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Old 10-11-2012, 07:22 AM   #1
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Installing a Fantastic Fan in Indiana-built PH top?

On my to-do list is to add a rooftop Fantastic Fan to my Indiana-built Ford EB SMB with PH top. I e-mailed SMB Indiana to ask how much they would charge to install one, and they replied that they do not install rooftop fans in their PH tops.

When I asked why, Nancy from Indiana's reply was: "Our manager feels that the way our tops are made, that this shouldn't be installed. I know CA uses a different style penthouse top and the wood placement is a little different. But we just don't install the attic fans in our tops here."

Can anyone shed some light on this? Can anyone with an Indiana-built SMB and an attic fan comment on this?

For those of you who have installed an attic fan in your SMB (Indiana-built or otherwise), where did you locate it in the van's roof?
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:42 AM   #2
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Re: Installing a Fantastic Fan in Indiana-built PH top?

May I ask - With all the free flow ventilation of the penthouse top, why would you need one?
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: Installing a Fantastic Fan in Indiana-built PH top?

My wife and I sleep "downstairs" and my son is "upstairs." It can get REALLY hot downstairs, even with the PH screens open. I'd like to increase airflow, even when the screens aren't open in the PH top.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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Re: Installing a Fantastic Fan in Indiana-built PH top?

Have you looked into having installed over the cockpit area in front of the PH? Located in that position it would pull air out of the van instead of just out of the penthouse area. I think there is a picture and string somewhere about that location on a Ford Van on this forum. Jage's van looks like it has one located there in his pic gallery. Sorry I was unable to find it under Fantastic Fan with search.

I suspect they don't do fans in the penthouse because of concerns about the weight and and that could weaken the structural integrity of the top with that big of a hole. Also if the perimeter seals fail you could have water soak the wood and delaminate. The profile of my PH Sprinter top has deep ridges which would make flashing a vent watertight a challenge.

All that aside, my 91 VW Westy has pop open skylight vent in the pop top from the factory.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
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Re: Installing a Fantastic Fan in Indiana-built PH top?

The thing that has me confused is why the other SMB locations will do it (I believe I've seen others on the forum with them installed by the factory) but not Indiana. Are the PH roofs really THAT different between the three locations?

I had thought about putting it on the front part of the cab, but hope to put a drop-down TV there, so that's out (for the time being at least).

Regarding the other question about pulling air from the PH windows, often we have the heavy roll-down curtains dropped down to help our son sleep better, even if the screens are open. Unfortunately, the trade-off for a nice, dark van to sleep in is greatly reduced airflow. My hope is that a roof fan will create a nice circulation of air throughout the entire van. It would also be good for times when the PH is down but we are still inside using the van (not driving).

I had a factory-installed roof vent in my old 1988 VW Westy, too. That's what got me thinking on this whole thing!
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:23 PM   #6
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Re: Installing a Fantastic Fan in Indiana-built PH top?

Brian,
I don't believe any location will install a fantastic van in a penthouse roof. That has always been my understanding. There are some people that have done it, but it was not done by Sportsmobile. I am pretty sure LenS installed one in his van and has a write-up.

-greg
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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Re: Installing a Fantastic Fan in Indiana-built PH top?

Yeah, Greg, I think you may be right. I did some more deep searching and saw some other comments to the effect. But, I did see one post where SMB West installed a small circular roof vent in somebody's PH, so I may look into that.

Or, maybe I'll just end up putting it in the cab's metal roof and figuring out someplace else to mount my TV. I'm sure I'll use the vent more than the TV.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:14 PM   #8
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Re: Installing a Fantastic Fan in Indiana-built PH top?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW
Yeah, Greg, I think you may be right. I did some more deep searching and saw some other comments to the effect. But, I did see one post where SMB West installed a small circular roof vent in somebody's PH, so I may look into that.
I'm the one that had the 6 inch round fan put into my PH. The last time I was in Fresno I suggested it for a customer ordering an conversion and I was told it wasn't done anymore.

John K had it done for me. Normally a vent in a PH voids the lifetime warranty on the PH, so this was the solution he came up with that kept the warranty intact.

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Old 10-13-2012, 06:36 PM   #9
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Re: Installing a Fantastic Fan in Indiana-built PH top?

I would think the portable fan could work as good or better being it can be directed at you. They are kind of noisy on high though.
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