How to Clean RV Vents

The vents in an RV (recreational vehicle) roof can become dirty from rising smoke coming through the RV vents from the kitchen below, and from outside debris. If the vent fan is not operational due to debris, or if mold causes a noticeable odor, then the vents must be cleaned. This is typically only necessary about once a year.

Tools and Material

  • Warm soapy water
  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic garbage bag
  • Several soft cloths

Step 1 - Inside the RV

Begin by accessing the vent from within the RV and turning off the vent fan if one is present. Remove the RV vent screen and allow it to soak in warm soapy water while the rest of the cleaning process is completed.

Step 2 - On the Roof

Climb to the top of the RV and remove the vent shroud, if there is one installed, by removing the screws attaching it above the vent hatch. Wipe the shroud inside and out, using a soft cloth. Dispose of all debris in the plastic bag. Using a soft cloth, wipe the fan blades and vent hatch. Reattach the vent shroud and make your way down off of the roof.

Step 3 - Finishing Up

Back in the RV, caulk around the roof hatch if needed. Repair tape, available at RV supply stores, can be used to patch cracked vents and shrouds. Scrub the vent screen thoroughly. Using an old toothbrush or a scrub-brush will make mold, dirt, and rust removal easier. Rinse the RV vent screen and allow it to dry completely before replacing.