Ceiling Vent?

Ceiling Vent?

Postby Psyckosama [OP] » November 9th 2020, 9:59am

Looking to turn my baby into a semi-discrete camper (or about as discrete as you can get with several hundred watts of solar on the roof) and am considering what to install in the line of rooftop ventilation to keep the cab from turning into a sauna.

Van living people love to like to suggest the Fantastic Fan, which at least in my mind has five major problems. 1) It's expensive. 2) It's designed for a full on RV not a 170cf Astro cab. 3) It would interfere with a solar setup due to its height. 4) It requires hacking a 14 inch hole in the roof 5) Did I mention it's really expensive?

https://www.amazon.com/Ventline-VP-543- ... B00407CK5W
https://www.amazon.com/MAXXAIR-VENT-00- ... 07TVQF5QD/

Thinking something along the lines of one of these. They're a lot smaller and more compact, and while they might not be reversible, the fact that they're on/off only can be fixed with a petentiometer.

Before I pull the trigger and buy something like this, or even more, get to the point where I'm hacking holes in my roof, I'd very much like to know what people think and if anyone else has done a similar setup and maybe how many CFM they'd suggest I aim for?
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Re: Ceiling Vent?

Postby dcsleeper » November 9th 2020, 11:59am

>>
they're on/off only can be fixed with a petentiometer.
<<
nope, you'd need a motor controller.

I feel the same way about that fan, and I'm trying to come up with a much cheaper alternative.
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Re: Ceiling Vent?

Postby AstroOafAdventurer » November 9th 2020, 3:32pm

This is what I've seen people recommend, and what I bought for my van. Haven't installed yet though.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/MaxxAir-Max ... /309414395?
or Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Maxxair-00-05100 ... 160&sr=8-1
You can also get them with a black lid, this is the mid product and is intake/exhaust, they have a higher model w/remote and a lower thats exhaust only.
It costs quite a bit more than what you posted, worth it to me for to help with comfort.
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Re: Ceiling Vent?

Postby Psyckosama [OP] » November 9th 2020, 8:44pm

dcsleeper wrote:>>
they're on/off only can be fixed with a petentiometer.
<<
nope, you'd need a motor controller.

I feel the same way about that fan, and I'm trying to come up with a much cheaper alternative.


Huh. I thought just modulating the DC output would do it. Didn't think the fan was PWM.

Eh, still only costs about 5 bucks. Well worth it.

AstroOafAdventurer wrote:This is what I've seen people recommend, and what I bought for my van. Haven't installed yet though.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/MaxxAir-Max ... /309414395?
or Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Maxxair-00-05100 ... 160&sr=8-1
You can also get them with a black lid, this is the mid product and is intake/exhaust, they have a higher model w/remote and a lower thats exhaust only.
It costs quite a bit more than what you posted, worth it to me for to help with comfort.


That costs more than the lower end Fantastic Fans and has the same clearance issues. Entire point is to be able to fit it under a solar array.
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Re: Ceiling Vent?

Postby doogaloo » November 9th 2020, 11:11pm

So I'm confused about your potential build. You're willing to spend the money on multiple solar panels, but think spending the money on a entry level Fantastic van is too much. My van has a Maxx Air fan and a 100 watt flexible solar panel. I also have a 100 ampere battery. I always have plenty of power. The point that I am trying to make is it sounds like you intend on covering the roof with solar panels and there won't be room for a standard roof vent. Check out my build "Doug from Detroit".
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Re: Ceiling Vent?

Postby Psyckosama [OP] » November 10th 2020, 12:53am

doogaloo wrote:So I'm confused about your potential build. You're willing to spend the money on multiple solar panels, but think spending the money on a entry level Fantastic van is too much. My van has a Maxx Air fan and a 100 watt flexible solar panel. I also have a 100 ampere battery. I always have plenty of power. The point that I am trying to make is it sounds like you intend on covering the roof with solar panels and there won't be room for a standard roof vent. Check out my build "Doug from Detroit".


Actually that's exactly what I want to do. I want to put 400w of fixed solar on the roof. Flexible panels have a badly limited functional lifespan and I intend to do a lot of power hungry stuff in it... for example, I want to be able to generate enough to power a gaming laptop because I can live in van but I can't live without a computer.

My plan is 400w of solar, an alternator charger, and 200 amp hours of storage.

I'm choosing my battles where the money goes and I think a massive overkill vent that will require that I cut structural supports to fit is a bit much.
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Re: Ceiling Vent?

Postby AstroWill » November 10th 2020, 3:52am

Would be nice if they had a lid that would open by sliding instead of flipping up. I think it would be awesome to hide one under a solar panel. Heck, could probably ditch the original lid and make your own that slides.

Those 6" round fans probably won't move anywhere near as much air, but if you don't have the space, then you don't have the space.

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Re: Ceiling Vent?

Postby MechBob » November 10th 2020, 6:44am

Kind of a low information post.You want to quickly remove"exchange the air" or are happy with a smaller unit,most likely running constantly? You want something low,small,even low power,even with batteries,so it runs at night?Go to West Marine and look at cabin vents.But,as you seem to think a "fantastic vent " is expensive,LOL you probably do not want to check out the high quality stuff.
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Re: Ceiling Vent?

Postby Rod's Trucks » November 10th 2020, 7:43am

Psyckosama,
I would look for a small 4" or 5" 12v DC muffing fan, like were/are in may computer consoles.
They are inexpensive, move a lot of air, are not power hungry, and are rather quiet .
I use one as an 'A/C' fan in my 'RadioActive' van in hot weather ( that is Pacific Northwest 'hot', but not Southern States 'hot'). It moves a lot of air
Since you're concerned about roof mounting, maybe mount it in the outer sheet metal of the jack storage area with a shield to prevent rain intrusion.
I have a couple of 4" RV style 'hatch' with a door mounted in the left rear, for an antenna and AC power cable entry point. I do not have the rear A/C in the radio van, so that space was an easy choice.
The black hatch one is a bit hard to see in this photo, but you can easily see the white one.
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Re: Ceiling Vent?

Postby Psyckosama [OP] » November 10th 2020, 12:38pm

MechBob wrote:Kind of a low information post.You want to quickly remove"exchange the air" or are happy with a smaller unit,most likely running constantly? You want something low,small,even low power,even with batteries,so it runs at night?Go to West Marine and look at cabin vents.But,as you seem to think a "fantastic vent " is expensive,LOL you probably do not want to check out the high quality stuff.


Sorry. I generally want to know what people normally go for CFM wise and if anyone has experience with these.

Not the best at communicating I'll admit.

I've looked at Cabin Vents before. Prices are nuts. Yes, I'm sure they could survive the apocalypse but they really kinda have meh CFM ratings, along the line of 17-ish CFM. And they need line of sight on the sun.

That said I'm thinking about installing a dumb vent on my door or something as an intake. One of the stainless or plastic vents hooked up with a clamshell vent cover on the inside (over a layer of bug screen to allow me to close it. Mounting it in the sliding door or something and it would give me a nice cross ventilation intake.

AstroWill wrote:Would be nice if they had a lid that would open by sliding instead of flipping up. I think it would be awesome to hide one under a solar panel. Heck, could probably ditch the original lid and make your own that slides.

Those 6" round fans probably won't move anywhere near as much air, but if you don't have the space, then you don't have the space.


Yeah, a fantastic moves 900~ish CFM at full tilt. These move 100 for the Ventline and 200 for the Maxxair. It's why I'm leaning towards two of the Maxxairs.

Rod's Trucks wrote:Psyckosama,
I would look for a small 4" or 5" 12v DC muffing fan, like were/are in may computer consoles.
They are inexpensive, move a lot of air, are not power hungry, and are rather quiet .
I use one as an 'A/C' fan in my 'RadioActive' van in hot weather ( that is Pacific Northwest 'hot', but not Southern States 'hot'). It moves a lot of air
Since you're concerned about roof mounting, maybe mount it in the outer sheet metal of the jack storage area with a shield to prevent rain intrusion.
I have a couple of 4" RV style 'hatch' with a door mounted in the left rear, for an antenna and AC power cable entry point. I do not have the rear A/C in the radio van, so that space was an easy choice.
The black hatch one is a bit hard to see in this photo, but you can easily see the white one.
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
101882


I build computers so I have enough 120mm case fans floating around to build my own helicarrier. Going at a 6 inch hole, a number of 140mm airflow focused fans average about 100ish CFM... which now that I think of it might make them competitive with the Ventline without sounding like a jet engine... and being conventional fans, they could be reversed...

Something to think about now.
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