How To Install A Maxxair Fan In A RV And Camper (And Wiring!)

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So you’ve already purchased your vent fan and you’re ready to install it in your camper. This post will teach you just that; how to install a Maxxair fan in your campervan or RV.

Getting on your camper and cutting out a sizable chunk of your roof can feel daunting at first. But if you plan well, go slow, ad are methodial, the installation process will go smoothly.

So if you’re ready, let’s get to it!

Learning Objectives

By the end of this post, you should be able to identify the following steps:

Physical Maxxair Fan Installation Steps

In the following 11 steps, we show you how to install your own Maxxair fan to your camper’s roof.

Step 1:

Make A Cut Template

In order to fit the vent fan on the vehicle, a standard 14″x14″ square needs to be cut out of the vehicle’s sheet metal roof.  This is probably the likely the most nerve-wrecking part of the maxxair fan installation process.

To ensure the least chance of making a mistake, creating a 14″x14″ cardboard template is a good idea here. A framing square really helps here in ensuring your square has 90-degree angles.

In Fact... A framing square is one of the most used tools in our van conversion arsenal. It's a good idea to pick one up if you haven't already done so.

Step 2:

Correctly Position The Cardboard Template

Locate the exact place you want to install your fan and place your template on the UNDERSIDE of your roof (standing inside the van) and tape the cardboard in place.

Trace around the template with a marker.

It’s better to position the template on the underside of the roof (as opposed to when you’re on the roof) because you want to make sure your tracing does NOT intersect any of the van’s interior cross support ribs.

Step 3:

Drill Out The Four Corners Of Your Tracing

Installing Maxxair Vent Fan - Drilling Corners Of Template
Setting the template on the inside roof of our van and drilling at the corners.

With a power drill and a 1/2″ drill bit (or hole saw), drill one hole in each corner of your tracing. Make sure each of your drill holes do not extend outside your marker lines.

Step 4:

On The Roof, Connect Your Four Corner Holes

Now you’re ready to get on your camper’s roof. From here, you’ll be able to see the four 1/2″ holes you drilled out when you were inside the van.

Take a marker and connect the outside edges of each hole so that you’ve recreated the 14″x14″ square.

Step 5:

Protect Your Cut Lines With Painter's Tape

See Step 6 picture for reference.

In order to protect the outside edges from your saw, place painter’s tape along the outside perimeter of your cut line.

Step 6:

Jig Saw Time! Cut Along The Lines To Connect The Holes

Installing a Maxxair Fan - Cutting Out 14x14 Hole
Connecting the 4 drill holes in each corner with our jigsaw

Using a jig saw blade specifically for sheet metal, cut along the marked lines with your jig saw. Move slowly as your advance the jig saw from one corner hole to the next.

Jig Saw Tip: Keep the jig saw blade moving at full speed but advance the jig saw slowly along the cut line to prevent push back from the saw.

Step 7:

Smooth Out & Prime The Edges

Installing Maxxair Vent Fan - Filing The Edges
Filing the edges of the hole cutout

Once you’re done with the jig saw, remove the painter’s tape.

With a metal file, smooth any sharp edges that may have formed along the cut line. Afterwards, paint over the raw metal with an anti-rust primer to prevent rust and corrosion.

Installation Tip: To prevent any tiny metal shavings from falling into your van, you can tape a plastic bag on the underside of the roof to catch all the metal bits. See the above picture for reference.

Step 8:

Add Butyl Tape To Maxxair Fan Flange

Add a layer of butyl tape on the underside of the vent fan flange to create a leak-proof seal. This is the side of the flange that will make contact with the vehicle’s metal roof. When wrapping the tape around the flange, give a 1/2″ overlap of butyl tape at the end.

Step 9:

Screw Down The MaxxFan Flange To Roof

Best Vent Fan For Camper Vans - Screwing The Fan InHow To Install A Vent Fan 3

With the provided screws and a power drill, screw down the Maxxair fan flange onto your camper’s roof.

Our screws were not self-tapping, so you may need to pre-drill with a drill bit.

Step 10:

Seal The Flange Edges With Lap Sealant

Best Vent Fan For Campervans - How To Install A Vent Fan 4

As a second layer of leak-proof protection, add a generous amount of lap sealant along the edges of the flange.

Step 11:

Attach The Maxxair Rain Hood

Best Vent Fan For Camper Vans - Finished Maxxfan Installation

Lastly, attach the Maxxair rain hood to the flange with the supplied nuts & bolts.

And Hey! You’re done!

Maxxair Vent Fan Installation Video

Check out this useful Maxxair fan installation tutorial video from the manufacturers themselves.

For more great product information, head over to their website.

How To Wire A Maxxair Fan To Your Batteries

The Maxxair Fan unit will come with one red one black wire connected to it. You’ll need to connect those wires to your batteries.

The following 4 steps will show you how to do this.

Wiring Maxxair Fan To Camper Batteries
Wiring A Maxxair Fan To Camper Batteries

Step 1:

Extend Maxxair Fan's Wires With Butt Connectors

Unfortunately, the wires that come with the Maxxair fan are not long enough to attach directly to your batteries. So you’ll need to extend the length of the wires.

Butt connectors are a great tool to extend the length of your wires. Simply crimp one end of a butt connector to the MaxxFan’s red wire end.

And do the same with the black wire to a 2nd butt connector.

Next, take your additional 14/2 AWG wire and connect the corresponding colored wires to the other end of each butt connectors.

Useful Electrical Tool: We've found our Irwin Electrical Multi-Tool quite useful during our electrical build. It cuts and strips electrical wires. And is a great crimping tool as well.

Step 2:

Connect The Extended Wires To A 12v Distribution Panel

Wiring Maxxair Fan To 12v Distribution Block

To keep things simple and tidy, it’s a good idea to connect your red and black wire to a 12v distribution panel (instead of directly to your batteries).

This is because you’ll likely have many other 12v electrical devices in your camper van and connecting each device directly to your batteries would make your electrical wiring messy and convoluted.

A 12v distribution panel helps to keep your wiring orderly and provides an individual safety fuse for each device.

Step 3:

Wire Your 12v Distribution Panel To Your Batteries

If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to connect your 12v distribution panel to your camper batteries.

To learn how to do this correctly, check out our other post: How To Build A 12v System In A Camper Van.

Want to build a camper van? Check out our
DIY Camper Van Build Guide


How To Clean A Maxxair Vent Fan

When cleaning a Maxxair vent fan, there are 4 parts of the fan to clean.


Interior Flange & Controls Area

From time to time, we clean the interior flange area with a wet wipe. This is the easiest part of the fan to clean.

Fan Mesh

The mesh fan needs to be removed to be properly cleaned. To remove the mesh, simply rotate the 4 retaining knobs 180° outwards. You may need to jiggle the knobs a bit, but they should eventually rotate around.

If time is tight, I simply lightly press my fingers on the mesh and move my hand in a circular motion to loosen up and gather all the greasy dust. Quick and easy method cleans the mesh pretty well.

For a more in-depth clean, we wash the mesh in warm water with a light detergent. This method really helps to loosen all the grease that is attached to the mesh. We will still use our hands to work in the detergent. We avoid using any hard abrasives against the mesh because we’ve heard that the mesh’s exterior coating can be rubbed off, leading to rust.

Fan Blades

If you’ve already removed the Maxxfan’s mesh, you might as well remove and wash the fan’s blades as well. But to remove the blades, you’ll need the proper size Allen wrench. And just like with the mesh, we only used warm water with a light detergent. A lot of grease gets stuck on the blades, so it’s important to be thorough,

Rain Cover

Cleaning the Maxxfan’s rain cover is easily the hardest part of the roof fan cleaning process.

To remove the rain cover, you’ll need to get onto the roof of your campervan. Unfortunately there’s no other way around this. Once you get to the roof, remove the four nuts holding the vent cover to the main fan unit. You can then remove the rain cover and wash the cover with warm soapy water.

A Breezy MaxxFan Installation Process!

We hoped our Maxxair Fan installation guide was informational and helps you to install your own vent fan on your camper.

If you have any questions regarding the vent fan installation process, please leave us a comment below.

FYI, we also have lots of other great camper van conversion content in our Van Build Guide.

Happy building!

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