Best RV Roof Vent Guide For 2020
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
When you aren't hooked up to shore power and don't have the ability to run your air conditioning, you generally have one 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. RV fans can also somewhat replace the need for air conditioning.
Keeping moisture out with a camper roof vent fan is especially helpful in colder climates where 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, you may want to add a fan or replace your existing loud, annoying RV fan that doesn't move much air.
Many times a stock RV bathroom fan is not powerful enough to pull out moisture and people need to replace them with a more powerful RV bathroom fan.
Below is our guide on all things RV vent fans. At the end we have reviewed the bset 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.
RV Vent Fan Power Considerations
RV roof vent fans don’t use up a lot of amps.
They run off of your batteries (12V) and at 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 inside of them.
With two fans, you may set up one fan up to pull air inside and the other to draw air to the outside. This can circulate the air quite well.
Other Important RV Vent Fan Considerations
There are a few important things to consider when looking for a roof vent fan upgrade:
Options may include a remote control for the trailer vent fan, varied speeds, a rain cover so you may use it during inclement weather and 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) but 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 into the space)
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. 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 could be a really, really bad idea...
How is a Rain Sensor Solution for Pets a Bad Idea?
You could get a fan with a rain sensor, but 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! But it won't reopen it. You 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 major pain.
If you (or your partner) cannot easily reach the trailer fan in the ceiling, you might want to consider getting a fan with a remote control.
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, AND it 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 and you will be 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 trying to rock 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.
Why? Simple. 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. They 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 one of your best bets 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 ones are the best and why. We have 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 and Maxxair Fans.
Both companies have their own following and both are very good brands.
We outline the pros and cons of both brands below in our camper roof vent fan reviews.
RV Vent Fans Compared
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 can seriously stop reading here and order up a Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe right now, 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
The Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe is an RV vent fan that packs quite a feature-filled punch.
It's the only roof fan on the market that combines a rain vent cover directly into the fan assembly, eliminating the need to purchase a separate bulky, tall cover.
And that is just scratching the surface of what the MAXXFAN has to offer...
Maxxair MAXXFAN Overview
Ceiling Fan Option
This Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe has the ability to run the fan with the vent cover CLOSED. The Fan-Tastic Vent fans of this class don't have this feature.
Why would you want to do this?
What about a cold night when you need to move the air around but don't want to pull in cold air or suck out your warm air? It acts like a ceiling fan. No other manufacturer offers this option in this class of fan.
Well done, Maxxair!
Built-In Rain Cover
The other clever feature of this RV vent fan model is that it's pretty much rain-resistant, open or closed with their patented built-in rain cover.
Yes, the cover can remain open during the rain and your rig will not get wet.
With the Fan-Tastic Vent fans, if you want to be able to have it open in the rain, you will have to purchase a separate rain cover for it.
Twin Lifting Arms
So? What's the big deal about twin lifting arms for the RV vent cover?
With just one arm on the Fan-Tastic Fan, when driving with the vent open (or in high winds), many complain about the fluttering of the vent in the wind. Some have even broken off. More is better in this case.
Removable Bug Screen
The vent screen can be easily removed from the inside for cleaning or replacement.
This is HUGE if you have ever had or do have a fan that does not allow you to remove the screen.
Leaves, debris, and bugs can get trapped up there otherwise.
This RV vent fan model comes with the option of using either the remote or the manual controls on the unit (remote model includes fan mounted manual controls as well).
You can choose to have the fan rotate to either pull air in or to push it out of your RV.
The Maxxair's infrared (IR) remote is pretty slick. It has an LCD screen that shows you exactly what is going on with the fan.
The Fan-Tastic Fan's remote has no such screen so you really don't know what speed is set or if it is in exhaust or intake mode.
Infrared RV Fan Remote Usage Hints
The remote that comes with the Maxxair RV fan models 7000K and 7500K uses an infrared (IR) signal to control the unit. This means that the remote has to be pointed at the IR receiver on the roof vent fan (it works via line of sight).
You can use one remote to control multiple remote equipped Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe models (the 7000k and 7500k). The remote will not work with the manual control models as they do not have an infrared receiver.
This means that though the remote control models all come with remotes, you don't have to remember which remote controls what fan.
They are interchangeable. Nifty!
RV Vent Cover Options
Maxxair RV vent covers come in two colors - white or smoke.
All the parts you will need come with the unit. Mounting hardware, screws, etc.
All you will need to get is roof sealant.
Maxxair MAXXFAN Installation
This RV roof vent fan is much lower than the standard type, so it has a very low profile. Doesn't stick up as much as other typical RV roof vent fans.
Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe RV Fan Features and Specs:
- 10-speed fan
- 900+ CFM (cubic feet per minute) airflow
- Max amperage draw at full speed/power: 3.7 amps (will use about .2 amp at low-speed)
- Exhaust and intake modes
- Built-in rain cover
- Thermostat that helps control interior temperature
- Available power opening cover
- RV fan runs with cover closed for ceiling fan mode
- Twin lifting arms for increased stability and durability
- Available remote control with LCD screen
- RV vent fan mounted controls even on remote model (unlike Fan-Tastic Vent fans)
- Fits standard 14 x 14 inch opening
- Available with either white or smoke colored cover
- Warranty: 2-year limited. Lifetime limited on cover/lid
Best RV Vent Fan for Pets
Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe
Again, the Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe comes in at #1 in. 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
Why Can't I Just Leave My RV Vent Fan Open For My Pets?
Well, what if it rains? Then you have another problem on your hands. Your rig will get all wet and you will get water on your RV vent fan, potentially damaging it.
Then What About Getting A Vent Fan With A Thermostat And Rain Sensor to Protect My Pets? That Should Do It, Right?
Wrong. Do not make this potentially fatal mistake!
Yes, it sounds like the perfect solution. Some RV vent fans come with a built-in thermostat that you can set to turn on and open the vent when it reaches said temperature.
Other RV vents also have a rain sensor to cover the issue of 'what if it rains while I am away?'
In theory, this should work. However, we have read MANY reports (and we have firsthand experience with it as well) of these rain sensors getting wet, closing, and refusing to open again long after the rain stops.
The sensor seems to think it is still raining or it it's humid enough and the rain does not evaporate from the sensor, it will refuse to open.
Insert your pet into this situation. (Please don't in real life) You leave your RV for an 8 hour day of exploration, and it rains at 9 am. Your rain sensor kicks in and closes the vent.
The rain quickly stops and the sun comes out, but your sensor is still wet and it's not going to open. Now your pet is in real trouble!
Your RV acts much like a car in that it will heat up QUICKLY. Leaving your pets inside with that kind of risky vent fan could be fatal to them. (Yes, even if you leave some windows open.)
Enter the Maxxair Vent Fan. It comes with NO rain sensor. It doesn't need one because it comes with a rain guard installed into the unit.
Therefore, you can set the thermostat for it to come on at a particular temperature, and it will come on and STAY on (barring your batteries totally dying) until the temperature drops back down.
For more about this model, we have reviewed the rest of it under our "Best Overall" model. Read the complete Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe review.
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-80's 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, but the 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 sensor
Continue Reading Fan-Tastic Vent Fan Review
From their beginnings as a 4 employee company to surviving a total-loss fire in 1997 to being acquired by Atwood Mobile Products in 2010, Fan-Tastic Fans have sold over 3 million fans.
They are quite famous for their customer service.
However, since Atwood (Dometic) purchased the company, things have changed. Used to be, the Fan-Tastic fans had an unlimited warranty.
That 'unlimited' part has in fact expired, due to a new company acquiring them.
Under Atwood/Dometic, now the Fan-Tastic Fan has a 2-year warranty on parts and labor.
Lifetime warranty on the dome, but after 5 years, shipping charges would apply.
That's still a decent warranty for a Fan-Tastic Vent fan, but it greatly diminishes the appeal and almost cult-like following that the Fan-Tastic fan used to have.
Well, you have quite an array of choices.
There's the most basic model which features a three-speed fan with one-way air flow and a manual opening.
The most deluxe model includes a remote, rain sensor, and 13-speed settings.
They have models in between.
No Manual Controls On Remote Models
Remote equipped model doesn't include manual controls on the fan so you can only control via the remote.
Also the remote has no screen indicating what mode or speed it is in, which can be confusing.
Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe includes both fan mounted manual controls and a screen on the remote that indicates what mode and speed the fan is running at.
All of the Fantastic Fan RV vent models are very quiet. Some long-term customers might argue that the newer ones are not as quiet as the old ones, but overall these are still in the line as one of the quietest.
The competition here between Maxxair fans and Fan-Tastic fan is VERY close. You would be hard-pressed to hear the difference if they were placed side-by-side.
Fantastic Fan Review
If you do NOT have animals in your RV, you may prefer the Fan-Tastic Fan over the Maxxair fans in that it does have the rain sensor (though the Maxxair's integrated cover eliminates the need for a rain sensor).
Keep in mind that sometimes the Fan-Tastic Vent fan rain sensor will stay wet even after the lid has closed from rain.
It won't open again until it's dry. This can be a frustration, but that's not to say it happens every time.
If you do have pets in your RV, this RV vent fan model is NOT the best option for you.
Your pets could get stuck inside your rig with no air circulation on a hot sunny day after a quick shower. If you have pets, please consider only the Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe model with the built-in rain cover.
Another option would be to install a vent cover over your Fan-Tastic fan. This would allow you to keep the lid open and the fan ventilating the interior even when it is raining outside.
Of course by the time you add on this additional expense, you might as well go with the Maxxair. Plus, vent covers are not the prettiest things in the world.
Fantastic-Fan RV Vent Features and Specs:
- 3 or 10-speed fan (depending on RV vent model)
- 920 CFM (cubic feet per minute) airflow
- Amperage draw between about 1.8 and 3+ amps (model and speed dependent)
- All RV fan models have exhaust modes (Intake mode optional)
- Available thermostat
- Available power opening cover
- Single lifting arm
- Available remote control (remote model has no controls on actual fan)
- Fits standard 14 x 14 inch opening
- Warranty: 2 year parts & labor. 5 years additional parts (freight charges apply). Lifetime on dome (after 4 years, freight charges apply).
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
The Fantastic EZ-Breeze is a single speed roof vent fan that only blows in one direction and acts as an RV exhaust fan.
The built-in rain cover is pretty slick, allowing you to run the RV fan while it's raining outside, without needing to purchase a separate vent cover like you have to with other Fan-Tastic Vent fans.
You can also run the roof vent fan with the rain cover in the closed position, allowing for a ceiling fan mode.
So what's wrong this RV roof fan? A few things.
It's not very powerful, only moving 350 CFM of air (as compared to 900+ CFM of air for the other roof fans reviewed).
It's a single speed, so it's either on or off.
It has zero bells and whistles (except for the built-in rain cover).
Why would you purchase this fan? If you need an affordable RV roof fan to replace the cheap fan that was installed in your bathroom, this is an option.
It will be a lot better than the standard unit (unless you have one of those fancy RVs with a 'real' fan installed from the factory. But this isn't nearly as good of an option as one of the other reviewed units.
If you absolutely must have a sub-$100 fan, then the Fan-Tastic Vent EZ-Breeze is a great option.
Just don't expect it to vent out huge volumes of air quickly, or clear out the smoke from that food you just burned on the stove.
Fantastic EZ-Breeze RV Vent Features and Specs:
- Available with either a white or smoke colored dome
- Single speed - 350 CFM (cubic feet per minute) airflow
- Built-in rain cover that can be closed to allow a ceiling fan mode
- Fits standard 14 x 14 inch opening
- Warranty: 2-year parts & labor. 5 years additional parts (freight charges apply). Lifetime on dome (after 4 years freight charges apply).
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, so 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.
Camp on, Addicts!
Kelly Beasley is co-founder of Camp Addict and loves sharing her enthusiasm for the RVing lifestyle. As a full-time RVer since May 2015, Kelly's playful writing style helps make learning about the sometimes dull subject of RV products a bit more interesting.
Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing since April 2014, Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle.