Wednesday, May 20, 2015

RV venting

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We just let a dealer talk us into a vent cover for our automatic roof fan. It sounded like a great idea at first. When we leave for the day we like to leave the roof vent open and the fan on for our cat. It has a rain sensor, which is good and bad. It shuts when the weather turns wet, but then the cat gets less ventilation and that's not good on a hot day.

We figured with the cover it could stay open rain or shine and give Fuzzbutt continuous ventilation. Now that we are five hundred miles down the road we find the vent doesn't open completely under the cover, airflow is significantly restricted and after a hard rain the sensor still actuates the fan.

My husband says, "Live and learn." I, on the other hand, want to call the dealer and give him an earful for misrepresenting the product to us. Am I just creating more stress for myself? Should I call it a bad investment and move on?
--Venting in Virginia City

Dear Venting:
You have learned a great new lesson. In the future, before you make a buying decision, do an online forum search. You will find dozens of people who have already made the purchase and posted their thoughts on the pros and cons of almost every product on the market.

Perhaps the salesman was thinking less ventilation 100% of the time would be better than great ventilation part of the time. Most fans with all the bells and whistles have a manual mode. You should be able to bypass the rain sensor. If not you could easily remove it.

If you decide you really can't live with the purchase, the dealer may offer you a return if you ask. If not, sell it on eBay, recoup some of your loss and move on.

Sometimes it helps to give a product some time. It may work out better than you originally think. The cover should allow the fan lid to open the majority of the way, so the restriction you detect would be in the cover louvers. If it has a screen you may want to remove it since the fan is already screened into your interior.

If you are upset and venting more than the fan cover, you could overheat and blow a gasket. It's not good for you, your husband or Fuzzbutt.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink


Barbara D said...

I LOVE my vent covers. They are one of the first add-ons I bought when I stated on the road four years ago. Just yesterday I had the vents open and the wind was horrendous! It was warm, but too windy to open the windows. I thought, "How nice that I can leave the vent open and not worry about them being carried away in the wind." The plastic door "holder-open" thingie broke and the door slammed in the wind. It was that bad. But I still had all my vents open and the vent covers were protected. I love mine - give them a chance. You might change your mind. :)

Seann said...

It says right in the install instructions for Fantastic Fans not to use a vent cover as it will reduce the effectiveness of the vent by 50%. Most RV sales people don't care if what they sell you is right for you they just want to make the sale..

Fred said...

Most Fantastic rain sensor fans have a manual setting that bypasses the rain sensor (pull the knob down) so it won't shut off and close in wet weather. I also planned to add a cover to my rain sensor vent and realized the cover was not high enough to allow the vent to fully open. I called Maxxair and they said it will not damage the original vent cover when it bumps up against the Maxxair cover and that the difference in air flow is minimal.

MrTommy said...

We had vent covers on our old trailer (for 17 years!). When we bought our new 2012 trailer, the FIRST thing I did was put vent covers on. As an added bonus, the new ones are three sided instead of unidirectional. True, the vent doesn't go all the way open, but as Barbara D mentioned, no amount of wind affects the vent. Rain or shine, vents are open and air circulates, especially since two out of our three vents have Fantastic Fans.

Jim Etenburn said...

I bought a vent cover specifically designed for my Fantastic Fan. Paid a few dollars more but I have none of the problems mentioned in this article. Money well spent. Do your research first and you will eliminate any hard feelings.

Bill said...

Just maybe they are mounted to far forward keeping the vent from opening, I found that on our Trailer. I do agree with Barbara D.
We love our vent covers

George said...

Yes, you should contact the dealer. Make sure it's the owner you speak with. If you don't confront these types they will continue misrepresenting products. But, don't overstress on the issue. Make your point and move on. The old adage is forgive and forget. Personally, I just move on and I never forget. I mean mouth, which should read, I make others aware of such dealers at every opportunity.

Unknown said...

I believe Fantastic Fan sells a vent cover that is oversized and will allow full opening. I chose the smaller version, which only slightly restricts the flow (engineering calculations show a 10% impact). The big one is twice the price, but maybe you could trade-in?

Busyretirees said...

I have an automatic roof fan with rain sensor. I installed a roof vent as I wanted air circulating when I was not in the trailer and did not want it closing if there was a sprinkle. Yes the cover on the roof fan does not open all the way but it opens about 90% and if it rains so hard that my rain sensors work, so much the better. To me, it is the best solutions.

Bob Wexler said...

Some vent fan manufacturers make their own line of vent covers designed to not only allow the vent cover to fully open, but add an additional fan. It pays to shop before you buy. Attending large RV Rallies provides some great educational opportunities.

Anonymous said...

I have installed vent covers on my Fastastic Fans designed for them. Just like "Jim Etenburn" stated. Couldn't live without it. Works great!

Doug Mason said...

This is why I bought a MaxAire fan! Cover keeps rain out while fan is running. Also has neat "ceiling fan" operation!