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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm curious about how folks use their vent fans on cold nights when sleeping in the van and running a heater.

I know some venting is a good thing to prevent condensation and promote air circulation, but it sure seems like setting the fan to vent mode (blowing out) just chimneys all the heat straight out of roof. I'm using a Maxxair fan mounted center of the van, typically set blowing out on the lowest setting overnight.

If it's under 40 degrees and you're running a heater (Propex in our case), do you typically leave the fan running? Blowing in or out? I wonder if opening the vent but leaving the fan off would provide a happier medium. Or perhaps blowing in, so cold air is coming in from the top of the van and mixing with the rising warm air, rather than just sucking all the warm air out the roof?
 

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I wanted a heat exchanger initially, but in reality just bring in some fresh air and vent the warm moist air out from up high. Propane is cheap and the air volume to heat is small.
 

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I would crack the roof vent if it was not froze shut, No fan.
Myself, I get enough fresh air when the door is open for few seconds climbing in and out. I have a direct vent propane heater so there is no real need for fresh air in cold weather.
 

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2016, MR, 130"
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I just crack the side window we installed. I only use the fan if cooking indoors or cooling the van down. In the morning if there is moisture evident I will leave the heater and fan on after making coffee.
 

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2017 Ford Transit 350 Passenger Wagon
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We use a diesel heater positioned in the back of the van. We keep our MaxxAir dome fan (exhaust only) running while the heater is on. This has worked in the low 20s (F).
 

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When camping at a ski hill parking lot I dry my clothes in my heated closet. I keep the van closed up until the humidity bothers me and then I put on my parka and boots and open all all the doors. Within a minute all the humidity is gone and I close things up again. The heat loss is minimal and I might have to do this once or twice per night. It gives me a chance to look at the stars.

It would be nice to have a proper air exchange system but I can live with periodically airing the van out. And I find that in the winter this is more comfortable than introducing another draft into the van.

Cheers.
 

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When it's cold we still leave the fan open but not running to vent humidity. We also have bunk windows in each side at bed level we can adjust. We use a space heater when in shore power and we have to use it in the lowest settings.

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2017 Transit 350 HD Wagon
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My understanding is that it's important to vent the hot air, because the hot air is holding all the moisture produced from breathing, cooking, drying clothes, etc. The hot air should be moving, and being replaced with more hot air from your heater. If you don't let it out you'll have condensation and all the associated long-term issues.
 
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