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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I installed a manual Maxxair model 6200K. I have never used full speed, the thermostat control or reversed flow into van. I have a floor hole, so air flow is always out.

Do not like the Maxxair because:

1. Too much air flow at full speed for a small van. 900 CFM for a 500 cubic foot van.
2. Ugly and not stealth when open.
3. Need to close it every time I drive and open it when parked.

Procedure:

1. Removed Maxxair.
2. Retained the Maxxair roof flange.
3. Removed the metal clips for Maxxair screws to expose existing 5/16" dia. holes.
4. Bolted two 12" long 1" 80/20 series 10 extrusions to the inside of the flange with 1/4-20NC carriage bolts.
5. Made a picture frame "water deflector" from 1/8" x 1" aluminum angles bolted to outside of Maxxair roof flange using extrusion bolts.
6. Caulked top seam of angles to the Maxxair roof flange.
7. Made two fan support bars and bolted to bottom of 80/20.
8. Mounted the fan to the supports.
9. Used carriage bolts and 1/4" rod connectors nuts with spacers to make 4 lid support posts for the cover.
10. Made wood cover. If it works will replace wood cover with SS baking pan.
11. Reinstalled the inside Maxxair Garnish Ring.

Cover is 1" above the top edge of the Maxxair roof flange and extends 2" around the perimeter past the top edge of the roof flange. The angles bolted to the roof flange use 1" of the opening so there is 1" between the angles and the cover for air flow. The vent is always open. To close to limit light or insulate the opening I use a 1" thick closed cell foam plug inserted into the Garnish Ring. Top of the cover is about 3" above the roof. Hope the angles prevent water entry. We will see this winter if it works keeping water out.



Font Parallel Rectangle Schematic Slope
 

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2019 HR Cargo Oxford White 148 wb 3.7L
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minor criticism of the design would be the leading edge of opening, heavy rain while driving might get some water intrusion. although your solar panel will help shield that edge. like the use of L bracket to keep the water out, I have been thinking of a improved roof vent, going to use the reverse flange idea in the next revision, have not made anything yet, just stuff in CAD. I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
minor criticism of the design would be the leading edge of opening, heavy rain while driving might get some water intrusion. although your solar panel will help shield that edge. like the use of L bracket to keep the water out, I have been thinking of a improved roof vent, going to use the reverse flange idea in the next revision, have not made anything yet, just stuff in CAD. I like it.
I have thought about a couple more things I can do if water is an issue. Will wait to see if I have a problem. Since solar panel is just upstream, I could add rubber to panel flange down to the roof to prevent water coming from front to back on van roof. Also, could add another angle to the picture frame.

If all else fails, I can reinstall the Maxxair since I did not destroy any of the Maxxair parts.

The drawing is actually an improvement on what I actually built. Thought of the better method after I had completed to install.
 

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I agree that the Maxxair fans are complete overkill. Much smaller (and quieter) fan is all that is needed for ventilation. For cooling, it is much more effective to have a small personal fan blowing directly on your body. Also, I am not a fan of cutting a hole in the roof for a fan. The side seems like a better proposition. I like the idea of a floor hole for inlet air. Another alternative is, if you have a window that opens, open it.
 

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I have thought about a couple more things I can do if water is an issue. Will wait to see if I have a problem. Since solar panel is just upstream, I could add rubber to panel flange down to the roof to prevent water coming from front to back on van roof. Also, could add another angle to the picture frame.

If all else fails, I can reinstall the Maxxair since I did not destroy any of the Maxxair parts.

The drawing is actually an improvement on what I actually built. Thought of the better method after I had completed to install.
Yes another flange down would even be better, (to keep the water out) don't need much of a return, 1/4 inch ?, the design looks good, just have to use it, and tweak things that need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yep, If I had it to do over I probably would not have cut a 14 inch hole in my roof.
I just copied what everyone else was doing.
I was dumb enough to do it twice. Should have learned not to do it after the Sprinter build.
 

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Is the big maxxair fan overkill? Probably, but I still like it. combining the fan mode of my espar heater to draw in cold air from under the van and the maxxair sucking out hot air, it works very well. Good for those room clearing farts!

It is pretty noisy and the remote is old tech, but it still works well enough. I wish I could use a bluetooth or wifi app to trigger it remotely, would be sweet.
 

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Call me a contrarian.

I'm not sure what the net positive is from what @orton did. Still have a hole in the roof, still have to turn the fan on/off, still have something visible on the roof. Don't like the high flow avail from the fan, dont turn it up. A big fan turning slow is usually quieter then a little fan turning fast. Maxx fan is rated to be open while driving (tho i broke an aluminum part on mine driving 70 into a 30 mph headwind so i close it if getting on a thruway now).

Having the fan on the roof lets it draw air where the air is hottest, as opposed to venting thru the floor/wall unless u go crazy w/ duct work and increase fan speed to make up for loss of flow in the ducting. And thru wall venting hits the stealth aspect. And really, nowadays, unless your van is 100% stock on the outside, most to whom it matters can guess what is going on inside.

Having a bigger opening aids in promoting flow w/o needing the fan to spin, or enabling it to spin slower for the same flow. Finally, I've left mine fully open in a near typhoon w/ only a fee drops of water coming in.

edit: just wanted to add i think the maxx fan is a piece of crap. I've replaced a motor, a circuit board, and the entire assembly less flange after i broke an internal aluminum part while on a trip as noted above. Still the best option I can find tho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm not sure what the net positive is from what @orton did. Still have a hole in the roof, still have to turn the fan on/off, still have something visible on the roof. Don't like the high flow avail from the fan, dont turn it up. A big fan turning slow is usually quieter then a little fan turning fast. Maxx fan is rated to be open while driving (tho i broke an aluminum part on mine driving 70 into a 30 mph headwind so i close it if getting on a thruway now).

Having a bigger opening aids in promoting flow w/o needing the fan to spin, or enabling it to spin slower for the same flow. Finally, I've left mine fully open in a near typhoon w/ only a fee drops of water coming in.
3" high black vent is less visible than a 10" (?) high white vent. New vent is significantly less visible.

I had to replace a broken pot metal gearbox on Sprinter Maxxair due to driving with a partially open vent. Maxxair recommends vent fully open or fully closed when driving. Do not want lid fully open when driving. Tree branches and forces from pushing air with the lid.

I suspect the redesign has close to or more open area as the Maxxair.

In my use I seldom have powered the fan and always have it open when parked on warm days. That helps with the hole in the floor to create airflow from under van to out the open vent. Prefer to have the vent always open without any action required,

My biggest complaint was the need to open the vent each time I parked and then close the vent each time I drive. Mine was a manual Maxxair.

We will see if what I did keeps the water out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I see, thanks. How high is the new vent when open? An installed pix would be nice.
Open all the time. Top of cover about 3" above the roof.

If I want to close the vent, I stuff a slightly oversize 1" closed cell insulation pad in the opening. High tech!

The modification may keep the van cooler. Maybe I now have more open area. Will measure Maxxair open area vs. the new one and check interior temperatures on warm days this week and then report back. That would be an unexpected improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Wood Rectangle Road surface Asphalt Composite material
Hood Solar power Solar panel Solar energy Grille
White Light Air travel Line Machine


Pictures of modification. The 3rd picture of the fan is not the same as the drawing in post # 1. After I completed the install, I thought of a better method which is shown in the drawing.

Do appreciate the modification. Now I do not have to open vent every time I park and close every time I drive. Open all the time.

Fan is about as noisy as the Maxxair on high. Need to find someone with a Maxxair to compare the noise level.

With front windows down about 1 1/2" there is considerable air flow through the window openings.

Next step is to remove the wood cover and install a 100 watt solar panel over the opening. Panel length of 35.83" is about same as existing 300 watt panel that is 39.37" wide. 100 watt panel is 26.57" wide so about right to cover the opening. The 100 watt panel will charge a EcoFlow River Pro solar "generator". Anyone have any comments on the EcoFlow?
 

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I thought of a better method
Nice. So now Orton method fan?
The 3rd picture of the fan
Automatic caption of the photo is priceless. "White Light Air travel Line Machine", sound like some new high tech conveyor.
The 100 watt panel will charge a EcoFlow River Pro solar "generator". Anyone have any comments on the EcoFlow?
Keep going down this path and eventually you will have one of those power substation on wheels van builds. 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nice. So now Orton method fan?

Automatic caption of the photo is priceless. "White Light Air travel Line Machine", sound like some new high tech conveyor.

Keep going down this path and eventually you will have one of those power substation on wheels van builds. 😁
Did not notice the automatic captions. Wonder how camera added those and determined what to say. Hilarious.

Using the Ecoflow sort of evolved as I thought about a cover for the opening. A larger cover should help prevent water entry. Why not make it a solar panel? Originally was thinking of buying a second solar controller and adding the 100 watts to the existing 300 watts to charge the house battery. We live in the country so have frequent power outages so having a portable power supply would be useful in the house, power my portable shower pump, on a picnic table or around the 5-acre property. Makes sense to store and charge it in the van since I wanted a larger cover for the opening anyway. The Ecoflow will not add to the van electrical. The 255 amp-hr AGM is already oversize for my application.

I will add two 91 1/2" long black series 15 extrusions to the existing panel mounts and cantilever out 27" from back of existing panel to support the new panel. No new roof holes for support. New 100-watt panel length is 3 1/2" less than the existing 300-watt panel's width. Will also be more stealth with solid extrusion the full length of both panels hiding the panels. Will need to add holes for the solar cables just in front of the upper brake light housing. Do not want the cables out past edge of the panels for branches to hit.

Now I need to make a drawing to be sure what I have planned will work.
 

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Next step is to remove the wood cover and install a 100 watt solar panel over the opening. Panel length of 35.83" is about same as existing 300 watt panel that is 39.37" wide. 100 watt panel is 26.57" wide so about right to cover the opening. The 100 watt panel will charge a EcoFlow River Pro solar "generator". Anyone have any comments on the EcoFlow?

If you mean this one, then it is roughly 1/2 of the usable battery capacity and inverter capability of what you have now.

I don't remember the internal battery pack voltage but it isn't the 12 volts that you are used to. It has a DC - DC converter built in that can support ~ 10 amps max @ 12 volts.

The DC - DC converter that they use has a significant standby power draw (like an inverter) so make sure to turn it off when not actively using 12 volts.

If you don' t require it to be "portable", then an alternative path for you would be to replace the existing 8D battery with 2 Battle Borns, add the extra panel and just run it all through the existing solar charge controller. This would be a much greater gain for your power outage situations.

Pick a 24 volt panel for that location - pretty easy to find - and run it in parallel down to the existing system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Do not need any additional house power for the van. Van system will remain as it is.

The Ecoflow will just be stored in the van and charged by the additional 100 watt solar panel. Not used by the van system. Will always be charged when it is needed.

Just want a portable power supply that can be used outside the van. During power outages it will be nice to have lights inside the house, use it to charge the ebike, power my shower water pump in the house, run my electric chain saw or etc. Would have been nice to have when evacuated for the fire. Could also use it to power the rear seat DC heating pad I use to stay warm on cold nights.

I needed a large cover for the fan opening to keep water out of the van. A 100 watt panel is a cheap solution for a cover and can be used to keep the portable power supply charged. Size of the Ecoflow fits in an easily accessible space I have under the bench seat at rear doors. Have 120 volt AC outlet there so could also charge the Ecoflow from the vehicle powered inverter with engine running or the house inverter.
 
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