Thursday, December 10, 2015

Temporary Solutions

I've referenced the RV Repair Goddess in the past and how her intervention (or lack there of) in my attempts at affecting repairs to the Tank determines the ease and success of my efforts.  She was in a bad mood the day I attempted to replace the rooftop vent/escape hatch which had been ripped off the top of the Tank by a powerful rogue gust of wind.  I was behind the eight-ball somewhat from the start due to the fact that the wrecked vent measured 26" X 20" and when I Googled that measurement I got zero hits in response.  So I ordered a 26" X 26" vent with the thought that the slightly larger hatch would just cover 6 extra inches of roof and would still function normally over the 26" X 20" hole in the roof.  This is where the Goddess decided to intervene.  The old installation had a aluminum frame that fits inside the hole in the roof and my feeble attempts at removing that framework which must be super-glued in place ended in.....nothing.  Thanks a lot, Goddess!

The stubborn frame work that refuses to let go.
Giving up on installing the new vent I reasoned that since it's almost Winter and I never even open the vent between December - March I could devise a temporary fix that would get me to a point next year where I will be able to reattempt the full install perhaps at a friend or relative's home where I'd have access to both additional brawn and possibly a crowbar to attack the balky frame.  So here's what I ended up doing:

Working in the Building Materials Dept at Home Depot gave me some ideas.
I carefully cut some pink insulation board (R-30) material to fit into the vent-hole first applying a clear sealant between it and the aluminum frame to achieve a water tight seal.  Over that I applied overlapping strips of a 3-ply 6 inch wide roofing tape that has a tar-like substance in the middle ply that self-levels and seals the edges of the tape with it's neighbor piece.  I bought it all at my Home Depot store after talking design considerations with several Lumber/Building Materials associates who have tons more experience in the department than I have.  I had to buy a whole 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of the insulation board so I ended up spending about $31 for all the materials but so far I'm happy with this solution.  The primary function of the hatch is to offer a second point of exit should fire or some other catastrophe block the Tank's normal door and it still fulfills that mission in that I could fairly easily kick upwards and knock the insulation board out of the hole.  Hopefully this installation gets me to April when my plans are to end my urban boondocking and head back out on the road.

Thanks for reading!