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Old 04-04-2015, 04:28 PM   #1
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Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

Hi All, I just wanted to see if others are experiencing similar issues....I have a fantastic roof vent (not sure of the model but it has the rain sensor, inward and outward fan direction, three speeds, etc). I have broken the cover of it twice during high winds, while driving at 55-75 mph.

The first time was just after I got the van and I replaced the cover without issues (after stopping every 50 miles or so to tape it down with duct tape). It has happened again, and this time it ripped the raise/lower arm out of the corner of the fan body. It gets old stopping a couple of times a day to tape the cover down!

Obviously each time the cover was stowed properly (haven't been using it due to the cold temps at night). When driving the cover would rattle and make tons of noise but I figured that was normal as it has done this sine day one. The tensioner was tight whenever i checked it. I am considering removing it from the van altogether, or at least permanently securing it with VHB tape or something similar.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 04-04-2015, 04:38 PM   #2
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Re: Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

I have a Fantastic Vent (came with my rig) and although mine has never broken, the constant wind noise while driving makes me crazy. This is with the lid down, and the arm tight. I tried adjusting the little button on the outside (as recommended) but it made no difference. Even taping around the outside didn't make it stop (mystifying). The only way I can get any peace while driving is to tape something over the inside garnish trim. It's really annoying. I could see from the PO (original owner)'s records that he had the same problem (since new).

I have been thinking about just getting a whole new one. I wouldn't mind if I knew it was going to be quiet; on the other hand I'd be super annoyed if the new/expensive one did the same thing.

Their website says to make sure the mounting surface is flat - mine is, I checked it with a square. So not sure what is wrong, but I'm thinking of going with a marine hatch instead (although the fan function is handy on this one...).

Although I never travel with mine open at all, I see they say that you can, but it should be completely open. Sounds like yours is closed for travel also though.

I'll be curious to hear if others have similar situations, or if you/I have "oddballs" -- if so maybe a new one would fix it.
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

Have never had an issue with our Fantastic vents. Had two on our old van and one one on our current. Maybe the problem has to do with roof location and air turbulence.
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:29 PM   #4
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Re: Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

Good to know they are not all noisy - maybe I'll take a chance on buying a new one.

(I don't mean to be hijacking the thread from OP's issue, although it sounds very similar to mine.)
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

I have have the automated/rain sensor model fantastic fan and generally don't have any issues. If it is really windy out I can sometimes hear a little noise near the vent but never any issues with it breaking or coming open on its own. I have driven with it up when I forgot to close it at camp and you can hear it but no issues as of yet.

Fan is very useful and I generally draw air in from the top and leave the awning windows open a bit for it to go out. The rain sensor feature has saved me a few times when camping and overnight rain storms come through. Mine is located close to midway on the Voyager style top but is also surrounded by the roof rack. I never noticed any issues without the roof rack either.

Where is yours located that you are having these issues with and what kind of top?
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:35 PM   #6
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Re: Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

I have the voyager II top and the vent is mounted center-line, above the side door entrance. I do have an aluminess roof rack, with the solar panel mounted in front of the vent.

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:22 AM   #7
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Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

We're having similar issues with the wind buffering, same model, installed last year when we got the CCV top, it's also surrounded by a custom rack and sits behind a light bar and a pair of TREDS. The lid to ours has never broken though, that's a real annoyance, have you tried contacting fantastic vent? Our plastic cover buffers when on the highway or in high winds, it may partly be placement or wind turbulence. The issue as I see it is from a flawed closing mechanism, the fan lid is only secured by the motor arm on one side, leaving the other side pretty loose. I just put some window seal foam tape on the underside of the lid where it meets up with the rubber on the bottom to see if that will help things a bit, I'll report back once I get it out on the highway. After install, I closed the lid and got back up on the roof, while it was still a bit loose it is better than it was, the most noticeable thing was when I picked up the corner of the plastic lid as before, when it came down it was much quieter and damped by the weather strip, I'm hoping that will do the trick, most of the noise was from that lid whacking around. I'll report back......
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:28 AM   #8
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Re: Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

FWIW, mine's on a fixed top, somewhat near the front, and with nothing "rackish" around it at all. So basically out in clear air, but probably gets a fair amount of said air since there is no particular wind break ahead of it. I was also thinking it must be due to only one arm (although mine sits down tight). The wind noise is really irritating. I took a piece of 1/2" rigid foam insulation and taped it securely to the inside garnish for one trip and oh man, was it nice to have a quiet ride! Well, at least I could now hear the other noises

I'm torn on whether to get another one or not. I have another 14" vent aft (which does not make noise), but it's just a regular vent with a regular (noisier) fan, not a Fantastic. I really like the function of the Fantastic (although I wish low speed were lower - was going to call and ask them if the one with many more speeds had the same low or a "lower low"), but if I had to give it up to get quiet I would. I guess I have to decide whether to to a $200-$300 experiment (new Fantastic) or just go to something else and then some other way of moving the air.

Interesting to get more data - OP, thanks for starting the thread.
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Old 04-05-2015, 11:00 AM   #9
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Re: Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

Here is our Fantastic Vent location on a penthouse top. Has NEVER given us any problem. We have though never driven with the vent open.

Pre penthouse we had a set of car top carriers on the roof. They were made square 1.5 - 2" tubing. The front one would develop a terrific buzz at speeds over 60mph. Problem was solved with installing a piece of half round wood the same size on the front and rear of the box. Made it aero friendly and no more buzz at any speed.

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Old 04-05-2015, 11:34 AM   #10
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Re: Fantastic Roof Vent keeps breaking

Interesting. Mine would be similar to yours, but right near the front. Maybe that's the issue.

I hear you on the racks. For years (on a station wagon - not van) I just had 1 x 4 oak crossbars on gutter brackets, eased on the forward edges, and no problems. Then I "modernized," and got some Yakima round bars. Oh my, the noise! I put some pipe insulation type pads on them and the noise went away, but I really didn't need the pads and they were a hassle. Then Yakima started offering these little plastic teardrop shaped clip-ons (sort of foil shaped). Interestingly, they were only about 3" long but quieted the whole bar.

I should try taping on a half-round type shape to the front edge of the dome and see what that does. Maybe that is the source of the wind noise (since the top closes tightly and even taping around it didn't help). I travel with mine closed as well.

Thanks for the idea!
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