A roof vent is a must for campers, vans, as well as for recreational and utility vehicles. This component serves as passageway for fresh air that gets into the vehicle and for the stale air and toxic fumes that need to be eliminated from the interior. Even if you'll not be using your van for camping and recreation, the vent will still be helpful in providing your long vehicle with good ventilation.
Another thing you'll love about the vent is that it's way easy to install. Yes, you need not spend big bucks to pay for a qualified mechanic. With basic tools and a new vent, you can do the installation all by yourself. Should you need a little help, here are the steps in installing a roof vent on your van:
What you'll need:
- Jig saw
- New vent
- Metal file
- Power drill
- Masking tape
- Tape measure
- Silicone caulking
- 1/16-inch drill bit
Step 1: Determine the installation spot.
Determine an area on the roof of your van where the vent can be safely installed. You can put it on the front, center, or rear portion of the van's roof, as long as it won't affect the interior wiring.
In your chosen installation area, measure a 14-by-14 inch square, and mark the spot using masking tape.
Step 2: Drill roof vent installation holes.
With your power drill and 1/16-inch drill bit, create a hole in one corner of the square that you've marked. Cut out your marked square with a jig saw. Start by inserting the jig saw blade in the hole and follow the direction of the tape to completely cut the square out.
Smooth out the edges of the hole using a metal file. Test fit the vent in the hole. If you need to make minor adjustments on the size of the hole, use the jig saw.
Take the vent off the hole.
Step 3: Install the vent.
Get your silicone caulking and apply ample amount to the edge of the hole. Position the vent in the hole, making sure the hinge is facing toward the front of the van.
Drill through the vent holes and the roof of the van using the 1/16-inch bit. Insert the vent's retaining bolts through the holes.
Step 4: Secure the roof vent.
Get inside the van and look into the bolts in the roof. Hold the interior vent piece and align it with the bolts.
Install the interior piece and secure it in place by screwing the nuts onto the bolts. Tighten the nuts using a crescent wrench.
Step 5: Test the vent.
Check if your newly installed vent is working well by cranking the handle on the vent interior. Get outside the van and check on the roof to see if the vent is really open.
Close the vent. Check if it is properly sealed by spraying it with a hose. There should be no leak from the area where the roof vent is installed because dripping rainwater can wreak havoc to the vehicle's interior.