WHY ARE VENT FANS IMPORTANT?
Adding a ventilation fan is one of the most important additions to a conversion, and we strongly recommend that all conversion vans have some way of ventilating their space. The forced air approach is the most effective way of doing this that creates air circulation, prevents condensation, and controls temperature.
Creates air circulation
Have you ever walked into a bedroom that has had the door and windows closed, and it feels stale inside? That’s how these vans feel without air circulation. Add in cooking, sleeping, and dirty gear, and you’re quickly finding yourself in an uncomfortable space. Circulating the air inside leaves the van feeling fresh and clean, and happy place to come back to after a fun day of adventure.
If you follow Feng Shui design principles, air circulation also helps in clearing stagnant energy and re-energizing your van.
Condensation is a van conversion’s worst enemy. It will re-tack adhesives, expand and contract wood, and may lead to the growth of mold. First and foremost, condensation is something that you want to take into consideration through out your project, the fan is just one step. Read our blog post on reducing condensation in your space for more information.
Adding a ventilation fan is not an air conditioning unit, but it will help by pulling cooler air from outside through your van. You can also use the option of blowing air into the van.
WHERE SHOULD YOU PLACE YOUR VENT FAN?
Most vans have two options, in the front of the van or towards the rear of the van. With a smaller van, you may have only one option, or may look into a smaller vent.
We generally recommend placing the fan towards the rear of the van. There are a couple of instances where we would make an exception to this, or add a second fan, but this is rare.
By placing the fan in the rear of the van, you slightly crack your front door windows, and the fan will pull fresh air through the van and out, giving you a continuous supply of fresh air. We also like to install an air filter fan underneath the van, which pulls cool air from under neath the van into the cabin. Combined with the vent fan installed in the rear, it circulates clean air through the van, and out the roof vent.
If your kitchen is inside the van, we may recommend a second smaller fan over the kitchen area to work as a range. Having multiple fans installed on the roof cuts down your space for solar power, so you will want to have a good understanding of your power needs before installing two fans.
A disadvantage to having the fan up front is that there is some road noise associated with the fan so close to the captain’s chairs. Strawfoot Handmade offers insulated fan covers for a select few models that can help with this.
We recommend the Maxxair fan 6200k. This is the manual option, as we have found the computer in the deluxe, remote version is a little bit more temperamental- and when you need your fan, that’s not something you want to worry about. With 10 speeds, this fan gives you more control over circulation opposed to other fan options. The largest reason we recommend this fan is for the fan shroud- it has a waterproof shroud and can be open while driving, so you never have to worry about if you closed it or not.
If you have any questions about this model, choosing a vent fan, or would like to have a fan installed in your camper van, feel free to reach out to us!