Choosing the Best Roof Fan for your Sprinter, Transit, or Promaster Van

Posted on November 15 2020

Choosing the Best Roof Fan for your Sprinter, Transit, or Promaster Van

We’ve scoured through various roof fan options to serve as a guiding light for your van conversion.

The roof fan. While it is perhaps the least sexy part of your future campervan, it is necessary for the health, comfort, and safety of everyone and everything inside - humans, their furry friends, valuable gear, and the van itself. Promoting airflow within your space on hot days, expelling cooking fumes, and removing interior moisture are the names of this game.
Before adding to cart, consider the factors that will help you pick the best roof vent based on your lifestyle, needs, wants, and budget. What’s your requirement or preference for energy consumption? How much air circulation do you need with the size of your van - could two fans be appropriate? Are you a weekend warrior with the occasional extended trip, or a full-timer? There are four seasons - which ones are you optimizing for? Bells and whistles or bare-bones? Lots of questions, but read on and hopefully we can help with some answers.

 

Quality: Top-of-the-line / Budget: All Out

VANCILLARY RECOMMENDED

Dometic Fan-Tastic Vent 807350 Open Smoke Lid Side View    Dometic Fan-Tastic Vent 807350 Open White Lid Back View

Dometic Fantastic Fan 807350

The Dometic Fantastic Fan 807350 is packed with all the nice-to-haves and must-haves that give justice to its hefty price tag. It’s made for traveling across seasons - it’s durable and UV-protected to endure lots of summer trips, and equipped with a rain sensor to avoid unnecessary puddles in your van, which on the contrary, your furry friend might find delightful. The two-way 10-blade fan operates manually with 14 fixed speed options to give you the precise airflow, and automatically to give you the exact ambient temperature through the built-in thermostat. 

We’re Fantastic fans (heh) because their customer service is exceptional. Shortly after installation, our first fan began squeaking at low RPM. It only took one email to get a replacement, no questions asked, and took another five minutes to install. Always consider the after-sales.

Features: Rain Sensor, automatic lift dome (with a manual knob backup), sunroof (with smoke lid), variable speed, reversible, remote with wall cradle, easy insect screen and fan maintenance, easy installation

Material: Impact-resistant, UV-stabilized, Polyethylene dome

Size: Fits standard 35.5cm x 35.5cm (14” x 14”) vent hole

Color(s): Transparent fan/ smoke and white lids/ white high profile base

Voltage: 12V

Energy Consumption: 4 amps slow blow fuse

Air Circulation: 920 CFM

 

MaxxAir MaxxFan Deluxe 007500 Closed Black Lid       MaxxAir MaxxFan Deluxe 007500 Open Black Lid Under the Rain

MaxxAir MaxxFan Deluxe 00-07500K

The MaxxAir MaxxFan Deluxe 7500K has the beauty, brains, and power to make your small space a pleasure to live in. Harsh weather conditions up ahead? No sweat. Even when left open, its back-slanted, under-hood vent fins allow the vent to work. The twin lifting arms keep the lid steady when driving in high winds. The rain-shield function paired with the rubber weather seal makes sure it doesn’t rain on your parade (or in your van) as it continues to work as a ceiling fan. Add the UV-inhibitor to the list and you can brave any season. Also, The bi-directional 10-blade fan has a 10-speed range manual mode and a thermostat-enabled auto mode that shifts air silently on lower settings. 

Features: Rain sensor, twin lifting arms, rubber weather seal, fuse protection, variable speed, reversible, ceiling fan mode, silent on low speed, wide-range of controls (ceiling, easy-grip tri-corner knob, and remote with LCD screen and wall cradle), insect screen, easy installation

Material: High-density Polyethylene, UV-inhibitor

Size: Fits standard 35.5cm x 35.5cm (14” x 14”) vent hole

Color(s): White, smoke, and transparent lids/ white base

Voltage: 12V

Energy Consumption: 5 amps 

Air Circulation: 900 CFM

 

Quality: Mid-range but dependable / Budget: High to Moderate

 Dometic Fantastic Vent 803350 Open Smoke Lid Front ViewDometic Fantastic Vent 803350 Open White Lid Side View

Dometic Fantastic Fan 803350

If you’re looking for something a little less bells-and-whistle-y, let me introduce you to the Fantastic Fan 807350’s younger brother. The Dometic Fantastic 803350 is simple, lightweight, and compact with just enough yet dependable features and good build quality. The reversible 10-blade fan runs manually with three speeds, low, medium, and high, and automatically with the thermostat. And while it has a limited speed range, it also rocks a UV-filter, rain sensor, automatic lift motor, and works silently at low speed. Quality runs in the blood.  

Features: Rain sensor, automatic lift motor, sunroof (with smoke lid), variable speed, reversible, silent on low speed, insect screen, easy installation

Material: UV-filtered, Polyethylene dome

Size: Fits standard 35.5cm x 35.5cm (14” x 14”) vent hole

Color(s): Transparent fan/ smoke and white lids/ white high profile base

Voltage: 12V

Energy Consumption: 4 amps slow blow fuse

Air Circulation: 920 CFM

 

Quality: Simple with essential features / Budget: Moderate

Fiamma Turbo Vent Closed Crystal and White Lid Front View

Fiamma Turbo Vent

The budget buyer in you is not yet convinced? Then let’s go back to basics with the Fiamma Turbo Vent. It’s UV-resistant, double-glazed, aerodynamic, shockproof, and Polar Control Thermostat-capable. The 10-blade fan manually blows air in five speeds, three in, two out, with a significantly reduced noise. It’s energy-efficient, great for off-grid camping. The rain sensor is MIA but the exclusive patented rubber seal makes it watertight. 

Features: Sunroof (with crystal lid), variable speed fan, reversible, energy-efficient, watertight

Material: UV-resistant, double-glazed, aerodynamic, shockproof, Polysobuten

Size: Fits any 15.5” x 15.5” vent hole

Color(s): Transparent fan/ crystal and white lids/ white base

Voltage: 12V

Energy Consumption: 1.1 to 1.8 amps

Air Circulation: 989 CFM

 

Quality: Simple / Budget: Low

Autobox Solar-Powered Exhaust Roof Vent Front View

Autobox Solar-Powered Caravan Exhaust Fan Vent 

Looking for the simplest ventilation option that requires no wiring or house battery system? Powered by an integrated solar panel and rechargeable battery, this unit has no wiring, fully water-resistant, is plug and play, and can run for 24 hours on a full charge.

Features: Solar-powered, automatic and silent operation, water-resistant

Material: Stainless steel

Size: Requires 115mm (4.5”) hole

Voltage: High-quality rechargeable Ni-MH battery (3.6V 2000mAH)

Air Circulation: 20m3/hour (11.77 CFM)

 

Quality: Basic / Budget: Tight

            Heng's Universal Roof Vent White Front View       Heng's Universal Roof Vent white Lid Side View

Heng's Universal Roof Vent 71112-C

If breaking down pallets as a source of wood and doing most of your conversion in a home depot parking lot, the Heng’s Universal Roof Vent 71112-C is likely the choice for you. This 6-blade exhaust fan will be the least exhausting on your wallet. It has an extra-long galvanized steel roof flange with a mill finish. It brings less to the table, but it’s much better than no roof fan at all. 

Features: Insect screen, easy installation, easy on the pocket

Material: Plastic lid, metal frame

Size: Fits standard 35.5cm x 35.5cm (14” x 14”) vent hole

Color(s): White lid and base

Voltage: 12V

Energy Consumption: 1.2 amps

Air Circulation: Approximately 950 CFM

 

Special Mention: Sunroof

We regret not having one in our van and have heard many others mirror this sentiment. It removes the need for two roof fans... plus stargazing in bed? Do we need to say more?

Dometic Heki 2 Open Lid Side ViewDometic Heki 2 Open Panel View from Under

Dometic Heki 2 

Go big or go home. With a sunroof this huge, the Heki 2 might as well be the best feature in your van. It’s made from waterproof, injection-molded material, and double-glazed acrylic for extra insulation. Manually operated, the panel opens smoothly through pneumatic springs and the lid adjusts to three positions with bad weather setting to keep water out.

Features: Large opening, angle maxed at 55°, bad weather setting, forced ventilation, optional spoiler, adjustable fly and blind screens

Material: Highly waterproof, injection-molded Luran S, double-glazed acrylic

Size: 780 mm W x 530 mm H (30.8” x 20.87”) opening, 960 mm W x 655 mm H (37.8” x 25.79”) cut out

Color(s): Gray-tinted lid/ white inner frame

 

   Tern Overland Arctic Tern Roof Hatch View from Under      Tern Overland Arctic Tern Roof Hatch View from the Roof

Tern Overland Arctic Tern Roof Hatch

Some find the Arctic Tern Roof Hatch as a better value for money. Made from high-strength, injection-molded ABS plastic, it meets the ECE standards for UV and impact-resistance. Both manual and electric versions have LEDs to illuminate your space. What sets them apart is that the electric version has a Bosch drive motor that lasted 5000 test cycles.  

Features: Large opening, angle maxed at 45°, Bosch drive motor (electric), limit alarm (manual), LEDs, optional spoiler, adjustable fly and blind screens

Material: High-strength, injection-moulded ABS plastic, double-glazed acrylic

Size: 700 mm W x 500 mm L (27.56" x 19.67") cut out

Color(s): smoked lid/ cream inner, white outer frame

Power Voltage: 12V

Energy Consumption: 5 amps

At the end of the day, it all boils down to what matters to you most. For the total package and guaranteed after-sales satisfaction, go for the Fantastic Fan 807350. If you’re a hardcore adventurer who stops as nothing, the Maxxfan Deluxe 07500K can withstand challenging climates with you. If you want to strike the perfect balance between cost and functionality, the Fantastic Vent 803350 is your guy. Keeping things simple and looking to save more? Go ahead and pick one from our budget options. BUT, if you’re living and playing with the sun above your head, definitely get a roof! You’ll love it during the day and even more at night. We hope at this point, you’ve finally figured it out. Sound off below or hit us up on our socials! Good luck!

 

 

 

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