BIGFOOT QUESTION: How to wire bathroom for ceiling fan - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-20-2018, 05:56 AM   #1
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BIGFOOT QUESTION: How to wire bathroom for ceiling fan

I have a 1994 Bigfoot 19. I'd like to replace the bathroom ceiling vent with a maxi or fantastic fan. My trailer service guy cannot find any wiring in the ceiling & feels it is impracticable to use the wiring from the light fixture. He does not want to punch holes in the marine bathroom.

I was under the impression that wiring exists in the bathroom ceiling. Can anyone confirm that? If the ceiling is wired, how can I find it? Do I have to remove the entire vent?

Any 1980/90's Bigfoot owners who replaced original vents, please tell me how you handled wiring?

Thanks
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:22 AM   #2
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Bigfoot wiring

When I pulled the paneling on our TF20 5th wheel, I found optional wiring not used for lights, etc. You may have to remove the old vent to find it. There is another way though, in my old auto repair shop we had a instrument that we used to locate wiring, it generates a signal on what ever wire you attach it to, and a handheld reciever would track the wire.
You could attach it to any 12volt wire and then find your fan power source.
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:18 PM   #3
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BIGFOOT QUESTION: How to wire bathroom for ceiling fan

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Originally Posted by Tom Y View Post
When I pulled the paneling on our TF20 5th wheel, I found optional wiring not used for lights, etc. You may have to remove the old vent to find it. There is another way though, in my old auto repair shop we had a instrument that we used to locate wiring, it generates a signal on what ever wire you attach it to, and a handheld reciever would track the wire.

You could attach it to any 12volt wire and then find your fan power source.


Tom, Thanks for your suggestions. Next week, I'm going to call my mechanic to see if he has an way to detect wiring, and if so, arrange for him to check out the trailer. I really don't want to remove the original ceiling vent until I am sure that area is wired, or I have a plan to route wiring to that area.

Someone else on this forum has installed a maxifan on his Bigfoot 19, but for some reason, i an unable to send PMs. Need to contact the Administrator in my spare time. Once again, thanks for your response.

Jane
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:47 PM   #4
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a different solution......

nineties BFs came with a bathroom ceiling vent (just a hatch that opens with a crank)......my PO added a cover so he could drive with the vent cranked open all the time.....

I installed a computer fan and wired it to the bathroom light....as a test....

three years later it's still there....it does "the job" for me. The light is LED. I have solar on the roof. Most of the time I leave the fan/light on all day long...
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:51 PM   #5
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Is it a 9”x9” vent opening or a 14” sq. Vent?
If it a 9”x9” most likely doesn’t have wires to it.
If it’s 14x14 it my have wires to it. Most likely not.
You can find a less expensive 12v fan to install in the bath. And you can wire it off the light with no problem.

I personally think a bathroom is a poor place to install a maxfan.
But it’s your $300

https://smile.amazon.com/TRAILER-UNI...rv+ceiling+fan
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:59 PM   #6
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Name: Jack L
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I have not installed a fan in my 17 CB but did explore the possibility. If your bath-shower is similar to mine, the wiring is easy. I removed the plastic trim ring for the vent- hatch off the shower ceiling, then, I took some heavy string with weight tied to the end. I used a large washer as a weight because it was handy. By pushing the weight toward the outside trailer bulkhead and dropping the weight between the shower wall and trailer bulkhead, the string went all the way to the floor of the trailer. The access door on the street side is where the washer landed on the floor. From there, it would be very easy to route the wiring forward to under the dinette where the electrical panel is. Running a new dedicated line for a ceiling fan will be easy for me. The only reason I have not gone further is because I can not decide weather to eliminate the 25 year old lame AC I never use and replace it with a fan. replace the vent in the shower with a fan, or leave the AC and vent, and cut a new hole in the roof for an additional fan.

Adding the fan to the bathroom is the least desirable because to vent the entire trailer, the bathroom door would need to be left open,
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Old 04-21-2018, 04:00 PM   #7
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should have added....

if you really want to get power up there....you could fish between the insulation and the FG bathroom ceiling in the direction of the light....then remove the light and fish towards the ceiling....you should be able to pull a wire through.....an connect it before the light switch.....you'll get power...
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:30 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone.

@ Jack. I too have an AC that I have yet to use. Because I boondock most of my trips, I really don't look forward to the AC/generator noise over a extended period of time.

Over the years, I've wanted to install a fan in the bathroom and add a vent fan in the front of the cabin. My goal is to increase air circulation via fore & aft ceiling vent fans in the cabin on hotter days & nights. I've been in other fiberglass trailers with that setup, and it makes a big difference. Rising temperatures on our last camping trip has renewed that plan.

@mazabo & @Jack What are your concerns regarding a bathroom ceiling fan?
A vent fan in the bathroom makes the most sense to me because:
  • I do not want to put a second hole in the roof;
  • the extra exhaust helps to mitigate unwanted orders.
Leaving the bathroom door open is not a problem for me.

I do need to research if the Maxifans can be reversed. If not, I'll probably go with Fantastic fans.

Thanks for your ideas. Please keep them coming.

Jane
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:03 PM   #9
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If you leave the bathroom door open, or add louvered vents in the door it would be fine.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:18 PM   #10
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with my door....

air circulation is not a problem...LOL...it's not as if the door is airtight....

with me, with just the little computer fan creating negative air pressure in the bathroom air bleeds in around the closed door enough that it does "the job"
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane P. View Post
Thanks everyone.

@ Jack. I too have an AC that I have yet to use. Because I boondock most of my trips, I really don't look forward to the AC/generator noise over a extended period of time.

Over the years, I've wanted to install a fan in the bathroom and add a vent fan in the front of the cabin. My goal is to increase air circulation via fore & aft ceiling vent fans in the cabin on hotter days & nights. I've been in other fiberglass trailers with that setup, and it makes a big difference. Rising temperatures on our last camping trip has renewed that plan.

@mazabo & @Jack What are your concerns regarding a bathroom ceiling fan?
A vent fan in the bathroom makes the most sense to me because:
  • I do not want to put a second hole in the roof;
  • the extra exhaust helps to mitigate unwanted orders.
Leaving the bathroom door open is not a problem for me.

I do need to research if the Maxifans can be reversed. If not, I'll probably go with Fantastic fans.

Thanks for your ideas. Please keep them coming.

Jane
Jane,

Both brands make competitive products. Both can provide units that run at ten speeds or thereabouts. Both are energy efficient but can draw down a battery considerably when run at high speeds for long periods such as overnight. Both are reversible.

I think that just one of either brand could draw all the air you would ever want through your trailer. Circulation comes from where you let the air in, whether through the door, windows, or a roof vent. If you were to install just one of these fans, I suspect you might find that is all you want or need. So, you might focus on the location that seems most advantageous.

Something else to consider is a fan that would blow directly on you. There are several brands and types of that sort available. They might be a better supplement than a second one in the ceiling.

There are some differences between the products, and perhaps between the manufacturers' customer service policies. There are many comparisons and stories you can read online if you wish to decide which might be the better choice for you. Good luck on your project.
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Old 04-23-2018, 01:43 AM   #12
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BIGFOOT QUESTION: How to wire bathroom for ceiling fan

Thank you Civilguy,

I do use ryobi fans from Home Depot. Their charge lasts a surprisingly long time & they are very quiet. I pack a couple of batteries plus a charger. They're not easily placed in sitting and sleeping areas. I am thinking that adding a ceiling fan may be a better alternative in hotter situations, and want to consider my options.
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I'm surprised that converting the Bigfoot's bathroom vent into a ceiling fan is controversial. It does seem to be my best option: it is in the aft section of the trailer (screen door and windows are in the front section of the cabin). I have no problem leaving the bathroom door open when the fan is on.

Furthermore, the only ceiling vent in the trailer is located in the bathroom. My problem is determining how best to route power to that vent.

I'll accept everyone's suggestion that just one fan will meet my needs. So, if I ever cut a hole in the roof to add another vent fan, it would be in the front section of the trailer. I'd do that if I conclude that I want to draw more air into the cabin.

Thanks,
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Old 04-23-2018, 02:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
air circulation is not a problem...LOL...it's not as if the door is airtight....



with me, with just the little computer fan creating negative air pressure in the bathroom air bleeds in around the closed door enough that it does "the job"


@Franswa, you've peaked my imagination, and I will give serious thought to installing a computer fan. Weirdly enough, we have several. I'm assuming that a computer fan will draw significantly less juice than a 12 volt vent fan. If it doesn't work for me, I can always move on to a maxifan.

Now my Bigfoot does have windows & a screen door, and I understand that air does circulate in the cabin. What I'd like to do is maximize air flow within the trailer. I want to be comfortable on hot days. IMHO fans make a big difference. 12 volt fans work without a generator; AC does not. You all may be correct that I only need one well placed vent fan. My only vent is in the bathroom - located aft of the screen door and windows.

Franswa, I am intrigued with your pictures. I like your restraints on the shower curtain. What is the wooden board between your towel rack & cabinet? What's hanging from the suction hook next to your toilet?

I've tricked out my bathroom with a marine TP holder, a small suction mirror, and a suction soap bar holder (I like yours better). These additions have made a big difference.

Thanks so much,
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
I have not installed a fan in my 17 CB but did explore the possibility. If your bath-shower is similar to mine, the wiring is easy. I removed the plastic trim ring for the vent- hatch off the shower ceiling, then, I took some heavy string with weight tied to the end. I used a large washer as a weight because it was handy. By pushing the weight toward the outside trailer bulkhead and dropping the weight between the shower wall and trailer bulkhead, the string went all the way to the floor of the trailer. The access door on the street side is where the washer landed on the floor. From there, it would be very easy to route the wiring forward to under the dinette where the electrical panel is. Running a new dedicated line for a ceiling fan will be easy for me. The only reason I have not gone further is because I can not decide weather to eliminate the 25 year old lame AC I never use and replace it with a fan. replace the vent in the shower with a fan, or leave the AC and vent, and cut a new hole in the roof for an additional fan.

Adding the fan to the bathroom is the least desirable because to vent the entire trailer, the bathroom door would need to be left open,


Hey Jack,

Really appreciate you suggestion.

I will check this out with my trailer repair guy. But I have a rear bath, and that string has a long way to travel.

BTW, why do you have to remove your AC? I also have a 25 year old AC which I plan to keep it for hook up & resale. Assuming I can replace the rear bathroom vent with a Maxifan, I could eventually install a new fan in front of the AC.

Jane
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