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Finally, after doing much research and waiting for good weather I will be installing a roof vent. What made me hesitate was the roof ribs, didn't know how to compensate for them. My research indicates that I should build up between the ribs with butyl tape then apply a continuous band of the tape on top of that. Once the vent is screwed down it should all push together for a good seal. After that use self leveling lap sealant on all screw heads, along the base of the butyl tape and anywhere else you might suspect could potentially be a problem. I'll let y'all know how it goes!
 

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Finally, after doing much research and waiting for good weather I will be installing a roof vent. What made me hesitate was the roof ribs, didn't know how to compensate for them. My research indicates that I should build up between the ribs with butyl tape then apply a continuous band of the tape on top of that. Once the vent is screwed down it should all push together for a good seal. After that use self leveling lap sealant on all screw heads, along the base of the butyl tape and anywhere else you might suspect could potentially be a problem. I'll let y'all know how it goes!
Please take pictures during the process!
 

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Yes, take pictures. I've got a Fantastic Fan to put in mine and I want to put an air conditioner in too but can't decide which one should be ahead of the other.

I've got a tube of Proflex RV sealant that I'm thinking of using and then Eternabond tape over the edges. The RV guys all say don't use the stuff from the big box stores that are designed for household use. The silicone they sell discolours and dirt sticks to it.
 

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Yes, take pictures. I've got a Fantastic Fan to put in mine and I want to put an air conditioner in too but can't decide which one should be ahead of the other.

I've got a tube of Proflex RV sealant that I'm thinking of using and then Eternabond tape over the edges. The RV guys all say don't use the stuff from the big box stores that are designed for household use. The silicone they sell discolours and dirt sticks to it.
I thought that there was a designated area just rear of the cab for a roof window?
 

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There is a spot for a vent, air conditioner, or even a sunroof right behind the cab area but I would rather install my vent further back closer to the centre of the rear section. I think Dawn's has the same idea. I want to install a vent and an air conditioner so I'll have to deal with the raised ribs.
 

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You can always try to have a custom plastics shop make you a plate out of 1/2" acrylic that fits the forms of the ribs and the vent. It won't be cheap but it will fit perfectly and look great.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Done, did it today. It really hurt cutting into that beautiful metal but ya do what ya gotta do...


Went great! The butyl tape is the answer, build it up between the ribs (valleys) until it's slightly higher than the peaks. Then apply one or two continuous bands (I used 1/8" thick so I used two) applications. When you screw it down it all mushes together and forms a moisture proof barrier (from what it looks like to me anyway.) Not taking any chances I also used lap sealant all around and over everything. Don't think it'll be leaking anytime soon!


Will try to post some pics tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Guy - what are doing for air circulation? I used my new fan today and it was straining unitl I opened a door. I do have vents I can put into the front windows but that doesn't even seem to be enough. Did you install other vents for the roof vent fan to draw from?


Hope you're enjoying your X-country trip - I'm jealous!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did take the time to take pics of each step, let me know if anyone would like me to post them. It was horrifying cutting into my new van but I've done it before, just many years ago. It all went well, everything looks and works great!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Roof vent install with pics

OK, first thing I did was measure everything inside and out making sure it would fit where I wanted then I drew the lines and cut out the metal with a sabre saw (I drilled a hole big enough to fit the blade in one corner then cut from there.)


Then I applied the butyl tape in layers to the "valleys" on the roof until it filled them to slightly higher than the ridges on either side of them. (You are also seeing the insulation and extruded plastic panel I had previously installed that I cut thru beneath at the same time.)


1.jpg


(Note that these pics were the best I could do from the top of a ladder in less than ideal lighting conditions, hope you get the gist.)


Next I applied two layers of the butyl tape to the underside of the roof receiving flange making sure that the second layer covered the meeting points of the first layer.


2.jpg


I then set it in the hole and screwed it down firmly but not so firmly as to strip the screws (I drilled pilot holes before screwing.) My flange had 16 screws, enough to make sure that the tape was plenty compressed and "smooshed" together all the way around.


3.jpg


You can then trim the excess tape that pushes out if you want a neater look, I didn't (who sees the top of a van, esp. a high roofed van like mine?) You should now have a solid, leakproof seal all the way around the flange. I then applied lap sealant around all the edges of the tape and on top of all the screw heads for extra measure.


4.jpg


Insert and attach roof vent - done (outside)! Hope this helps!


5.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
BTW, if you are worried about the looks of the job, you can trim the butyl tape (as I mentioned), apply the lap sealant neater than I did and also the lap sealant is paintable to blend it into the roof.
 

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I did just about the same thing when I did mine a few weeks back. I trimmed my opening with wood the same thickness as the cross ribs in the roof so someday if I ever get to paneling the roof I will have something to fasten it to around the vent.
There is nothing like the feeling you get in the pit of your gut when you cut a hole in the roof of your new 35K van. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here's a nice write-up on a MaxxFan install. It's in a Sprinter, but same process, and a lot of detail and photos.
http://bluerootdesign.com/projects/sprinter-three-fan-floor-sound/

Wow, I'll say detailed. Some people have a LOT of time on their hands. That's the same (or similar) vent/fan I installed, love it so far (three days!) There are going to be times when I can't use it manually due to inventory be stacked high beneath it, the remote works great!
 
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