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Old 05-16-2018, 08:25 AM   #1
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Radiator fan for escape hatch vent

I have a 2003 Ford E350 hightop with an emergency hatch in the roof. I was considering using a electric radiator fan to make it into a powered vent.

Any advice or has anyone else done this?

My concern is that it might be too loud; I could wire an electronic power control to the fan to slow it down if needed.

Any advice appreciated.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:49 AM   #2
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Dimensions of said hole?
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:52 AM   #3
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Size would help. 22.5" x 22.5" x 4.75"H

My thought would be to build some sort of thin screened frame, hinged on one side, to mount the fan. Others have used fairly large computer fans for this. Something like what this guy did: Emergency Exit - Roof/Ceiling Fan Options - School Bus Conversion Resources

I have recently removed the entire hatch and frame due to it leaking. Used 3M marine adhesive and Eternabond to re-install frame to roof. Currently undergoing testing.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:02 PM   #4
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Or you could box it in to the standard vent hole size (14x14") and put a regular roof vent/fan in it which will have a cover, rain sensor, etc.

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Old 05-16-2018, 01:26 PM   #5
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I want to keep the emergency hatch (that is why I re-installed it). And I am trying to keep costs as low as possible--got a lot more to buy to make the van livable. The high-top has a inner liner so that would complicate your solution.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:36 PM   #6
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Typically those hatches are Lexan or some other plastic material. If removable, I would replace the clear panel and install a Maxx Fan. If not removable, then I would consider prudence if cutting the clear panel itself. Possibly even get a replacement hatch cover.

You want something you can use in the rain and to keep bugs out. What you have now is deficient in those two scenarios, right?
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:05 PM   #7
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You want something you can use in the rain and to keep bugs out. What you have now is deficient in those two scenarios, right?
True but I think I have a fairly low-cost solution for both--an inner screened hatch (with fan) and a DIY shroud around the rear outside of the hatch to block the rain. Keeping the hatch as a working emergency escape hatch is also something we also want--so it is staying.

My guess is that not too many people have used a radiator fan for living space ventilation and that is really what I am asking about.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:27 PM   #8
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Radiator fans are pretty loud in my experience. Also, not sure about the power draw. Bent fans are designed to be quiet with low power draw. They arenít terribly expensive either. Iíd second the idea of cutting an vent-fan sized hole in the hatch.
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