Better Check That Roof-Mounted Fridge Vent - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-12-2014, 11:28 AM   #1
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Better Check That Roof-Mounted Fridge Vent

While doing a post-trip Escape wash, I noticed the caulking looked loose over the screws that secure the roof-mounted fridge vent cover. Sure enough, with just the tip of a pocket knife, I was able to easily pull out four plugs of silicone caulking, at least one of which showed signs of rust. One rolled away, but below is what I found.

I would like to replace the rusted screws, but for now at least I'm going to clean them up, apply some sort of rust prevention, and re-install with some new caulk, probably a wad of butyl tape.

By the way, our Escape is just over a year old. I looked at taking this cover off several months ago while thinking about home made baffles, and the caulking was well adhered then.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:42 AM   #2
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I found the same thing. One caulk plug was missing and screws rusted. Replaced screws with stainless steel and got a 7/16 plug for the holes.
There is a non-removable screen under the cover so access from above isn't available.
Dave
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave1 View Post
I
There is a non-removable screen under the cover so access from above isn't available.
Dave
That screen totally messed up all the ways I imagined I was going to get in there and install baffles!
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:56 AM   #4
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Oh, and what about that plug? Something easy to find at Lowes, or scavenged from something else? Right now, I'm thinking about something to jam in there to keep the caulk off the top of the screw and then just packing it with the butyl putty.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:58 AM   #5
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Are the screws galvanized? I like to use a Rust-Oleum product called Cold Galvanizing Compound my plumber told me about for outside gas couplings. Have used it for other things-seems to work very well.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
That screen totally messed up all the ways I imagined I was going to get in there and install baffles!
I know!! Right. Not looking forward to removing the frig. Yeah the plugs came from lowes. Simple flat plastic, seemed to fit well in the hole, don't know how they will stay in as the taper on the hole vrs flat plug. Think your idea of something flexible is a better idea. Screws don't appear to be galvanized.

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Old 07-12-2014, 12:34 PM   #7
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Okay, I think I'll put a little wad of waxed paper on top of each screw since it won't wick moisture and then top it off with the butyl putty.

The screws have a bright plating when new, but nothing as robust as galvanizing. I've had great success with the Rustoleum cold galvanize on clean fresh cut or filed steel. Since these are a little rusty, I'm using Rustoleum rust reformer on them. Stainless is the way to go, really, which I will probably do when I have the Escape home again.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:41 PM   #8
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Be very careful in the quality of stainless steel hardware you purchase. Go to a boat shop with a magnet if the hardware is magnetic it is low quality and may still rust. The cheap stainless steel screws and such strip out in an instant if your not careful. ( Ask Me How I Know ) :{ LOL

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Old 07-12-2014, 01:17 PM   #9
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I've got a 2008 17b and my refrigerator vent is on the curb side just under the porch light. When did ETI start roof mounting the vent or is this just on the 19 foot model?
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:24 PM   #10
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There is a roof vent on 17 footers with the wall mounted air conditioner. It is the same vent a refer would use but it is the air inlet for the AC condenser coils.
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:22 PM   #11
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I'm unfamiliar with the wall mounted air conditioner. Is it on the options list?
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Old 07-12-2014, 04:19 PM   #12
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They use the same Dometic low profile roof mount on all the units now. Used to have a wall mount on the 17.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:12 PM   #13
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In case the "wall mount" description is confusing, I believe this version in mounted in an interior cabinet and venting through the wall... it's not like a window-mount unit sticking through the wall.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:38 PM   #14
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As for a rusty screw, be glad you have an Escape: all of the screws holding the equivalent vent on my motorhome are very rusty, having been installed with no caulk at all to fill the holes.

An interesting item to check, anyway, and if there's any issue it will be easier to fix now than when a screw gets completely rusted.
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