Most Avions made in the 1980’s through 90’s began using the 14″ square roof vents, some I believe were the FantasticFan brand at some point.
That was not the case with our 1973 Avion LaGrande. Our ceiling (roof) vents were a little over 18″ square and not easily if even possibly replaceable. We like the size though and want to keep them if possible. The former own had installed the full clear plastic protective covers (Maxi-Air) over them on the roof so it is nice to be able to open then even in a torrential downpour and not have rain get in. We also can keep them open if we want to when rolling down the road.
Problem was a few things with our ceiling fans were lacking….
Both had screen covers that had cracked frames (hard plastic) and were monsterously dirty. The interior shrouds as they are called (photo with Kevin) were cracked, yellowed and dirty. Thankfully, replacements for them were available for purchase from Chuck Cayo for about $75 each. A good deal considering they will last another 40+ years.
The rear fan only works on high, while the front one has a faulty switch and does not operate at all. We continue to try to find replacement parts.
Several of the great folks (fellow Avion owners) have pointed us in the right direction for sources for the fan switches, but honestly the whole issue with the Ohms, wires, circuits is way beyond my comprehension and we just feel that this might be a job for Chuck Cayo the Avion Guru whose shop is in Michigan. We have a few things on a “let the pro do it” punch list for Chuck to work on in 2018 so i think these ceiling fans might be added to that list. Our AC works awesome, and the rear fan- being overtop our beds is sufficient enough for even hot nights. It is quite loud though and I think these fans were loud because this is often the most repeated comment that we see from Avion owners who have switched out their large fans to the smaller FantasticFan. That retro fit requires creating a false template to hold the smaller unit into the larger opening, etc.
So for now anyway, we decided to make do, and work on restoration of what we can handle. First off….making the screen covers more presentable and usable.
First step–a really good bath. Used Simple Green HD (Purple) which is also what is recommended to give your Avion a bath outside. The solution is diluted to 3 water to 1 Simple green (so not use the green version!). It did a decent job, set them out in the sun to dry but still a lot of mottled discoloration after they were dried.
Then i repaired the cracks with small plastic thin slices to beef up the areas. Second was to use Gorilla Glue and provide a really good glue job on the cracks to firm them up. These cracks evidently happen to nearly everyone because this is where the hand cranks turn into and the hard plastic, if the crank gets turned too far, simply cracks.
So, cracks mended it was time to purchase some ivory colored spray paint and gently with very light multiple coats painted the mesh fabric as well as the hard plastic frames of each one. The result was fabulous. I think I did about 6 light coats. Careful not to allow any paint to pool in the mesh fabric.
The final result of these being freshly painted really has made a big improvement and it offered the stop gap measure needed at this point. See the finished product below~ not bad eh??!!
Total cost of project: About $8 and about 5 hours of elbow grease. (we had the Gorilla Glue, and for the thin plastic i cut them out of a left over clear plastic take out container-so free!)
I will post the source for the switches on our resource page.