How to Install a 14 x 14 Roof Vent in a Van

Written by zach lazzari
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How to Install a 14 x 14 Roof Vent in a Van
The roof vent provides ventilation for camping. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Installing a 14x14 roof vent in a van is ideal for camping and utility vehicles. The vent will allow fresh air to flow through the van and it will prevent suffocation will camping. The vent is also effective for releasing toxic fumes from the van interior. Painters, carpet cleaners and other utility workers will find the vent to be useful. Installing the vent is a simple job that can be accomplished in less than two hours. The job requires basic tools and can be completed by a single person.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Masking tape
  • 1/16 inch drill bit
  • Jigsaw
  • Metal file
  • Vent
  • Silicone caulking
  • Bolts
  • Nuts

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  1. 1

    Locate an area on the van roof for the installation. The front, back or centre of the van is sufficient as long as you do not interfere with the interior wiring. Measure the 14-by-14 inch square and use masking tape to mark the square.

  2. 2

    Drill a hole in one corner of the square with a 1/16 inch drill bit. Insert a jigsaw blade through the hole and follow the tape to cut out the square with the jigsaw. Use a metal file to smooth the edges of the hole. Set the vent in the hole to test the fit. If the vent does not fit, use the jigsaw to make minor adjustments.

  3. 3

    Remove the vent from the hole. Apply a generous layer of silicone caulking to the edge of the hole. Set the vent in the hole with the hinge facing toward the front of the van. Drill through the vent holes and the van roof with a 1/16 inch bit. Drill the bolts through the holes.

  4. 4

    Enter the van and locate the bolts in the roof. Align the interior vent piece with the bolts. Set the interior piece in place and screw the nuts onto the bolts for a secure connection. Use a crescent wrench to tighten the nuts.

  5. 5

    Crank the handle on the vent interior to open the vent. Walk outside and look on the roof to ensure the vent is open.

  6. 6

    Close the vent and spray it with a hose to ensure it is sealed properly. Leaks in the vent will cause damage to the interior of the vehicle.

Tips and warnings

  • Close the vent when you are not using the van.
  • The size of the vent and the hole required will vary slightly based on the manufacturer.
  • Use a liberal amount of silicone caulking to create a watertight ventilation system.

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