It seems there’s always another accessory to consider adding to your RV, doesn’t it? Your RV comes with roof ventilation and these vents can be opened and closed as needed. Why complicate it? An RV vent cover sounds like an unnecessary and boring addition. Surely you can think of many other RV accessories that would be more fun for the same money.
Then maybe it happens that you fall asleep with the vent open, enjoying the fresh night air, and wake up with wet furniture and belongings thanks to an unexpected rain shower. Or maybe you forget to close the vent before driving and the wind causes damage. There are many different reasons to consider installing vent covers on your RV.
Why Add a Vent Cover to Your RV?
One of the primary reasons to install vent covers on your RV roof vents is the added weather protection. Even the most basic models of vent covers offer protection from the elements without needing to close your vent.
You can stay comfortable in your bed when you hear it start raining, knowing that your vent covers will keep the rain out while still allowing fresh air to circulate and keep you comfortable. Vent covers will even protect against rain while driving.
If you find yourself in stormy weather, RV vent covers will also protect the plastic of your vents from falling branches, hail, and other damage that would leave your rig exposed to the elements.
RV vent covers will also help protect your vents from sun damage and other weathering, so they’ll last longer.
If your RV is anything like mine, the standard-issue screens in the roof vents don’t do much to discourage the bugs from joining you indoors. Adding an RV vent cover can add an extra screen of protection to keep the bugs outside where they belong.
They also shade the lights from inside so that fewer insects are drawn to the vent in the first place. You may be camping, but you don’t have to share your living space with things that buzz in the night.
Improved Ventilation and Air Circulation
Having good air circulation in your rig helps manage the temperature, humidity levels, and everyday odors in your living space. Proper ventilation is vital to both your comfort and your safety while you’re enjoying your RV. Installing vent covers helps you keep your vents open for improved circulation.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an RV Vent Cover
Fan or No Fan
While a fan is not specifically a part of a vent cover, many times when you install a new fan in your vent, it will come with a vent cover designed to work well with that fan. If you are satisfied with the fan currently in your vent, or you are looking to cover a vent that doesn’t need a fan, then this isn’t a big factor to consider.
If you are planning to add or upgrade a fan, this selection should be made first. Your new fan may come with an appropriate vent cover. Even if it doesn’t, you will want to choose a vent cover that is compatible with the fan you select.
Measure the size of your vent opening to make sure that a standard vent cover will fit your vent. The standard size of an RV vent is a 14” x 14” square, and all aftermarket vent covers are made to fit these dimensions. Most people with modern RVs will not need to be concerned with size, but measuring before purchasing can help avoid unexpected problems with installation.
If you have an older model RV, there is a chance that your vents may not fit the standard size. You may still be able to use a standard vent cover, but you may need to adapt the installation procedure. This will depend on how much your vent differs from the current standard, and whether it is larger or smaller.
Adding a vent cover to your roof will make your vents taller than the standard low-profile closures. Different vent cover models and designs can vary somewhat in height.
Chances are, if you have an air conditioner on your roof, the addition of an air vent will not change your clearance height. Every RV is different, however, so measure the height above the roof of your highest point.
The average vent cover is 8-9 inches tall, but some can be taller, especially if they are accommodating a fan opening. If your new vent cover will become the new high point on your roof, you’ll need to adjust accordingly for low-clearance situations. You may want to choose a vent cover with a lower profile to avoid this.
Any vent cover you choose will give you the basic functions that you expect from your vent cover. Different brands may add small additional features to set themselves apart, and these features may or not be a selling point for your circumstances.
There may be design differences that can affect the ease of installation, or they may include accessories such as sealant in your purchase. Some brands may be available in a wider variety of colors to blend in more attractively with your rig.
Consider the importance of these features to your needs, but remember that the most important functions of a vent cover will be met by any model you choose.
There are a variety of vent covers on the market with an accompanying variety of price ranges. With the exception of those designed to accommodate specific fans, there is often little difference in function between the different brands. There may be small differences in quality, ease of installation, or store availability, and shipping convenience.
The additional features listed above may be an important selling point for you. As with any purchase, you will need to weigh the significance of these features against the price differences and make a decision. Adding vent covers to your rig does not need to be an expensive investment.
Compare Top Brands and Models
Look around the campground or RV park, and you’ll discover that most RVers are using vent covers, and most of them are one of these 8 models. Let’s compare them to help you find the best vent cover for your rig!
Fan-Tastic Vent Ultra Breeze Vent Cover
Advantages: The Fan-tastic Ultra Breeze is designed to work with most roof-vent fans, including high-powered fans. It is the only model on this list that is guaranteed to be compatible with the Fan-tastic line of vent fans. This model is top-of-the-line for air circulation. It is available in several colors.
Disadvantages: This model is heavy and adds more height to the roof than most. While the product advertises UV-resistant materials, many users found that it quickly became brittle and broke after normal exposure to the elements. It is difficult to clean, and dirt can easily restrict the airflow. A bug screen is not included in this model.
Camco RV Roof Vent Cover
Advantages: The Camco standard model is effective and budget-friendly. It is durable and easily cleaned. This model is one of the most common, and can easily be found at most RV-supply stores.
Disadvantages: This model is only available in white. It is not compatible with some types of fans.
Maxxair Original Vent Cover
Advantages: The Maxxair Original has a similar quality and price point to the Camco standard model. In a side-by-side comparison, the Maxxair seems to have stronger (thicker) materials at common stress points, without weighing significantly more.
Disadvantages: The Maxxair Original has a slightly less aerodynamic design when compared to similar models, which could have a negative impact on fuel economy over time. It is not designed to be used with some larger vent fans.
Camco Aero-Flo Roof Vent Cover
Advantages: The Camco Aero-Flo is highly aerodynamic and low-profile for optimal fuel economy. If reducing your height clearance is important to you, this is a great choice. The design also allows for better air circulation and is compatible with many vent fans.
Disadvantages: No bug screens are included, and many users find that the materials in the Camco Aero-flo do not hold up well to weathering over time.
Maxxair Fanmate Cover
Advantages: The Maxxair Fanmate, as the name implies, is specifically designed to accommodate most high-powered vent fans. Installation of this model is especially easy thanks to its special “E-Z Clip” hardware design.
Disadvantages: Bug screens are not included with this model, but can be purchased separately and added. This consideration should be factored in when comparing prices, which is already a disadvantage. The dimensions needed to accommodate fans make this a tall and heavy model that is not a good choice unless specifically needed for your fan.
Maxxair II Vent Cover
Advantages: The design of the Maxxair II allows for double the ventilation area of the Maxxair Original. They are durable and made from quality materials. Bug screens are included and can be mounted during installation.
Disadvantages: Many users have found this model more difficult to install than expected. It is taller than most other vent covers, but not tall enough to accommodate many vent fan models. With regard to size, the compromises on this model are lose-lose.
Cynder Universal Roof Vent Cover
Advantages: The Cynder Universal is a simple, budget model that fulfills all the functions of a vent cover without a lot of extra features. It is lightweight but still durable and impact-resistant.
Disadvantages: The Cynder Universal is only available in white, and is not widely available (from multiple sellers). It is comparable in quality and features to the Camco standard and the Maxxair Original but comes with a slightly higher price tag. This model is not designed to be used with most vent fans.
Venture Forward Vent Cover
Advantages: The Venture Forward is one of the few basic models that are available with color options beyond black and white. Otherwise, this model has few advantages over any other model.
Disadvantages: This model is only available from Camping World and Gander chains. It is one of the tallest models available, but it is not designed to be used with fan vents. It is not easily opened for cleaning.
|Fan-Tastic Ultra Breeze||6 lbs.||10.25 in.||White, Black,
(Prices often vary by color)
|Camco RV Vent Cover||3.25 lbs.||8.75 in.||White||$30-40|
|Maxxair Original (Maxxair I)||3.3 lbs.||8.5 in.||White, Black||$25-40|
|Camco Aero-flo||4.75 lbs.||7 in.||White, Black, Smoke, Champagne||$30-60
(Prices often vary by color)
|Maxxair Fanmate||4.25 lbs.||10.25 in.||White, Black, Smoke||$75-95
(Prices often vary by color)
|Maxxair II Vent Cover||3.3 lbs.||9.5 in.||White, Black, Smoke||$50-70
(Prices often vary by color)
|Cynder Universal||3.1 lbs||9.5 in.||White||$40-50|
|Venture Forward||3.2 lbs.||10 in.||White, Black, Smoke||$40-70
(Prices often vary by color)
Top Choices: Best RV Vent Covers
Best Vent Cover for Use with Fans – Maxxair Fanmate
If you need a vent cover to accommodate a high-powered fan or any fan beyond a small standard fan, the best choice is the Maxxair Fanmate. While pricey, this model gives you all the functions of a vent cover without restricting your use of your fan.
Double-check that the measurements will fit well with your specific fan model, and remember that even if the lid doesn’t lift all the way, it may still open enough to be effective.
The Maxxair Fanmate may not be compatible with all vent fans, including the Fan-Tastic system. Unless you have specific reasons for choosing a Fan-Tastic fan, it is recommended to avoid the Fan-Tastic vent cover due to consistent problems with durability.
Best Vent Cover for General Use – Camco Aero-flo
While the Camco standard model and the Maxxair Original are both great choices for an all-purpose vent cover, the Camco Aero-flo edges them out for several reasons.
The color selection allows you to choose a cover that will blend in as though it was made for your rig. The unique design optimizes air circulation and even allows for possible fan use while keeping the lowest profile of any vent cover on the market.
It can be easily opened for cleaning and maintenance without needing to uninstall the cover. Remember that this model does not come with an insect screen and consider adding one to the inside of the vent during installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why do RVs have roof vents?
Answer: Air circulation in an RV is critically important for both comfort and safety. RVs are made with roof vents to make sure that there is proper ventilation. This helps maintain proper temperature and humidity levels in the RV. It also allows carbon dioxide, smoke, and fumes from cooking, and odors to exit the rig while allowing fresh air from outside to enter. Without vent covers, however, these vents need to be closed when it rains, during windy conditions, and while driving. Vent covers allow these roof vents to be kept open during nearly any conditions, optimizing air circulation at any time.
Question: How do you measure an RV vent cover?
Answer: Most RV vent covers are made to fit a standard 14” x 14” roof vent. Depending on their design, the actual base may be considerably larger than these dimensions. Measure your RV’s roof vents to make sure they are the standard size. Some older RVs may not fit these standard sizes. If your roof vent is 14” x 14” and you purchase a vent cover that is made to fit the standard 14” x 14” vent, then it is not necessary to measure the vent cover itself.
Question: Do I need vent covers on my RV?
Answer: You may not need them, but you probably want them. RV vent covers are not necessary, but since they enable you to keep your vents open during a variety of weather conditions and while driving, they are a very helpful yet inexpensive accessory to add. Vent covers help you improve your comfort and safety in your RV by encouraging proper ventilation. They are also very helpful when storing your RV, as they allow for air circulation even when you are not present to monitor the outside weather conditions.
Question: How do you install an RV vent cover?
Answer: Every model of RV vent cover has a different installation procedure. The Maxxair Fanmate, for example, is installed quickly and easily using its “E-Z Clip” design. Others may involve simple drilling and installation hardware such as screws or bolts. Many vent covers should be sealed with a waterproof sealant around the edges to prevent leaks. Follow the instructions for your specific RV vent cover and use YouTube as a reference for videos of other people installing the same model that you are.
Question: Does installing a vent cover on my RV change my fuel economy?
Answer: Most people do not notice any significant changes in their fuel economy due to adding vent covers to the roof of their RV. Typically the vent covers are designed to be aerodynamic, and for most RVs, the air conditioner will still be the highest point on the roof. If you are concerned about the impact of vent covers on your fuel economy, choose the most aerodynamic, lowest-profile vent cover available: the Camco Aero-flo.
Vent covers give you great protection and peace of mind while improving your RV’s ventilation. It’s rare to find an RV upgrade that gives you as many advantages for as little investment. Consider all the factors and your individual needs and desires, then add vent covers to your RV and start enjoying all the benefits!