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!