Trip Date 04/30/2018
Posted On 06/29/2018 23:30:25
Camping | Customizations | Hacks | Fan | Cooling | Summer | FanTastic Fan | Wiring | Ventilating RV
Having good ventilation in your RV is the key to a comfortable experience in the summer - especially when you may not have shore power. In addition to the dealer installed FanTastic Fan in the bathroom, Scott decided to add a second FanTastic Fan in our bedroom vent in an attempt to let hot air out of our RV and also bring in cool air.
FanTastic Fan FeaturesEach FanTastic Fan has a speed switch and a directional switch, and our bathroom fan was also connected to a circuit with a wall switch. Having the wall switch allows us to control both fans from one master switch. Another great feature of these fans is that they automatically turn off when the vent is closed.
Preparing to Install Ceiling FansPreparing for the new addition, he removed the two garnishes (bezels) - first in the bathroom (surrounding the FanTastic Vent Fan that Genuine RV Store installed) and then the one surrounding the manufacturer installed vent in the bedroom. With both garnishes off, Scott had access to the existing wiring for the bathroom fan. He ran additional wiring between the bathroom fan and the bedroom so that it would be available when he was ready to connect the new fan.
The next step was to test the new vent fan to make sure that it worked. Maybe that should have been the first step? Oh well, it worked, so no worries!
Since "RV There Yet?" has a rear ladder, Scott had access to get up and down for the installation, however, he thought it would be helpful to have a second ladder propped up against the RV nearer to where the "surgery" was to be performed. Once that ladder was in place, I had easier access to provide the surgical instruments needed throughout the operation. As he neared the top with his power drill, putty knife and small trash bag, he immediately noticed that the roof was still dotted with morning dew so he called for a towel which he used to dry the roof to prevent any infections (well, really to avoid slipping off). Once the roof was mostly dry, it was time to remove the sealant surrounding the vent which he was replacing.
Removing the Old VentWith plastic putty knife in hand, the tedious work began - pulling up the sealant while being careful not to scratch the actual roofing material and expose the screws that attach it to the RV.
When enough of the sealant around the screws had been scraped off, Scott removed the 28 screws with his power drill and then pulled out the vent with the "goopy" gasket. Ugh - it was gross with that gummy sealant all around - the sealant was the consistency of abc (already been chewed) gum! Well, it was what it was, and it had to come off. Next request: paper towels.
Since I was right there, I was able to bring the old vent down as we wouldn't need it any longer.
Installing the New FanTastic FanAfter the roof was disinfected (i.e. mostly cleaned), Scott called for the Vent Installation Kit and some scissors needed to cut the putty tape in the kit.
The one inch putty strips went on pretty easily - he had to measure a strip of the putty tape equal to one side of the hole perimeter, then he removed one side of the putty tape backing and pressed it against the hole. After repeating these steps three more times (until the entire perimeter was covered), Scott more firmly pressed the tape against the whole perimeter and then removed the outside of the putty tape backing.
Scott was sure lucky that he had an assistant at his beck and call (me). By this time I had already provided him with a towel, paper towels, the vent kit and scissors, and now he called for the new fan and new screws, the new sealant, tube gun, a Phillips screw driver, and then a screw and finally sheet metal scissors - I think that was it. If it weren't for me, he would have had to go up and down that ladder a whole lotta times!
The final roof top step was to put the fan in place.
Scott lined it up as best as he could ... the new fan had only 16 screws vs. the 28 screws that he removed from the old vent. After placing the new fan in the correct location, he screwed it into place using the existing holes and the new screws.
After all of the screws were in, the perimeter, top of flange and top of screws had to be covered with sealant - that's where the Dicor sealant and tube gun came into use. At this point, the roof top surgery was complete and we brought all of the supplies down. Before anything else, it was time for a short (albeit very short) break in the cool house.
The final two steps of the surgical procedure in the bedroom were to connect the electrical wires - making sure that the two "hot" wires were properly connected together, followed by installing the new garnish.
Just as we suspected (based on our experience with the bathroom fan installed prior to our RV purchase), the garnish was too short, so Scott installed the garnish from the bathroom fan (which fit properly) into the bedroom. After connecting the bathroom wiring and testing to make sure both fans worked properly, he installed the shorter bezel in the bathroom. (We called the manufacturer for a replacement that was the correct depth, however it was prohibitively expensive and since it was only about 1/4 inch too short, we just decided to continue using it.)
The entire procedure was completed in just over three hours - not too bad for a first time surgery!
Installing Vent CoversScott intended to also install some vent covers to allow the plastic covers for the fans to be open while it was raining. He mistakenly ordered MaxxAir vent covers which he thought would be compatible, but due to the mounting hardware required and the design of the FanTastic fans, they were not. He returned the MaxxAir vent covers and reordered the FanTastic Fan vent covers.
Once the new covers arrived a few weeks later, he was able to easily install them. It required removing some of the sealant over a few important screws and attaching the vent cover brackets, and then resealing them. The vent covers then easily connected to the mounting brackets.
The FanTastic Fans in UseThe vents have been useful when showering since we use shore power most often and usually have the air conditioner running. The vents allow us to let out the humidity very efficiently. On some occasions we have also set off the smoke alarm due to forgetting to open the stove vent before cooking (and therefore creating too much smoke inside). The vents allow us to suck out the smoke very quickly.
We have enjoyed having these fans. On a recent trip we used the fans daily just to keep the RV cool. It was warm (but not super hot outside) and when we turned the fans on and opened just one window on the far end of the RV (living room for our RV), fresh air came in and flowed through the entire RV and then went out the bedroom ceiling fan. The fans were much quieter than the air conditioner which allowed us to watch TV and talk at modest volume levels.
See our other blog post regarding Scott's installation of 12v accessory sockets - these sockets have also helped us to stay cool!
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