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Roof Fan Replacement

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Q: My 2007 Springdale 26-foot travel trailer has a Comfort Air Platinum exhaust fan mounted in the bedroom ceiling. This unit has been flaky during the five years I have owned the trailer; the remote would stop working in hot, muggy weather, which could be fixed by placing the remote in the refrigerator. Believe it or not, the remote would stop working intermittently requiring the reset process to be done over and over again. Finally the fan unit has stopped working completely and I have decided to replace it with a manual fan, which I hope will not be as prone to bugs.

Since the trailer is out of warranty, the RV dealer where I purchased the Springdale would charge more to replace the Comfort Air with a less automatic one than what I paid five years ago. I have gone through all the old Trailer Life magazines I have saved with helpful repair articles and have not found one on removing an old roof fan and installing a new one. Would such a project be beyond a do-it-yourselfer with many years of home repair skills?
Alton Verity, Underhill, Vt.

A: Replacing a standard roof fan with another similar model should be an easy job for a handy do-it-yourselfer, Alton. It’s a simple matter of removing the old roof fan and installing the new one, following the directions packaged with the new fan. All of these devices fit the standard 14-inch opening in your RV’s roof. Be sure to have the proper caulk or sealant on hand that’s designed for your kind of roof before you start the job.

You may need to remove a trim ring inside, detach the wiring, and check for retaining screws visible from underneath. There may not be any, so you’ll need to climb on the roof, remove any sealant on the screw heads, and remove the screws holding the fan to the roof by its flange. Pry the old fan loose without damaging the roof material. Clean the mounting area, apply the sealant or gasket material that’s supplied with the new fan, and install it with new screws, again, per the instructions. Reattach the wiring, add the new trim ring and you’re set. In a nutshell, that’s it. Follow the kit instructions and you should be fine.
– Jeff Johnson

Ken Freund and Jeff Johnston To send your questions to RV Clinic, write to 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, Calif., 93001; or email [email protected]. Also, check out TrailerLife.TV for our expert RV how-to videos.

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