That plus new lexan would be great.
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:07 PM   #14
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I believe that LEXAN has a sun resistant side and one side that is not. The two sheets I have used both were marked that way on the protective plastic film. Just a precaution.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:53 PM   #15
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Lexan is the GE brand name for polycarbonate. Ge makes UV resistant Lexan. Polycarbonate is not naturally UV resistant but GE adds an additive to it, so it UV resistant material is. The additive is thoughout the sheet so it does not make any differance which side you put up. Plexaglas was Rohnman & Haas tradename for arcylic. Duponts tradename is Lucite. They are both UV resistant naturally. The cracks that develop are caused by the fact that normal acrylics have poor elongation and you are improperly stressing them when you pop rivet them. If you would use shoulder screws with rubber or RTV gaskets, there would be no problem. Lexan costs more and is more impact resistant and easier to use, so that would be my suggestion. Make sure you get sheet marked as being UV resistant. Polycarbonate has poor chemical resistance to many chemicals so you should only use mild soap and water to clean it.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:59 PM   #16
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Lexan vs plexiglass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Plexiglass should never be used in the sun.

It will crack and craze in 2-3 months.

Andy
I used thin plexiglass and got some cracks from the pressure of the rivets. I didn't use any padding or foam. I sealed the cracks with silicone and they lasted a few years but are ready to replace again. Lexan is next.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:20 PM   #17
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Lexan is GE's trade name for polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is not naturally UV resistant. GE adds an additive to make it UV resistant. It is thoughout the plastic so it does not matter which side is up. GE also sells an non-UV resistant Lexan. Make sure you buy the one that is marked UV resistant. Polycarbonate is very impact resistant but is sensitive to many chemicals which cause it to stress crack. Do not clean it with anything except mild soap and water. Plexiglass was Rohman & Haas tradename for acrylic. Dupont's trade name for the same material is Lucite. Both are naturally UV resistant and have been used in greenhouses for thirty years. The cracks that develop when you pop rivet them to aluminum is caused by the stress of the pop rivets and the fact that acrylic has poor elongation and impact resistance. If you would use loose holes and shoulder screws to attact it, you would have no problems. I used Lexan to fix my vents.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:10 PM   #18
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Ken,
I hope you didn't get that new shop of yours dirty when you fixed the vents....
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:48 AM   #19
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It Was Terrible...

Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Ken,
I hope you didn't get that new shop of yours dirty when you fixed the vents....
...Sawdust and Lexan remnants everywhere.

Just to Clarify:
Lexan is GE's brand name for polycarbonate. It has a UV resistant film that must face toward the sunlight to block the UV rays and keep them from damaging the Lexan sheets.

GE also makes Plexiglass acrylic sheets, which GE states will not hold up to UV.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:37 PM   #20
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Repairing or Replacing Roof Vents

Since I don't know how to link this to the current question on the topic from DougZ, here's the thread from 4 years ago. You will find three more threads on the topic when you scroll to the bottom of this page.
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