Best RV Vent Fans: Top Picks for Ventilating Your Motorhome or Trailer
These powerful, efficient fans make RV life more comfortable
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BY Seyth Miersma / LAST UPDATED ON October 15, 2021
It can get quite warm in your RV and odors can accumulate for a variety of reasons, so it's important to have a functional, good-quality RV vent fan in your rig to circulate the air. These units need to be replaced every now and then, and there are a lot of options available in stores and online. Most RV vent fans are designed in a standard size, so it's not hard to find one. The difficult part is choosing the best one for your particular needs. We help you narrow down the options in the buying guide below, which includes the various types or RV vent fans available and the features to look for before making a purchase.
The Maxx Air fan features reversible blades, a built-in thermostat, and a ceiling fan mode. Its 10 different fan speeds allow you to determine airflow and noise levels.
- Fan blades are virtually silent on lower settings
- Vent lid opens manually and has double struts for durability
- Remote control models include a backup keypad
- Instruction manual is generic, which can hamper an easy installation
- Does not come with an integrated rain cover, and only the Maxx Air branded one will fit
This 12-volt vent fan is white with a wedge-shaped lid. It comes with everything needed for installation and measures 14.15 inches by 14.25 inches.
- Operates quietly
- Easy to install
- Metal edges are sharp and can cut your hands
- Material is a little thin
- May not come with instructions
This product from Maxx Air features a vent, fan, and rain shield. It has 10 speeds and fits standard 14-inch by 14-inch roof openings.
- Remote controls the fan speed, temperature, and more.
- Features a built in rain cover and rain sensor.
- Powerful but quiet
- May squeak at low speeds
- Remote control can be a little finicky
- High cost
Best RV Vent Fan Reviews & Recommendations
How We Selected RV Roof Fans
We took several factors into consideration when choosing the best RV vent fans. First, we made sure to choose units from well-known manufacturers with a reputation for producing high-quality products. We also included a wide range of vent fans to suit budgets both small and large. We chose RV vent fans that are efficient, durable, and easy to install. We also checked user feedback to ensure that these units do what the manufacturers claim, so there are no surprises when it comes to their operation.
Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.
Buying Guide/What to Look For
While there are many RV vent fans on the market, they provide different features and functions. Some are more basic in design, while others have more modern amenities. We looked at the types available, their compatibility with most RVs, how loud or quiet they operate, and the extras they provide for added convenience.
What to Consider When Buying RV Vent Fans
Manual vs. Remote Control
There are basically two types of vent fans you can get for your RV: an old-school option that functions manually and a modern fan that provides remote control operation. The benefits of a remote control are that it's less physically taxing to use, and you can control various functions from afar, which can be helpful if you have a disability or you're just lazy.
Most RV and camper roof vents are 14 inches by 14 inches, which is the standard size. Measure the hole in the roof of your RV so you know the dimensions before making a purchase. If you don't, you may need to cut a larger hole or you will have a fan that is too small to fit properly in the opening.
Many OEM fans that come with RVs are loud, which is why people often swap them out. They may feature tiny blades and loud motors, and may not move air as efficiently as aftermarket options. If you want a fan that operates a little more quietly, read feedback about the units you're researching to see if they will work for your particular application. Cheaper fans tend to be a little noisier than more premium options.
Some fans have added features that make them more desirable (and usually more expensive). Some RV vent fans have just a few speeds, while others have several speeds. Products with rain covers can be used in wet conditions, and those with reversible blade rotation are able to pull in air as well as expel it. Also, check out the CFM, which is how much air the vent fan can move per minute.
Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks in terms of selecting the right product and/or using it. That’s the case with us and RV vent fans. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- Do you have high ceilings or short legs? Select a vent fan with a remote control and/or electric lid opening to make your vent fan easier to use.
- If you’ve got a big rig, it might be worth installing two vent fans to increase air circulation, especially if you're going to be in situations where you can't use your air conditioners.
- Remember that a rain sensor will close your RV roof vent cover automatically, but it won’t re-open it if the sun comes back.
Q: Can I buy any standard vent fan to fit my motorhome?
Most RV vent fans are a standard 14 by 14 inches, but if you’re replacing an existing vent fan make sure to double-check the size of the vent opening against the specifications of the new vent fan.
Q: Do I have to buy a separate RV vent cover?
Some vent fans come with an integrated rain shield, so it depends on which fan model you’ve got your eye on. Always read the product specifications before finalizing your decision.
Q: Why does my vent fan spin in different directions?
The direction the fan blades spin dictates the direction of the airflow. Pulling in fresh air will keep your camper cool in warm climates, while pushing out stale air allows you to get rid of cooking smells. It’s especially important in cooler climates to get rid of hot air and moisture from condensation inside the vehicle.
Largely due to a host of built-in features, including a thermostat and 10 speeds, we’ve ranked the Maxx Air 14 inch Maxx Fan Plus the best RV roof vent fan overall. For a budget-friendly, no-frills option, our best value RV vent fan is the Ventline RV Roof Vent.