Best RV Roof Vent Guide For 2021
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
This is especially true on stagnant, hot days.
When you aren't hooked up to shore power and can't run your air conditioning, there's one superior way to move air through your rig:
An RV roof vent fan.
RV roof fans help to keep moisture, smells, and heat out of your vehicle. They can also somewhat replace air conditioning.
Keeping moisture out with a camper roof vent fan is especially helpful in colder climate. Condensation can become a problem in such a tiny area.
Keeping a window open while your RV fan is on will also help get air moving around in your small space.
If your camper roof vent doesn’t come equipped with an RV fan, or it came with a ‘stock’ OEM fan, do yourself a favor and replace it.
A no-name brand, cheap stock tiny RV bathroom fan is not powerful enough to pull out moisture.
Replacing it with a more powerful RV bathroom fan pays off in a big way.
Below is our guide on all things RV vent fans. At the end, we review the best fans out there. Use our table of contents immediately below to jump to where you would like to go.
Already know all about this subject? Just looking for the reviews? Click the button below to jump down to the product reviews.
Fan Power Considerations
RV roof vent fans don’t use up a lot of amps. They only run off of your RV batteries (12V) which stores amps.
At the maximum draw, the most powerful ones will pull somewhere from 3 to just under 4 amps at full speed.
At lower power settings they will run a little over 1 amp.
The most powerful vent fans will pull a LOT of air around your rig, depending on the size of your rig. Some rigs have two + vent fans.
With two fans, you may set up one fan up to pull air inside and the other to draw air to the outside.
This circulates the air amazingly well.
Other Important Considerations
There are a few important things to consider when looking for a roof vent fan upgrade:
Vent Fan Options Galore
Options may include:
- a remote control for the trailer vent fan
- varying speeds
- a rain cover so you may use it during inclement weather
- reversible blade rotation to either pull air in or push it out.
Size of Your RV Roof Vent
Most RV or camper roof vents come in one standard size (14x14.)
If you have an existing fan to replace, always be sure to measure the hole to make sure the new one will fit.
Otherwise, you had better be prepared to cut out a larger hole. (OR end up with too small of a fan to insert.)
Leaving Pets at Home Alone in Your RV
Do you have pets with you RVing? If so, and you leave them at home, a camper roof vent fan is crucial for their well-being.
RV’s are a lot like cars in that under sunny conditions, it can and WILL heat up very quickly.
This could lead to your pet overheating. Even worse, it could kill them.
A solution could be to open the windows and have a vent fan pulling air out. However, if it rains, now you have a problem.
You say, "Well, get one with a rain sensor then." That is a very bad idea...
How is a Rain Sensor Solution for Pets a Bad Idea?
Great question! You could get a fan with a rain sensor.
However, once it rains and the camper vent closes, your animals could be in trouble once the sun comes back out.
The rain sensor is designed to close the fan vent when it senses rain.
OK, that great! Actually, it's not. It won't automatically reopen after the rain.
You'll have to manually reopen the vent once it's been closed because of the rain sensor.
In such a case, your pet could die of overheating if you aren't home when the vent fan closes itself. We have a product recommendation for this scenario.
Height of Your RV Ceiling
Can you easily reach your ceiling to manually open the trailer vent fan? Constantly having to get out a step stool to open/close your RV or trailer vent fan would quickly become a pain.
If you (or your partner) cannot easily reach the trailer fan in the ceiling, consider getting a fan with a remote.
How much time will you be spending in your RV? Will you be living in it full-time or twice a year?
Some vent fans are louder than others. One of the primary reasons people replace the factory (OEM) fan is because it is very loud.
It also may not move much air.
Many of these OEM fans come with teeny fan blades and loud motors.
If you spend a lot of time in the RV, whether full-time or part, you need to consider how annoyed you will be with a loud roof vent fan. Climate also plays a part here.
If you will be using a vent fan as your only cooling in a very warm climate most of the time, you will have to use your vent fan during most of the day.
(Don't forget to consider how many amps this will drain your battery if you are not connected to shore power.)
Can you handle the constant loud hum of a cheap fan? Remember, camping is usually an attempt to get AWAY from noise and to experience peace and quiet.
All of the above are important factors to consider before purchasing an RV roof vent fan.
Thoughts on RV Roof Vent Fans
Camp Addict Co-Founder
My travel trailer came from the factory with two roof vents.
I've lived in it full-time since April 2014 and have extensively used both vent fans. One is directly over the bed in front and has a Fantastic Fan with a manually raised dome and a temperature sensor.
In the bathroom, there is a cheap little Ventline fan with a 6-inch blade and a puny electric motor.
It really doesn't push much air and sounds like a hive of bees. The Fantastic Fan is great.
It has three speeds and can move some serious air. Sure, you hear it when it's running, but that's because it's moving some serious air.
And it is much quieter than if I had the air conditioning running.
The puny vent in the bathroom moves enough air to get moisture out after you take a shower, but it takes its sweet time.
If I had a real vent fan in there, I'd be a much happier camper.
I'm eyeballing the Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe to install in the bathroom.
That is one nice unit and is what I wish I had in both my roof vent openings. The integrated rain cover is a top-selling point for me. Let me tell you why.
Both of my current vents have the typical dome cover that opens up and offers zero protection from the rain.
I wanted the ability to keep them open in all types of weather, so I installed a vent cover over both.
The covers do what they are designed to do. They allow me to have my vent lids open in any weather. Water won't get in while it's raining, and that's perfect.
But there are a couple of catches.
The forward vent cover is right by my solar panel. The cover looms above the panel and actually shades it at certain sun angles.
If you know anything about solar panels, then you know that ANY shade kills the output.
If I had the Maxxair vent fan, in the closed position there would be no shading of the solar panel and in the open position I'd be no worse off than I am now.
Another issue is that the vent covers are tall and they are always in the deployed position. They can't be retracted when there is a stiff wind out.
Why does this matter?
Because they tend to rattle around when the wind catches them just right. I don't know about you, but I don't sleep well when there are strange noises at night.
Never mind when the wind is rocking my rig. The Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe will have its rain cover retracted when in the closed position.
This gives the wind a much smaller surface area to catch.
Oh, one last point about the Maxxair - they just look cool. I'm not a vain person, but who doesn't like a little style? Even when you are boondocking in the middle of nowhere.
RV Roof Vent Covers
If you choose to go with a Fan-Tastic Vent roof fan then it is highly advisable to purchase a separate vent cover.
Seriously, if you don't go with our #1 roof fan pick you need one of these.
You are going to want to keep your RV roof vent open in the rain. With the Fan-Tastic vents, there is zero protection from water pouring from the sky without a supplementary vent cover.
Sure, you could purchase the model with the rain sensor and hope that it works.
But there are enough horror stories of them not working to give you pause. Also, there will be plenty of times when your rig needs ventilation when it's raining.
With a Fan-Tastic fan, you will need one of these covers or your rig will get wet inside.
The downside of these vent covers? They add another $50 to the purchase of your roof vent fan.
Also, are big, bulky and unsightly. They can cast shadows on any solar panels in their vicinity.
Etc, etc, etc.
Seriously consider getting our #1 rated roof fan, the Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe which comes with an integrated rain cover.
No pricey, unsightly vent cover required.
An RV vent fan is a best bet for keeping your rig comfortable in different types of weather.
If you have pets, there's almost no question which fan you should be getting if you are in the market. (See below- the Maxxair)
Most fan openings come in a standard size, so changing out your lame original fan with a new one should be no problem.
A new, better fan is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your RV.
If you are in the market, below, we have reviewed the best brands of fan. We let you know which one's are the best and why- we give reasonings behind our choices.
We have reviews for the quietest, best on a budget, and best for pets. Keep reading to let us walk you through which fans are the best and why.
Best RV Roof Fans Reviewed
There are two ‘gold standards’ for RV vent fans:
- Fan-tastic Fans
- Maxxair Fans.
Both companies have their following and both are very good brands.
We outline the pros and cons of both brands below in our camper roof vent fan reviews.
Best RV Vent Fan Overall
Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe
Holy moly, the Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe RV vent fan is the mack-daddy of having the most features with a stress-free operation.
You may as well stop reading right here, and order up a Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe, saving yourself the time of reading on, ha ha. (We kid)
TWO CHOICES to make: Manual or electric lid. And white lid or smoke colored lid. (See below)
Continue Reading Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe Review
Best RV Vent Fan for Pets
Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe
Again, the Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe comes in at #1.
The Maxxair is especially good for pets due to its built-in rain cover and lack of a thermostat control that will shut the vent cover. Read on to understand why.
Again, two choices to make: Smoke or white lid, and manual or electric.
Continue Reading About the Best RV Roof Fan for Pets
Quietest RV Vent Fan
Fan-Tastic Vent Fan
The Fantastic Fan is arguably the best-known RV vent fan name in the industry. They opened for business as "Fan-Tastic Vent" in the mid-'80s and haven't looked back.
The Fan-Tastic Vent Fan lineup can be a bit confusing. We've narrowed down the options. There are 5 retail fan models in the lineup.
Pricing is so close between some of them that we opted to list only the low end, the middle option, and the top of the line Fantastic Fan.
- 3 fan speeds
- Manual lift dome
- 3 fan speeds
- Manual lift dome
- Built-in thermostat
- Reversible air flow
- 13 fan speeds
- Automatic lift dome
- Built-in thermostat
- Reversible air flow
- Rain senor
Continue Reading Fan-Tastic Vent Fan Review
Best RV Roof Fan on a Budget
Fan-Tastic Fan EZ-Breeze
If you need an affordable camper roof vent fan, then the Fan-Tastic Fan EZ-Breeze might be right for you. Maybe.
If you just want a basic fan that works, or for a cheap RV roof vent replacement, the EZ-Breeze is a good option.
Continue Reading Fan-Tastic EZ-Breeze Review
By now you should be able to make an educated decision on which vent fan is best for your unique situation.
There's not one perfect RV roof vent fan for all scenarios. Therefore, knowing the perks of each is key to finding the perfect fan for your rig.
Get that vent fan as soon as possible so you can get out and enjoy your camping trips even more.
If you have a question, please read the comments below to make sure it hasn't already been answered. If it hasn't pop your question in there, and we will answer it if it's an intelligent, reasonable question that we know the answer to!
Camp on, Addicts!
He-llllo. I'm the co-founder of Camp Addict, which my biz partner and I launched in 2017. I frigging love the RVing lifestyle but in December of 2020, I converted to part-time RV life. Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for over 5.5 years, STRICTLY boondocking for pretty much all of it. Boondocking is a GREAT way to live, but it's not easy. Anyway, I'm passionate about animals, can't stand campgrounds, I hardly ever cook, and I love a good dance party. Currently, I can be found plotting and scheming whether or not to start collecting farm animals (or plotting my next RV trip!) at my beautiful new 'ranch' named 'Hotel Kellyfornia', in Southern Arizona.
Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing from April 2014 - December 2020 (now RVing about 50% of the time), Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle. Marshall spends the majority of his RVing life boondocking. He is the part of Camp Addict that knows 'all the things'. He's good at sharing his technical knowledge so you can benefit.
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