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Old 04-14-2015, 06:24 AM   #1
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2000 30' Excella
Monticello , Florida
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How to replace a Fantastic Fan

Can it be replace from the inside or must I get on the roof?

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Old 04-14-2015, 06:45 AM   #2
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Trent Woods , North Carolina
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I know you can replace the fan and wiring from inside. You probably have to get on top to replace the whole unit, frame and all.

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Old 04-14-2015, 06:54 AM   #3
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Why do you need to replace it.
Don Hardman
1976 31' Sovereign
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:21 AM   #4
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2000 30' Excella
Monticello , Florida
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I am referbing AS and the old fan looks bad. Wife says gotta go. I have a new fan with attached motor that I bought for my Motorhome (sold) looks nice and clear.

Can that be installed from inside?
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:58 AM   #5
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Nomadic , USA
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No it cannot be installed from the inside, you will need to go to the roof, as the outside is caulked to your roof. You are going to need to replace the cualk. No way around this. Sorry.

Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:55 PM   #6
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1996 34' Excella
Elberta , Alabama
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I just replace the Fantastic on the 96' 34'er that is nearly finished. No big deal, the new Fantastic comes with a great closed cell foam gasket, so you don't have to use the old messy putty tape. Just remove screws (or maybe rivets) where the flange is attached to the roof. after the new one is installed, get a tube of self leveling caulk, or use EternaBond over the edges of the new frame.
Then go inside, connect the two wires, cut the new garnish (usually about 1 3/4"), attach it to the ceiling and you are done.
It took me less than an hour for mine.

Old age is coming at a really bad time!

1996 34' Excella 1000, interior totally redone, 2003 Dodge/Cummins HO, U.S. Gear exhaust brake, Diablo tuner, 115 gallon aux fuel, Bedslide, Airsafe/Reese Dual Cam, and a bunch of other stuff
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:02 AM   #7
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Today, I replaced the original, dealer-installed, 10-year-old Fantastic Fan in our 2005 19' Bambi. The fan motor stopped working, and after replacing the lid plunger switch and troubleshooting the switches, I decided to just replace the whole thing.

While removing the old fan, I found three sets of screw holes in the roof from where our dealer removed the original vent; and evidently, they had problems and installed the F-Fan twice.

Most of the self-tapping screw holes were stripped out from over-torquing, and one corner was broken. It's obvious this was done during installation, because there was goop inside the crack. I'm guessing when the corner broke off, the installer just held the piece in place and covered up the whole mess with caulk, figuring we'd never know the difference.

I also found the source of the mysterious water leak that has plagued us intermittently since our Bambi was new. (It doesn't rain much in Arizona, so the leak is kind of like a bad windshield wiper blade that you only remember needs replacing once or twice a year in a downpour.) Several F-Fan mounting holes near the base of the Winegard TV antenna were stripped, and the aluminum skin didn't pull up tight against the base of the F-Fan housing. Consequently, there was a small gap where water went right through to the inside and dripped out of the antenna mechanism. Again, the installer just gooped over the gap under the F-Fan to cover up their mistake. For years, I repeatedly re-caulked the antenna base; and now I know why that leak just wouldn't go away.

I finally ended up installing U-clip steel spring-nuts over all of the mounting holes, so that the screws could be tightened enough to insure a leak-proof seal. I just wish I had thought of using this mounting hardware years ago when I installed the second F-Fan over the bed. These spring nuts allow the screws to be firmly tightened without worrying about stripping out the aluminum. Airstream should use these and/or Fantastic Vent should package them with the mounting hardware for the F-Fan.

Oh well, now I've got a handful of these in our spare parts box for any other stripped-out holes in the aluminum skin of our Bambi.

Note: I couldn't find these spring nuts at the local hardware store and ended up buying a box of 50 at Grainger for about $27; reference Grainger item #1LBD4. They were pretty pricey, but well worth it. See details, below.

The new F-Fan is the latest design, with the short, gold colored motor housing and manual direct-drive lift knob. (The old F-Fan had the large black fan motor, and the lift mechanism had a small electric motor with reduction gears.) This fan seems to move the same amount of air; but it's a little louder on HIGH, and it seems to vibrate slightly. Nothing objectionable, I just liked the old fan.

Anyway, I guess we'll find out whether the newer design (after the Atwood buyout) is any better than the old.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:01 PM   #8
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Those type of "spring-nuts" or U-nuts are also sold in little kits for about $5 at Harbor Fright. (pun intended)
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:08 PM   #9
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Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
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If you install a Maxx Fan, they are fully replaceable simply by removing 4 screws; leaving the mounting bezel that is secured to the roof fully in tact. You also get 10 speeds of fan, fully reversible and an integrated cover (that closes flat to your roof) that lets you operate it in the rain!!!

IMHO, this product is far superior to the FF, and I have installed a bunch of both types! If it were my trailer, I would use the Maxx Fan.......which is exactly what I did (X2) on my then new 2006 19CCD. one blew in, the other out and I almost never needed A/C!!!!
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:54 PM   #10
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Fresno , California
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I also replaced one of my FFs with a Maxx. Looking forward to replacing the other as well later this spring. I bought the Maxx fan with a remote.
Doug & Lori
2004 28' Classic
2007 Ram 2500
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:43 PM   #11
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2007 23' Safari SE
Annandale , New Jersey
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Have been going through old threads and haven't found the issue I need help with, so figure its best to ask.
Am looking to replace the front vent that is not powered, in my 23ft Safari with a 10 speed MaxxFan Deluxe.
I think I have read enough to understand the process with the exception of power.
In one thread I read that you need to tap into the ceiling light wires, but after thinking about it, wouldn't that mean that my fan would be subject to the light switch being flipped on and the lights being on?
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:56 AM   #12
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Ridgefield , Washington
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There is a pretty good sale on MaxxFan's at Camping World now.
John & Lisa
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:55 AM   #13
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1987 32' Excella
Nepean , Ontario
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Some of the older AS had an integrated ceiling light and fan. These are 14"x14". I had one replaced at JC a couple of years ago. It required them to enlarge the opening to 15"x15". Lots of labor involved cleaning the 30 years of caulking and enlarging the hole.
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1987 Excella 32-foot
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:27 AM   #14
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I would look at installing a Maxi fan. I took my FF out and re-installed it to fix a leak. I ended up using my band saw to cut wooden spacers to frame between the inside and outside skins of the trailer. I cut the ones that go crossways to the correct curve for the top. My fan is now held in by screws into the wooden strips instead of sheetmetal screws to just the top skin. I did a good job of caulking and now have no leaks.

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