With our recent torrential rain storms in Northern California I needed to come up with a way to protect the vent on top of The Glampette from water intrusion. If rain comes straight down I can keep the vent open enough to run the fan which does several good things:
1. It prevents condensation from building up inside the trailer.
2. It keeps the interior temperature inside the trailer from becoming too warm.
3. It allows the vent's built in fan to run pulling air inward or outward to keep the interior temperature from becoming too warm. The vent lid has to be open approximately 4" for the fan to work.
But when it's rainy and windy I've often had to close the side windows and vent completely to keep water from blowing into the trailer. It's not a problem in terms of insufficient air flow, Fred designed the trailer to have two passive vents that ensure even if the windows and vent are closed there's still enough fresh air coming in to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. But, they alone don't provide enough air and circulation to keep inside the trailer comfortable.
Fan-Tastic Vent sells a vent cover that permanently attaches over the vent to shield it from rain while ensuring air flow. But my challenge was how to protect it from gale force winds and rain while still looking cute?
Enter 9 yards of bright yellow Sunbrella fabric, 5 grommets, 5 bungee cords, and two pieces of tent cord that combined to make a cute yellow tarp that has shielded my Fan-Tastic Vent from torrential rain and wind in the the past 72 hours.
The grommets were inexpensive and easy to attach. All I needed were the instructions on the back of the package and a small hammer.
The rear end of the tarp I tied to the jack stands with tent cord. I kept the edge of the fabric higher towards the top of the trailer so that any run-off would come down and fall into the drip rail Fred built above the door so I wouldn't have to deal with water coming down on me while entering or exiting the trailer.
On the front end I used bungee cords to tie down the center and grommets on the two corners to attach the tarp to the trailer tongue and frame.
Here you can see how I reinforced the fabric around the grommets with a second piece of the heavy Sunbrella fabric.
Inside the trailer the vent is completed protected from the rain. I'm really glad this idea worked so well!
I did realize after the fact that I could do a rolled hem on the back end with a piece of cord in it so that the awning can work two ways:
1. As pictured here lashed into place with the grommets and tent cord and pulled back over the trailer to protect the vent during rain storms.
2. Or, I could slide the rolled edge into the awning rail above the door then pull it away from the trailer and use my tent poles to create an awning I can set my chairs under and sit beneath for shade on sunny days. Just like the lightweight awning I made out of an old table cloth for the Treasure Island Teardrop Trailer Rally last October but with grommets set higher up above the corded edge.
It'll be a win-win. The awnings can be folded flat or folded in half and rolled onto a 2.5 foot long cardboard tube for easy packing/transporting.
The trailer is a work in progress. The more I use it the more opportunities I notice to figure out ways to improve my living conditions. By this time next year I should be a tiny travel trailer pro!