We all have it. It’s that list in the back of our heads of upgrades we want to do to our trailers. I’ve slowly been pecking away at mine, and recently I knocked off a couple of things I’ve been looking forward to completing. Many of today’s trailers, especially the entry level versions, have either a single vent with no fan, or a vent with a little 5″, single speed fan that wouldn’t change the flight pattern of a gnat. These you’d typically find in a bathroom to exhaust out any moisture from a shower.
I gave a lot of thought about going with a Fantastic Fan or a MaxxFan (the two better known brands on the market), and have it installed at a dealer, along with a vent cover to put over it. However, such a job requires removing the entire existing fan assembly and installing the new one from up on the roof. This also requires a lot of time removing the old butyl tape, which acts as the seal between the fan and the roof, and adding new butyl tape once the roof is cleaned up and prepped. All in all, I was looking at $400+ for this job. So therefore, I kept putting it off over the last couple of years until that $400 landed in my lap.
I was asking an RV friend (whose name shall remain nameless so his service department doesn’t find out he lost them some business) when he came across one that doesn’t require any work on the roof. He found a video on YouTube from a gent who installed one in his trailer that he’s restoring. I later found out he’s got a cool website: RV Day Dream – http://rvdaydream.com. The fan Mike installed in his trailer is the Vortex II by Heng’s Industries. I kept coming back to Mike’s installation video for a few months before finally pulling the trigger and picking one up on Amazon.
Once I received mine recently I was really glad Mike posted his “how to” video on YouTube, because the unit appears to not come with instructions, as mine didn’t and I’ve read other reviews that have mentioned the same thing. Why that is, I’m not sure, but Mike’s video saved me a ton of time and frustration. By the time I took out the old one, installed the new one, made a few tweaks, it took about 90 minutes.
Overall I’m quite happy with the Vortex II. The noise level on the lowest speed is the same as the original fan (61db), and the medium setting is just a tick louder at 62db, yet it pulls a greater volume of air through the trailer. I took a video of it with each speed to illustrate the decibel levels. The highest decibel was on the “Reverse” setting (air blowing in the trailer) set on high which registered 72db.
So if you’re looking to upgrade a single speed fan or just a vent opening to a multi speed fan with better air flow, I’d suggest taking a look at the Vortex II. As of this writing, you can find them on Amazon for the low $50 range: Heng’s Vortex II . While the Vortex II does not have some of the bells & whistles as some of the more common RV fans, it makes up for it in huge cost savings. It’s all installed in the interior of your RV, so no getting on your roof. It also utilizes your existing vent cover as well, so there’s no need for replacing it either. It’s somewhat spartan, but it does its job just like the others and does it well.