How to Clean an RV Roof Vent

How to Clean an RV Roof Vent
Rooftop recreational vehicle (RV) vents become dirty from outside debris falling on the vent and from inside cooking smoke rising through the vent. A vent requires cleaning if it's filled with debris that prevents the fan from operating properly or if a mold in the vent produces odor. Generally, RV rooftop vents only need cleaning once a year. Save some time by cleaning your rooftop vents on a day that you are inspecting your roof for leaks and damage.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Screwdriver (size and type dependent on RV)
  • Liquid dish-washing detergent
  • Soft cloths
  • Trash bag
  • Silicone RV caulking
  • EternaBond tape
  • Old toothbrush
Step 1
Open the vent hatch from inside the RV.
Step 2
Turn off the vent fan from inside the RV, if you have one.
Step 3
Unscrew the vent screen from the inside the RV. Soak the vent screen in a sink filled with water mixed with liquid dish-washing detergent while you complete the rest of the roof vent maintenance.
Step 4
Climb on top of the RV roof, bringing with you a box of soft cloths and a trash bag. Bring a screwdriver if your RV is equipped with a vent shroud. If you are unsure of which size screwdriver you need, bring various sizes to avoid having to make multiple trips on and off the RV roof.
Step 5
Unscrew the vent shroud if one is installed over the vent hatch and lift the shroud from the vent.
Step 6
Wipe down the interior and exterior areas of the vent shroud with a soft cloth.
Step 7
Pull out leaves and other debris from inside the vent and place all of it in the trash bag.
Step 8
Clean the fan blades and vent hatch with the soft cloths.
Step 9
Reinstall the vent shroud, if applicable.
Step 10
Gather up the used cloths, throw them in the trash bag and climb down from the roof.
Step 11
Inspect the caulking around the vent, and look for cracks on the vent hatch and vent shroud. Re-caulk around the vent if needed or apply EternaBond tape for a permanent repair. Temporarily patch up cracks in the vent hatch or shroud, using caulking or EternaBond tape, until you have a chance to replace them.
Step 12
Scrub the vent screen after it's had time to soak in the soapy water. Use an old toothbrush to remove dirt, rust and mold.
Step 13
Rinse the vent screen in clean water and lay it out to dry. Once the screen is dry, reinstall it on the vent.

Tips & Warnings

EternaBond tape is available for purchase at RV supply stores.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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