What’s The Best Fan For Camper Van or Skoolie? 

 December 13, 2022

By  Chris

This article contains affiliate links.

When it comes to choosing a fan for camper van or skoolie, there are a few factors you need to consider. Size, noise, and power consumption are all important considerations, as is the type of roof vent fan that best suits your needs.

This blog post will look at some of the best vent fans for camper vans and skoolies and help you choose the right one for your needs. So read on to find out more!

Should I have a fan in my camper van?

The answer to this question is a resounding YES! A vent fan is an essential equipment for any camper van or skoolie.

There are many benefits to having a vent fan in your vehicle, including:

  • circulation of fresh air
  • reduced condensation
  • reduced odors
  • increased comfort levels

Not to mention, a vent fan can also help to cool down your vehicle on hot summer days.

There are many fans on the market, so it's worth researching to find the best one for your needs.

How to choose the Right Van Roof Ventilator?

Now that we've established that you need a vent fan in your camper van or skoolie let's take a look at how to choose the right one.

You'll want to consider four main factors when selecting a vent fan for your vehicle: size, CFM (cubic feet per minute), noise level, and power consumption.

Size of roof vent fan-

When choosing a fan for your camper van or skoolie, the most essential factor to consider is size. You must ensure that the fan you choose is small enough to fit in your vehicle and won't take up too much space.

The size of the vent fan will be determined by the size of your vehicle's roof opening. If you cut a new space, you'll want to ensure it's a perfect fit. The average size is around 14 inches squared.

CFM Rating of the roof vent fan-

The CFM rating refers to the amount of air the fan can move per minute, and the higher the CFM rating, the better.

Noise Level of the vent fan-

And finally, the noise level is self-explanatory - you'll want to choose a fan that operates quietly so as not to disrupt your sleep (or your neighbors!).

Power Consumption of the RV roof vent-

Another important consideration is power consumption. Many camper vans and skoolie fans run on batteries, so you must ensure that your fan will only drain your battery slowly.

With these factors in mind, we'll look at two of the best fans for camper vans and skoolies on the market today...

The Best Fans for Camper Vans and Skoolies

Many different fans are available for sale, so it's worth researching to find the best one for your needs. Here are two of the best fans for camper vans and skoolies:

Maxx Air 00-07500K MaxxFan Deluxe with Remote Vent Fan

MaxxAir RV Roof Vent

The MaxxAir van roof vent is one of the most popular roof vent fans on the market among campers and skoolies. It features a strong motor that can move up to 900 CFM or cubic feet per minute - more than enough to thoroughly ventilate even the most significant camper vans and skoolies.

Additionally, this roof vent fan has a built-in shutter system that helps to keep out dust, insects, and moisture when it's not in use.

MaxxAir Van Roof Vent Closed

And finally, the MaxxFan Deluxe comes with an easy-to-use installation kit that makes it quick and painless to install in almost any vehicle.


  • Robust 10-speed fan to adjust to your needs
  • The fan can both intake and exhaust
  • Will control your skoolie climate with a selectable thermostat
  • Provides over 900 CFM of air movement
  • Fits 14" X 14" openings (Standard RV vent size)
  • Open and close the vent lid by rotating the knob and pushing the knob up to lock it in place.
  • Electric lid opening with remote control with MaxxFan Deluxe
  • Has a built-in rain shield that allows it to work in all kinds of weather

The MaxxFan Deluxe vent vans features include a robust and sealed ball bearing, 12-volt fan motor with a 12" 10-blade fan.

Keypad controls with a flush mount design, including fan speed, thermostat, air intake, and/or exhaust functions. Fits all standard 14" x 14" roof gaps, with mounting screws and hardware provided. Roof sealant is required separately. Fresh air enters through this device, removing hot musty, stale air and eliminating smells.

MaxxAir Van Roof Vent With 10 Speeds

Has remote control and local controls

What we like about the MaxxAir MaxxFan Deluxe line of vent fans-

  • The built-in rain shield on the MaxxAir MaxxFan allows for operation while raining outside.
  • The 10 speeds give you flexible air flows to control the climate inside your van.
  • Remote control is a nice feature.


The cost of the MaxxAir MaxxFan Deluxe is around $$$.

Fan-Tastic 3550 RV Roof Vent with Thermostat

Fan-Tastic RV Roof Vent

The Fan-Tastic VentFans line of roof vents is another excellent option for choosing a vent fan for your van, RV, or skoolie conversion project.

Fan-Tastic's 3350 model features three-speed settings, a pop-up dome, a built-in thermostat, near silent operation, and an automatic rain sensor that closes the cover when wet. The airflow is reversible. It has a high-profile base for 14" x 14" openings.

Fan-Tastic Van Roof Vent Fans

These fans have high-speed settings that can move up to 850 CFM of air per minute, making them ideal for larger vans and skoolies.

Fan-Tastiv RV Roof Vent 2

Plus, they're equipped with automatic thermostats that help keep your vehicle cool without ever overworking the motor.


  • Fits standard 14" x 14" openings
  • Three fan blade speeds
  • It can be used for air intake and exhaust operations
  • Manual lift dome; Quiet operation
  • The thermostat is built-in
  • The vented dome automatically closes with the rain sensor gets wet

What we like about the Fan-Tastic  line of vent fans-

  • Has a built in rain sensor that will automatically close the rain shield.
  • Fan is pretty quiet.


Cost is around $$$$ which is slightly higher than the MaxxAir MaxxFan.

Bottom Line: MaxxAir vs. FanTastic Fan

Maxxair is the best fan for a camper van conversion, and Fan-Tastic Roof Vent Fan is a close second. This is just our honest opinion. The MaxxAir sets itself apart with the 10 speeds and the ability to operate while raining in our opinion. The cost is another plus for us.

However, both fans offer exceptional airflow capabilities along with features that help to keep out dust, insects, and moisture) when not in use. Plus, installation kits make adding these essential roof vent fans quick & straightforward!

The MaxxFan Deluxe just seems like it gives you more bang for your buck.

Best Budget Roof Vent Fan

The MaxxFan Deluxe is an affordable option versus the Fan Tastic line of roof vent fans.

We get it if you can't reasonably afford one of the two roof vent fans we mentioned. Like you, we're always working with a limited budget.

Budget Friendly Cooling and Fresh air fans

Inexpensive Fan Idea-

Although this fan system won't necessarily give you fresh air, they will cool you down and at least circulate the air on hot muggy days. With a little ingenuity you could probably figure out how to get them to pull in fresh air.

Budget Friendly Van Fans

At a 1/4 of a $, it's hard to beat the price if you're on a budget.

Solar Panel Fan Idea-

One idea that we've looked at doing is installing solar fans on our skoolie. If you're doing a van conversion and have some fabrication skills, you could probably come up with a system using a kit like this.

Solar Van Fan

If we decide to go forward with this idea, we'll post a how to article.

FAQ on Skoolie Bus Fans

How do you ventilate a campervan?

There are a bunch of ways to ventilate your campervan. One way is to open the windows and doors while cooking or to shower to let the steam out. Another way is to use a fan.

You can either use a battery-operated fan or one plug into an outlet. If you have an outlet in your campervan, you can also use a small space heater to help circulate the air.

Whichever method you choose, ensure that you have plenty of ventilation while cooking or showering to avoid condensation and mold buildup in your campervan.

What does a fan on top of a van do?

A fan on top of a van helps to circulate air and keep the inside of the van cool. It is beneficial in hot weather. Many people use them with air conditioning units to help keep their camper vans comfortable.

Different types of fans can be used on top of a van. Some are powered by batteries, while others are powered by the van's engine. The kind of fan you choose will depend on your needs and preferences.

If you are looking for a rooftop vent fan, consider the following factors:

- The size of your van: You will need to choose a fan that is the right size for your van. You will not need a large fan if you have a small van. Conversely, you need a more significant fan if you have a large van.

- The climate: If you live in a hot climate, you will need a fan that can move a lot of air. In a cooler climate, you will not need as powerful of a fan.

- Your budget: Fans can range in price from around $20 to $400. Choose a fan that fits your budget.

What is the best van life fan?

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best fan for your camper van. The size of your van will decide the size of the fan you need. If you have a small van, a small fan will suffice.

If you have a larger skoolie, you may need a more enormous fan.

Another factor to consider is how much airflow you need. A small fan will do the trick if you are just looking for a bit of airflow. If you need a lot of airflows, you may need a more enormous fan.

The type of fan you choose will also depend on your personal preference. Some people prefer ceiling fans, while others prefer floor fans. There are also other fans, such as battery-operated and solar-powered fans. Choose the type of fan that best suits your needs.

Where do you put the fan in a van?

There are a few things to consider when placing a fan in your camper van. The first is what type of fan you want, and the second is how you want the air to flow. The third is how you want to power the fan.

The most common type of fan for campers is the 12-volt DC-powered fan. These fans typically come in two varieties: clip-on fans and stand-alone fans. Clip-on fans are designed to attach to the places in your van, while stand-alone fans can be placed anywhere you want.

When deciding where to place your fan, it is essential to consider how the air will flow. You want the air to flow to circulate throughout the entire space.

You also want to consider what type of power you want to operate the fan. Using a 12-volt DC power source, you will need to connect the fan directly to the battery. Using an AC power source, you can plug the fan into a wall outlet or an inverter to convert the power to DC power.

Test it before hitting the road, no matter where you put the fan in your van. This will ensure that the fan works correctly and that the air flows in the right direction.

How do you install a roof fan in a van?

  1. Decide where you want the fan to be installed. Make sure that there is enough space around the area to work comfortably.
  2. Trace the pattern according to the instructions. It should be close to 14" x 14" square. If you have interior finishing, like a headliner, it's best to remove it before the next step.
  3. Drill a small hole on the inside of the pattern. Use snips, saws-all or other cutting device to cut out the square for the fan to mount into.
  4. With the hole cut, have a family member or friend hold the headliner back in place. With a marker, trace the hole onto the top of the headliner.
  5. Cut the headliner where you marked it in the previous step with your preferred cutting device.
  6. Place your caulk tape along the mounting surface ensuring that you cover the bolt holes. 
  7. Place the fan in the hole and use bolts to secure it. Make sure that the fan is level and secure before moving on.
  8. Caulk the edge of the newly mounted rooftop vent fan. You'll want to caulk across all of the tops of the bolts that you used to secure the fan to the roof.
  9. Make sure that they are long enough to reach the power source.
  10. Connect the wires to the power source and turn on the fan. Test it to make sure that it is working correctly.
  11. Replace the headliner after verifying that it works.
  12. Depending on the type of fan that you purchased, you may have a dresser coupling or flange for the inside of your camper van. Now is the time to install it. You may have to cut the flange down in order for it to fit snug against your van's finished ceiling.

NOTE: If your camper van or skoolie's ceiling is unfinished, you'll have to build up material around the fan to increase the thickness for the dresser flange. If I were you, I would put the dresser flange somewhere safe with the screws until you have finished the ceiling.

Precautions and safety notes when installing a roof vent fan:

  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and operating procedure for the roof vent fan that you purchased.
  • Before you start the wiring connection on your roof vent fan, disconnect the power source.
  • Please use caution when working at heights when installing your vent fan.
  • Make sure you have enough space to work comfortably before beginning the installation.
  • Drill the holes for the fan carefully to avoid damaging the van's ceiling.
  • Be careful when running the wires for the fan. Make sure that they are not in danger of being pinched or cut.
  • Always test the fan before leaving it unattended. This will help to avoid any accidents.

How do you power a van roof fan?

A roof vent fan will almost always be powered by 12-volt DC power. There are some options that can be powered by solar power if you're fairly crafty.

Final Thoughts On Best Van Fan

So, do you need a fan in your camper van? The answer is most likely yes. Choosing the right one can be tricky, but we've tried to make it easier.

If you're looking for a great fan that will work well in your campervan or skoolie, we recommend the MaxxAir Vent Fan. It's powerful and easy to install- perfect for those who want an efficient and low-maintenance ventilation solution.

Alternatively, if you're looking for something with a few more features (like a remote control), the Fan-Tastic Roof Vent Fans is also a great option.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out some of our other skoolie articles!

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Average guy that likes to build things and teach others what I learn. Family comes first. Steel, Jeeps and off-roading are all fighting for second place.

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