Sunday, May 22, 2022

Vent Hood or No Vent Hood? My Experience and Choice

Dometic Ultra Breeze
I associate the roar of my little travel trailer's air conditioner with "coolth," a bit of blessed relief from summer heat and humidity. Merriam-Webster's definition of the word coolth is "the state or occasion of being cool," exactly what I want if I must camp when the heat is excessive. However, air conditioners in a tiny or little camper are loud. At least, that's my experience. When possible, I prefer to open my ceiling vent to bring in a little cool air, even though my ceiling fan is also loud, albeit not as loud as the ac. Having the vent open when possible during the night is especially preferable over the air conditioner. "When possible" are the key words, though. Having a hole in the camper's ceiling when it's raining is not a good idea. Believe me, I've tried it. Having a hood for the ceiling vent fan dramatically extends my ability to have the vent open, even when it's raining. 

MaxxAir Fanmate
Both of the travel trailers I've owned, a Polar Bear "standy" from Rustic Trail Teardrop Campers and an Airstream Basecamp both were purchased without vent hoods, but I added them to both following the experience of having to choose ac noise, stuffiness, or a wet floor during rain storms. With both trailers, the experience of having to shut the vent during rain storms was the ultimate determiner for opting for the vent hood. My experience with the vent hood for my Basecamp occurred just two days after installing the hood. I was at Saylorville Lake in Iowa, and it began to rain. The hood allowed me to keep the vent open even during the rain. Prior to buying the hood, I was concerned that the hood would interrupt the sleek lines of the Basecamp, but now that I've added the hood, I'm already used to it. 

The Facebook group Airstream Basecamp provided me with all the information that I needed to purchase and install the hood. Thanks, Todd! The smoke-colored Dometic U1500GR Ultra Breeze Vent was easy to install, the instructions clear and straightforward--essentially removing screws, adding caulk sealant, placing mounting brackets, screwing slightly longer screws into the original holes, and then adding sealant onto the screw location. I did find that using my extension ladder, leaned against the trailer, was more stable than using my folding ladder. 

The Dometic vent fan is louder than the MaxxAir Fanmate cover that I bought for the RTTC Polar Bear. That, of course, has nothing to do with the vent hood; however, they were both easy to install. I also plan to camp more off the grid this season, so having more options for "coolth" besides turning on the air conditioner is important, since the air conditioner is only an option for me if I have shore power. 

Now when it's too rainy to have the doors or windows open, I will have the option of keeping the vent open, thanks to my vent hood. Using the fan option on the air conditioner is possible, but only if I don't mind the noise and if I'm hooked up to electricity. Since the hood can be removed with four clips, I can always remove the hood if I want to "style" my way along in a parade or something. I don't mind the utilitarian and practical look, though, if that's what it takes to keep me dry when out and camping.

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