A ceiling fan in an RV reduces the cabin temperature and makes the journey enjoyable in weather conditions when air conditioning is not required.
However, its installation is tricky due to low ceiling height and limited clearance for fan blades to rotate.
How to Install a Ceiling Fan in an RV? You can install a ceiling fan in your RV with these easy 5 steps. First, it involves securing the fan motor using studs or fastening it with solid support on the RV ceiling and necessary wiring. Next, install the fan blades to their holders and then with a rotating assembly. Then fix the rotating assembly with the fan motor. The last step is a test run of the fan to ensure its safe operation.
Modern RVs have flush-mounted ceiling fans with no down rod in the bedroom area to fulfill the requirements.
How to Install a Ceiling Fan in an RV?
Mounting ceiling fans in RV requires you to follow the 5 basic steps you do during installation at your home. They can slightly vary according to the type of fan and mounting mechanism inside the cabin.
Install mounting bracket or electric box
You cannot directly install a fan on the ceiling of an RV but use an electric box or metallic stand to support the weight of the fan assembly while rotating. It can also help to conceal the wiring connections.
To fix the electric box or mounting bracket, look for structural components like a frame to provide additional support.
For example, you can install a metallic bar running throughout the ceiling width and secured it at ends with the RV frame:
- Cut a hole in the ceiling the size of an electric box.
- Install it on the metallic bar with the help of screws with mounting lugs.
- You can look for other options like a metallic duct for an air conditioner or metallic beams to support the plywood ceiling.
After installing the electric box, check its strength and firm installation. It is essential to ensure a safe installation, as a rotating fan faces several forces that can dislodge it from its place.
Make the electrical connection
First of all, turn OFF the circuit breaker while starting wiring work to prevent the risk of electric shock. Then, you can use a duct or conceal the wires inside the ceiling.
In case of surface wiring, tuck the wires alongside walls or hide them beneath cabinets. Choose a power outlet nearby to reduce the length of running wires.
Next, connect the red and black wires of the electric motor with the respective live and neutral wires.
Use green wire for ground connection and tie it with the body of the RV. Make sure to insulate the splicing joints, and they should be within the electric box. You can mount the motor on a hook for temporary fixing during wiring work.
Mount the ceiling fan motor on the bracket
It is the most crucial step as the strength of the fan depends on its firm mounting.
Flush mounted motors have 3 lugs to fix them on the mounting bracket or electric box. Remove the temporary hook after making electrical connections.
Use three numbers of screws with washers on both the top and bottom. Align the screws with holes on the mounting assembly and tighten them.
Add the fan blades with rotating assembly
You will find the fan blades and their fastening components, including mounting blade holders, a rotating disc, screws, and washers, in the product box.
First of all, fix the blades on the mounting holder with the help of screws and washers. Make sure to align all of them at the same level. Bending any of them can cause wobbly motion of the fan and create noise.
The next step is to mount the blade holder on a rotating disk using two screws. Again, I prefer to check the strength of all screws at this stage to prevent any mishap.
Repeat this step for all the blades. Next, install the motor cover. Remember to take out the electrical wires for connection.
Lastly, install the rotating disc on the motor shaft. Pass the shaft through the central hole of the disc and secure it with a locking clip and nut.
Place a washer on top and bottom of the assembly for sturdy fixing. With this step, the fan motor is ready for mounting on the electric box or bracket.
Test run of RV Ceiling Fan
Before turning ON the fan, rotate it with your hand to check its free movement. You should also check that there is no obstruction to its blades and they have a smooth uniform motion with minimum vibration.
After checking all safety considerations, turn ON the fan to ensure its successful installation. Then, test the speed settings according to the instruction manual in the hardware package.
In case of noisy fan operation, check all screws of its blades and the turning disc. If wobble or excessive shaky movement occurs, ensure that the distance between all blade tips should be equal.
Some fans also have remote control options to control their operation. In that case, you have to take an additional step to install remote control and electrical connections for the receiver unit.
Types of ceiling fans suitable for RVs
RVs have ceiling heights in the range of 7-8 feet, depending upon their type and model.
Therefore, you cannot install conventional ceiling fans with down rods inside the cabin due to limited headroom.
Instead, manufacturers or mechanics recommend purchasing fans with flush-mounted motors and shorter span blades. They compensate for the shorter span with more than 3 blades for good airflow.
You should also select the fan type based on its power requirements. Both AC and DC fans are available in the market suitable for mounting in RVs.
However, before choosing, check for the power source near the appropriate installation point inside the cabin and its voltage levels.
Fans with reversible motors are also an option that is dual purpose for both summer and winter seasons.
Things to consider while installing a Ceiling fan for your RV
If you planning to buy ceiling fans for your RV, you should consider these important factors.
Structure to Support the Fan
Find a structural component strong enough to support the weight of the fan. For example, the wooden ceiling of the cabin has not had sufficient capacity to carry the load.
Locate any metallic pipe or crossbar to install the fan motor with the help of a metallic box to withstand its weight while rotating.
A suitable location for a fan is the RV bedroom because corridors and sitting areas don’t have enough clearance to rotate their blades.
In larger RVs or class A motorhomes with queen-sized beds, its center is an appropriate place to enjoy the fan. Minimum clearance between fan and RV floor should be 6 ½ feet.
Use properly sized wires from existing electrical systems according to the power rating of fans.
Tuck all the wires with the sides of the RV and conceal them using a duct. All splicing joints and connections must be properly insulated.
Is it safe to use a ceiling fan in my RV?
- Follow safety instructions issued by the manufacturer during the installation.
- Turn off the power supply during wiring.
- Be careful to stretch your arms or stand on the bed.
- Don’t allow children to play in bed.
- Turn OFF the fan when not in use.
- Secure the fan firmly in its place to prevent falling on you.
We conducted an online survey at Trucksauthority.com and asked the RV owners about using the ceiling fan.
63% of the people found it unsafe to add a fan inside RV due to limited height and minor clearing. 37% of owners voted in favor of ceiling fans to enjoy the cool breeze while camping.
Time and cost of installation cost
It takes around 2 to 3 hours to make all fittings and electrical connections and secure them with brackets.
The cost of the ceiling fan will be in the range of $200-$300, and the installation cost will be $30-$50.