I am not a van conversion professional or professional handyman. This is a documentation of my experience and you should make your own decisions on how to build your own van, and seek professional guidance if you are unsure. This blog post also contains affiliate links, so if you click a product link and buy from the merchant, I will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not. Buying through my product links is the best way to say thanks if this blog post was at all helpful to you.
CEILING FAN INSTALL
- Maxxair MaxxFan with Remote (Buy on Amazon)
- Mounting Bracket (Buy on eBay)
- Butyl Tape (Buy on Amazon)
- Dicor Lap Sealant (Buy on Amazon)
- Window Weld (Buy on Amazon)
- Flex Seal (Buy on Amazon)
- Painters Tape (Buy on Amazon)
- Fan Cover (Buy Here)
- Thinsulate (Buy on Amazon)
- Wire Nuts (Buy on Amazon)
Cut ‘yer hole! I put down some painters tape to protect the paint, taped up a piece of cardboard to catch scraps and metal shavings, used the mounting bracket to trace the cut line, and then used a drill to make a hole in each corner, and jigsawed it out! I cut from the top. I broke any hard edges with a file and went over the bare metal with a paint marker. The process is essentially the same as cutting out a hole for the window as mentioned in my window install post, but this hole should be a little easier to cut.
For the rest of the install, I followed the instructions that come with the fan and the mounting bracket! Here is a good how to video, and here is the application process:
Window Weld (3 beads) on the bottom of the mountain bracket and clamp until dry > Butyl Tape top of mounting bracket > Screw down fan hardware > Flex Seal all over it > Plop fan in place and secure it with provided screws > Wire fan > Install trim once the ceiling is completed.
I used wire nuts to connect the wires, then hid it behind the trim piece that comes with the fan.
I mounted my remote on the passenger side behind the door, which is accessible from the bed.
I also cut 2 pieces of 1″ Thinsulate to go above the fan cover from Strawfoot. I felt that this was a big weak spot in the van’s insulation and the additional layers of Thinsulate seem to help a lot.
Maxxair MaxxFan with Remote Review
I am really happy with the fan overall. We run it while cooking and it is in a great spot for pumping out any smoke and moisture created from that. Running it while cracking the bedside window creates a really nice breeze that cools well in the summer. The “auto” setting, in particular, is great because the fan can turn itself on and off on its own according to the preset temperature inside the van. This is great when leaving our dog Koda in the van alone in the summer because we don’t want to blow all the cool air out in the morning, but as the van heats up it will pull the colder air in for him. We try and park with the sun angled to the drivers’ side, so cracking the bedside window and/or passenger window will be pulling in air from the shaded side of the van. The remote doesn’t really work unless you hold it directly below the fan. So from the back of the bed, it’s not much use. But it is nice to have, as it shows you the temperature, allows you to adjust the auto setting, fan speed, etc. It also is nice to use while sitting on the bench seat. I would purchase it again. I do worry about its durability in something like a hail storm, but I have made it through small hail and it has been fine.