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How to Replace Cracked RV Vent Covers

RV roofs see a lot of sunlight, and that includes your RV vent covers. Because RV vent covers are typically plastic, they start to weaken from prolonged sun exposure. It’s only a matter of time before it cracks or breaks off completely. Today, we’ll help prepare you for replacing your vents and vent covers! Let’s get started!

About RV Vents and Roof Vent Covers

RV vents increase circulation in your RV, which helps keep temperatures and humidity in check. These giant holes in the ceiling are great for removing odors in your RV as well. However, rainy or snowy weather can make it challenging to keep your RV vents open.

RV roof vent inside a campervan.

Adding a roof vent cover to your RV vents makes it possible for you to open your roof vents when weather conditions aren’t favorable. The covers help prevent water from entering your RV and flooding the interior.

RV roof vent covers are also great for opening your vents during travel, which can help air to flow through your RV. Doing so eliminates the stagnant air often found in RVs closed up for extended periods. 

How to Replace Cracked RV Vent Lids

The longer you own your RV, the more likely you are to experience a crack in an RV vent lid. These are common occurrences for RVers due to highway debris, low-hanging tree branches, and weakening materials from extended sun exposure.

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You can purchase a replacement vent lid on Amazon or at any local RV supply store. Following all safety guidelines, climb onto your roof or hire a professional to confirm vent lid measurements and any mounting or bracket requirements. Finding an RV vent lid with similar hardware can help you avoid drilling additional holes in the top of your RV.  

Benefits of RV Vent Covers

Installing RV vent covers on your RV provides a few benefits for RVers. The largest is opening the vents in your RV regardless of the weather conditions outside.

You’ll likely want to open your vents during rainy or snowy weather conditions, and without a vent cover, you’ll probably end up with moisture entering your RV. These covers help prevent water and snow from entering your RV and potentially causing damage.

Make sure your vent lids are closed BEFORE traveling.

Traveling with your vents open is not possible without vent covers. When you have your vents open while traveling, it allows fresh air to enter your RV and keep air moving. This circulation can be exceptionally beneficial during warmer weather seasons when an RV can feel like a sauna if left closed for an extended time.

Another benefit of vent covers is that they allow you to lower the humidity level in your RV. Humidity in an RV can lead to mold or other damage. Opening the vents and turning on any exhaust fans helps remove humid air.

Pro Tip: If you can’t keep the humidity under control with your vents alone, try an RV dehumidifier.

How to Choose the Right RV Roof Vent Cover

You don’t want to waste your money by purchasing the wrong RV roof vent cover. Let’s look at a few ways you can buy the right cover the first time.

Measure the Roof Vent Opening 

Roof vent openings are typically squares measuring 14.25in, 14in, or 13in. While most roof vents will be 14in by 14in, always measure your roof vent before heading to your local RV supply store or ordering online. You wouldn’t want to come home with the wrong size! 

RV vent covers are generally available in black or white.

Select the Correct Hinge Style 

While measuring the roof vent, note the hinge style your vent cover uses. You’ll want to match the style of the new cover with the old one. Doing so will make replacing a broken or aging vent cover incredibly easy and avoid any additional drilling.

Consider the Appearance

Many RVers want their vent covers to match their air conditioning units or other accessories on their RV’s roof.  RV air conditioning units are typically black or white, so it’s no wonder that many of the vent covers come in these two color options.

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If appearance is important to you, look for the correct color to complement the other items on your roof. However, if color isn’t important to you, you may be able to save a few bucks by purchasing a more affordable vent cover in a different color.

How to Replace or Install an RV Vent Cover 

If you notice your RV vent covers are damaged, you should replace them as soon as possible. Once you notice the damage, note the size and style of hinges used on your vent cover. If the weather cooperates, remove the old vent cover and take it with you to the store to ensure you’re purchasing the correct model.

No matter the style of vent cover you have, this is a straightforward DIY project. You won’t need to call in assistance unless you’re not comfortable or able to climb on your RV roof. 

MaxxAir II Vent Cover Install -How To Install Instructional Video🤓

Start by removing the interior components, such as the trim, crank handle, and screen. There are three standard options for hinges when it comes to an RV vent cover. Depending on the style of yours, you may need to remove old vent cover pieces to make room for the new one. Attach the new vent cover to the same frame and connections as the old vent cover and secure the hinges.

You’ll then need to reinstall all internal components that make it possible to open and close the vent. Also, ensure the crank arm lines up appropriately during assembly and reattach trim as necessary.

How to Avoid Future Damage to Your RV Roof Vent Lids and Vent Covers 

Going forward, note that damage to your RV roof vent lids and vent covers often occurs due to extended sun exposure. Powerful rays can cause plastic materials to weaken over time. While your vent cover might withstand heavy winds, rain, or even hail, the older your vent covers are, the more likely they are to break. Try to park your RV in the shade when possible, especially if it will be parked for an extended period of time.

Parking in the shade not only keeps your RV cool but protects your RV vent covers from sun damage.

You’ll also want to regularly inspect your vent lids and covers during your routine roof inspections. Don’t delay in addressing a cracked or damaged vent cover. They will not heal themselves, and replacement should occur as soon as possible.

Another way to prevent water from seeping in is to make sure the sealant around your vents is not old or cracked. Learn more here: 7 Best RV Roof Sealants and How to Choose for Your Camper

If you do not have a vent cover over your vent lids, secure your vents before traveling. High winds, especially crosswinds, can cause damage to these vital RV accessories and force you to find the nearest store for a replacement.

RV Roof Sealant
Sealing around your vents can also help prevent leaks.

We’re confident if you examine your vent covers during routine roof inspections and you avoid parking your RV in harsh environments, your vent covers will last for years to come. Also, watch out for low branches, and your vent covers will thank you. 

Do you have vent covers on your RV? Let us know in the comments!

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

Cinematography is another of Tom's passions, showcased in his work on the Go North series. You can see his camera skills on display in The RVers TV show on Discovery Channel and PBS where he also stars as a co-host.

Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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Cyrus Juliet

Sunday 10th of October 2021

Before going camping, make sure that everything in your camper van is in working order. This includes your RV's roof vent as well. However, there will come a time when you will need to replace the RV vent cover. Thank you for this tutorial.

Marcus Tibesar

Thursday 29th of July 2021

I’d like to remove that huge skylight that takes over my bathroom ceiling and replace it with something more insulated. RVers stuff pillows into them which means there is something really wrong with manufacturers installing these heat generators . If the darn bathroom isn’t tall enough why not extend the roof there? Manufacturers are like sheep…