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Old 08-08-2009, 12:30 AM   #1
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Stainless Steel Solar Vents

I could only find one really old post on this subject so thought it might be worth asking.

I'm looking at the Daynight 2000 product my Nicro/ Marenco:

-It seems to have a high CFM rate similar to a Fantastic Fan on high
-Being solar the amp consumption is just right
-Stainless Steel shell looks slick
-Marine product should be well built

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I guess the downside is that it needs a flatish surface with less than 1/2" of camber over 12" and presumably it's not designed for hurtling through rainstorms at 65 mph. I can't quite see how the "damper" functions from the pdf on their website so I wanted to see if anyone had tried one or maybe had experience with one a boat?

4" Day&Night 2000 Stainless Steel Solar Vent | Marinco
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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I've been considering them too, Truck.

Don't have one on my boat, but I've seen lots of them and most folks I've talked to seem to like them. They are well built. Haven't really looked at the damper setup, but I do know they're used on sailboats that go offshore and you get into some nasty stuff that way. For sure, I think they'd stay waterproof after getting a wave dumped on them and that's a bunch of water. I want to say there's a way to close them off completely for going down the road, but I'm not positive about that.

Couple of them I've seen on boats seem to have a little noise from the fan and I don't think I'd like that much. That maybe is just an isolated thing.

If curvature was an issue, I'd suppose some sort of mounting pad matching the curve could be used. Pretty common to mount these things on a teak pad for that reason on boats. If you're familiar with Carlos Ferguson's thread, he made up a wooden pad for his Charley Noble for the woodstove on his and that'd be a similar thing to mounting the solar vents.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:51 AM   #3
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And after reading your post again, I'd be amazed if these things moved nearly as much air as a Fantastic Fan. My thinking on them would be to use it as an exhaust fan in the bath and not for really moving a bunch of air like a Fantastic fan can do.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:02 AM   #4
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At $110 for the vent plus $35 for the stainless steel ring (West Marine), the cost is about the same as a Fantastic Fan 4000R (Vintage Trailer Supply).

You already have a 14" X 14" hole in your roof for a vent, why cut another hole for a 4" vent? A solar powered vent IS cool (no battery drain) but I doubt it would move as much air as a three speed Fantastic Fan. Maybe investing in a small solar panel to replenish the energy to run the FF and lights etc. would be an option.

I really like the solar idea though, can't wait for it to get more efficient and less expensive.
Sheridan
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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I have been using a similar solar vent in my Safari for about 9 months now, but I dont think it is the same make. The one I installed is a Sunforce Smart Vent that I bought from Northern Tool. It supposedly moves about 25M3/Hr (25 cubic meters?). It can easily hold a sheet of paper to the suction side when in the sun. I got the cheaper ($79.99) model #81100 just to try it out. They make a Stainless Steel one (model# 81300) that also has a battery for $119.99.

I pretty much have just turned mine on and left it on since installation. It runs when the sun is shining and quits when it's dark. The vent can be closed and has not leaked rain at up to 60 mph winds (so far).

I mounted mine in a 14" x 14" vent that I converted into a skylight. The supplied rubber gasket leaked so I used butyl tape instead. If it ever gives me any problems I can just replace the skylight with a full piece of polycarbonate.
I still have one more 14 x 14 vent that I will use for the fantastic fan.

It won't suck your shorts off, but it does move air without having to think about it.
Sam
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:39 PM   #6
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hmmn, some good points here.

The product spiel mentions 800 CFM which is pretty high; maybe you have to be closer to the sun to get that throughput?

I started my Googlethon actually looking for a bathroom exhaust fan but came across this unit and a lightbulb came on in my brain. I currently have three holes in my roof, two 14"s and one for an astrodome. I have to sheet over the rear one as my new bathroom walls will intersect at that point, and I planned to sheet-down the astrodome to a 14" as I don't want an astrodome. I also like the idea of a Wally hatch or whatever a hole in the floor is called. At least there's lots of options.

I'm still looking for the perfect bathroom/ kitchen vent, something slimmer than the VintageTrailer offering would be great.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #7
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It always feel odd replying to one's own question but here's the pertinent part of the response I received from the tech support.

"Thank you for your interest in our products. We have heard of our solar vents being used for travel trailer applications before. The Day & Night Plus model (see attached) should work well since it has a shut-off damper that can be pushed up to avoid the possibility of water intake as well as an on/off switch"

Maybe I'll try one out
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:20 PM   #8
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I wouldn't count on marine vents necessarily being more leak-resistant. In storms, boats take on water from lots of places, and much of the deck and interior is made of teak, fiberglass and other water-resistant materials; because, unlike a "land yacht", they know the inside is going to get wet. Therefore, a little leakage from a vent is not necessarily a bit concern on a boat. Besides, they have bilge pumps.

In any case, a stainless steel vent will surely be more durable than most of the cheaper plastic vents used on trailers, and it will probably look neat on an Airstream. However, I wouldn't count on it being any more leak-resistant; although, attention to detail during installation might make this a great "custom" addition.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:25 PM   #9
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Thought I should post an update on my reply in post #5 above. I have run the Sunforce Smart Vent prettty much continuously since installation.
It has now developed a bit of a rattle indicating wear in the fan bearings. That means it did not quite last a year of running during all daylight hours. It would not be too long before it starts to make enough noise to be annoying to me. It was almost completely silent when new. My suggestion, if you decide to get one, is to install it with a thought to future replacement/removal.

Now the fun begins -- I get to take it apart to see what "makes it tick". Who knows, I might be able to give it a lube job and run it for another year. Or make it into a solar powered drink mixer.
Sam
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
I could only find one really old post on this subject so thought it might be worth asking.

I'm looking at the Daynight 2000 product my Nicro/ Marenco:

-It seems to have a high CFM rate similar to a Fantastic Fan on high
-Being solar the amp consumption is just right
-Stainless Steel shell looks slick
-Marine product should be well built
Attachment 85043


I guess the downside is that it needs a flatish surface with less than 1/2" of camber over 12" and presumably it's not designed for hurtling through rainstorms at 65 mph. I can't quite see how the "damper" functions from the pdf on their website so I wanted to see if anyone had tried one or maybe had experience with one a boat?

4" Day&Night 2000 Stainless Steel Solar Vent | Marinco
truckasaurus... I have an older model of the 4" Nicro Day/Night solar vent in my 30' sailboat that does not have a switch or a damper. The unit provides a steady "low" volume flow of air during storage without an external source of power and does not leak. It does NOT have the capacity to move the volume of air that the Fantastic Fan has and would provide little benefit if you want to move enough air for comfort. Nico rates their vents in Cubic Feet Per "Hour" and Fantastic Fan rates their vents in Cubic Feet Per "Minute" which is 60 times more volume. Take another look at the specs for the Nico fan and you will see that they rate the vent in the 4" unit at 800 Cubic Volume of Air Per Hour. The Fantastic fans are rated at 478, 653, and 920 Cubic Feet Per Minute. If my math is correct the 4" Nico would move only 13.3 Cubic Feet Per Minute.
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:45 AM   #11
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Hey guys,
That vent moves 800 cu feet per HOUR not per minute.
AL
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:19 PM   #12
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Interesting, I did get those units mixed up. Luckily I sided with caution and just fitted two FF's this weekend so if I ever get power hooked up I'll be able to enjoy their awesome power :-)
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:31 PM   #13
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We have had various models of Nicro solar powered vents on several sailboats we've owned. The 4" Day/night solar vents on our last sailboat did have an on/off switch & two blades that could be interchanged for intake or exhaust. Basically, the "damper" on this vent completely closes off the vent; it's like a collar that doesn't allow any water or air to enter through the vent.
Under most circumstances, we left the damper open unless we were taking "greenies" over the bow. Otherwise, when properly sealed, the vents did not leak. (FYI, boaters DO like to keep as much water OUTSIDE the boat as possible!)

In our experience, the Nicro vents are only meant to provide minimal airflow, preventing stagnant air on a boat. The fan motor was relatively quiet.

We've seen a couple of vintage trailers install the Nicro vents on the older metal trailer vents.

A friend installed a Nicro day/night solar vent on their Argosy in lieu of the vent fan in the head. It does keep the air fresh but isn't capable of evacuating any big "stinks"!

Another option, specifically designed to replace the 6" RV head vent fan is the Aura-T Solar Trailer fan: Aura-T Solar Trailer Vent Fan | Solar Fan for RV. It's probably more appropiate to an RV & less costly than the Nicro.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:32 AM   #14
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As far a longevity, I transferred my vent from my sailboat to trawler and it still going 12 yrs, vent is always open, used to bring in fresh air to the anchor locker. Low air flow so in a trailer I would reverse the flow and exhaust from shower area, not for large air flow, can't beat the fantastic vent for comfort.
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