The Fan is In

The fan is in, but the carpet cuts show

The fan is in, but the carpet cuts show.

The good news is that the fan is in, it works, and it will never leak.

The bad news is that where I cut the carpet to run the wires looks bad.  My sister Gail told me there are videos on Youtube on how to fix the seam and make it invisible.  So that will be my next project.

I originally planned to cut the hole in the ceiling with my Dremel, using a cutoff wheel.  But I didn’t like the way it worked, so switched to my jigsaw with a blade for cutting metal.  It made a very clean cut with no chipping.

I had also planned to use a wood base underneath the fan.  But the screws that came with the fan were not long enough to go through the roof, the carpet and the foam padding and still bite into the wood.  So I had a choice of buying longer screws or trying to devise a way to not have to use the wood.  I decided to use bolts with nuts and washers on the inside of the fiberglass.  That would also allow me to use the garnish I had cut too short.

Scary!  The "What have I done!" moment.

Scary! The “What have I done!” moment.

Ron gave me some much needed help by pulling back the carpet around the hole, threading on the washers and bolts, then holding them while I tightened them from the roof.

I used pure butyl tape (not butyl putty tape) to seal the fan to the fiberglass.  It will never harden, never shrink, will stay flexible forever, and will never leak.  I learned about it from the Casita forums and also noted that Amazon’s vent replacement kits come with butyl tape.  It’s what I used on my Aliner’s fan when the original silicone shrank and the fan started leaking.  After I resealed it with butyl tape, the rest of the trailer fell apart, but the fan never leaked again!

Tomorrow I’ll seal the screw heads with self leveling caulking just to be extra safe.

The major problem I ran into was installing the garnish.  There was nothing to screw into, so I decided to use bolts and washers glued above the foam, protruding through the carpet, where I would secure the garnish holes with nuts.  The only thing is, the fan mounting bolts were in the exact spot I needed to place the new bolts.

I ended up using the fan mounting bolts.  I had to really push to get them through the garnish holes, and the fan is slightly curved up at the corners.

What was hilarious is that after I butchered the carpet running my own wires, I found wires to connect the fan already under the carpet when I peeled it back a little.  So I wouldn’t have had to run my own wiring if I had known they were there.

I would rate this job a 3 out of 5 due to the cosmetic issues.  I’m very disappointed, but at least I have a working fan now.

I’ll give myself a couple of days before I start working on the carpet seam repair.  I’ll probably install the rain cap first.

Gearing up for My 1st Electrical Adventure!

I have desperately wanted to have a Fantastic Fan installed in my Casita.  The original owner ordered it from the factory without any roof vent at all!  But our local RV shop does such shoddy work that I wasn’t willing to trust them with cutting a hole in the roof of my Casita.  (His fixes were largely responsible for the early demise of my Aliner.)  Also, the Fantastic Fan is made for RVs with thicker roofs, and a lot of shops will tell you a Fantastic Fan can’t be installed in a Casita.

The Fantastic Fan

The Fantastic Fan

I figured the only way I could get it done by someone I trust was to make a trip to Texas and have Larry at Little House Customs do it for me.

But tonight I read this article on how to install one.  It answered my BIG question on where to tie the wires in.  It says I can use either the wires to the bathroom fan or to the lighting.  It also showed me how to score the insert to fit my narrower ceiling.

I think I can find the wires to the bathroom fan without doing any damage to the ceiling carpet.  And I think I should be able to fish the fan wire the short distance needed.  I may have to loosen a little bit of the carpet at the ceiling/bathroom wall juncture.  But I can restore that with contact cement.

Cover for the fan so I can use it when it's raining.

Cover for the fan so I can use it when it’s raining.

My big questions will be which wires to tie to which fan wires.  But I figure I can take a photo of the wires and ask the guys on the Casita forum.  They are GREAT at patiently answering even the dumbest-sounding questions.  (The reason I know is I have already asked several!)  😀

So I ordered the Fantastic Fan tonight from Adventurenet.  I’ve had several positive dealings with them in the past, and they have great prices and low shipping costs.

I also ordered a rain cover for the fan so I can leave it running when it’s raining.  With the MaxxAir vent I already installed in the rear window, I can partially open that window so the fan can pull fresh air through.

I ordered the vent cover with the removable louver so I can clean out leaves and pine straw that accumulate under there.  I was afraid that maybe the louver would loosen in time.  But it it does, I’ll devise a method to hold it in place.

I know that this project (like all my projects) will have me pulling my hair out trying to get everything right the first time.  And I’ll probably be really sorry I attempted it for a while.  But I am SO excited about learning how to do this!

If I succeed at this project, then I’ll try to add a switch so I can turn on the Casita’s porch light from inside as well as outside — another feature I’ve wanted for a long time!

Who knows…. I may even attempt the fast gray plumbing mod on my little trailer before I’m done!!!!


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