Hail damage repair

We just returned from our trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. The day that we left on the trip, we ran into a hail storm just across the Texas and Louisiana state line. Some of the hail stones were about the size of marbles. There was not any damage to the truck, which really surprises me, but the plastic vent cover over the commode area took a beating. There were 4 or 5 holes in the vent and the cover over the vent pipe for the black water tank was totally gone. The screw that held it in place was still there so the force of the hail that hit it was pretty big. There was also one place on the roof where a hail stone hit and made a small pin hole in the rubber. I used duct tape for temporary repairs and found a cap for the black water vent pipe. We had one night of rain while in Alabama which resulted in a small amount of water coming into the commode area. More duct tape took care of that problem.

When I went up onto the roof yesterday, I noticed to my surprise that the black water vent pipe cap was missing again. When I put the screw in the cap, I must have missed the pipe flange because the screw and cap were gone. Off I went to my local RV parts store to obtain the needed material to make the repairs.

My first thought was to call my insurance company and turn in a claim but then I figured that this is something a do-it-yourself repair guy could handle. All I needed to do was ask the right people the right questions and I would have the knowledge necessary to do the job. So when I asked the parts guy if I could just buy a plastic replacement cover for the commode area, he replied that in fact I could and they sell a lot of them and people do it themselves. Now the pressure is on!  If other people can do it, surely I can?   I left the parts dealer with two black tank vent pipe covers, one is a spare, a tube of dicor, and the plastic cover for the vent fan over the commode.

This time I installed the black tank vent pipe cover correctly. The screw hit it’s mark so it should not come off again unless I go through another hail storm. I put a dollop of dicor over the pin hole in the rubber roof. I’ll check it periodically to make sure the dicor is doing it’s job. The commode fan vent cover was the major job. There are at least three different types of hinges that are used on these vent covers so I had to make sure that I had the correct one.  When I got home with the cover it was the correct type but the hinge was the wrong diameter. Who would have thought there would be two different diameter hinges of the same type?  As with any project that I undertake, I have to make multiple trips to get the correct stuff.

Some of the vent covers only require pulling the hinge pin out, lifting the cover off and putting the new one on. I wasn’t that lucky. My type of hinge is a two piece affair where the two pieces slide into each other and tabs at either end are bent to hold the two pieces together. The problem is that the sliding arm that is moved by the crank handle had to be removed in order to separate the two hinge pieces. I had to remove the crank handle so that I could remove the screen so that I could get to the two screws that hold the sliding arm on the rail. Before I could remove the screen, I had to remove the large inside trim pieces that prevented the screen from coming down. All of this I just had to stare at until I could figure out in what order things needed to be done. The parts guy said that it was easy because people do it all the time. I bet they all have the other type of hinge!

By the time I made a couple trips to the RV parts place, just like I have go to Home Depot several times for any project, my time spent on the project was a couple of hours. That’s not too bad considering I didn’t have to pay labor charges at a repair facility. It was also a good learning experience and I didn’t get mad and throw tools around like I do when I have to fix a plumbing problem at the house.

Vent cover

Hail damage to the roof of camper

Sliding arm

This sliding arm had to come off before cover could be removed

Scree and trim

The screen and bottom trim piece that had to come out

Opening with parts removed

Looking up through the opening with trim and screen removed




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