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Old 06-13-2018, 10:14 AM   #1
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Weight limit of roof and vents disintegrating

Went out for our first trip of the summer with our 2016 Shockwave TH. It was raining for the better part of the first two days and water was leaking all over the place inside. Turned out all the vents spontaneously exploded when traveling to our camp site. I had a cheap Weekend Warrior for ten years and the vents never had any issues. Is this common?

Also, whats the weight limit for walking on the roof of this thing since I need to get up there and replace the vents.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:21 PM   #2
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When you say vents, do you mean the square roof vents? If so, could you have possibly ran into limbs or something that damaged them?

Forest River doesn't give a load rating for the roof, but call them and they may tell you if it's a walk-on roof or not. I suspect that it is. Even if it is, I'd lay some thin plywood on it while you're working.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Turned out all the vents spontaneously exploded when traveling to our camp site
what the heck does that mean? Were they installed backwards, catching air as you traveled?

Are you 300# or closer to 200#... makes a difference on roof adventure...
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:31 PM   #4
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No, Didnt hit anything. They literally dry rotted. Whats left of all of them are brittle fragments.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:32 PM   #5
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what the heck does that mean? Were they installed backwards, catching air as you traveled?

Are you 300# or closer to 200#... makes a difference on roof adventure...
Bout 260 lbs.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:41 PM   #6
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perhaps storing in sun-baked Nevada your home state has something to do with "dry rot" problem...

when my trailer is not being used it is under shade... my plastic parts are fine nearly 5 years from mfg date...

I have applied 303 Vinyl guard to them once or twice...

any type of thin plywood to help spread your weight should help... I am about 260 and walk on my roof of my 2014 Shamrock 183 ( low priced trailer) without an issue...
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:04 PM   #7
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I was up on the roof of my (not reinforced) Grey Wolf a couple of weeks ago installing a vent cover. The plywood is a good idea--I didnt collapse the roof (I go about 245, btw), but afterward, I can now see the outline of the trusses on my interior celing, from certain angles.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:05 PM   #8
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I just replaced my vent covers after 4 years, they were dry rotted as well crumbled in my hands
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:41 PM   #9
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Vent Lids or Vent Covers? Vent lids are thin and crack easily after they are exposed to sun. Vent Covers are made of thicker material and are UV resistant. That is why most people put vent covers over their vent lids.
There is a big difference between the two.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:51 PM   #10
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IMO: Vent covers are: 1) Affordable, 2) Easy to install, 3) Will definitely last longer than vent covers, and 4) Allow you to leave your vent cover slightly open when the RV is parked for better ventilation (as I do). Roof: I'm 236 and have walked all over my '15 FR Coachmen Freedom Express with no problem. That doesn't mean all RV's are built this way
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:56 PM   #11
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Search the internet, a few years ago I found metal vent covers cheaper than the plastic ones.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jd50i View Post
Search the internet, a few years ago I found metal vent covers cheaper than the plastic ones.

I saw those also while I was searching for the pics I posted. But they were listed as vent lids, not vent covers.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:20 PM   #13
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My 2018 Grey Wolf didn't come with a rear ladder so I emailed FR and asked about the weight limit before climbing up to install a vent cover several weeks ago. They emailed back - 300#. I'm 215 and felt more comfortable sliding around on my butt.................
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:59 PM   #14
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The sun is plastic's worst enemy. We have had vent lids get very brittle, but it took longer than a couple of years. Vent lids take a lot of air turbulence. If they are brittle, they will lose their integrity and fail. As other have suggested, replace the lids and add vent covers. Vent covers have a lot of advantages as other have noted.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:24 PM   #15
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Plastic rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by NVSmithers View Post
Went out for our first trip of the summer with our 2016 Shockwave TH. It was raining for the better part of the first two days and water was leaking all over the place inside. Turned out all the vents spontaneously exploded when traveling to our camp site. I had a cheap Weekend Warrior for ten years and the vents never had any issues. Is this common?

Also, whats the weight limit for walking on the roof of this thing since I need to get up there and replace the vents.
I've ranted about this before, but no one listens. There are plastics that are UV-stable and there are plastics which are not. It drives me crazy that most RV accessories are not UV-stable.

We have two trailers. On the 2002 unit, the range hood vent had yellowed and cracked, as had the marker light bases, the porch light, the front hookup light, the outside outlet weatherproof cover, and the rain gutter spouts. I put on a new range hood vent three years ago and it's already turned from white to mustard yellow. Most of those items are sold by Camco (not sure who manufactures them) and seem to be the same on all brands of trailers.

So the first thing you might say to me is "You're being unrealistic. There is no plastic that's UV-resistant." And I would point you to the big plastic panel on the outside of the Dometic refrigerator. It is 16-years old and is still polar white--no yellowing at all. Why can't other manufacturers use this same plastic "resin?"

The manufacturers aren't going to change unless pushed by their customers. And their customers aren't us. They are big buyers like Forest River. Forest River needs to go to their suppliers and insist on UV-resistant plastics.

The 2007 trailer has the same issues. Gutter spouts have powdered away. Both vent lids have been replaced at least once. (We like the sunlight--unlikely to put covers over them.) Range hood vent is due to be replaced.

The clear plastics (the 2007 has four skylights) are another issue. There are two major classes, acrylics (Acrylite, Lucite, Plexiglas, Perspex) and polycarbonates (Lexan, Makrolon).

Acrylic
Shinier
More scratch-resistant
Easier to crack
Less expensive
Excellent resistance to weathering

Polycarbonate
More impact resistant
Easier to scratch
More expensive
Yellows with exposure to sunlight

So if you were the RV designer, which would you specify? Hint: When you look at the skylights on our 2007 Cherokee they are all deep yellow.

Two of the skylights are simply 20"x20" sheet, probably 1/8" thick polycarbonate. They could have used 3/16" acrylic, thicker to account for the lower impact resistance, and still have cost less.

The other two are domed. They are also deep yellow and quite thick. Not sure why they weren't made of acrylic.

Am I the only one that thinks you don't throw away these toys after two or three years?

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Old 06-14-2018, 09:46 PM   #16
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Replace vent lids and install covers

I replaced my 4 vent lids in 2011 and then installed 2 vent covers Spring of 2012. I bought the Camping World version since they were on sale. A couple of months later in August of 2012 we had a hail storm that demolished the 2 uncovered vent lids and the 2 covers were just fine. Right after that I not only installed new vent lids but installed the vent covers.

The vent covers were well worth the investment and the minor time involved to install. No more problems.


Chris in Virginia
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:00 PM   #17
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2006 Sunseeker. Replaced the bathroom vent cover last year. Same issue. Brittle. Developed a hole. Also replaced the fan blade during the fix, just light touch and it disintegrated too.

Note. After purchasing the rv I installed 2 maxx air vent covers over the other 2 vents and no issue with those covers so I bought a 3rd maxx air cover for the bathroom. I think when I purchased the first 2 I wanted to see how they worked before I bought the 3rd but then of course I got distracted and forgot about it
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:20 PM   #18
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be safe

i dont care what the weight limit is...i have 6-15"x15" 1/4" plywood boards which i cut..to walk on my roof...just to distrubute the weight ...better to be safe than sorry.....good luck with the vents...use the self leveling caulk at the rv store....no household stuff...
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:57 PM   #19
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Replaced our with polycarbonate ones. Same thing with the disintegration of the original.

We were lucky and happened to be at storage when freak small hail storm kicked up. Holes in the bathroom one from that.

Have maxx air covers to put on also in addition to the polycarbonate vent caps.
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:06 PM   #20
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I have been carefully walking on my roof since 2007. Same 2006 class c Sunseeker. I wear tennis shoes and am careful to walk with my weight spread between longer than normal strides. I think it is important to have an idea how your rv is constructed. On mine, you can see the 2 x 2 framing around the vents if you take off the inner trim piece. Its not an exact representation of a stick built house with trusses but it's close.

There's no creaking or bouncing up there and the inside of the coach ceiling is fine.

Everyone has to feel comfortable working on their roofs, and not all campers are created the same.
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