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Ventilation roof or side and what Help please


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Hi again to all.

We're still converting our Fiat Ducato van to camper/home.


The recent cold weather has shown a need for extra ventilation especially when we're inside. Insulation is doing a good job but any metal shows light condensation.


Soooo, I think a mushroom ventilator might be a good idea rather than a large roof light/vent. I've looked at solar ones or just permanently open mushrooms. Has anyone fitted such and are they pleased?

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I fitted a couple of simple mushroom vents into the roof of our basic Toyota "camping-van"..but any unlined metal surface can still have condensation running down it...

(moisture from body heat, and exhaling has got to go somewhere..)


We rarely sleep in the above van during the winter months, so it's not really an issue, nor do we cook within it..

But if you're looking to convert a "proper" camper', then I'd look at a decent skylight/roof vent (maybe even one with a fan?)


Edit: Just to add, if you do try mushroom vents, be wary of using the likes of Sika 512. because despite thoroughly prepping and cleaning all surfaces, it didn't fully adhere to our MPK vents and they leaked..

I think it may've the temps' reached by the two dissimilar surfaces(steel & "plastic") which caused them to part.? I had to strip them off and I just used some of the gloopy, non-setting caravan sealer stuff.(and that's been fine for a few years now).

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Thanks for that and didn't want to go with the skylight option but looking like it may be best - unfortunately.


We converted a VW T4 previously and left the driver and passenger window open an inch (spoilers above) only had condensation when bitterly cold but not a problem. This bigger van seems to increase the need for more ventilation but at least we stand up to get dressed!

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Hi again...


What are the profiles on the roof like?..is there a flat moulded area, which is intended to take a vent/skylight?


..because I think one problem that some vans have, is that their roof mouldings can mean that a roof vent(s) can sometimes "block off" rain run off routes.. :-S


(I would have put square skylights in ours, and maybe not have bothered with the side window..but the roof has a lot of "corrugations" and is quite "arched", so it would've been a bit of a faff..and we would've ended up with "captive" water).


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One advantage of having a proprietary skylight such as a Heki roof light (apart from letting in loads of light and being able to let out large amounts of hot air in summer) is that they are designed with 'natural' ventilation which doesn't cause a draught but us there to ensure a safe air flow.



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Steve (Ducto)


Depending what age you are, living in a tin box can be fraught with snags. More ventilation = a greater loss of heat, carrying a single dog = additional moisture, camping on grass = additional moisture, are you a beer drinker = more moisture. Are you of a large build ?


Leaving a window open as you say is the simplest way to go and easily adjusted to the conditions and your life style. My personal view is make no holes unnecessarily and work around the atmospheric conditions that are constantly changing,


We are both skinny, eat and do very little therefore we personally create less moisture. The physics of our planet can never be altered. Throwing money at a problem (not that you are) may not be the answer.


Perhaps you are a stickler on personal health (we are not) so you must decide for yourself

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We would suggest a skylight with it's more natural 'extraction' air flow would be the better option.

However, remember that drawing the blinds across on the smaller square types, pretty much stops air flow, so beware of this at night and in storage.

Some airflow may still take place on the bigger Heiki's, but much reduced if the Blind is 'closed'.


The advantage over a Mushroom vent is that you can 'seal' the roof vent with the blinds if you ever need.


In our Caravan we have a Mushroom vent at the back and you can get quite a cold draft come down it.

That suggests, IMO, that it isn't always doing it's 'proper' job of extracting moist air. If air only rises up the Mushroom, you wouldn't feel a cold draft down it would you?.


You don't ever feel a draught down through the Skylights, suggesting they do a better job of taking moist air out.

We Caravan over New Year and I tend to tape off the Mushroom vent overnight, as it otherwise lets in such a Cold draught.


Obviously all the additional points mentioned above apply about the extra light, ventilation when opened, etc. as well.

Even in January, if the Sun is out it raises the van internal temperature enough that opening a roof light during the day, even just slightly, gains some very useful extra ventilation.


Especially important to keep the roof Blinds open in Winter storage to reduce condensation, not just while the vehicle is in use.

The Sun has little Bleaching effect in Winter so the roof blinds can be left drawn back with no adverse effect.


We caravan all year, just returned from Morris's Leisure site at Llanberis which was fantastic so much to do in the area that we didn't use the Car in over a week. Yet we have no issues with condensation, despite it being a 'Summer' caravan and there being two very active children.






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Regardless of what anyone indicates warm air will always rise and cold will always fall. Be it using a mushroom vent or a large skylight. Any cold air from outside is probably damp and much heavier therefore moving much faster and killing any warm air as it tries to escape.
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