Fan-Tastic Vent help, please - Fiberglass RV
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:10 PM   #1
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Name: Richard
Trailer: 2009 Scamp 13'
Alberta
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Fan-Tastic Vent help, please

I have a Fan-Tastic Vent fan in my 2009 13-ft Scamp trailer. The fan stopped working this summer, although it operated fine in the spring of this year. Turning the switch from 1, 2, or 3 does nothing, regardless whether the intake or exhaust switch is pushed. I've performed the usual trouble-shooting, ie, checked the fuse at the main panel and also the fuse on the fan unit itself. All appears to be well, but the fan doesn't hum/budge/roll-over-and-play-dead. It just plays dead. I've contacted the manufacturer and they explained the problem is usually with the plunger switch that is activated by the dome, and offered to replace the switch. However, with my extraordinarily basic understanding of electricity and a digital multimeter, I've been able to determine that the switch works just exactly as it is supposed to work.
If anyone is familiar with this particular vent fan (the model number on the motor is H4000R), I'd appreciate where else to trouble-shoot. I'd rather avoid getting the Scamp out of storage, hooking it up, driving it 40 km to a repair facility, only to be told the fan motor needs to be replaced but they'll have to order one in. So if anyone can help me diagnose the problem, I'd appreciate it. If I can determine that the motor is toast, I can perhaps order a new one and install it myself or at least ensure the repair facility has one on hand before I take the trailer out to them. Thanks for whatever advice you can give, as there aren't obvious exposed places on the wiring or fan unit where I could use the multimeter to check for power or continuity. And I don't want to dismantle what doesn't need to be dismantled! I already have a few projects like that on the go.....
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:29 PM   #2
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Did you use the multimeter to check to see that you have 12VDC at the fan?
Did you use the Ohmmeter to check the fuse after you removed it?
Did you use the Ohmmeter to check that you have a good return(ground)?
Do you have one of those portable Jump battery packs?
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:31 PM   #3
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If you simple take down the inside trim piece off (only a few screws) you should be able to see the 12v wiring connection stuffed up beside the outside edge of the fan and be able to put a multi meter to it to see if you are getting power to the fan.

Have you also checked the fuses at/inside your converter?
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:34 PM   #4
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You could try applying 12 volts directly to the fan, bypassing all the fuses, switches, etc. to see if the fan works. First pull the indicated connector off the reversing switch, and /or pull the Buss fuse from the fan housing so you don't feedback power to the electrical system. Also still used a fused power supply also.

I'm not sure if this diagram is the same as your F-Fan but its probably pretty close.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:51 AM   #5
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If you simple take down the inside trim piece off (only a few screws) you should be able to see the 12v wiring connection stuffed up beside the outside edge of the fan and be able to put a multi meter to it to see if you are getting power to the fan.

Have you also checked the fuses at/inside your converter?
Not sure I know about these fuses? Where/how would I find them to check? By the way, everything ELSE electrical works on the Scamp. Would there be a fan-specific fuse "at/inside your converter"?
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:43 AM   #6
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Not sure I know about these fuses? Where/how would I find them to check? By the way, everything ELSE electrical works on the Scamp. Would there be a fan-specific fuse "at/inside your converter"?
Probably not a specific fuse at the converter or power dist center just for the fan. But taking the trim off, removing the mounting screws, lowering the fan so you can get to the wiring, and using your multi-meter to check for voltage between ground (white) and the hot side of the buss fuse holder you can rule out a converter (or PDC) fuse if you have power there.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:55 AM   #7
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I don't see it mentioned anywhere in this thread, so I will just make mention that the crank up closed lid above the fan on the outside must be screwed upward and opened up past a certain point before the fan will come on. Just a simple and cheap cure, since there doesn't seem to be anything else apparently wrong.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
But taking the trim off, removing the mounting screws, lowering the fan so you can get to the wiring, and using your multi-meter to check for voltage between ground (white) and the hot side of the buss fuse holder you can rule out a converter (or PDC) fuse if you have power there.
Having installed a couple of fans I would suggest that as the fan is mounted from the roof down, it is not possible to lower it. All the OP needs to do to see the wiring & connections to the trailers 12V wiring, is remove the inside trim piece. The wiring & connections are stuffed up in the ceiling of the trailer right beside the fan housing. It is possible that the connection to the fan is simple loose. Scamp uses not so great wire connections practises. If the connection is loose I highly recommend redoing the connection using shrink warps to protect it from moisture and help keep it together.

As far as fuses goes it will depend on what brand/make of converter the OP has. Some have all the fuses on a panel outside of the converter itself and some like my old Scamp have the fuses mounted inside the converter housing, requiring the converter cover itself to be opened up (remove a few screws to lift cover off of converter) to access. It is not uncommon for 12V appliances such as a fan to have it own fuse from the converter, due to the limited number of appliances found in most Scamps.

Greg also made a good point! Done that myself once or twice! LOL
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:39 AM   #9
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Having installed a couple of fans I would suggest that as the fan is mounted from the roof down, it is not possible to lower it.
Perhaps but Scamp does not change things a lot and it is very possible to lower it on my 2015 model. I suspect it is no different for the OP.

This pic is the fan lowered after a mod was made (note the missing three speed switch).
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Perhaps but Scamp does not change things a lot and it is very possible to lower it on my 2015 model. I suspect it is no different for the OP.

This pic is the fan lowered after a mod was made (note the missing three speed switch).
Stand correct. So it is apparently possible to remove the fan housing from the inside but I stand by my original suggestion it is not necessary to access the main wiring connection to the trailers 12V system.

All you need to do so see the main 12V wiring and test it, is simple remove the inside trim. I do not believe what Scamp may or may not have changed in regards to the install changes how FF makes their fans. In my experience including a new fan install just this summer FF has the main wiring coming out of the fan housing on the side as shown below.
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:54 PM   #11
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Name: Richard
Trailer: 2009 Scamp 13'
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Thanks for all these excellent responses! Life is currently keeping me away from my Scamp and its fan problem just now, but I hope to soon be able to have a better look at things with the benefit of all these kindly shared suggestions.
I'm quite optimistic, based on the fine information provided here!
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:39 PM   #12
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...but I stand by my original suggestion it is not necessary to access the main wiring connection to the trailers 12V system. ..
Did you actually go to the trouble to remove your fan's trim and take a photo? Now thats service with a smile!

But what's with the yellow wire? Mine has black and white wites, and then red (+) from the dome switch to the fan.. but I have no thermostat either. In any case, its not too hard to troubleshoot. Even if you have to pull the fan down, thats only six more screws (I think). But don't over-tighten when re-installing. They are set in plastic and you can strip it.

If you do have to replace the fan motor, then maybe its time to get rid of the three speed switch with it's resisters and put in a PWM continuously variable speed controller. Thats what I did and why I have the photos. It was not, however, quite as simple as I expected but that is a subject for another thread at another time.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Did you actually go to the trouble to remove your fan's trim and take a photo? Now thats service with a smile!

But what's with the yellow wire? Mine has black and white wites, and then red (+) from the dome switch to the fan.. but I have no thermostat either. In any case, its not too hard to troubleshoot. Even if you have to pull the fan down, thats only six more screws (I think). But don't over-tighten when re-installing. They are set in plastic and you can strip it.

If you do have to replace the fan motor, then maybe its time to get rid of the three speed switch with it's resisters and put in a PWM continuously variable speed controller. Thats what I did and why I have the photos. It was not, however, quite as simple as I expected but that is a subject for another thread at another time.
Nope did not pull down the trim in mine to get a picture. The photo is from another post on the same topic.

As per the photo the main 12V wiring is black and white as yours is. The yellow wires are on the thermostat models .

My current trailer had two FF. One is the multi speed thermostat model and the other the basic 3 speed. Replaced the basic 3 speed FF with a Maxxair Deluxe - same as the ones they use on Escapes and I am really happy with it.... if the rear FF was to fail I would get another Maxxair.
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:59 PM   #14
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Goodness, CALL THE MANUFACTURER!


"Any installation or operating problems, call Fan-Tastic Vent toll-free immediately!"

1-800-521-0298


They have free on-phone tech service that will stick with you until you get it working again, and will send you any parts you may need (short of a whole vent) for free, no shipping, either.


Their customer service is exemplary, take advantage of it!


We bought an old trailer with a 9+ year old Fan-Tastic Vent fan, and they treated us like royalty. Got the fan working, too, which was far more important.


"Any installation or operating problems, call Fan-Tastic Vent toll-free immediately!"

1-800-521-0298

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Semper ubi sub ubi.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:20 PM   #15
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Goodness, CALL THE MANUFACTURER!

...
Well...I wont argue with that. Sometimes the simplest approach is best.

I just got a little turned off by them when I heard about a mod kit they offered to slow the fan speed down (It was a simple additional resisters). Someone had recently got one of the kits from them for free so I tried a month or two later. The woman there told me that "I think they used to offer something like that" and then she told me she had nothing like that available and had no other suggestions. I think that when they got bought out, things changed.

And I do not expect a manufacturer to help me figure out how to take a voltage reading, or other things like that.

But by all means, give them a try. Especially if you can find the problem. I am in fact 100% sure they will replace any defective parts, so if you can figure out what you need I am sure they will give it to you.
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:16 PM   #16
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Name: Richard
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So I've had a chance to look at the Fan-Tastic fan problem a bit more. My fan works more like what Gordon has shown -- that is, I had to remove 5 screws (into plastic) and then could pull down a plastic ring (with the screen attached) to be able to access wires. The ring won't pull down all the way because of the turning mechanism used to maually raise/lower the dome. But there's still plenty of access to the wiring. I'm not entirely certain which wires I should be testing for 12 volt current (or if I'm even testing correctly). When I set my multimeter for 20 volts DC and put the probes on the battery terminals, I read just under 12 -- probably 11.8 or 11.9. I THINK that if I am getting current to the fan unit, I should get a similar reading at the wires coming to the unit, as what I get at the battery terminals. Correct? But I don't see that I'm getting anything -- the multimeter doesn't change. I might be measuring on the wrong side of a faulty in/out switch, a faulty off/1/2/3 switch or something else foolish. Or I might be measuring exactly where I should be measuring and I'm simply not getting current coming to the entire fan apparatus. There's a black and a white wire that come into the unit through a hole in the part that remains attached to the Scamp (along with the fan blades and the motor). Are those the main live leads? The white goes to the in/out switch, the black goes to the fuse.
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:40 PM   #17
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1. Should be a single recessed screw in the knob that raises the lid, right in the center of the knob. Remove it and the knob comes off, then the fan lowers as far as the attached wiring allows.

2. Sounds like you have the right places to check for power, and if there is no power there but all the fuses are good (at the converter /PDC), then its probably a break in the wiring. Since the wiring is under the rat fur, thats a bit of a problem.

3. Your voltage is a little low but yes, you should read about the same voltage at the incoming wires. Try it on shore power also.

4. White is negative, so connect meter's negative lead to the white wire where is comes to the fan, and try to read voltage on the fan's fuse where the black (positive) wire comes into it.. Go ahead and try both connections on the fuse holder (with neg test lead still on the white wire).
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:02 PM   #18
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Okay, making progress here!!! Thanks, Gordon and everyone for your help. I've now removed the knob as in Gordon's step #1 and access to wiring is vastly improved. A reading between the white wire where it comes into the fan area to the black/positive wire at the fuse gives me 11.7, which is about what I was getting directly from the battery terminal posts. So I'm getting current to the fan area! Sure beats having to find a problem hidden behind rat fur!!! So next is how to determine why the fan's not working. I'm getting different readings (or lack thereof) depending on how I set the switch that controls whether the fan draws in, or acts as an exhaust fan, or is left at the middle setting (which I don't know what it does? just OFF????). If I take my reading from the white wire (as described above) to the black wire on the fuse, I ONLY get the 11.7 reading when the in/out switch is set at the middle position. If I switch the switch to OUT, I get 0000. If I switch it to IN, I get .01. Only when the switch is in the middle position do I get the 11.7. So I'm thinking maybe the In/Out switch is the faulty link? But I'm also suspicious that the plunger switch at the dome is perhaps the offending switch, esp. since Fan-Tastic says it is the problem 99 44/100 % of the time there are problems with their fans. I had originally checked the continuity of the plunger switch and THAT aspect appears to work fine, breaking or carrying the current. But maybe the problem that people commonly experience with the plunger switch is somehow different. Gordon, can you or someone else tell me how to correctly use the multimeter to determine if the plunger switch is working as it should? Once I understand that, I can talk to Fan-Tastic about solving the problem, either by installing a new in/out switch or a new plunger switch. Of course, I'm only hoping the problem is not with the fan itself. I made my living as a teacher (obviously not in electrical engineering....) and now I am your eager student! Thank you thank you thank you.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:37 PM   #19
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this is so hard to do sight unseen. But first, lets try something easy (I hope).

I recall that the wire connection to the bottom of the dome switch simply pulls out. I do not recall how the connection was made to the other side of the switch (and I would prefer to not disassemble my fan to check).

But if you can just somehow unplug / disconnect the wires at the dome switch and then temporarily connect the two wires together, that will take the switch out of the circuit. The fan should then run with the dome open or closed. If the fan does run as normal after that, then you know the switch or the connections on the dome switch is bad. Of course don't leave the fan running with the dome closed except as a test.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:14 PM   #20
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Gordon, That's one of those perfect "Now why didn't I think of that?" answers!!! It makes perfect sense, and I'll do it as soon as I can. Given how quickly the Fan-Tastic folks seem to blame any fan problems on a faulty plunger switch, that switch is very likely the culprit. Maybe it just tends to fail in a way I wasn't imagining. I'll post my results, and thanks again to you and to all who replied.
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