Anyone who owns an RV will be familiar with the issues that come with trying to keep it properly ventilated.
Hot, sunny days can cause the air inside of your RV to feel stagnant and stale, as they struggle to keep air flowing without the assistance of your AC.
Vent fans are essential for improving the quality of airflow inside your vehicle, as they keep the air moving around even when there’s no shore power for you to connect to.
They’re a great solution for a number of issues, including temperature regulation, moisture build-up prevention, and odor elimination.
But with low budget replacement fans to top-quality ventilation systems, it can be difficult to wade through all the information out there to find a vent fan that suits your RV needs.
Probably the most important thing to consider is how often you use your RV - are you someone who is frequently on the go in their mobile home, or do you use yours maybe once or twice a year? The answer will determine the quality of the ventilation fan you need.
For all the rest, our buyer’s guide will explore some key factors you should consider in your decision, and we’ve reviewed 5 of the best RV vent fans currently available on the market for you to compare.
Top 5 Best RV Vent Fans
OUR TOP PICK
We chose the aptly named ‘Fan-Tastic’ RV vent as our top pick because of its impressive quality and performance.
When it’s not in use, this lightweight, compact vent fan can be tightly sealed to prevent water from leaking into your mobile home.
The powerful 10-inch, 10-blade fan efficiently circulates the air inside your RV and features 3 speed settings to choose from; low, medium, and high.
Warm, stale air is removed while fresh air is brought in, and it’s surprisingly energy saving for such effective ventilation.
Despite its high-powered fan, the Fan-Tastic RV vent makes practically no noise for pleasingly quiet ventilation, so you can carry on enjoying the peace and quiet around you.
It fits perfectly in all standard 14” x 14” openings and, while it’s not automatic, the manual lift dome is easy to open so you’ll have no problems using this air vent.
While it’s not the most affordable option, this Fan-Tastic RV vent fan certainly lives up to its name and is well worth the investment.
It falls within the middle price-range for RV vent fans, but if you’re looking for a more budget friendly option, you’ll definitely want to check out the last vent fan we’ve included in this list.
- No noise
- Energy saving
- 3 blade speeds
- Smoke dome
- Manual lid opening
Another well-respected brand within the RV industry is MaxxAir Airxcel RV Group, who has more than just one good vent fan offering as you’ll see later on.
If you have a bit more to spend on kitting out your RV, the 00-04500K MaxxFan is guaranteed to improve any RV lifestyle.
It has some useful features such as an electric lid opening which can be controlled with a remote for user convenience.
Instead of having to get up and reach to open your vent fan, you can switch it on with a touch of a button.
There are 10 speed settings to choose from and this 12-Volt vent fan offers powerful yet quiet ventilation, although the automatic opening system is noisier than manual openings.
Additionally, the high 900 CFM means it draws more power with a 5-Amps power draw.
You can reverse the airflow direction for ultimate freshness, and the rain detection sensors prevent you from getting caught in the rain, automatically closing to keep water out of your RV.
The thermostat is another handy additional feature.
- Electric lid opening
- Remote control
- Quiet ventilation
- More expensive running costs due to 5
Next on our list the Livpow roof vent which is suitable for RVs, camper vans, or enclosed trailers.
You don’t have to worry about having a disturbed sleep as the Livpow RV vent is quiet despite having high fan speeds.
The 12-Volt fan features reversible airflow to get rid of stale air and draw outside air in so that the interior of your RV remains fresh and odor-free.
There are 3 different speed settings to increase or reduce airflow depending on your needs, with a maximum of 950 CFM.
It has 10 clear blades to allow sunlight in whilst the smoke-colored polyethylene vent dome keeps harmful UV rays out.
A bug screen similarly keeps out bugs and other insects and is easy to remove for cleaning.
A control knob allows you to manually open and close your dome and it features a 5-Amps slow blow fuse for added safety.
- High CFM
- Easy to install
- UV ray protection
- Only 2 pull speeds instead of 3 both ways
- Might need to make adjustments for a perfect fit
We promised another MaxxAir offering, and it’s time to deliver.
As the most expensive option on this list, the MaxxAir 00-05100K is a deluxe ventilation system that includes a vent, fan, and rain shield for maximum quality of performance.
It features twin lifting arms to prevent the lid of your vent from flapping in windier weather or for extra stability when your motor home is on the move.
The durable 12-Volt fan motor powers the 10 12-inch blades, controlled by an easy-to-clean keypad which allows you to adjust the speed settings and to increase or reduce the airflow as necessary.
It’s compatible with all 14” x 14” roof openings and everything you need for an easy installation is included with your RV vent, although if you need roof sealant this will need to be purchased separately.
- Stand-out complete ventilation system
- Twin lifting arms
- Keypad controls
- Doesn’t include roof sealant
Last but not least, we have the Ventadome Ventline RV vent, which is a great budget option for anyone who needs to replace their existing factory unit but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on it.
Although it’s not as powerful as other RV vent fans included on this list, it’s ideal for the once-or-twice-a-year RV-ers, and this 12-Volt fan vent will help to keep air flowing through your RV for a fresh, odorless environment.
It comes with a garnish ring included, as well as putty tape and screws for an easier installation process.
It also features a galvanized mounting flange, but be careful as this can be sharp!
Note that the opening is approximately 14.25” x 14.25” which is slightly larger than standard vent openings, so you might need to make a few small adjustments for a perfect fit.
- Great low-cost replacement option
- Will create more airflow in your RV
- Everything needed for installation included
- Less powerful than other vent fans on this list
- Not an exact fit with standard 14” x 14” measurements
Best RV Vent Fan Buying Guide
You may think that a vent fan is only a minor part of your RVs overall design, but they actually play a much more important role than you’d first think.
There are also lots of different factors to consider in your decision, as different vent fans are suited to different purposes.
The whole purpose of a vent fan is to create air movement inside your RV. It’s designed to blow out hot, stale air and to remove moisture to prevent it from building up.
CFM (cubic feet per minute) is therefore an extremely important consideration when it comes to choosing a new vent for your RV, as this is what indicates how much air the vent is capable of moving or removing.
The higher the CFM, the better job your vent fan will do its job. However, that does mean that it also comes at a higher cost.
You’re probably going to want to find a middle ground between price and performance, and how often you use your RV will factor into this decision.
RV vent fans run on energy, so they’re going to contribute to your energy bills in a not insignificant way. In order to keep costs down, make sure you research the vent fan’s amperage draw before you make a purchase.
Amperage draw essentially measures the amount of energy that is being used in order to run an electronic piece of equipment.
The higher the amperage, the higher the amount of energy you’re using, which in turn means the higher your bills will be.
It’s generally accepted that 3 amps is the sweet spot for RV vent fans, although you can opt for higher or lower depending on your needs.
Small RVs require less powerful fans due to their size, therefore a lower-amp, cheaper RV vent fan would be perfectly suitable.
The same fan would struggle to effectively ventilate a larger RV, however, therefore it’s worth spending a little more to keep your space aerated.
Lid Opening - Manual vs. Automatic
Do you remember when the backseat car windows were only able to be manually rolled down? Probably not if you’re Gen-Z, because nowadays automatic windows are found in most cars, and they’re always an available option.
The same can be said for RV roof vents, as you can now choose between manual and automatic lid openings thanks to the wide variety of products available.
It might sound obvious, but a manual lid opening needs to be… that’s right, opened manually (by hand), while an automatic lid opening requires little to no input from you for added convenience.
Often there’s a latch or crank involved in manual openings.
Automatic lid openings are more convenient, but is it worth the extra money to have this feature?
We would say yes, purely because although they do affect the cost, this tends to be a small increase rather than a jump in price that will max out your budget.
With that being said, only you can decide which features matter most to you.
Most RV and camper van roof vents come with a standard 14” x 14” size opening.
Contrary to popular opinion, size does matter. If you have an existing fan and you’re replacing it, you’ll need to make sure your new fan matches up with the same measurements as the one before.
Don’t forget to factor in your own size as well - are you tall enough to easily reach the vent to open and close it as necessary?
If the answer is no, you might want to consider choosing a fan that comes with a remote control to save you struggling to stand on your tip-toes.
Some people can sleep through anything, whilst others are kept awake by even the faintest of raindrops tapping on their window.
Whichever end of the scale you fall on, it’s worth taking into consideration how much noise your vent fan is going to produce.
It’s not just something that can potentially disrupt you at night. If you live in or you’re traveling to a hot climate where you’ll be in your RV for most of the time, you’re likely going to have your fan running for most of the day.
For some people, the continuous loud humming of a noisy vent fan will ruin the peace and quiet you’ve escaped to in your RV.
If that sounds like your worst nightmare, try to choose a quieter vent fan. It will usually be advertised, but a good way to check is to read the reviews.
Calling All Pet Owners!
We all know that pets shouldn’t be left for too long (or for any length of time, ideally) in a hot car with the windows rolled up. It’s dangerous and it’s inhumane.
Well, the same thing applies to your RV. There’s nothing better than bringing your furry family member away with you, but you’ll need to ensure your RV is adequately ventilated at all times for when you go out and leave your pet inside.
As such, you’ll need to look out for a vent fan that can run stationary.
Some higher-end RV vents come with rain detection sensors to protect your interior if the weather turns when you’ve left your pet at home with the ventilation open.
Whilst this can be useful, it’s a one-way detection feature that it doesn’t factor in the weather changing again, therefore it can’t open itself if the rain is followed by more sun.
Unless you manually reopen it after it’s automatically closed, your pet could be trapped inside without proper ventilation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you install an RV vent fan?
The best way to ensure your RV vent fan is installed properly is to get a professional to do it.
However, most vent fans can be installed by yourself. Each model will have different installation instructions, but there are plenty of videos on YouTube that you can watch if you get stuck.
Start by gathering everything you need for installation. Most vent fans will come with the necessary mounting hardware, but if they don’t remember that this will increase the overall cost.
You’ll need to remove any sealant or seam tape where the previous vent was installed before you start, as this could be covering some of the screws you need to access.
Remove your existing vent fan, and closely follow your instructions manual to install the replacement.
Double check to make sure all wires are connected correctly, then once you’re confident everything is working, re-seal the vent with sealant or tape.
Can I leave my pet at home all day if I have the vent fan going?
Absolutely not! Even though your vent fan will keep your RV more aerated than if you didn’t have one at all, it still isn’t a good idea to leave your pets for too long.
Storms or other factors could cause your vent fan to malfunction, and if left unattended in a hot, stuffy van, your pets can quickly become overheated or worse.
Additionally, if you are going out and leaving your pet at home with the vent fan on, always remember to leave an extra bowl of water so they don’t end up getting dehydrated while you’re gone.
Do you need an RV vent insulator?
Although technically, no, you don’t *need* an RV vent insulator, they’re great for regulating your motor home’s temperature in both hot and cold weather.
This will vastly improve your RV experience, and as they’re not expensive it’s worth the investment. If you’re not sure where to start looking, Camco is a popular brand for RV vent insulators.