The Fan is In

The fan is in, but the carpet cuts show

The fan is in, but the carpet cuts show.

The good news is that the fan is in, it works, and it will never leak.

The bad news is that where I cut the carpet to run the wires looks bad.  My sister Gail told me there are videos on Youtube on how to fix the seam and make it invisible.  So that will be my next project.

I originally planned to cut the hole in the ceiling with my Dremel, using a cutoff wheel.  But I didn’t like the way it worked, so switched to my jigsaw with a blade for cutting metal.  It made a very clean cut with no chipping.

I had also planned to use a wood base underneath the fan.  But the screws that came with the fan were not long enough to go through the roof, the carpet and the foam padding and still bite into the wood.  So I had a choice of buying longer screws or trying to devise a way to not have to use the wood.  I decided to use bolts with nuts and washers on the inside of the fiberglass.  That would also allow me to use the garnish I had cut too short.

Scary!  The "What have I done!" moment.

Scary! The “What have I done!” moment.

Ron gave me some much needed help by pulling back the carpet around the hole, threading on the washers and bolts, then holding them while I tightened them from the roof.

I used pure butyl tape (not butyl putty tape) to seal the fan to the fiberglass.  It will never harden, never shrink, will stay flexible forever, and will never leak.  I learned about it from the Casita forums and also noted that Amazon’s vent replacement kits come with butyl tape.  It’s what I used on my Aliner’s fan when the original silicone shrank and the fan started leaking.  After I resealed it with butyl tape, the rest of the trailer fell apart, but the fan never leaked again!

Tomorrow I’ll seal the screw heads with self leveling caulking just to be extra safe.

The major problem I ran into was installing the garnish.  There was nothing to screw into, so I decided to use bolts and washers glued above the foam, protruding through the carpet, where I would secure the garnish holes with nuts.  The only thing is, the fan mounting bolts were in the exact spot I needed to place the new bolts.

I ended up using the fan mounting bolts.  I had to really push to get them through the garnish holes, and the fan is slightly curved up at the corners.

What was hilarious is that after I butchered the carpet running my own wires, I found wires to connect the fan already under the carpet when I peeled it back a little.  So I wouldn’t have had to run my own wiring if I had known they were there.

I would rate this job a 3 out of 5 due to the cosmetic issues.  I’m very disappointed, but at least I have a working fan now.

I’ll give myself a couple of days before I start working on the carpet seam repair.  I’ll probably install the rain cap first.

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22 Comments

  1. Tim

     /  May 27, 2013

    Congrats on fan; a job well done!

  2. yay! looks great … 😉

  3. Sorry you are not 100% happy with the end result, but it’s still an impressive feat!

    • Since I don’t intend to sell it, I’ve decided I’m not going to let the imperfections bother me. 🙂

  4. EmilyO

     /  May 27, 2013

    Man, that looks da** good.

  5. great job and it works and everything. A little seem won’t matter. Now enjoy the big change in temps.

  6. lynne

     /  May 28, 2013

    You are an amazing woman!

    I truly believe that you can do anything that you desire.

    • Lynne, I will tackle almost anything, and I can eventually make it work. What I can’t do is always make it look as good as I’d like.

      It will be a while before I recover from this project enough to jump into the next one! 😀

  7. I think it looks fabulous…might want to grab your hat with the breeze that’s going to blow out of that baby! I agree with Lynne….is there anything you can’t do!? So proud of you!

    • Carla, what really worried me about not having the fan was not being able to get enough ventilation in the trailer when the weather was bad. Now, with the Maxxair vent in the back window and the overhead fan, I won’t have to worry about using a catalytic heater in there.

  8. You are going to so love having that fan…if you can’t repair the carpet to your satisfaction, make it into some kind of art-y statement. Great job.

    • Judy, I was wondering if I could do something tasteful and arty with my upholstery fabric. I wouldn’t want it to end up looking doofy! 🙂

  9. Gail

     /  May 28, 2013

    Way to go, Superwoman! That’s my SISTA!!!!!!!! 😀

    • YOU are the superwoman! You would not believe how many hits your van article gets!

      I think we both have Dad’s intrepid building genes. Always gotta be building something! 🙂

  10. Hope

     /  May 28, 2013

    I second that, Gail…

  11. Sounds like you did a great job. Well researched and well done. Congrats.

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