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Old 08-10-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
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Unhappy Lost Range Vent Cover and a possible easy fix

Well I guess I forgot to secure the range vent "flap" after my camping trip 2 weekends ago. A 4 mile trip home from the camping location and/or the 40 mile trip to the RV shop & it was gone. Max' speed would've been around 50 mph.

Looks like I'll be fabbing a cover from 1/8" alum' & using 2 of the 3 vent cover attachment screws to secure it when travelling. I'll just remove the cover when I get to my destination, then re-install it before the return trip.

Other than the plastic "latches" that hold doors open against the side of the RV, can anyone think of anything else flimsier on our RVs?
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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I towed my last camper for 5 years and never secured the flap. On this one I lost it on the 3rd trip. I expected to be able to just buy the flap but I had to buy the whole cover. I am keeping mine latched when not in use now.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:17 PM   #3
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I see I'm not the only one. Lost mine a year ago because I forgot to flip the little locks.
Haven't fixed it yet. I just cover the vent when it gets cold. The old "stuff a rag in it" deal.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Happens more often than you might think. I've lost 2 on 2 different trailers over the years.
I've managed to keep the one on my current trailer so far. Probably just a matter of time.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:15 AM   #5
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This is a pain in the You know where.
I've had the skinny little hinge pins break on the flap of my last
2 trailers.
The manufacturer has to know they are prone to break.
It would be SO EASY for them to slightly modify the mold that makes
these and beef up the size of the pins but they don't do it.....

Luckily I found my vent hanging by one corner and didn't loose it.
IF you find your flap broken but not missing, you can easily repair it.
I fixed mine last week after a trip in less than an hour and just one
beer!

IF you've still got your broken flap.
First remove the 2 visible screws at the lower left and right corners.

Then take a box knife and carefully slit the caulk around the edges
of the outer vent.
Carefully pry up the outer vent.
I used little brass jewelry box hinges from a hardware store.
They were 3/4 by 1 inch and cost $3 for a 4 pack.

Once the outer vent was raised up it was simple to add the 2 hinges.
I also found large gaps around the duct inside the wall.
IF the vent flap ever stuck open it would allow wasps to get into the
wall cavity around the vent so I caulked the gaps.
These gaps are visible once you open the flap.
Sorry, I didn't take a photo of the unit with the flap open or missing to
show the gaps underneath.

I used 1/8" aluminum pop rivets.

Note the closeup of the hinge where I used a sharp box knife to notch
the top edge of the flap so the hinge fit exactly in line with the upper
edge.
Note-- I removed all the screws and then discovered I didn't need to
do that. Just the 2 outer screws are necessary to make this repair.

Click a photo for a larger look.
Good luck!
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:24 AM   #6
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Great fix Dan. I never thought about using hinges.
I'll keep that in mind the next time I forget to latch the vent and this one breaks.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:33 AM   #7
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X2....I'll didn't know the cover was that easy to remove.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:23 PM   #8
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Dan, it's too bad that the vents aren't made like that in the 1st place. Great fix.
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