14" Fan/Vent recommendations for a vintage trailer? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-08-2018, 03:59 PM   #1
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Name: Benjamin
Trailer: Trillium 1300
California
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14" Fan/Vent recommendations for a vintage trailer?

For cooling purposes, I want to replace the 9" roof vent in my Trillium 1300 with a larger, modern standard 14" vent with a built-in 12v DC fan. Quiet operation and variable speed are a must.

E-Trailer has a confusingly large number of such units. They almost all get all five star ratings, which I am very skeptical of. Dometic also has some. Unfortunately, they also all involve drilling numerous holes in the roof in addition to the expansion of the main opening. I am very reluctant to drill new holes, because over time they almost always cause leaks. I have just spent a week fiberglassing over old holes caused by reckless previous owners. What I want is something that can be attached (and then removed later for service, re-caulking, etc) with minimal drama.

I would ideally just like the exterior part to bolt down onto the interior part, or vice versa, forming a sandwich over the thin hull. (I’d consider fiberglassing in some sort of shallow flute to lead water away from the opening, too.)

I’d like a unit that is as thin as possible in its design, to preserve standing room height inside, and not messing about with the exterior profile too much.

Has anyone done a similar replacement? Any advice/recommendations/photos much appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:12 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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Advice... Buy a Fantastic fan with the features you want.Take out your old 9" fan and enlarge the opening with two simple cuts. Install the 14"X14" fan which has been the standard for the industry for many years.
You would not be making any more holes in the roof and you would not even need a drill.
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DSCF0210.JPG   May 2009 011.jpg  

06_30_2.jpg   1978 Scamp 13 004.jpg  

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Old 10-08-2018, 04:28 PM   #3
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Name: Benjamin
Trailer: Trillium 1300
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Thanks for the suggestion.

In your photos, How thick is that wooden strip on the interior, between the fan and the ceiling? Did you need to frame that out to fill the gap?
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:33 PM   #4
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Sadly on the old Trillium vents they had a raised section to keep the vent higher than the roof. You probably can’t go as large as 14 by 14 without eliminating the raised section. I would be tempted to put a new and completely separate vent perhaps over the rear dinette, to handle your fantastic fan. I’ve also seen people use smaller computer fans on the 9 inch vent., just laid on top of the screen.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:40 PM   #5
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@thrifty bill That is a nice idea. I really do not want to lose headroom in the standing area next to the dinette. At 6', I can just barely stand up fully inside my Trillium. I really don't want to be bumping my head all the time.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Sadly on the old Trillium vents they had a raised section to keep the vent higher than the roof. You probably can’t go as large as 14 by 14 without eliminating the raised section. I would be tempted to put a new and completely separate vent perhaps over the rear dinette, to handle your fantastic fan. I’ve also seen people use smaller computer fans on the 9 inch vent., just laid on top of the screen.
here is the 14"X14" vent in my 1973 Trillium which replaced the 9"X9"...
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:04 PM   #7
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You probably want to compare features with Maxxfan before making a purchase.
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Old 10-08-2018, 07:02 PM   #8
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Myself, if your roof is raised up around the 9 inch vent, I would not destroy that by cutting out a 14 inch square hole. Now if the area is not raised up, I could not have a problem cutting a larger hole.

I just have one data point, my 1977 Trillium 1300. No idea if what mine has is consistent across many years, or somewhat unique. I consider a raised up section around a vent to be a superior design, and would not cut it out.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Myself, if your roof is raised up around the 9 inch vent, I would not destroy that by cutting out a 14 inch square hole. Now if the area is not raised up, I could not have a problem cutting a larger hole.

I just have one data point, my 1977 Trillium 1300. No idea if what mine has is consistent across many years, or somewhat unique. I consider a raised up section around a vent to be a superior design, and would not cut it out.
Where can you buy a modern powered vent which is 9"X9"?
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:37 PM   #10
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Cut a separate hole somewhere else, and leave the 9 inch alone due to its somewhat unique construction. But hey, its a personal decision regardless.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:05 PM   #11
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I have put some thought into this, since I have three Trillium 1300's with 9" vents, that I want to put a powered vent on. This is the plan I have.

Remove the 9" vent.

Using 1.5" x 1.5" x 1/8" pulltruded fibreglass square tube. Make a frame that is large enough for the fan to fit into, and as large, or larger then the flange on the fan you select, (I like the MaxxFan). The fan will mount to this frame. Cut the pieces, using 45 angles at the corners. Be sure that the fan will fit through the inside of the frame. It is probably a good idea to lay a sheet of plastic on a plywood base and clamp the frame to the base while it sets. This is to make sure that the frame sets up flat.

Then cut a 14" square hole, (the same size as the inside of the frame) removing all of the raised section around the 9" vent. Rough up the gel coat around the hole so that when you glue the frame to the outside of the trailer, it holds well. You might want to go right through the gel coat till you get to the glass. Try to keep the dimensions of the rough section as close as possible to the dimensions of the frame you made. Glue the frame to the roughed up section. If there is a gap, use fibreglass mat, saturated with resin, to fill the gap. Lightly clamp the frame to the trailer shell and wait till the resin sets.

A step that I have not mentioned, (because I am not sure if you should do it before, or after you glue the frame to the trailer) is to drill holes in the frame that match the mounting holes of the fan. Only drill through the top side of the frame, not all the way through the frame and out the bottom. You should also drill a hole that will allow any water that gets into the frame to drain. I am thinking the one on each side of the low side of the frame. The sides so that rain will not be driven into the holes as you drive. Some colonial white touch-up paint may be required. Then use butyl tape between the frame and the fan when you rivet the fan to the frame.

This plan gives you the advantages of the raised section, in that water will drain away from the hole, making it less likely to leak.

Clayton and I discussed this strategy, and he actually did it:
Trillium - MaxxFan Install

Wiring is another story.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:27 PM   #12
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I second the emotion for MaxxFan...> Iv'e got a Fantastic Fan in the Casota, and a MaxxFan deluxe something in the Escape... the maxxfan moves more air and is quieter. also the maxxfan deluxe hood can be left open when its raining, and no rain gets in.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
I have put some thought into this, since I have three Trillium 1300's with 9" vents, that I want to put a powered vent on. This is the plan I have.

Remove the 9" vent.

Using 1.5" x 1.5" x 1/8" pulltruded fibreglass square tube. Make a frame that is large enough for the fan to fit into, and as large, or larger then the flange on the fan you select, (I like the MaxxFan). The fan will mount to this frame. Cut the pieces, using 45 angles at the corners. Be sure that the fan will fit through the inside of the frame. It is probably a good idea to lay a sheet of plastic on a plywood base and clamp the frame to the base while it sets. This is to make sure that the frame sets up flat.

Then cut a 14" square hole, (the same size as the inside of the frame) removing all of the raised section around the 9" vent. Rough up the gel coat around the hole so that when you glue the frame to the outside of the trailer, it holds well. You might want to go right through the gel coat till you get to the glass. Try to keep the dimensions of the rough section as close as possible to the dimensions of the frame you made. Glue the frame to the roughed up section. If there is a gap, use fibreglass mat, saturated with resin, to fill the gap. Lightly clamp the frame to the trailer shell and wait till the resin sets.

A step that I have not mentioned, (because I am not sure if you should do it before, or after you glue the frame to the trailer) is to drill holes in the frame that match the mounting holes of the fan. Only drill through the top side of the frame, not all the way through the frame and out the bottom. You should also drill a hole that will allow any water that gets into the frame to drain. I am thinking the one on each side of the low side of the frame. The sides so that rain will not be driven into the holes as you drive. Some colonial white touch-up paint may be required. Then use butyl tape between the frame and the fan when you rivet the fan to the frame.

This plan gives you the advantages of the raised section, in that water will drain away from the hole, making it less likely to leak.

Clayton and I discussed this strategy, and he actually did it:
Trillium - MaxxFan Install

Wiring is another story.
Rub Goldberg would be so proud!
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:52 AM   #14
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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instead of replacing the vent itself you can get a nice 12v fan made for venting a computer case. The one you want should be 200mm size, that should fit into the opening for the vent and give you the maximum size of fan. But double check the inside dimensions of the finished opening. The next size smaller fan will be 180mm.



Go to Amazon and look at the one below, the plastic housing and fan blade are clear plastic and it has an additional option, if you want to use it, built in LED lights! You can put those on their own switch to give you some additional overhead light. But if you don't want a lighted one just search around on Amazon with the keywords "clear case fan" and the size you need. Lights or no lights the price is very modest and they do have good CFM ratings and are very quiet. You can get speed controllers for computer fans.
Corsair Carbide 500R Case - Side 200mm Fan, Clear with White LEDs


Here is a youtube video showing one installed in the vent opening on an A frame travel trailer.
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