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View Full Version : Vortex Vent Fan Upgrade


Radio
05-21-2015, 06:17 PM
I ordered one of these last night and when it gets here I'll finish this review.

http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm?skunum=49448&wListID=58759&src=WL&rewrote

This is designed to replace/upgrade those horrible little fans that sometimes come in RV ceiling vents. Removal of the exterior dome/lid is not required to install the Vortex fan upgrade. You just remove the interior garnish and the old fan and replace with this one. If there is no fan in your vent, the 12 vdc wiring is almost always provided by the RV factory. You just need to figure out how to attach the wiring to the fan.

Visit the junk box, I suppose.

I went with this option to improve circulation and heat control, choosing this product over the more expensive Fan-tastic style fan options for two main reasons:

1. I don't have to get on the roof and rip out the old vent. Or my paid for Maxx-Air covers.
2. The Vortex fan only cost $51 on sale at Camping World.

Assuming the 12 vdc fan option wires are in fact where they should be the install should take less than an hour. We'll see when it gets here.

ke0me
05-21-2015, 07:38 PM
I installed that exact unit about a month ago.

Not quite as powerful as a full fantastic fan, but it did a credible job in my unit. Standing in the bath with the doors closed, you can feel the air moving under the doors, so it definitely is pulling air.

If things would work out (give me more money) I would add another unit in the bedroom overhead vent, except that would require new 12 wiring.

The single speed fan is good for the bath, but in the bedroom I would probably get the 3-speed unit to reduce the fan noise on low speed.

Radio
05-21-2015, 08:10 PM
I installed that exact unit about a month ago.



That's encouraging!

If things would work out (give me more money) I would add another unit in the bedroom overhead vent, except that would require new 12 wiring.

This one is going in the living room. Already have a fan-tastic in the bath area. Rumor has it the factories put the 12 vdc wiring in place for powered vents and all you have to do is find it.

Gee I hope that rumor is true! Otherwise the install might take longer than an hour!

The point of this upgrade is to have rain proof ventilation at a reasonable price. My maxx-aire covers are paid for. And this seems like an easy project.

Any issues with your install? Any real issues with noise?

ke0me
05-21-2015, 08:46 PM
The install was relatively easy.

I found that using duct tape to get the flaps of the rubber roof to stay out of the way is a great help. There were a couple of times where a third hand would have been useful, while trying to hold the fan up, and twist the wire nut onto the wires. I did the bath fan so it had the 12 volt wires already there.

The fan is not as quiet as a fantastic fan, but it is much less annoying than the little bath fan was making.

Certainly would be quieter than the AC fan I'm listening to right now.

We are stopped for 5 weeks in rural SC while my wife gets antibiotics via IV for a nasty hip infection. So I hope the AC continues to work well.

Radio
05-22-2015, 07:08 PM
There were a couple of times where a third hand would have been useful, while trying to hold the fan up, and twist the wire nut onto the wires. I did the bath fan so it had the 12 volt wires already there.

I'll have Sweet Wife lend a hand. And as for the rumor that RV's come with vents pre-wired for fans... hogwash! Did a little pre-exploratory this evening and found no such wiring in my 5th wheel. Now the roof on mine is a Styrofoam sandwich affair so YMMV. Other roofs may be wired. So I tunneled about 24 inches to the nearest light fixture through the Styrofoam. The only thing that bugs me is this fixture is the one that you can control from a wall switch by the door. I'd prefer an unswitched circuit, but who knows there may be advantages to that.

If anyone asks, the white wire is positive and the blue negative.


We are stopped for 5 weeks in rural SC while my wife gets antibiotics via IV for a nasty hip infection. So I hope the AC continues to work well.

Rural South Carolina can be very nice. Hopefully your wife will recover quickly. What town are you near?

wa8yxm
05-23-2015, 09:59 AM
Look interesting and reasonable price.. I may do that in 3 weeks.

ke0me
05-26-2015, 04:40 PM
We are in Walterboro, SC, which is about 50 miles west of Charleston on I-95.
Nice little town, has a Walmart and a McDonalds, so we are fine.

I did get a triple whammy this week:

1 - RV Park manager didn't like my Alpha antenna, thought they were trip wires, so its packed away.
2 - I dumped a cup of coffee on my laptop while using it at Hardee's, it is sort of working but I lost 1 USB port and the touch pad functions. No guarantees how much longer it will last.
3 - Doctors changed my wifes IV sessions to 2 per day to better get the antibiotics in her. That's a three hour session (drive to hospital, setup, IV, return) each time. 9 AM and 9 PM.

The good news is that this is a nice campground, quiet, flat and reasonable price ( we changed to a month long stay).

wa8yxm
05-27-2015, 11:33 AM
Re Loss of touch pad functions..... If that happened on my laptops I'd never notice.

First thing I do to a new laptop is TURN THOSE STUPID THINGS OFF, they are way more tribble than they are worth. I use a USB mouse.

loss of USB however could be painful less you have an alternate port and a hub.

One thing they used to make is a rubber membrane that went over the top of many laptops.. Easy to type through.. Was 100% coffee proof, also cola proof, Milk proof, Water proof and all sorts of liquid proof. I have no idea if they still make 'em.

They do make waterproof external keyboards though..I have one (which I do not use, no free ports)

ke0me
05-27-2015, 05:10 PM
The good news is that it still booted up, and slowly the internal heat may drying up the coffee. touchpad mouse is working, I haven't checked usb port yet, this Dell has 4, so I rarely need more than 3.

Also, doctor B overruled doctor A, we are only on 1 IV treatment per day.

So, all is good.

Radio
05-28-2015, 07:52 PM
OK, the Vortex fan arrived today!

:jitter:

And I can echo what all the others have said about ease of install, noise and all that. If you are replacing one of those dinky powered vent deals then it's really easy but if there is no pre-existing power there, then it can be a pain.

I had more trouble with the trailer than the fan. There was no power at the vent and I had to go find some. The vent crank handle has to be removed and the screw head in there stripped out and did not want to cooperate. And then to top it off, the UV light/heat/age has broken a hole in the vent lid in spite of the Maxx-Aire cover. So that gets replaced next week.

But the fan is great!

Once the power was run to the vent, the fan went right in and installed in about 25 minutes. Need screwdrivers (including weird RV-only bits) wire strippers/cutters, wire nuts, tie wraps and electrical tape.

You must retain the original trim around the vent for re-use.

As others have said, the instructions are clear but poorly printed.

All most everyone says you need a helper to hold the fan while you wire it up and then install it. Nope. You don't. What you do is remove the fan blade assembly from the motor. An Allen wrench is supplied for the purpose. Install the Vortex in the vent with the wiring hanging through the fan opening. Then, working thought the opening, connect the wires and tidy up things with the tie wraps. See picture. Reinstall the fan. The instructions even give a slight hint this is the best way to do it.

Pros: Cheap, easy, moves a lot of air.

Cons: A bit noisy, no frills. I don't mind the noise too much as the fan is in the living room and we'll likely use it most when away from the trailer or cooking. That should help with the smoke detectors! Also you can't get the screen assembly off the unit (for cleaning) without removing the vent opening knob. And lastly, I can't plug the vent with my vent cushion anymore.

Very much worth the $50 and the short time required for install.

Radio
05-28-2015, 08:49 PM
Oh yeah... here's what it looks like when you are done. The catalog makes them look grey. They are white. At least mine is, anyway.

Radio
06-12-2015, 07:36 PM
Remember I was whining about there's not going to be any wiring available at your vent if you have a Styrofoam filled roof?

Well, maybe, or maybe not.

In this case, there are so many wires to choose from all of them are rendered pointless. Fortunately the job here was to change the vent cover lid, not to install a fan.

NN5I
06-12-2015, 08:47 PM
They're for exercise. You hook your heel on the loop, see, and swing back and forth ...

electricflyer
06-14-2015, 10:18 PM
Found the Vortex vent fan on Amazon for $39.99 + $6.49 shipping for the single speed fan, CW wants $51.31, I assume plus shipping. For the 3 speed forward and 2 speed reverse model Amazon has that for $71.96 with free shipping. Sorry CW.