Last Update: 6/30/2017

Why You Need 2 Roof Vent Fans on Your Van

shows van with 2 roof vent fans. Front fan blows out hot air, back fan blows in cool air.
If most got a roof vent fan on their van, RV, or other rig, it's usually just the one. Why? It's plain dumb. I'll tell ya why two is way better for van life.

2 Roof Vent Fans Gives Best Van Life Ventilation

With two reversible Fan-tastic Vent or Maxxair roof vent fans on your rig, you got airflow options for all kinds a situations.

Situation 1 – Hot Outside, Closed-Up Van

Fan-Tastic Vent Fan

Like the picture, get one fan blowin' in and one blowin' out. At high speed, that's a lotta air movin'. If ya got reflectors or shades up in the windows, that means a good breeze and no radiant heat. That'll keep ya cool most days, makin' for a more pleasant van life.

When Vanholio leaves the dog in the van, he sets up like this. Ms. Barkley's been comfy in +100 temps, at least in low humidity.

Situation 2 – Hot Outside, Opened-Up Van

Campin' out in the desert, I'll set up awnings and tarps to shade the van's sides like an old wraparound porch. Then I'll open up all the doors and windows, then get both my Fan-tastic fans blowin' out. Add a spray bottle to mist myself with water, and I been damn comfy in +100 desert days. In humid places, I'm good up to about 90.

Situation 3 – Sleeping When Warm

When it's warm outside, or at least in the van, – but not what you'd call hot – I'll open both vents, but just get the front fan blowin' out. With the doors and windows closed, the air displaced by the front fan will get replaced by air sucking in the back fan's vent. Way my bed's set up, that cooler air drops right on my face! Damned pleasant.

Situation 4 – Sleeping When Cool

Maxxaire Roof Top Fan/Vent
When it's too cool to use the setup in Situation 3, but I still want some airflow to keep from getting stuffy, I'll open both vents. Then I'll get the back fan blowing out on a low setting. The replacement air comes in from the front vent atop my feet, which are covered by the blanket anyway. It's enough air to keep it fresh without chillin' me.

Situation 5 – Wet or Damp Inside the Van

Dependin' on the amount of wet and damp inside the van, Use the setups from Situations 1, 3, or 4.

One time, a thunderstorm broke when walkin' the dog. We got back both soaked. After changin', I had wet clothes and wet towels draped inside. And the bed and everythin' else was damp to wet. Temps were in the 50s, so we was chilled.

I set up like Situation 1 – one fan blowin' in, one blowin' out – and in maybe 30 minutes, me and the dog, and all the bed linens and blankets, was dry. After that, we was comfy all night.

Another time, it was a warm, humid spring day. Then at night, a cold front blowed in and dropped temps into the 30s. The dew dropped fast. I woke up shivering with my blankets and clothes damp, and my skin feelin' clammy.

So I set up like Situation 4 – back Fan-Tastic Vent fan blowin' out, front vent pullin' in fresh air. After about 20 shivering minutes, me and the bed was dried up enough to get toasty and back to sleep.

2 Roof Vent Fans Better Than Cracking Windows

I hear ya. You say, "But Vanholio, I can do a lotta that with just one Fan-tastic or Maxxair vent fan by crackin' my windows. Why should I do two roof vent fans instead?"

The Advantages of 2 Roof Fans vs. Cracked Windows for Van Life

  • No mosquitoes, flies, or other bugs
  • More privacy
  • More security
  • Less hot sunlight

When keep your windows open, you let in all kinds of unpleasantness. Think how much more safe, secure, and comfy your van life will be with two Fan-tastic or Maxx Air roof fans!

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  1. My big-ass solar panel takes up the back half of the roof, so I make do with one vent toward the front. That's fine for me approximately 97.47119663% of the time. I also don't use a vent cover—because they're ugly. However, once in a while, when it's wet out, I've considered some type of vent in the floor.

    1. How about a vent cover molded like a shark fin? ;-P

    2. Or a Godzilla head!

  2. Anonymous2.7.17

    No roof vents, window van, and <$20 10" 12v fan from Walmart. Window screens keep bugs out, and 1000% better and cheaper than roof vents.

    1. Some of us are just high maintenance.

  3. A good breeze and no radiant heat. That'll keep ya cool most days, makin' for a more pleasant van

    1. That's why I bring my own shade and breeze. But nature's is better when ya can get it! :-)

  4. Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading. cơ khí thành tuyết