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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tips for Installing RV Powered Vent Fans

powered rv vent fanI have often wondered what manufacturers where thinking when they installed those tiny, noisy little fan in RV bathrooms. It tends to be on of the first upgrades RV'ers make along with adding covers on all of the roof vents.  Since RV's have a pretty small footprint, just taking a short shower can fill most of the windows with condensation. The need for a powered roof RV roof vent will also come in handy when cooking, after prolonged storage and to exhaust the hot summer air. Turning on a powered vent can make a major difference in your comfort level and even keep your RV a more pleasant place to hang out in. 

What's Involved In Installing a Powered Vent
If you are replacing one of those noisy bathroom fans, the installation is made much easier with the availability of 12v power right at the vent location.  If the vent does not have 12v power, you will need to run a wire from a near by location.  Most RV manufacturers use Styrofoam in the ceiling panels which can make fishing a power wire a little more difficult.  A heated stiff wire makes a nice pathway in Styrofoam and allows for wires to be easily fished to the vent.   If there is no vent at all, don't despair, cutting a hole in the roof of your RV just takes some planning.  You will want to select a location that does not have a roof support  and relocate any wiring or possible AC ducting before making that first cut.   
Choosing the Right Replacement
Not all RV powered vent fans are equal. The two most well known brands are Maxxair and Fan-Tastic Vent.  Both have excellent track records as well as products to fit most installation requirements. Maxxair makes powered vent fans with integrated rain protection.  This allows the fan to be used in most any weather.  Some of the Fan-Tastic powered vents include rain sensors so that the roof top lid closes when rain is present.   Generally most users of Fan-Tastic vent products add an aftermarket vent cover to allow for use while it's raining.   Another option if you have one of those noisy bathroom fans is to install a Heng's Vortex Fan Kit.  This kit slips right into your current vent and only requires the removal of a few components.
Proper Installation
The installation of a powered vent is a great DIY project and can yield big benefits, but as always read through the instructions thoroughly before beginning. Make sure you turn off all power within your RV before removing the wiring or connecting the new unit.  A very important aspect of the installation will be the resealing of the new powered roof vent if that is the style you go with.  We recommend the use of Eternabond Sealing Tape over Lapp sealant because of it's longevity.  Properly installed Eternabond provides a permanent seal that only requires visual inspection up to 20 years.
Adding a RV powered vent fan may become necessary if you experience a build up of condensation either do to shower use or cold weather on a regular basis.   After you have determined that a replacement is the only way to resolve the issue, choosing the right option and carefully installing it will give you a functional RV you can enjoy spending time in, whether you are removing cooking odors, gas fumes or taking a shower.
If your ready to add a powered vent fan, contact us. We carry a number of powered vent fans and can help you find the one that meets your needs and specifications.

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