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Old 06-19-2024, 10:17 AM   #1
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Fan-tastic vent/fan weirdness

I've looked at dozens of posts about problems with older F.F. s
Mine is from 2006. No history of this fan previous to me.
Fan only works when lid is manually opened(plunger switch verified working)
Lid not opening electrically.
Many posters say its rain sensor-cleaned that(no obvious problem) same results.
Dis-connected rain sensor
Now the fan works, but lift doesnt!
I can manually open lid and fan works on all speeds
Hotwire to lift motor shows its working
Raise/lower switch tests ok with meter
Thermostatic switch rotated to coolest setting(I can hear click)
I have traded one problem for another, unfortunately.
Any clues?
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Old 06-19-2024, 12:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence See View Post
I've looked at dozens of posts about problems with older F.F. s
Mine is from 2006. No history of this fan previous to me.
Fan only works when lid is manually opened(plunger switch verified working)
Lid not opening electrically.
Many posters say its rain sensor-cleaned that(no obvious problem) same results.
Dis-connected rain sensor
Now the fan works, but lift doesnt!
I can manually open lid and fan works on all speeds
Hotwire to lift motor shows its working
Raise/lower switch tests ok with meter
Thermostatic switch rotated to coolest setting(I can hear click)
I have traded one problem for another, unfortunately.
Any clues?
Maybe ours are different, but there is no thermostatic or temperature switch with a “coolest” setting. The “switch” with the rotating dial is a moisture sensor, with “blue” on the dial being least sensitive to moisture and red/orange being driest or most sensitive.

If mine was behaving as you describe, I would assume the raise/lower motor must be receiving a false “close” message from the moisture-sensing switch. I would test this by by-passing that switch.

Given the age of your trailer, the fans may be nearing the end of their useful life. If troubleshooting becomes a serious aggravation, you might consider replacing the entire fan.
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Old 06-21-2024, 03:19 PM   #3
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The “switch” with the rotating dial is a moisture sensor, with “blue” on the dial being least sensitive to moisture and red/orange being driest or most sensitive.
.
Thanks for that explanation-no where else have I read that

Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeCamper View Post
If mine was behaving as you describe, I would assume the raise/lower motor must be receiving a false “close” message from the moisture-sensing switch. I would test this by by-passing that switch.
Rain sensor disconnected from PCB-is that the same as by-passing?
Besides the cost of a new one, I enjoy the challenge of keeping the old stuff operating
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Old 06-21-2024, 04:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BikeCamper View Post
Maybe ours are different, but there is no thermostatic or temperature switch with a “coolest” setting. The “switch” with the rotating dial is a moisture sensor, with “blue” on the dial being least sensitive to moisture and red/orange being driest or most sensitive.

If mine was behaving as you describe, I would assume the raise/lower motor must be receiving a false “close” message from the moisture-sensing switch. I would test this by by-passing that switch.

Given the age of your trailer, the fans may be nearing the end of their useful life. If troubleshooting becomes a serious aggravation, you might consider replacing the entire fan.
The red-to-blue dial on my 2017-vintage Fantastic Fans is definitely a thermostat. Nothing you do with that dial will cause the lid to close, which is what happens if the moisture sensor detects moisture, but it acts as a thermostat to turn the fan off if the air temperature cools. There's no "coolest" label on it, but if turned all the way toward the blue it would have to get quite cool in the trailer before it turned off the fan.
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Old 06-21-2024, 08:16 PM   #5
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The blue/red knob that you rotate is a temperature switch, regarless of what somebody told you. It controls the fan, turning it on or off depending on the setting, blue being the coolest and red the warmest. If the humidity in the trailer is high, it may effect the rain sensor, not allowing the vent to open on auto. If all else fails, Fantastic fan has a website with troubleshooting the fans. Often a simple call to them will help solve the problem.
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Old 06-26-2024, 09:34 AM   #6
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Thank you both for the correction.

Our trailer only came with the basic Airstream owners manual, with no specific fantastic fan manual. The Airstream manual is scant on operation details and feature specifics. It makes no mention of the rain sensor. It mentions that some fans are optionally equipped with a thermostat.

I assumed ours was not equipped with the optional thermostat, because the blue/red dial knob has a raindrop decal immediately adjacent to it, which I interpreted as indicating it was an adjustable moisture/humidistat (see photo below.)

With this new info, the behaviour of the fan and hatch makes a bit more sense, but I still find it confusing. Apparently the thermostat will turn off the fan, but doesn’t close the hatch. The rain sensor will turn off the fan and close the hatch. The fan “on/off” switch must be toggled to send power to adjust fan speed knob, and the fan can also be turned of with this knob. But if the adjust fan speed setting knob is set at “0”, then the rain sensor will not work.

It’s easy to see how operators can end up in a situation where the hatch or fan will not operate, given the myriad on/off permutations.
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Old 06-26-2024, 11:32 AM   #7
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With this new info, the behaviour of the fan and hatch makes a bit more sense, but I still find it confusing. Apparently the thermostat will turn off the fan, but doesn’t close the hatch. The rain sensor will turn off the fan and close the hatch. The fan “on/off” switch must be toggled to send power to adjust fan speed knob, and the fan can also be turned of with this knob. But if the adjust fan speed setting knob is set at “0”, then the rain sensor will not work.

It’s easy to see how operators can end up in a situation where the hatch or fan will not operate, given the myriad on/off permutations.
Now that you understand the thermostat, it doesn't seem like you're confused at all. You've described its behavior accurately... the thermostat has no control over the hatch, just the fan. Each of the power toggle and the fan speed switch affect the power to the hatch and the fan. While the setup is a bit quirky, really the only thing that irks me about it is the fact that a light dewfall will usually trigger the moisture sensor and close the lids when I'm peacefully sleeping to the hum of the fans on a cool night.
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Old 06-26-2024, 12:13 PM   #8
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Now that you understand the thermostat, it doesn't seem like you're confused at all. You've described its behavior accurately... the thermostat has no control over the hatch, just the fan. Each of the power toggle and the fan speed switch affect the power to the hatch and the fan. While the setup is a bit quirky, really the only thing that irks me about it is the fact that a light dewfall will usually trigger the moisture sensor and close the lids when I'm peacefully sleeping to the hum of the fans on a cool night.
The function I find most confounding is that setting the fan speed dial/switch to “0” turns off the rain sensor. That is not intuitive, and could easily lead to a wet cabin.
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Old 06-26-2024, 01:27 PM   #9
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The function I find most confounding is that setting the fan speed dial/switch to “0” turns off the rain sensor. That is not intuitive, and could easily lead to a wet cabin.
I either remembered that from reading the manual or reading about someone else's frustration w/ it... I generally leave the fan speed set to whatever delivers enough air motion without being TOO noisy and control on/off with the thermostat. Even now I'm pretty sure both my fans are set at "2" with the hatch set to "closed." I just use the "closed" toggle to manage that and never turn off the main power for them.
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Old 06-26-2024, 05:17 PM   #10
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If the morning dew or other moisture closes the hatch (and turns off the fan), you can override this by manually opening the hatch with the grab-dial up there.

Important note — do not turn off the power to the fan. If you leave the power on, then you can run the fan once you've opened the hatch. If you turn off the power, then it will repeat the "moisture close" again.

This, per my experience following the small paragraph of explanation I found deep in the Fantastic Vent manual that came with my Airstream.
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Old 06-26-2024, 05:35 PM   #11
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If the morning dew or other moisture closes the hatch (and turns off the fan), you can override this by manually opening the hatch with the grab-dial up there.

Important note — do not turn off the power to the fan. If you leave the power on, then you can run the fan once you've opened the hatch. If you turn off the power, then it will repeat the "moisture close" again.

This, per my experience following the small paragraph of explanation I found deep in the Fantastic Vent manual that came with my Airstream.
Innnteresting. That sounds like it would involve getting out of bed, though.
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Old 06-26-2024, 06:12 PM   #12
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Innnteresting. That sounds like it would involve getting out of bed, though.
Truth, alas ...
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