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2020 HR LWB, 3.5 ECO, 3.73. Conversion complete?
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installed a MaxxAir fan above the bed in my 2020 and needed ventilation. I dismissed floor vents for many reasons then looked for window vents. The only commercially available options that I found were from the likes of Eurocamper that cost $124 (shipped), so how does $3.64 sounds?
1. Start with a 14 in. x 4 in. Galvanized Steel Vent from Home Depot.
Gibraltar Building Products 14 in. x 4 in. Galvanized Steel 2-Way Reversible Vent TW144-1/8
2. Hammer the top flange flat, shear off excess then file smooth.
3. Cut out two pieces 5" x 3" card stock. These will form the sides that fit in your window channel. Open your window and place the vent into the top of the channel (centered). Then you'll spend a bit of time cutting and test fitting each of the sides.
4. For the side material I used the 14" x 14" scrap metal from my MaxxAir installation. Place your cardboard templates on the metal and use a permanent marker to outline them.
5. Use shears to cut, then file edges smooth.
6. Tape sides to vent and test fit. Drill 4 holes to accommodate pop rivets. I used metal epoxy between the sides and vent, then riveted the pieces together.
7. I painted mine to match my Magnetic Metallic Transit.
8. In the bottom trough install foam tape.
9. I then cut window screen to fit on the inside and epoxied around the border to keep really small bugs out.

Install and enjoy!
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We use these bug screens . I refer to them as window socks since
they're just a double layer of mesh that fits over the top of the window.
Non-rigid so easily wodges up and fits in the door pocket,
no magnets/velcro/adhesive/etc ..
I like the simplicity and price of this solution but I am trying to envision how this fits over the mirror and still allows for a tight fit on the bottom? I'm assuming you have the mirror folded in when you use it and you purchased the extra large size? Thanks!
 

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I’m not near my van and am curious, can anyone tell me quickly what the width of the Transit window is? Well, I know it’s not consistent, but what’s the max width of the top 6” or so? This project would be easy to crank out something DIY with my laser cutter, but I can only do about 19.5” wide. I’d like to do something that doesn’t leak when it rains and I do not really want to install those vent shade things, I just want something I can add when stopped and not have to worry about rain water getting in.


—Donnie
 

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There was the theory that the air is somehow cooler under the van closer to the ground.
You sound as though you doubt this, but just about any dog will confirm: Tho there may be shade under a tree or next to a building, the dog will almost always go for the cool spot under the porch or under a vehicle (obviously this doesn't apply if the vehicle just parked moments ago on a spot that was in the sun).
 

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You sound as though you doubt this, but just about any dog will confirm: Tho there may be shade under a tree or next to a building, the dog will almost always go for the cool spot under the porch or under a vehicle (obviously this doesn't apply if the vehicle just parked moments ago on a spot that was in the sun).
I think I was the second one on this forum to use the D-Pillars for floor vents back when no one knew they were there in 2016, No cut floor vents using existing holes and passageways already in the van.

I used the D-Pillars for an air intake and hot air exhaust for a two hose portable air conditioner I had in the van the first year, With the right D-Pillar for the hot air exhaust and the left D-Pillar being the fresh air intake.
The portable air conditioner took up a big chunk of real estate on the floor (16" X 16") and was later removed to make room for a Queen bed, Then both D-Pillars became floor vents and are still being used for that purpose today. They suck cool air up over the head of the bed and out the front mounted roof vent, I mounted my roof vent in the front to draw cooking smells out of the front cooking area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I’m not near my van and am curious, can anyone tell me quickly what the width of the Transit window is? Well, I know it’s not consistent, but what’s the max width of the top 6” or so? This project would be easy to crank out something DIY with my laser cutter, but I can only do about 19.5” wide. I’d like to do something that doesn’t leak when it rains and I do not really want to install those vent shade things, I just want something I can add when stopped and not have to worry about rain water getting in.


—Donnie
If you use a square to measure the parallel width of the window opening, it’s about 16.5”. I say “about” because the front guide is flexible rubber. I cut mine 17.25” wide So it would fit inside the window guides. There is about 1/4-1/2” that will fit into the rear window guide and 1/8-1/4“ to fit into the front guide. I suspect some of the vents that were purchased were made 16.3 to 16.5” wide so you would not have to fool around with getting it in the window guides. The rear guide is a bit tricky until you figure it out because of the way it’s made to fit tight against the window.
I start with the front inside the van and the rear outside. You have to put the rear in firs, push it back the insert the front.
 

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If you use a square to measure the parallel width of the window opening, it’s about 16.5”. I say “about” because the front guide is flexible rubber. I cut mine 17.25” wide So it would fit inside the window guides. There is about 1/4-1/2” that will fit into the rear window guide and 1/8-1/4“ to fit into the front guide. I suspect some of the vents that were purchased were made 16.3 to 16.5” wide so you would not have to fool around with getting it in the window guides. The rear guide is a bit tricky until you figure it out because of the way it’s made to fit tight against the window.
I start with the front inside the van and the rear outside. You have to put the rear in firs, push it back the insert the front.
Thanks. I’m gonna play with this next week. Gonna be annoying getting the curves into CAD, but past that it’s just playing around with the best dimensions and height. I could see a case for using 1/4” acrylic to match the thickness of the glass, but with 1/8” you might also be able to “flex” it into the gap. Or if the height was less, thanks to that back top curved corner you may be able to roll the window all the way down and turn it at an angle and twist it into the track and then slide to the top. Or it sounds like you just don’t make it the FULL width that the glass is and do what you did. Many possibilities.

I think if you can make it fit the track snugly without making it too hard to get in and out then you may not need the metal pieces on the bottom? Especially with 1/4” thick acrylic?

Then I’m curious about coming up with some kind of design that would keep water from getting in during moderate rain as I’d like to be able to use mine even during rain. Hmm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thanks. I’m gonna play with this next week. Gonna be annoying getting the curves into CAD, but past that it’s just playing around with the best dimensions and height. I could see a case for using 1/4” acrylic to match the thickness of the glass, but with 1/8” you might also be able to “flex” it into the gap. Or if the height was less, thanks to that back top curved corner you may be able to roll the window all the way down and turn it at an angle and twist it into the track and then slide to the top. Or it sounds like you just don’t make it the FULL width that the glass is and do what you did. Many possibilities.

I think if you can make it fit the track snugly without making it too hard to get in and out then you may not need the metal pieces on the bottom? Especially with 1/4” thick acrylic?

Then I’m curious about coming up with some kind of design that would keep water from getting in during moderate rain as I’d like to be able to use mine even during rain. Hmm.
I understand your desire to use 1/4 thick material as thinner material will not stay straight without support. However the glass is about 0.15 thick. So if you want it to fit in the guides you will have to route them down to 0.15 or less. Even with the thinner material I used I had to bevel the edges to make it easier to get them in the guides.
I’m a little hung up on the rain shield as well. I think a dryer vent shape will work but I would rather bend flanges on polycarbonate and use small machine screws rather than glue it (if you know what I mean). Not sure if I can get a good enough bend without a heat strip…that I don’t have. Certainly can do it out of sheet metal, but I would rather have it all clear PC. So I just need to do a little experimenting to figure out how to do what I want.
Concerning how to get the window shape into your CNC program, can you trace it then scan your profile? Otherwise I used to trace complex shapes using AutoCad and a digitizing pad…but I haven’t seen one of them for years. Maybe you could get close enough tracing with a mouse.
 

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I bought these, pricey but a good deal and look really slick.
We have them as well and like them. One comment - our MaxxAir fan labors when pulling air through these vents at high fan speeds. On really hot nights, we have to crack the rear door to provide additional airflow. Hein has a bracket to lock the rear doors in a partially open position. We just used a bike lock through the door handles.
 
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My van doesn't have any windows with screens, so I've been looking for a way to get ventilation when running my roof fan. I saw a thread where someone found a good place to put a hole in the floor, but it looked like a fair amount of work so I was holding out for something else. I've tried just leaving the front windows down a couple inches, but then bug get in. So I figured there should be a way to use the front window with a bug screen.

What I came up with is a clear polycarbonate sheet that has a screen in it and can insert in the top of the window. It's the same thickness as the glass so it will insert into the side and top window guides. At the bottom it essentially has a "U" shape to go around the top of the window. So I roll down the window, insert the screen holder piece, then push it into to top by rolling up the window.

It's yet to be ventilation
tested, but based on doing this without the screen a couple nights, I think it's going to do the trick.
View attachment 170398 View attachment 170399
Looks like a little different design to the same idea many others including myself have made. Yours do look larger than most. I avoided that so to keep someone from being able to push one out and reach down to the door lock. Since I prefer fresh air over AC when driving I leave mine in full time so the security was important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Looks like a little different design to the same idea many others including myself have made. Yours do look larger than most. I avoided that so to keep someone from being able to push one out and reach down to the door lock. Since I prefer fresh air over AC when driving I leave mine in full time so the security was important.
Seems like if someone is going to break in they might break a window anyway :unsure:
 

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I understand your desire to use 1/4 thick material as thinner material will not stay straight without support. However the glass is about 0.15 thick. So if you want it to fit in the guides you will have to route them down to 0.15 or less. Even with the thinner material I used I had to bevel the edges to make it easier to get them in the guides.
I’m a little hung up on the rain shield as well. I think a dryer vent shape will work but I would rather bend flanges on polycarbonate and use small machine screws rather than glue it (if you know what I mean). Not sure if I can get a good enough bend without a heat strip…that I don’t have. Certainly can do it out of sheet metal, but I would rather have it all clear PC. So I just need to do a little experimenting to figure out how to do what I want.
Concerning how to get the window shape into your CNC program, can you trace it then scan your profile? Otherwise I used to trace complex shapes using AutoCad and a digitizing pad…but I haven’t seen one of them for years. Maybe you could get close enough tracing with a mouse.
Dang, good catch on the thickness. I forget auto glass has gotten thinner than the old days. The “quarter inch” acrylic isn’t quite a quarter inch, but yeah, close enough that it’s still too thick. Eighth will work, and like others I’m likely to make mine a little less tall, too.

And yeah, you can bend this stuff (I’ve bent quarter inch a lot), but it would be tough to do nice louvers for sure. I agree on it being nice to do something that was entirely clear, though.

As for the curve, yeah, I can trace in AutoCAD. Some version of that is almost certainly what I’ll do. It’s not terribly tough to take a picture of it from the right angle and then use that as a layer to trace over, then scale it to the proper dimensions. It’s just a little tedious.
 

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I like the simplicity and price of this solution but I am trying to envision how this fits over the mirror and still allows for a tight fit on the bottom? I'm assuming you have the mirror folded in when you use it and you purchased the extra large size? Thanks!
Open door, pull mesh window sock over the top of the door, pinch and pull down, close door.
This is size Large. XL would probably cover a fully-opened window.
I removed the elastic band on the bottom since the mesh has plenty of stretch.

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Open door, pull mesh window sock over the top of the door, pinch and pull down, close door.
This is size Large. XL would probably cover a fully-opened window.
I removed the elastic band on the bottom since the mesh has plenty of stretch.

View attachment 170582
View attachment 170583
I use “window socks” too. Didn’t think about releasing the bottom elastic band, I will try it. And they are cheap enough, if not happy I can buy again. Lot of interesting solutions here.
 

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Seems like if someone is going to break in they might break a window anyway :unsure:
That's true sometimes. Sometimes its "smash and grab" other times the thief has some time and breaking a window will draw attention. Think about it, If you could easily just unlock and open a door wouldn't you go that route rather than making noise by braking a window. Stealth means giving you more time to look around and discover something that might be a bit more worth your trouble.
Not saying the design difference is better or worse, just different.
 
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