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Old 09-07-2016, 12:49 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 19
1982 Born Free and OEM Fantastic Fan Observations

As indicated in the thread title, I have a 1982 Born Free President 24' Rear Bath model with, as far as I know, an original Fantastic Fan for primary ventilation. I have been searching this and the RV Systems Forums for information on the potential upgradability of older Fantastic Fans.

I have owned this coach for the past six years and purchased it from the second owner with 43,000 miles on the clock and in remarkable condition. The existing fan functions well but is quite loud at high speed, the various controls (temperature, fan direction and 3-speed velocity control) have long since lost their decal markings and the wife is frustrated with the ceiling reach for adjustment. The dome is in fine shape, and the exterior-to-roof interface was heavily sealed when I first purchased the unit. I also added two solar panels, one on either side of the fan vent, so I am not anxious to swap out the full Fantastic Fan unit.

I was intrigued by the various upgrade kits offered by Fantastic Vent but was concerned about their applicability to such an older unit. The oldest photo of the Fantastic Fan assembly I could find here or on the internet dated to 1994 and showed plastic bow-tie like mount for the motor and fan which was visibly similar to the current replacement fan offered by Atwood. My fan is mounted on an Aluminum assembly with two parallel bars and a large center section supporting an entirely dissimilar looking motor. See Attachment. I was also concerned about the lack of a wiring diagram for my unit.

Nonetheless, I went forward and purchased the Fantastic Fan 7350 upgrade with its promise of remote control, powered opening and closure, solid state temp control, rain sensor and 10 fan speeds. Installation was a breeze (no pun intended). The white and black power leads were easily identified (entering together through the sidewall), my motor lead was a red wire and the dome opening switch was the other white lead. I carefully installed the jumper on the control board selecting the presence of an older motor as directed by the instructions. The motor for powered opening and closing of the vent readily substituted for my previous manual drive. After powering up, I discovered that I actually had only my original three speeds, though they were nicely selectable with the remote wireless control.

I called the contact number for Fantastic Vent and, after a moderately extended wait, got to converse with a human tech. He suggested that I remove the jumper. We talked further and I mentioned the loudness of the fan and a steady audible click per rotation. He pointed out that neither he nor any of their colleagues had ever seen the motor as I described, no documentation went back further than 6 years. However at the end of our call, he asked for my address as he was sending a replacement fan/blade assembly to me free of charge! This is service beyond the call of duty!

To conclude, I removed the jumper and immediately had my full allotment of 10 different speeds. I'll update this after the arrival of the new fan system including the ease of motor replacement. Hope this helps someone else with ancient equipment!
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:42 AM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 19
Well, the last and most intimidating issue in this tale of an ancient Fantastic Fan refurbishment is now resolved. The new K8017-00 Fan and Blade replacement has arrived and I swapped out the original fan yesterday. The new fan fit perfectly in the FF housing, using the same securing holes as the original fan mounting. The old fan draws 3.07 amps (at 12.45V) at its highest speed setting, while the K8017 fan draws 2.32 amps (at 12.52V). Also the new fan is considerably quieter. At the high speed setting with the dome fully open, I measure an airflow at the outer periphery of the fan blade of 922 cfm at the high speed setting!

So to summarize, any owner of any Fantastic Fan can upgrade to newer electronics and newer motor designs without any compatibility problems. It is amazing that any manufacturer today has focused on component compatibility and upgrade pathways to the extent that the Fantastic Fan operation has!
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