The vents in your RV may seem pretty insignificant, but the minute they stop working you’ll find out just how useful these little guys are! They keep things like odors and humidity buildup out of your RV, things you might not even realize are there until you’re without your fans. The air will become stale, the odors from cooking will linger, and bathroom odors will creep out into the rest of the RV. Anything propane, especially the furnace, will create humidity resulting in the buildup of moisture, which could leave you with a mold and mildew problem. If your vents have stopped working, there’s a chance that you will be replacing your RV vent motors. Before you dive into replacing them, make sure that there isn’t a simpler solution that could get it going again.
What Else Could It Be?
Your vents could have stopped working due to a number of different factors. You want to look everything over and try some things out before you go ripping it apart and spending money on parts you might not need. Check over the following things to ensure the motor actually needs replacing:
- Check the fuses to ensure you don’t just need to replace/reset something
- Check amperage and voltage at the fan to see if it’s actually getting power and the right amount of power
- Look at the fan blades to see if something is obstructing them from moving
- Take the fan apart and clean it well to ensure that dust and dirt aren’t just jamming something up
Once you have established that the fan itself is getting power and that nothing is physically keeping it from turning, you can be pretty sure that there is something going on in the motor.
Why Vent Motors Go Bad
Inside a moving vehicle is one of the worst places for any electronic device. Electronics do not mix well with dust, dirt, moisture, vibration, and drastic temp changes. These are all effects that will be experienced in an RV, and unfortunately there’s no avoiding it. As you drive down the road, dust and dirt can get into the motor and really jam up the bearings and other parts in there. Moisture can short out wires and vibrations can cause them to become detached or broken. If you have a vent motor that’s not working, there’s no need to buy a whole new vent. You can simply replace the motor and get that vent up and running again. All you have to do is a little research on parts and instructions.
Where To Find Parts & Instructions
The first thing you need to do is find the brand and model number of the fan. The placement of the model number can vary so check it over from both inside and outside the RV. Once you know exactly what fan you’re working with, go to the manufacturer's site! Some manufacturers will have instructions and information right on their site. Always check with their customer service department. Fantastic Fan is known for sending out free parts, as well as offering step-by-step diagnostic and replacement instructions. Don’t spend money if you don’t need to! If you don’t get the luxury of free parts then you can find them online by doing a simple Google search for the words “vent motor” along with the brand and model number of the fan. Many places that offer parts will also offer instructions or diagrams on how to install them, like this one at etrailer.com. Ensure you are completely comfortable making the repairs before you start. If you don’t feel up to doing them for any reason, it’s best left to a professional.
Where to Go
If your RV is still pretty new, check the RV manufacturer’s warranty and see if it’s covered. If so, simply go to the manufacturer’s website and select the link titled “find a service center.” You may be able to find more options for service by checking the website of the fan manufacturer as well. Some of them, like MaxxFan, have links on their site for finding where to buy the part or where to find a service center. Here you may be able to find a center that is able to service the fan, but it may not necessarily need to be an RV service center.
When you have a fan that is mounted to the roof of an RV and its purpose is to circulate the dirty air, it may encounter some difficulties. Thankfully, as far as we can tell, all the different brands have a pretty easy set of instructions on replacing RV vent motors. The motors themselves are much less expensive to replace than the entire fan, so check it out and see if you can change it out rather than replacing the whole thing.