How to Install a Power Vent in an RV

How to Install a Power Vent in an RV
Due to the closed quarters in an RV and the fact that many RV users choose to camp in wooded areas, the inside of the RV can get stuffy and a bit dank at times. A good method for improving air quality inside your RV is to use power vents on the roof of the rig. Many RVs have these installed at the factory. Older RVs may not have these power vents, necessitating the need to do some tinkering to install one, which may require a few hours of time.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Power vent kit
  • Measuring tape
  • Grease pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Power screwdriver with Phillips and flat bits
  • Silicone epoxy or caulk
  • Sponge and bucket with warm soapy water
  • Paper towels or cloth
  • Wire cutter
  • Wire nuts
Step 1
Locate the area on the roof of the RV where you want to install the power vent. Using a grease pencil, trace the outline of the vent on the roof. Wash off the roof area with a sponge and warm soapy water and then dry off.

Go inside and find the area where the vent will be on the ceiling. Check that there are no wires, lights or other hazards in that area. If there are, move the vent location.
Step 2
Go back onto the roof and drill one hole in each corner of the grease pencil marks. These holes make sawing out the square or rectangle easier, as they provide a starting point where the jigsaw blade can penetrate the roof.

Once the holes are drilled, use the jigsaw and cut out the vent hole. If you wish, place a plastic drop cloth inside the RV, under the area where you will saw and cut.
Step 3
Load the silicone caulk and epoxy into the caulk gun and caulk the entire inside edge of the cut-out area. Let the caulking spread onto the roof as well as the edges, to help ensure a watertight fit.

Place the vent bottom into the cut-out area and put the metal square-shaped housing onto the vent bottom to secure it in position. Screw in the screws of the housing onto the roof, securing the vent bottom into place.
Step 4
Install the power vent wires and run them down and into the RV cabin. Add one more layer of caulking to the outside edge of the vent bottom, giving the area a waterproof seal. Place the vent top onto the bottom and secure, according to the kit instructions.
Step 5
Go inside the RV and find the wire from the power vent. This wire is designed to go into the wall plug attachment found in the power vent kits. Attach the wires according to the instruction kit, and then plug into the RV's wall outlet.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure the wires and battery or electric source is turned off when sawing and drilling during the installation to avoid electrocution or injury.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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