Introduction: How to Install a Roof Fan on a Camper Van Conversion

A roof fan has many roles in a camper van conversion. It keeps the air fresh, helps to increase airflow, to evacuate cooking odors and to control moisture. We use it when we’re parked or when we’re driving, day or night, during summer or during winter… it might not seems important at first, but without the fan, the van would quickly become undesirable to live in.

We listed all the steps in this Instructable, but head over here for all the material list (with links), tools and more:

http://faroutride.com/fan-installation/

We hope this helps, don't hesitate to ask questions if you feel like it!

Cheers!

Step 1: Here Is All You Need

MATERIAL:

  • Fan (Maxxair or Fantastic are common)
  • Hein’s Ford Transit RV roof vent adapter (as required)
  • Dicor self-leveling lap sealant (choose a color that matches your van!)
  • GE Silicone II sealant
  • Butyl Tape
  • 16x Bolts 3/16 diameter 2in length, 32x Washers, 16x nuts
  • Primer, Paint & Clearcoat
  • Painter tape
  • Duct tape
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Acetone

TOOLS:

  • Jigsaw & metal blades (have some spare blades, we broke one in the process)
  • Files
  • Sandpaper
  • Caulking gun
  • Vacuum (metal chips will be all over the place. Get rid of them as soon as possible to avoid scratches)
  • Screwdriver
  • Safety Glasses and hat
  • 4 x C-clamps

Step 2: Install Painter’s Tape and Mark the Fan Cutout

Step 3: Drill 4 Holes at Each Corner (large Enough to Let the Jigsaw Blade Through), Cut Each Side, Then Apply Duct Tape to Retain the Panel From Falling at the Last Cut

Step 4: Break the Sharp Edges With a File and Smooth the Edges With a Fine Sandpaper

Step 5: Install Hein’s Adapter (if You Are Using It), Install the Fan Flange and Drill All Holes

We used 4 c-clamps to ensure nothing moves during the process.

Break the holes sharp edges and smooth with a sanding paper.

Clean the surfaces to be touched-up with isopropyl alcohol

Step 6: Apply Primer, Paint & Clearcoat on Fan Cutout and Drilled Holes

This is an important step to avoid corrosion in the future.

TIP: You can have your exact van color prepared for you in almost any auto-parts store. Just give them your color-code (printed on the driver’s door frame), year of production and make.

Step 7: Clean the Fan Flange With Acetone As Per Manufacturer Recommendation

Clean the van sheet metal with isopropyl alcohol as well

Step 8: Apply Putty Tape on the Fan Flange (on the Surface That Will Be Mating With the Fan Adapter)

Step 9: Apply GE Sillicone II on Hein’s Fan Adapters Surfaces That Will Be Mating With the Van

This is to prevent moisture retention and corrosion.

Step 10: Assemble Hein’s Adapter (if You Have It) and Fan Flange All Together With the Fastening Hardware

We used washers both on the interior and on the exterior surfaces.

We did not oversize the holes on the interior fan adapter. With the butyl tape and sealant, it was difficult to re-assemble…

Step 11: Apply Dicor Self-leveling Sealant Around the Periphery of the Flange

We ensured to cover the van panel, the fan adapter and the fan flange. We also covered all the screws.

Step 12: Install the Maxxair Unit Through the Fan Flange and Fasten Using the 4 Provided Screws

Step 13: Look at Our Fan

Just look at it.

For more info (links to material, tools, etc) head over here: http://faroutride.com/fan-installation/ or check the rest of our build http://faroutride.com/ford-transit-camper-van/buil...

Comments

author
JackR26 made it! (author)2017-06-29

Bookmarking your site for my own project. Just bought a '98 Ford E350 Club Wagon XLT to dip our toes in this vanlife thing. Still want to camp, but the wife and baby aren't as enthusiastic about the outdoors as I am.

author
atoine made it! (author)atoine2017-06-29

Sweet, congratulation on the new van!

I guess you should take it easy first: choose camping spots with good amenities & comfort, then slowly work your way to something more wild. It's a slow process, but there is no rush! :)

Enjoy!

author
DIY Hacks and How Tos made it! (author)2017-04-10

Interesting. I have been thinking about converting an old van into a camper.

author
atoine made it! (author)atoine2017-04-10

Yeah, this "vanlife" thing is getting trendy! We've been camping for at least 10-15 years, i guess the van is just the "normal" evolution to comfort & freedom as we get older and are financially more inclined.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hello! We're Isabelle and Antoine, a couple dreaming of being on the move and ride more. We bought a Ford Transit van, converted it ... More »
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