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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I just installed a Maxxfan 5100K vent fan on the roof of my 2015 ProMaster City. I watched a lot of videos to learn how to cut a hole in the roof and install the fan but now I need help with the wiring. Some people said the easiest way is to tap into the power of a dome light. Since the fan is at the rear of the van the dome light over the back doors would be perfect. However after I finally got the lens off of the light and found the wiring it became more complicated than I ever imagined. I thought there would just be a power wire and a ground wire like what's coming out of the fan but the rear and sliding door lights have 3 thin wires (See pics) and seem to be joined. There is also a thicker olive green wire that I thought was the ground because its attached to the ceiling/roof via this (fuse?) Anyway, I have no idea which wires to tap into. Any electrically inclined ProMaster guys in here?
 

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You should never wire something like a roof fan into you vans electrical system, not to mention the vans computer controls the power to the door lights. I don't believe you will ever get it to work that way. If you must use the starting battery to power it at least run a dedicated, fused, line directly from the starting battery.

A much better (low cost) system would be to simply purchase an RV battery and mount it somewhere assessable in the van connected to the alternator by a simple relay or switch.

To cause less confusion I have moved this post to the City side of the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks KOV,
After spending hours and hours of time last night and this morning I finally gave up on trying to figure how to tap into the power for the dome lights. Then I spent another hour putting the toggling lenses back on only to have them not work like they did before I messed with them.
I was thinking about buying a dedicated battery for the fan and mounting it but thanks for the idea of hooking it up to the alternator (not that I have any idea how to do that but maybe I can find someone who does). I was thinking about buying a charger and the thought of having to charge it all the time wasn't appealing.
Glad I didn't cut any wires!
Doug
 

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Unfortunately, I know nothting about the City but, assuming it's set up like the full size Promaster you would run a wire from the positive terminal of your starting battery to the positive terminal of your house battery (fused at each end) with either a manual or automatic relay switch to prevent your starting battery from being discharged. The negative side of the house battery can be grounded to the City's chassis (body). This is a vast simplification and I suggest you search the site for detailed info on how to do it. GARYBIS http://www.buildagreenrv.com/
has lots of info on his website that will help you out I'm sure. It's not difficult but you must do it correctly.

Good luck.
 

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I've been planning to install a roof vent as well. I've been cautioned about doing that because I'm told that "it would affect the integrity of the body". My guess is that they are just full of BS as I've heard of others doing it. I certainly would cut it between the support beams. How did you seal the fan with the uneven surface cause by the ribs on the roof?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The height of the ribs was very minimal, maybe 2 mm so I just added 2 or 3 more layers of butyl tape to fill in the gaps. One problem I encountered was that even though the 14 x 14" flange (the plastic rim that the fan sits into) just fits in between the two horizontal support beams I overlooked that fact that theres a lip of about 1" that you put the screws into and when I was putting the screws in I was having a hard time getting the four middle screws on the back edge to go through the roof. I even broke a drill bit which was when I got down and looked from inside and realized I was drilling into the edge of the beam. So the four middle screws on the back only went in half way but with 14 other screws going in fine and the fact that these four were on the back I don't think it will be a problem. If I was aware of this I would have angled the screws in a bit and would have been fine. Live and learn!
 

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You can drill a clearance hole for the screws to pass through the roof beam. Can you post a photo of the install? We make vent fan adapters and would like to produce one for the PM city.

You can run the (+) wire to the starter battery for power. (-) you can attach to the metal chassis near the fan. You'll want a fuse near the battery. This protects the wire and fan in case of a short. A low voltage cut off would prevent you from depleting your battery so you can still start the vehicle. That would install inline with the fan. here's one that would work:

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/Voltage-Battery-Disconnect-Auto-Detect/dp/B0147DYUN8[/ame]

There is really no reason to add a house battery just to run your fan. If you add more accessories that you plan to use while parked then that might be the next step.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan.com
 

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No offense taken but let's not forget how you use this forum as your own personal free advertising platform for your products. Other commercial sellers here have to pay to advertise why do you feel like you deserve a free ride?
 

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I wouldn't mess with the vans internal wiring systems while it's still under warranty. Dealership can potentially use that as an excuse to deny warranty coverage if something goes wrong. Might want to consider investing in a solar set up and a deep cycle battery. MaxxAir fans can be directly wired to 12V sources but I personally wouldn't run one off my starter for any extended period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My PMC is out of warranty but someone said that tapping into any wires may interfere with the computer so I'm glad I didn't do it.
I don't think the fan will drain my battery much as the engine will be running most of the time. The only time the engine will be off and the fan on is when I'm picking up/dropping off my clients dogs while other dogs are in the van, 10-15 minutes max.
I don't know much about cars or electrical systems so I'll probably pay a mechanic to run a fused wire from my battery to the fan unless I can find a video on YouTube showing me how to do it. I don't even know what this type of fuse looks like. :(
 

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Did you happen to figure out what the amp draw or which fuse the rear dome light is? I'm not installing a fan on it, but I'd like to wire to remove the dome light and install two 12v LED's in parallel on that circuit. My plan is to have 6 total LED ceiling lights with 4 powered by the house battery and 2 functioning as the stock dome light did.
 

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Sounds like an auxiliary battery would eliminate any drain on the main battery. I'm in the process of getting an auxiliary battery installed and will run my Maxxfan from that. I also got the adapter that Hein makes, which solves the problem of mating the flat flange of the Maxxfan to the Promaster's undulating roof surface.
 

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I've got some fun-fact-figures on our use of the MaxxFan in our van that might relieve some battery-drain-anxiety ? : )
This is from a prior post on another rv build. I took these measurements so this is first hand info:

I posted this general MaxxFan data at another thread and wanted to repost here for future reference:

We have a MaxxFann 5100K fan in our Chevy AWD Van Conversion. I have measured the amperage draw at the various settings and we really appreciate the range of settings.

Starting at the lowest setting i will label as "1" and stepping up in speed to "10" i recorded the following on the installed Xantrex volt/amp meter:
Readings in amps per hour:

1=0.3
2=0.5
3=0.7
4=1.0
5=1.3
6=1.7
7=2.3
8=2.8
9=3.4
10=4.6

We mostly keep ours preset at 3 and during this past season in our native PNW with daily camp-temps in high 70's/low 80's. We have typically run the fan only about ~10 or so minutes in the van before we head in for a night's rest. Life in the PNW doesn't see much use out of the fan for our style, though we are happy we've got it installed just in case the heat does show up in camp. And since we dry camp for ~a week at a time between charges i know exactly how long i can run the various appliances. Thus my desire to record amperage draw as noted above. We have never had to use the emergency jump starter for our Van.
 

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Did you happen to figure out what the amp draw or which fuse the rear dome light is?..
While not specific to the LED in the PMC or PM i did some tests in another RV build on LED amp-draw that should be very close to what you might want for info?

here is that post:

Single LED fixture 12 hour amp-draw test with Xantrex LinkLITE monitor...

I turned on the bathroom LED light at 7am this morning after taking notes off the monitor:

=====7am readings (before 12 hour test)...

Volts: 12.9

Amp Hours Remaining: 94.9 (I have it set at 110 being max)

Amp Hours Used: 6.1

(The manual stated that the more charges completed the more accurate the AHR and AHU reading get. The AHU figure resets when the monitor registers 4 minutes of float voltage 13.2v after coming off of normal-charge voltage 13.6v. I may have to do some monitor adjustments. Still testing things out...the manual is in four languages, and the English still looked a bit Klingon to me.)

Without LED on,
Amp Hours showing on monitor: -0.1

LED light turned on,
Amp Hours showing on monitor: -0.3

=====7pm readings (after 12 hour test)...

Volts: 12.7

Amp Hours Remaining: 91.9

Amp Hours Used: 9.1

Without LED on,
Amp Hours showing on monitor: -0.1

LED light turned on,
Amp Hours showing on monitor: -0.3

---So the math shows (though as stated, the more charges on the system, the more accurate this particular meter will become) is as follows:

Amps used by single LED light for this 12 hour test is somewhat less than 3 amps (i say somewhat less because the meter is showing some phantom draw. All that is hooked up is the monitor). All this really tells me is that running LED lights takes little juice from the system. Last 5 day adventure we spent 90% of our time inside the Parkliner from morning exit of van (our bedroom) to heading back in at ~9pm ish. During this time _indoors_ we had two LED fixtures on for ~6 to ~8 of the hours due to the gloomy weather outside. So for the 5 days i can now approximate we used no more than ~18amps for lighting.
Cheers,
Thom
 

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Discussion Starter #18
accrete- I also have the same model Maxxfan 5100K but I don't have 10 speeds. When I press the up button it beeps and increases the speed 6x and on the 6th press it beeps twice indicating it is at top speed so I really have 7 speeds.
How do you preset your fan at speed 3? Mine starts at low everytime I start it.
Do you have your wired to the starter battery?
 

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...How do you preset your fan at speed 3? Mine starts at low everytime I start it.
Do you have your wired to the starter battery?
I do press the button up to the 3rd setting. And yes on hard wired into starter battery...that is how Van Specialties wired the Fantastic Fan that i replaced with the MF was originally wired. All fused, but never an issue.

Thom
 

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I did install the Maxx Fan finally. I found some plastic spacers to level out the metal ribs and then liberally coated it with the usual butyl tape and lap sealant. Rather than risk a dead battery or have to do a low voltage cutoff... I acquired a Goal Zero 400 and solar panels for charging it. I can run the fan all night at about 30% and only reduce the Goal Zero charge by 10% or so. The fan draws a lot of air, so you'll need to crack the windows or install some venting.
 

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