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

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So by now, you might have 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, and are methodical, the installation process will go smoothly. Read our step-by-step installation guide below.

Bonus: At the end, we'll also show you how to connect your vent fan to your batteries to get it up and running!

So if you’re ready to install that Maxxfan, let’s get to it!

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    Maxxair Fan Installation Steps

    In the following 10 steps, we show you how to install a Maxxair fan to your camper’s roof. Don’t worry, you got this. Take it slow, be accurate, and be organized.

    Step 1:

    Make A Cut Template From Cardboard

    In order to fit the Maxxfan on the camper, a standard 14″x14″ square must be cut out from the vehicle’s metal roof.  You don’t want to make a mistake when cutting the roof because you only get one shot at it.

    Therefore, to minimize chance of making a mistake, creating a 14″x14″ cardboard cut template is a good idea.

    Top Tip: Getting a framing square is a smart idea. This tool was one of our most used tools when we converted our camper van and it's 90-degree angle was useful for making our cardboard cutout template.

    Step 2:

    Position The Cardboard Template UNDER The Roof

    With your cardboard template and standing inside your van, locate the exact place you want to install your fan and place your template on the UNDERSIDE of the roof.

    The reason why you want to position the fan location on the underside of the roof (instead of when on top of the roof) is so that you ensure you fan is not intersecting any of the van roof’s interior cross support ribs. Refer to our picture in step 3 to see how we placed our cardboard template in-between the roof’s supporting cross ribs.

    Next, with you cardboard template in position, tape the template to the roof to keep it in position.

    Building a camper van? Download our free e-Books with intuitive electrical, solar, and plumbing diagrams.

    Step 3:

    Drill Holes Through The Four Corners Of Your Template

    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, drill one hole in each corner of your cardboard template. Make sure the circumference of each of your drill holes do not extend outside the cardboard template perimeter.

    Alternative Method: With a marker, you can trace around your cardboard template and then remove the template. Then you can drill your holes based on your marker tracing.

    Step 4:

    On The Roof, Connect The 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.

    Next, take a marker and connect the outside edges of each hole so that you’ve recreated the 14″x14″ square that you’ll soon cut out.

    But just before cutting out the square, place painters tape along the outside perimeter of your cut line. Doing this will help to protect the outside edges from your saw blade. Refer to the picture in step 5.

    Step 5:

    Cut Along The Marker Lines To Connect The Holes

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

    With a jigsaw, cut along the marked lines. Go slow as you cut from corner to corner.

    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.

    Also, make sure you are using a jigsaw blade that is made for cutting through sheet metal. In this jigsaw blade set, one of the blades is made specifically for this purpose.

    Step 6:

    File & Prime The Edges

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

    Once you’re done cutting out the square, remove the painter’s tape.

    The bare metal edges will be sharp and jagged. So with a metal file, smooth out the 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.

    Make sure you clean up and remove any metal shavings and particles on the roof. If left out in the open air, they will begin to rust.

    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 7:

    Add Butyl Tape To Maxxair Fan Flange

    With the square cutout completed, you’re ready to move onto prepping the Maxxair fan for installation.

    To start, 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.

    Don't Skimp On This Step: Roof leaks aren't something you want to deal with later when you're traveling. Do a good job and use plenty of butyl tape under the flange to get a strong, water-tight seal.

    Step 8:

    Install The Maxxair Fan Flange To The Roof

    Installing A Maxxair Fan Flange
    Screwing down the MaxxFan flange on the roof

    Fit the Maxxfan flange into the 14″x14″ hole. The underside of the flange with the butyl tape should make contact with the van’s metal roof.

    Next, with the provided screws and a power drill, install the Maxxair Fan flange onto your camper’s roof.

    The provided screws from Maxxair were not self-tapping screws, which means they may not be able to pierce and drill through the sheet metal material. So you may need to create a hole with a drill bit. Make sure the drill bit is thinner than the actual screw size!

    Good To Know: When putting in the screws, the flange will press down against the roof and begin to squeeze out some of the butyl tape. This is a good thing and tells you that a waterproof seal is being formed. Wipe out the excess butyl.

    Step 9:

    Seal The Edges Of The Maxxfan Flange

    Sealing A Maxxair Fan Flange
    Sealing around the Maxxfan flange

    Once the Maxxair fan flange is installed with screws, you’ll want to seal around the flange edge with sealant to provide a second layer of waterproof protection.

    Add a generous layer of sealant around the edges to really ensure waterproof protection.

    Sealant Recommendation: We've tried several types of sealant during our van conversion and for this flange sealant job, we highly recommend Dicor's lap sealant. It's meant for RV roofs and is highly viscous, making it super easy to apply.

    Step 10:

    Attach The Maxxair Fan & Rain Hood

    Best Vent Fan For Camper Vans - Finished Maxxfan Installation

    Lastly, attach the Maxxair Fan unit & rain hood to the flange with the supplied nuts & bolts. This step was easy 🙂

    And hey, you’re done!

    Still Unsure Which Fan To Buy?

    We are HUGE believers of the Maxxfan. The unique rain cover is what sold us versus the FANtastic fan and other cheaper models. Learn more by reading our Maxxfan Review.

    Building a camper van? Download our free e-Books with intuitive electrical, solar, and plumbing diagrams.

    Maxxair Fan Installation Video

    Need more resources? Check out this useful video from the manufacturers showing how to install a Maxxair fan in a camper.

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

    How To Wire A Maxxair Fan To Your Batteries

    After installing your Maxxair fan, you’re ready to wire the fan to the batteries to get the fan up and running.

    Out of the box, the Maxxfan will come supplied with one red and one black wire You’ll need to connect those two wires to your batteries.

    The following 3 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

    Extending maxxair fan wires with butt connectors
    Extending Maxxair fan 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 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 the other end to another piece of red wire.

    Then extend the Maxxfan’s black wire with another piece of black wire using a second butt connector.

    The butt connectors we recommend above come heat shrink ready. Which means you just need to apply heat, from a heat gun, to seal the butt connectors to the wires.

    Which type of wires do you need? We used these 14AWG wires to extend of Maxxfan’s wires. They come with an additional outer jacket for added wire protection. We think they work pretty great.

    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.

    Yes, you could always connect the Maxxfan’s wires directly to your batteries, but we don’t recommend that. That’s 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.

    #8 Ring Connectors: Pick up a pack of these #8 ring connectors. These will allow you to connect all your 14AWG wires to your 12v distribution panel.

    Step 3:

    Wire Your 12v Distribution Panel To Your Batteries

    If you haven’t already, go ahead and connect your 12v distribution panel to your camper batteries.

    Not sure how to do this? To learn how to make all your battery connections, check out our other post: How To Build A 12v System In A Camper Van. You can also download our free campervan electrical guide below.

    Was This Post Helpful? We have lots of other useful articles to help you build the foundation of your camper van. Check out our Ventilation & Insulation page to read more great van build content!

    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.

    We then rinse 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 have lots of other great van build articles on our blog. If you’re looking to install a ceiling, plywood walls, or even RV windows, our blog has got you covered.

    Happy building!

    Thank You For Reading!

    We’re Yuko and Eric! We both grew up in Asia ( Japan & Hong Kong ), we left our jobs and homes in 2018 and started traveling full time from Canada to Argentina in our self-converted camper van since end of May 2019. “Asobo” means “Let’s play” in Japanese. We named our site “Asobolife” because the life is always uncertain and we live only once so it’s important to always keep positive, playful mind and enjoy the moment you are in the present. We also want to use this website to share our road trip and van building experiences to inspire our readers. We hope you enjoy!

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