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Whether going off the grid or on a short weekend adventure, no one likes spending time in a hot and stuffy RV or Van. For most Vanlifers the best solution is a high-quality ceiling fan, but how do you determine which model is best for you?
In this article, we'll provide you with an in-depth review along with everything you need to know about the MAXXFAN Maxxair Deluxe, including whether or not it's worth the investment.
The MAXXFAN Deluxe is Airxcel's high-powered but low-profile ceiling vent for RVs and camper vans. It functions as a vent, fan, and rain shield, which you can order in either white, smoke, or transparent.
3 Available Colors
The MAXXFAN Maxxair Deluxe Dimensions:
- Is 12 inches in diameter
- Is 900 CFM (cubic feet per minute) at its highest setting
- Requires a 14 x 14 inches hole in your roof (average size)
- Draws 5 amps of power
While the majority of the Deluxe's functions are controlled using its control panel, all you need to open or close the vent is the attached black knob. The knob unlocks when pulled, allowing you to turn it clockwise to close the vent or counterclockwise to open the vent. To lock it, simply push the knob back into place.
Airflow capability is the most important factor when choosing to buy a vent fan for your van or RV, and we found that MAXXFAN Deluxe absolutely delivers with both its intake and exhaust capabilities. The fan has 10 blades, each 12 inches long, powered by an impressive 12-volt motor. It's much faster than factory fans, with a 900 CFM that will keep your RV cool in any climate. This speed is incredibly efficient, whether you're bringing in fresh air from outside or removing hot air and odors from the inside.
If you don't want air coming in or out and would rather circulate the air that's already in the van, you can use the MAXXFAN Deluxe as a ceiling fan just by closing the lid. Another impressive aspect of this fan's airflow capabilities is the sheer amount of options you can choose from. The fan is capable of operating on 10 different speeds, giving you much more control over the temperature of your van than the standard fan can provide. You can change the speed of your fan easily using the control panel, which we'll get to in a moment.
Is It Difficult to Install?
Nope! The installation process is relatively straightforward and can be done by one or two people without much difficulty. This is especially true if you’re replacing an existing fan in your RV, as the Maxxair fan fits into all standard 14 x 14-inch roof openings. The process is also made a lot easier because the required mounting screws and hardware are included with the fan. The only thing you'll have to purchase separately is the roof sealant.
Without giving you the entire walkthrough of the installation process, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure that your power is turned off before you begin.
- Set the garnish of your existing fan aside after you detach it, as it can likely be reused with the MAXXFAN Deluxe.
- Be cautious of the attached wires when it's time to lift the fan out of the roof opening.
- If you're struggling to lift the fan out of the opening, try lightly prying it with the putty knife.
- When you've finished installing the fan, tuck the dangling wires into the side of the fan and away from the blades.
- If you use the Maxxair garnish rather than reusing your old one, be sure to measure and trim it before drilling it into place.
The installation process doesn't require you to have any sort of professional background in electrical work or carpentry, much to our relief. Just be sure to operate your tools responsibly and to ask for another set of hands if you have any trouble.
Example Install of a Maxxfan Deluxe, by Youtuber Greg Virgoe.
The MAXXFAN Deluxe's Best Features
There are several notable features of the MAXXFAN Deluxe that distinguish it from the other fans we've tried, including the following:
- Control panel: This fan’s control panel is well-designed, easy to use, and conveniently located on the fan itself. The panel only has five buttons in total, including the power button, two plus and minus fan speed buttons, a thermostat button, and a button that changes the direction of the blades. Using the buttons is mostly self-explanatory, but we found the manual helpful here just to make sure we had everything right.
- Thermostat: The thermostat is easily one of the best features of the MAXXFAN Deluxe. When activated, the thermostat can detect the current temperature of the RV. Once your RV reaches a specific temperature, determined by you, it will automatically turn on the fan and adjust the motor speed. The fan will remain on until the temperature of the van is back in your preferred perimeters, all without you having to be there. That means no more having to sit in a hot vehicle waiting for your fan to cool things down!
- Remote control: You can purchase this fan with a remote control that allows you to alter the fan's settings without having to reach. Though the remote has a few imperfections, it's a great addition for people who are shorter or are otherwise physically incapable of manually altering the fan using the control panel.
- Rain cover: The rain cover is sleek, durable, and resistant. It can withstand a lot more than the cheaper covers, which can be cracked easily by a tree branch. The cover is highly effective, in part because it extends far beyond the length of the fan itself without being overly bulky. It’s about nine inches high when open or five inches high when closed, which is lower than most air conditioning units when installed on RVs. What’s really great about this built-in cover is that you can keep your fan running when it’s raining without having to worry about rain getting into your RV.
- Versatility: As previously stated, the amount of control the MAXXFAN Deluxe gives you over your RV's temperature is really impressive. It would be hard to find a product like this with so many options anywhere else. Having the freedom to use the Deluxe as a vent or a fan, to set an automatic response on the thermostat, and to choose between 10 speeds is really convenient when you're on the road.
- Sound level: The Deluxe lets you choose between 10 different speeds, so naturally, some will be louder than others. That being said, you'll likely never think twice about the sound. You may even forget that it's on sometimes when you have it at a lower speed. This is refreshing, as a lot of older models can be loud and distracting at even moderate speeds.
- Size: The Deluxe is a great size. Though the rain cover is a bit large, the fan itself is conveniently compact. It's also flush-mounted, which means it fits into your ceiling without dangling down or taking up any space inside your RV. Due to its size, it's also easy to reach and to keep clean.
The MAXXFAN Deluxe's Drawbacks
Though the positives outweigh the negatives considerably, there are a few drawbacks to the MAXXFAN Deluxe, including the following:
- Remote control: You'll notice that the remote control has earned a place on both lists. The reason? Though the remote control is convenient and a good purchase for some, it has a couple of flaws. The most notable flaw is that it doesn't come with every version of the MAXXFAN Deluxe, so you'll need to deliberately seek out a version that has it. Another drawback of the control is that you have to be within five feet of the fan for it to work. This makes sense if you have multiple fans in your RV that you want to run in different settings, but we can't imagine this scenario to be terribly common. Though the remote control is a good idea, and one that some users will love, it's not necessary if you don't have any physical limitations that keep you from controlling the fan manually.
- Highest setting sound level: The fan is almost always at a comfortable sound level, but the highest of the 10 speeds can be a bit noisy. This shouldn't be a problem if you don't plan on having the fan at its highest speed all the time, but it's something to be aware of if you think the climate you live in will necessitate it.
- Price: If you're on a tight budget, the MAXXFAN Deluxe may not be for you. It costs $200, which we consider to be a fair price considering it functions as both a fan and a vent. That being said, you can definitely get cheaper alternatives for about $50 less if having the best-quality airflow in your RV isn't currently a top priority.
- Size: Like remote control, size gets a spot on both lists. Though the Deluxe is compact and not much larger on top than your typical air conditioner, it may still be too big if you already have a lot on your roof. Things like kayaks, bikes, and solar panels, for example, may prevent you from having the space you need to fit the vent and its rain cover.
Why the MAXXFAN Deluxe Is Right for You
Whether or not the MAXXFAN Deluxe is right for you will depend largely on your lifestyle and travel preferences. You can rest assured that the Deluxe is a good investment for you if:
- You'll actually use it: The MAXXFAN Deluxe is a great purchase for people who spend a lot of time in their RV or camper van. If you enjoy long road trips and/or going off-grid for weeks at a time, you'll be happy you invested in a high-quality ventilation system.
- You travel in hot climates: It doesn't take much heat to get a van boiling hot. If you live in, or like to travel to, warmer climates, having a functional and reliable fan is a must.
- You love to cook: Do you love cooking but hate the smell lingering for days at a time? All you have to do is turn your Deluxe from fan to vent and the odors will be flushed out in no time.
- You travel with pets: With pets typically come odors. Like with cooking, you'll have a much easier time getting the smell out of your vehicle using the Deluxe's vent function.
- You have a shower in your RV: The vent function comes in handy once again in taking the steam from your shower out of the RV, protecting your things from getting damp.
Why the MAXXFAN Deluxe Is Wrong for You
Even if the drawbacks don't bother you, there are still other reasons why the MAXXFAN Deluxe may not be right for you and your lifestyle. The Deluxe could be a bad investment if:
- You won't use it: If you very rarely use your RV or camper van, the cost of the Deluxe might not be worth it to you.
- You travel in colder climates: If you prefer spending your time driving through colder climates, you may not have much use for the Deluxe's fan function. The vent, however, could still come in handy, depending on whether or not your RV tends to get stuffy.
- You don't use electricity: The Deluxe doesn't take much electricity to operate. However, if you've decided to not use electricity or don't have enough to spare, you should opt for a powerless alternative.
So, Is MAXXFAN Deluxe Worth it?
Yes! As frequent travelers ourselves, we found the benefits of the MAXXFAN Deluxe easily surpassed the drawbacks. Though the MAXXFAN Deluxe costs a bit more than some other flush mount fans on the market, we think it's a great long-term investment. Its versatility, airflow capabilities, and overall durability easily put it above the cheaper fans you'll find online. The Deluxe functions exactly how you hope it would, with the easy installation, sleek and low-profile appearance, and reliable rain cover being amazing bonuses.
Our Favourite Unboxing of the Maxxfan Deluxe unit, as displayed by Youtuber Greg Virgoe.