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Old 04-06-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
Name: ruth
Trailer: 1986 13' scamp
Posts: 42
fantastic fan battery usage

Interested in feedback from anyone using 12v fantastic fan. I am looking to install perhaps the fantastic fan 4000R. Two things:
1 - How difficult is this to install?
More Importantly........
2 - If your out a week with no electric and only battery how long will it last while using at night?

Your feed back is always outstanding!!!!!

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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Name: Rene
Trailer: Bigfoot 2500 truck camper
British Columbia
Posts: 233
I am also thinking about getting a fantastic fan eventually. First the solar panels and controller will be installed. My battery is a standard marine deep cycle, group 27, 120 amp hour battery. According to the fantastic fan website, on low speed the fan consumes 1.86 amps per hour. This means that overnight for 8 hours it would take about 14.88amp/ hours of current. Good operating procedure says you should not draw down your battery more than 50% if you want to keep it from dying prematurely. You should try to keep the battery at about 80% full if you want long battery life. The latter is an ideal that is not always attainable. So all this means that you have about 60 amp hours at the most that you can safely draw down your battery. If you have no way to charge your battery such as a solar panel, you will be reaching your limit pretty quick if you also like electric lights, and a water pump. Right off the hop I would recommend converting to LED lamps and then consider a small solar panel if you really want to be independently powered. With a solar panel during the hottest parts of the day you would have all the power you need to use the fan constantly during the day. Then you can establish an energy budget for nighttime use.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:14 AM   #3
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That's good advice, Rene.

We haven't converted our house lights to LED (yet), so we use a battery powered "lantern" as our main light when we boondock. (We use the house lights, too, but only sparingly -such as the bathroom light while taking a shower.)

Our solar panel is a 3.1 amp, which is plenty to keep our battery up, if we are careful. (We run the fridge on propane, and don't use the furnace, whose fan draws a lot more juice than the Fantastic Fan. Of course, I'm also referring to boondocking in weather mild enough that we don't need AC.)

As you point out, when the FF is needed the most, the solar panel is also doing its thing.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1986 U-Haul CT13 ft
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FantasticFan is the best modification we've made. Easy to install and excellent performance. The UHaul CT13's solar panel (original) is more than sufficient to provide electric lights and fan power on extended boondocking trips. I think the solar panel is 15 watts, but not sure.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:46 AM   #5
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The Best model has a Rain detector that closes the vent automatically, a remote that you can control with anywhere in the camper and the remote has a thermostat in it so you tell it what temp you want to maintain and it turns the fan off once you reach that setting and that saves your battery usage. I think the upgraded one is well worth the extra expense. Be sure to shop around on the internet to get the lowest price.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jack maloney View Post
........The UHaul CT13's solar panel (original) is more than sufficient to provide electric lights and fan power on extended boondocking trips. I think the solar panel is 15 watts, but not sure.
I'm surprised to hear this. Mine is original and had degraded to the point where it only put out a couple of watts in full sunshine.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:39 PM   #7
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Name: jim
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The upgrade to 4000R is not hard to do, basically cut and paste with two wires and then reassembling, maybe 45 minutes max. The infinite speeds is nice and the draw on low is minimal.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #8
Name: ruth
Trailer: 1986 13' scamp
Posts: 42
Rene I guess looking at this without solar battery charging isn't going to be quite so effective after all. So what solar are you using? whats the cost look like? money just seems to keep going...going.....going.
thanks ruth
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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Name: Rene
Trailer: Bigfoot 2500 truck camper
British Columbia
Posts: 233
Ruth you would likely get 2 nights out of your battery but not likely a full third. I am using 2 panels I bought second hand. They are older and put out 75 watts each for a total of 150 watts.
People here have generally recommended at least 50-75 watts of panel for a single battery setup. At the same time anything more than 150-200 watts is probably a bit too much for a single battery. Adding more batteries to tiny trailers can be challenging. Costs can vary widely. A do it yourselfer can build a small system for 200-500 dollars sometimes less if they do a bit of scrounging or selective purchasing. Having a so called expert build your system can be very pricey. If you take the time to learn how a solar system works and basic design principals. You can source panels and solar charge controllers at very attractive prices on ebay. There are three parts to your solar system. The battery you already have, the solar panel collector, and the solar charge controller plus the wire and hardware to connect and mount the components. Check out this forum for solar installations. Other RV forums also have info. One of the best is Arizona Wind and Sun RV forums. Google it. It may seem awfully intimidating at first but it really is worthwhile to learn how to build your own solar system. It could even change your life! Feel free to ask more questions.
Even if you do not install solar, purchasing some led lamps could make a huge difference in how long you can operate on battery power and are much less costly than a solar system.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #10
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Name: Rene
Trailer: Bigfoot 2500 truck camper
British Columbia
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One final thought Ruth. If you try to learn a bit about your battery, how to maintain it and best use it and about how LED lamps can help you supply your energy needs, you will be miles ahead when it comes time to build a solar system. Learn how much power each device on your trailer uses every hour. Put in some LED bulbs and see how little power they consume. You can stay up all night and read! Once you have this down you will be ready and you will KNOW just how much more power you need.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
Name: ruth
Trailer: 1986 13' scamp
Posts: 42
Wow Rene you have really been helpful. I am interested in learning about this even though as you say it can be intimidating. My biggest problem right now will definately be that price though. So I will check out those websites and you can be sure you will be getting some stupid questions from me as it is nice to know that you are so knowledgeable about this. thanks again...ruth
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:25 PM   #12
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For whatever it's worth I worked on my Lil Bigfoot through out the day.
It's been the warmest day of the year, in the mid 80s.
My Fantastic Fan ran on low speed exhaust from about 10 am to about 4:30 pm and my battery was still at full charge.
I do have a 50 W solar panel on the roof and a group 29 deep cycle battery.

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Old 04-14-2012, 04:42 PM   #13
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Name: Denny
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A fantastic fan uses 1.9 amps on max speed. It's good practice to not draw down a battery below 50%. Therefore a fully charged 80 amp hour battery could run the fan for a bit more than 20 hours as long as nothing else is using battery power.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:59 PM   #14
aceman's Avatar
Name: Ace
Trailer: 13' Scamp and Teardrop
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Fantastic Fan

Old thread but the Fantastic fan AH usage I think is:
High 3
Med 2.29
Low 1.86
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:07 PM   #15
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Originally Posted by aceman View Post
Old thread ...
Very old in fact.. but since its live again...

One option is a PWM speed controller (a user modification).

Then the speed and amp draw is infinitely variable from zero to the fan's maximum. Need to conserve battery? Then set it at low, even lower than the lowest setting on the OEM fan if you wish. I love to turn the dial on my Fantastic Fan PWM controller and watch the amp meter (another user mod) go up or down.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:16 PM   #16
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fantastic fan

I have had a fantastic fan (I think its a 3200, not the top of the line) for 2 years in my Trillium 4500 which I installed myself. I have a single medium duty deep cycle battery, no solar charging, yet. I would recommend the top model because it has infinite speed control and because it has a lower power usage. I have had to replace the fan twice because the control panel has fried (they were very good replacing elements under 2 year warranty) . But I didnt know what the underlying problem was in the control units. Two electricians I asked said it was likely from low voltage (note the fan still worked but the power lift/close would not) The fan tries to draw more current in a low voltage situation which fries the electronics.
So, I recommend being very careful about your battery voltage when there is no shore power, I wouldnt let it get below 12V.
Regarding installation, its a bit tricky. It requires at least a 1/2 inch thickness to install which means you have to build up the inside of the ceiling because you only have 1/8 inch of fiberglass. You can tap into the electrical source for the lights (I have all LED bulbs now) but I did not find a good way to tuck the wire under the thinsolite so its an exposed wire - not the best.
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