ventilation?

Baloo

"The Bear Necessities"
Got a question? My Rig is an old ambulance and there are no roof top vents, for that matter there are no ventes at all. I am thinking of installing a camper type 14" X 14" hatch with a fan or a Nicro 24 hour solar vent. Any thoughts or preferences?

Dodger
 

CLynn85

Explorer
I actually just ordered a maxxfan for our 92 Wheeled coach, will let you know how that goes. Any pics of your rig? Love seeing the ambo's on here. Link to mine in my sig.

My box actually has a couple of vents on the sides, one being a ducted exhaust fan, small, doesn't move a whole lot of air, and pretty loud, but it works, we decided to just go ahead and do the maxxfan though.
 

Baloo

"The Bear Necessities"
Nice rig you have there! I added my album to my signature. Let me know what you think.
 

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CLynn85

Explorer
Cool, took a few min browsing your pics. Sounds like you're on a similar path as us, just about 5 years ahead lol. How goes the box swap, made any progress? Good to see some more ambo's getting re-purposed as camping rigs rather than taco trucks and mobile tattoo parlors!
 

downhill

Adventurer
Got a question? My Rig is an old ambulance and there are no roof top vents, for that matter there are no ventes at all. I am thinking of installing a camper type 14" X 14" hatch with a fan or a Nicro 24 hour solar vent. Any thoughts or preferences?

Dodger
The best set-up I have found is the Fantastic Fan with a MaxxVent cover. You can run it in any weather. They have one model that is thermostatically comtrolled. You can set it to shut off when the temp drops below a preset point. It's nice when you just want the fan till things cool down in the evening. This fan can also be run to blow air in or suck it out. They are very well made.
 

JRhetts

Adventurer
The best set-up I have found is the Fantastic Fan with a MaxxVent cover. You can run it in any weather. They have one model that is thermostatically comtrolled. You can set it to shut off when the temp drops below a preset point. It's nice when you just want the fan till things cool down in the evening. This fan can also be run to blow air in or suck it out. They are very well made.
Completely agree. Have had three rigs over 8 years with the Fantastic Fan. Great performance. The more expensive, thermostatically controlled and 9+ speed model is definitely worth it. On low the power drain is very low and zero noise. Very impresive draw on high. We often reverse the fan when cooking to 'push' cooking odors out the window next to the stove.
 

Baloo

"The Bear Necessities"
Cool, took a few min browsing your pics. Sounds like you're on a similar path as us, just about 5 years ahead lol. How goes the box swap, made any progress? Good to see some more ambo's getting re-purposed as camping rigs rather than taco trucks and mobile tattoo parlors!
The ambulance is somewhat of a never-ending project. I have pretty much everything for the swap, still need some metal and a huge fork lift. The interior of the box has gone through some major changes since those pics. I need to update the pics on here. Right now I am working on a sink location and thinking about adding a heater like on a camper ( Atwood or suburban propane). I definitely like the fantastic hatch/fan combo. My only concern with that is tring to keep a low roof height. I am thinking a side exhaust fan setup may be what I need.
 

downhill

Adventurer
The ambulance is somewhat of a never-ending project. I have pretty much everything for the swap, still need some metal and a huge fork lift. The interior of the box has gone through some major changes since those pics. I need to update the pics on here. Right now I am working on a sink location and thinking about adding a heater like on a camper ( Atwood or suburban propane). I definitely like the fantastic hatch/fan combo. My only concern with that is tring to keep a low roof height. I am thinking a side exhaust fan setup may be what I need.
If you leave off the Maxxvent cover, the profile is very low when closed. I'm sold on the Maxxvent cover though because you can run the fan in any weather without rain getting in.
Regarding the heaters, let me tell you I know those things intimately! You do NOT want a Suburban, even if you get it free. The model that I would recommend is the Atwood Everest 8012. It is a 12 K BTU unit designed for very low power draw and heating small spaces. It is very quiet, easy to install, and well made. Also get a Hunter digital thermostat from Walmart and use that to control the heater. It is a simple two wire hook-up, and vastly improves the function of the heater over the little RV thermostats.
 

Baloo

"The Bear Necessities"
Good advice on the Atwood, I was leaning that way. I am not all that happy with the Suburban Propane in my travel trailer. I am still not sure on the hatch vent setup yet. I wish there was a side mount powered fan/hatch.
 

lqhikers

Adventurer
my thoughts

agree with Downhill and JRhetts the only way to go.

something else to consider is a large escape hatch i have used them on most of my full

sized rigs not only does it really let in needed air on hot nights but we use ours to gain

access to the roof to raise or lower solar panels,doing this lets us leave off the ladder

less chance of some one wanting to make use of our panels,or gear stored on roof!.

the one we have on our tiger 4x4 also had a roller screen and a roller shade.

no matter which way you go you need someway to let the heat escape, side vents

still let hot air collect in roof areas.

enjoy your new ride.

Les,lqhikers
 

lqhikers

Adventurer
size of escape hatch

i guess it would matter to some if you planned to use the hatch to access your roof

as i am 6'1" and 175 lbs i fit through it with no problem,if you are bigger it might be a tight fit.

the size of our roof hatch is about 16"x24" i do not thank you would want one any larger on a rig.

works for me.

Les,lqhikers
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
At that size and with screen/shade, that must be the Heki. I have read some horror stories about the Heki letting in too much heat from the sun. Have you had any problems? I ask because we were planning to put in the same skylight.

The big question in my mind is whether a large skylight would be as effective as a powered vent above 30-35C and with high humidity.
 
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lqhikers

Adventurer
hatch-heat

Diplostat;

yes the hatch lets in sun,but the shade blocks it just fine,if you were really worried it

would be easy to add a piece if foam insulation board to hatch,we have a powered vent in place of ac unit

and also use a clamp on 12v fan in the overhead bed/hatch area.

remember we live in the so. calif desert so we deal with heat all the time,no problem.

hope i'm not highjacking this thread but i think it pertains to op questions.

Les,lqhikers
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Les,

Don't think you are hijacking at all. I think that the balance between:

-- Standard powered vent (Fantastic Fan/Maxx Fan/etc.)

-- Large skylight (Heki etc.)

Is a very real question. Gets more interesting when you compare what works for dry desert vs. tropical rain forest aka anywhere south of the Mason Dixon line in the summer.

At this point (and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong) there is no air conditioning unit which can be safely run all night (say, twelve hours) on batteries. (Exceptions might be a REALLY big truck or trailer with a relatively small bedroom, so that you are not trying to cool the whole thing.) Thus, for those of us who plan to spend a lot of time away from campsites with shore power, we turn to windows, vents, and fans.

It seems to me that a large skylight will lose the greatest amount of heat, when open, but you probably still need a powered vent, especially if it is raining. Similarly, side windows that can be kept open in the rain are a really nice feature. And while I have no plans to go back to Africa, I still love the idea of a roof vent for critter photography and roof access. The problem is that smaller vehicles, like the Tiger, run out of roof real estate very fast, especially if you want a lot of solar, as I do.

My thoughts. I welcome comments from those with more recent experience.

FBC
 
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