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
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- Maxxair Deluxe 6200K (Buy from Amazon)
- Hein’s Ford Transit RV roof vent adapter (Buy from eBay)
- Dicor self-leveling lap sealant (Buy from Amazon, choose a color that matches your van!)
- GE Silicone II sealant (Buy from Amazon)
- Butyl Tape (Buy from Amazon)
- 16x Bolts 3/16 diameter 2in length, 32x Washers, 16x nuts (18$)
- Primer, Paint & Clearcoat*
- Painter tape* (Buy from Amazon)
- Duct tape* (Buy from Amazon)
- Isopropyl Alcohol*
- Acetone* (Buy from Amazon)
- 1 pint of crafted (or homebrewed) Session I.P.A. (priceless)
*Items marked with the (*) are not considered in the total cost since these items are used throughout the van conversion.
- Jigsaw & metal blades (have some spare blades, we broke one in the process)
- Caulking gun
- Vacuum (metal chips will be all over the place. Get rid of them as soon as possible to avoid scratches)
- Safety Glasses and hat
- 4 x C-clamps
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!
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.
3- Get ready to cut the crap out of your brand new van. And enjoy!
4- Drill 4 holes at each corner, large enough to let the jigsaw blade through
5- Cut each side, then apply duct tape to retain the panel from falling at the last cut
6- Break the sharp edges with a file and smooth the edges with a fine sandpaper
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.
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.
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…
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.
17- Install the Maxxair unit through the fan flange and fasten using the 4 provided screws
18- Look at our fan
Just look at it.
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!)
20- Have a pint of fresh Session I.P.A.
We deserved it!
On Second Thought…
We’ve been using the fan since June 2016, so we made a “short-term” review here:
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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, converted it to a campervan, sold our house, quit our jobs and hit the road full-time to make our dream a reality. We are sharing this in hope of inspiring and helping others to follow their dreams too!