Super Cleaning an RV Vent Fan

TheRVgeeks Annual Maintenance, Electrical, Maintenance, Miscellaneous 7 Comments

We demonstrate how to remove, clean and reinstall a Fantastic vent fan in your RV. The fans are used so often and move so much air, that they get really dirty. Once a year or so, we like to remove and super-clean ours. We’ll show you how to make your Fantastic fans look like new.

Having an exhaust fan in your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel is terrific for saving on air conditioning use in the summer, and for removing moisture from the camper in colder weather. Removing and replacing the fans to give them a really good cleaning requires no special tools or knowledge, and can easily be completed in a half hour or less.

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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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Comments 7

  1. Am searching for a way to remotely control my exhaust fans on my 2011 Monaco Diplomat. At times when the coach is parked/stored outside and the temperatures get into the 90’s and beyond her in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, I would like to be able to remotely turn on the exhaust fans. Either that or have some type of control to turn them on when the temperature gets to a set degree. Have you heard of such a fan system control or have any thoughts on how I could achieve this….. Thank you

    1. Post

      Hi Dave. Interesting question. We don’t know of any single (or even simple) system that would allow you to remotely control the built-in vent fans. There’s probably a way to cobble something together with “smart home” components… but we’re not sure what those would be. But your second idea about having temperature-controlled fans could work. If you already have a Fantastic Vent fan, you could upgrade its “guts” to provide a temperature-controlled remote (here’s the kit for that on Amazon: Otherwise, you’d have to replace the whole fan with one that offers temperature settings. There are several options like this one from Fantastic Vent or this one from Maxxair. Both of these have a stand-alone remote control unit that you could leave out on the counter, set to the target temperature you’d like the fan to maintain. When it reaches that temp, the fan would come on to start removing air (speeding up as the temp rises) and shut off when the temp drops below the set point.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Pingback: 9 Hidden Spots in Your RV You Need to Remember to Clean [PDF Checklist] – The Crazy Outdoor Mama

  3. You are definitely the go to guys. I cannot count the times we’ve looked to your videos before buying something.
    Does the Camco Aero-flo Roof Vent Cover allow the vent to open fully? Found it on Amazon and it appears to have a lower profile than other vent covers. You may be able to travel with the vent and the front driver side window open for really good air flow.
    Also do you have an opinion on the windshield vent cover from Camco vs the covers I’ve seen called “pillows”? Are either really desirable if you plan to stay in mild temperatures?

    1. Post

      Thanks, Elizabeth… we’re happy to hear!

      No, the Camco Aero-Flo roof vent cover doesn’t allow the Fantastic fan to open all the way… but it allows it to open MOST of the way, and has worked fine for us for 12+ years. We love how easy the Aero-Flo is to open for cleaning, and the fact that it’s lower and sleeker makes it less obtrusive on the roof. We generally don’t need to turn our fans on very high (the benefit of snowbirding and trying to stay with 70-degree weather, LOL), so the reduced opening doesn’t seem to impede airflow at all. If you tend to RV where it’s very warm, and where you’re planning to run your fans on very high settings, it’s possible the Aero-Flo covers will reduce your total volume of air moved.

      When you say a “windshield vent cover” vs “pillows” we assume you’re talking about the kinds of covers for the roof vents (a shade-style cover that slides across the vent opening -vs- the “pillow” type you stuff into the vent opening). If so… we’ve never used them since we spend the majority of our time in mild weather and don’t need to block out excess heat or cold, so we don’t have any advice in this arena. Let us know if we’re misunderstanding.

  4. We have 2 Fantastic Fans and love them. However, we use them with only the stock covers that came with the fans. How necessary is it or how beneficial is it to purchase and install vent covers on them.?

    Incidentally, I have cleaned the fans both from the inside and was able to remove the blade, motor assembly, etc and clean them fairly easily from the inside using a small ladder. Is there any particlar reason you feel it is necessary to do it from the roof?
    Thanks….btw I really like your videos! Thanks…I have purchased a couple of the products you have mentioned as well.

    1. Hi Jim! The benefit of having fan covers is being able to use them even when it’s pouring rain. When it’s raining and warm out at the same time, it not only allows us to keep cooler without using air conditioning, but keeps moisture down inside as well.

      Not sure if your fans are identical to ours, but we don’t see on ours how it would be possible to remove the screws that hold the fan in place from inside the RV. They’re only accessible from the roof. If you have the same fans and have figured out how to do that, please share! ;-)

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