Fantastic Fan Install in Bigfoot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-22-2016, 03:17 PM   #1
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Fantastic Fan Install in Bigfoot

There is thread by pretty much this same name which talks about running the wires through a channel in the frame for the vent, then out into the cabinets over the sink where there is an electrical junction box.

Both the members who posted about this haven't been active since 2011 or earlier. Just curious if anyone else with a Bigfoot has upgraded to a Fantastic Fan in the main ceiling vent, and how they routed their wires, especially if you've got photos!

I figure tying into the ceiling lights would work fine, especially since I just switched out the old incandescent lightbulbs for LEDs, so I don't think I'd overload the circuit.
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:49 PM   #2
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Well I think I found what they were talking about. The wires go from the light fixture over the sink, to the stove hood. So I just need to figure out if that light plus the fan and everything on the stove hood aren't going to be more than that circuit can handle.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:21 PM   #3
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Well since it's such a good title, I'll probably just turn this thread into a tutorial on doing this install in a Bigfoot. Assuming everything goes well...
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:21 AM   #4
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Good luck on the install. As long as you are patient running the wires through the insulation I think it should all go well.
Nice to see a new Bigfoot moder on the forum.
My 2002 17CB came with the fan so I din't need that mod (Did it earlier on one of my Casitas). So most of my major mods have been plumbing and axle/suspension.

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Old 02-23-2016, 11:26 AM   #5
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Thanks Walt. So far I haven't seen any of this "insulation" people speak of...

I'll post photos once I've done a bit more work. There is a channel in the roof, and the wall where they ran some wiring (in the wall. they don't have any wiring in the channel in the roof), and it has no insulation. Hopefully it was intentionally left uninsulated so wires could be run.

Otherwise they forgot to insulate mine!
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:54 AM   #6
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Yours is 11 years older than mine so may differ.
In mine, there's a thick layer of insulation between the roof and the ceiling.
Any wiring just runs through the insulation.
I've seen it when
1. Replaced the AC
2. Replaced the Fantastic fan with a MaxxAir fan
3. Replaced the passive vent in the bathroom ceiling with a powered one.
4. Ran wiring for a reading light behind one seat at the dinette. The light centered over the table is useless for reading.

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Old 02-23-2016, 03:30 PM   #7
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Thanks Walt. I'm sure it has insulation...It's just that wherever I can actually see into the walls, there isn't any. But I think that where I can see into the walls is where they have openings for wires. So they may have blocked off those channels and kept them free of insulation. Who knows.
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Old 02-23-2016, 03:36 PM   #8
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Here's the progress. Trailer goes off to get a new axle this afternoon so I just got as far as getting the new fan in and sealed with butyl tape. Good enough for the next couple sunny days while it's at the trailer shop. Then I'll finish it off with Dicor when I get it back.

You'll notice, I'm sure, that I didn't clean up the roof all that much. I did get all the silicone off. It's just the old lap sealant that I left, because I read that it's meant to seal to itself. I just chipped off what I could, sanded off the top dirty layer, then cleaned all surfaces.

Old vent
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Old 02-23-2016, 03:44 PM   #9
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Until I figure out how to get photos to show up all throughout my posts instead of just all clumped together at the bottom, I guess I'll just have a lot of individual posts...And thanks to Jon in AZ I just did!

Old vent coming out.

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This is just a matter of taking out screws. For the flashing inside the camper, then the actual mounting screws up on the roof, likely covered over in lap sealant or something similar.

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Old 02-23-2016, 03:54 PM   #10
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The Channel.

It looks like it runs all the way to the side of the trailer, and connects with a similar channel running down the wall, which has the wires for the overhead kitchen stuff. But I couldn't get it to "connect". The wire kept getting stuck on something, so maybe it doesn't go all the way, or maybe I just couldn't work it right.

Either way, after one bad small test hole, I managed to drill into the ceiling inside the kitchen cabinets and come up through the channel. Used a larger drill bit, then fed the wire through.
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:03 PM   #11
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Test fit
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:07 PM   #12
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Nice job.

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Old 02-23-2016, 04:07 PM   #13
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The instructions say I can cut the flashing down to size, so that's my plan. I set it as far into the fan as it would go, and marked the depth. I measured the depth (1"), then measured 1" up from the bottom lip. I'll cut it just on the high side of that line, and that should give me at least 3/4" of overlap.

Or if I ruin it then I'll make something nicer out of wood
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:17 PM   #14
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Looks like I didn't take of photo of the final roof prep. Like I said, I just chipped away a little more of the lap sealant, then sanded the dirty layer off, and cleaned everything. I'll be sure to let you know if it leaks...

I set the fan back in the hole, and drilled pilot holes for the screws. Then I marked each corner on the roof with a sharpie, so when the butyl tape was in the way of being able to see those holes, I could still be sure things were lined up well enough. Then pulled it back out.

I put two layers of butyl tape on the underside of the fan flange, then set it down and centered it.

It seems silly to say but make sure that you set it so it's opening the right way! Unless you have a vent cover you shouldn't be driving with it open anyways, but if you forget to close it, at least this way the wind doesn't tear it off...

I started all the screws by hand, just to make sure everything went in nicely. The instructions say not to over tighten, but to tighten evenly. Makes sense. I wasn't sure how much to torque it...and since I don't really have a way to torque screws, I just used the setting on my drill. I started all the screws at 5, then took them all to 10, then called it "good enough" at around 12/13.

Two of the pilot holes either missed the wood frame, or somehow stripped out really easily. They wouldn't tighten down. I went back with the drill and put pilot holes in at an angle hoping something would grab there, and when I put the screws in this time, they did grab and tighten.

Trimmed up the excess butyl tape and called the roof "good" for now.
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