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I have noticed that most camper conversions have located their MaxxFan vent/fan at the extreme rear of the Transit. I have some concern that this location might not be the best for me as I am planning on using a catalytic propane heater from an underboard propane tank and plan on using it four seasons here in New England. Since fresh air is needed to run the heater, I would be susceptible to drafts directly over my bed that will be located in the rear.


I am considering an alternative location just behind the first roof strut after the roofline goes from curved to flat. In that way, I should not be as susceptible to drafts. Should I be concerned about additional road noise or reduction in MPG if I were to locate in that position? Has anyone else installed there? Does anyone else see any pitfalls? It may be advantageous to have it in that location for cooking and for moisture exhaust from a rigged up shower that would be possible as well.


Thanks,


Scott
 

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I think the up front location has a lot of advantages. I think some people avoid the location because of solar panels or other items going on roof racks.
 

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I'm not sure the BEMM is correct- they call that front location a "local form in roof panel". Some vans include a flat area devoid of roof ribs to mount a vent, my 83 Chevy van did- the Transit does not.
If you look at the overhead drawing for the roof rack mounts they show a formed in roof panel for a vent farther back- don't know about all US Transits but mine does NOT have this.
So I don't see where it will make any difference structurally where a light weight roof vent goes since Ford neglected to include a flat formed roof panel to mount one. Hence the Hein adapter plate.

I'm in the process of mounting a Dometic A/C on mine and IMO it can only go in one spot- there is only one place near the rear where there are two internal supports with 14" spacing to carry the weight followed by a third a little farther back to assist. I mounted a 3/4" plywood spanner plate across all three to help distribute the weight.

On the EL van this is the first/second/third supports counting from the back. Probably other lengths are different- don't know.

Just for reference my vent will go at the far rear behind the A/C- I want to draw in air from the front and exhaust out the back or the reverse so there is a more complete air exchange.
I'm thinking of cooling when it is not hot enough to need the A/C but too warm to not have a lot of air movement through as much of the interior as possible.
 

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We will also install our Maxxfan forward.
We figured it's going to work better with our layout:

PROS:
- Above cooking area
- Not directly above the bed (reduced noise at night)
- ON/OFF switch more accessible (we dont have a remote)
- Moisture evacuation for minimalist-removable shower

CONS:
- To allow good air circulation in the back, we will most likely have to cut a ventilation hole (air-in) on the floor at the rear of the van.
- More space between the ribs; will it requires additional roof support?



 

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We will also install our Maxxfan forward.
We figured it's going to work better with our layout...
- To allow good air circulation in the back, we will most likely have to cut a ventilation hole (air-in) on the floor at the rear of the van.

You may have an easy solution to the rear air intake need. Under the van, at the bottom of the D pillar on both sides, there is a 3x4-or-5 inch plastic plug that can be removed. I've been running without the one on the driver side (passenger side is too close to the exhaust) for about a month. Need to devise some rodent screen for it. In a cargo van, there are plenty of holes and openings on the D pillar, for the air to come through.

Beside that, the cabin air exit vents (which we assume have one-way flaps), are hidden under the black side moldings behind the rear wheels. It has been speculated that these could be modified for air intake, but, no one has yet taken a shot at it.
 

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You may have an easy solution to the rear air intake need. Under the van, at the bottom of the D pillar on both sides, there is a 3x4-or-5 inch plastic plug that can be removed. I've been running without the one on the driver side (passenger side is too close to the exhaust) for about a month. Need to devise some rodent screen for it. In a cargo van, there are plenty of holes and openings on the D pillar, for the air to come through.

Beside that, the cabin air exit vents (which we assume have one-way flaps), are hidden under the black side moldings behind the rear wheels. It has been speculated that these could be modified for air intake, but, no one has yet taken a shot at it.
Thanks, did not know that.

We will consider these options for sure, we'd like to avoid trimming-out the floor!

Cheers!
 

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Fore

I located mine the same location as Antoine, behind the rib after the roof stops the curve.
It is near the cooking area (and bathroom)....
only con so far is the rattles....eliminating the rattles you hear while driving and hitting bumps in the road....no issue with air drag...
Maxx air is a god product but you'd think they would have created more gaskets and more solid state construction of the moveable lid
really annoying when you go through so much trouble to soundproof the van
 

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Looked at your web site. Nice.

The parts cost estimate is in the ball park. I spent $20,000 on the Sprinter conversion. Have spent $12,000 on the Transit conversion so far. Only major item still to spend on Transit will be the fabricated stainless tanks and parts. So expect to spend about $15,000.

Second comment: Your 325 man hours to complete the conversion is very low unless you are a significantly better/faster craftsman than I am.

My Transit conversion web site:

http://www.ortontransit.info/
 

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I'm planning on installing the vent in the front as well. My only concern is that I want to place the solar panels at the very front of the roof, so forward of the vent. My reasoning is that I want to possibly put a couple skylights in the rear above the bed, and I also want the rear of the roof to be available for cargo/hanging out. So I want the space in the rear to be open.

I just ordered this roof rack: http://goo.gl/XvlfkB

It's a 7' long x 5' wide Smittybilt bolt-together rack/basket. I'm putting the Ford crossbars on this week, and when this rack comes I'm hoping I can extend it in the middle with some black painted boards to make it 9-10' long. I'm envisioning staining some boards black to match, and making a bit of a deck.
 

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i put our fan in the forward location as well, required by our bed, which raises to the ceiling on a pulley rigging system -- the bed would have obstructed the fan when up if it were in the rear position.

there's definitely noise from the fan when driving with the lid fully open -- enough that so far we always close it when going any distance. i have no comparison before/after regarding mileage, since i installed the fan prior to doing any appreciable driving.

my installation post is here: http://projects.foxharp.net/the_van/#keeping-the-air-fresh-ndash-3312016, with some more info here: http://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/ford-transit-general-discussion/23577-installing-maxxfan-weekend-8.html#post316049

i'll definitely be putting in a floor vent, somewhere midship. i'd like the inbound cool air to be closer to where our dog lives when we do leave him in the van. (which is not often, and very carefully.) air from the D-pillar vent exits higher up (i'd rather have that air at the floor), and i haven't yet figured out a good way to open/close it easily. we drive dirt and mud often enough that it needs to be closeable.
 

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I located mine the same location as Antoine, behind the rib after the roof stops the curve.
It is near the cooking area (and bathroom)....
only con so far is the rattles....eliminating the rattles you hear while driving and hitting bumps in the road....no issue with air drag...
Maxx air is a good product but you'd think they would have created more gaskets and more solid state construction of the moveable lid
really annoying when you go through so much trouble to soundproof the van
have you contacted them about the rattles? ours rattles when closed -- quite a bit. pretty annoying. i've emailed them -- but just one business day ago. will definitely be calling them if i get no response.
 

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... air from the D-pillar vent exits higher up (i'd rather have that air at the floor), and i haven't yet figured out a good way to open/close it easily. we drive dirt and mud often enough that it needs to be closeable.
I don't think it's been mentioned, but, in the cargo van, you've also got that D pillar wiring access cap on the interior, about 8 inches from the floor, which is as big as the bottom cap. I do agree that the air midship should be cooler, though.
 

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I put my fan in the back over the bed. I can see the pros and cons of both places. I don't plan to cook much in the van so venting cooking isn't much of an issue. I wasn't worried about noise either. Actually I didn't think anyone could hear it while driving (maybe because mine is in the back). Mostly I wanted the fan over the bed for circulation when sleeping on warm nights. I'll be putting solar panels in front of the fan. If the fan is more forward would panels fit behind the fan? I can see where putting the fan in the middle would make it hard to install solar but I also imagine not everyone is going to install solar panels. As a side note I was planning on finding a small portable DC powered fan to move around the van. That way I can put it up front if I ever decided to cook or just want extra ventilation.
 

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I have not contacted them. Let me know if you get any helpful feedback from them.
A good design, except for this problem...which is so annoying when you've been on the road for hours....
funny thing is it doesn't seem to bother my wife or my son...which I find perplexing....
they actually tease me about it! ...that i get so annoyed with the racket!
 

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You may have an easy solution to the rear air intake need. Under the van, at the bottom of the D pillar on both sides, there is a 3x4-or-5 inch plastic plug that can be removed. I've been running without the one on the driver side (passenger side is too close to the exhaust) for about a month. Need to devise some rodent screen for it. In a cargo van, there are plenty of holes and openings on the D pillar, for the air to come through.

Beside that, the cabin air exit vents (which we assume have one-way flaps), are hidden under the black side moldings behind the rear wheels. It has been speculated that these could be modified for air intake, but, no one has yet taken a shot at it.
Hi EddieZ - this is good info. Do you have to pop any of the interior caps off (ie. near the rear door of the driver side) to get max airflow? Is the airflow created by removing the plastic cap(s) noticeable? Are your interior walls covered? If so, does it hinder the airflow from the D pillar vent opening?

I need to figure out how the air flows from the opening of the D pillar and into the cab I suppose. Perhaps you can shed some light. Thanks!!!
 

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the air from those vents that EddieZ describes goes to lots of places. it will come out all of the holes in the D pillars, including the ones with the rectangular plastic caps if you remove the caps. it will also flow between the outer sheet metal and the interior structural ribbing, so that it will come through all of the cubbies in the walls. how much air you get that way depends on how much paneling you have. the interior cargo "wall protector" paneling has slots in the area just forward of the D-pillars, presumably so ventilation air can reach the one-way flaps in the lower rear panels behind the wheels. obviously air from the uncovered floor vents can come out of those slots as well.

i think our driving patterns are a bit different than EddieZ's -- i found that on very muddy or dusty trips that it was clear that mud/dust was coming into the van via those uncovered D-pillar holes, so i now leave them covered by default, and only take them off if i really want the extra flow-through for some reason, e.g., leaving the dog in the van for a while, or camped in a sunny spot.
 

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Hi EddieZ - this is good info. Do you have to pop any of the interior caps off (ie. near the rear door of the driver side) to get max airflow? Is the airflow created by removing the plastic cap(s) noticeable? Are your interior walls covered? If so, does it hinder the airflow from the D pillar vent opening?

I need to figure out how the air flows from the opening of the D pillar and into the cab I suppose. Perhaps you can shed some light. Thanks!!!
I see Foxharp covered the answers... all WRT cargo van. Don't know about wagon, but, presume trim panels cover all of the openings.


I finally wound up re-covering my D-pillar bottom cap. I was sleeping in the van several nights a week, for a couple of months, while working on a distant project. It was VERY humid. I found the short route from the D-pillar, to the MaxxFan (standard rear roof mount) was not making for enough flow-through circulation from the front windows. I was getting a lot of condensation on the inside of the windshield.


Similarly, AC-off ventilation with windows and fan suffered, because of the easy pull from D-pillar opening, to MaxxFan.


I think the D-pillar vent could still work for some people, with different needs or vent setups.
 
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