29 September 2011

Fan-tastic Vent Installation

The Fan-tastic Vent is a must have item in your RV, especially if you enjoy boondocking or dry camping. The fan moves a tremendous amount of air, has a very low amp draw (1.86 to 3.0 amps) and makes a big difference in comfort, especially on warm summer nights. Fan-tastic Vent is also an American company, based out of Michigan, with all components made here in the good ole' USA. Better yet, the company stands behind its product with a lifetime warranty and amazing customer service. If you've ever dealt with them before, you know what I mean.

For my new truck camper, I bought Fan-tastic Vent's sleek, option-loaded Model 6000. This unit features both the rain sensor and temperature adjustment. I opted for the rain sensor as I'm not a fan of ugly vent covers which require you to drill holes in the side of the vent. This time I chose the smoky colored vent lid as the white OEM vent lid let in a tremendous amount of light in the bedroom. Not good for afternoon naps.

I purchased the fan on sale at Camping World for $180, a pretty good price. I briefly considered having the dealership install a fan before picking the camper up last week, but the $50 per hour shop rate (pretty low rate actually) and $325 price tag for the fan persuaded me, otherwise.

According to Northwood Manufacturing the vent opening should have been pre-wired with 12-volt power, but, unfortunately, it wasn't. Figures. Fortunately, a ceiling light with the 12-volt power I needed was located about 10 inches from the vent. I used a piece of wire from an old clothes hanger with the end bent into a u-shape to create a gap large enough in the foam insulation to fish the wires through.

Since I installed a couple Fan-tastic Vents previously, this installation was pretty easy. The hardest, most time consuming part was removing the old vent and cleaning up the surface. When you install the vent make sure the hinge is facing forward (you'd be surprised how many times I've seen these installed backwards) and make sure you don't over tighten the screws as the vent base is plastic not aluminum. I used the foam gasket that came with the vent with a bead of Dicor on the bottom to create an extra good seal. Then I covered the screws and vent edges with a generous amount of Dicor to complete the exterior installation.

An inside shot of the installed fan. Looks sweet!

The interior garnish trim piece required a lot of trimming in order for it to fit. The roof is only two inches thick, so the five-inch garnish was trimmed to only 1 1/4 inches. I used an old pair of tin snips to do the trimming, but a razor knife would have worked just as well. Make sure your measurements are correct before you cut, or else you'll need to order another one from the company. I also needed to cut a small notch in the interior part of the garnish in one spot to allow the electrical wiring to pass.

The Fan-tastic Fan is truly a fantastic American product. It works great and comes with a lifetime guarantee. American companies like Fan-tastic Vent need our support. That's easy to do when they have an outstanding product with the superb customer service and support that they have.

3 comments:

  1. I called Fanstastic today to get some replacement parts for several fans. I was told that as of Jan 1 2013, all previous warranties are no longer honored, and the fans come with a 2-year warranty. I had to pay for parts to repair fans that I bought with the lifetime warranty. The reasoning was that the company has changed hands, and the current company cannot afford to keep the line going with the old warranties.

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    Replies
    1. That's disappointing to hear that, but not surprising.

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  2. I cried a bit and got my free replacement parts, but I realize that a company really can't afford endless free parts...we would never buy new vents!

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