How Trailer Roof Vents Work

Installing Trailer Roof Vents

Installing a trailer roof vent cover, like the one shown here, isn't very difficult -- just make sure it's properly sealed.
Installing a trailer roof vent cover, like the one shown here, isn't very difficult -- just make sure it's properly sealed.
Steve Shepard/iStockphoto

Thinking about installing a new roof vent in that old camper in the driveway? Are you ready to cut a 14-inch (35.5-centimeter) square hole (or larger) in the roof? What if you make the hole too large? What if it's not straight? What if you hit a crossmember in trailer's metal framework when you're cutting? What if you cut through existing wires? And, perhaps the worst-case scenario -- what if you can't make the new roof vent water tight?

These questions probably raise some eyebrows, and for good reason -- unless you're a pro at do-it-yourself jobs, installing a brand-new vent is best left to professionals. A licensed RV and trailer repair facility should be able to install a roof vent with little or no problem.

If you're replacing an existing vent, though, the job will be significantly easier, and you may be able to tackle it yourself. Just remember to take very accurate measurements and pay close attention to the way the original vent was installed. If you carefully follow the manufacturer's directions for installing the new roof vent, you shouldn't encounter any unforeseen problems. Properly sealing the roof vent with caulk so that it is water tight is often the biggest stumbling block to a successful installation, so take extra care when completing this step. Spending just a little extra time to make sure that the roof vent is properly sealed will save you time, money and repair bills to fix water damage in the future.

Installing vent covers over roof vents is also comparatively easy. Roof vent covers are the reason that the vents can stay open even during inclement weather. They surround the vent, providing coverage on the leading edge, the sides and the top. The cover is vented on the back to allow the flow of air. Most of the vent cover kits on the market require that you drill a few holes to anchor the cover in place. This is much less involved than cutting a hole in the top of your trailer to install a vent. But because you're drilling into the surface of your trailer, you'll want to carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions for properly sealing these areas.

To read more about towing, roof vents and other related topics, follow the links below.

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More Great Links


  • "Roof Vents." (Sept. 30, 2008)
  • KMT Trailer Parts. "Trailer Body Components." (Sept. 30, 2008)
  • Pit Pal Products. "Ventilation." (Sept. 30, 2008)
  • RV Partscenter. "Vents & Roof Supplies." (Sept. 30, 2008)