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How to Install a Fan in a Campervan

Proper ventilation is a must if you are going to enjoy your road experience. For this reason, never forget to factor it in when converting your van to a campervan.

A campervan has so many activities crammed within its small space. It has a kitchen that emits cooking odours and a bathroom that emits moisture. It also has other air quality issues like the exhaled air from the van's occupants.

To ensure your campervan's good indoor air quality, you need to install a fan. It will help in efficient aeration, increase airflow and ensure the freshness of air indoors. A fan enables you to keep your van relaxed and comfortable.

So, how do you go about installing a fan in a campervan? Please stick with me and find out how to do it efficiently.

Note: I used the Maxxair Maxxfan.

What materials will you need?

1. A fan. I have the Maxxair Maxxfan.

  • These are the unique features of the Maxxfan;

  • It has a built-in rain shield, making it great for all weather conditions.

  • It is a 10-speed reversible fan

  • Intake and exhaust

  • It has a programmable thermostat and a remote control

Another great option is the Fantastic fan. You can get the

  • Fantastic vent 7350 – best

  • Fantastic vent 1200 – budget

2. Sika Primer

3. Hammerite paint

4. Sealant and adhesive

5. Isopropyl alcohol

6. Marker (black sharpie)

7. Screws or bolts

What Tools will you need?

  1. Jigsaw and a metal blade

  2. Metal file

  3. Screwdriver

  4. Sandpaper

  5. Caulking gun

  6. Drill


Step #1: Locate the site where you want to install the fan

From within the campervan, ascertain the roof section where you will install the fan.

  • Mark out the cut lines of 400mm X 400mm on the interior.

  • Drill four holes in the four corners of your cut out markings

Step #2: Cut out the square in the roof

Hop onto the campervan roof and cut out the square with a jigsaw

  • Get your jigsaw and cut it into one of the cut lines. Make a hole big enough to let the jigsaw blade through

  • Cut through all four sides of the cut-out

  • Remove the cut-out panel of the roof. A square space will remain.

Step #3: Smoothen the rugged or sharp edges

  • Use a file to break the rugged or sharp edges of the hole.

  • After that, smoothen the uneven edges with fine sandpaper

Step #4: Clean the area around the space

Use isopropyl alcohol to clean any dirt and filings on the roof and around the cut-out. Do this both inside and outside the panel.

Doing this gets rid of the filings that can bring about rusting.

Step #5: Apply primer and paint on the cleaned area

After the alcohol dries, apply primer, then Hammerite paint. This will guard against corrosion in the future.

Step #6: Make a frame

You can do this in several ways. I will give you two simple ways;

1). In my case, I built the frame using mitre butt joints (the irony I didn’t have a mitre saw)

2) You can use a white butyl strip/tape to make a fan frame. How do you go about this?

  • Apply white butyl tape or strip around the hole

  • Build up a coating or layer of the white strip (tape) using lemon rolls around the hole. They are sticky strips, so roll them around, and press them to ensure they stick.

  • These strips are great at stopping water from getting into the campervan.

Step #7: Place the Maxxfan frame on the frame (seal)

After placing the Maxxfan frame on your DIY frame, readjust it on all sides of the hole so that it is evenly distanced from the edges.

  • Press the frame onto the butyl seal to make a water-tight bond.

  • Then screw in the frame onto the body of the van.

Step #8: Apply sealant around the edges of the frame to make it water-tight

Apply the sealant efficiently to ensure that all areas are covered. Apply it on the van panel, around the frame, and on the screws to block any holes.

Step #9: Install the Maxxfan on top of the frame

  • Place the Maxxair fan on top of the frame.

  • After ensuring that the wires are safe within, fasten the fan to the frame. Use four screws to hold the fan to the frame.

  • Once the fan is secured to the frame, finish wiring the fan.

Step #10: Fix or insert a fan trimming in the inside part of the fan

  • On the inside of the van, get the trimming and insert it around the fan.

  • Fit it into the frame with four screws.

Step #11: Check whether the installation was a success

A Maxxair fan comes with a remote control that you can use to switch on the fan and adjust its speed settings.

Switch on the fan. If it starts working, then your installation was a success. If it fails, then there is a problem with the wiring. Recheck the wiring, and make sure that you have wired it correctly. If it fails to work again, change the fuse (it could have blown out). For this reason, always have spare fuses just in case.

Step #12: That’s it

Enjoy fresh air throughout your road trips and travels.

Final thoughts

There is no more need to hire an expert to install a fan in your campervan. All you need is you, an additional hand, the materials, and this guide/course.

To change a fan, remove the older fan, clean the area and follow similar steps.

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