Fan Installation

Maxxair Maxxfan Deluxe 6200K

The first obvious role of the Maxxair fan in our DIY camper van conversion is heat control. Ventilation is also crucial for moisture evacuation; cooking, drying clothes and human beings generate a lot of water. For more information see our Climate Control Page.

 

 

TIME SPENT ON THE JOB: 8 hours

 

TOTAL COST : 360$ USD

 

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click and commit to buy one of the product linked, we will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not. Buying through our affiliate links is a great way to say thanks if we were of any help in your van conversion! Alternatively, you can visit our Say Thanks! page.

 

MATERIAL:

*Items marked with the (*) are not considered in the total cost since these items are used throughout the van conversion.

 

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

 

Fan Installation, Material

 

HOW WE DID IT*

*Disclaimer: we’re good, but not that much. Use these instructions at your own risks!

 

1- Install painter’s tape and mark the fan cutout

To mark the fan cutout, we used the interior side of Hein’s Ford Transit RV roof vent adapter (Buy from eBay) and it was super easy since the adapter will “locate itself” in the center of the sheet metal panel. Sweet!

Drilling and cutting practice

 

2- Practice makes perfect…

We “simulated” 2 holes and a straight line to practice drilling & cutting on the panel we were getting rid of. It’s a good thing we did it! We learned that it’s better to make the corner holes a bit outside of the cutting line (the fan flange allow some over cut) AND that a storm of hot-burning metal chips will blow on your face and into your hair. WEAR PROTECTIVE GLASSES AND A SEXY BANDANA ON YOUR HEAD. You’ve been warned.

Practice makes perfect

 

3- Get ready to cut the crap out of your brand new van. And enjoy!

Cut the crap out of your brand new van

 

4- Drill 4 holes at each corner, large enough to let the jigsaw blade through

Maxxair Fan Installation,, Drill 4 holes

 

5- Cut each side, then apply duct tape to retain the panel from falling at the last cut

Maxxair Fan Installation, cut each side

 

6- Break the sharp edges with a file and smooth the edges with a fine sandpaper

Maxxair Fan Installation, Break Sharp Edge

 

7- Install Hein’s adapters (interior and exterior) and the fan flange and drill all holes

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

Maxxair Fan Installation,, drill holes

TIP: Slightly oversize all holes on the interior adapter for easier re-assembly. Do it.

 

8- Break the holes sharp edges and smooth with a sanding paper

 

9- Clean the surfaces to be touched-up with isopropyl alcohol

 

10- 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.

Maxxair Fan Installation,, primer

Maxxair Fan Installation, paint

 

11- Clean fan flange with acetone as per manufacturer recommendation

 

12- Clean van sheet metal with isopropyl alcohol

 

13- Apply butyl tape on the fan flange (on the surface that will be mating with the fan adapter)

 

14- 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.

 

15- Assemble Hein’s adapters 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…

Maxxair Fan Installation, install screws

 

16- 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.

Maxxair Fan Installation, apply sealant

 

17- Install the Maxxair unit through the fan flange and fasten using the 4 provided screws

Maxxair Fan Installation, Install Fan Unit

 

18- Look at our fan

Just look at it.

Maxxair Fan Installation, final

 

19- Final Test

We tested our fan using the wires from an adjacent light that we removed.

(note: we blew a fuse doing the same thing afterward: no surprise, the interior lightning fuse of 7.5 amp located at position F32 is not designed to withstand the load of an additional fan… no big deal, the fuse was replaced and the light is back!)

It works!

Maxxair Fan Installation, testing the fan

 

20- Have a pint of fresh Session I.P.A.

We deserved it!

Maxxair Fan Installation, reward

 

 

 

On Second Thought…

We’ve been using the fan since June 2016, so we made a “short-term” review here:

 

 

 

WANT MORE?

Check out our Build Journal, or learn everything about The Van.

 

 

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ABOUT US

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine, a couple dreaming of being on the move and we’re seeking for the ride of our life. We bought a Ford Transit van, we’re converting it to a campervan and we are now selling our house to make our dream a reality. We are sharing this in hope of inspiring and helping others to follow their dreams too!

 

 

CHEERS!

 

 

10 comments

  1. Comment by Benoit Leveille

    Benoit Leveille Reply June 22, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Nice work !
    🙂

    • Comment by admin

      admin Reply June 22, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Thanks! The fan performs well so far! We’re glad we went with the Maxxfan; we drive with the fan opened when it’s warm & we leave it open when it rains, awesome!

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  3. Comment by Andre

    Andre Reply March 5, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    First off, thank you for such a simple, clean but detailed website. It’s been very helpful for us as we build our Transit van! We ordered our van and materials which were also helpful with your links. Installed the van today and it went mostly smoothly. Except for the lap sealant container exploding and our vintage 1980s jigsaw going dead on the first cut.

    Question: I notice that there is not much of a seal where the fan sits into the flang. You can see a little bit of black rubber and there is a slight gap there. We are thinking of siliconing that gap. We can always cut the silicone if we ever need to remove the fan. Did you guys noice the same thing or seal that gap?

    Cheers

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply March 5, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Glad we could help!! 🙂

      I really don’t think this gap needs to be sealed. The manual does not state to seal it, so we did not seal it and have not heard of anyone who did. No leak so far!

      But how can a sealant container explode?! 🙂

      • Comment by Andre

        Andre Reply March 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm

        It exploded because I forgot to poke a whole through the inner nozel cover 🙂 #RoockieMistake

        Cheers

  4. Comment by Philip

    Philip Reply March 9, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    What do you guys for air intake? Crack the windows?

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply March 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      For now, we just remove the 4 plastic covers from the d-pillars under the van; that create a minimum air flow. We will have to add more intake eventually.

  5. Comment by Greg Konen

    Greg Konen Reply April 11, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    vent looks great, having mine done in a few weeks.
    We have no windows in back, hoping this will give us some outside cool mountain air at night
    you mention 4 plastic covers from d pillars for vent holes, where are these?

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply April 12, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Greg,

      they are under the van, near the very end of the van. These pictures show the location with/without the covers in place:
      Vent without covers
      with covers

      The air will enter the cargo area near the floor at the rear of the van.
      Antoine

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