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Old 11-29-2010, 08:49 PM   #1
KuZ
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Default Roof vent? what about heat!

Hi, I am new here, and in the process of trying to find and buy a class b van. (or possibly converting one myself)

I am looking at one on the first of the month, its a 80's model ford van with a fiberglass rv shell.

I asked the owner if it had any leaks, he says he keeps it stored in a garage so has no idea. but the vent on top does not close, so it needs to be replaced and sealed with silicone.

So, I know im getting into a project I just hope its mechanically sound

How hard / expensive will it be to replace the vent? how about sealing the roof?

As a side note, what options do I have for heat? I want to use this for some parking lot boondoccking during travel. and its COLD right now
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Roof vent? what about heat!

Replacing a roof vent should relatively easy to do. The cost will vary depending on what brand and features you want. Maxx and Fantastic are probably the top two brands. A vent with a fan that is the same same size of the opening is better than the vents with the small fans.

Basically, you remove the old vent, clean up any residual putty or caulk. The you bed the new vent on butyl rubber, screw it down and caulk the perimeter and the screw heads with a caulk like Dicor. I don't think I'd use silicone - sometimes it doesn't adhere well to fiberglass.

Here's a link to look at: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=539
and another: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=809

----------------------------

As for heat while boondocking - lots of Class B Vans have a propane furnace. Maybe the one you're looking at has one.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roof vent? what about heat!

Re: the vent

You would need to have wiring in place for a vent with fan. I replaced a vent that didn't have a fan in my Class C with one that had a fan - luckily, the coach manufacturer had run the wiring to all the vent openings. The unused wires were just taped up out of the way.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Roof vent? what about heat!

I would be reluctant to purchase a unit from a guy whose roof vent doesn't close and he says he don't know if it leaks or not because it's in the garage. Has he NEVER had it out in the rain?
I have to think you could get a comparable unit with the option you want for about the same money if you're talking about an 80s unit.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Roof vent? what about heat!

I think I'd agree with JR on this one. Sounds a bit fishy to me.
Not sure about leaks? Never camped in the rain?
Highly unlikely, in either case.

Have you tried the RV Trader to see what else might be available near you?
Might be worth a google.

BTW, welcome. Buying a good conversion van can be difficult, and you have to
know when to walk away, and be patient. It's worth the extra time to do the
homework, so you're less likely to make a bad decision, and get yourself into a
really costly project. Good luck, and if you have more questions, you know where
to find us.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Roof vent? what about heat!

I looked for about 2 1/2 years for the one I bought. I kept looking, kept looking. I didn't want a rusty unit, and I did want the sky lights. All there was for a long time was the units in the $30,000-$40,000 price range, and She Who Must Be Obeyed did not want me to spend that kind of money, seeing as I already have 2 Goldwings and what not. Finally this one came up in Saskatchewan. It was an estate sale, one owner, low mileage and in excellent condition. SWMBO could not possibly turn it down, and she didn't. I'm happy as a pig in mud.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Roof vent? what about heat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Here's a link to look at: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=539
and another: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=809

As for heat while boondocking - lots of Class B Vans have a propane furnace. Maybe the one you're looking at has one.
thanks for the links, seems like a easy job, will A rv dealer or repair shop be able to do the install cheap? if not I can probly find a friend to do it, im disabled and dont know that I can get up on the roof, im game to try but...anyway thanks.\

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny R
I would be reluctant to purchase a unit from a guy whose roof vent doesn't close and he says he don't know if it leaks or not because it's in the garage. Has he NEVER had it out in the rain?
I have to think you could get a comparable unit with the option you want for about the same money if you're talking about an 80s unit.
well he said there were no leaks at all except maybe through the vent because the close latch broke, he has had it in storage since it broke.../shrug I have talked the guy down to 750 bucks for the van, but he keeps the tv and dvd player..most rvs in this price range I have seen have leak issues somewhere..being a fiberglass shell im hoping the vent and windows are my only concern with leaks. he claims it was a very seldom used recreation /aren't all 80s models lol./

I have been looking at rv trader and ebay and cragslist and this is the first van this cheap that I felt had merit to look at..we will see after today ends. I dont have 2 years to shop for the perfect van, im going through a divorce and need a van to sleep in while I look for a new house. I like the idea of dry camping in the driveway of a house I want to buy for a little while to check out the nehiboor hood...I figure if I cant sleep in the driveway with out problems I probly wont like the area..its so hard to really know a area till you spend some time in it..usually well after escrow closes you realize u hate the nehibors playing music all night or cops get called every friday for domestic v, whatever a week or two of boondocking should help understand the "hood" realiztically if the van lives a year I will be happy...I will probly end up tricking it out and using it for much longer...unless its a lemon.

I someday want to add a roof air, could I just seal the vent closed and use the vent hole later for the AC? or is a vent required?

thanks for all the advice guys
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Roof vent? what about heat!

A vent is nice to have. You can close all of the side windows for security but still have ventilation. Maybe a vent cover would be the way to go for now. It'll keep the rain out. (and maybe just caulk around the existing vent)
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Roof vent? what about heat!

For the vent repair, take it to an RV shop and ask. Can't hurt, and you don't need
to get it done if they want too much. Most roof vents are pretty standard, based
on what I see at my local RV sales/service place and the latch may be replaceable.
Sorry we can't be more help, but it's hard to diagnose something you can't see. It
might be an easy fix. Maybe there's a way to remove the broken bit, and just close
it and clamp it with something.
If the roof inside and/or the floor below the vent don't have any visible problems, you
may be OK. Look for discoloration or warping of bloating of the roof liner (if there is
one) and any warping of the side/wall paneling (again, if there is any), or stains on
the floor or carpeting (pretty obvious, look for water stains, duh?? )
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Roof vent? what about heat!

Well you called it...the "kept inside a garage and has no leaks" turned into a wet couch, and drivers seat with standing water around the lip of the over cab window .however I sorta expected that and am willing to deal with getting it sealed up. haven't quite decided how im going to go about that yet though.

So I ended up buying it for 500 bucks, a 1980 Ford Eldorado Motorhome. It needs new tires, Somethings wrong with the turn signals, needs leaks sealed, and a heater the in dash heater/air unit does not work! Need the back door repaired or replaced and rekeyed. needs plumbed (toilet goes to ground) etc etc..Some one hand me a life jacket I think I just jumped in to it lol

Ill take it to a local RV dealer for a quote on sealing the windows (and a cover or repair for the vent) for sure.

but I read something somewhere on the net about a person spraying on rattle can bed liner over a damaged area and it was water proof...so I am kicking around the idea of just spraying bedliner over the leaky windows..they are not positioned to view out of when driving and I can maybe leave some window area un-sprayed if I want to view out the window. which leads me to the idea of painting the whole van in bedliner..Thoughts?

This beast is going to be a project, I just pray its drive line is sound..
Time to start researching Propane heaters to see if they are safe to operate while in motion..it was a cold drive home.
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