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Old 08-11-2015, 09:08 AM   #1
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Original fan vs fantastic fan

My 1979 has a vent fan up front that turns on (exhaust only) when the manual crank opens the vent lid. Can anyone tell me how the airflow of this original fan compares with a new fantastic fan?
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:54 AM   #2
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Im not sure what the cubic feet per minute (cfm) comparison is but I would assume that the new fans, with a larger blade and more fins, moves a good deal more air. The construction materials of the original fans, mainly all aluminum, is far superior to the plastic versions though.

I have two, front and back, that I replaced with Maxair Deluxe fans. They are reversible, three speeds, have a smoke colored lid. When I first started researching which fans to buy, I read here that nearly everyone chooses the Fantastic Fan brand. But then folks would buy a big cover for the exterior so they can run the fan while its raining. Personally I think those covers are.............well, not overly attractive lets say. They really stick out on the roof of an Airstream. The Maxair deluxe fans are designed so you can run the fan while its raining without any additional covers, SOLD. The Fantastic Fan brand use to have a lifetime warranty and I think that was part of the attraction for that particular brand but that warranty is no longer offered.

So anyway, if you do decide to replace your original vent fans, take a look at the Maxair brand also. I think the pricing is comparable to Fantastic Fans but you dont have to buy that big ol cover for the Maxair. Ive been real happy with mine since I i stalled them two years ago. If you have some pretty basic skills its a DIY project though it does require you to spend some time on the roof of your rig. Good luck
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KYAirstream View Post
My 1979 has a vent fan up front that turns on (exhaust only) when the manual crank opens the vent lid. Can anyone tell me how the airflow of this original fan compares with a new fantastic fan?
The old fans make a lot of noise and does not move a lot of air. It only runs at one speed. You have to manually open/close. The air exchange (breeze) is hardly noticeable. The blades on my old fans are plastic, really fragile.

The Fantastic is a lot quieter and moves a lot more air. It has three speeds. Depending on the model you select it might have a thermostat. The Fantastic will close itself if it begins to rain. If you turn on the Fantastic on high with a window open you can feel the air coming into the trailer.

I like the Fantastic, but a lot of other people like the Maxx Air (spelling?)
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:29 AM   #4
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You can replace the original fan and vent setup with either a maxxfan or fantastic fan, they will probably move more air and be quieter. The only issue I have with either is that you are putting up a piece of plastic on a hot metal roof that will not last forever. Your rig is a '79, and I'll bet the original vents are still in good shape even if the fan motor is long gone. And in order to install either fan, you will have to do some cutting of the sheet metal to fit the new hardware in.

I went a different route as documented here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f455...an-134139.html If you are a tinkerer and want to try and modify the existing vent, give it a go. Cost wise its cheaper than either of the two aftermarket fans. I would go with a 10 inch fan if I were to do it again, that would provide a higher air flow, but Im still happy so far with the results.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:47 AM   #5
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I have had all three fans.
The old fans are junk compared to the Fantastic Fan or Maxx Air Deluxe in both noise and the amount of air that can be moved.
I have had both a Fantastic Fan and now the Maxx Air Deluxe. Both have the same amount of air movement, noise, fan design etc..... Hands down I prefer the 10 speed Maxx Air Deluxe with the built-in cap that allows the fan to run all the time.
Watch for them on-sale - there are deals out there.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:52 AM   #6
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In fact, I bought mine on sale at 50% off. Dont remember who the vendor was. As Crispyboy says though, watch for a sale, they will pop up.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:54 AM   #7
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In addition to moving far more air the new fans take about 1/3 rd the power that the old original one took. On low my FF takes about 1 amp vs the older type which take 3 to 4 amps. All while moving (my estimate) about 3 times the air.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:54 AM   #8
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Go with the Maxxfan. Much nicer design.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:26 AM   #9
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Another thought-
The Fantastic Fan is thermostatically controlled and turns off and closes automatically if it rains.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:34 AM   #10
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I'm partial to Fantastic Fan and had two installed when I bought my Safari. One reason is that when a part broke they immediately sent me a replacement with excellent instructions on how to install the part. Another reason is that I have operated mine frequently (I was a fulltimer for almost five years) and they work as well as they did new. I also have a 12v Fantastic box fan that, when combined with my vent fans, got me through a month in Everglades NP without air conditioning, since it creates an efficient wind in, through and out of the trailer.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:41 AM   #11
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A problem with the Fantastic Fan's auto sensor for rain is that it is overly sensitive and will close in humid conditions - just when you want a fan. The new ones installed by AS do not have the ability to reverse airflow. So, watch for the features that you want.
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Old 08-11-2015, 02:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJMarks View Post
A problem with the Fantastic Fan's auto sensor for rain is that it is overly sensitive and will close in humid conditions - just when you want a fan. The new ones installed by AS do not have the ability to reverse airflow. So, watch for the features that you want.
I solved that problem, the lid closing and opening due to high humidity, by removing the mildew/dust that had accumulated on the sensor. Rubbed it with a pencil eraser then wiped with a damp cloth. That is part of my annual maintenance.

And, I installed a Fantastic Ultra Breeze Cover. Now there is no problem, rain or shine, damp or dry, traveling or stopped.
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:12 PM   #13
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Fantastic fans are very good, BUT for my tastes, MaxxFan is MUCH BETTER! No need for the Ultra Breeze Cover, which really destroys the Airstream lines. MaxxFan, when open has a built in cover, and it nicely blends in with the roofline when closed. The deluxe model has 10 speeds and a remote with auto-opening temperature settings. You can even close the cover and operate the fan like your home ceiling fan. We do this for better distribution of either A/C or heat pump. Oh yes, MaxxFan doesn't need a rain sensor as when open the vent cover is designed to keep all but a hurricane out! We've had ours for 2 years and just love them. Fantastic Fans do have great customer service, which we have used in the past, but MaxxFan after sales service is for us a question mark at this point.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:49 PM   #14
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I really appreciate all the replies and feedback about different fan options. I recently installed 3 of the smoke colored Max Air covers over the existing vents, which I don't think look too bad. I'd like to keep the interior lights and covers that are below the vents, so modifying a fan as mentioned might be the way to go. Too bad neither MaxAir or Fantastic make a fan that can be installed, yet maintain the original interior light fixture and cover since they provide the only overhead light currently. I guess another option would be to install some of those 3" recessed lights like newer Airstreams use.

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