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Old 04-23-2015, 06:55 AM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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Instead of a Fantastic Fan or Maxxfan...

I've got three of the original vents on my '73 Overlander, none of the original fans are still present. As part of my ongoing refurbishment of the interior I would like to get rid of the original light fixtures and make something that will look more modern and neat. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...or-127619.html

I thought I would bite the bullet and order some fantastic fans or the like, but the prices for 3 start to get expensive and I'm already spending quite a bit for new recliners, floor, etc.

Also, I'm not too excited about replacing the original metal vents with the all metal construction with plastic stuff on a hot roof. I've seen threads that talk about issues with the flanges cracking and it looks like I'll have to do some cutting of interior metal since the original vent frame has rounded corners.

So my brilliant idea is to put a fan in each original vent and contstruct some sort of new cover incorporating a screen and possibly a light source as well. Looking online for a source of 12v fans, it turns out there are quite a few that are made for automotive auxilliary cooling, so they should be very capable of withstanding the environment close to the heat and wetness. And the best part is they are fairly cheap, around 30-40 each. I can either set them up with a potentiometer or rotary switch for multiple speeds and to dial down the current draw. Here is what one looks like:

Amazon.com: CFR Performance 8" High Performance Electric Radiator Cooling Fan - Flat Blade: Automotive



What say you all?
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:13 AM   #2
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It should probably work ok if your on a tight budget and move a lot of air.
My opinion is that:
- they could be noisy, automotive fans seem to make a lot of noise to me. The fans with the "s" shaped blades will probably be the most quiet and efficient.
- it might stick down from the ceiling unless you modify the fan housing to recess the fan.
- would looks hillbilly to me......

Maybe purchase one and see if it is worth the effort. I agree that the powered rv fans are way overpriced for what you get.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:48 AM   #3
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Spray it Airstream Blue or silver!!!

Those pull more power and air!

And don't put where fingers can get to it....
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:50 AM   #4
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Bad idea. Buy the proper fans as you can afford them.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:06 AM   #5
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From one hillbilly to another...

Hopefully this thread will evolve with a solution to what is a dilemma to many who seek a more controllable fan system while preserving the appearance and function of the original vents. I toyed with a reverse flow solution by trying a common double pole double throw switch, but the nature of the original fans is not to reverse direction with polarity reversal.

I changed the switch out with a PWM, but the audible frequency was intolerable. I am aware that there are high frequency PWMs but have not tried one. I suspect that they may attract dogs or repel rodents.

I also put in line a small solid state 12V to 9V step-down transformer which again resulted in an annoying hum.

I contacted the seller of a popular radiator fan as you have pictured, and was assured that they will reverse with a simple polarity switch.

That's my next investigation. There are countless diameters, widths, amps, blade configurations, and cfms, to pick from, so it's very possible to find one that should fit in without looking too hillbilly.

BTW, Webster's original definition of Hillbilly was "A Michigan Farmer".

https://www.google.com/search?q=webs...utf-8&oe=utf-8

Keep us posted on your quest...
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:18 AM   #6
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I figure it is your trailer to do with as you please. Nothing wrong with showing ingenuity to save some cash. Not everyone has an unlimited budget.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:24 AM   #7
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Look for a fan that has a screen for insects that can easily be removed for cleaning. The one you posted doesn't seem to have that feature....

Kay (the fan cleaner)
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
Look for a fan that has a screen for insects that can easily be removed for cleaning. The one you posted doesn't seem to have that feature....

Kay (the fan cleaner)
Kay
I'll probably have to fabricate some sort of screen insert unless I can find one the right size to fit. I would try and make it so it comes out easily enough. I do seem to get an accumulation of small debris inside the screens each year.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Bad idea. Buy the proper fans as you can afford them.
Care to elaborate why you think it's a bad idea or why I should spend the extra cash for plastic?
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALUMINUMINUM View Post
From one hillbilly to another...

Hopefully this thread will evolve with a solution to what is a dilemma to many who seek a more controllable fan system while preserving the appearance and function of the original vents. I toyed with a reverse flow solution by trying a common double pole double throw switch, but the nature of the original fans is not to reverse direction with polarity reversal.

I changed the switch out with a PWM, but the audible frequency was intolerable. I am aware that there are high frequency PWMs but have not tried one. I suspect that they may attract dogs or repel rodents.

I also put in line a small solid state 12V to 9V step-down transformer which again resulted in an annoying hum.

I contacted the seller of a popular radiator fan as you have pictured, and was assured that they will reverse with a simple polarity switch.

That's my next investigation. There are countless diameters, widths, amps, blade configurations, and cfms, to pick from, so it's very possible to find one that should fit in without looking too hillbilly.

BTW, Webster's original definition of Hillbilly was "A Michigan Farmer".

https://www.google.com/search?q=webs...utf-8&oe=utf-8

Keep us posted on your quest...
I'll take Hillbilly as a compliment, even though I was orginally born in Brooklyn. Any 12v dc fan will reverse if the polarity is reversed, and a simple DPDT switch will handle that. Ill play with some sort of switch or pot to vary the speed and I'll measure the inside of the vent and see what I can find that will fit inside so it sits above the bottom of the ceiling opening. If I order them off Amazon and they dont work, I can send them back as long as I dont do anything to them. Don't really see how I have much to loose.

I for one, like to see solutions to issues that are a bit out of the box. Technology has changed in the last 40 years so as new products come out, it's nice to see where folks can adapt them as they see fit.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:13 AM   #11
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I also found on eBay, that from time to time there are genuine "Fantastic" motors, blades and switches being sold separately.

Something else that I have partly investigated is switches and fans related to automotive heater blowers.

It seems that some folks miss the point about needlessly hawging out the original metal vents. My original 1968 vents operate flawlessly, They open strait up with two winders, and can be adjusted to capture or deflect the prevailing direction of breeze or rain. When fully open, they haven't blown off at highway speeds in 45 years. For me, it's a much superior design to the now popular single side hinge style. And, like you say, they're all metal. Way more appropriate to have the flat metal cap on on an older trailer than the plastic white/smoke bubble found on any brand of today's RV. To me, Genuine Fantastics would only devalue my trailer, so a highly function "work-within" solution is in my mind. Cost isn't necessarily the controlling factor, there is an aesthetic involved as well.
There's only a finite number of old Airstreams about, and it's my feeling that they deserve to be preserved as much as possible while "updating". So, I try not to do things that will be difficult to undo or affect my trailer's vintage appeal in the future.

Hmmmm, sounds like the words of a "Vintage Snob".
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:13 PM   #12
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Post a few picks when you get one completed. I understand better what your trying to accomplish and would like to see how they turn out.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:27 PM   #13
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I was going to recommend these to you. I put three of them on my rig and have been very happy with them. 10 speeds forward and reverse, and you can run them in a monsoon and the trailer doesn't take any water in.

MaxxAir 00-05100k

But, it appears that they have gone up in price tremendously since I bought mine. This was the cheapest place around to get them. But I think this is like $100 more for each one than I paid just 3-4 years ago.

I do agree a nice aluminum cover would look better.

Best of luck whichever way you to.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:37 PM   #14
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This is the one that I was contemplating to modify.

12" Reversable 12V Radiator Electric Thermo Fan | eBay

I haven't committed to it as something better may surface with further searching, so it's become a back-burner project.

12"x3", 7A, 1100cfm, reversible, $17 free ship
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