Roof vent for camper van: Luxury or necessity?It took me awhile to become a convert. I was perfectly happy with an open door or windows. But I kept seeing excited, even zealous comments on social media about the Fan-Tastic and Maxxair roof vent fans.
In preparation for some cold weather camping last year, I installed a roof vent with a 12 volt fan and I became an instant convert.
The main advantages are the improved control I now have over air quality, temperature, and another layer of protection against dangerous gas and fumes.
A good roof vent fan can actually save lives and many van travelers rely on their roof vent along with a carbon monoxide detector to stay safe from C0 poisoning.
Dust, odors, fumes… it’s important to keep in mind that your conversion van space is tiny and the air can get used up fast. If you’re relying on open windows or a roof vent without a fan, you’ll be surprised how great a roof vent for camper van life will be.
A few seconds of running the roof vent fan can be just enough to get the van temp right. In the summer, using the fan to pull in fresh evening air can lead to great sleep.
I prefer to cook outside whenever possible, but since I was going to be traveling in very cold weather, I needed to cook most of my food indoors.
When we sleep, we off gas water. This often results in condensation on windows, and elsewhere in your van.
In fact there are a multitude of sources of humidity in a van and a roof vent fan will massively reduce this possible source of mold or just plain clamminess.
What size roof vent fan do you need for your van?
Tip: Think of your van like a soda bottle. If you seal your lips over the opening and try to blow in air, the bottle will immediately fill up and the air flow will stop. If the bottle were open at the bottom, air would flow freely through.
Opening a window slightly (or floor vent) will allow your roof vent fan to more effectively move air out and pull new air in.
Since this is a site about conversion vans, not full sized RV’s, keep in mind that the volume of air flow needed to completely replace all the air inside any van is quite low.
The vent fans I’ve included below will easily keep you in fresh, clean air at all times.
The exception might be if you’re cooking something very smokey or steamy and don’t have window and/or doors wide open during that process.
And even with windows and doors open, you’ll want a fan to pull steam and smoke out through the top of the van if you’re cooking inside.
If you need to cook inside a lot, consider a second fan vent above your stove, or even a dedicated stove hood.
Many of my readers spend a lot of time in very cold climates and don’t want to keep the van wide open because of the cost of heating, so they rely on a roof vent directly above their cooking area.
Power considerations for roof vent fans
Any fan draws significant power, so be mindful of your power source and use your fan sparingly if it’s powered by your solar system or portable battery power pack.
Again, it doesn’t take much air flow to move all the air out of a van quickly, so avoid the temptation to buy the most powerful fan you can find. The extra power consumption and noise are rarely worth it.
Top 3 roof vent for camper van
This roof vent for camper van is the number one choice of conversion van folks of all kinds.
#1- Fan-Tastic Create-A-Breeze Roof Vent
- The Fan-Tastic Vent Model 801200 Create-A-Breeze is a quiet, long lasting campervan roof vent and fan.
- The 12 volt DC, three speed motor uses low amps for long hours of low battery use.
- The smoke color lid minimizes UV ray impact on the mechanism.
- A removable screen allows for easy cleaning of dust from blades.
#2- Maxxair 12V Fan Vent
- Maxxair 00-04000K Roof vent for camper van
- MaxxFan exclusive: Remote control includes backup controls at ceiling.
- Ceiling Fan Mode runs with lid closed for air circulation.
- Simple cleaning keypad (flush mount) for fan speed, temp, intake and exhaust.
- Fits 14″ x 14″ roof opening.
#3- Fan-Tastic Vent 807350 7350 Series
If you want the best, the Fan-Tastic 807350 7350 is it. This camper van vent steps up features several notches without compromising on compact size or low wattage functionality.
- Fits standard 14″ x 14″ openings.
- Automatic, quiet dome lift.
- Reversible air flow.
- Rain sensor closes the dome when wet.
- Automatic speed variation.
- Infra-Red remote with wall cradle.
- Manual speed features 13 settings.
If you spend a lot of time in very wet climates, you might consider a fan vent cover. like the Fan-Tastic Ultra Breeze.