Proper ventilation is an important part of RV living that’s often overlooked. Good RV ventilation not only contributes to the overall comfort, health, and well-being of RV occupants but also has an impact on the long-term health of the rig itself.
In today’s post, we’ll tell you how both you and your rig can benefit from consistent and adequate ventilation in your RV.
- 1) Why Is RV Ventilation So Important?
- 2) How to Get Good RV Ventilation
- 3) Free RVing Tips, Tricks, Reviews & Giveaways
Why Is RV Ventilation So Important?
Maintaining proper ventilation in your RV is beneficial in many ways. More importantly, not properly ventilating your RV can cause significant health and safety issues for the rig’s occupants and for the RV itself. Let’s look at why keeping an RV ventilated properly is so important.
RV Interior Air Quality
You can’t maintain optimal air quality without good RV ventilation. In the confined well-sealed space of an RV, cooking, sleeping, showering, and other daily activities can contribute to a buildup of moisture, odors, and airborne particles. Lack of proper ventilation can contribute to mold and mildew growth, which can compromise the health of the occupants and be damaging to the RV itself.
Proper ventilation helps circulate fresh air, reducing the risk of respiratory issues and the development of mold. This creates a healthier living environment inside the RV and helps preserve the integrity of the rig itself.
RVs can heat up quickly, especially in warm, sunny climates. Ventilation plays a key role in regulating the interior temperature by allowing hot air to escape and cool air to enter. This not only enhances the comfort of the occupants but also reduces the reliance on air conditioning. That’s especially helpful when boondocking, or camping in any location without electrical hookups.
We’ve said this many times on this blog, (and mentioned it again in the section on air quality above), but moisture is an enemy to small, enclosed spaces like RVs. Proper ventilation is essential to winning the battle with moisture.
Moisture is a common challenge in RVs, particularly in cold or humid climates where condensation can quickly lead to issues with mold and mildew. Ventilation is key to managing moisture by allowing damp air to escape and preventing the buildup of condensation on windows, walls, and ceilings.
Moisture management through proper ventilation is essential for maintaining the long-term structural integrity of the RV and ensuring a dry and comfortable interior.
RV ventilation is especially important in the close quarters of an RV where odors from cooking, pets, trash, laundry, and other sources can quickly overtake the space. Proper ventilation helps to remove stale air and replace it with fresh air so that odors don’t linger. This is especially important for those who spend extended periods in their RV, own pets, or frequently cook inside their rig.
Health and Well-being
Adequate ventilation is crucial for the overall health and well-being of RV occupants. Poor indoor air quality can lead to respiratory issues, make allergies worse, and cause fatigue and other issues. It’s essential to allow fresh air to circulate, promoting good ventilation. All of this contributes to a healthier living environment, making the RV a more pleasant space in which to live.
Proper ventilation can be a significant safety consideration in RVs. Good airflow helps disperse gases like carbon monoxide that may be produced by appliances like propane stoves or heaters. Adequate airflow is imperative for preventing the buildup of harmful substances and ensuring the safety of everyone inside the RV.
PRO TIP: Here’s a reminder to check your RV propane detector today. While you’re at it, you may want to also check out our posts on what to do if your carbon monoxide detector is beeping as well as RV fire safety.
How to Get Good RV Ventilation
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get good ventilation in an RV is to use your RV roof vent fan. RV roof ventilation is a key way to address the potential issues we noted in the section above.
From improved air quality to temperature and odor control to moisture control, your RV roof vent fan is the star of the show.
Note that roof vent fans in most RVs are a standard size of 14” x 14″. However, if you’re in the market for a new vent fan for your rig, be sure to take a quick measurement to be sure, because some vent fans are 11” x 11”.
PRO TIP: When running your roof vent fan, crack open a window at the far end of the RV to draw fresh air through the length of the rig.
There are a few things to keep in mind where your RV roof ventilation fan is concerned.
Many RVs come standard with one or more roof vents, with or without fans. Our Newmar Mountain Aire came with two Fantastic Fans (kitchen and bathroom) and they performed really well over our 18 years of living in that motorhome full-time. Amazingly, we never replaced a single component on either fan in all that time, and they still work perfectly.
These fans have a very low amp draw, are rain sensor-equipped, have a built-in thermostat, and can be controlled by the included remote. The remote controls both the 13 speeds as well as the temperature and can also open and close the lid.
- 14 fixed manual speeds or automatic variable speeds for customizable ventilation; Reversible airflow switch for efficient temperature control
- Built-in rain sensor with automatic open and close function for protection against the elements; manual knob closes the fan in case of emergency
There are other brands on the market to consider, so we wrote about three of the best RV roof vent fans available.
Install a Vent Fan Cover
We did install covers over our rig’s Fantastic Fans because our 2005 Newmar’s fans didn’t come with covers and we wanted to be able to use them in all kinds of weather.
If your RV roof ventilation fan doesn’t have a cover, we suggest that you consider doing the same because this will allow you to ventilate your RV even if it’s raining or snowing. You can even drive down the highway with your vent fan wide open and running and not worry about damage.
There are a couple of types of RV roof vent covers on the market, but our favorite is the Camco Aero-Flo because it allows for plenty of venting for high airflow, and offers easy swing-open access for cleaning. (See our post on how to clean an RV vent fan.)
- Offers 30 percent more open vent area than other brands
- Mounting hardware included; Mounts to existing 14” x 14” roof vents
These are available in black or white and are made of UV-resistant resin so they stand up nicely to sun and weather exposure. And again, the entire lid lifts on hinges for easy access to the inside to clean road debris, leaves, etc. from inside the vents should it accumulate (and it will!) over time.
For more information on this DIY project, see our post on how to install an RV roof vent cover.
Maxxair MaxxFan Deluxe 7500K
We didn’t have a Maxxair MaxxFan on either of our motorhomes, but we know lots of people who do. If we’d found ourselves needing to replace the Fantastic Fans that came with both of our rigs, this unit would have been at the top of our list.
We say this not because it’s necessarily better than Fantastic Fans overall, but because it has a few additional features we like. That includes a built-in cover that has a low profile but still offers excellent airflow and weather protection.
- Powerful 10-speed intake and exhaust fan
- Thermostat to control room temperature
The MaxxFan has an electric lid opening with a remote control and fits all standard 14” x 14” roof openings. The lid can be brought flush with the roof for improved aerodynamics. This fan uses less than 1 amp running at low speed, and just under 5 amps running at the highest speed.
Maxxair Vent Corp 00-06401K Maxxfan DLX
Maxxair makes similar fans with fewer features that are less expensive and have excellent reviews. For example, this Maxxair fan has only 4 speeds, a manual lid opening, and is exhaust-only.
- 4-Speed Fan Motor with 12" Fan Blade moves over 900 CFM of Air, Exhaust Air Only
- Built-In Rain Shield
If you’re having moisture problems in your rig or if you don’t happen to have a roof vent fan, you’ll want to open windows for airflow. You may also want to look into a product like DampRid, which helps absorb moisture from cooking, showering, breathing, etc.
- ATTRACTS AND TRAPS EXCESS MOISTURE: DampRid Disposable Moisture Absorber with Activated Charcoal attracts and traps excess moisture, creating fresher,...
- ELIMINATES THE TOUGHEST ODORS: Activated charcoal doesn't just cover up musty odors, it absorbs and removes odors from the toughest sources.
The bottom line is that RV ventilation is important for the health and well-being of RV occupants and helps maintain the structural integrity of an RV over time.
High-quality RV vent fans help remove moisture from the RV and increase airflow. If your RV roof vent fan isn’t working, be sure to put that on the top of your repair list. And feel free to use our easy-to-follow guide on RV roof vent fan replacement.
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