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Extra roof mounted vents
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1621
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:59 pm    Post subject: Extra roof mounted vents Reply with quote

Has anyone had any direct experience with the solar powered roof vents available from West Marine and the like? I'm thinking it may be nice to have that increased ventilation on hot days, and perhaps while driving too. At night it may reduce the condensation as well. I'm just afraid to cut into the roof.

Any thoughts?

Here's an example:
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servle...reId=10001
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed the stainless Nicor solar acessory vent--maybe 5 years ago in my 87 Westfalia.

I adds some positive ventilation to the interior of the Van.

Works very well.

It's placed about a foot behind the skylight--mid ships on the roof panel.

It's an excellent added accessory to add to your Westy.
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carterzest
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
I installed the stainless Nicor solar acessory vent--maybe 5 years ago in my 87 Westfalia.

I adds some positive ventilation to the interior of the Van.

Works very well.

It's placed about a foot behind the skylight--mid ships on the roof panel.

It's an excellent added accessory to add to your Westy.


Well Erik, I guess I may have to join you on this one. We can cut my roof first and then do it right on yours second Very Happy

I too feel kind of uneasy cutting into my roof, but, caulk is your friend and even the
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with this
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Would be pretty sweet!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me warn you guys on this operation--

Get a sheet of plastic to cover the interior well--big mess.
Wear a paper dust mask--the fiberglass really flies when your boring the opening in the roof with the hole saw.

I laid a bead of Goop between the roof panel & the vent--I've never had any leaks --ever.

If the picture of the plastic vent is what your thinking of installing--make a mind change.

Use the stainless bezeled vent.

The plastic surround vents become brittle with age.

Oh--I've had the Van through 100's of car washes--no leaks anywhere.


It's a real neat accessory.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
Let me warn you guys on this operation--

Get a sheet of plastic to cover the interior well--big mess.
Wear a paper dust mask--the fiberglass really flies when your boring the opening in the roof with the hole saw.

I laid a bead of Goop between the roof panel & the vent--I've never had any leaks --ever.

If the picture of the plastic vent is what your thinking of installing--make a mind change.

Use the stainless bezeled vent.

The plastic surround vents become brittle with age.

Oh--I've had the Van through 100's of car washes--no leaks anywhere.


It's a real neat accessory.


So pony up for the more expensive vent says you? The plastic one with the stainless cover is not as durable? I know from years of having a sailboat and vw's that old plastic gets brittle. thanks for the reminder.
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fairweather
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stainless looks more professional anyway.

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|6880|45749|320600&id=860942

I replaced some plastic Nicro vents after ten years because of corroded contacts, the plastic was fine other than a little oxidation. Replaced with SS Nicros and they just look a million times better.

For any enclosed space that sits in a humid climate they are highly recommended for exchanging the air. You're not going to feel a breeze coming off of something like this though.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how does the unit handle rain? do you need to cover that up? How about placing it in the center of the westy's vent. will it fit and stay solid? That way we don't need to cut the pop top...
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

targis58 wrote:
how does the unit handle rain? do you need to cover that up? How about placing it in the center of the westy's vent. will it fit and stay solid? That way we don't need to cut the pop top...


Still haven't mustered up the courage to cut into the top, but I've gone as far as to play with one at the local West Marine store. They're fairly large, likely too large for the westy vent window. There's a 3" and 4" version, both have the same external size so may as well go with the 4" if you're gonna do it. It's designed not to allow any water intrusion, even in the rain and while underway. Thus, I suspect a drive through the rain won't present any problems.

The nice thing is you can close it off and turn it off from the inside should you want to. A 5 second process. Appears to be fairly sturdy, and very functional. Like I said though, cutting into the roof seems awfully scary to me.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I see that they have differnet Nicro models and sizes. Just curious, how big is interior of vanagon in cubic feet?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tape Measure;
Lx W= Sq. ft.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vents are rated at about 10 cfm which is hardly enough to notice as mentioned earlier. It does seem like it would help airflow and venting if the van was sitting for a while in storage all closed up. Personally I sleep with the windows cracked and the vent open. This would allow you to sleep with everything closed and still provide some ventillation.

For comparison, the building code says in buildings you have to provide 20 cfm per person of outside air for ventillation. So this would provide half the requirement for one person. I think they're mostly meant for allowing moisture and heat out from small confined areas over a long period of time. It wouldn't be worth the money ($160) to me when I can open a window.

...and LxWxH = cubic feet
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
The vents are rated at about 10 cfm which is hardly enough to notice as mentioned earlier. It does seem like it would help airflow and venting if the van was sitting for a while in storage all closed up. Personally I sleep with the windows cracked and the vent open. This would allow you to sleep with everything closed and still provide some ventillation.

For comparison, the building code says in buildings you have to provide 20 cfm per person of outside air for ventillation. So this would provide half the requirement for one person. I think they're mostly meant for allowing moisture and heat out from small confined areas over a long period of time. It wouldn't be worth the money ($160) to me when I can open a window.

...and LxWxH = cubic feet



I guess I have to move my lazy butt out to measure myself... Confused

The only reason I was interested in the unit was to move hot air out of the van during the day time. In San Jose valley area, it gets pretty warm during the day time and I don't have a/c . Do you think the unit will work for that purpose well?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly?

No.

The Nicro Vent is great for folks upin the PNW that want to circulate some air to help prevent mold from growing inside of the Van.

If you have an earlier Van without the side rear window vents the roof vent will give you some positive ventilation with the front window's open.
It'll relieve some of the one way pressure inside of the vehicle whie your on a roll.

It'll vent off some of the hot air, but not enough to qualify as severe tornadic activity.

I'll move some air , but not enough to create a typoon inside of the Van.

Along with my accessory AC unit , I get some cross flow ventilation for the Cold AC air to circulate.

For this it works very well.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Say that the interior of the van was 12'x4'x4'. That's 192 cubic feet. The 3" fan is rated at 600 cubic feet per hour. That means you'll get about 3 air changes per hour inside the van, or once every 20 minutes. Again for comparison, a normal bathroom fan provides about 10-12 air changes per hour or once every five minutes.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, 10cfm seems pretty freakin slow. I have two fans in my computer, both 80mm (little over 3"). They both have a rating of 35cfm, and they were $5 a piece. If I spent $15 on each I could get ones that have adjustable speeds from like 20cfm to 80+cfm. If I were you I would look into setting up your own system.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&SubCategory=573&N=2010110573

If you have some time and are interested, heres is a link to HUNDREDS of fans. from $3 to $40, and 15cfm to 250cfm, 80mm-120mm.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SockMonkey wrote:
yeah, 10cfm seems pretty freakin slow. I have two fans in my computer, both 80mm (little over 3"). They both have a rating of 35cfm, and they were $5 a piece. If I spent $15 on each I could get ones that have adjustable speeds from like 20cfm to 80+cfm. If I were you I would look into setting up your own system.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&SubCategory=573&N=2010110573

If you have some time and are interested, heres is a link to HUNDREDS of fans. from $3 to $40, and 15cfm to 250cfm, 80mm-120mm.

Hmm... interesting...
can some one explain how to make one of the computer fan work off solar power
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

targis58 wrote:
SockMonkey wrote:
yeah, 10cfm seems pretty freakin slow. I have two fans in my computer, both 80mm (little over 3"). They both have a rating of 35cfm, and they were $5 a piece. If I spent $15 on each I could get ones that have adjustable speeds from like 20cfm to 80+cfm. If I were you I would look into setting up your own system.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&SubCategory=573&N=2010110573

If you have some time and are interested, heres is a link to HUNDREDS of fans. from $3 to $40, and 15cfm to 250cfm, 80mm-120mm.

Hmm... interesting...
can some one explain how to make one of the computer fan work off solar power


I dont know about the 250cfm fans, but I know you can get them up to about 80cfm (maybe higher) that use the 12v produced by the computer PSU. But I have no experience with solar panels.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All you need is one of those inexpensive solar chargers that sit on the dash or stick on the window. You could use a computer fan that is wired directly to the panel, or connected to the battery to make up the power used by the fan. Choose a fan that is around 1-1.5 watts. You could rig up some mounting brackets that suspend the fan accross the current skylight using the existing skylight mounting holes. Hook the fan to a switch and power and you've got an exhaust system. They actually sell these set-ups for RV's.

http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-52013-1-8-Watt-Batt...mp;sr=1-13

http://www.elixirind.com/?page=products&productid=27

http://www.amazon.com/Elixir-Style-Power-Roof-Vent...amp;sr=8-5
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, after reviewing nicro vent I decided to make my own fan. 120mm computer fan gives 80+ cfm for a few bucks vs 10cfm nicro. Plus I don't have to drill a big hole in the fiberglass top. I gathered pieces from my tool box and came up with this fan with flexible neck. I can clamp this on the top vent or windows and blow out the hot air during the day time when I m working or use it to blow at me or kids to cool down. Since I have 12v outlets everywhere in the van, I can mount this anywhere I need. I tested this fan all day long with the fastest speed( it has 3 speed settings) today and it only used .2 v out of my 2nd battery. Since this van is my daily driver I don't worry about draining the battery. I am going to make afew of this and place them different places in the van.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey targis, nice idea. I was trying to figure out something similar with a computer fan.

Mind if I copy? Confused
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