Darn vent leaks!

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by MandoCamper, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. MandoCamper

    MandoCamper Member

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    When I purchased my 2011 Rockwood Premier last summer, I should have asked the PO why he had a tarp over the top of the camper. The mildew stains in one section of the camper should have also clued me in that there was probably a leak somewhere.

    At any rate, I soon noticed a slow but persistent leak around the vent cover when heavy rains fall. I re-caulked the Fantastic Fan vent last Fall, checked for any cracks, etc, but all looked fine. Flash-forward to this past weekend and an evening of torrential rains...the dripping has returned.

    Is it possible this factory-installed fan wasn't installed properly? What should I be looking for?

    If I simply install a vent cover at this point, would that resolve the issue?

    Finally, can I use a MaxxAir cover on a Fantastic Fan vent? I've read conflicting opinions about this.

    thanks.
     
  2. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    You CAN absolutely install a MaxxAir vent cover but are you sure you want something that big and bulky on your roof and are you sure it's going to solve your leak problem?

    First, check the vent cover to ensure it's not warped and that the seal inside between the vent cover and vent housing isn't misaligned, cut, ripped, squished or otherwise damaged.

    Secondly, there are a few other things that can result in leaking vents:

    [list type=decimal]
    [*]Did you seal around the screw heads?
    [*]Did you lap the caulking up over the edge of the vent base where it meets the roof skin?
    [*]Is the sealant around the base pulling away as though the roof skin wasn't clean? If so, there may be some silicone or other contaminant on the roof skin that the caulking can't stick to.
    [*]Did you use the extruded foam gasket that the vent came with?
    [*]Did you caulk the foam gasket top and bottom? If there are any loose screws, the gasket will leak, particularly around a center seam if you have one.
    [/list]

    FWIW, I hate caulking and hate re-caulking even more. After applying bedliner to my roof (to fix a thousand hail dings, dents and other damage caused by the PO) the old roof vent crank mechanism was shot so I installed a Fantastic vent. I chose not to use Sikaflex, silicone or any other "recommended" RV sealants as they dry out, turn black, break down, crack and eventually leak anyway. On any joints that needed sealing, I used Marine Goop as it's translucent (almost clear), self-levelling, UV resistant, sticks like poop to a wool blankie, doesn't dry out, crack or turn black over time and it tools easily until it cures.

    It's hard to see in this photo but the Marine Goop is definitely there.
    [​IMG]

    This is the second season, it's still watertight and looks as good as the day I put it on. Plus, if you need to remove it, you can remove it cleanly without chemicals and without damaging the surfaces it's applied to. They sell it in caulking tubes for about $14 at any boat dealer and several of the larger hardware stores.
     
  3. dcbain

    dcbain New Member

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    Our fantastic vent leaked; I stripped it out, Sikaflexed it and it still leaked. Despite being naturally heavy-handed I hadn't put on enough to take up the huge gaps the flexy moulding allowed. Second time around - no leaks!
     
  4. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    On the previous pup, we used butyl tape under the edges, as well as caulk, when we replaced the old vent. The original owner had installed that vent and it did leak, since he had not used the tape (his work was not the best on anything he had done to the pup). The vent we installed turned out to be defective, but it took us a year and careful observation to determine that it was not our installation that was the culprit, but defective rivets.
     
  5. natty bumppo

    natty bumppo 2009 F-150,1998 Coleman Westlake

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    Eternabond tape instead of caulk. Easy to apply,remove all silicone,clean with acetone available from hardware store,cut tape to length then apply. You can buy on ebay in different widths and lengths. I have an ABS roof and got tired of mixing different concoctions for hairline cracks and one larger crack on top. I bought a 50' 2" wide roll of Eternabond tape and ran it down both sides on the curvature where cracks originate. This stuff made a believer out of me. Great seal won't come off and has an outdoor in the weather life of from 18 years or more. Watch various videos on youtube. You don't need all the prep products some videos are selling just clean with acetone and tape.
     
  6. Darn

    Darn Pup to Hybrid

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    [?:~{] [?:~{] [?:~{]

    My vent is leaking?? (see screen name) LOL... [:D] [:D] [:D]
     
  7. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    [LOL] Perfect!
     
  8. MandoCamper

    MandoCamper Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, folks. The local RV parts department recommend I closely examine the rubber gasket at the top of the fantastic vent, and sure enough, it was split in one spot. It looks like the PO tried to silicone the thing back together. Long story short, the company that produces Fantastic vents is shipping me a new gasket free of charge. Hopefully this will take care of the issue.
     
  9. sidepockettroy

    sidepockettroy Member

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    What kind of bedliner coating did you use and where did you get it. I used the metal roof coatings they sell at home depot(brush on and it was silver colored) and i still have a leak around my vent(need to remove everything around the vent and start from scratch though).

     
  10. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Here's the thread with all the info you're looking for: http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=72664
     
  11. MandoCamper

    MandoCamper Member

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    Bumping up this thread, since attempts to seal my Fantastic Vent did not fix the leaking fan.

    Do any PUP members have experience with the Fantastic Vent covers? Is it likely this would resolve the leak issue? I'd rather fix the problem correctly, but I'm just not finding the area through which rainwater is penetrating.
     
  12. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Vents can only leak from a few places. You've already replaced the lid seal, so the next area to check would be the mounting base and screws. Each screw needs to be well sealed as does the perimeter of the vent base.

    Once those are ruled out, looks for cracks around the base.
     
  13. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

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    I had one installed by Camping World and of course the first good rain....it leaked. So instead of brining it back to the incompetent technician who installed it, I found at least half of the 8 or 10 screws Loose under the self leveling sealant. After tightening, I re sealed the screws with the cobs of extra sealant left on the vent from the install. A bit of silicone lubricant repurposed the semi set up sealant and allowed me to clean it up and eliminate the potential waterfall camping world installed. So definitely check those.


    Happy Campin'
     
  14. sealacamp

    sealacamp New Member

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    Dyco seam sealer is specifically designed to seal off RV seams and vents, give that a shot, probably work better for you can caulk will. If you use caulk NP1 is the ticket not that home depot crap. NP1 will have to come from a roofing supply, since it is just for dealing with roof sealing issues.
     
  15. MandoCamper

    MandoCamper Member

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    Dubbya, thanks for the suggestion...I will examine the screws to ensure that they are secure and sealed.

    Thanks to the others for your suggestions. Once our thunderstorms clear away, I'll take another shot.
     

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