Has anyone tried this idea for a creative/inexpensive vent fan solution?


Neither of my two vents have fans - the bath has a wire already behind the vent garnish which should be no trouble to tap into, while the other in the overhead I could string across the ceiling with a wiremold channel and wire into a light.  There might be a wire behind the framing but haven't tried to see if I can detect one.  I think I could make it look fairly nice although still having to wrap my head around the switching.

Just wondered if anyone had did this and had any thoughts or recommendations?

Tags: electrical, fan, vent

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Can You run a wire from the light to the vent thru the ceiling with a steel coat hanger?

On my 85 model 5th,, there is a light rather close to the roof vents and a hot wire was run to the vent fans, fed thru the ceiling, and on my 92,, I have the same circumstances,, a light close to the vent, I used a coat hanger and push/pulled a hot lead wire to the vent fans. Hid the wire rather nicely. But if you dont have that option,, using a wire channel isnt a bad idea,, Your thinking outside the box and using imagination for the best possible solution, Thats the fun of upgrading and customizing,, I give you a thumbs up and a kudo's for your logical thinking. Plus your getting a lot of other good ideas being posted here... Let us know your route,,

I'm guessing the wire in the bathroom was for a vent fan that someone discarded, For the one in the living quarters if you have an AC outlet on the ceiling like my Palace has you could go to lowe's or other hardware store and pick up a couple bathroom vent fans ( they are cheap ) and adapt them for the vents. put pull chain switches on them. You could even make them portable so they can be stowed while on the road.

Very often you will find that the pre installed wiring will accommodate a fan. When most units were built they were done so without the manufacturer knowing in advance what options a potential purchaser may request. Hence, the standard wiring harness would be there to facilitate the addition of a vent with fan.

If you remove the interior trim from the vent you may find the required wiring in place.

Should you work behind floor level cabinets, or under the inside of ceiling cabinet bottoms, you will likely come across wire harness connectors that are 'blank'. The reason is that if you purchased the unit new and said, yes, I do want that optional light, etc., the manufacturer does not have to run extra wiring.

I assume I could run the wire but was trying to figure out the least curse-worthy method that I would still be okay with the results aesthetically.  You can see by the picture I'd have to start drilling some holes...that is a thick solid wooden frame all the way around (which I was pretty ecstatic to find on both vents no soft wood or anything to worry me - oh yeah, there's some up there - under a solar panel I assume that when they ripped out didn't bother to recaulk the screws so I am assuming PO - he probably also stripped out the gennie - that's why he sold if for what he bought it for - he was going to buy another rv, don't blame him - except for not recaulking and I expect using that silicone when he did - lol).  

I can visualize the idea of running wire, just haven't actually done that yet (would be good practice right?!).  

I'm thinking we have some sort of electrical tester down in the basement that will let me know if there's a live wire behind any of the sides...

If I hadn't already lap sealed the vent I might have considered taking it up - no, no I wouldn't have.  The butyl was still good - I didn't want to mess with the possibility of creating a leak where I didn't have one.  This week I'm ordering the new seal kit and garnish (cracked edges).  I am wondering - do you think it's possible a ventline flat plastic turn handle might be a universal replacement for this ventline crank?  If I could get that to work I wouldn't have to unscrew the vent crank each time I wanted to put the fan up/crank the lid up or down. I'm going to try to get that fan up there as much as I can.  The little black knobs are $5 on Amazon - I may just throw one in my cart and see.  There's always gorilla glue, right?  LOL!

So here's the front vent...

Now I like that pull chain idea.  I'll keep looking for fans before I pull the trigger on the Road Pro.  

I do need 12v though, right?  02 Cool seems to only have 6D battery (not 12 volt...I'd need some sort of step down right?) with AC adapters available now.

Lousy pic, but here's the one of the bathroom wire - hasn't been cut (that's a bend where it folds back over on itself) and is coming from the kitchen side not light side so I guess it's a fifty fifty chance the two lights in the overhead bunk have a wire running between them or not - they may each just be wired up the sides.

Anyway assume like Terry said this one here was originally to be used for a vent fan.

I have four O2Cool fans from several years ago.  They may have changed, but all of mine took 8 D cell batteries which adds up to 12 volts.  I'm in Nicaragua and right now one is operating as a vent fan in the bathroom and another is circulating air over me.  I got these fans when I was in Virginia in 2009,so they last pretty good.

You know - all the ones they make now (at least that I looked at on Amazon) have 6 of the D cells - and that's closer to 9v I understand?  That said I think the roadpro is actually manufactured by 02 (I could be wrong but i found that on a forum on the internet - has to be correct, right?!)

Very glad to hear you are using one as a vent fan :-)  

Nicaragua - country with a difficult past but heard it's quite a nice place to expatriate to now?  

they make solar powered roof vents.i wonder if one of those could be adapted.

Interesting thought...

In the meantime I just ordered a 12v roadpro to try out here in the bathroom.  Figured it's a $30 mistake if it doesn't work.  Like my $30 fiberglass kit to try to repair the a/c shroud....we all gotta learn right?  I learned sometimes I gotta pony up and just replace something!

My unhappy news was that Ventline no longer makes the garnish for my vent - the front one is cracked and chipped. Going to have to live with it (the bathroom one is a different size).  Either that or replace the whole vent unit and I'd rather spend my budget and time in other places :-)  

I spend a lot of time researching solar (which doesn't mean I have a wealth of knowledge, more that it's indicative that it takes me awhile to wrap my head around this stuff) and am really looking forward to that phase of my reno!

They DO have solar vent fans. Downside.. not the best quality as a one piece unit. The draw back I have noticed when I tried one is,,,, The life expectancy is about 3 to 6 months. The solar cell is basically to small and underpowered and recharge rate is about 50-60% and the 3 rechargable batteries die and corrode quickly. With the solar cell facing, it gets Dusty etc, and recharge voltage is effected. I personally haven't tried the D cell battery type, so I wouldn't know how long you could run them before having to change the batteries out. I prefer the direct wire to 12 v, running off the cabin battery,(charged by the inverter\ converter). Now I have found, after shopping around Flea bay (E-Bay), some of the standard 16 inch roof vent W/fan. And including thermostat control, were comparably priced the same as single speed fans. When I say  a 16 inch vent I know the openings are 15x15. 

Also in a comment up above, it is true several RV manufacturers did have a pig tail wire for the option of a fan in the vent, usually tagged with light fixture outlet. If not.. they do leave slack in the wiring with screw nuts to tap into.

Well that doesn't sound good about the solar options!  I can see one day replacing the units fully, but right now the expenses are mounting up so going to fix and use what I have.  My parameters in choosing the Road Pro ultimately was because of the cigarette lighter connection already wired - I don't have cab a/c so having a fan to prop up in the cab while driving might be a blessing.  So I'm figuring out how to do it so that I don't have anything permanently sticking out.

My thinking now that I have the fan (I have to clean and paint the trim and regasket before I put them in is to put eight small eye hooks into the inside of the vent (carefully as that plastic is brittle), two on each side about two inches from the corners.  There's room because the road pro isn't as big as the vent opening.  Then I can run four 10 inch bungies across that will fit to the side of the circular opening, but prop up the fan and make it easy to slide out and turn over (manual reverse) as needed.  I may add some sort of wire clips so I can leave them in when on the road.  

Then also run some wire clips down the side (there will be extra when i flip) - i'll either mount a female 12 v connector or the bathroom I may hardware.  One for sure I'll use the connector so I can remove and use in the cab.

No, it won't be the prettiest thing (but hey, I'll use matching bungies, okay?!)  but really I don't think once I have everything else in the interior modified it's going to look too bad.

Biggest issue is the crank - it's fine on one side because the fan is inset - it's when it's reversed it may be an issue.  I may also make some sort of wider garnish (as Richard got me thinking) with a foam insert so that there aren't gaps when I use it, make the airflow more effective.

So, I will post a blog with pics when finished!  I haven't finished my sealing yet (waiting on the a/c shroud and dicor to come in and a few more dry days) but as soon as that's done I'll get up a blog on that process and all the things I learned (like to do the sealing front to back so you don't keep sticking your hand down in the vent you just sealed!). 

I was able to make the trim around the bath vent out of plastic rain gutter from Lowe's.  As I recall, the biggest problem was the lift mechanism.  I had to replace the crank with a push rod set-up.

Good Luck




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