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Old 07-26-2005, 10:39 AM   #1
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Reversing a Fantastic Fan

We have two cats in the trailer. In case the power goes off and we lose the AC, I set our Fantastic Fans to come on and circulate air for their safety. Through 2003, Airstream installed reversible fans, allowing me to set the front fan blowing in and the rear fan blowing out. My new trailer has out-blowing fans only and does not support through circulation with the windows closed for security.

A kit is available from Fantastic to convert the fans to two-way operation and I have one on the way. However, the front fan can be easily modified to blow inward at no cost. This morning I modified my front fan in about 20 minutes. Here are the steps involved. You will need phillips screwdriver, wire strippers, a short piece of #16 wire, crimp connectors, and a crimping tool.

1. Remove the 4 screws holding the trim and pull off the trim.
2. Remove 5 screws holding the fan plate in place. Two of these screws are in the knob assembly that raises the vent cover.
3. Carefully lower the fan plate. You can pull off wires being careful to remember where they attach. The heavy white wire can be pulled off at either end and will allow the fan plate to hang vertically on the remaining wires.
4. Cut the white wire and the heavy red wire in about the center. Strip the cut ends.
4 Splice in about 9" pieces of similar wire using crimp connectors. Put the red wire end on the white wire and the white wire end on the red wire. This reverses the voltage to the fan motor.
5. Reconnect the wires to the switches and reassemble the fan. Make sure that the raising knob is engaged and that all wires are carefully tucked away where they will not catch in the fan blade.
6. You now have a front fan that blows in only.

This will serve until I get the kit from Fantastic to formally change the fan to a fully reversible fan.
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Old 07-26-2005, 10:50 AM   #2
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John, may we adopt you? Our trailer and our home would dazzle if we had your modify/improve/beautify skills You continually amaze us! ~G
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Old 07-26-2005, 11:04 AM   #3
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Thanks

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Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia
John, may we adopt you? Our trailer and our home would dazzle if we had your modify/improve/beautify skills You continually amaze us! ~G
I'm fortunate to be technically inclined and I hope that some of these ideas will make life a bit easier for others on the forum.
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Old 07-26-2005, 12:57 PM   #4
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some of the fan hub assemblies, mine in the bathroom, will go on in either direction. In these cases you can simply remove the fan blade assembly and put it on backwards. I did this accidently over the kitchen stove.
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Old 07-26-2005, 01:24 PM   #5
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Has anyone modified the wiring to allow the fan vent cover to open automatically and start the fan with the thermostat? I would like to do this, should be a fairly simple wiring change.
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Old 07-26-2005, 01:31 PM   #6
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What?

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Originally Posted by Tarheel
some of the fan hub assemblies, mine in the bathroom, will go on in either direction. In these cases you can simply remove the fan blade assembly and put it on backwards. I did this accidently over the kitchen stove.
This puzzles me. So long as the motor rotation remains in the same direction, putting the fan blade on backwards has absolutely no effect. Draw a fan blade on a piece of paper and reverse the paper top to bottom. The slope of the blade stays the same as will the airflow.
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Old 07-26-2005, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pick
Has anyone modified the wiring to allow the fan vent cover to open automatically and start the fan with the thermostat? I would like to do this, should be a fairly simple wiring change.
I talked on the phone to the tech at Fantastic about doing just that. It is a simple wiring change, but he said that early fans did work that way and they had to change the operation. With the thermostat bulb right up there in the fan, the cover wore itself out going up and down. The sun would heat the dome, the cover would open, the fan would start, the airflow would cool the thermostat bulb, the cover would close, and the fan would go off. Ad infinitum.

I have been thinking that there is enough tubing on the thermostat to get the bulb a few inches away from the fan and away from the sun heating and the direct airflow. That would probably prevent overcycling of the fan. I would want some way to dress up the appearance of the thermostat tube and bulb if I did that.
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Old 07-26-2005, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
early fans did work that way and they had to change the operation. With the thermostat bulb right up there in the fan, the cover wore itself out going up and down. The sun would heat the dome, the cover would open, the fan would start, the airflow would cool the thermostat bulb, the cover would close, and the fan would go off. Ad infinitum.
Yep that's pretty much how the fans on my '01 Safari operated. Only good thing was that once it cooled down at night, it was nice that the hatch closed down. With my Classic I need to get up and physically turn a switch to close the hatches. Not fun on a cold early morning. I wish I could have it both ways. One way to stay open in the daytime hours, but a position to allow for closing once temps got below setpoint at night.

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Old 07-26-2005, 01:57 PM   #9
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You could wire in an electric eye that would disable the thermostat control during the day. That would allow thee fan to close on temp, or rain.

Pahaska,

I have the center fan in my coach wired to open on temp. This was via the kit from Fantastic fan. I used a schematic that they provided to rewire the front one the same way.

When I leave the coach I set the Temp knob to a mid point on the range and set one for in, one for out both on speed 3. If the AC conks out they will both open and move air once the thermostat calls for it.

It is nice that they close automatically. I have a remote mounted control by the bed so I can close it without getting up.
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Old 07-26-2005, 02:56 PM   #10
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Just ordered the reversing switch too!

Based on the info from John, I also contacted Fanstastic Fan Corp., and spoke to Bob Barretta. Great Guy - Familiar with many Airstreams, old and new, as he was one of the guys that went to the International Rallies. His son does more of the rallies now, but he'll still go to keep up on the Airstreams.

He's also sending me a kit to reverse the fan, and also gave me pointers onhow to install the 2nd one over the bed in my 28', as it is not pre-wired for such. He's definatly installed a few in the back on 28's, as he know the layout exactly, and what wire would be where, as well as how to get to it.

Basically, he told me since the 28' ceiling light is on a wall switch, to avoid that, and tie into the power feeding the pop up vents of the bathroom. Told me how to reach in, at what angle, and what tool to use to get past the ribs.

The Airstream techs at the factory told me to tie into the ceiling light switch, which I dont want to do since I'd have to turn off the lights at the fixture every time I wanted to use the fan.

Kevin
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
This puzzles me. So long as the motor rotation remains in the same direction, putting the fan blade on backwards has absolutely no effect. Draw a fan blade on a piece of paper and reverse the paper top to bottom. The slope of the blade stays the same as will the airflow.
I know the concept from electric fans on automobiles. The fan could be a “pusher” or a “puller” depending on the direction that the blade was mounted (in other words it could be mounted behind or in front of the radiator). In fact an additional c-clip and nut were included in case the original were damaged removing the blade prior to reversing it. Not trying to start anything just offering my two cents on this topic.



Regards,

Henry
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:24 PM   #12
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Not the same

Quote:
I know the concept from electric fans on automobiles. The fan could be a “pusher” or a “puller” depending on the direction that the blade was mounted (in other words it could be mounted behind or in front of the radiator). In fact an additional c-clip and nut were included in case the original were damaged removing the blade prior to reversing it. Not trying to start anything just offering my two cents on this topic.
You are talking a different sort of fan blade which is quite different from the blades on the Fantastic fans. The flexible blades on radiator fans are designed to rotate in only a single direction and that is why you have to remove and reverse the blade on the fan when moving it from front to rear of the radiator. If you failed to change over the blade on the radiator fan, it would still move air in the proper direction. It would just do so very inefficiently since the flexible blade is not designed to operate in that mode. It would be like installing the propellor on an airplane backwards. It would still (poorly) move air in the proper direction.

Fantastic fan blades are symmetrical and designed to move air in either direction.. Turning them over would have no effect except that they wouldn't fit the fan enclosure properly.
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
You are talking a different sort of fan blade which is quite different from the blades on the Fantastic fans. The flexible blades on radiator fans are designed to rotate in only a single direction and that is why you have to remove and reverse the blade on the fan when moving it from front to rear of the radiator. If you failed to change over the blade on the radiator fan, it would still move air in the proper direction. It would just do so very inefficiently since the flexible blade is not designed to operate in that mode. It would be like installing the propellor on an airplane backwards. It would still (poorly) move air in the proper direction.

Fantastic fan blades are symmetrical and designed to move air in either direction.. Turning them over would have no effect except that they wouldn't fit the fan enclosure properly.
So the Fantastic Fan would be more like a residential ceiling fan which can turn in either direction, down for summer and up for winter.

Bill
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:50 PM   #14
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John and Bill,



Thanks for the good explanation, now this makes sense to me. Perhaps next time I can offer three cents with my increased knowledge.



Seriously – thanks for sharing.



Best Regards,

Henry
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