Well, I was able to strike another one off the old RV wish list the other day with the arrival of a new Fan-Tastic Vent Fan. I’ve wanted one of these babies for a while now after hearing how good they are for keeping the rig cool and comfortable, without cranking up the big and noisy AC unit. They are fairly pricey but have many great reviews including direct word of mouth by some of my RVing friends. A few of the features that really interested me are the high air volume capacity, quiet
A few of the features that really interested me are the high air volume capacity, quiet operation, and low current drain. These are ideal for dry camping off the grid where you need to conserve battery power and can’t utilize the big AC units to cool the rig.
The Fan-Tastic vent fans come in many different models ranging in price from a little as $100 bucks for the “no frills” 3 speed model all the way up to over $200 for the “deluxe version” with rain sensor, remote and automatic vent lid. I chose a mid-line unit, the Model 2250 with a built in thermostat.
Install of the Fantastic Vent Fan
The first thing I did was check the weather forecast! I wanted a nice weather window to work with in case something went wrong with the install. Lucky I’m enjoying some time in Palm Springs and the forecast looked perfect, 80 degrees, low winds and not a chance of rain. It was now time to yank out the old vent.
Replacing the Old Roof Vent
My main concern was to get the original OEM vent out, without causing any damage to my EDPM rubber roof material. The first job was to remove the sealant. The sealant used by the factory looked to be Dicor lap sealant or a similar variety. It was nice and pliable in the noontime sun and with the aid of a small dull ended scraper it turned out to be a breeze to remove. I took my time and slowly removed the sealant from the metal flange all around the roof vent. Once that was done I carefully slid the scraper under the lip and lifted ever so slightly as to not pierce the rubber roof. Again I took my time and worked my way all the way around. Finally, the whole
I took my time and slowly removed the sealant from the metal flange all around the roof vent. Once that was done I carefully slid the scraper under the lip and lifted ever so slightly as to not pierce the rubber roof. Again I took my time and worked my way all the way around. Finally, the whole RV vent could be easily lifted out. Yay! The tricky part was over.
The next step was to decide what to do with the remaining lap sealant. It was in good condition so I decide to leave it in place and merely flatten it out and reuse it as a gasket surface helping to seal around the screws. The fan came with a foam type gasket as well so I added that on top and went back down to do the electrical hookup and give it a final alignment in the roof hole.
Hooking up the 12 Volt Electrical Wiring
The Fan-tastic fan needs a source of 12 volt DC power to operate. They leave about a foot of wire hanging out of the fan and include another foot or so extra. Some RVs come pre-wired for vent fans and have the wires handy in the roof attic near the vent. Ours didn’t so I had to decide where to get the power from. I could have run a separate wire from the converter up behind the fridge and across the attic area but decided to use the 12-volt power from a nearby ceiling light. It was a simple matter of splicing into the existing wires and saved me a ton of time. Another bonus of using the ceiling light power is I could also use our trailers wall mounted ceiling light switch to power on and off the fan with.
It was a simple matter of splicing into the existing wires and saved me a ton of time. Another bonus of using the ceiling light power is I could also use our trailers wall mounted ceiling light switch to power on and off the fan with.
(Tip)– Make sure the polarity is right before hooking up the fan to avoid blowing the fuse. The Fan-tastic 2250 vent fan has a black and a white wire for the electrical input. Black is meant to go to positive 12VDC and white to the negative or ground. The problem is there doesn’t seem to be a consistent color code standard in RV wiring so you have to check. The wires that are used in my Keystone Cougars 12 volt circuits are white and white with a red stripe. I used my multimeter to test the polarity by placing the positive and negative meter leads on the two wires if the polarity is correct they match up and the meter shows +12 or more volts. If the polarity is reversed it shows -12 volts or more.
Sealing up the Fantastic Vent
Once I got the vent aligned and buttoned up inside the rig I installed all the screws topside and snugged them down. The next step was to make sure it is well sealed from the weather. I decided to go with a combination of Eternabond Tape and Dicor Self Leveling Lap Sealant. I have plans to reseal all my roof with this combination in the near future, so this would be good practice for the more challenging spots to come.
The first thing to do was to wash the area with soap and water and rinse it well. Next, I used some Eternaclean spray to make the surface as clean as possible for the Eternabond tape. The tape is super sticky so you have to be careful laying it down as you only will get one good shot at it. It comes with a peel off film backing, so I peeled back a bit and started it in place, slowly peeling as I went. Being the vent is perfectly square it wasn’t too hard at all, just needed to be patient.
After I got the tape in place the next thing to do was apply pressure to it. The bonding agent in it is activated by pressure and the instructions recommend the use of a metal roller. I didn’t have such a tool so went with my hand and the aid of a large round metal socket. Finally, I took a fresh tube of Dicor Lap Sealant and applied it to all the tapes seams. This not really necessary, but I thought it would give it an even better seal and keep the edges from peeling up.
Review of the Fantastic Vent Model 2250
I give the Fan-Tastic Vent fan the old Love Your RV! Two thumbs up. So far I’ve found many more pros than cons with it. I feel it was good value for the money spent.
- Unit’s hardware has a pretty good quality feel to it and decent fit and finish.
- Motor is nice and quiet at low speed and not too bad on full speed, definitely less noisy that the big air conditioner fan.
- Thermostat works as advertised.
- Fan moves a large amount of air.
- This is going to be a great addition to our boondocking arsenal as it draws very little current.
- Will be great for removing excess moisture and cooking odors from the rig.
- Nice for keeping our doggie cool on hot dry camping days.
- Made in the USA
- A little noisy on full speed, but still better than the air conditioners fan.
- Vent lids manual mechanism seems a little sticky, maybe it will loosen up with use.
- Fan-Tastic products used to have a lifetime warranty but Atwood owns them now and it has been changed to only 2 years. I was a little bummed as that was one of the reasons I bought it after hearing from others about the terrific warranty and what a great company it was. Oh well, I hope Atwood can live up to the reputation that is out there.
Video Detailing Fantastic Vent Install
I also elected to buy the Fantastic Vent cover rather than try to mod things to make my old Ventmate one work. The Fantastic cover has better air flow and it is also easy to pop on and off as it uses cotter pins to hold the vent cover in place.
This was a good upgrade to our little home on wheels. I am now considering a second Fan-Tastic Vent fan for the bedroom. We could have one fan sucking air in and one blowing it out. I bet that would get some air flow happening in the trailer!
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