How to Make a Generator Exhaust Vent for Motor Homes

by Chris Moore

If your RV has a built-in generator, exhaust fumes coming from it can be a problem. The fumes can seep back into the RV itself, putting you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is very true of motor homes, fifth wheels or any other RVs where the generator is mounted underneath, and especially if you don't have a carbon monoxide detector installed. Installing an exhaust vent that extends upward above the motor home will help take care of this problem. Such vent extensions can be purchased, but constructing your own can be very simple and inexpensive.

1. Locate the exhaust port on the motor home's generator and measure it. Get a section of radiator hose or other flexible tubing that is approximately the same width. It can be slightly larger than the exhaust vent but cannot be smaller. Most vents are about 1 and 1/2 inches wide. Your flexible hose doesn't need to be longer than 18 inches.

2. Get a long section of piping that will fit on the flexible hose. Its width can be slightly smaller than the flexible hose but not larger. The pipe's length should exceed the motor home's height, so 10 to 12 feet should suffice. Stainless steel or PVC pipe will work.

3. Attach the flexible hose to the generator's exhaust vent using a wire hose clamp. Make sure the seal is completely airtight so exhaust doesn't seep out at this juncture. Connect the pipe to the other end of the hose with another hose clamp, ensuring you have another airtight seal.

4. Determine how the pipe will be positioned. It will definitely point upward so the exhaust will travel above the motor home and keep it from seeping inside. Tilting the pipe at a slight angle towards the rear may help even more.

5. Mount the pipe securely to the motor home's side if you don't want to worry about it falling over. This requires only a pipe bracket or two, and you can use a strong adhesive if you don't want to drill through the RV's body.

Items you will need

  • Flexible hose
  • Steel/PVC pipe
  • Hose clamps
  • Pipe bracket(s)
  • Metal adhesive

Tip

  • Use a pipe bracket that gives the pipe some slight "wiggle room" if you don't want to keep the pipe attached while driving. You can then remove the hose clamp, slide the pipe up and out and store it inside the vehicle.

Warning

  • Wrapping strong adhesive tape around the wire seal to keep it airtight isn't recommended. The generator's heat will ruin the tape at the generator vent end, and using tape at the pipe's end only makes sense if you're permanently installing it. In either case, the elements will wear the tape down over time.

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.