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Old 06-19-2018, 09:09 AM   #1
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Northpoint 377rlbh (and others most likely) - vent on interior steps

I know i have read on here about someone or maybe multiple people sealing off or insulating the area around the vent in the middle step leading up to bedroom and bathroom. What exactly is that vent for? That is my main question.

It opens up to the area behind the outdoor kitchen and the vacuum hose is accessible from it. I am wondering if it serves any purpose other than access to a few wires and such from the inside without having to crawl into the belly to get to them.

This week where i am camping it is very hot and i have noticed as soon as someone turns on the bathroom fan you can feel the hot air being pulled in through that vent. With the outdoor kitchen open it is even worse.

I have some insulation that i am going to put in there to help but figured i would ask what people thought the purpose of it being there is for.

Thanks for any input.

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Old 06-19-2018, 09:24 AM   #2
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Return for furnace. i live in florida and dont close off that vent instead the back wall in the basement i closed off instead because i get the same as you when the basement door is open. i insulated the area to isolate the basement area off from the furnace area. But remember that if you cold camp you need that to be open.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:24 AM   #3
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It's the cold air return for the furnace. It is pulling the air out of the basement

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Old 06-19-2018, 10:06 AM   #4
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So i figured it was the furnace return but did not see anything going directly to the furnace. Was expecting a return line to the furnace. But since the furnace pulls from the basement i see there needs to be access to pull cold are from the interior. Guess i would like a vent with a damper or one that that can be opened or closed depending on your needs, AC or heat.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:08 AM   #5
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Noticed the issue myself when running fireplace and bathroom fan was on on a colder day. Pulled cold air onto the floor by the stairs.

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Old 06-19-2018, 10:24 AM   #6
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On our 16 Eagle 321 RSTS we have 3 of those vents one in each step. Kind of annoying I continually catch the heals of my shoes on them. If anyone comes up with a better idea let us know! I would be sure Jayco went the cheapest way possible.Thanks
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Old 06-19-2018, 01:37 PM   #7
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Our 2016 Model doesn't have that vent and I have seen no difference in the furnaces over the last 3 years.
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahoneys View Post
Our 2016 Model doesn't have that vent and I have seen no difference in the furnaces over the last 3 years.
Yours doesn't have the vent? My '16 does...that's a strange one!
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:15 PM   #9
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Mine has the vent. I cover it with reflectix during the summer to prevent extra heat entering from opening the outdoor kitchen
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:23 PM   #10
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It also keeps warm air circulating in the storage area, which also accesses the holding tanks and other things in the storage that you may not want to freeze in cold weather.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:17 AM   #11
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Also, remember that should you open or close any slide with the entrance door closed, the air travels thru that step vent (assuming all roof vents are closed) to push or pull air from/to the outside via the front landing gear and possibly the middle stabilizer leg cutouts. So think of these four leg cutouts as RV nostrils, at least on the 377 model. I also think thatís where some flies are getting in, I so I still wanna install a screen behind that vent.

If any of you should have that vent closed, open the front door when you open or close any slides! Otherwise, you make the motors go through more resistance.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:49 AM   #12
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When I had my basement taken apart to do my solar install I took a photo of some major air leak areas and I was going to do a post on when I got around to fixing them. I haven't had time to fix them yet but the attached photo shows how the basement is wide open to the outside air around the skirt. This photo is right underneath the interior steps and the day light is between the sheet metal underskirt where it comes to the rear slide at the exterior steps. (photo flipped for some reason)

You might think that it has to get air in from somewhere but my Jayco Eagle Superlite TT and Arctic Fox Truck Camper were both so tight you had to open a door when moving a slide in or out. No so with the North Point. Also, these leaks are on the side of the removable bulkhead such that the basement heat is not going to work so well there. In cold weather this area would get much colder than the basement area would.

One final thought about the vented step riser. In addition to the heater having to have a return back to the furnace, I think the central vacuum also has to have some type of a return for it to work properly.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:55 PM   #13
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The bad thing is the heater pulls in dust from the space that the vent opens to. Dirt comes up through the less than ideal covering under the trailer. I built a filter for the furnace so it didn't get so much dust inside the camper in the winter when we use the heater a lot.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:05 AM   #14
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In our 355MBQS, this vent is in the bunk room.
I use Velcro to put a nice piece of vinyl over the vent during the AC months. Remove when heat is needed.
The hot air and bugs really pour in this vent if you leave the basement door open to watch TV outside.
Doing this made a huge difference in the AC performance in the bunk for our kids. This and sealing the roof AC vents allows so much better AC performance in the RV.
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Old 09-02-2018, 04:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonmiddlebrooks View Post
I know i have read on here about someone or maybe multiple people sealing off or insulating the area around the vent in the middle step leading up to bedroom and bathroom. What exactly is that vent for? That is my main question.

It opens up to the area behind the outdoor kitchen and the vacuum hose is accessible from it. I am wondering if it serves any purpose other than access to a few wires and such from the inside without having to crawl into the belly to get to them.

This week where i am camping it is very hot and i have noticed as soon as someone turns on the bathroom fan you can feel the hot air being pulled in through that vent. With the outdoor kitchen open it is even worse.

I have some insulation that i am going to put in there to help but figured i would ask what people thought the purpose of it being there is for.

Thanks for any input.

Attachment 41026
I have an AC vent in the basement on my 2018 377RLBH. I crack it to keep that area cool. Would that help your situation out some. Also I pulled the plastic spacers out of the ceiling vents and taped the gap. Then reinstalled the vents without the black spacer. The plastic spacers restrict air flow in the duct work. It was one of the mods the guys listed in the forum. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:31 AM   #16
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Rarely do we run our furnace. I took a piece of luan, painted black to match the opening, and slid over the opening. I cut it to fit snug and attached small hooks to pull out if needed. It has made a difference by not allowing warmer air from the basement to not come up into the camper. The AC does not run as much now and we are better able to keep the temp regulated inside.
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:41 AM   #17
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That vent serves as a return in the winter for the furnace. There is a heater vent in my fifth wheel in the basement and the vent allows air movement to keep the tanks and lines down there from freezing.

In the summer on mine cool air settles in the basement but if a outside hatch is open, lots of conditioned air is lost there. Same in winter if the hatches are left open.
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