Mod #51: Fantastic Fan

Mod #51: Fantastic Fan

Submitted on: 07/28/08

     Category: cooling, interior
Mod Rating: 12345

(43 ratings)

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Mod Description:

In another mod, we talked about how to keep cool in your RV by using clip-on, portable, or permanent-mount 12-volt fans. These are great for distributing air in certain areas of your RV, like a bunk area. The Fantastic Fan mod is for moving a lot of air through your RV in a short period of time. This is just the thing to get out that burnt popcorn smell or the “I hope no one can smell that” emanation coming from the bathroom.

Mod Difficulty:

There are several brands of 12-volt power fans other than the Fantastic Fan, like ShureFlo, and MaxxAir. But the Fantastic Fan name is widely used to generically mean power vent fan, much like Q-Tips are for cotton swabs and Band-Aid is used for adhesive bandage. But whatever brand you choose, they all install and function as generically as the name is used.

Most brands offer a variety of fan assembly configurations, like multiple speeds, remote control, and even rain sensors that will close the vent lid and turn the fan off. There are also fan assemblies that are integrated in to a roof vent cover, like the MaxxAir. These are great for both reducing fan noise since the fan is located outside the RV at the back of the vent cover and for getting air flow through the RV even if it’s raining. The vent lid can be left open since the cover prevents rain from entering the RV.

Installing a Fantastic Fan is a pretty easy job if there is already an opening in the roof, like an existing ceiling vent. Depending on the size of your RV, you may have from one to three ceiling vents, which makes things easy. Choose a ceiling vent that is close to a 12-volt power supply, like the puny little bathroom fan, or a ceiling vent near a light.

You will need to remove the old vent assembly completely. This involves getting on the roof to remove the screws holding the frame of the vent to the roof. Also remove any sealant left on the roof vent area. This is an important step since a poor seal with the new vent assembly can possibly cause a water leak down the road. A new seal is provided with the Fantastic Fan and needs a good clean surface to seal properly.

Place the new seal around the roof opening and set the fan assembly in to roof opening. Now go in to the RV and wire up the fan to a 12-volt source. If you’re replacing the stock fan and vent in the bathroom, you can reuse the fan’s power supply. If not, then run the wires to a light fixture. You can get some flat plastic channel to hide the wires along the ceiling to the light.

After completing the wiring, open the vent lid and turn the fan on the low speed setting. Check to ensure the air is flowing in the proper direction. If not, the wiring is incorrect and will need to be reversed to ensure the fan is turning in the right direction. If your fan has an exhaust feature, meaning the fan can be switched to exhaust air out of the RV, ensure the switch is in the right position before validating that the wiring is correct.

The next step is to secure the fan frame to the roof and seal it. Use all of the supplied screws. You’ll notice there are many more screw holes than the original vent frame. Because the vent is now powered, it is subject to more vibration so more screws are necessary to ensure the assembly doesn’t come loose over time. Seal the edge of the frame with silicone sealant all the way around the frame. And don’t forget to also put a dab on each screw head as well. More is better and the excess can easily be wiped off.

Finally, the interior trim ring or bezel needs to be installed. This hides the rough ceiling opening edges as well as the wiring to the fan motor. Depending on the thickness of your RV’s roof, the bezel will need to be trimmed. This done by test fitting the bezel to determine how much needs to be trimmed. Score the plastic with a utility knife and break off the excess. Snap in to place and you’re done!

TipIf your RV doesn’t have a roof opening where you want to place the fan, you will have to cut out an opening. Contact your RV manufacturer to determine if where you want to cut the opening won’t cause any structural problems or affect any wiring.

ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:
FanTastic Fan Vent® Model 4000
Maxxair 00-933066 Translucent White Vent Cover

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15 Comments For This Mod

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  1. jmt

    I’m thinking about replacing my cheesy bathroom fan with a fantastic fan. Anyone have experience doing this? We already have one fantastic in our main living space and love it.

  2. tvman44

    My next mod will be the Maxx Air. I prefer it because it does not require messing with the roof, just place it over the existing vent and get power from the noisy thing the manufacturer calls a vent fan in the bathroom.

  3. Ellie

    We installed a fantastic fan in our bathroom. We already have one in the main living area, and love both of them. We use them all of the time. My only thing is how do you clean the blades and vent cover. They get very dirty. Is there a way that the blade can be removed so you can clean it better?

  4. ModMyRV

    Try this link:

    It walks you through how to disassemble and clean your Fantastic Fan.

  5. Trailblazer

    I installed two of the TurboMaxx Air Vents. I have one in the living room area and one in the bedroom area. With two units I can set one to intake and one to exhaust. This will change the entire air in the Trailer in about 2 minutes and helps create a nice convection effect inside the trailer.

  6. rtfrench

    I installed the fantastic 3 speed reversible fan. It is very stylish and easy to operate; we love it. If I had it to do all over again, I would go with the maxxair fan because of the noise when the fantastic fan is on high. I’m not sure which is louder, the fan, or my wife complaining that it’s hot ;P

  7. staggerlee

    Not a Mod. but a question about one.
    An RV a/c unit is suppose to keep your trailer 20 degrees cooler than outside air temp.
    Will a heat pump get it even cooler?
    After about 5 minutes 85 don’t seem much cooler than 105 outside.

  8. daveinwa

    Hi staggerlee
    Not sure where you heard that an AC unit will cool only 20 below outside temperature. My trip to Hoover dam, at almost 120 degrees outside air temp would have been really hot!! An AC should put out air in the 50’s. When 55 degree air is put into an enclosed insulated space, like an RV, it will cool down to the set temperature. If it’s cooking hot outside, your AC will need to run much longer to cool down, or to maintain temperature.

    A heat pump is actually an AC unit with a “reversing valve”. This valve allows the air handler to remove heat from one area, and put it into another area, in either direction. An AC onle removes heat from the trailer, putting that heat outside. A heat pump will do this, or will also remove heat from outside (even if it does not ‘feel’ warm outside) and it will put that heat inside your living space. This makes it an air conditioner or a heater.

    So, a heat pump of equal size will not cool any better than an AC unit. Hope this helps.

  9. Stephane Bousquet

    Hi. I did this mod and would recommend it to anyone. The airflow and reduction in noise results in more useof the fan.

    My original fan was a sandwich style installation using the inner plate to secure the roof vent to the roof. Self leveling sealant finished the job. This type of installation has the least impact on the roof design, but is not too practical when adding about 16 screws foe the new fan.

    My solution? Install an interior frame made of cedar. The roof was made up of a rubber membrane and styrofoam laminate. I crafted a tool out of a clothes hanger, formed to cut in as deep as I needed, and from the top to bottom of the laminate. Basically all the styrofoam would be removed to a depth of 2 inches or so.
    I then heated the wire win a propane torch and used the hot wire to slice through the foam like cheese.

    A cedar 2×6 and a table saw was used to make the frame. Notches were added to accommodate wires and corners, and glue to the top and bottom. Some camps, wait for the glue to dry, and the follow the instruction on the box.

    My next mod is a toggle switch to convert the inexpensive single direction fan to a bidirectional one.

    My only regret: the cheap fan comes with a white lid which is not transparent, so it is very dark. I need to replace the lid with the tinted lid.

  10. Sharon Lause

    we just purchased a trailer with a fantastic fan but we can’t get it to come on. what are we doing wrong?

  11. marksrv

    I just found this RV website, are there many RV’ers using it?

  12. marksrv

    We have three fantastic fans in our bus conversion, living room. bedroom and bathroom and two fantastic vents in our step van, drivers area and one in the work area. We do RV service, one point that I would like to make is that any time we have a problem with Fantastic vent is the parts have always been covered…Somebody said use silicone sealant, I would use butyl caulking for rubber roofs instead, hope this helps…

  13. Dave Villella

    I am adding a new exhaust fan to my RV. Currently there is no fan. There is a light near the opening which has a switch at the light and another switch near the door. How do I determine which wires I connect the new fan to?

  14. Ted

    We have three fantastic fans in our Cedar Creek RV. All worked well. We opened the RV in the spring and they open but don’t turn on. The fuses are all good. Can you know what else it could be?

  15. cooperrobt

    I just did this mod in the living area on our KZ Spree Escape. Hardest part was removing the existing vent and cleaning up all of the sealant that was left over. I drew power from an adjacent 12v ceiling light . Took me a couple of hours to complete.

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