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Old 01-31-2015, 11:14 PM   #1
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Vent fans out the side

Hello all,

One final thing that still kind of bugs me, with an almost completed home-build, is the lack of a vent fan. We have good airflow, a good Caframo fan inside, but I'd still LOVE to have a small (3-5") fan through the wall of the van above the stove. It would be able to function as an exhaust for heat and steam when cooking and I would put it on a thermostat to fire up when vehicle internal temp reaches, say, 110-120F to try to keep things cooler in there (better for the fridge and the LiFePo batteries and other things).

BUT the hard part is an external shroud/rain cover for the fan. I have yet to find something like an acrylic/lexan dryer vent cover that would let a small fan exhaust but keep the van dry inside. Something you would put on with an adhesive/sealant and perhaps also a sheet metal screw or four. I'm looking for something along these lines:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_29680-85334-VTL ... Id=3203015
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/it ... fgod5IQA0A

For that matter, has anyone put something like that on the side of their van?

Cutting the hole isn't too hard, nor is mounting the fan. Even the adhesive is easy, but I can't seem to find a great shroud, particularly not a curved one. I guess a good poly sealant/adhesive can eat up a little gap if you try to put a flat household or rooftop shroud on a curved van body, but I'm not 100% confident of that

I've also considered trying to heat-form acrylic sheet on my own, but have never done so and the complex angles and curved back of a shroud seem like a poor choice for a first project in that realm.

If anyone has done this, I'd love to see/hear about it!
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:54 AM   #2
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Re: Vent fans out the side

This looks very do-able.......I would buy a plastic dryer vent shroud and place it on the outside of the van roughly where you want it and see how much curve you need, it's probably not much. Take up the gap with weatherstripping, butyl tape, etc.

DigiKey, Mouser, etc all sell muffin fans in various sizes, voltages and noise levels from $ to $$$.

One trick that I'm doing is using a 24V fan at 12V. They are typically extremely quiet (with less airflow than at rated voltage) and use less power.

The only tricky part may be figuring out how to keep the outside air from coming in through the fan hole when you are not using the fan, like 99% of the time.

https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/sea ... mp=yhs-001
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:08 AM   #3
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Re: Vent fans out the side

You know if you were going to go with a ferrous metal register, I think you could drive 75 mph and still not lose the magnetic vent cover on the exterior of the vehicle...

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Frost-Kin...C815/100345609

These would need an insect screen inset, but you get the idea:

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...Louvered+Vents

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._prd_ttl_sol_0

Better yet. You could tape a template to the metal exterior skin of your van and carefully drill a pretty series of holes for your vent, then paint the inside and the holes, then use UV6000 adhesive and glue an inset screen and then screw in your fan and then attach your ducting to that. And then cut your magnetic cover for the exterior ...

I just learned about the idea of using a fan rated for 24v and running at 12v for less noise. One of the great things about this forum is that a modified or home built SMB involves a combination of multiple "home" and vehicle systems with so many possible components ranging from furnaces to water heaters, to showers to 12v and 110v and solar electrical distribution and refrigerators, etc., etc., etc., that it is really a fun thing to contemplate design. Please post pictures of what you do and good luck.

BTW I made a best offer and just bought this on ebay for $59.99 plus $1.50. Thanks boywonder!

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Old 02-01-2015, 08:43 AM   #4
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Re: Vent fans out the side

Check out what Attwood has to offer here:
http://www.attwoodmarine.com/store/cate ... tion/vents

I am thinking a collector box inside to collect any moisture from rain etc., attached to rear facing louvers. I would prefer an angled down rear facing louver but I do not see one on their site. i would want extraction when driving, as flush as possible, and a collector box inside so any moisture is trapped and can find its way back out. The fan would be set up to exhaust down into the collector box where it then exits through the louvers.

Just another idea.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: Vent fans out the side

You might have mentioned this already, but why not just the Fantastic Vent fan that most RV's use? I had one in my CCV pop top as well as other trailers and it was great. It has a rain sensor, sips power, and is really effective with 3 speeds and reverse (plus options like an exterior cover you can add in addition to having the rain sensor), and also the option of a remote control. Not really that expensive for all they offer.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/it ... Auas8P8HAQ

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Old 02-01-2015, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: Vent fans out the side

I was going to suggest the Fantastic Fan, too. GTRV has installed them in unusual places on some of their Ford conversions, from the rear driver's side door (in the metal under the window) to even the side rear of the van IIRC.
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:54 PM   #7
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Re: Vent fans out the side

Just a couple of suggestions ...RV horseshoe vent cover $7 - $10 ...metal pop-up / out vent...... https://www.etrailer.com/Enclosed-Trail ... /9106.html
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horseshoe vent cover.jpg   vent 1.jpg   vent black.jpg  
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:35 PM   #8
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Re: Vent fans out the side

Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
This looks very do-able.......I would buy a plastic dryer vent shroud and place it on the outside of the van roughly where you want it and see how much curve you need, it's probably not much. Take up the gap with weatherstripping, butyl tape, etc.
Be careful with dryer vents. Most have a backdraft damper in them that will flap and make a racket while driving down the road. The noise is very annoying.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:40 AM   #9
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Re: Vent fans out the side

Quote:
Originally Posted by E350

I just learned about the idea of using a fan rated for 24v and running at 12v for less noise. One of the great things about this forum is that a modified or home built SMB involves a combination of multiple "home" and vehicle systems with so many possible components ranging from furnaces to water heaters, to showers to 12v and 110v and solar electrical distribution and refrigerators, etc., etc., etc., that it is really a fun thing to contemplate design. Please post pictures of what you do and good luck.

BTW I made a best offer and just bought this on ebay for $59.99 plus $1.50. Thanks boywonder!

E350: Nice blade, but perhaps a bit much for adding a vent to the side of an Econoline LOL!!

Mine gets heavy use and I've yet to have it sharpened. I've cut 2"thick wrought 6061-T6 plate with it no problem (as long as your table saw has the horsepower). I have a collection of blades and when I get them sharpened the first time they are never as sharp as the original factory condition, so I hesitate to take them in until they really are dull. My ATB laminate and plywood blade is a good example of this, it's never been the same once it was sharpened.

....Also...one note about running 24V fans at 12V......if they are not easily visible/servicable and they have the potential to get clogged up with dust they can sometimes not start since the starting torque is also a lot lower at 12V than 24V.

The various safety agencies usually will not allow this in a medical device design for the above reasons but for home use it works quite well. 24V fans are usually very quiet on 12V power.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:02 AM   #10
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Re: Vent fans out the side

I ordered one of the little horseshoe vent covers, looks like the first/easiest option and they are cheap. If it can conform to the van body I'll order a 70mm or thereabouts 12v fan, and a spare, and a cheap 12v thermostat and have some fun. Probably just use a bimetal hole saw to cut a hole that size.

I like the horseshoe vent cover vs. a louvered vent cover as the louvered vent cover will certainly allow moisture in with driving rain, and I don't really have room/desire to put a collector box or more complex mounting system in place.

Thank you all for the links, sometimes it really helps to know what search terms to look for.

Boywonder - 2" 6061-T6 on a table saw? Jesus dulce...
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