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Maxxair Replacement

2720 Views 39 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Tuckie
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.



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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Nice! Another Orton original. 馃槅 Adding a portable power supply to a portable power supply. (I consider my van to be a large portable generator). Love the fan mod too btw. 馃憤馃徎
The portable power supply will be stored in the van and charged with a 100-watt solar panel mounted on the van roof behind the existing 300-watt panel and over the top of the vent opening. The existing wood vent cover will be discarded. The power supply will not be connected to the van house battery system. Portable power supply will be used in the house during power outages, use on a picnic table, use to power my electric pole chain saw etc. Could use it to charge my electric bike or to power the heating pad I use to stay warm on a cold night. It can be used instead of turning on the house inverter. Added electrical capacity but not connected to the van house electrical system.

The always open vent cover has passed its first rain test. Light rain today and I drove up to 50 mph. No water entry.

The final install with the 25 1/2" x 36" 100-watt panel over the opening should be better water protection than the existing 18" square wood cover. The final 100-watt panel install will have a 18" long 1/4" rubber pad sandwiched between the two panel frames and down to the roof top to prevent water from running along the roof top toward the vent opening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
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. 馃榿
Nice. So now Orton method fan?
:)

Maybe that happens when a person does not follow the crowd?

Rear issue is I installed Maxxairs in two vans before questioning the choice and lived with them.

Hiding fan under the added solar panel will work. Inrteresting, that I was going to add the new solar panel to the existing to add amperage for house system. Buying a solar pane to cover the opening was least expensive method of covering the hole. When looking for a solar controller found the Ecoflow power storage unit. Should be nice to have portable 120 volt AC during electrcal power in house during power outages, run my electric chain saw and maybe even use the power in the van as a supplement to the existing electrical system. Could use the power for my 12 volt DC rear seat heating pad. Storage location is just below the bed platform at back on passenger side under the bench seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
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.
1. already had the hole in the roof.
2. do have to turn fan on/off
3. Not visible on the roof. It is under the added solar panel.
4. I also broke the pot metal gearbox on the Sprinter install.
5. I have a 4" square hole in the floor to pull cooler air from under the van.
6. biggest advantage is it is always open, so no effort required entering the van and driving off or closing it when parked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·

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.
Not changing or replacing the existing system. Van low power existing system works fine for my use. No need to increase the existing system's capability. Portable power will be used around the property. Should be useful during power outages for lights and to power the computer. Should be useful to power the electric heating pad during power outages.

For me to replace the existing 8D AGM with Battle Borns would require a new solar controller and house inverter/charger/transfer switch. Why do that if I would never use the added capacity?

Many people here have built high capacity systems for lots of high amperage items. I took the opposite approach and worked at reducing power requirements instead of high cost, larger space requirements, more weight and complexity.

Colin Chapman said: add lightness. Simpler is better than compexity.

What I did in the Sprinter worked so well I just copied the system for the Transit.
 

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Not changing or replacing the existing system. Van low power existing system works fine for my use. No need to increase the existing system's capability. Portable power will be used around the property. Should be useful during power outages for lights and to power the computer. Should be useful to power the electric heating pad during power outages.

For me to replace the existing 8D AGM with Battle Borns would require a new solar controller and house inverter/charger/transfer switch. Why do that if I would never use the added capacity?

Many people here have built high capacity systems for lots of high amperage items. I took the opposite approach and worked at reducing power requirements instead of high cost, larger space requirements, more weight and complexity.

Colin Chapman said: add lightness. Simpler is better than compexity.

What I did in the Sprinter worked so well I just copied the system for the Transit.
Might be easier than you think.

I took a quick look at your components and at first glance, didn't see any show stoppers but can look more closely later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Might be easier than you think.

I took a quick look at your components and at first glance, didn't see any show stoppers but can look more closely later.
Have no desire to change the existing system anyway. System works for my use in my climate.

Did not think the Magnum inverter/charger/transfer switch or the Morningstar Sunsaver solar controller support charging lithium batteries.
 

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Fan is about as noisy as the Maxxair on high. Need to find someone with a Maxxair to compare the noise level.
I ventilated my last camper with a bilge fan and speed control. When turned down low, it was inaudible and still moved enough air to ventilate the small camper volume. If you put that fan on a speed control, you might have a similar experience.
 

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Have no desire to change the existing system anyway. System works for my use in my climate.

Did not think the Magnum inverter/charger/transfer switch or the Morningstar Sunsaver solar controller support charging lithium batteries.
I get it that you are not interested in changing from the existing setup. It works for you and no need to change it.

You are a clever guy - so are others that you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
update

We have recently had heavy rainfall. The temporary plywood cover did prevent water from entering the van. Have not driven in heavy rainfall so that has not been proven to work.

I am currently recovering from triple heart bypass surgery so am unable to complete the project until I recover. I do have all the parts required.

Since the temporary cover has worked then I think the permanent larger solar panel coverng the opening will work even better. There will be 3/4" between top edge of the Maxxair fan mounting flange and the bottom of the solar panel. End result will be an always open vent under the additional 100 watt solar panel. The Coolerguys 210 CFM fan does provide adequate airflow.

I did find a larger 200 mm x 200 mm fan on the Coolerguys web site that would provide more airflow than the 140 mm x 140mm fan that I installed.
 

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Caravan Campers uses a vent on their shells. The vent has a internal snorkel to prevent water entering and drain holes on the edges to allow water to escape.They place the vent at the forward edge of the shell with the louvres facing forward to increase pressure inside. The higher pressure keeps dust intrusion lower. Adding a auxiliary transmission cooler fan is almost enough to make one鈥檚 ear pop if riding inside!

Placing the fan at rear of a van with the louvres toward the rear should should provide a vacuum. Close the internal ring to prevent air flow. Adding a lower volume pancake fan would add intake and/or exhaust.
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I am currently recovering from triple heart bypass surgery so am unable to complete the project until I recover. I do have all the parts required.
I hope recovery goes great and you get better soon. I have some minor heart issues and I know how stressful they can be.....at least for me. Take it easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Another update.

We have had a lot of rain and I have not had any water entry into the van. Have driven at 70 mph in the rain.

The picture frame made from 1/8" x 1" angle that is bolted to the exterior of the Maxxair plastic flange and the temporary 18" square plywood cover with a 1" lip seems to work.

The final configuration with the larger solar panel over the 14" square Maxxair roof flange will be better than the existing temporary plywood cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
One more update,

We have had a full week of rain. At times very heavy and with 70 mph winds. Great test for the simple 18" x 18" always open vent cover. No water entry. Obviously, no need for an elaborate huge Maxxair vent cover. The temporary plywood cover works and is only 3" above the roof. I use a slightly oversize 1" thick piece of closed cell foam to plug the opening if I want to close the vent. Much quicker and easier than turning a knob to close the opening and the foam insulates.

Next will be discarding the temporay plywood cover and replacing it with a much larger 100-watt solar panel. If it ever stops raining! The solar panel will charge a portable EcoFlow 720 watt-hr power supply. The roof opening will be hidden under the added solar panel.

We have been without power for 4 days so portable power supply has been useful. Have learned a few things during this power outage and about the Ecoflow. Have been running the refrigerator and freezer from the van vehicle powered inverter.

Buy EcoFlow RIVER Pro Portable Power Station - EcoFlow US
 

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@orton thanks for turning me on to this on the other thread. I'm sorry to hear about your health concerns. Hope you're fully recovered now!

I have definetly considered going with no top cover. But I'm not sure it would work for me, being full-time in the northeast. We're dealing with below zero temps on the lower extreme. Have you had any serious cold weather experiences with it? I wonder if other northeast folks have tried this setup?

Curious about your floor vent. Do you have any filtration on that? I've read about people giving up on that because of the dust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
@orton thanks for turning me on to this on the other thread. I'm sorry to hear about your health concerns. Hope you're fully recovered now!

I have definetly considered going with no top cover. But I'm not sure it would work for me, being full-time in the northeast. We're dealing with below zero temps on the lower extreme. Have you had any serious cold weather experiences with it? I wonder if other northeast folks have tried this setup?

Curious about your floor vent. Do you have any filtration on that? I've read about people giving up on that because of the dust.
About recovered from the bypass surgery

We have had a lot of rain and have not had any water entry. Have not had any cold weather below 32 degrees. Doubt that the Maxxair provides much protection from cold when closed with the thin plastic cover. I do have a 1" thick closed cell foam plug that I push into the opening if I want to block the light or on cold nights. In colder climates I would use a thicker foam plug in the opening for increased insulation. Believe the added 1/8" x 1" angle on all 4 sides around the plastic Maxxair roof flange must help prevent water entry. The addition of the large solar panel covering the opening will be better at preventing water entry than the existing temporary 18 square temporary plywood cover.

Floor vent is left open 95% of the time. I can close it but seldom do that. Only in cold weather. I have a 4" square floor hole located just in front of the driver side rear wheel. I do get some dust from the open vent. Clean the floor around the opening a couple times a year. Not a big issue. Maybe that location helps prevent excessive dust inside? Do have a screen on the opening but no filtration. I do close the floor vent if driving on a dirt road.

I could close the floor hole when driving but that has not been necessary.

Floor Vent | Orton Travel Transit (ortontransit.info)
 

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Glad you're on the mend!

I came across this Maxxair alternative: Roof ventilator 12 Volt LeMans LL Brushless | Brushless motor

It looks to be a brushless version of the fan sold by @Hein : Le Mans Rooftop Ventilator 12V

Things I like about it:
Things I don't like:
  • Specs show it as louder and less CFM than the brushed version for some reason
  • Only found for sale across the pond (@Hein, is this something you could source/have you tried this unit?)
  • No reverse option (not a big deal)
 
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