Most of the us look forward to the summer when we can get out and camp in our RVs, but with the summertime come higher temperatures. Depending on the location, this can bring temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. When it comes to outdoor recreation and summer temperatures, the “sweet spot” for most people falls between 65 and 78 degrees, and for some, even cooler than that. An air conditioner is an obvious way to stay cool in your RV, but not everyone likes or even wants to do that because it typically requires staying at an RV park or using a generator and staying inside. For those who like to boondock, the best way to stay cool is to seek cooler temperatures and to employ some simple ways to keep your RV cool. One of the best ways to stay cool is to employ a 12 volt fan. One of the best electric fans made for your RV is the Fan-Tastic Vent made by Dometic. This is a Fan-Tastic Vent Installation Report and Review.
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 huge 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 we mean.
For our new Wolf Creek 850 truck camper, we bought Fan-tastic Vent’s sleek, option-loaded Model 6000. The company no longer produces this exact unit but the Model 6600 is pretty close. This unit features both the rain sensor and temperature adjustment. We opted for the rain sensor as we’re not a fan of ugly vent covers, which require you to drill holes in the side of the vent. This time we 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.
We purchased the fan on sale at Camping World for $180, a pretty good price. We 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. Fortunately, a ceiling light with the 12 volt power I needed was located about 10 inches from the vent. We 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 we 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. We used the foam gasket that came with the vent with a bead of Dicor self-leveling Lap sealant on the bottom to create an extra good seal. Then we covered the screws and vent edges with a generous amount of Dicor to complete the exterior installation.
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 1.25 inches. We 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. We 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 Vent is a “fantastic” American product. It works great, helps keep the camper cool, and comes with a lifetime guarantee. It’s also easy to install. Anyone with a minimal amount of technical know how can do it. American companies like Fan-tastic Vent need our support. That’s easy to do when they offer an outstanding product with superb customer service and support. What would we rate Fan-Tastic Vent? On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest, we enthusiastically give it a rating of 5 stars. It’s a great product.