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Old 06-20-2018, 12:46 PM   #1
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Insects coming in camper via range hood vent

Hello, I did a quick search of the forums, but could not find anything related to insect entry via the range hood vent. We recently went on a trip with our brand new 2019 Cherokee X-Lite. At night we noticed an unusual amount of gnats and other insects inside the camper. We traced it to the range hood and could see tons of insects inside where the fan is located. Some were squeezing in the larger holes in the screen above the stovetop. Inspection of the vent flap showed that it didn't close completely when the fan is off. Is this normal? I could manually snap the vent flap closed, but it still does not form a complete seal and I'd have to go outside everytime I used the hood fan. Is this a common issue? How can I solve this? It there an aftermarket screen product similar to the furnace vent screens?
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:50 PM   #2
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Pests will get in anywhere there is access.

Yes there is a screen made for the range vent.

Camco RV Insect Screen For Range Vent

Valterra RV Insect Screen For Stove Vent

Stove Vent Screen Video
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:58 PM   #3
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Awesome, thanks! It appears that the holes in that screen are big enough to still allow the tiny gnats to get through. They were getting through the mesh filter (attached to the hood above the stovetop) and those are about the same size of the holes in the aftermarket screen. Should the normal function of the vent flap (damper?) form a tighter seal when the fan is off?
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:11 PM   #4
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When mine is closed and snapped shut, it seals well.
I do not believe these screens will keep out gnats.

Older units had flaps with turn knobs to hold the flap shut.
Newer units, the flap snaps in place and are often hard to unsnap... or... snap back closed. Even older units had no flap at all, just louvers.

We've had many reports here where the newer snap style were so tight fitting, that many folks simply couldn't get them open. (or closed again)

Is your flap deformed somehow or maybe you just are not getting it closed correctly?


As an aside... we seldom use our range vent. It is so much easier and more efficient to use the power vent in the kitchen ceiling.
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:00 PM   #5
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Now that you mention it, my flap is a little deformed. Even when snapped shut, there is a slight bow to it that leaves a gap large enough to allow passage for smaller insects.
Still, going outside to close and open the flap seems a little inconvenient.

On my previous Flagstaff model I don't recall having this issue. I would use the hood vent fan without manually opening or closing the flap and was relatively insect free, aside from the ones coming in the door when opened. I figured maybe there was a spring or gravity seal of the flap, but if it's normal operation for it to have a couple mm gap when not snapped, I'll have to find another solution to keep out those pesky fellas.
I also think that maybe my new hood design has additional light leakage through the vent, attracting them in.
I did install a Maxxair in the ceiling, but the roof hole is located in the bathroom. When boiling water or percolating coffee, I'd rather the moisture be drawn straight out rather than through the camper. The search continues!
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:31 AM   #6
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Just a thought, on old commercial exhaust fans there was a pull chain attached through a grommet in the screen to the vent flap. The chain could be hooked from inside. This would keep the flap closed on windy/rainy days. Perhaps some adaptation of this might work for you.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:41 AM   #7
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Any hardware store has screen you can buy by the roll, cut to fit and put in place. Just house screen repair. I used it on my TT.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd50i View Post
Any hardware store has screen you can buy by the roll, cut to fit and put in place. Just house screen repair. I used it on my TT.
Keep in mind the finer screens reduce air flow.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myxkp View Post
Keep in mind the finer screens reduce air flow.
Didn't seem a problem on mine but I run it on high all of the time when using.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:49 AM   #10
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A very fine screen will keep out the bugs, but will clog quickly if you cook greasy foods. Maybe a cotton ball with insect repellent on the vent. Lemongrass oil will work.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:13 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone! I think that a finer screen glued to the bottom of the vent cover is going to be my best bet. Of course this will prevent me from closing the vent flap when traveling, but I'm in a TT so the wind noise won't be an issue.
When open (and fan off), the vent flap hangs open about 1/4 inch, it does not fall anywhere close to shut. You can see the hood lamp quite clearly through the gap when standing outside at night. The bugs just come pouring in, trying desperately to get to the light. Even with the hood lamp off, the interior lights can also be seen through the vent opening. Gnats LOVE light, but I've seen a few skeeters come in too.
I've checked around on various sites for a better vent flap mechanism but haven't found any that look any different than what I have. This may be a case of "redesign & make it worse" that I hear so often in the camper industry.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:16 AM   #12
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If you do this, I suggest you use duct tape or similar item to keep it closed while traveling. I know wind noise is not a problem, but the flap will likely get torn off by the continuous flapping in the wind.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:20 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
If you do this, I suggest you use duct tape or similar item to keep it closed while traveling. I know wind noise is not a problem, but the flap will likely get torn off by the continuous flapping in the wind.
^^Yep^^

We had a trailer once where the vent couldn't be reached without a step-stool or ladder. We decided to leave it unlatched for convenience. About the third trip it was gone!
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:27 AM   #14
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Do not use the hood light for general lighting. They are attracted by the light. If you need it for coking they won't come in while cooking.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:51 AM   #15
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Yeah, the bugs still can see the regular trailer lighting even when the vent light is off. It gets dark in the woods at night. It's like a beacon leading them through the crack.
Quite frankly if the screen is there, the vent flap means nothing to me. It isn't functioning to begin with and as I mentioned, it doesn't even close properly when snapped shut. As long as the screen doesn't tear off. The problem is, once the screen is in place, the flap will be inaccessible to close and/or seal with duct tape.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:55 AM   #16
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Without the flap, you could get rain in in a heavy wind driven rain.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:59 AM   #17
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Any way to install the screen on the INSIDE where the opening is in the wall? (inside the range hood) Or, remove the outer vent cover, install screen and reinstall and reseal.
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:00 AM   #18
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Heh, currently that's true with the flap, even closed. I'd just get more rain without it!


I was just wondering if others had the same issue with theirs. It doesn't seem to be the case, so maybe this brand new 2019 one is defective or has gone through a redesign.
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:04 AM   #19
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I thought about applying the screen on the wall, but that's a LOT of work and will possibly void my warranty. The is a new camper, a few weeks old.
And I know I could take it in for repair, but I have trips planned and cannot be without it. No guarantee the new flap won't behave the same way. Not to mention it would cost me about 40 bucks in gas just to tow it to the dealer. A little glue on the outside and bam, done.
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
A very fine screen will keep out the bugs, but will clog quickly if you cook greasy foods. Maybe a cotton ball with insect repellent on the vent. Lemongrass oil will work.
There is a filter in the hood.
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