Tank vent replacement

After replacing the vent caps to my black and grey tanks for the 3rd time in 2009, I wasn’t too surprised to see them missing… AGAIN! After baking for a couple of California summers, the plastic caps crack and fall off as a semi-annual winter tradition. This time was different as the majority of the vent bases had also spider-webbed, disintegrated and joined their brethren on the side of some street or freeway. It was time to replace the entire vent, base and all. I was glad to see there were metal vents available at my local Trailer supply house and jumped on them. A few friends warned that the metal would not give way if I caught a branch or telephone cable (inside joke) but I figured my refrigerator vent and TV antenna were more prominent and if I hit something that hard it would probably be time for a new roof anyway so I proceeded.

Tools you will need:

  • Butyl Roof Tape
  • Dicor self-leveling sealant
  • Putty knife
  • Rubber scraper
  • Acetone or mineral spirits
  • Screwdrivers
  • Fresh water and plenty of towels and rubber roof cleaner
  • 2 way radio to call down for what you forgot or another beer

The worst part is getting the old vents off. I would not try this on a hot day as Dicor is a gooey mess to remove when warm. A cool morning made removing the old Dicor quite easy and cleaning up with a little acetone got rid of the residue.

On a side note: I was not too surprised to see a very crude hole cut in the roof by the builder as well as rusted hex-head screws under the Dicor. Once I got the roof as clean as possible I used two strips of Eternabond to cover up the gaping holes before applying the butyl tape to the back of the vents and secured them to the roof with new stainless round head Phillips screws.

Last step was to weatherproof the vents. I could use either Eternabond or Dicor. I chose Dicor for two reasons; the vents were round and Eternabond would have been a chore to cut and fit around the vents but mostly it was because I wanted to try out my new Air Caulk Gun.

I have to say I do not know why I didn’t get one of these sooner. It took longer to get my wife to hand the gun and air hose up to me than it did to dispense the Dicor. Smooth as silk and no drips, a must have air tool for anyone who owns an RV. I’m actually looking forward to resealing the entire RV this summer…. I digress.

All told, it cost $44.63, including the air gun, and took less than 3 hours plus about 45 seconds to apply the Dicor with my new toy.

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