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Old 07-28-2014, 10:48 AM   #1
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Fantastic Fan Leaks

I installed Fantastic Fans about three years ago and the gray mounting flange has cracked on both of them. It seems like the roof expanded on hot days and created cracks in the flanges running perpendicular to the flange (that is the cracks run from the outside edge of the flange toward the inside edge. The cracks exist in the vertical part of the flange that is hidden by the interior trim bezel, too. Needless to say, when it rains, they leak. I've been in SoCal until now so it hasn't been a real issue.

Anyone else have this problem?
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpratt View Post
I installed Fantastic Fans about three years ago and the gray mounting flange has cracked on both of them. It seems like the roof expanded on hot days and created cracks in the flanges running perpendicular to the flange (that is the cracks run from the outside edge of the flange toward the inside edge. The cracks exist in the vertical part of the flange that is hidden by the interior trim bezel, too. Needless to say, when it rains, they leak. I've been in SoCal until now so it hasn't been a real issue.

Anyone else have this problem?
It is more common than you may think.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:11 AM   #3
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I had several problems with FF's. I tried a few different ways to install them and ditched the countersunk head screws on day one. I think the plastic frame is a terrible design and will skip them entirely on the current project trailer. It could be the temp fluctuations here as it does go very cold and pretty hot in short time frame. Not a FF Fan anymore.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:47 AM   #4
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My housings were cracked when I received them. They replaced them. So far, so good. But......
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:58 AM   #5
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You could stop drill the cracks in the frame and put some sealant on there. Any kind that adheres to plastic should work.
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:54 PM   #6
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If it is plastic IT WILL CRACK. This is why I think taking out the original aluminum housed vents is silly. My original vents are aluminum with an aluminum lid. The lid has a plastic insert that was cracked and it was replaced with solid aluminum. I want to add some computer cooling fans to my vents but I have not gotten around to it. The caulk tape stuff that is about 2 inches wide might cover the cracked areas and the screws.

Perry
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by blickcd View Post
You could stop drill the cracks in the frame and put some sealant on there. Any kind that adheres to plastic should work.
I have stop drilled them, covered them with Vulkem, and lastly used that spray on rubber coating they sell on TV. They keep leaking!
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
If it is plastic IT WILL CRACK. This is why I think taking out the original aluminum housed vents is silly. My original vents are aluminum with an aluminum lid. The lid has a plastic insert that was cracked and it was replaced with solid aluminum. I want to add some computer cooling fans to my vents but I have not gotten around to it. The caulk tape stuff that is about 2 inches wide might cover the cracked areas and the screws.

Perry
I covered them duct tape for a temp fix. I think I'm going to make some aluminum flashing that will cover the whole plastic part and vulkem them on.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:58 PM   #9
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Fantastic problem

Re-post
I'm pretty well disappointed in the Fantastic fans. I wouldn't use them again. I installed 3 in 2010. I installed them using the supplied gasket and sealed them with premium silicone as directed. The rear fan base cracked at the mounting screw location the second winter. By 2012 two were leaking at the cracked bases. I removed the silicone and sealed the bases with Vulkem. 2013 none leaked. This spring all three were leaking.

I investigated and the Vulkem was tight but the bases were all cracked from the flange to the top. Two had 4 cracks each and one had 2 cracks. When I washed the cracks with acetone and globbed Vulkem on the cracks two of the vents are still leaking from cracks under the hinges.



Read more here:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f516...ml#post1462168

And here:
Fantastic Fan bases all cracked and leak - Airstream Forums
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:05 PM   #10
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Hmmm interesting to note, all who have posted have narrow body ASes. Mine are fine and they are 7 years old. On my flat top old SOB, they were 17 years old when I sold it. None cracked on either unit.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:22 PM   #11
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I tossed the countersunk factory supplied screws and used pan head SS screws with a stainless washer under the head. This spreads the pressure over a much larger area. I also tossed the gasket and just seated the flange in a thick bead of vulkem. A dab of vulkem over each screw head and 4 years later so far no cracks or leaks.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:30 PM   #12
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Do any of the fan makers offer a curved curb? I know FF has curved interior pieces, but what about outside?
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:20 AM   #13
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That's exactly what the cracks in my flange look like.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:40 AM   #14
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Has anyone experienced this cracking with Maxxfans? TWind, i installed my MFs the exact same way except for the washers. Good idea. I just installed them this spring so no problems so far.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:45 AM   #15
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Just installed a MaxxAir fan a few weeks ago. It was a direct replacement for the FF, even most to the holes lined up. It came with stainless pan head screws.

Had another MaxxAir fan in our 2007 that never cracked or leaked.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:01 AM   #16
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I don't think the curved roof causes the cracks. If you look at the picture, there are cracks in the front (hinged) side of the flange. That area would be under compression due to the roof curve. Since the flanges crack on all four sides (at least mine did), I think it's expansion of the metal roof. The SOB trailers have wood/plastic roofs that expand at the same rate at the plastic flange, hence no cracking.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:30 AM   #17
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Just an observation. I do think plastic behaves differently under stress and sunlight and cracks in odd ways compares to the predictability of metal and glass, for example. I think Bruce has the right idea, if I understand his methodology correctly.

It'll be interesting to see how this pans out. One thing is for sure, IMO, some kind of stresses led to the cracking, and I'm sure the different expansion and contraction rates is part of it. I wonder if slotting the holes would help. I learned a long time ago, with plastic, less fastener torque is usually better....just enough to hold it in place.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:36 AM   #18
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Fantsatic pictures

Mine cracked on all 4 sides as well.


Showing the old and new.

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Old 07-29-2014, 01:59 PM   #19
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When you get these cracks, where does the water appear inside the trailer? I.E. does it drip directly straight down onto the floor, or does it get into the walls and only appear at floor level at the sides of the trailer where the walls meet the floor?

Reason I ask is that for some time we have had relatively minor water leaks in the front lounge of our 2005 Classic 30. I have checked the window caulking, seams in the outer skin, rub rails, awning brackets etc and recaulked wherever I felt there could be an issue.

But the leaks are still there! Floor is solid - albeit damp - but I really want to get to the root of this before I do develop serious floor problems,

We have a sofa bed across the front of the trailer that pretty much touches the wall on either side. The dampness appears on the carpet and the base of the sofa just where it touches the wall - on both ends of the sofa.

From reading this thread I am wondering if the fanastic fan in the front lounge could be the source of the leak - the edge of the fan lines up pretty closely with the edge of the sofa.

Our trailer is in storage but I plan to go out to it tomorrow with ladder, tools, and sealant to see if that might be my problem.

Anyone else with a similar model AS experience matching leaks on both sides like this?

Brian.

(While up on the roof I will also have a close look at the awning rails too. There is a skylight fairly close to the area as well, but it is a Maxim one I installed a couple of years ago to replace the OEM unit - I don't feel that is the problem - in any case, it is further away from the wet carpet / sofa base.)
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:10 PM   #20
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Brian, your wetness shows up at a break in the c-channel where the curve for the corner panels starts. There aren't other breaks between the wheel well and there...and there to the next break up by the batt box where the front panel joins the corner panel. So, anything that leaks into the c-channel in that 1/4 of the AS can show up there.

I had wetness only on the curbside in that spot and it was a combination of the wheeled awning latch and a mis-drilled rivet in the side window eyebrow.

My experience, on the wide bodies is that a leak on the center items (fans, skylights, and A/C) (and I've had 2 of the three, never a fan) is that they leak straight down, and maybe into the wall as well, but it is too flat there for all of the water to go to the c-channel, IMO.

I have also had Capt. Tolley's soak into the rivets where the side panel, the white roof panel and the end cap are all three layers, riveted together. Don't know if they leaked but they were suspect on routine rivet sealing. Also, like you said on streetside check awning mount rail and lower arm mount.
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