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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Did some people managed to create stealth ventilation using the existing ducts in the rear of the van?

Don't want to cut holes in body so I'm thinking about 12v computer case fans to force fresh air in while camping.
Already have airvent cab window inserts which I really enjoy.


Might come up with some underneath vehicle removable enclosure (custom molded?) or inside van as integrated part of furniture.

Any ideas?
Thanks!
 

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Most people don't care and won't notice if you are sleeping in your van as long as you aren't staying in one place all the time.

A roof vent is very easy to install and will allow you to keep your van near ambient temperatures in sunny weather, can't imagine what you would have to do to achieve that without a roof vent.

I would much rather have a roof vent then to have people walk by my van and wonder if someone is sleeping in it.
 

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You’re not fooling anyone but yourself when you think you’re "stealth"!
I agree with KOV. When you have a large commercial van, there is nothing stealth about it. Stealth camping is a Toyota mini van with an inflatable mattress in the back.

I live in the south west and tons of commercial vans still have vent fans installed, so you can still be considered stealth ;)
 

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Maybe because of the mild weather In my part of the world, but nearly no work van has a MaxxAir fan. I actually don't know why that is. Because of this, I do think it spoils the stealth. To me, it blatantly announces you're sleeping in the van.

I know that stealth is a controversial topic, but I've been able to pull it off partly because I took pains to make my van not look like a camper but also because of parking tactics.

I've been thinking of removing those flaps that block the air coming in. Or maybe removing the plastic "infrastructure" of the vent altogether to, in effect, increase the "square inches" as Proeddie refers. Or even cutting a hole next to the vent as well to increase total square inches. At some point, I will have to enlarge the hole in the plastic cladding where the air exits so that it will accommodate the larger airflow.

I'm thinking of doing this because I can tell that the Max fan is fighting to vent out the van if all the windows are closed. And at night, I don't want to keep 2 or 3 inches of window open because of rain or the gap leading someone to think they can poke something into the van for nefarious reasons.
 

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Depending upon the height of your roof fan, it isn't even that easy to see it. You are better off having a closeable floor vent for intake. You will cook in a metal box without a roof vent.
 

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Maybe because of the mild weather In my part of the world, but nearly no work van has a MaxxAir fan. I actually don't know why that is. Because of this, I do think it spoils the stealth. To me, it blatantly announces you're sleeping in the van.

I know that stealth is a controversial topic, but I've been able to pull it off partly because I took pains to make my van not look like a camper but also because of parking tactics.

I've been thinking of removing those flaps that block the air coming in. Or maybe removing the plastic "infrastructure" of the vent altogether to, in effect, increase the "square inches" as Proeddie refers. Or even cutting a hole next to the vent as well to increase total square inches. At some point, I will have to enlarge the hole in the plastic cladding where the air exits so that it will accommodate the larger airflow.

I'm thinking of doing this because I can tell that the Max fan is fighting to vent out the van if all the windows are closed. And at night, I don't want to keep 2 or 3 inches of window open because of rain or the gap leading someone to think they can poke something into the van for nefarious reasons.
Please consider the possibility of carbon monoxide entering the van when you vent at the back. Will fumes get sucked into the vents while driving or sitting at a light?
 

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I doubt much exhaust or dust makes it into these slots, or it'd already be a concern pre-modification. Those factory pressure vents wouldn't be easy to clean. It's really kinda tight behind the trim/rub pannel. I'm interested in functional designed for these if they're found though.

Stealth is a weird concept. If you're not allowed to be somewhere, it doesn't matter how you look - it's about not being noticed (not loud, not lighted, not long). If you're allowed to be somewhere, it doesn't matter how you look.

On the other hand, I've never seen a commercial tradesman/work van with a roof fan. Many work vans you gotta complain to get the regular ac fixed. I can't imagine an employer outfitting a fleet with them and staying in business long. Many mismatch and jury-rig ladder racks, if you even get one of those. If these are actually standard somewhere, the business must employ at minimum wage and spend it's budget on vans. Which means maybe use a different company that pays it's guys instead of putting roof fans on their vans. Maybe a small outfit that likes to spend too much money. Expediters will actually temp control the cargo or personal vehicles for long distance,but that's more for the cargos sake. Most work vans are to haul stuff to do work, not in the van. Comfortable vans lead to workers hanging out in the van instead of, like, doing work. Sorry for the rant. Driven a lot of ducttape and warning light work vans over the years. IDK how this theory got started. I won't believe it til I see it.
 

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When the OP pulls out the positive closing flap on those exhaust only vents you can bet there will be dust getting in. Stealth is a [email protected] idea. Any of us who have lived in a van for even a month can spot a camper who is sleeping in their unmodified car! Every van is so easy to know someone is in it a cave man could tell. Put in the vent, create some air transfer with awning windows and move on. This is so much over-thinking to try to fool someone who is going to know so much more than the stealter! Get over it!
 

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Yeah, it's all the other parts of car camping that give it away, not the looks. If you park somewhere and don't get out of your car, or get out and back in for long periods it doesn't matter if your vehicle looks like every other car on the street. You look different. 'Urban stealth sleepers', that are successful, show up late, stay quiet, and leave before house folk go to work in the morning. You could probably do this in a golf cart or a limo if you don't make noise or hangout during the day. Every so often, you'll probably still get told to move though.
 

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The vents are set up to flow one way so no they don't get dusty and dirty from interior air leaving the van. However if road dust was sucked into and through disabled vent then yeah I'm pretty sure that would be a different situation. Have you inspected vents that had the flaps removed? Who wants to be the guinea pig and see if carbon monoxide gets pulled into flapless vents?

I speak from experience. I have parked, taken showers, made meals, had a coffee and slept in a camper van on city streets, strip malls, coffee shops and all kind of places and no I don't stay long when I'm going somewhere. Only once did an officer inquire what I was doing and that time I had permission to be in that parking lot. My truck didn't scream camper, it was just a plain van with a vent and nobody bothered me, before that I was in a pickup truck. I like being able to stop anywhere and be under the radar. I am looking forward to more of it in my Promaster. Why would anyone here want to suggest that I can't or shouldn't be enjoying my camper any way I choose. Park on the street or in a lot at a Ram dealer if you just need a rest for the night, no one will notice. For most of us stealth isn't about parking in the woods using camo. Maybe I'll paint brick on the sides and hide in front of buildings.

One of the best things about traveling/camping in a van for me is not having to make reservation and be on a tight schedule. I just get there when I get there or maybe I won't.
 

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It's such a small slot. I can fit the tip of my pinky and it comes away without grime. My flaps on the inside are dirtier on the internal facing side than the outfacing. I really doubt much gets sucked up that route unless you turn it into a vacuum. This just also means it's not going to create much air flow.

You can do whatever you want with your van. It's your van. I've slept on the road a good bit too. Running water and cooking things on a city street will get noticed though. Maybe not each time, but those aren't sounds and smells a parked, unoccupied vehicle normally makes
 

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Hot air always travels up, so only having bottom vent, doesn't make sense. You can pull cold air in but you will still need to vent out the hot air. Hope you will reconsider the roof vent. I have a hatch and front vent and that make a huge difference for interior temp.
 

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It's such a small slot. I can fit the tip of my pinky and it comes away without grime. My flaps on the inside are dirtier on the internal facing side than the outfacing. I really doubt much gets sucked up that route unless you turn it into a vacuum. This just also means it's not going to create much air flow.
Let us know if you smell exhaust when you remove the flaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for your inputs! Fumes and dust will be considered into the design :) Could have use "less noticed" instead of "stealth". Not really trying to fool anybody, I'm just not the kind of person trying to get the people attention.

Already have these when not on the move.


The van is my daily driver. I live in the mountains where we get harsh winters. We often go below -25C and snowfall of more than 30cm overnight is not uncommon. This can be quite challenging on roof vents.
Not planning on a 4 season camper. Too busy with winter sports and maintaining the land.

Weekend mountain bike and trail running trips are the only plans for the moment so the "camper conversion" will be very minimal (for now).
 

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Regarding dust coming in via the rear vents, that's actually a good point. I was thinking of underfloor vents but moved away from it due to dust concerns. I was thinking the rear vents were a little higher up now that I think about it, the intake is actually at the base of the plastic cladding right behind the rear wheel. I have mudflaps but there'd still likely be some dust from there.

Re: fumes. It's also a concern but the vent being ahead of the exhaust might help, certainly while moving forward; though idling at a standstill could present a problem if the wind blows in the right (wrong) direction. Maybe use only the passenger side vent as an intake?

It looks like I might need to fashion window vents similar to what @ant01ne and others I've seen are using. I'm still pondering this.

The issue with the window vents is noise. I suspect I'd have to remove them every time I start highway driving to make sure there's no noise or buffeting. City speeds should be ok.

It may also be a legal requirement to not have them on the window when driving. So there could be an installation and removal step every time I deploy them.

Some time ago, I joked about a motorized blast gate over floor vents. Maybe it's time to revisit that and have it automatically close when the van is moving (by which time the dash fan is running and fresh and filtered air is coming into the van to offset the roof fan's exhausting it out).
 

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Re: stealth, I'm going side with those who say it's a useful aspect of campervan building. Useful especially for travelers like me.

More and more communities are outright hostile to people sleeping in vans on their streets. I saw this myself in many places in California. Witness Santa Barbara. This sign there would ban the parking of ANY Promaster on "ALL CITY STREETS":

64136


My 159-inch high roof PM violates 2 of the conditions. Even a little low-roof 1500 exceeds the width condition.

Using tactics like those mentioned above by @83Grumman and @Somebodyelse and a purposely built to be non-descript van, I was able to park all over California, Oregon, and Washington state last year.
 
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