Covering Caravan Vents

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 21:27
ThreadID: 21279 Views:14726 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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We will be travelling on a few dusty un-made roads later this year and would like to cover the two fridge vents and one door vent to limit the amount of dust entering the van.
We were thinking of using velcro and some canvas cut to size.
Does anyone have any other ideas.
Thanks, Phil
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 21:54

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 21:54
That would mean you couldn't (shouldn't) run your fridge while the vents are covered.

You may be better off trying to develop a higher pressure inside the van than outside which will limit the ingress of dust.
Try raising the roof vent a little. Being high up, this shouldn't exaggerate the dust problem.

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AnswerID: 102716

Reply By: Member - Kimberly Kruiser (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:05

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:05

The best way to keep dust out of your van is the use of a roof vent. Coromal use a small cast type, like the scupper used for self draining floors in boats. For about $60 you can buy the hatch and internal roof liner and fit it yourself.
Not only pressurises the van to keep dust out, but allows you to keep your fridge running whilst on the move.
AnswerID: 102721

Follow Up By: Indy - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 09:39

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 09:39
Phil & others,
I have got a roof vent which I have never used. I believe it would be fine if there were no vehicles coming towards you and you were not in close convoy, but what happens if you get a vehicle coming toward you (heavens forbid a roadtrain) raising clouds of dust. Wouldn't the scoop channel a heap of dust into the van? I know you should pull over and stop for a road train but you wouldn't want to do that for every vehicle coming towards you! I have never been game to try the vent for the above reason. The previous owner of my van had seals for everything and the van is fairly dust free.
FollowupID: 360413

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 10:49

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 10:49
Hi Indy,

I have passed many a vehicle on gravel roads with the hatch open and haven't had a problem. While some dust "may" get in this way, I have only had any dust of consequence in the van when I forgot to open the hatch.


FollowupID: 360430

Follow Up By: Member - Kimberly Kruiser (WA) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 13:00

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 13:00
G'day Indy

Would have to concur with the Captain on the above. On my first trip without the roof vent we did a fair amount of dirt work and suffered huge amounts of dust ingress into the van and many hours of cleaning to remove it when we got home. Since fitting the vent, only light traces of dust and the odd bug or two. A flywire screen under the hatch would fix the bug problem and the motivation to fit one.

FollowupID: 360441

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:11

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:11
Hi Phils,

As Sand Man said, a big no-no to seal the vents if you want to run the fridge while travelling (it performs poorly enough on 12V with the vents open). The best way to keep the dust out is to presurize the van. My van has a forward facing hatch (approx 200mm x 100mm) on the roof specifically for this task. It forces the theoretically dust free air above the van inside and it then flows out all the vent holes etc... I have used this extensively on dusty gravel roads and it works a treat.

However it is not perfect. The main issues being the odd insect getting inside the van (could be solved with a flyscreen, haven't got around to that) , forgetting to close the vent when rain appears and the biggest being forgetting to open the vent in the first place.

If I got off my but and installed the flyscreen to keep the insects out , I would use the vent much more. Rain is not a big issue as it keeps the dust down anyway, but forgetting to close the vent when rains first appears, well...enough said!


AnswerID: 102722

Follow Up By: Phils - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:33

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:33
Thanks for the input,
I'm looking into the pressure vent idea.
Thanks Again,
FollowupID: 360382

Follow Up By: harry55 - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 12:36

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 12:36
Hi Captain,
Did you instal this vent yourself or was it standard on your van at time of purchase. I have a 2003 model Streamline with the "explorer pack" but no roof vent. Is it on the pop-up roof or on the curve before the pop-up. Cutting holes in the roof doesn't seem that appealing to me.
FollowupID: 360439

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 12:54

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 12:54
Hi Harry,

My van came with this as part of the off-road pak option. It is on the actual popup section, approximately 1/4 from the front and centrally located. It appears easy to install, cut a hole (gulp!) and silicone it in. Glad mine came already done though.


FollowupID: 360440

Reply By: Croozer - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 23:45

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 23:45
As the others have said a forward facing vent should be the answer. My brother in law fitted one of these to his off road jayco swan before an around oz trip with good results. I am going to do the same with my Jayco camper, try Camec or Caravan accessories for the vents. My camper came (2nd hand) with a set of breathable ( but tightly woven) fabric covers for the vents but as others have said even this would reduce airflow.
AnswerID: 102737

Reply By: motherhen - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 00:39

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 00:39
We have fridge vents facing outside, and sealed around the fridge so no dust can get in to the rest of the van that way. When we had the windup van, most of the dust got in through the roof vent. The vent in the BT seems to seal OK, but we also have a thick piece of foam rubber that fits and stays in the vents for really dusty days. This idea would have worked with the wind up van too, as it would have rested on the bedding when woulnd down. Previous owners have velcroed a thin piece of foam between the screen door and the regular door of the BT. We haven't got anything there at present, but have a water door which covers the door vents and stops the dust.
AnswerID: 102743

Reply By: Ralph2 - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 18:54

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 18:54
HI Phils, I have no experiance with this at all, but was talking to a guy near Windorah who used air con filter pads over vents on his van,He said they worked great.
AnswerID: 102814

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