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Old 05-07-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
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Cutting a BIG hole in my roof

I bought a 4th roof vent that I want to install above the cab-over area. This where Sena's cage sits and I fear she might get too hot on those rare occasions when I do leave her alone in the RV.

Please let me know if my plans is correct for this project.

I bought a Hengs vent, install kit and a tube of Dicor. The vent will go forward of the A/C unit so I am hoping not to find any wiring. Just in case I will unplug the shore line and throw the battery disconnect to off.

The Forest River brochure shows a cut-away diagram of the construction details and it's basically fiberglass, luan, foam and luan from the top down. Roof trusses are 1.5 square aluminum, but spacing isn't mentioned.

I plan to use a stud finder to locate the trusses and then cut the hole using a circular saw and the template from Hengs. Then I'll follow the directions on the box.

So, anyone see anything I need to change? All comments welcome.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:44 PM   #2
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Stud finder doesn't work on aluminum.and stainless screws
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #3
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Why don't you make the first cut from the inside and smaller than you will need to make sure you have the framing located and than you can get a long drill to go through the roof from the inside so you will have located the center of the hole needed on the roof
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #4
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You might want to think about using one of those vibrating cutters, you can go through one layer at a time with a very small hole to start with.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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Remember that every hole you have is a potential leak source. Do you really need another vent and hoe much cooler will it make the RV? In order to properly vent, you have to have an air source down low.

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Old 05-07-2013, 09:20 PM   #6
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Good ideas guys, thanks. Oh no, now how do I find the joists? I suppose that I can drill a hole in the middle of where I want the vent and cut slowly with a Sheetrock saw until I find one, then head the other way.

Ken, I share your concern about leaks. Because Sena won't leave screens in the windows on either side of her cab-over space, those windows are permanently locked so she doesn't go wandering outside unsupervised. There is no air movement up there. The closest vent is 10 feet from her cage and the temp up there is the highest of anywhere in the coach.

I'll just have to be extra careful.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:35 AM   #7
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Could you install a mesh of sorts to keep the screens in place on the side windows? Aka a small version of those metal bars on windows in the southwest?
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okmunky View Post
Good ideas guys, thanks. Oh no, now how do I find the joists? I suppose that I can drill a hole in the middle of where I want the vent and cut slowly with a Sheetrock saw until I find one, then head the other way.
I can't help you there but leaving pets alone in RVs isn't a good idea when the weather is even moderately hot. Open vents wont help much. Our Class-C will go up into the high 90s on a hot sunny day. I hope you plan to leave the A/C on for her/him.

Quote:
Ken, I share your concern about leaks. Because Sena won't leave screens in the windows on either side of her cab-over space, those windows are permanently locked so she doesn't go wandering outside unsupervised. There is no air movement up there. The closest vent is 10 feet from her cage and the temp up there is the highest of anywhere in the coach.

I'll just have to be extra careful.
Have you checked how HOT it gets up there on a hot summer day? You can cover the windows with a good heavy hardware-cloth so you can leave them open without fear of screens being torn or pets escaping.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:49 AM   #9
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I'm with Wanderso.

Get panels, (sides from a small cage? Expanded Aluminum mesh. Etc.) and cover the opening portion of the cab over bunk windows so they can be opened.

Maybe even just a good high velocity fan pointed down one side wall near the ceiling will cause the air to circulate? I've got one that when sat on the dinette pointing up on a 45 deg angle makes it so breezy the DW can't sleep up there.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CJGJR View Post
Stud finder doesn't work on aluminum.and stainless screws
The ultrasonic stud finders will work there.

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Old 05-08-2013, 11:19 AM   #11
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Stud finder doesn't work on aluminum.and stainless screws
You're right, a MAGNETIC stud finer doesn't work on aluminum.and stainless screws.
One like this should do it:
5-In-1 Stud Finder/Voltage Tester
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post
You're right, a MAGNETIC stud finer doesn't work on aluminum.and stainless screws.
One like this should do it:
5-In-1 Stud Finder/Voltage Tester
I knew there had to be a way to find them.

Thanks for the words of caution when it comes to cutting into my roof. I think adding the vent is best for Sena. she plays in the cab-over even when she's not caged. There needs to be better light and air movement up there.

As for overheating when I'm out of the coach -- I rarely leave my fur kids and we all spend a lot of time in the RV without any A/C running. I find that if I am careful to not let direct sunlight into the coach, the inside temps only rise about 3 degrees higher than the outside temps.

I put Reflectix snug on the inside of the windshield to avoid the greenhouse effect. Also, when daytime high temps start hitting the 80s regularly, it's time for us to head north.

My goal is to find shorts and T-shirt weather about 80% of the days and never run the A/C while parked. So far my success is about a B+.

Ok, off to Harbor Freight.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:40 PM   #13
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There is a tool called a Roto Zip that should be ideal for cutting your ceiling and roof for the vent. I have one and they are ideal for small jobs such as you are doing.

Good luck with your project.

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Old 05-08-2013, 08:04 PM   #14
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I own a Roto-Zip, but it's living at my daughter's house now -- 2,000 miles from where I am currently. But, I do have handy friends with good tool collections. My favorite is picky about loaning his toys, but good about helping if I get all the prep work done.
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