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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23 Comments

  1. strivingfortiny

     /  February 17, 2013

    I can’t believe it didnt come with a vent to begin with, lol.
    You are a super trooper if you can do that yourself girl!! I won’t mess with electric :O

    • The only thing I know for sure is that the Casita was the original buyer’s first RV. No one who had ever actually camped or traveled in one would order it without a vent!

      • strivingfortiny

         /  February 17, 2013

        Vents let that extra built up heat out, or moisture, or smoke. It’s weird that the original buyer didn’t order the vent installed. They probably figured the side windows would do. It’s never enough. I’m glad you are putting in the vent! Please be careful and rock it out! 😀

  2. Once again, you amaze me. Not sure if tackling a big electrical job would come just before or after a big plumbing job! Or never…

    • Judy, like all of my projects, I only learn when I absolutely have to. If our RV shop did decent work, I would just take it to them. And if I could afford a trip to Texas, I’d just have Larry do it. But, if I want a fan, I will have to install it.

      It’s just like the old saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” 🙂

      • strivingfortiny

         /  February 17, 2013

        Necessity certainly is, like the time my antifreeze hose burst and green coolant was spewing everywhere like a fountain! I quickly grabbed a scrap of carpet in my trunk, a long bootlace I had on a pair of boots back there, too, (did this all in a NY Minute!), hogtide the gushing wound on the hose with the carpet scrap and shoelace……and made it home alive!! Didn’t need anyone’s help. But I wouldn’t have refused it if someone saw me as a damsel in distress, LOLOL
        Just remember, all that accumulated junk we may hoard in the trunk could come in handy one day, lol 😀

        • I love that story! That’s what I would do…. McGyver a fix out of whatever was available! And also been very grateful if someone had come along to help! 🙂

  3. You are so brave! However, I have a feeling that you will be able to do the install with no problem. And won’t you be thrilled to have the fan?

  4. Several years ago Camping World informed us that they could put a fantastic fan in our 13 ft but it would hang down several inches. We waited until we were in Texas and Casita installed it..they ran the wires just under the carpet straight over to the lights over the sink. Hope this helps.

    Betting that you can do it!

    • Lynne, that helps a LOT. I was not sure where to install it. I hadn’t even thought of the lights over the sink.

  5. MarciaGB

     /  February 17, 2013

    You are brave and adventurous when it comes to DIY. Best of luck – we know you’ll succeed and have a good blog post out of it as well!

    • I once read that the definition of brave is being scared to death of something and doing it anyway. If that’s true, then maybe I’m brave. I sure do have the scared to death part down! 😀

      Thanks for the good wishes!

      • strivingfortiny

         /  February 17, 2013

        Hopefully there’s directions and possibly a schematic to follow. Ugh, :/ I’m rootin’ for you!!

        • There should be very good instructions with the fan. If not, I do have that how-to article to refer to. If I can’t find the wires, I’ll call Casita and ask them where they are. But I’m pretty sure I can locate them by feel under the carpet. (She said hopefully!) 🙂

  6. Well I bet you can do it too. I’ll be waiting for the results.

    • And I’m waiting for you to get your van! When spring comes, I’ll bet more will become available.

  7. You will love the Fantastic Fan. I agree with you on doing it yourself. There are few competent RV dealers for any kind of repair much less modification. I am very guarded with any of them touching my rig. If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself, it is a shame.

    • Yes, I found out the hard way about what incompetent help some of the RV repair places use. It was an expensive set of lessons for me. It really IS a shame!

      I am just glad that I have been able to find instructions that I can understand for the fan installation. Before I found that article, the idea of working with electric wires was like Greek to me!

  8. Michelle

     /  March 1, 2013

    We have a Fantastic Fan that has a rain sensor…. if we had it to do over again, we would do the way that you are (with a cover) so we could keep the air flowing while it is still raining… And after it stopped raining, but before it had a chance to dry off.

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