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Learn how to Set up an RV Roof Vent


Studying how you can work in your RV has many advantages, together with saving you time whenever you’d in any other case be ready to schedule an appointment at an RV service heart. In fact, there are specific upkeep duties it is best to know how you can do your self and others that require extra experience. 

Determining how you can set up an RV roof vent isn’t rocket science. But it surely additionally must be completed accurately to forestall roof leaks and water injury to your RV’s inside. Right here’s the whole lot you want to find out about RV roof vents

What’s an RV Roof Vent?

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Picture by Tenting World

An RV roof vent is basically a gap in your RV’s roof. Don’t be alarmed whenever you do an RV roof inspection, nevertheless, as this gap is intentional. RV roof vents are sometimes sq. and the opening is protected by a display and a vent cowl. Some even have a fan element between the lid and the display. 

Why Have an RV Roof Vent?

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Picture by Tenting World

Airflow is necessary for comfy RV residing. Along with your AC unit, roof vents promote wholesome airflow all through your RV’s residing house. Good airflow prevents mildew and mildew in scorching, humid climates, assists with temperature management, and retains undesirable toilet and kitchen odors from lingering. 

RV roof vents additionally let pure mild into your RV’s inside. Whereas they aren’t as efficient because the skylight in most RV bogs, they’re nonetheless helpful in lighting up your house in the course of the day. In fact, there are roof vent shade equipment you’ll be able to set up if you wish to scale back that allowance of pure mild. 

Why Have an RV Roof Vent Cowl?

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Picture by Tenting World

As a lot as RV roof vents are helpful, they will turn into a legal responsibility with out a vent cowl. The vent cowl protects the vent and vent lid from rain, leaves, pollen, and different airborne particles and minimizes how typically you want to clear the vent display. 

Most RV roof vents include a fundamental lid that opens and closes as wanted. Putting in a vent cowl on high of that lid extends the lifetime of the vent and vent lid. It additionally retains water out of your RV should you by chance depart the lid open throughout a storm and permits you to hold air flowing out and in whenever you encounter inclement climate in your RV journey. 

Learn how to Clear an RV Roof Vent Display

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Picture by Tenting World

Cleansing the display in your roof vent needs to be a part of your common RV upkeep routine. Over time, mud, pollen, pet hair, and different particles can get lodged within the display, lowering the effectiveness of the vent and rising the danger of injury to the vent fan blades. 

To wash your display, be certain the vent fan is powered off and the vent cowl is closed. Loosen the display by eradicating the screws holding it in place. Then, take it exterior and also you’ll have two choices.

The quickest methodology is to make use of a conveyable RV vacuum to take away particles that has amassed on each side of the display. The opposite methodology is to get the display moist, use a mild sponge to wipe it down, after which rinse it off. With this methodology, you’ll want to go away the display exterior till it dries utterly earlier than changing it in your roof vent.

Learn how to Take away an RV Roof Vent

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Picture by Tenting World

Earlier than putting in a brand new roof vent, the previous one has to return out. You’ll want an influence driver with the correct attachment and a plastic squeegee or a putty knife. RV vents are secured by completely different fasteners, equivalent to Philips, #2 sq. tip, or ¼” hex head screws, so examine your vent to know which sort you’ll have to take away.

Right here’s an summary of the RV roof vent removing course of: 

  1. Use your battery disconnect swap or take away the cable out of your battery’s damaging terminal to discontinue the facility provide to the vent fan.
  2. Take away the screws holding the inside trim ring in place and set it apart.
  3. Unplug the wiring connecting your previous vent fan to your RV’s 12-volt energy supply.
  4. Fastidiously ascend onto your RV’s roof.
  5. Take away the sealant across the edges of the vent.
    1. Use an previous plastic squeegee for RVs with rubber roofing materials.
    2. Use a putty knife for RVs with a steel or fiberglass roof.
  6. Take away the screws securing the vent to the roof.
  7. Take away the previous vent by fastidiously inserting a putty knife between the vent flange and the roof floor and gently prying the vent free. 
    1. Use excessive warning to forestall injury to the roof.
    2. Some vents are put in with butyl tape between the underside of the vent and your roof. Take away any tape that’s left behind as soon as the vent is out of the way in which.

As soon as your previous vent is eliminated, it’s a good time to visually examine the framing and roofing materials across the vent opening. Search for any indicators of water injury and make the mandatory repairs earlier than putting in a brand new roof vent. 

Converse to a Tenting World service technician when you have questions on repairing broken framing or roof materials. 

Learn how to Measure an RV Roof Vent

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Picture by Tenting World

The usual opening for RV roof vents is 14.25” x 14.25”, however don’t assume that your RV got here with normal vents. Take the time to measure as a way to choose the appropriate substitute vent. 

You have to measure the scale of the tough opening in your RV’s roof, quite than the within dimensions of the prevailing vent and/or cowl. 

When you’ve already eliminated your previous vent, measure the size and width of the opening left behind. When you haven’t eliminated your previous vent, you’ll have to take away the inside trim ring contained in the RV or journey trailer, permitting you to extra precisely measure the scale of the tough opening. 

Learn how to Set up an RV Roof Vent

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Picture by Tenting World

Together with your previous roof vent out of the way in which and a correct substitute in hand, you’re prepared to put in a brand new one. Along with the aforementioned instruments, you’ll want denatured alcohol, rags, butyl tape, and a brand new set of screws, which often include new roof vents (if yours didn’t, use new screws as an alternative of re-using the previous ones, however be certain they’re the proper size and thread gauge). 

Right here’s your common roof vent set up process: 

  1. Use denatured alcohol and a rag to scrub the realm across the roof opening the place the previous butyl tape was eliminated. 
  2. Set up new butyl tape on the underside of the brand new roof vent (all 4 sides).
  3. Hold wiring out of the way in which and set the brand new vent into the roof opening.
  4. Ensure that the hinge facet of the vent faces in direction of the entrance of your RV.
  5. Safe the vent utilizing screws.
  6. Tighten till you see a small quantity of butyl tape squeezing out across the edges, however don’t overtighten.
  7. Use a squeegee or putty knife to take away extra butyl tape round vent edges.

You’re not completed but! It’s crucial that you just select the appropriate roof sealant to seal across the edges of your new roof vent. Our information to finishing an RV roof inspection will train you extra about selecting the best sealant to your RV. 

Learn how to Seal an RV Roof Vent

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Picture by Tenting World

Together with your new RV roof vent package screwed into place, it’s time to seal it in place in order that water doesn’t leak in in the course of the subsequent storm. With a appropriate roof sealant in hand, right here’s your course of: 

  1. Clear the flange and screw heads with denatured alcohol earlier than making use of sealant
  2. Cowl every screw head with a nickel-to-quarter-sized dollop of self-leveling lap sealant.
    1. Keep away from silicone or latex caulk.
  3. Run a bead of sealant across the edges of the vent.
    1. The bead needs to be about two inches huge and ¼-½” thick.

Observe that we nonetheless haven’t talked about something about changing the inside trim ring. That’s as a result of there’s yet another step to putting in an RV roof vent correctly. 

Learn how to Wire a New RV Roof Vent

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Picture by Tenting World

There’s yet another crucial element to your roof vent set up: connecting it to your RV’s 12-volt energy supply. You’ll be able to safely climb down out of your RV roof and head again inside to wire your vent up. 

To provide energy to your vent fan, observe these steps: 

  1. Double-check that your battery disconnect swap is engaged or the cable is faraway from the damaging battery terminal to take away the circulate of energy out of your battery to the previous vent fan wiring.
  2. Comply with your fan’s guide for directions on making protected electrical connections.
  3. When you’ve adopted all directions, disengage your disconnect swap or reconnect the battery and take a look at the fan for correct operation.

Once you’re glad with the fan’s operation, change the vent’s inside trim ring and your set up is full.

Learn how to Set up an RV Roof Vent Cowl

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Picture by Tenting World

If you want to hold the lid of your roof vent open in a single day, a vent cowl is an effective way to guard your RV from moisture and different environmental particles. This course of outlines the essential steps for putting in a MaxxAir vent cowl, one of many extra common fashions obtainable at this time.

The set up course of and required instruments could range based mostly on vent cowl make and mannequin.

What you’ll want: 

  • New vent cowl
    • Ought to include brackets, nuts, washers, and bolts
  • Drill with drill bit (dimension really useful in vent cowl guide, 3/16”)
  • Sharpie or pencil
  • Philips head screwdriver (or influence driver with Philips head attachment)
  • Ratchet or wrench with socket sized for nuts and bolts that got here with vent cowl

Set up course of: 

  1. Middle new vent cowl over your roof vent.
  2. Use a sharpie or pencil to mark the situation of the 4 slots within the cowl’s mounting flange.
  3. Take away the vent cowl and set it apart.
  4. Place brackets in order that the slot within the bracket strains up with the marked places.
    1. For max energy, brackets needs to be mounted as shut as attainable to the skin nook of the roof vent body.
  5. Mark the situation of the screw holes within the brackets.
  6. Drill screw holes by the roof vent body.
  7. Place carriage bolt(s) upward by the slot within the brackets and use smaller bolts to safe brackets to the vent body.
    1. A flat washer, lock washer, and hex bolt needs to be positioned on every bolt contained in the roof vent body to safe the brackets.
  8. Place the vent cowl on the 4 upward-facing carriage bolts within the mounting bracket slots. 
  9. Function the vent to verify the lid clears the vent cowl when being raised and lowered.
  10. Safe the vent cowl utilizing massive washers and hex nuts supplied.
    1. You could have to push carriage bolts upward to safe hex nuts. 

Take into account that a small hole will stay between the vent cowl mounting flange and your roof. This hole is intentional to permit condensation to flee. 

What’s the Greatest RV Roof Vent Package?

When you’re changing your RV roof vent, getting an entire vent package is the simplest method to go. Listed here are a couple of of the most effective choices to think about: 

MaxxFan Deluxe Distant Management RV Ventilator System

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Picture by Tenting World

MaxxFan’s all-in-one RV roof vent package is among the first of its variety. It boasts an automated rain safety function that closes the vent when it detects moisture. The MaxxFan Deluxe additionally features a 10-speed fan, a handheld distant management, and adjustable fan pace and thermostat settings. 

Store MaxxFan Deluxe Roof Vent Kits.

Dometic Fan-Tastic Ceiling Vent/Fan with Distant Management

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Picture by Dometic

As its title suggests, the Dometic roof vent package is a improbable choice for upgrading your previous RV with a contemporary roof vent. It provides a 14-speed RV roof vent fan, a built-in thermostat, a handheld distant, reversible airflow, and a rain sensor to maintain moisture out of your RV even should you neglect to shut the vent earlier than going to mattress.

Store the Dometic Fan-Tastic Ceiling Vent and Fan.

MaxxAir MaxxFan Dome

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Picture by Tenting World

The MaxxFan Dome is a helpful vent substitute choice for RVs with round roof openings. This six-inch exhaust fan is made for RVs with a one-inch roof thickness. It boasts a detachable display for straightforward cleansing and a lockable lid with simple, push-button operation.

Store the MaxxAir MaxxFan Dome.

What’s the Greatest RV Roof Vent Cowl?

If you want to change a broken RV vent cowl or need to add additional safety to your roof vent, take into account these best-selling choices: 

MaxxAir II Vent Covers

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Picture by Tenting World

The main improve of the MaxxAir II over the primary era is double the air flow. You’ll be capable of take pleasure in loads of contemporary air and circulation all through your RV residing house, whatever the climate. 

Store MaxxAir II Vent Covers.

MaxxAir I Vent Cowl

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Picture by Tenting World

MaxxAir’s unique vent cowl nonetheless provides loads of air flow and it’s a extra reasonably priced selection than their second-generation improve. It protects your RV’s roof vent from rain, hail, and different particles and contains a UV inhibitor that dramatically extends your roof vent’s lifespan.

Store the MaxxAir I Vent Cowl.

Camco Vent Cowl

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Picture by Tenting World

Designed to suit all 14” x  14” RV roof vents, the Camco cowl is an aerodynamic selection that gives related climate safety because the MaxxAir covers. It’s manufactured with UV-stabilized resin and options detachable louvers for straightforward cleansing and vent upkeep. 

Store the Camco Vent Cowl.


When you don’t really feel comfy doing work in your RV’s roof vents, contact your native Tenting World Service Middle. Our knowledgeable technicians can be completely satisfied to provide you a hand!

Have you ever eliminated and put in a brand new roof vent to your RV? Tell us what labored finest for you!



Tucker Ballister is a Technical Content material Author for Tenting World and a lover of the open street. You’ll be able to take a look at extra of his adventures and outside recommendation at thebackpackguide.com.



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