Bigfoot: Enlarging bathroom vent from 10" to 14" - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2012, 12:25 PM   #1
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
Trailer: Bigfoot 17, 1988
Wisconsin
Posts: 159
Bigfoot: Enlarging bathroom vent from 10" to 14"

Has anyone tried this? There are basically no options I can find for electric fans that fit 10", and there are tons for 14".

I was thinking of enlarging the hole and putting in a Maxxfan with built in rain cover. However, I am suspicious that there is a wooden frame built-in around the 10" hole and expanding it will leave me with a hole that is surrounded by nothing but foam, like the window holes. This would probably mean switching from screw mount to bolt-throughs.

In general, I don't mind the idea of expanding the hole, in theory, but I am not crazy about drilling a bunch of screw or bolt holes. On the other hand, given the tiny size of the trailer I would really like a serious bathroom fan, and also like the idea of having a DC vent fan for the whole trailer, as the main hole has an AC-powered air conditioner on it.

Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #2
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Name: Keith
Trailer: 1973 Boler 1300 (gone) 1985 Bigfoot
Alberta
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Ken,

I've sort of had the same thoughts with my Bigfoot after replacing the main fan with a Fantastic Fan last summer (awesome upgrade). My guess is that there is a wood frame sandwiched between the interior panelling and the fiberglass shell. So by pulling down the roof panel in the bathroom, you could have access to enlarge that frame. It just hasn't seemed like something that's worth doing (for me) at this point (yet).

Interesting thing we noticed last year with the new fan was if we wanted to leave the windows on the trailer closed (if we were gone for the day) and juse have the roof vents open, to make sure the fan sucked in air, not blew out - otherwise it pulled air from the (stinky) bathroom! My kids were not impressed.

Cheers,
Keith
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:25 AM   #3
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
Trailer: Bigfoot 17, 1988
Wisconsin
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I talked to Gary at Bigfoot. He said it is no real problem, you just have to build some new frame. He recommended leaving one corner intact, then expanding the hole in only two directions. This leaves the old frame in the corner, then you dig out the foam and insert boards ripped to the appropriate width in the non-framed edges. He also recommended making sure the bottom plate had enough screws, which I think means adding some. Bolt-though is also a possibility, but due to the difficulties of drilling straight, I'll probably go with screws.

The smell factor is why I want it in the bathroom. It can be used as a bathroom vent or whole trailer vent, just by opening the br door, and it will always be set to exhaust. Dealing with bathroom smells in a trailer that small might be okay for occasional campers, but I'm planning on living in there, so there must be good ventilation.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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Name: john
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would a hole stretcher fix it?
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:12 AM   #5
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Name: S
Trailer: 17 Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Bingo...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pindraak View Post
I talked to Gary at Bigfoot. He said it is no real problem, you just have to build some new frame. He recommended leaving one corner intact, then expanding the hole in only two directions. This leaves the old frame in the corner, then you dig out the foam and insert boards ripped to the appropriate width in the non-framed edges. He also recommended making sure the bottom plate had enough screws, which I think means adding some. Bolt-though is also a possibility, but due to the difficulties of drilling straight, I'll probably go with screws.

The smell factor is why I want it in the bathroom. It can be used as a bathroom vent or whole trailer vent, just by opening the br door, and it will always be set to exhaust. Dealing with bathroom smells in a trailer that small might be okay for occasional campers, but I'm planning on living in there, so there must be good ventilation.
That's great to here that Bigfoot recommends this way as I did exactly this as you wrote on my old 1986 17' Bigfoot trailer. It worked great. I had some full scale 1 x 8 cedar that I ripped a couple pieces from and glued them in place and screwed it down. I did not have any power wires running to it so I just used a standard 14 x 14 vent bought from Canadian Tire. Cheers
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:40 PM   #6
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I have thougth of this in my 17 Bigfoot but instead I installed the deluxe Fantastic fan in the main area. When we shower or want air moving through the bathroom/shower area we turn the Fantastic fan on to pull air into the trailer and only open the bathroom vent. No other windows or doors are open. This seems to work. I thought two Fantastic fans in a trailer this size would be over kill.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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IF you're only interested in a fan for the bathroom, perhaps what Per Walthinsen did in his Burro would work for you?

Bathroom Fan
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:02 AM   #8
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
Trailer: Bigfoot 17, 1988
Wisconsin
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I thought of doing something like that, but a fan is only efficient at sucking air through an opening if it is almost exactly the same size as the opening. The prior owners of my trailer had a setup like that with a small fan, but they blocked off the rest of the opening to make it work better. It still seemed pretty wimpy to me.

I installed this Maxxfan yesterday.

MaxxFan Deluxe Manual Opening | Latest

I picked it because it has a built in rain shroud requiring no extra holes, and can run on low even while closed. It took about 4 hours or so total to put in. Digging out the styrofoam was the most unpleasant part. It seems to work great, and I haven't even turned it up past speed 3 out of 10. I'm guessing 10 will be like a wind tunnel.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:57 AM   #9
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
Trailer: Bigfoot 17, 1988
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Here are photos of the fan mod, inside and out.
Attached Thumbnails
fanweb.jpg   showerweb.jpg  

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Old 06-01-2012, 02:42 PM   #10
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Name: Lonny
Trailer: Bigfoot 25B21FB
British Columbia
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Looks awesome! I am going to replace my main vent in my 15B17CB with the same Maxxair vent in white. Looking forward to having that job done soon.

Great work on your restore! Sure looks good when they shine again.



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Originally Posted by pindraak View Post
Here are photos of the fan mod, inside and out.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:39 AM   #11
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
Trailer: Bigfoot 17, 1988
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Thanks. It seems to be a great fan functionally as well. Very efficient at ventilating the trailer. At full power, I have to open every door and window or it bogs down. However, the advertised "ceiling fan mode" of running it while closed is bogus, and doesn't work at all. It's a terrible ceiling fan for the same reason it is a great trailer ventilator. No way a fan fit in such a tight hole could function that way.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:07 PM   #12
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Name: Tom
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I too installed maxxair fan, works great, can leave it open without worry, and put it on auto will increase speed as temperature in trailer increases, as for the ceiling fan mode, yes it doesnt work very well....did you reverse the motor direction so that it is pulling in? kinda a moot point since it can be open in any weather anyway......
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