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.
Whether I was running some campsite cooking equipment like a Crock-Pot for a few hours while driving, or even just boiling a quick pot of water to pull some espresso shots, my camper van roof vent saw constant use.
Reducing campervan humidity
If you’re like most campervan owners, you’ve spent a lot of time, money and effort learning about insulating a campervan, or having it done right. G
Installing the best roof vent for your campervan is crucial to keeping moisture out of that insulation.
There are some unexpected sources of moisture in vans.
For example, 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 humidity, mold and mildew.
What size campervan 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 van roof fans and vents
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.
We’ve carefully chosen the best products for power usage.
Our Top Picks for campervan roof vents and vent covers
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