Installing a roof vent – The first cut is the hardest!

Installing a Roof Vent – The first cut is the hardest!

One of the least sexy but most important additions to our horse trailer LQ build was the powered roof vent. It might not seem important at first, but without the fan, the “Taj MaSmall” would quickly become unbearable to live in. It keeps the air fresh, increases airflow, evacuates cooking odors and helps to control moisture. All very important items for a comfy abode away from home.

Installing the roof vent was also one of the scariest of all of the conversion tasks. Cutting a giant hole in a brand new trailer is, and should be, a little intimidating. Fortunately, it’s well within reach of any enthusiastic DIYer!

Let’s begin!


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As I mentioned earlier, the idea of cutting a big hole in your roof is a bit intimidating, but once you get started the install is actually pretty easy.

roof vent

MaxxFan 7000k

What we installed: Maxxfan Deluxe 7000k

The Maxxfan Deluxe has a built in rain cover, a feature that is vital when you’re living in a small space, such as a trailer. Being able to keep the fan running when it’s raining is a key feature. The fan’s low power consumption allows us not to worry about the state of our batteries and indeed we let the fan run continuously throughout the night with no worries and plenty of juice for the next day.

TIME ON THE JOB: 3 hours – TOTAL COST : $350

The tools we used:

Maxxfan Deluxe 7000k with remote –  (Info from Amazon)

Cordless drill – (Info from Amazon)

Jigsaw – (Info from Amazon)

Caulk Gun – (Info from Amazon)

Screwdriver – (Info from Amazon)

Safety Glasses – (Info from Amazon)

Vacuum – (Info from Amazon)

Materials Used:

Butyl tape – (Info from Amazon)

Dicor Lap Sealant – (Info from Amazon)

Sharpie – (Info from Amazon)

Painters Tape – (Info from Amazon)

Isopropyl Alcohol – (Info from Amazon)

10 Steps to Fresh Air!

Step 1- Mark the fan cutout with painter’s tape

To mark the hole for the fan, we used the interior side of the roof vent trim piece to trace the shape onto the trailer roof and it was super easy!

Step 2 – Cut the hole with a jigsaw.

We started by drilling holes at each of the four corners and then used the jigsaw to connect the dots.

When you’re cutting out the hole a rainstorm of hot metal chips will fall on your face. WEAR PROTECTIVE GLASSES. You have been warned.

roof vent holeStep 3 – Marvel at the giant hole in your roof!

You just cut a whopping big hole in your new trailer! You deserve a beer but first let’s wrap this up. The rest is easy peasy!

Step 4 – Clean the roof surfaces with isopropyl alcohol

You’ll be using butyl tape to create a weather seal between the fan flange on the metal roof. A thorough cleaning of the surface makes sure that the weather stays outside.

Step 5 – Apply butyl tape where the flange will sit

Step 6 – Install the roof flange




Step 7 -Apply Dicor self-leveling sealant

We covered the top of the screw heads and around the periphery of the flange

Step 8 – Install the Maxxfan unit

Set the fan on the flange and fasten using the 4 provided screws. Again, easy peasy!

Step 9 – Look at the fan

Just look at it. It’s beautiful. We have a roof vent!

Step 10 – Wire it to your power supply

Now have a beverage! You earned it!

After getting past the fears of messing up the hole, the installation was a simple task that anyone with a little confidence, time, and power tools can tackle. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and in short order the I had the fan mounted, wired and circulating fresh air.

For the the world’s largest directory of horse trails and camps to visit in your well ventilated horse trailer visit the trails section of the website!