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Mod #46: Cooling Fans

Posted By Mark Corgan On July 23, 2008 @ 6:19 am In cooling, interior | 4 Comments

When the weather is hot and you don’t have an electrical power source to run your A/C , the next best thing is to get the air inside the RV moving. Ceiling vent fans like the Fantastic Fan are great for exhausting air from the RV but don’t do much in the way of providing that “in your face” cooling effect that a fan designed to provide maximum air circulation can. Pop-up or tent trailer owners know this situation well but for those not so in-the-know, that’s where the 12-volt cooling fan mod comes in to play.

Mod Difficulty:

There are a few different types of 12-volt fans to choose from: clip-on, stand-alone, permanent mount, multi-speed, lighted, or a combination thereof. And all generally come with a 12-volt adapter that plugs right in to any 12-volt receptacle typically found in your RV.

The clip-on type is about as simple as it can get. A large clip is provided to secure the fan to most any cabinet or counter edge. Simply clip and plug. The stand-alone is just that. It has feet on the bottom of the fan housing to support it so you can place it on a shelf, counter top, or even the floor. These types usually have several speeds to select from but tend to draw a little more power from your batteries than a single speed might since on high speed, they flow much more air. However, you can regulate power draw by selecting a slower speed.

A permanent-mount is similar to the clip-on type but instead has a bracket to secure it to whatever surface you desire. Bunk beds are usually a good candidate for these types since there really isn’t anything to clip the fan to. Under a cabinet in the kitchen is another popular place as well. Just be sure that wherever you mount the fan, it’s near a 12-volt power source. If not, you will have to either install a 12-volt receptacle or run new wiring to the fan.

Finally, you can take a page from the book of the good folks who own popups. Most popups come standard with a combination fan. This fan has two speeds, a light, and an electrical 1/4″ connection plug that fits into a ceiling-mounted receptacle. It’s used primarily to circulate air in the tent ends of a popup or hybrid trailer. But you can fit one to your RV and reap the same benefits, just in a bunk or bedroom instead.

ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:
12-Volt Oscillating Clip-On 6″ Cooling Fans
12 Volt Car Fan With Cigarette Lighter Adapter
PowerSmith 12-Volt Lithium-Ion Portable Work Fan


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