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How to Remove (more) RV Roof Fixtures

Welcome to my RV Renovation Series! On step one I removed some of the roof top fixtures but I still have a few items to remove today: the radio antenna, the RV tv antenna, the bathroom plumbing vent cap, the RV ladder, and the one I’ve been avoiding: the air conditioner (Because it is a long one I’ve made How to Remove a Camper Air Conditioner into a separate post.)

removing RV ladder
Removing more RV roof fixtures.

Topics covered today:

Here are the tools I used today:

Tools required to remove Coleman RV air conditioner
These are all the tools I used today.

Removing Radio Antenna from RV Roof

I’ll start with the ones that look easiest: the radio antenna and the Winegard TV antenna. I cranked up the RV tv antenna earlier when I was peeling off rubber but it doesn’t have to be in the up position to remove it. All screw heads are accessible in either position. Here’s how they looked before I began.

RV radio antenna and RV tv antenna (RV Winegard antenna
Preparing to remove the radio antenna and the Winegard antenna

Same as yesterday, slice away any remaining rubber and then start prying up lap sealant from the screw heads. Here are the screw heads exposed on the radio antenna.

removing lap sealant from radio antenna
After scraping lap sealant and caulk from screw heads. Screws look pretty good!

All these screws were in good shape and came out fine with a socket screw driver. Once the screws are out, lift the antenna up and you’ll see the wiring connection. It’s a simple barrel connect, I just loosened it with my fingers.

pulling out RV radio antenna on roof
Screws removed and radio antenna pulled out. Showing wire connection to antenna.
disconnecting radio antenna wire
Simply unscrew the threaded cable connector by hand.

Then I stuffed the loose wire back into the camper using a screwdriver, just so it wasn’t in the way.

pushing wire back inside camper
Then stuff the cable back inside the camper roof with a screwdriver.

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Removing an RV TV Antenna

Now to get started on the RV Winegard antenna removal. This is a crank-up style television antenna. Same deal as above, cut and pry.

RV tv antenna
Next up: removing the RV tv antenna (Winegard antenna).
removing lap sealant from flange of Winegard tv antenna
Scraping lap sealant from screw heads on flange of Winegard TV antenna. Some screws look good.

Most screws were good. The two in the back were seriously rusted. One came out by grabbing the head with vice grip pliers. The second I couldn’t even grab so just yanked it out of the plywood when I pulled out the antenna.

rusty screws on camper tv antenna
Some screws on TV antenna are badly rusted. One I got out with vice grip pliers. The other I just yanked out with the antenna.

I started to pull on the antenna and then remembered it was still connected to the crank handle inside. So I went in and disassembled it. There was a small hex head bolt holding the handle to the crank shaft. I loosened it and the whole assembly slid right off, except for the plate that is screwed to the ceiling. I just left that plate on for now.

the crank for raising a Winegard television antenna
Next: removing the crank that raises the TV antenna from inside the camper.
loosening the set screw for crank handle
The handle has a small Allen-head bolt holding it to the shaft. Find the right sized Allen wrench!
Removing the handle of the RV television antenna crank.
Sliding the handle and spring off the shaft of TV antenna crank.

Now I could lift the whole TV antenna right up. This has coaxial cable connected from inside the ceiling. There’s a basic female to female coaxial cable connector that you should be able to unthread with your fingers and disconnect the cable.

wire connection to RV winegard TV antenna
Winegard antenna removed, cable wiring exposed.
coaxial cable connection to tv antenna
Closeup of the cable connected to the Winegard TV antenna. Simply unthread the barrel connector by hand.
camper roof cleaned up after antenna removal
Radio antenna and TV antenna removed and cleaned up.

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Removing an RV Ladder

With that all cleaned up I was ready to attack the mess around the bathroom vent pipe and the aluminum RV ladder attachment points. There were many years of crap piled on these and signs of various botched repairs. More cutting rubber and prying up caulk and sealant.

ladder and attic vent before removal
Time to remove the plumbing vent pipe from the bathroom and ladder attachment.
screws removed from one flange of aluminum roof ladder
One ladder attachment point cleaned up up and screws came out intact.

The screws on the right side of the ladder came out pretty clean, but the left side was not so good. There were only two screws and they appeared to be anchor bolts that had been installed later as part of a repair, running all the way to the ceiling inside, but had since popped through. I had no way to turn them so I just cut them with a reciprocating saw metal blade.

old repair on other flange of camper roof ladder
The other ladder attachment has problems. These appear to be anchor bolts from a newer repair running all the way through the roof into the closet.
sawing through screws in ladder flange
I couldn’t unscrew them so had to saw through them with a reciprocating saw.

The whole ladder will have to come off because it’s the only way to expose the entire roof decking so I can replace it and lay down new rubber. So I unscrewed all the other spots where the RV ladder fastens to the back of the camper. Most of these screws were in pretty bad shape and sheared off. It’s going to be a fun challenge trying to reconnect this thing solidly!

The aluminum rv ladder overlaps the roof and must be removed.
The whole ladder needs to be removed in order to replace the rubber roofing.
An RV ladder connects to the camper at 8 points.
The RV roof ladder is attached at six more points. Most of the screw heads were rusted and sheared off when I tried to unscrew them.
Aluminum ladder removed from the camper
RV ladder removed.

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Removing Plumbing Vent Cap From RV Roof

Moving on to the cap on the bathroom plumbing vent (attic vent). I puzzled over how to remove the cap for a minute because I couldn’t find any screw heads. Then I finally read the words on it.

Attic Vent says "pull to remove"
After puzzling over how to remove the cap for a minute, I finally read what it said. “Pull to remove.” So I did.
cap removed from plumbing vent cover on camper roof
The cap from the bathroom plumbing vent popped right off by pulling it up.

After simply pulling it off, I cleaned off the screw heads and took off the base of the vent cover. Notice how it overlaps the trim molding at the back edge of the rubber roof. This doesn’t seem like a great design for waterproofing but that’s how it was done!

removing a plumbing vent cap during camper trailer roof repair
Notice how the vent cap flange overlaps the termination bar at the back of the rubber roof. Probably not the best design for water-proofing.
vent cover removed from camper roof
Roof plumbing vent cover removed. Now to peel up the rest of the rubber and scrape up the gunk.
ladder and vent pipe area cleaned up after removal
All gunk removed and cleaned up. Plenty of water damage in this area.

Now there’s only one fixture left on the roof to remove: the air conditioner. Since this was a big job I’ve made a separate post about how to remove an RV air conditioner!

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