Many RVs feature roof vents with a built-in ceiling exhaust fan. Our current RV has two exhaust fans—one in the galley area ceiling and one in the bathroom ceiling. An RV exhaust fan can help make your interior living space much more enjoyable and perhaps even healthier! Here are some tips to help you get the most from your RV’s exhaust fan.
Freshen the air
It’s best to use the exhaust fan in conjunction with an open window, door, or vent. This will allow the fan to draw outside air into your RV. We usually open a window farthest from the fan when wanting to draw in fresh air. The fan pulls the outside air into our rig and causes stagnant interior air to be expelled out of the RV via the exhaust vent. The resulting ventilation helps keep our RV’s interior air fresh.
Your exhaust fan is particularly useful when cooking or showering. Cooking can produce odors and, just like showering, can add excess moisture to the air inside your RV. By turning on the exhaust fan during these activities, you can prevent mold and mildew, and also keep your RV’s interior smelling fresh and clean. Hint: If you battle allergies, you’ll want to be especially vigilant about removing excess humidity inside your RV.
If you have two separate ceiling exhaust fans, as we do, use the fan that’s closest to the humidity source, e.g., kitchen exhaust fan for cooking humidity and bath fan for shower humidity. Also, open the nearest window to the source of moisture. That way it isn’t drawn throughout the RV. Instead, the humidity is more directly pulled up and out of your rig.
Your exhaust fan can also help regulate the temperature inside your RV. We turn on our fans in the early morning to draw in cooler temperatures through several open windows. Before the outside air warms up, we turn off the fans.
Later in the evening, we activate the fans once more. We open one bedroom window just a little bit and a great cross breeze results. The fans pull in the cooler nighttime air, exhausts warm interior air, and we can usually sleep without using the air conditioner.
In nice weather, we keep the exhaust vent open, without using the fan. This helps promote natural air circulation throughout the RV.
Experiment with your exhaust fan. Try different speed settings (if available) to find the optimal setting for your varying needs. Also, try opening different windows or doors to see which combination produces the best results.
Like everything else in your RV, the exhaust fan requires cleaning. I use a microfiber cloth to remove dust from the exhaust screen, or sometimes I’ll remove the screen and use dish soap to clean. After a thorough rinse, the screen can be patted dry with a towel or set outdoors to air dry.
To clean the blades, you’ll need to remove the screen. On our fan, the screen simply pulls off. Check to find the best way to access the fan blades on your fan, as it may be different. I use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe each blade, turning to a clean part of the cloth as I go.
To clean the top “window” on the fan you’ll most likely need to get up on the RV’s roof. I use a window cleaner to remove dirt from the plastic cover. Keeping the exhaust fan free of dust, rust, or debris will help the fan function at its best and extend the life of the fan, as well. Cleaning may also help with allergies.
Follow these tips and you’ll get maximum benefit from your exhaust fan. Your RV’s interior air will be comfortable, fresh, and well-ventilated, too!
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One of the best upgrades we EVER did was replacing that worthless little noise maker ”fan’ in the loo with a silent but powerful Fantastic fan. I don’t understand why the industry keeps installing these worthless little ‘fans’. It wouldn’t increase the cost of construction by much.
Right on Tommy! I got so sick and tired of hearing that whirlgig fan up there, which did basically nothing – but make noise; I replaced it with a MaxxAir wired to the wall switch. Also, as age has stolen a few inches from my wife and I, we could no longer easily reach the galley roof fan – so I put in the MaxxAir with remote control. I mounted a second remote holder on the instrument panel and can control it while driving if necessary. (Class A). MaxxAir’s are reversible and can be run with the roof cover closed – like a ceiling fan and they are silent!!!!
Unfortunately, many RVs are still made with the little near worthless fans that do not look like the one pictured. Tony B. frequently commented on these worthless fans in his RV reviews.
If you are looking at a new RV with one or more of those little fans, it’s a good time to negotiate having those swapped out for the full size vent fans that actually work.
If you already have an RV with the little fans, do yourself a favor and change them out.
Thank you, Gail!