Van Build Phases

Fan

I've loved having this fan! I love that it automatically opens and closes, with just the press of a button. The install is not hard, but does have a lot of steps and took me a full day.

Total Cost: $

660.73

Total Time (hrs):

8

Top-down view of MaxxAir Fan installed in sprinter van

* Disclaimer: This page contains various affiliate links that provide a small kickback to me, at no additional cost to you.

Resources

Materials

Tools

Process

I started out by building a frame that would go on the inside of the van, that the fan would actually mount to.

I bought a couple of sections of 1x2, and then used a few test pieces to set the miter saw height to go exactly half way through the 1x2 in order to create perfect lap joints.

marked the discard material on the 1x2 sections

I used wood glue and clamped the pieces together overnight to make sure the frame is rock solid.

I purchased a roof fan adapter from impact products so that I could have a flush mount on my van, and minimize risk for any leaks. I was able to use it to create an accurate outline for the van hole, in the right place. I used masking tape to mark off the outline as well.

Make sure to tape a plastic bag or something underneath where you plan to cut! The sound deadening panels are pretty messy I learned, and this helped to minimize metal shavings going everywhere. I should have used a larger bag, and left it a bit more baggy since I ended up piercing through the pictured setup.

I also marked holes to drill out, and a test piece for me to pratice drilling holes and jigsawing through. This was going to be my first hole in the van, and I was pretty nervous! I had very little jigsaw experience (part of the reason I chose to make the floor before-hand was to practice on plywood!) so the test cut was important to have.

Once I drilled out the holes, I filed them down to make them bigger and to make them 90 deg angles.

The cutting was surprisingly easy! The jigsaw was easy to keep straight, and I taped each side back to the body once I cut it which helped minimize vibrations of the panel while cutting the other sides.

Taking my job very seriously

Yonny peeking through the big hole!

After I made the hole, I filed down the edges with a metal file. I then took the roof adapter, fan adapter, and wooden bracket I manufactured, clamped everything together, and drilled holes through the assembly. Yonny helped hold the vacuum to catch the debris.

Thanks Jonathan!

After the holes were made, I took everything off and primed and painted the holes with Rustoleum.

I then secured the roof adapter to the fan flange with butyl tape.

And then applied window weld to the bottom of the roof adapter. This stuff is gross and hard to work with! I would recommend keeping it in hot water (in a plastic bag!) 30min before you need to use it to make it more workable. And wear gloves!

I had to work fast here, and clamped everything together. The clamps couldn't make it over the lip, but I added some scraps of wood. I felt that this also helped spread the pressure from the clamps out better.

After I let it dry, I put the screws through, securing them with nuts from the inside of the van.

I then put two beads of lap sealant all around, allowing it to run.

I was able to finally mount the actual fan on top and cover up my giant hole! The lap sealant ended up running EVEN MORE over the course of several days, and now looks like its been vacuum sealed onto the roof.

Here's what it looks like from the inside. the wooden bracket and screws are shorter than the ribs of the van, and are completely invisible in the final install.

This is what it looks like with a partially complete roof!

Notion Board

Click on the image above to go to the full data base.

The Notion Board is my brain-dump database. I've been keeping meticulous track of every purchase, complete with receipts.

Got Questions?

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Van Build Phases

design@juliasakalus.com