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Product Review: MaxxAir FANMATE vent cover

Recently I’ve been doing a few winter projects on our 2016 Shasta Oasis, two of which I tackled the same day. The first that day was the addition of a Heng’s Vortex II fan that I wrote about here. Once that task was completed inside, I moved up to the roof, thanks in part to a mild November afternoon in Indiana. The final task in my ventilation upgrades was the installation a MaxxAir FANMATE vent cover.

The FANMATE is one of the more popular vent covers in the RV industry. It’s made of a high density polyethylene with UV inhibitors to help withstand the elements for extended durability. It offers excellent rain protection while your vent is open as well as less than 5% airflow restriction while using your fan. An optional bug screen insert is available to help from bringing in unwanted flying pests.

Installation of the FANMATE is really quite simple. It’s even more simple if you have a MAXXFAN vent fan, as they have integrated mounting tabs that hold the four EZClips in place. But if you have a different brand, there are four mounting brackets that are included, which is what I needed to use on my vent. Simply mark your bracket location on the side of the vent, drill a hole into the side of the vent for each bracket, attach the brackets with the provided screws and nuts, then you’re ready to attach the cover with the EZClips.

By sliding out just two of the clips after you’re done, you can hinge the FANMATE to one side for maintenance. Dimensions of it are 25″ long x 18-1/8″ wide x 10-1/4″ high. You have a choice of three colors: black, smoke, or white.

To aid I’m my installation, I referenced a Youtube video by Mark Polk of RV Education 101, one the most knowledgeable RV guys you’ll ever know. He gives some excellent step by step instructions if you have either a MAXXFAN or a different brand. These will also work over just a vent opening that doesn’t have any type of fan.

 

I purchased my FANMATE through Amazon. Currently they’re going for around $55 there, which you can find by clicking this link.

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Shasta Flyte Debuts Smaller Floor Plan

Over the next few weeks as holiday schedules permit, I’ll be recapping a few of the new offerings I found at the RVIA trade show in Louisville last week.

Shasta RV debuted a new floor plan for their Flyte brand. The Flyte 185BH is the somewhat more upscale version of the Shasta Oasis 18BH. As with all Flyte floor plans, the 185BH will have a fiberglass exterior and a few extra amenities the Oasis does not offer. Last April I wrote about the Oasis version, both the 18BH (bunkhouse) and the 18FQ in a post here. The 2016 models on the Flyte will have a light brown exterior as opposed to the white sides the Flyte has had, giving it a more contemporary look. The addition of LED awning lights is something new for the Flyte as well.

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Although the entire length from hitch to tail is just over 21′, the 185BH is surprisingly roomy. Despite not having a slide, a small family should be able to camp in the 185BH quite comfortably. The beds include two 30″ x 74″ bunks as well as the standard Shasta 60″ x 74″ queen bed.

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Storage is of no concern. There is ample pass through storage in the front, but interior storage is quite ample for a smaller, weekend trailer like the 185BH. The overhead cabinets are plenty and the kitchen area also includes a pantry and a spacious counter for food prep. DSC_0470

If that weren’t enough, there’s a huge cabinet in the bathroom against the rear wall of the trailer. It seats right behind the foot flush toilet and includes two large cabinet doors that provides storage all the way to the sidewall on the door side of the trailer.

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Aside from the toilet and the storage cabinets, the bathroom also includes a 24″ x 36″ bathtub and an overhead exhaust vent. DSC_0467Overall, I was very pleased with what I saw with the Flyte 185BH. Being a 2016 Shasta Oasis owner, I’m able to use my own trailer as a benchmark, and I believe Shasta has stepped up their game  in regards to fit and finish just in the last 9 months. The Flyte at the Louisville show as well as a couple of Oasis 18BH that I walked through recently at Mount Comfort RV in Greenfield, Indiana have all appeared to have better workmanship than what I’ve seen in my own.

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As for a  few specs, the 185BH Flyte weighs in at 3580 lbs and measures 21’9″ long with a hitch weight of 381 lbs and a cargo carrying capacity of 1101 lbs. The tanks are more than ample for a trailer this size as well: Fresh water is 42 gallons, and the gray and black tanks each are 36 gallons. The LED lit awning measures 12′ long.

Overall, my impressions of the Shasta Flyte 185BH are very favorable. If you’re a storage junky, the Flyte 185BH offers the best storage for this particular floor plan, a floor plan several RV manufacturers use. And the cost is nothing to sneeze at either, as it should retail in the mid-$14,000’s when it hits dealer lots in early 2016. Shasta prides itself on being the RV industry’s value leader, and the Flyte 185BH certainly adds to that reputation.

Not interested in bunks? No worries, the Flyte 185FQ will be out as well, which will be the same floor plan as the Oasis 18FQ discussed in the previous article linked above from April of 2015. NOTE: As of today, December 10, 2015, neither the 185BH nor the 185FQ are listed on the Shasta website. Keep checking their website at http://shastarving.com for updates and floor plans.

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