If you’re considering a roof vent fan for your camper van conversion or remodel, then look no further. In this post, we’ll help you find the best camper van roof vent fan and understand what to look for when shopping for one and how to install it in your van.
While there are many campervan essentials that you should consider adding to your van build or upgrade, one that is often overlooked is arguably one of the most important – particularly if you enjoy traveling to warmer climates.
A campervan roof vent fan will not only help with air circulation, but also it will assist you in maintaining interior temperature control and keep stale air from accumulating inside the van.
Although we have rarely run our air conditioning units, there are very few days that go by when we don’t use our roof vent fans. When it is warm, we like to pull fresh air inside the camper van to circulate air throughout the living space. And even when it is cool, we may still turn our roof vent fan on to keep stale air from building up.
In fact, we can’t see many scenarios when you are living in a van where a van owner would opt to skip adding a roof vent fan to their campervan setup.
Sure, it may cause you to reconsider the placement of your solar panels on your roof. And you’ll definitely want to ensure that you install it properly and add a rain shield to keep the rain outside the van.
But in all of the camper vans that we have seen on the road in all of the years that we have been traveling, we can say that vans without roof vent fans are very few and far between. The only question was which RV roof vent fan was the best and how many did each van owner have to keep air moving inside the van.
Of course, there is no wrong or right answer. But we definitely have our favorite, a model that we have installed on every campervan and RV that we’ve owned. And we’d like to tell you a little more about this one and why it has done everything we have wanted it to do and moreover the years.
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Editor’s Choice: Fan-Tastic Vent 3350
The Fan- Tastic Vent 3350 is our top recommendation for the best roof vent fan because of its multiple fan speeds, ability to both push stale air out and suck fresh air in and its use for ventilating the living space while we cook inside on our stovetop.
It is easy to install, fitting into the standard roof vent fan space with only two wires to connect, and it is easy to clean and maintain. The rain sensor is a huge bonus to know that the dome will close when it detects rain.
Other roof vent fans come with all the bells and whistles. But this one comes with just enough and at the right price point to add another dimension of quality to van life.
Best Product // Our Top Picks at a Glance
|Product||Number of Speeds||Thermostat||Airflow Direction||Rain shield Cover||Controls||Price Range|
|Fan-Tastic Vent 3350||3||Yes||Both||Yes||Manual||Under $350|
|Maxx Air 00-07500K MaxxFan Deluxe with Remote||10||Yes||Both||Yes||Remote control & Manual||Under $350|
|Fiama Turbo Vent||5||No||Both||Yes||Manual||Under $250|
|Hike Crew 14” RV Roof Vent Fan||3||No||Both||Yes||Manual||Under $150|
|Heng’s Vortex 1||1||No||Out||No||Manual||Under $100|
The Best Campervan Roof Vent
Proper ventilation is the first and foremost criteria for any roof vent fan. So every fan on our list will provide you with enough airflow to make your van life more comfortable.
But as we look at the different features of each fan on this list, we find that some offer more, and others less, of the added fancy features that you may or may not want in an RV roof vent.
As we compare each of our top 5 roof vent fans, we’ll look at the following criteria and allow you to decide which are most important: the number of speeds, the direction of airflow, built-in thermostat, remote control, included rain shield cover and, of course, the price.
WHAT WE LIKE
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Fan-Tastic Vent 3350
Maxx Air 00-07500K MaxxFan Deluxe with Remote
Fiama Turbo Vent
Hike Crew 14” RV Roof Vent Fan
BEST BUDGET RUNNER UP
Heng’s Vortex 1
Best Overall: Fan-Tastic Vent 3350
Fan Tastic 3350 is the best campervan roof vent fan. The reversible fan is a quality product of the well-known and highly trusted Dometic brand.
The Fan Tastic vent fan is an ideal choice for any size campervans. The easy-to-use fan has fixed, manual, and automatic variable speeds to set the room temperature accurately. A handy switch will quickly change the fan direction.
We really appreciate the fact that this fan only uses 3 amps on its highest setting.
As we often sleep with the fan on a low setting overnight it is good to know that its relatively low energy use won’t leave our batteries drained even on the highest setting.
And our favorite thing about the Fan Tastic 3350 is the built-in rain sensor to automatically close the cover when it’s raining and open when the sensor is dry.
It’s a small step if you happen to be in your van when the rain starts. But if you’re away from the van when the rain comes down it’s nice to know you won’t come home to a wet home.
Moreover, there is also a manual switch to open and close the dome, an added convenience. And with a built-in thermostat, the Fan Tastic 3350 automatically changes the fan speed to adjust air flow to maintain the desired temperature.
There really are only two downsides to this incredible Fan Tastic roof vent fan, and both are not deal-breakers. First, it can get a little loud at times. This is great as white noise while sleeping. But you’ll notice how loud it is when you finally turn it off.
Second, it doesn’t come with a built-in rain guard cover so you’ll have to spend a few extra dollars and a little extra time installing one of those. Otherwise, it truly is a fantastic fan!
- Modern design and high-profile base.
- Reversible setting for pulling air in or out
- 3-speed fan control and automatic variable speed.
- Rain sensor automatically opens/closes vent
- Temperature control thermostat
- Noisy operation
- Rain cover not included
Best Premium: Maxx Air 00-07500K MaxxFan Deluxe with Remote
The Maxx Air 7500K is one of the most commonly purchased RV roof vent fans for van life and will leave you wanting for nothing.
Chances are when you look at other vans on the road you’ll either see a white cover that is usually the Fan Tastic vent fan or you’ll see the sleek, black cover of the Maxx Air.
The fan is pretty straightforward to install and control as it comes with a fan, vent, rain cover and remote control.
You receive all the accessories and mounting hardware in the box. And the roof fan has buttons/keys to conveniently control the speed, mode, cover and power.
What we really like about the Maxx Air 7500K is that it comes with a wireless IR remote control, making it even easier to control. And it has a programmable thermostat that helps keep the temperature in your van where you would like it to be.
We’re also big fans of the 10-speed control options that give far more range than its counterparts. Moreover, it works in ceiling fan mode when the vent cover is down, which is an enormous advantage because it can get quite stuffy if you’re trapped in your van with no ventilation or air flow during heavy rain.
We think you’ll also appreciate the unique, low-profile rain cover design that keeps the van dry in heavy rainfall and has an internal insect screen over the fan to keep the mosquitos away.
MaxxAir 7500K comes with a 2-year limited warranty and lifetime warranty on the lid.
On the downside, the remote control has been known to stop working after a few months. It also pulls around 5 amps on its highest setting, which is a rather large power draw, particularly if you leave it on overnight.
And you may have issues in using it with battery voltage over 13.2 V, such as when charging the battery bank.
- Ten blades fan with ten fan speeds
- Programmable thermostat, rain cover and remote control
- Straightforward controls and installation
- Remote is known to stop working
- 5 amp power draw on high setting
- Issues working over 13.2V
Best Value: Fiama Turbo Vent
Fiamma turbo vent is another excellent and simple vent fan on our list. The aerodynamic fan has 10 blades and three speeds to pull the air in with two to drag the air out. Its fan is smooth, noiseless and ensures maximum air circulation.
We really like that the Fiamma Turbo fan has a transparent vent cover. It is tinted and made from UV-resistant material to ensure long life and as it is less likely to crack in the scorching heat, a common problem with any roof covers.
Moreover, the cover also acts as a secondary source of light inside the van, which is great unless you’re trying to catch a daytime nap or sleep beneath the bright lights in a Wal Mart parking lot.
But the cover also has a patented rubber seal for a watertight system and a permanent mosquito filter to keep the blood-sucking creatures out. It comes in two color options, white and crystal to match the aesthetics of your campervan.
A downside of this product can be that it has no automatic functions. You have to manually adjust the fan speed and close the vent cover, which can be a deal-breaker for some people.
Also, Fiamma is not a very well-known company yet so if you’re shopping by a brand name you may skip over this one.
- Durable and UV resistant tinted transparent rain cover
- Five-speed fan control
- No automatic functions
- Not an established brand for vent fans
Best Budget: Hike Crew 14” RV Roof Vent Fan
The Hike Crew 14 is a functional and affordable alternative to other options on our list. Like Fiamma, Hike Crew is not a well-known company yet.
But they have some inexpensive, good-quality appliances that perfectly match small campervans.
Their Hike Crew 14” fan is the standard size for RV vent fans which makes it ideal for any van conversion or fan replacement.
The 12V fan has ten blades with a three-speed motor controllable by the small button on a corner of the fan.
Unlike other options, you’ll only get air in, out and off with this vent fan. The reversible fan is excellent for all seasons as it efficiently removes the moisture in the winters and summers and is useful to vent smoke anytime you are cooking food.
It has the simplest control among other roof vents. Single press for air in, double press for air out, and click again to stop the fan. The Hike Crew 14” fan has durable and robust housing and blades. The whole product is simple to clean with a damp cloth and some soap.
On the downside, the vent cover is somewhat flimsy and not likely to last more than a few years with normal use. Additionally, the handle used to raise and lower the cover is offset and causes the cover to “bounce” as you manually crank it up or down, causing further stress on the weakest point of the fan.
- Affordable, ten blades fan
- Secure and robust housing
- All the accessories come in the box
- Handle to raise the dome is not the best
- Rain cover is weak
Runner Up: Heng’s Vortex 1
If you’ve been around vans and RVs for any amount of time you’ll recognize the name Heng. Heng’s is known for its affordable, long-serving campervan, RV products. Their Vortex 1 is among the most dependable budget roof vent fans.
You’re not going to get too much out of this option. But for the price tag, you’ll be satisfied. Heng’s Vortex 1 is a straightforward one-speed camper van roof fan designed only to move the air out of the van.
Although we are willing to pay a bit more for a more robust fan, we like the simplicity of Heng’s Vortex 1. It only draws 1.8 amps, has a fine mesh for keeping out insects and debris and has a manual knob to raise and lower the cover.
On the downside, you pretty much get what you pay for. The van’s motor is quite loud, and installation is not as straightforward if you follow the manual. Wires are short and tough to work with and you’re likely to put new screw holes in your roof if you’re trying to replace an old fan.
- Removable fine mesh inside cover
- One-speed mode
- Loud motor
- Challenging installation
How to Choose the Best Camper Van Roof Vent
When looking into which roof vent is best for your camper van conversion, there are several criteria that should come to mind.
We’ve compared these all in our descriptions of our best recommendations above. But we’ll go into some more details here on why you may want to consider one roof vent fan over another.
Number of speeds
The first thing to consider is the number of speeds on the fan, or fan speed. Campervan roof vents on our list have a speed range between 1 to 10. The more fan speeds you have, the better temperature control you can maintain inside your van.
It is an essential consideration because a small fan will not be able to keep a big van cool. Fans like the Heng’s Vortex 1 that only offer one speed are not likely to keep you cool. But having variable speed options is great for keeping the temperature inside closer to where you want it.
We tend to sleep with our vent fan on its lowest setting. But during particularly hot days we’ll step it up to middle to high settings to keep moving air circulating through our living space.
You should already know by now that investing in a robust battery bank will do wonders for virtually every aspect of van life. But using your power wisely is essential.
Roof vent fans do not consume a considerable amount of electricity, but continuous use can put a dent in your battery bank, especially when you have an automatic vent.
Roof vent fans on our list draw between 1 to 5 amps in various settings. If you multiply that out over an average of 10 hours of use throughout the day or at night then you’re drawing 10-50 amp hours off your battery bank.
This can threaten your battery health unless you have a large bank and have invested in solar.
On an average warm, sunny day our vent fan stays on all day drawing 3 amps. But our solar recharges our battery bank anywhere between 12-18 amps. So we can afford to leave our Dometic Fan Tastic fan on virtually all day.
Direction of airflow
The direction of airflow is a crucial division between a good van roof vent and a second rate one. Roof vent fans that both suck air in and push air out are ideal.
Pulling the cool air in is essential in both summer and winter. A campervan can be a small and congested place, so there has to be another source of fresh air other than opening a window and counting on a breeze.
Moving the air out is equally important, especially when you are cooking indoors. Anytime you start your indoor stove you should have air circulating. But this is especially important if you happen to burn anything you cook!
A thermostat is a valuable luxury, and not a necessity, when it comes to roof vents. Like an AC thermostat, it is a device that assesses the temperature and performs actions to maintain the set temperature.
Most premium and automatic roof vents have this feature. While a standard roof vent likely has to be adjusted manually.
With the help of a thermostat, a fan automatically performs actions like increasing and decreasing the speed to keep the temperature at the set threshold.
Our best product, Dometic Fan Tastic 3350, has a built-in thermostat and does a great job with temperature control.
The dimensions of your roof vent fan is typically not a big issue if you are replacing a vent fan as most campervan vents are built with the standard 14”x14” hole in the roof.
And if you are doing a DIY camper van conversion, you’ll likely want to use this dimension in the event you ever need to change vent fans down the road.
Other than the hole opening, also measure the height of the vent. Sometimes the internal grid is thicker or thinner than the roof thickness.
So always measure the hole’s length, width, and height on the roof and then choose the suitable product. You may need to trim the inner cover to fit the cover in your ceiling properly.
Vent Fan Controls
How you control your vent fan is also worth consideration. Remote controls are a luxury and come with only the premium models. These are clearly convenient because you can be laying in bed when you turn on/off or adjust the fan without getting up.
Most campervans vent fans are manually adjusted through the buttons and knobs around the fan. Typically on your fan you’ll have an on/off switch, a directional switch and a small handle to raise and lower the cover.
Ease of Install
Easy installation is an important consideration factor as well. Replacing an old vent is not a complicated task because you already have a hole in the roof.
You simply have to remove the old fan and fit the new one. This can usually be done in under an hour by the time you disconnect old wires, unscrew the old vent and scrape the butyl tape from the roof.
Then in reverse, you lay some butyl tape across the edges of the new fan, drop it in the hole, reconnect the wires and screw it into place.
But if you’re working on a DIY camper van conversion then likely the most difficult task is working yourself up to cutting the hole in your roof. But once that is done, the task is quite simple and follows the same procedures as if you were replacing one.
The last thing to consider is your budget. Our top-rated Dometic Fan Tastic 3350 vent fan is not cheap. But when it comes to value, it is a great deal. Like all products you will buy during your camper van conversion, with vent fans you get what you pay for.
A cheap roof vent fan might save you money up front. But when you find it lacks the ability to circulate cool air effectively you’ll be spending more time and money in replacing it.
Hopefully by now you have a pretty good idea of what to look for in a great van roof vent. There are not a lot of products to choose from. But making the best decision one time is better than having to go back and shop all over again.
We love our Dometic Fan Tastic 3350 van roof vent and know that if we ever built another van or swapped out RVs we would buy this model again because it is the best value for our money. We think you’ll appreciate it too.
Christopher Harvey is the founder and primary content creator for Called To Wander and Van Life Movement. He lives and travels full-time in his RV with his wife Lindsay and their two Australian Cattle Dogs. Passions include helping other people understand how to life a nomadic RV lifestyle and studying and planning an epic van build to drive the Pan American Highway in 2023.