A New Vent Cover – The MaxxShade Plus: Watch the Install!


The powered vents that most of us have in our RVs are wonderful things.  They create a breeze to keep us cool.  They exhaust humidity and cooking odors.  They’re the best tool you’ve got to keep your rig comfortable without plugging in, running a generator, or otherwise using 120 volt power to kick on your air conditioner.  They can run a long time on just 12 volt power.

But what do you do with them when you’re NOT using them?  Now there’s a solution.  Have a look!

 

Yes, most vents have plastic covers of some sort on the outside.  But these usually let in quite a bit of light, even when they’re closed.  In the summer, that also means letting in quite a bit of heat!  The covers are also typically thin, so in the winter, they let quite a bit of heat out as well.  There are a number of products you could try to deal with the winter problem.  But these solutions typically look like exactly what they are: weird pillows shoved up into your fan.  They might sometimes work… if they stay up there.  But even if they did work, they would be something you had to store when you wanted the vent open, and they don’t look quite “finished”.

We took a different approach.  For years, we’ve been using something we got from Advanced-RV.  It snaps into place (so it doesn’t fall out), and it’s insulated, so it helps with winter heat loss.  It also didn’t look too bad.  But it was still something to store, and it didn’t do much for us during the summer months when we left it at home.

Now, we have this option from the same people who make our fan:  MaxxAir.  The MaxxShade Plus is an easily installable shade that covers the inside of the vent opening.  It’s also reflective on the upper side – which means it will do an EXCELLENT job of keeping summer heat out of our rig.  And the “Plus” model has LED lights built into it (perhaps to replace the daylight you’re losing when you cover up the vent).  There is also a MaxxShade model (without the “plus”) if you don’t care for the light.

I’ve just installed the MaxxShade Plus, as you see in the video.  Initial impressions (good and bad) are:

  • I like the finished look of the piece.  It doesn’t look like I’ve just shoved something up there to cover the vent opening.
  • The reflectorized back of the shade is just brilliant.  Thank you, MaxxAir.
  • I wish they had shipped the adapter ring and the shade itself “un-assembled”.  It’s not obvious how you take the two apart and someone will likely break one before they even get it installed.
  • I am slightly concerned about the press-fit of the shade unit into the adapter ring.  I wonder if it will stay connected, or if road vibrations will cause it to fall.  I would have rather seen some sort of “press, slide, and click” like a battery door cover.
  • Summer performance will be fantastic.  Winter performance I’m not certain of – although it should be easy enough to add additional insulation above the shade.
  • The LED lights are a nice feature, even if they’re not super-flattering on my bald head.

 

So there you have it.  As we get a little more time with it, we should have additional impressions and observations, so come back and check the comments if you think this is something you might want!

 



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    15 thoughts on “A New Vent Cover – The MaxxShade Plus: Watch the Install!

    1. Anne Turner

      How far does the cover hang down from the ceiling? Our bathroom door opens right there and, while there’s some clearance, there’s not a lot. Thanks.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        It hangs down at least a couple of inches. If your door is within an inch or so of the ceiling below the ceiling fan, I wouldn’t try it.

        Reply
    2. cr0ft

      The shade looks great. I’m a bit less enthused about the Maxxair fans for winter in general, and the Fantastic fans too. They’re quite poorly insulated, or rather not at all. I’d rather have some dual-glaze Heki skylights, and you can always add a fan to one of those.

      However, those splicing connectors are straight up horrible. You should probably let those be the last ones you ever use, and hit up https://www.posi-products.com/ and buy some Posi-taps in various sizes, just to have in the shop. The other Posi-connectors are also outstanding, much better than butt connectors and other stuff you crimp on. The Posi-lock is great for straight connections, and they even have watertight versions. Next best thing to soldering wires.

      Instead of a blade, the Posi-taps work by pushing a sharp pin through the wire. The damage to the wire is minimal, and if you want to remove the tap you just unscrew them and you’re good to go. The connection is super solid too.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I’ll have to have a look at the posi-tap connectors.
        I’ve gotten to be a near-professional at crimping (and I almost used crimp-on connectors instead of the ones provided, but I wanted to keep it to just the two (or 3) tools).
        But it never hurts to check out something new!

        Reply
    3. Stan

      Got a question.
      In the summer daytime, if the shade is closed, how does the vent work as a vent?

      We don’t have (or want) A/C, so the vent fan (also a MaxxAir) is the main path to push hot air out.
      If the shade blocks the vent, then you need to keep it open during the day, and it won’t need to be reflective. At night in the summer, we usually have the vent open and fan running , which means the shade isn’t used for insulation.

      So, at least by the look of the shade in the video, I don’t see where it would have utility except in colder weather, when the vent lid is also closed. I wonder what R-value the shade reflective surface adds then.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Probably should have mentioned that. The vent is not meant to be used with the shade closed.
        If you run with your vent open most of the time, then this product probably wouldn’t be as useful.
        In the winter – ideally – you would want the reflective surface facing inward. You’d likely also want some insulation above it as you probably use now.

        Reply
    4. Lee Stone

      James, that looks just like me on one of my projects – dropped screws, dropped tools, tool just out of reach…with the required head spin and ARRGHH except it usually doesn’t sound like arrghh! Another great video thanks.
      On a side note, my wife and I met Dean from LTV at the Portland Ore. RV show last month and also looked at their RTB Wonder that you and Stef also reviewed.
      just what we were looking for, we own two e bikes, and the storage is just perfect. and we love the quality of LTV. hope to see you on the road,
      and whats “jenky” again?

      Reply
    5. Noel

      Some of my favorite James’ verbiage from this video, “Ha!” “Jenky.” “5’2.” And “Oops.” 🙂 We got this cover, sans light, at GNR this past summer. Do love that we don’t have to store anything. But did have to re-glue one end cap of the roller rod when I discovered the spring tension stopped working. Functioning well ever since. Now when might you get back to the shop videos? 😉

      Reply
    6. Dan Goetzman

      The shade looks thin, wondering how it will hold up?
      We currently use a foam pad insert and plastic panel that helps with noise reduction. Wondering if the noise control will be sufficient?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        While the shade material is thin, it should hold up as it won’t be subjected to much stress. That’s the assumption I’m working with anyways…
        As to noise control, we haven’t had the opportunity to test it out in that way yet.
        If you were using one of those pillow-like devices stuffed into the fan opening, I’d say that the noise control from this will probably be somewhat less. Unverified – that’s just a hunch.
        There will be a substantial air space up there…

        Reply
    7. Tom Vertrees

      Ordered one from etrailer . I didn’t see a link on here. Thanks for posting this.

      We enjoy watching your vids

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Typically, I would have put a link to Amazon in the post if I can find the product.
        This time however, I couldn’t find it on Amazon.
        It is a pretty new product, and it looks like eTrailer is the first to get their act together with it.
        Glad you ordered one!

        Reply

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